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Computer Science vs Software Engineering


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#1 JayNori   Members   -  Reputation: 130

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Posted 09 March 2014 - 02:51 PM

I am pursuing a bachelor's degree in either Computer Science or Software Engineering, though I've noticed a lot of jobs requiring a bachelor's in C.S. but both majors roughly have the same classes. So my question is which major would benefit me the most? Thanks in advance guys. :)

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#2 ISDCaptain01   Members   -  Reputation: 1322

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Posted 09 March 2014 - 03:14 PM

same thing, different name mostly. employers wont care either way



#3 JayNori   Members   -  Reputation: 130

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Posted 09 March 2014 - 03:24 PM

Love that answer, thanks!

#4 NightCreature83   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2674

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 02:20 AM

They are pretty much the same, software engineering might be more oriented on the work space where Computer Science  might be more focused on theory, this is not a hard rule though.


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#5 Bregma   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4773

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 05:52 AM

Software engineering focuses on processes and procedures involved in the development of computer programs at the human level.  Computer science focuses on the mathematical basis of computation at the abstract (M-space¹) level.  There will be a great deal of overlap, especially in the vaguely-related subjects of computer programming, calculus, and elective topics from other disciplines.

 

Employers look for the magic presence of a degree in some related field.  Pursue the one that calls to you the most because you will spend the rest of your life with what you learn, so make sure it's something you like.

 

 

¹ Yes, I just made that up.  Consider it related to Pratchett's L-space via a simple ontological linear projection. If you find that humourous, choose computer science over software engineering.


Stephen M. Webb
Professional Free Software Developer

#6 Melkon   Members   -  Reputation: 465

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 06:23 AM

Honestly, most job don't even require degree, most company care about your knowledge and experience.

So, it's doesn't really matter, choose what you like, you will still be able to get your dream job. :)


Edited by Melkon, 10 March 2014 - 06:24 AM.


#7 JayNori   Members   -  Reputation: 130

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 06:27 AM

Thanks guys, you've helped me out a lot! :D

#8 fir   Members   -  Reputation: -441

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 06:39 AM

computer science vs software engineering is good title,

#9 BeerNutts   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2579

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 07:56 AM

Honestly, most job don't even require degree, most company care about your knowledge and experience.

So, it's doesn't really matter, choose what you like, you will still be able to get your dream job. smile.png

 

In theory, that might be correct, but in practice, most companies will look at your resume, and, if they don't see a degree, the resume goes in the trash.


My Gamedev Journal: 2D Game Making, the Easy Way

---(Old Blog, still has good info): 2dGameMaking
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"No one ever posts on that message board; it's too crowded." - Yoga Berra (sorta)

#10 krinosx   Members   -  Reputation: 485

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 08:17 AM

Well... engineering will have the same basis of all engineering courses: heavy math, calculus, physics and so on...

 

Computer engineering also have a strong electronics theory and you may understand how the computers are made, and maybe how to design better computers...

 

you also will learn advanced topics on algorithms and more 'hardware friendly' techniques...

 

With computer science ( I am in the 4th year of a bachelors course  of BCS ) you will learn less math than an engineer but will focus on more theoretical concepts, like how to do compilers, how to develop some advanced AI algorithms, some Graphical Computer ( much theory about rasterization, image processing, a little about 3d and so on ).

 

Btw, its recommended you check the course Curriculum and check the classes you will have.... both areas are great as a starting point for a good academic career, like a research or teacher or even a employee of a tech research company...

 

 

BUT, if you are looking for a bachelor degree just to have a 'superior grade' in your curriculum... so.. the course does not matter... the companies search for a 'area based course'.. so.. any course related to computers, or maths you do the job... pick the lightest course and/or the one you like more the classes...

 

well... I still think spending 4 years in a course just to be employed is a waste of time... unfortunately its my case... I am working as a programmer for about 15 years now... and.. to get a good job, I mean... a good position in my job I need a bachelor degree... so... I spend my last 4 years doing a Bachelor Course... SO I realized that maybe being a researcher, or a teacher more regarding than working in private industry... ( not in a $$ way.. but for personal satisfaction )



#11 Melkon   Members   -  Reputation: 465

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 09:02 AM

 

Honestly, most job don't even require degree, most company care about your knowledge and experience.

So, it's doesn't really matter, choose what you like, you will still be able to get your dream job. smile.png

 

In theory, that might be correct, but in practice, most companies will look at your resume, and, if they don't see a degree, the resume goes in the trash.

 

 

Well, if you have zero experience it's harder to get through the HR guy, but as soon as you have experience it's doesn't really matter.

 

I mean, there is alot of company who care about your papers instead of what you can give them, but i don't want to work for a company like that. It's a bad attitude, and it's really far from me.

 

For example i want to work at Riot games later on, it's a pretty huge company, and they say you need Bachelor degree OR equivalent experience. Well, getting equivalent experience is not a big deal, and it's much faster than spending 3-5 years at university... Of course if you want to get a degree do it, it's good. But it's a choice, not mandatory.

 

Alot of company write that you need Bachelor's degree just to write something... I know it for sure, because most of my friends who work in the industry have no degree and will never have (i also don't have, and i like my job as a c++ developer), but their companies write that degree is required... so i don't recommend to take that part seriously. If you are good enough for the position and that's the only missing part just ignore it.


Edited by Melkon, 10 March 2014 - 09:03 AM.


#12 BeerNutts   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2579

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 11:34 AM


Well, if you have zero experience it's harder to get through the HR guy, but as soon as you have experience it's doesn't really matter.

 

That's a pretty important statement you just kind of whizzed over.

 

If you have 0 experience, which EVERYONE starts out with 0 experience, then, it's hard to get through the HR door. And, the question of going to university or not is 80+% is being asked by people with 0 experience (ie, high school graduates).

 

I mean, there is alot of company who care about your papers instead of what you can give them, but i don't want to work for a company like that. It's a bad attitude, and it's really far from me.

 

Many people looking for a job don't have the priniples to say "Heck, if that company won't even look at a resume without a degree on it, I'm not going to work there;  I'll continue to live at my parents and eat Ramen noodles every night!  I'm above that."  No...people want to get paid.


My Gamedev Journal: 2D Game Making, the Easy Way

---(Old Blog, still has good info): 2dGameMaking
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"No one ever posts on that message board; it's too crowded." - Yoga Berra (sorta)

#13 Norman Barrows   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1850

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 11:42 AM

it probably depends on the school.
 
i have 99&44/100% of a Software engineering degree from OSU. never finished the BS liberal arts electives as i was making 60K a year as an indie gamedev.
 
as stated above, all engineering degrees are the same for the first two years. solid math and science.  indispensible for a gamedev.
 
at OSU, a bachelor's of science degree in software engineering also includes all the theoretical stuff too: formal languages, hardware architecture, even digital systems (how to build adders and registers from gates). so i know how the circuits are made (gates and flops), how the hardware works (IPs and fetch cycles), how to write programming languages, compilers, linkers, loaders, virtual machines, operating systems, 3d graphics, simulation and modeling, numerical methods, discrete mathematics, the list goes on.
 
CS teaches you how to code, but not much else.  Engineering gets you the math, physics, and other stuff - stuff you really need as a gamedev.  
 
a coder with no math or physics skills is MUCH less valuable to a development team that one with those skills as well as other advanced software skills. 
 
 
all that said, 
 
after i'd learned all that, then i had to embark on individual study to actually learn how to build games from the ground up.  When i started, there were no game engines, no directx, no openGL, no middleware, no real game specific libraries. everything was roll your own custom code and "party on the bitmap". We'd hang out on compuserv's gamdev forum and teach each other how to build games as we invented the methods you now see used today.
 
odds are only a coding degree from full sail will directly target the skill set required for game development.

Norm Barrows

Rockland Software Productions

"Building PC games since 1988"

 

rocklandsoftware.net

 


#14 Melkon   Members   -  Reputation: 465

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 12:41 PM

I don't really understand why i got that much negative vote, while i speak from my (and from my friends) experience, so what i said is actually the truth.

 

 

 


Well, if you have zero experience it's harder to get through the HR guy, but as soon as you have experience it's doesn't really matter.

 

That's a pretty important statement you just kind of whizzed over.

 

If you have 0 experience, which EVERYONE starts out with 0 experience, then, it's hard to get through the HR door. And, the question of going to university or not is 80+% is being asked by people with 0 experience (ie, high school graduates).

 

 

That's not true, experience doesn't mean that you had a job before, you can do open source projects anytime, or you can do your own projects. That's experience. I studied at university when i got my job, and you know what? No one cared about what i learnt at university, i got my job because my spare time project. And honestly, it wasn't a big deal, it was like a 1k row (but well designed) code base c++ (sfml) tower defense game project, what wasn't even finished. And it was enough for my current bosses to choose me instead of other guys, who had much better grades at my university, but nothing to show.

 

And here i am someone, they chosed me because my experience and knowledge, not because my papers (obviously, because i don't have), here if i work on something my opinion about what i working on is actually count. That's pretty cool feeling, and i know that there is alot of job that doesn't work that way.

 

 

 

Many people looking for a job don't have the priniples to say "Heck, if that company won't even look at a resume without a degree on it, I'm not going to work there;  I'll continue to live at my parents and eat Ramen noodles every night!  I'm above that."  No...people want to get paid.

 

 

I don't exactly know why you try to attack me, that's pretty rude, and you are wrong. I maintain myself since i was 18. But if i can choose where will i work (and as a programmer obviously i can, because as a programmer you have like infinite potential workplace) i will choose what i like.


Edited by Melkon, 10 March 2014 - 01:24 PM.


#15 Bregma   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4773

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 12:59 PM

i have 99&44/100% of a Software engineering degree from OSU. never finished the BS liberal arts electives as i was making 60K a year as an indie gamedev.

If you haven't finished your degree, as an engineering manager I probably wouldn't even consider hiring you. The only indication you have the stick-to-itiveness a degree proves is if you graduate. Someone who starts school and does not complete it is a dropout. I do not want to work with a dropout.

If you claim you have a degree because you were close to finishing it and may as well consider yourself to have graduated, that's fraud. That's a criminal offense. I do want to work with a criminal.
 

CS teaches you how to code, but not much else.  Engineering gets you the math, physics, and other stuff - stuff you really need as a gamedev.

That's certainly going to depend on the school. When I took CS, it was mostly theoretical and heavy on the math. Programming was really just an adjunct that enabled you to put algorithms into practice. We didn't get taught how to use Lex, we got taught about Kleene closures (and used Lex to implement a parser as a project, because who implements lexers from scratch?).

I understand some other schools may not be at the same academic level as the esteemed institution I attended back in the day.
Stephen M. Webb
Professional Free Software Developer

#16 BeerNutts   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2579

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 01:13 PM


I don't exactly know why you try to attack me, that's pretty rude, and you are wrong.

 

I wasn't trying to attack you, please don't take it as that.

 


 I maintain myself since i am 18.

 

You're 18.  How much experience can you truly have in answering a question about how much going to university does or does not help you in landing a job?  

 

Oh to be young and naive again....


My Gamedev Journal: 2D Game Making, the Easy Way

---(Old Blog, still has good info): 2dGameMaking
-----
"No one ever posts on that message board; it's too crowded." - Yoga Berra (sorta)

#17 Melkon   Members   -  Reputation: 465

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 01:16 PM

 


 I maintain myself since i am 18.

 

You're 18.  How much experience can you truly have in answering a question about how much going to university does or does not help you in landing a job?  

 

Oh to be young and naive again....

 

I am 23. oO


Edited by Melkon, 10 March 2014 - 01:17 PM.


#18 BeerNutts   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2579

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 01:23 PM


I am 23. oO

 

The point stands.  At best, you'd be 1 year removed from university.

 

At 23, I had just graduated University and knew little about how the "Real World" worked.  


My Gamedev Journal: 2D Game Making, the Easy Way

---(Old Blog, still has good info): 2dGameMaking
-----
"No one ever posts on that message board; it's too crowded." - Yoga Berra (sorta)

#19 krinosx   Members   -  Reputation: 485

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 01:51 PM

Humm I start to work ( earning my own money from my programming skills ) at 15yo - 16yo... :) So, with 23 years old I was very experienced :)

 

When I first came to a university ( with 19yo I know almost everything about the programming classes... unfortunately I was not able to finish that course... so I need to quit the university 1 year before the end of course... $$ problems... :( )



#20 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 19056

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 02:59 PM

Perhaps some time reading this forum's FAQ would be beneficial.

Some highlights:

* Experience does not mean what many of you are claiming it means.
* You do not exist in a vacuum, you are competing against other candidates.
* College graduate means entry level. It means that with a lot of hand-holding and guidance you can be taught the craft.

If you don't have a game industry job, you have zero experience as far as the career meaning of the word. It means you were paid for professional full-time employment by an actual game company to do game development. Hobby projects, unpaid open source projects, count as personal projects. If your app released on the app store is probably still a hobby. If your project on the app store is paying you a living wage, meaning at least a four-figure sum every month, only then is it big enough to count as 'experience', and in that case, you probably don't need an employer.

You might be an amazing programmer at age 23 with no degree and a limited portfolio, but when the interviews also include five other people each with a degree and a similar portfolio, I pick one of them. Nothing personal, but they proved they can finish a big project, you have not.

Many industry vets can reproduce most CS senior projects (3-6 months of work) in a few days. As a personal example, few years back I re-implemented the stuff I had studied in my master's thesis 12 years ago, and it took about two evenings.

For much more, go read or re-read the forum's FAQs.
Check out my personal indie blog at bryanwagstaff.com.




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