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Emonious

Damn you Computer Science Major!!! Unit Amount Req.

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If I may contribute to the exchange between Taulin and The_Incubator, I don''t think Software Engineering is as impactful or profitable as the overabundance of textbooks and "research" in the area would seem to suggest because software development is not an engineering discipline.

Did I just say that? Yes. It''s like carpentry. Engineering principles can allow anyone to build a good, solid table that won''t fall apart once loaded. However, the master carpenter doesn''t rely on formulaic application of "woodwork principles"; he employs an innate understanding of those principles and a craftsman''s approach to fashion an exquisite product. Even collaboratively.

Our factory approach to software, necessitated by the exploding demand for new products, leads to cranking out tons of university grads who perform very well using CASE and UML and what have you. However, truly exceptional software isn''t merely correct and functional; it is also aesthetic, pleasing and an expression of design. This is what formalized education fails to impart, while a hands-on approach coupled with proper influences (analogous to the master carpenter''s one-time apprenticeship to another master carpenter) does yield the desired result.

That''s why I quit CS. I want to have the freedom to "apprentice" myself to the best minds out there, soaking up their perspectives, studying their style and eloquence of expression, learning tools and techniques with a craftsman''s intensity (and without the bullshit of having to write oversize GUI applications for "SE" classes - yes, my experience was much like The_Incubator''s). It''s not for everybody, but it''s definitely for me.

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quote:
How do you like UMD? I''m hacking through their application right now (essay is hard ) so I''m just curious.


Maryland, in general, is an excellent place to be, though like all other schools has numerous imperfections. The main attraction to me wasn''t just our good (ranked 12, i believe) CS program, but our Honors ang Gemstone programs, which are both excellent. The numerous special programs offered really help to offset the impersonal nature of going to a school with 35,000 students.

In terms of the CS program, my experience has been mostly positive so far, though being only a sophomore I can''t really comment on the high-level courses. The intro courses are generally time-consuming, though if you already have lots of experience with the material they shouldn''t be too hard. Yes, you can test out of them, either by AP or the university''s test. Like most any high-quality program, the CS department is filled with lots of really interesting, talented people, both students and professors. The professors were actually more open to undergraduate research than I was expecting them to be, so that was a pleasent surprise.

The biggest downside is the beaurocracy that comes with a large instituation like this. I hope everything goes well for you with admissions; I''ve heard some horror stories about applications getting lost and stuff like that. Also our dining plan kinda stinks, though I don''t know how it compares to other colleges.

Hope that helps!
- Fuzz

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SE is not supposed to be about teaching you one method, and stopping there. Like Oluseyi said, designing software is not a set practice. That is why there are so many paradigms, models, diagrams, styles, etc. Again, SE is about exposing the student to all of it (or at least a large portion). Pros and Cons of each approach and how different types of projects and teams would require a different style. Most people who never took SE only commonly hear major words like UML, and perhaps come across lower levels of SE in various books. Then, when in a major project, they only have that limited exposure to draw upon.

This of course goes back to when I said it is easy to determine who graduated from a CS program, and who didn''t in the work place.

The_Incubator: I am not trying to say your class sucks. ''Decent'' was just a term meaning you didn''t just sit around and your teacher at least can discuss the subjet. It sounded like you learned a lot from that situation. While it may have been agony, you already know the importance of limiting scope based upon time and skills. While you may complain that you were forced to use Java, or such, the same thing goes when you work for ''the man''. You will have to figure out what you can do, get it in writing, look at your team, and figure out how to get it done. The bond between all of those steps is where SE comes in. Usually SE courses go over board when it comes to documentation, but that is OK. Most CS majors don''t believe in thorough design, and never wrote any, so this is the class to try and break that habit.

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