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Mistro

Computer Science vs Software Engineering (yes I read the article)

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Well as the title says, I did read that gamasutra article on computer science vs software engineering, but what I need to know is, In your opnion, which would be the better university program to take if going into game programming? I am asking this because as a final year highschool student, I have to make my university program choices. However, after reading that article, I am now more confused than ever! I have been programming for a little over 4 years now and have about 3 years of c++ experiance. I have been programming "hobby" games alot starting with the classics such as tetris and pong and currently working on this 3d Spaceship RTS game which is coming along nicely as I have the main game engine fairly complete and am spending some time working on the graphics bits right now since that is just as important to spend some good time on if you're doign your own graphics. But the thing is, of my choices of universities (considering accesibility, cost, and reputation) only two of the school offer software engineering as a course. The rest all offer computer science. Now my interest is in actually programming things using ideas I find or think of my self. I am not too into the maths part of things but ofcourse I do have a fairly good grasp as game programming does deal with that quite a bit obviously. Now the things is, if I pursue a course in Software engineering, what types of jobs related to game programming will I be able to go for and be comfortable with as compared to computer science. As a looooong term goal I am looking into prehaps working for a bigname company such as ID or EA... I understand that Programmers don't really make much as compared to other positions but I don't really mind since I am quite interested in this feild and I guess the important part is that you love your job. Of course there is the stress aspect and stuff but it's something im willing to put aside to do what I love :) [Edited by - Mistro on August 27, 2005 10:43:48 AM]

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Over 70 views and not a single reply? Well mabye to clarify, according to the article, comp. sci. is more related with the math and thinking about how to do stuff while soft. eng. is how to apply it. With that definition, It seems that soft. eng is the better choices for a game programmer. However, after looking at course descriptions at the universities, Most comp sci courses include phrases such as "teaches the student programming, software engineering and various design processes" (huh?)

So isn't that kinda like soft. eng? Well what I guess I'm looking for is someone who has actually completed or started their education (I'm guessing a good many of you at this board) to ask of their opinion...

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It seems to vary heavily by the school you go to. I myself went to Fullsail, which is much more focused on game programming, while trimming off most of the useless stuff common to some traditional universities. At one point mid way through my courses I was helping a 3rd year comp-sci student on basic file IO. Apparently this particular school didn't really get into actual programming until 3rd and 4th year or something. Furthermore, I now work with many comp-sci graduates that readily admit that a good portion of their schooling was pretty much worthless in the 'real world' of programming. Not that I'm trying to turn you onto a school like Fullsail, just saying that it's hard to give a clear answer to the question because so much depends on the particular school.

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Im a first year comp sci student, and i was forced into making a decision like you at the start of this year between soft.Eng. and comp sci.Anyway, after speaking to quite a lot of people and reading articles, computer science basically is the the study of algorithms and there mathimatical properties, such as algorithm efficiencies etc. So it teaches programming and programming at a deaper level as to how and why to the binary level. Software engineering is more for programming, but focus's more on project management, cost's, and overall management of software development within organisations. Well thats what i concluded. Read the course units and decied based upon them, in my course, im doing bchlr Comp Sci, Major in Software engineering, computer forensics and game development.

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