$40 ### Image of the Day Submit IOTD | Top Screenshots ### The latest, straight to your Inbox. Subscribe to GameDev.net's newsletters to receive the latest updates and exclusive content. Sign up now ## What a good college must have? Old topic! Guest, the last post of this topic is over 60 days old and at this point you may not reply in this topic. If you wish to continue this conversation start a new topic. 26 replies to this topic ### #1Fernando Vieira Leite Members Posted 27 February 2012 - 09:41 AM hey guys... so, i wanna be a game programmer, and im going to college in august. But there's a problem: I need to go to one with a good computer science program, with the right courses and stuff. And there's a detail: I'm brazilian that is getting a scholarship playing tennis in usa, so I can't go to colleges like digipen because they dont have sports there. So I was wondering if you could help me saying what are the basics that any good college for computer programmers should have, the courses and stuff.. This would be very helpful. sorry if there are any english mistakes, as I said, i'm brazilian haha ### #2frob Moderators Posted 27 February 2012 - 10:24 AM Go to a school that offers Computer Science specifically. Some schools offer degrees that are similar, but are different. DigiPen does not offer a bachelor's degree in computer science. They offer similar degrees, and they offer a masters degree in computer science, but not a BS in CS. Any major school offering a proper CS degree will include minimal courses to become competent. You should take some additional courses even if your school doesn't require them. Many schools recommend but do not require advanced math. For math I recommend calculus, linear algebra, and statistics, even if the school does not require them. I also recommend at least one technical writing class (generally from the business department) and some physics. Take all the CS classes you find interesting, even if they are not required. Check out my book, Game Development with Unity, aimed at beginners who want to build fun games fast. Also check out my personal website at bryanwagstaff.com, where I occasionally write about assorted stuff. ### #3Fernando Vieira Leite Members Posted 27 February 2012 - 10:32 AM Oh, I see.. but do you think any degree in Computer Science would be good? Because I'm going to usa with a company, and they're choosing the college for me, but I'm afraid that they choose a bad college, so I was thinking in sending them a list of some courses that the college should have. So far I got this: Programming Assembly level programming Computer Architecture Software Engineering Computer Graphics Data Structure Algorithms Communication Networks Al and Expert Systems Human Factors Mathematics Physics Web development Software development I don't know if they're all really required.. But what do you think about this list? ### #4jschmuff Members Posted 27 February 2012 - 12:53 PM Here is a quick way to rule out some colleges... Is the college accredited? If no, move on! If yes, continue researching it. ### #5Telastyn Members Posted 27 February 2012 - 01:06 PM Is the company forcing you to live in a certain area of the country, or are there a list of good tennis schools you can choose from? ### #6Jesse7 Members Posted 27 February 2012 - 01:17 PM Oh, I see.. but do you think any degree in Computer Science would be good? Because I'm going to usa with a company, and they're choosing the college for me, but I'm afraid that they choose a bad college, so I was thinking in sending them a list of some courses that the college should have. So far I got this: Programming Assembly level programming Computer Architecture Software Engineering Computer Graphics Data Structure Algorithms Communication Networks Al and Expert Systems Human Factors Mathematics Physics Web development Software development I don't know if they're all really required.. But what do you think about this list? Why are you so concerned what people think of your college? The things that you are able to do are far more important than the classes you're going to take. You may take far more courses than someone else but that means little if you didn't learn to program or if you can't write or if you can't read technical documents. So what that you didn't take an AI or a graphics course? Maybe the college doesn't have these. You may still end up better than someone else who did take those courses. Someone passionate about AI or graphics isn't going to wait around until they take a class in it or until they find a better school. What you learn in college is largely up to you. Want to learn math? Algorithms? AI? Graphics? Pick-up a book and start reading. Yeah, it's very nice to have someone else explain everything to you, but in a fast paced industry like software/games those who can't learn on their own are not going to make it. Good judgment comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgment. ### #7Telastyn Members Posted 27 February 2012 - 01:43 PM What you learn in college is largely up to you. What resources the college has isn't. You have to learn on your own regardless, but there's no need to make your life harder by paying for help that is bad, or isn't well suited to what you want to learn. ### #8Fernando Vieira Leite Members Posted 27 February 2012 - 03:02 PM Here is a quick way to rule out some colleges... Is the college accredited? If no, move on! If yes, continue researching it. I was doing that, but I heard that the ABET accreditation is not that big of a deal for Computer Science. A lot of good schools aren't accredited in CS but the course is great. ### #9Fernando Vieira Leite Members Posted 27 February 2012 - 03:09 PM Is the company forcing you to live in a certain area of the country, or are there a list of good tennis schools you can choose from? Let me try to explain how it is. The company I'm going with has a lot of contacts in the US with several trainers and colleges. So they do all the talk and negotiations. They need to see if my grades are good enough for the school and if I play good enough to get a scholarship there. So it's kinda hard for me to just choose one good university, you know? That's why I'm asking you guys what are some basic courses for me to go, or maybe some good school facts like if its a research college or not... Something that makes me sure im going to a good college. I know that college isn't everything and I'll probably gonna have to take some courses online or on my own, but regardless that its still a pretty big decision to make... ### #10Fernando Vieira Leite Members Posted 27 February 2012 - 03:12 PM What you learn in college is largely up to you. What resources the college has isn't. You have to learn on your own regardless, but there's no need to make your life harder by paying for help that is bad, or isn't well suited to what you want to learn. yeaah thats what I think too. ### #11Fernando Vieira Leite Members Posted 27 February 2012 - 03:44 PM Well, now that you know my exact situation, what do you think I should tell the company? Something that garantees that I'm going to a good college. ### #12Jesse7 Members Posted 27 February 2012 - 04:20 PM What you learn in college is largely up to you. What resources the college has isn't. You have to learn on your own regardless, but there's no need to make your life harder by paying for help that is bad, or isn't well suited to what you want to learn. yeaah thats what I think too. Don't get me wrong, there are some good schools out there but unless you're thinking MIT or Stanford or some other distinguished school, most state universities are going to be more or less the same. Realistically, the "help" that you will be paying all that$ for will be to have some Asian or Indian TA (who knows little English), who is most likely working on finishing their PhD thesis, so they have no time to look at, much less time to debug your code, nor explain why all your homework was wrong. Your professor will also ignore you for the most part because they are too busy trying to publish their papers and make tenure. You'll quickly discover that the students who get As in these classes are the ones that learned this material before they even got there (that's how I did it).

At a low cost state university, you may not have access to a state of the art AI lab nor access to some advanced coursework, but you'll get your homework done fast and so all your free time can be spent doing the things that really matter to you: whether it's spending time with your significant other, or learning more languages, APIs, math, or watching OCW videos, or programming to the wee hours, or reading all the nice books you cleaned out from the library because the other students are too busy partying to even care about their education.

I'm not trying to sound negative--this picture of college is typical for a lot of folks and not too long ago there was some pretty long discussions about this over at the lounge. Best of luck.
Good judgment comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgment.

### #13Fernando Vieira Leite  Members

Posted 27 February 2012 - 04:35 PM

At a low cost state university, you may not have access to a state of the art AI lab nor access to some advanced coursework, but you'll get your homework done fast and so all your free time can be spent doing the things that really matter to you: whether it's spending time with your significant other, or learning more languages, APIs, math, or watching OCW videos, or programming to the wee hours, or reading all the nice books you cleaned out from the library because the other students are too busy partying to even care about their education.

It seems to me that think college is just a waste of time. I can't really say much but in my researches I found lot of people that was studying in some good colleges (not top like those on the ivy league) and had plenty of good things to say. Teachers that really wanted to help, good environment to study, etc.
I don't wanna sound rude or anything, but don't you think your vision is that way because you didn't have a good experience in college? If it really was the way you say it is I don't think anyone would spend the amount of money they spend in college.
Anyway, I wanna see more opinions about what you said..

### #14slayemin  Members

Posted 27 February 2012 - 05:19 PM

It seems to me that think college is just a waste of time. I can't really say much but in my researches I found lot of people that was studying in some good colleges (not top like those on the ivy league) and had plenty of good things to say. Teachers that really wanted to help, good environment to study, etc.
I don't wanna sound rude or anything, but don't you think your vision is that way because you didn't have a good experience in college? If it really was the way you say it is I don't think anyone would spend the amount of money they spend in college.
Anyway, I wanna see more opinions about what you said..

A four year degree in computer science will open up a lot of doors for employment opportunities. If you already know everything that is taught in a CS program but you don't have a degree, yeah, the four years might be a bit of a waste of time. But, the job market is an employers market and when an HR goon has two equally qualified resumes and the only difference between them is a four year degree, guess which one gets called for an interview?
There are companies who don't care whether or not you have a degree. They want to know whether you can do the work and your proof will be your polished demos and clean code.
Personally, I don't think it's a waste of time to get a CS degree, even if you are a hot shot coder. You'll get introduced to things you may not have been exposed to in your own studies and it will help round out your skill sets.

Programming
Assembly level programming
Computer Architecture
Software Engineering
Computer Graphics
Data Structure
Algorithms
Communication Networks
Al and Expert Systems
Human Factors
Mathematics
Physics
Web development
Software development

This list looks pretty good. I'd also add some instruction on Operating Systems, a class on Network Programming, and maybe databases. (You could teach yourself SQL by using MySQL and the associated tutorials)

### #15Fernando Vieira Leite  Members

Posted 27 February 2012 - 05:41 PM

This list looks pretty good. I'd also add some instruction on Operating Systems, a class on Network Programming, and maybe databases. (You could teach yourself SQL by using MySQL and the associated tutorials)

okay, so far this is the courses list:

Programming
Assembly level programming
Computer Architecture
Software Engineering
Computer Graphics
Data Structure
Algorithms
Communication Networks
Al and Expert Systems
Human Factors
Mathematics
Physics
Web development
Software development
Operating Systems
Network Programming
Databases

anyone would add something else? and maybe some thoughts about how the college should be in another way...

### #16swiftcoder  Senior Moderators

Posted 27 February 2012 - 05:50 PM

At a low cost state university, you may not have access to a state of the art AI lab nor access to some advanced coursework, but you'll get your homework done fast and so all your free time can be spent doing the things that really matter to you...

Let's just be clear about one thing: if he's there on a sports scholarship, then there is quite possible no such thing as free time.

Consider 25+ hours a week of practice out of season, and considerably more than that in season. Not to mention missing classes and exams for away competitions, and having to drop classes because professors refuse to accept the athletic department's dispensation to miss exams...

By the time he has finished with workout, practice, classes and homework, he'll be lucky to have the energy to crack open a beer, let alone fire up visual studio for the next 8 hours.

Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @ Amazon - [swiftcoding] [GitHub]

### #17Fernando Vieira Leite  Members

Posted 27 February 2012 - 06:03 PM

At a low cost state university, you may not have access to a state of the art AI lab nor access to some advanced coursework, but you'll get your homework done fast and so all your free time can be spent doing the things that really matter to you...

Let's just be clear about one thing: if he's there on a sports scholarship, then there is quite possible no such thing as free time.

Consider 25+ hours a week of practice out of season, and considerably more than that in season. Not to mention missing classes and exams for away competitions, and having to drop classes because professors refuse to accept the athletic department's dispensation to miss exams...

By the time he has finished with workout, practice, classes and homework, he'll be lucky to have the energy to crack open a beer, let alone fire up visual studio for the next 8 hours.

yeaah thats true.. it'll be tough to do things on my free time.. thats another reason why the college should have as most things as possible...

### #18Fernando Vieira Leite  Members

Posted 27 February 2012 - 06:25 PM

one of the colleges that I'm trying to go to is Kennesaw State University.. I saw the Computer Science department and it seems to be pretty nice.. what do you think?
http://cs.kennesaw.edu/?page_id=5

### #19swiftcoder  Senior Moderators

Posted 27 February 2012 - 06:34 PM

one of the colleges that I'm trying to go to is Kennesaw State University.. I saw the Computer Science department and it seems to be pretty nice.. what do you think?

That looks pretty comparable to our CS program - I'd say that's a decent bad choice.

Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @ Amazon - [swiftcoding] [GitHub]

### #20Fernando Vieira Leite  Members

Posted 27 February 2012 - 06:54 PM

one of the colleges that I'm trying to go to is Kennesaw State University.. I saw the Computer Science department and it seems to be pretty nice.. what do you think?

That looks pretty comparable to our CS program - I'd say that's a decent bad choice.

what do you mean by decent bad choice?

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