No wonder CompSci grads are unemployed
No interest in tech, crap teachers, and they can't spell
Comp-sci teachers are religiously bad
Universities will admit off the record that they feel some despair at the calibre of people that apply. Children love technology, and in any playground there will be serious arguments about the merits of various tech. Like most parents, I use withdrawal of tech privileges as a serious threat to ensure good behaviour. So you are left with no alternative but to blame the largely worthless, uninspiring syllabus and the pathetically underqualified people who stand in the class, annoying the kids. I can’t bring myself to refer to them as “teachers”.
Without exception, teachers refer to computers as “tools”, and their ignorance of the inner workings of computers is staggering. Their teaching methods mirror the attitudes of a medieval priest talking to peasants.
As a kid I assisted at Mass, and we were warned on peril of our souls that there were things we should not do, and places we should not go. Today that is the tone of the letters I get from my kids' school about the rules to prevent my kids showing any initiative or curiosity about computers. Programming is almost wholly absent and if I saw an IT teacher crossing herself when hearing a nine-year-old talking about C# it would not shock me.
I suspect there is a filtering process going on here. The vast majority of kids look at the subject and quite rationally assume that it is both dull and useless. It therefore attracts a lot people who cannot write English well enough to do an arts subject and who are thus choosing between a degree in CS or accountancy or a qualification in leisure centre management. Of course some kids actually have a passion for the subject (or like me saw it as a route to make real money), and are not only ignored by schools, but where these days harassing a kid for appearing to be gay will be counted as bullying, geekiness is treated as something you should be ashamed of and hide as best you can.
If you’re not a CS grad, you might have spotted what looks like a logical contradiction when I talk of both unemployment and higher pay for CS grads. That’s because there is good demand for computer skills; even Java still has value for now. Even a smart graduate in archaeology is going to find it tough to work in his or her field of choice, so what does it say about you if you were trained in something that’s in demand, but are still unemployed?
Some CS grads do make astonishing money, the right hand side of the distribution sails past first-year pay of £100k, but that's for people who can do exotic programming.
The sheer ignorance of newbie CS grads still manages to astound me. If you’re one reading this, you’re actually above average. Recently I held a seminar, ripping newbie CS CVs to shreds, and showed the bog standard technique of taking the job spec and adjusting the cover letter to highlight how you fit.
As cynical as I am, I was astonished that not one person in the group knew the names of any of the top three online recruitment sites. Do your mates a favour, pass them the address of the Reg. Maybe then fewer of the next batch will be driving minicabs. ®
Dominic is a headhunter in the City.
As a senior programmer for a big mobile house
winibagoes need programming?!!
What I have noticed a lot of, is the people who are working in IT are no longer Geeks, in the true sense of the word.
I hear a lot of: "I'm a programmer, I don't care about computers.". Just the other day our SQL DBA called me a geek (not that I minded), just because I have a NAS at home and multiple laptops and computers in the house. When I first started out (early 90's professionally), only geeks worked in IT - now it seems everybody does, but don't actually have any passion for it (apart from us old timers)..
All too true...
This is unbelievably accurate. As a senior programmer for a big mobile house, I've been doing recruiting for graduates to take on as junior iOS programmers.
I used to teach CS in the USA - studied it there too. My intro language was C. When I started getting CVs through here, I was surprised to find a lot of people applying for iPhone positions without any C/C++ education. Since Obj-C on iOS lacks garbage collection, having some experience of memory management is really rather important, and yet it's a skill completely lacking from many coming out of UK CS courses.
I have singularly failed to find a single graduate student who formally studied C or C++ for their bachelors. I'm honestly surprised *more* CS graduates aren't unemployed. Plenty of them deserve to be.
Sorry, my first language was 6502 assembler and a couple of different flavors of basic.
Add to this Fortran, Cobol, C, all in college. (Ok, this was before Java and C++ was still relatively new).
But my point was that the language didn't matter. (There's a class for that.)
Java, Objective-C all came later.
Yeah I do know C++, which is why I can make the statement that C++ blows. Sure its my opinion, and there are others that would disagree with me.
The key is that I can defend my opinion. Any decent programmer should be able to defend their opinion. When you interview for a developer, you should ask questions based on their stated experience that required a detailed response. Not only will it show their technical expertise, but also their communication skills which are also just as important.
PS. Sorry I dislike C++ because as a consultant, I'm called in to fix projects have gone wrong. Cleaning up bad C++ is a hell of its own... ;-)
I'm gay and a geek, so I'm doubly F....
But back to the subject of the article, it definitely echoes my experience of Comp Sci Graddies. They think they know all there is about IT, but sadly the truth is very different. It is rare to find one who can roll straight into the job without having to be hand fed for the first six months.
Fail, because Universities appear to be doing just that.