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+ - Are CS students poor programmers? 2

Submitted by
DavidHumus
DavidHumus writes "Recently, at a computer conference, I heard two separate people say the same thing during the same day: computer science students are usually very poor programmers. Both these people were college professors in areas that do a lot of computing — mathematics and biology (population genetics) — and have dealt with a lot of students who have had to write programs for their courses.

The specific complaint of both professors was that CS students seem to have very superfical knowledge, that they don't understand things like the limitations of floating point arithmetic and verifying their output. One professor recounted the story of a student who wanted a good grade on a program because it ran to completion — never mind that the answers it gave were off by many orders of magnitude.

Do slashdotters agree or disagree with this? If it is true, why? Shouldn't computer science students be good programmers?"
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Are CS students poor programmers?

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  • So two professors at a conference complain about some students they had that were poor programmers, and now every CS student can't program? That is an affront to the rest of the CS students who can program. I know many, my school is among the top for the discipline.
  • Sounds like those professors had been dealing with too many interns just out to pad their resume. Or their school's CS departments suck. Where I'm studying, there is a mandatory hardware level class sophomore year. I've talked to juniors who have already forgotten the details of floating point math by the next semester. The reason they forget? It is never used again until maybe the senior level classes in bioinformatics or data mining or simulations. Go with Human/Computer interaction, or another area, and

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