Wednesday, March 15, 2006

You Learn

Computer science is the wrong major for those who do not like to learn. If you major in computer science, you'll hopefully learn a great deal about algorithms, computers, programming, etc., but in many respects, you'll leave the university ignorant.

Few computer science careers involve computer science for the sake of computer science (and those I can think of entail continuous learning). In most situations, you're going to wind up helping others solve real world problems using computers, and that will entail understanding the problem domain well enough to come up with an appropriate software solution.

In my experience, coming up with a good software solution requires as thorough an understanding of the problem domain as possible. If you learn just enough to get by, it's silly to expect your software solution to be any better than your limited knowledge. Some of the worst software seems to be written by people who don't actually use it and/or aren't sufficiently familiar with the real world problems they're supposed to solve.

If you enjoy learning all the time, it might be a good field for you, but if you don't, a word of warning.


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