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Are polls for g**ks?
Yes. 100%

Votes: 1


 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Jan 17, 2002
Computer science and computer programming are no more synonomous than are writing poetry and teaching English.

Please, won't you g**ks stop saying CS when you mean writing code? The two have shockingly little in common.


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The two are linked (none / 0) (#1)
by Anonymous Reader on Thu Jan 17th, 2002 at 09:22:27 AM PST
But they are not corollary. If you are a computer scientist, this more or less requires you to do some programming occasionally. Obviously, you cannot do research on programmatic software transformation, or PASCAL compiler code generation tree optimisation without actually testing your hypotheses. But just because you wrote a quick Pearl script, you are not suddenly transformed into a scientist.

Now, many people in the corporate environment write programs using well-defined fixed methodologies. These people could be called "software engineers" rather than "computer programmers". Less disciplined programming could be considered as "software art" instead, as there is an aesthetic element controlling such programming, rather than strict rules. Software has a functional element too, but we won't go into this today.

To be honest, I really think "computer programming" is deprecated due to the recently acquired ambiguity of the term "computer" and associated "programming". A VCR now contains all the constituent parts of a computer - CPU, software (firmware), input (remote control / front panel) and output (television / front panel). Could a person entering a VideoPlus number be considered a "computer programmer"? I think the answer to that is "yes". - because it isn't

fair enough (none / 0) (#3)
by nathan on Thu Jan 17th, 2002 at 12:29:00 PM PST
I won't deny that programming and science are linked. For that matter, a lot of mechanical engineers, music theorists, linguists, professors of English, and sociologists program computers in their lines of work. Programming is a useful skill.

I wouldn't have felt the need to post, except that far too many g**ks think they are scientists just because they mess around with computers.

Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

programming is one part of computer science (none / 0) (#2)
by PotatoError on Thu Jan 17th, 2002 at 11:32:41 AM PST
Computer science does contain programming but it also contains software engineering, program theory, networking, understanding of hardware, protocols and data transfer methods and more less common theory such as artificial intelligence.
Many universities also teach ethics as well...although didnt work with me did it? :)

A programmer who only knows how to program is very limited.

Ah, but that is not the point (none / 0) (#4)
by Anonymous Reader on Thu Jan 17th, 2002 at 01:13:35 PM PST
The point is that CS != programming (oh, the != flavoured irony :p)

Software Engineering == programming (there I go again)

Although all courses have frills like ethics, very useful I might add -- not just how to act toward others, but how to recognise snakes in the grass, amongst other workaday nasties.

No problem. (5.00 / 1) (#5)
by elenchos on Thu Jan 17th, 2002 at 02:04:13 PM PST
I can fix it.

Whenever they say "science" when they mean "programming", I'll replace the offending word. Similarly, all cases of "cracking" will be replaced with "hacking" and "hack" will be replaced with "kluge" where appropriate.

Anyone using the words "engineering" or "engineer" to mean anything other than licensed professional engineering, of which there is no such thing in the software field, must use scare quotes.

I can edit diaries individually, but comments can only be deleted entirely. This breaks my heart not in the least.

I do, I do, I do
--Bikini Kill


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