[rescue] Mainframe on eBay

Wes Will wwill at siu.edu
Thu Sep 22 07:56:33 CDT 2005

>in CS then at least they should know more about computers then   <'than'>
>the average english major. After all they spent 4+ years working 
>on them. 

You're joking, right?  All the bad spelling and grammar aside, this part is
really just a joke, yes?  You're pulling my leg, and you almost had me
there for a minute.

I work at a University where they churn out CS degrees, dozens and dozens
every semester.  Yes, what they learn to do is done -on- a computer, but
-no-, they are pretty freaking clueless _about_ computers.

The graduates of the CS school can program some horridly intricate stuff,
and do so very well, actually.  Their code is pristine, commented to within
an inch of its life.  They know math that would absolutely boggle the mind
of the average person, and even most of those with a bachelor's degree (and
a whole lot of master's degree holders) just blink at a page from one of
their math textbooks.  Sorts, transforms, electronic logic of elegant form
and massive proportions (and they can all read a binary clock at a glance).

But computers, system administration, and hands-on experience getting these
cantankerous piles of silicone to actually work?  Nada.  They're lucky if
they can find the power switch.

This is the same as every other CS program I have seen in the last
eleven-and-some-odd years, and while not all of them by any means, the
contacts I have made with other schools manages to cover quite a few of the
schools in the U.S.  

(Other countries, I won't speculate about the skills of their grads, but
the U.S. CS grads that I know (several hundred) are spankin'-good
programmers, but computer-clueless.)

I do not think this situation is a good thing, or a correct thing at all.
I have been campaigning here to get some sort of hands-on sysadmin courses
as required for graduation in CS.  But they're all mathematicians over
there, and they do NOT want to have to get their hands dirty actually
touching the hardware.

It is a losing battle, but I keep firing my little cannon whenever I see a

And that was a right funny joke, you sure had me going.

wes will

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