[rescue] Mainframe on eBay

der Mouse mouse at Rodents.Montreal.QC.CA
Thu Sep 22 13:33:50 CDT 2005

> 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.

Nor should they.

Computer Science is a *theoretical* discipline.  Its practitioners
*are* mathematicians (specialized mathematicians, to be sure, but
mathematicians still).

It has about as much overlap with practical programming and sysadmin as
any field's theory does with its practice - that is to say, little to
none.  (Of course, knowing some computer science makes a programmer a
better programmer, just as knowing some programming makes a computer
scientist a better computer scientist.  But that doesn't make the two
fields identical - and there's also sysadminning, which is yet another
fettle of kish.)

Part of the problem is that very few people (seem to) realize this, and
as a result we have problems such as you describe - expecting
theoreticians to be competent at the practice, on the one hand, and
turning out practitioners mislabeled as theoreticians, on the other.

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