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813 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 625802 15-May-2012 22:03
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Am in a similar position to OP

Went to the Massey open day during the weekend and for computer science they also aim to teach the skills that allow you to learn new languages later down the track, rather than does this and stuff like that. Also many people seem to major in comp sci and minor in info tech, so they always have a backup in the more business orientated side of things if getting a decent job as a programmer fails

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 625845 16-May-2012 00:53
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@OP : I studied at Auckland Uni. Graduated 2 weeks ago.

@Freitasm : Thanks, i got the  link on my email last week or so , will continue keeping a close eye on it.

 
 
 
 


gzt

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  Reply # 625906 16-May-2012 09:32
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Ok, this is a little off topic, but I think it's worth mentioning here in the context of employment..

timmmay: If you're a programmer with no work find an open source project and start to contribute. It's experience, even if it's unpaid.

It looks good on your CV and can give you local contacts - http://nzoss.org.nz/projects

See if you can find something you are interested in.

Open source does not always mean unpaid.

In addition, proven contributors are often the first to be contacted if a company needs a specific contribution to enhance their business.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 627507 18-May-2012 20:21
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timmmay: If you're a programmer with no work find an open source project and start to contribute. It's experience, even if it's unpaid.


I can tell you that I - and many of my management peers - have looked extremely favorably on candidates that have contributed effort to open source projects, especially when it has been difficult to obtain employment.

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  Reply # 630885 26-May-2012 22:52
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@OP : I studied at Auckland Uni. Graduated 2 weeks ago.


congrats! I'm curious what is the job market for grads like ? given that I got a professional IT job without much trouble going back half a decade.

A brutal but honest response - the work I did in Uni accounted for very little in the real world. If there is one thing the Uni failed to deliver (especially for technical courses like CS) was how to be pragmatic when it comes to delivering solutions and how to deal with others. Call it soft skills if you wish. Learning how to code at uni will ensure you get locked up in a dark room every day staring at the screen, most of the post grads I met were hopeless and could not even deliver a presentation of their wonderful code. When you graduate there will likely be many others who did the same papers as you did and you need to differentiate.

As for Open Source, I worked with small organizations early on while still at Uni and it was a blessing having to reuse OSS projects (as well as the opportunity to contribute). It was a cash cow for the company comparing to paying for licenses or writing custom modules. Going up from there, as I moved to larger organizations there is less emphasis on that community importance as the issue starts to shift to a legal obligation. (LGPL and GPL are the curly ones).

If all goes to plan, check back and post in geekzone with your progress - best of luck :)

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  Reply # 630998 27-May-2012 13:12
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Computer science courses don't teach you to create solution, they teach you to write programs. The things they could miss are integration with legacy software (no software exists on its own), testing, politics of large organisations, release cycles, presentations, etc. No-one presents code, it's just assumed that you can do that to a high standard, though in my experience it's surprising how bad some code is. A lot of developers get code working to the "it works on my PC" level, and give no thought to deployment, performance, maintenance, and reliability.




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Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 631010 27-May-2012 13:33

timmmay: Computer science courses don't teach you to create solution, they teach you to write programs. The things they could miss are integration with legacy software (no software exists on its own), testing, politics of large organisations, release cycles, presentations, etc. No-one presents code, it's just assumed that you can do that to a high standard, though in my experience it's surprising how bad some code is. A lot of developers get code working to the "it works on my PC" level, and give no thought to deployment, performance, maintenance, and reliability.


Here's a revelation: that programming language you're using, who engineered that? Computer scientists. Who wrote X language's compiler? Computer scientists.

It's commonly said that Computer Science is a really bad name for the field; as 'computer' has been associated with that box that sits under your desk. CS is about the general subject of computation.

You have a very clouded idea about what Computer Science is. You are trying to compare two very, very different fields. If you want to do IT, do IT. If you want to do CS, do CS. CS is all about mathematics. We don't care about how your Active Directory is set up, we care about how fast a program executes, how the hardware of a computer is engineered. We discuss theory of how computation occurs.

Suggesting that CS students aren't good at IT is probably true, because we do CS because we don't want to do IT. I don't want to give presentations, set up Active Directory manage firewalls or write Windows login policies. If I wanted to do that, I'd do IT.

Both CS and IT are important fields, and each have their place. If you like mathematics and understanding computation as a general concept, study CS. If you want to learn about implementation of software, <insert all of the things you thought CS was bad at>, do IT.

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  Reply # 631014 27-May-2012 13:49
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Interesting. How many computer science jobs do you think there are compared with IT jobs? I'm guessing not many, especially in New Zealand. It also sounds pretty boring, except for hard core geeks.

IT jobs aren't all about setting up AD and stuff like that, that's relatively low level stuff. I'm a solutions architect, basically I design solutions and help fix or modify existing solutions to meet business needs. It's a much more varied role than CS.

The problem is universities (at least when I was there) caught computer science and thought that prepared students to work to develop software commercially. It really just gave you a small subset of what you need, but maybe they're better now.




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536 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 631019 27-May-2012 14:02

Indeed, many if not all CS students go into IT roles, but with a different perspective and understanding (note: different, not 'better' or 'worse'). Real/native CS jobs would be at the likes of Intel designing CPUs, or at Twitter or Facebook (note how their programming job offerings seek a CS student, usually with a Masters degree).

I work as a web developer, which if we were trying to fit into a degree category could go either way.

Universities these days (well, since the 90s/80s) usually have both an Information Science and Computer Science department. Information Science is more concerned with IT concepts, but usually at a higher level (more theory than practical, but from what I understand there are still many projects working for outside clients and designing systems etc).

I feel that the differentiation needed to be made between the two fields -- they teach fundamentally different things.

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Ultimate Geek

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  Reply # 631032 27-May-2012 14:54
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Have you considered doing computer engineering. It is in the same department that I am currently in (electrical). I have done a few of the papers and I would recommend it!

http://www.elec.canterbury.ac.nz/

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