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January 21, 2012
Re: [OT] destroy all software (was Programming language WATs)
On 21/01/12 10:08 PM, Andrei Alexandrescu wrote:
> On 1/21/12 3:56 PM, Chad J wrote:
>> I don't think American colleges teach Computer Science/Engineering very
>> well at all.
>
> Wonder why. USA does have the best programmers in the world though.

Depends on what you mean by the best. Most successful, yes.

However, the East always wins the programming competitions :-)

Last year's Google Code Jam world finals: 
http://code.google.com/codejam/contest/scoreboard?c=1327485

Top 25 breakdown

Russia: 10
China: 7
Japan: 2
Poland: 2
USA: 1
UK: 1
Belarus: 1
Slovakia: 1

Seems to be like that every year. Same happens at the ICPC.
January 21, 2012
Re: [OT] destroy all software (was Programming language WATs)
On 01/21/2012 05:13 PM, Nick Sabalausky wrote:
> "Chad J"<chadjoan@__spam.is.bad__gmail.com>  wrote in message
> news:jffcaj$2bug$1@digitalmars.com...
>>
>> So college wasn't all that bad to me.  They still need to change the
>> funding model here in the states though.  That shit is broken as fuck.
>
> What are you talking about? It works great as long as your family's not
> middle-class, or if you're female, or if you're not caucasian...And that's
> ok for middle-class white males, since we apperently get everything we could
> ever desire handed to us on a silver platter just for being white males...I
> mean, show of hands, how many of the white males here got their "Set for
> life, because you're a white male" care package? See. Everybody.
>
>
>

Whoops.  My bad.  Totally got that, uh, "care package".  Yep.  Right 
here next to me.


My big gripe though is that somehow high school is considered good 
enough to be funded by the state, but the college only gets some token 
funding from the government and is ran as a for-profit enterprise.  I 
think there was a time when college was elective because you didn't need 
skills to make a nice life for yourself, instead of now where it's only 
elective if you can acquire skills without it.  I don't think it is 
elective for a large percentage of the population, rather it is 
requisite most of the time, but I think this is why it should be state 
funded instead of "pay for it yourself because you HAVE TO".  It's an 
awful double-standard.
January 21, 2012
Re: [OT] destroy all software (was Programming language WATs)
On Saturday, 21 January 2012 at 21:56:35 UTC, Chad J wrote:
> I also took a Physics degree instead of a CS degree.

That's what I did for my first go. I actually went
to college twice: one year right after high school,
doing physics (at SUNY Oswego), then wanted to go
home, but a couple years later, figured I'll give
college a second go and did a year and a half of
CS at the local community college (SUNY Jefferson).

What I hated most about year #1 wasn't the classes -
they actually didn't bother me at all - but rather
the college environment and all the bullshit.

First off, they required all the first year students
to live on campus. WTF. And, of course, they required
these exorbitant fees for all that too.

IIRC, when I went, it was $2,500 for the semester, but
let's look at today's price. (Another annoying thing:
the prices are always hidden on college websites...)

http://www.oswego.edu/administration/student_accounts/tuition_and_fees.html

I pity the fool who comes from out of state!

But, even the in state folks are charged $6,000,
per semester!

A semester goes from the fail end of August
to mid-December, a little more than three months
(and they kick you out for at least one week in there..)

This works out to about $2k / month!


Unbelievable. That's flabbergasting. The room I had
was, oh, I didn't measure, but I think about 10 feet
by 10 feet is about right; 100 ft^2, divided by two people.

Fifty square feet.... two THOUSAND dollars a month. Sure,
that includes other stuff too, but wow.


Compare that to what I'm paying right now in the real world,
if you will. I have my own little house in the city of
Watertown, about 950 square feet, and I pay about $1100 per
month in total expenses, excluding taxes, but including rent,
heat, electricity, internet, food, water and sewer.

It's not even in the same /ballpark/ as the college room
and board cost!


Best of all, I have my own bathroom and kitchen. And it's
quiet here, pretty much all day and all night. I live next
to a fire station, and it's infinitely more quiet
than living next to college drunkards.


The classes are OK, but the other crap they *required*
just gets a huge HELL NO.



And then, there's the tuition on top of that, oh my.
And they nail you with interest?

Just outrageous.




Aaanyway, I did round two at the community college,
and switched to computer science figuring an AS in
computers is probably more useful than in physics,
and is something I should be able to turn around
quickly.

And that wasn't bad at all. Government grants paid
for the whole thing (for three semesters... I had
already eaten a huge chunk of them in year 1) and
I could live wherever I wanted.

I might be ok with finishing that off someday if my
business crashed and burned (and nobody took my years
of experience as a substitute for college), but
since the free money ran out, even the three or
four grand they'd want to finish it off just doesn't
look worth it.



oh my looks like i got started on college ranting
anyway. :)

> Duplicate code is not reusable or maintainable.

Amen.
January 22, 2012
Re: [OT] destroy all software (was Programming language WATs)
"Adam D. Ruppe" <destructionator@gmail.com> wrote in message 
news:mvloclloufauudewjnrj@dfeed.kimsufi.thecybershadow.net...
>
> First off, they required all the first year students
> to live on campus. WTF. And, of course, they required
> these exorbitant fees for all that too.
>

At BGSU, they required first *and* second year students to live on campus. 
They had some sort of bullshit excuse about "bettering yourself" or some 
other such meaningless crap like that.

But that's not the bad part: There was one year (that I *know* of) where 
they had more first and second year students then they had dorms for. 
Obviously, they couldn't do the sane thing and relax the requirement (after 
all, that might make BGSU look bad!), so they made a bunch of students (not 
me, luckily) *live* together in the dorm's lounge rooms. That was one of 
first of many "College, WTF?!" moments for me. (I had thought Animal House 
was fiction!)

>
> Best of all, I have my own bathroom and kitchen. And it's
> quiet here, pretty much all day and all night. I live next
> to a fire station, and it's infinitely more quiet
> than living next to college drunkards.
>

And even in the dorms, you still get the middle-of-the-night fire alarms 
anyway (speaking of drunks). But in the place you have, I bet you don't have 
to leave the house every time it happens...

>
> The classes are OK, but the other crap they *required*
> just gets a huge HELL NO.
>

I was...sort of...the other way around (kinda):

There was admittedly a lot about campus life that was terrible, but there 
was also a lot about it that I loved and still sometimes miss (Many 
intangibles, but also the panini sandwiches at the campus convenience store! 
Yum! Much as BGSU sucked, they *did* have very good dining halls as long as 
you avoided anything resembling asian).

Even though there were a *few* very good teachers/classes, it was mostly the 
academic (and administrative, financial and bureaucratic) aspects I had a 
problem with. Oh, and the drunks, of course.

> Aaanyway, I did round two at the community college,
> and switched to computer science figuring an AS in
> computers is probably more useful than in physics,
> and is something I should be able to turn around
> quickly.
>
> And that wasn't bad at all. Government grants paid
> for the whole thing (for three semesters... I had
> already eaten a huge chunk of them in year 1) and
> I could live wherever I wanted.
>
> I might be ok with finishing that off someday if my
> business crashed and burned (and nobody took my years
> of experience as a substitute for college), but
> since the free money ran out, even the three or
> four grand they'd want to finish it off just doesn't
> look worth it.
>

Heh, I finished off with community college, too!

I started college (in 2000) with 2.5 years at BGSU (public party school, and 
in retrospect, the *best* of all the colleges I've been to, not that that's 
saying much). I had an absolutely terrible apartment situation the last 
semester (Lesson: *Never* get into a student-oriented apt complex with 
management that's based out-of-state. Especilly if it's leased by anything 
longer than month-to-month.)

So then I transferred to JCU (private school, highly-respected, at least 
locally) so I could commute and save on living expenses. Was there for 1.5 
years, retaking all the same CS classes I had already aced at BGSU (because 
JCU didn't believe I could possibly know what I was doing - I was merely a 
"student" after all - and an "undergrad" at that). Although it was 
technically 1.5 years, the last semester I was so jaded I was really only 
there physically; I wasn't actually trying at all, and I didn't care to. So 
they did put me on a one-semester academic suspension, but it didn't matter 
since I was already done with them by that point anyway. (It was somewhere 
in the middle of my time at JCU that I decided I genuinely *wanted* to not 
have a degree. I know that sounds like a rationalization to most people, but 
I swear it really isn't one for me.)

At that point I went to the super-cheap[1] local Lakeland Community College 
part time, mainly so I could keep the ~$100k (yes, that's right) I'd racked 
up in loans out of repayment until I could actually pay them (for the 
record: I still can't :/ ). At the first two schools, I had been declared CS 
all four years from day one. Did it differently at LCC: *Officially*, I was 
going for...I think it was some sort of EE associate's or something like 
that, but really I took the opportunity to *for once in my life* actually 
take the classes that *I wanted* to take[2]. I even took an acting class 
that I absolutely loved; heck, it was the only class in my life I was 
genuinely sad to see end (and then I took a second one that...umm...didn't 
work out so well...)

That community college is very highly regarded locally, and I was fairly 
impressed with it - at first. Then the staff, administrators, and one or two 
very specific instructors, kept finding all manner of new and creative ways 
to severely fuck me over. Eventually their demands got *so* unreasonable, 
and their bullshit *so* deep, that I just said "Fuck it, I'm done." That was 
probably about six-ish years ago. Things haven't been easy since (Hah! Like 
they ever were!), but I've never had a hint of regret about leaving. I have, 
however, had many regrets about having ever gottn involved in the first 
place. And I've also had many regrets about having listened to the people 
who talked me into not cutting my losses much sooner than I actually did. 
("You've already gotten this far, you may as well get something out of it!" 
Yea, *thanks*, all you self-righteous assholes, now my debt is double what 
it would have been.)

[1] That's "super-cheap" relatively speaking: it's still insanely expensive 
(and less effective) compared to a good library. Or even a good bookstore.

[2] That was one of the many things I despised about college. I had always 
been told that in college, unlike high school (which made my miserable 
college experience seem like utopia by comparison) you choose your area of 
study. But that turned out to be a load of crap - unless you go to a tech 
school, 65%-75% of credits are completely unrelated to your major and it's 
*dictated* that you take them. (Academically, college literally *is* an 
expensive redo of high school). Now, I might have not minded the lack of 
self-direction, except that *I* was the one paying tens of thousands of $$$ 
for the classes!  Who the fuck has ever heard of, say, a grocery store that 
told people which of their stock they could and couldn't buy? *Everyone* in 
faculty/staff thought I was nuts for seeing it that way. In their mind, 
you're *expected* to be happy paying them a fortune for the privilege of 
being told what you're allowed to learn. Talk about narcissism.
January 22, 2012
Re: [OT] destroy all software (was Programming language WATs)
On Sunday, 22 January 2012 at 01:17:21 UTC, Nick Sabalausky wrote:
> "Adam D. Ruppe" <destructionator@gmail.com> wrote in message 
> news:mvloclloufauudewjnrj@dfeed.kimsufi.thecybershadow.net...
>>
>> First off, they required all the first year students
>> to live on campus. WTF. And, of course, they required
>> these exorbitant fees for all that too.
>>
>
> At BGSU, they required first *and* second year students to live 
> on campus. They had some sort of bullshit excuse about 
> "bettering yourself" or some other such meaningless crap like 
> that.
>
> But that's not the bad part: There was one year (that I *know* 
> of) where they had more first and second year students then 
> they had dorms for. Obviously, they couldn't do the sane thing 
> and relax the requirement (after all, that might make BGSU look 
> bad!), so they made a bunch of students (not me, luckily) 
> *live* together in the dorm's lounge rooms. That was one of 
> first of many "College, WTF?!" moments for me. (I had thought 
> Animal House was fiction!)
>
>>
>> Best of all, I have my own bathroom and kitchen. And it's
>> quiet here, pretty much all day and all night. I live next
>> to a fire station, and it's infinitely more quiet
>> than living next to college drunkards.
>>
>
> And even in the dorms, you still get the middle-of-the-night 
> fire alarms anyway (speaking of drunks). But in the place you 
> have, I bet you don't have to leave the house every time it 
> happens...
>
>>
>> The classes are OK, but the other crap they *required*
>> just gets a huge HELL NO.
>>
>
> I was...sort of...the other way around (kinda):
>
> There was admittedly a lot about campus life that was terrible, 
> but there was also a lot about it that I loved and still 
> sometimes miss (Many intangibles, but also the panini 
> sandwiches at the campus convenience store! Yum! Much as BGSU 
> sucked, they *did* have very good dining halls as long as you 
> avoided anything resembling asian).
>
> Even though there were a *few* very good teachers/classes, it 
> was mostly the academic (and administrative, financial and 
> bureaucratic) aspects I had a problem with. Oh, and the drunks, 
> of course.
>
>> Aaanyway, I did round two at the community college,
>> and switched to computer science figuring an AS in
>> computers is probably more useful than in physics,
>> and is something I should be able to turn around
>> quickly.
>>
>> And that wasn't bad at all. Government grants paid
>> for the whole thing (for three semesters... I had
>> already eaten a huge chunk of them in year 1) and
>> I could live wherever I wanted.
>>
>> I might be ok with finishing that off someday if my
>> business crashed and burned (and nobody took my years
>> of experience as a substitute for college), but
>> since the free money ran out, even the three or
>> four grand they'd want to finish it off just doesn't
>> look worth it.
>>
>
> Heh, I finished off with community college, too!
>
> I started college (in 2000) with 2.5 years at BGSU (public 
> party school, and in retrospect, the *best* of all the colleges 
> I've been to, not that that's saying much). I had an absolutely 
> terrible apartment situation the last semester (Lesson: *Never* 
> get into a student-oriented apt complex with management that's 
> based out-of-state. Especilly if it's leased by anything longer 
> than month-to-month.)
>
> So then I transferred to JCU (private school, highly-respected, 
> at least locally) so I could commute and save on living 
> expenses. Was there for 1.5 years, retaking all the same CS 
> classes I had already aced at BGSU (because JCU didn't believe 
> I could possibly know what I was doing - I was merely a 
> "student" after all - and an "undergrad" at that). Although it 
> was technically 1.5 years, the last semester I was so jaded I 
> was really only there physically; I wasn't actually trying at 
> all, and I didn't care to. So they did put me on a one-semester 
> academic suspension, but it didn't matter since I was already 
> done with them by that point anyway. (It was somewhere in the 
> middle of my time at JCU that I decided I genuinely *wanted* to 
> not have a degree. I know that sounds like a rationalization to 
> most people, but I swear it really isn't one for me.)
>
> At that point I went to the super-cheap[1] local Lakeland 
> Community College part time, mainly so I could keep the ~$100k 
> (yes, that's right) I'd racked up in loans out of repayment 
> until I could actually pay them (for the record: I still can't 
> :/ ). At the first two schools, I had been declared CS all four 
> years from day one. Did it differently at LCC: *Officially*, I 
> was going for...I think it was some sort of EE associate's or 
> something like that, but really I took the opportunity to *for 
> once in my life* actually take the classes that *I wanted* to 
> take[2]. I even took an acting class that I absolutely loved; 
> heck, it was the only class in my life I was genuinely sad to 
> see end (and then I took a second one that...umm...didn't work 
> out so well...)
>
> That community college is very highly regarded locally, and I 
> was fairly impressed with it - at first. Then the staff, 
> administrators, and one or two very specific instructors, kept 
> finding all manner of new and creative ways to severely fuck me 
> over. Eventually their demands got *so* unreasonable, and their 
> bullshit *so* deep, that I just said "Fuck it, I'm done." That 
> was probably about six-ish years ago. Things haven't been easy 
> since (Hah! Like they ever were!), but I've never had a hint of 
> regret about leaving. I have, however, had many regrets about 
> having ever gottn involved in the first place. And I've also 
> had many regrets about having listened to the people who talked 
> me into not cutting my losses much sooner than I actually did. 
> ("You've already gotten this far, you may as well get something 
> out of it!" Yea, *thanks*, all you self-righteous assholes, now 
> my debt is double what it would have been.)
>
> [1] That's "super-cheap" relatively speaking: it's still 
> insanely expensive (and less effective) compared to a good 
> library. Or even a good bookstore.
>
> [2] That was one of the many things I despised about college. I 
> had always been told that in college, unlike high school (which 
> made my miserable college experience seem like utopia by 
> comparison) you choose your area of study. But that turned out 
> to be a load of crap - unless you go to a tech school, 65%-75% 
> of credits are completely unrelated to your major and it's 
> *dictated* that you take them. (Academically, college literally 
> *is* an expensive redo of high school). Now, I might have not 
> minded the lack of self-direction, except that *I* was the one 
> paying tens of thousands of $$$ for the classes!  Who the fuck 
> has ever heard of, say, a grocery store that told people which 
> of their stock they could and couldn't buy? *Everyone* in 
> faculty/staff thought I was nuts for seeing it that way. In 
> their mind, you're *expected* to be happy paying them a fortune 
> for the privilege of being told what you're allowed to learn. 
> Talk about narcissism.
January 22, 2012
Re: [OT] destroy all software (was Programming language WATs)
Oh crap, I did it again. Sorry for the useless
post, I clicked in the wrong place and it ended up
being the send button :(


On Sunday, 22 January 2012 at 01:17:21 UTC, Nick Sabalausky wrote:
> And even in the dorms, you still get the middle-of-the-night 
> fire alarms anyway (speaking of drunks). But in the place you 
> have, I bet you don't have to leave the house every time it 
> happens...

Indeed. Actually, I rarely even hear them leave; they usually
don't turn the siren on until they are starting to pull out,
so unless my window is open, it's not noticeable.

There was one time some idiot was smoking his drugs in the
dorm at the college, and it triggered the file alarm.

It was cold and windy; upstate New York winter, and we
all had to wait outside for... I think twenty minutes or
so, maybe longer on short notice so we couldn't get properly
dressed to be outside.

What a pain in the ass.

> the ~$100k > (yes, that's right) I'd racked up in loans

Jesus Christ. I was able to avoid the loans personally;
I picked the college that gave the best easy scholarship
that was also close to home.

The biggest error I made, financially, was going to the
fancy place first. I looked at the community college with
disdain and didn't actually consider it.

Which is right and wrong. It's bullshit high school 2.0,
but so is the first year or two of the other thing, and it
costs MUCH less.

(Actually, I liked high school, but meh.)

> actually take the classes that *I wanted* to take

Yea. I got a good chunk of that in high school too
(also most my college credits were gotten from high
school! From what I've seen on the internet, my HS
experience must be the top 1% of the country or something.)

What got me at the community college though was two things:

1) Phys ed was required. College gym x4 to get the fucking
degree. For crying out loud.

2) They transferred a lot of stupid classes from the
HS credits and the other school, including two English
credits. English 102 and 204 or something like that.

But they did *not* count any of it toward English 101!
Oswego was willing to, but JCC wasn't. And, it was, of
course, required.

What the hell. It's so arbitrary, and apparently changes
every other year.

Ridiculous.


> having ever gottn involved in the first place. And I've also 
> had many regrets about having listened to the people who talked 
> me into not cutting my losses much sooner than I actually did.

Ah, yes, the sunk cost fallacy. (I learned that term on the
Internet, btw. The college philosophy and logic classes
were pretty poor.)

Gah.

> Talk about narcissism.

They make you well rounded!
January 22, 2012
Re: [OT] destroy all software (was Programming language WATs)
On Saturday, January 21, 2012 16:27:05 Nick Sabalausky wrote:
> That reminds me: There's a *LOT* of people who told me "If two equally good
> people apply for the same job, and one has a degree and other other doesn't,
> the one with the degree will get the job." They always seem to think that's
> convincing, but there's three problems with it:
> 
> 1. That's a fairly contrived scenario.
> 
> 2. So...what, it's a $100k, 4+ year **tie-breaker**?? Sounds like a collosal
> waste to me.
> 
> And probably most importantly:
> 
> 3. If you take all that time and money that would have gone into a degree
> and put it into building *real* skills and experience instead wasting it all
> on taking exams, cramming for exams instead of *actually* learning,
> homework assignments instead of *real* projects, etc., then you'd have
> something far better than a tie-breaker: You'd *be* the better candidate,
> by far. (And hell, if the other candidate is a middle-class white male,
> you'd have *far* less debt and could undercut the them on salary while
> *still* ending up with much more spending money.)

The main problem is getting past HR. Sure, if you could get into a real 
interview with real programmers, you could show that you know what you're 
talking about, but without a degree and/or a lot of experience on your resume, 
there are many companies where HR will filter you out before you get far enough 
along to prove that you know anything (and in some companies, the lack of a 
degree is probably still enough for HR to filter out your resume, even if you 
have quite a few years of professional experience). So beyond whatever you get 
in terms of education, the degree often makes it possible to get past HR so 
that you can actually interview and possibly get the job.

Now, I totally dispute that college is a waste of time. You're going to learn 
a lot at college - at least if you go to a college that's worth anything - 
especially if you _want_ to learn rather than just trying to pass the exams. 
There's a lot to be gotten out of college whether it's required for a job or 
not. The issue IMHO is whether what you get is worth the cost, not whether 
it's actually valuable.

But I don't really want to argue the issue, so I guess that I should shut up.

- Jonathan M Davis
January 22, 2012
Re: [OT] destroy all software (was Programming language WATs)
On Sunday, 22 January 2012 at 02:12:25 UTC, Jonathan M Davis 
wrote:
> The main problem is getting past HR.

All the jobs I've had (so observation bias here) have been
because I knew somebody or knew somebody who knew somebody.

I find it's good business to stay on good terms with everyone
I know, personally and professionally, since a good
reference from the right person does wonders.

Better yet, you might have jobs come to you when someone
needs something, and his friend offers "I know a guy..."
January 22, 2012
Re: [OT] destroy all software (was Programming language WATs)
Adam D. Ruppe:

> All the jobs I've had (so observation bias here) have been
> because I knew somebody or knew somebody who knew somebody.

This is very often true outside academia (and often inside it too). But no one tells this (and several other basic things, that probably require about 1 hour total to be told) to university students.

Bye,
bearophile
January 22, 2012
Re: [OT] destroy all software (was Programming language WATs)
"Jonathan M Davis" <jmdavisProg@gmx.com> wrote in message 
news:mailman.672.1327198345.16222.digitalmars-d@puremagic.com...
>
> The main problem is getting past HR. Sure, if you could get into a real
> interview with real programmers, you could show that you know what you're
> talking about, but without a degree and/or a lot of experience on your 
> resume,
> there are many companies where HR will filter you out before you get far 
> enough
> along to prove that you know anything (and in some companies, the lack of 
> a
> degree is probably still enough for HR to filter out your resume, even if 
> you
> have quite a few years of professional experience). So beyond whatever you 
> get
> in terms of education, the degree often makes it possible to get past HR 
> so
> that you can actually interview and possibly get the job.
>

Meh, companies like that deserve to go under as a result of gross 
incompetence anyway. I'm not normally an "invisible hand" guy, but I say let 
the those companies run themselves out of business instead of bending over 
backwards to help their idiocy work out. We'll all be better off for it.

> Now, I totally dispute that college is a waste of time. You're going to 
> learn
> a lot at college - at least if you go to a college that's worth anything -
> especially if you _want_ to learn rather than just trying to pass the 
> exams.
> There's a lot to be gotten out of college whether it's required for a job 
> or
> not. The issue IMHO is whether what you get is worth the cost, not whether
> it's actually valuable.
>

I won't deny that you can learn things in college. Hell, I'll even admit 
that I learned things there. I just don't think you can learn nearly as 
much, nearly as well, or nearly as inexpensively as you can via other means.

I've had a *lot* of people tell me "You get out of college what you put into 
it", but even that's patently false: What you get out of it is 
*proportional* to what you put in, yes, but it's a miniscule fraction. 
There's one hell of an enormous overhead involved.

To slightly modify an old quote: "If you want a plush cubicle hell and debt, 
get a degree. If you want an education, get a library card."

> But I don't really want to argue the issue,

Sorry...I couldn't help replying. :/  Don't mean to try to drag you into it.
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