Earlier this week, I went to a review of our academic evangelism plans.  One of the points that Morris raised is that the number of CS grads is declining, so it's not sufficient for us just to talk to CS folks.  That got me thinking...

I have a CS degree.  When I was in school, I really believed that I was going to spend my working life writing compilers.  I had no idea that there were other things that you could do with my degree.    Evangelist?  Tester? Program Manager, Industry pundit?  I never knew that these were options.  At least at my school, there was no forum for me to learn what jobs in the real world existed for different degrees.  Would we increase the number of CS grads by doing a better job educating freshman about the range of jobs and opportunities there are for CS grads?

And that lead to a bigger question... Is a CD degree relevant in today's world, or tomorrow's?  I go back and forth on this one.  On one hand, tools like VB and Excel make it pretty easy for the non-programmer to built pretty sophisticated systems without knowing much about what's going on under the covers.  On the other, I'm a firm believer that understanding what's beneath the abstraction is critical to using tools effectively.  See Joel Spolsky's great essay about this idea.  On the broad scale is the mix of CS and non-CS folks changing?

 

And of course, that lead to even bigger questions.  Is college the best place to learn how to be a computer scientist?  Are there other disciplines (music, math, econ, eng) that better prepare students to build great software?  Should we rethink what knowledge and experience someone really needs to be a great software person?

 

 

More questions than answers.I'd love to learn more about what other folks are thinking about this.

 

Robb and I are off for some summer skiing at whistler!  Being the skiing fool that i am, i think that it's great that I can ski there 10 months out of the year!