low level concept

sirpinkleton  asked:

Care to share opinion(s) on college level learning? A friend went to one place where he learned 20 languages, and learned more through experience. I went to a place for 4 years learning mostly c++, and the focus was on learning algorithms and structures and whatnot. He claims that such a method can't keep up the pace with industry changes and isn't as useful for getting a job. I think cornerstones are more important, and are just as good for job-getting. How to I stop thinking/caring about this?

The thing with college is that you gotta have a goal in mind of something you want to take away from the experience rather than just stay for the sake of a depth and learning through osmosis. These days you’ll see a lot of elder people bring up stories about how they took the time to learn BASIC and by the time they finished there were already 5 other languages that were being used instead. Languages are gonna pop up a lot but programming languages are just a medium for the same concepts to happen again. Same algorithms and data structures, different language. As “fast” as the comp sci industry seems to be changing there is a much more slower paced middle ground between all these languages that people should probably be taking away from college classes. You can spend 4 years on a language at a college and by the time you come out the same story could happen to you as those who learned BASIC back in the day. There’s a core understanding of algorithms and data structures and such that is a middle ground between all those languages that you might expose yourself to through out your career. Graph theory is a low level concept of data that can have its algorithms implemented in just about any language you pick. ROT13 is an algorithm that can be implemented in the 20 languages your friend knows and in C++ but ROT13 is still just a basic intermediate algorithm that exits in concept before it’s even typed and translated into an IDE in C++ or python and such. Core concepts like this are more important than caring how to implement it into java or C++ or some functional language and whatever college classes might have you use. Being good for job-getting has less to do with the language you happen to know and more to do with the understanding you have with the material and at a certain point you’ll realize that all these languages are nothing more than syntax to a flow of logic and understanding that you wish to convey. Today C++ or C# might be popular and 4 years from now some other language might take the throne and all those people that are too hard embedded into language-favoritism are going to suffer the most in job-getting while those that move with the industry have little to suffer.

I think you’re fine. Just be sure to learn smart and not just soak in information at face-value for the sake of regurgitating it later without any actual digesting going on.