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Question for the authors of "Think Java: How to Think Like a Computer Scientist"  RSS feed

 
Greenhorn
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I am interested in your views on the differences between the roles of "computer scientist", "software engineer", and "professional developer". There seems to be a trend (with which I disagree) in the software development community to discount the relevance of computing science (and Mathematics in general) to the working developer. Given the title, what does your book offer to working developers and how can I persuade my co-workers of the need for those concepts?

Thanks, and best of luck with the book!
Joel
 
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Greenhorn
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Hi Joel, and thanks for this question. In my opinion, the traditional CS curriculum allocated too much time to the more theoretical parts of the field, and not enough to the more practical parts. If you are right, and there is a trend toward adjusting the balance, I think that's a good thing.

However, that is not to say that the theory and math are not important and useful! There is a big difference between saying "the CS curriculum should do a better job preparing students for work as software developers, and one way to do that is to reallocate some time from theory to practice" and "professional developers don't need math".

If you want to persuade you colleagues of the importance of algorithms, you might start an algorithm-of-the-month club, starting with the SIAM top 10 list

Several of the algorithms on the list come with a compelling story of how a smart algorithm transformed an intractable problem into a killer app.

Regards,
Allen
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
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