Reading14: University vs Bootcamp

Notre Dame seems to stack up well against the Core Hours in Knowledge Areas on page 37 of the ACM guide. From what I can tell, not all of the recommended courses are required in our curriculum, but they are certainly available for a student to enroll in. There is also a good amount of overlap in some Notre Dame CSE courses content so even if a student could not take Machine Learning, for example, they would still learn a lot of the basics in Data Science.

The ABET Criteria mentioned more about engaging in professional development and a strong understanding of mathematics. Compared to students from other universities taking Computer Science, we take way more Calculus and physics classes and they are harder to get out of here. I would say a student that applies themselves would be given an edge in the professional world. Unfortunately, software engineering is not required but it is available. If it were required at more universities, perhaps university students would begin to outrank students coming from boot camp in Web application development and would write cleaner code in general. Overall, my view is that the Notre Dame CSE curriculum is rightly accredited.

I like the ACM and ABET guidelines. They help a student achieve “What a computer scientist should know” which I have run into even before this class. I used to regularly revisit this site to check that what I was learning at Notre Dame covered it. One thing we do not have though is a technical writing class or at least a class where technical writing is a strong component in it. Lab reports are nowhere on the level that solid technical writing is. I have found in my internships that its what my manager was most critical of. Good documentation is so helpful in software development. As for courses, we could have less of, Notre Dame students would be given an edge is FundComp was made into a module in a different course instead of a full-on course. Introduction to engineering already made us do basic programming, so I think we could save some time here.

I think boot camps are a good idea. With tech companies needing more programmers, they are a fast inexpensive (compared to Notre Dame) way to get a good understanding of programming and then get straight to work at boot camp completion. There are good you learn quite a lot, but as they stand now, in general, they can not replace the college degree as far as the knowledge you obtain. I do not want to be restricted to just coming up with buttons on a screen. That is not the challenge I personally wanted. What I want to be able to contribute to my work requires a computer science degree. TO be a good software developer or a programmer you do not have to go to college, but from what you learn in college you can become a great software developer or programmer. The deeper understanding of the machine you are working on can only result in my optimal code.

I personally feel like I do not know everything I need to know as a senior computer science major. First of all, I believe its important to be a forever learning. I could be satisfied with where I am now but I would not be comfortable with that. Secondly, my main issue is Web application development (as the reading on “Bootcamps vs College” points out). Granted I do not want to do web application development, but I feel its something I should try to understand better (the front end stuff). I do feel like though, despite my lack of understanding on a lot of front-end technology currently, a computer science education has prepared me to be able to learn it quickly.