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Education Microsoft Programming

Computer Science vs. Software Engineering 322

Posted by timothy
from the distinction-vs-difference dept.
theodp writes "Microsoft's promotion of Julie Larson-Green to lead all Windows software and hardware engineering in the wake of Steven Sinofsky's resignation is reopening the question of what is the difference between Computer Science and Software Engineering. According to their bios on Microsoft's website, Sinofsky has a master's degree in computer science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an undergraduate degree with honors from Cornell University, while Larson-Green has a master's degree in software engineering from Seattle University and a bachelor's degree in business administration from Western Washington University. A comparison of the curricula at Sinofsky's and Larson-Green's alma maters shows there's a huge difference between UMass's MSCS program and Seattle U's MSE program. So, is one program inherently more compatible with Microsoft's new teamwork mantra?"
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Computer Science vs. Software Engineering

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 17, 2012 @05:12PM (#42014509)

    That's where you cover that, & you do it as early as an AAS degree in CSC, in NY State @ least, by your 2nd year/Senior Year in the "SUNY" System... & the BEST COURSE during that, imo @ least? DataStructures!

    * So this "masters in software engineering" doesn't HAVE that? I wonder if the "masters in CSC" does. IF they don't?? They ought to... it makes you *THINK*, not even like any other math out there imo.

    (I thought it was hard too personally).

    APK

    P.S.=> I've got their undergrad degree (B.S., Business Admin + MIS concentration/minor) & am currently 90/120 credits built toward the B.S. in CSC (However - I don't have a masters in CSC or SE)...

    Why?

    Well, for example/instance: I've seen the coursework MBA's do for the Masters in Business is why - it's TOO "10,000 ft. view" & NOT DETAILED ENOUGH!

    (Helped my brother during studies for his MBA & he was like "You did this stuff 20++ yrs. ago & STILL remember it?" & I was like "Well, yea - how can you USE it, IF you didn't COMMIT it?").

    Hence, why I went for the 2nd degree in STRAIGHT CSC instead (more detail, & I took more languages than it required for the AAS work (60 cr. hrs.)), so I had more "detail"... & learned more (to me, that IS the TRUE BOTTOM-LINE on any degree)...

    ... apk

  • by Jim Hall (2985) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @05:48PM (#42014763) Homepage

    While not a perfect match to the above, I think the story of the king's toaster [ryerson.ca] is a good example of the difference between an "engineer" and a "scientist". I originally saw this on USENET in the 1990s, so the technology is a little dated:

    A great king summoned two of his advisors, and showed them both a shiny metal box with two slots in the top, a control knob and a lever. "What do you think this is?"

    One adviser, an engineer, answered first: "It is a toaster," he said.

    The king asked, "But how would you design an embedded computer for it?"

    The engineer replied, "Using a 4-bit micro-controller, I would write a simple program that reads the darkness knob position to one of 16 shades of darkness, from snow white to coal black. The program would use that darkness level as the index to a 16-element table of initial timer values. Then it would turn on the toaster and start the timer. At the end of the time delay, it would turn off the heat and pop up the toast. Come back next week, and I'll show you a working prototype."

    The second adviser, a computer scientist, immediately recognized the danger of such short-sighted thinking. He said, "Toasters don't just turn bread into toast, they are also used to warm frozen waffles. What you see before you is really a breakfast food cooker. As the subjects of your kingdom become more sophisticated, they will demand more capabilities. They will need a breakfast food cooker that can also cook sausage, fry bacon, and make scrambled eggs. A toaster that only makes toast will soon be obsolete."

    The adviser suggested a future-oriented embedded computer innovation, with a forward-ready platform: "Specifically, we need an object-oriented language with multiple inheritance. Of course, users don't want the eggs to get cold while the bacon is frying, so concurrent processing is required, too.

    "We must not forget the user interface. The lever that lowers the food lacks versatility and the darkness knob is confusing. Users won't want the product unless it has a user-friendly, graphical interface.

    "Having made the wise decision of specifying the software first in the design phase, all that remains is to pick an adequate hardware platform for the implementation phase. An Intel 80386 with 8MB of memory, a 30MB hard disk and a VGA monitor should be sufficient. If you select a multitasking, object oriented language that supports multiple inheritance and has a built-in GUI, writing the program will be a snap."

    The king had the computer scientist thrown in the moat, and they all lived happily ever after.

  • by master5o1 (1068594) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @06:24PM (#42015071) Homepage

    Over paid for your education is doing it right.

  • by ios and web coder (2552484) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @07:34PM (#42015555) Journal
    This is a story that I got from the Internet (pre-Web), many moons ago:

    THE TOASTER

    Once upon a time, in a kingdom not far from here, a king summoned two of his advisors for a test. He showed them both a shiny metal box with two slots in the top, a control knob, and a lever. "What do you think this is?"

    One advisor, an engineer, answered first. "It is a toaster," he said. The king asked, "How would you design an embedded computer for it?" The engineer replied, "Using a four-bit microcontroller, I would write a simple program that reads the darkness knob and quantizes its position to one of 16 shades of darkness, from snow white to coal black. The program would use that darkness level as the index to a 16-element table of initial timer values. Then it would turn on the heating elements and start the timer with the initial value selected from the table. At the end of the time delay, it would turn off the heat and pop up the toast. Come back next week, and I'll show you a working prototype."

    The second advisor, a computer scientist, immediately recognized the danger of such short-sighted thinking. He said, "Toasters don't just turn bread into toast, they are also used to warm frozen waffles. What you see before you is really a breakfast food cooker. As the subjects of your kingdom become more sophisticated, they will demand more capabilities. They will need a breakfast food cooker that can also cook sausage, fry bacon, and make scrambled eggs. A toaster that only makes toast will soon be obsolete. If we don't look to the future, we will have to completely redesign the toaster in just a few years."

    "With this in mind, we can formulate a more intelligent solution to the problem. First, create a class of breakfast foods. Specialize this class into subclasses: grains, pork, and poultry. The specialization process should be repeated with grains divided into toast, muffins, pancakes, and waffles; pork divided into sausage, links, and bacon; and poultry divided into scrambled eggs, hard-boiled eggs, poached eggs, fried eggs, and various omelet classes."

    "The ham and cheese omelet class is worth special attention because it must inherit characteristics from the pork, dairy, and poultry classes. Thus, we see that the problem cannot be properly solved without multiple inheritance. At run time, the program must create the proper object and send a message to the object that says, 'Cook yourself.' The semantics of this message depend, of course, on the kind of object, so they have a different meaning to a piece of toast than to scrambled eggs."

    "Reviewing the process so far, we see that the analysis phase has revealed that the primary requirement is to cook any kind of breakfast food. In the design phase, we have discovered some derived requirements. Specifically, we need an object-oriented language with multiple inheritance. Of course, users don't want the eggs to get cold while the bacon is frying, so concurrent processing is required, too."

    "We must not forget the user interface. The lever that lowers the food lacks versatility, and the darkness knob is confusing. Users won't buy the product unless it has a user-friendly, graphical interface. When the breakfast cooker is plugged in, users should see a cowboy boot on the screen. Users click on it, and the message 'Booting UNIX v. 8.3' appears on the screen. (UNIX 8.3 should be out by the time the product gets to the market.) Users can pull down a menu and click on the foods they want to cook."

    "Having made the wise decision of specifying the software first in the design phase, all that remains is to pick an adequate hardware platform for the implementation phase. An Intel 80386 with 8MB of memory, a 30MB hard disk, and a VGA monitor should be sufficient. If you select a multitasking, object oriented language that supports multiple inheritance and has a built-in GUI, writing the program will be a snap. (Imagine the difficulty we would have had if we had foolishly allowed a hardware-first design strategy to lock us into a four-bit microcontroller!)."

    The king had the computer scientist thrown in the moat, and they all lived happily ever after.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 17, 2012 @08:53PM (#42016019)

    I think your anecdote describes two different types of engineer.

    A true computer scientist would present the king with a paper that proves the toaster is a specific solution to a special class of problems having a property called "Breakfast Completeness".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 17, 2012 @10:02PM (#42016387)

    "Rinse, Lather, & Repeat"there (lol) 'CruTcHy' -> http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3258205&cid=42016363 [slashdot.org]

    * You KNOW there's "evil in the air", lmao, when ole 'CruTcHy' comes "shambling outta the /. walls" like the trolling roach he truly proves himself to be, rotflmao!

    APK

    P.S.=> By the way, in case you hadn't noticed? Working Code != Buggy... not even a nice try!

    ... apk

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 18, 2012 @04:22AM (#42017695)

    Works just fine here, 'CruTcHy' (lol) -> http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3258205&cid=42014943 [slashdot.org]

    * :)

    APK

    P.S.=> See any "bugs" there, 'CruTcHy'? I don't - the output's just fine for my purposes, & those are?

    Well, like I said - just giving trolls, LIKE YOU, just what they needed:

    A dose of "ReVeRsE-PsyChoLoGy', lol...

    ... apk

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 18, 2012 @09:44AM (#42018527)

    http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3258205&cid=42014943 [slashdot.org]

    http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3258205&cid=42016015 [slashdot.org]

    http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3258205&cid=42014957 [slashdot.org]

    http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3258205&cid=42014957 [slashdot.org]

    http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3258205&cid=42015649 [slashdot.org]

    * So much for this "tidbit" from you, eh (lol) 'CruTcHy':

    "forget about what you actually run in your python interpreter. just have a look at your posted code" - by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 18, @04:21AM (#42017839)

    No, lol, I think it's funny how well it runs then!

    (No bugs 5x above, & 100's of times before it the past year or so here)

    Yes... Considering its outputs are PERFECT above - because it puts out such NICE work translating "off-topic illogical 'trollspeak/trollanguage'", giving trolls JUST WHAT THEY NEED (since I am such a nice guy & all that):

    And what's THAT kids? Oh, yes - that's right: You GUESSED IT - A dose of "ReVeRsE-PsyChoLoGy"... lmao!

    APK

    P.S.=> Yea - I absolutely LOVE to get 'CruTcHy' to "dance" for us on this one, lol... Hey - he NEEDS the exercise, the man's on crutches (keeps him from atrophying)...

    ... apk

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