Why don’t Computer Science degrees teach Software Engineering?

A podcast I listened to said that the tactical skills and tools of real life Software Engineering move too fast for academia to keep up:

You learn computer science in academia, you don’t really learn software engineering. There’s a thousand details in how that works, like git for example. And of course the reason you don’t learn those things is they move fast. You have to keep updating it.

Balaji Srinivasan

I have a BS in Computer Science and all of my courses were about algorithms or design patterns or spatial complexity or blah blah blah. I never learned in class about git, debuggers, shell scripting, profiling, integration testing, refactoring tools, how to use an editor/IDE like a pro, none of that. And that seems to be a common pattern. It’s why things like “The Missing Semester of your CS Education at MIT” exist.

Professors don’t have the time to completely rewrite their course materials every year. The way to set up a debugger in 2021 is totally different than in 2011. It’s different than in 2019 even!

That’s why I’m so excited about normalization of bootcamps. I spent four years at a university and the amount of useful job knowledge I got could have easily been covered in a single month at a bootcamp for 1/100th of the price.

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