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Discussion on: Web Development !== Computer Science

codemouse92 profile image
Jason C. McDonald

I've been saying for years that programming isn't a science. In fact, what we call "computer science" is a complete misnomer - it's an art.

Yet, I think I'll be expanding that explanation a bit more now, because you are absolutely correct. "Computer science" is actually a branch of mathematics involving the study of algorithms; it was founded by Ada Lovelace, and formalized as a discipline out of the math and physics department at MIT during the genesis of computing. Very few people actually study computer science.

In fact, I'd even go as far as to say that most undergraduate degrees in Computer Science [ASCS/AACS/BSCS/BACS] actually aren't computer science at all. They all touch on computer science, but they're mostly programming.

tiguchi profile image
Thomas Iguchi

Agreed. Also don't forget about the roots in philosophy (logic) and linguistics (grammar) :-)

I was lucky enough that I studied CS at a time while it was not yet fully streamlined into a process of creating an army of specialized programmers ready to join the workforce. That was about to change though and it was noticeable at the time. Collaboration with and funding through big companies kind of diluted everything. For instance my university sacrificed a prestigious German degree for a watered down Bachelor's degree that was on the one hand internationally recognized and standardized. But on the other hand probably only worth a third of the original degree when measured against an average first year salary. Which is also of course in the best interest of big companies. Quicker education process, cheaper labor.

Personally I'm OK with gaining knowledge just for the sake of knowledge. It's often times decades (sometimes hundreds) of years later when humanity finds some practical application for crazy heady things that had no other purpose than being explored in someone's imagination at some point in time. Case in point Ada Lovelace you mention. She had no actual hardware to work with but the imagination for programming one. I think that's pretty awesome :-D