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Discussion on: Web Development !== Computer Science

wbvtler profile image
Wesley Butler • Edited

THANK YOU. I get rather bothered by the way people use "web development", computer science" and "software development" interchangeably. They are all related (to one degree or another), but each have unique meanings, and confusing them can lead to real-world problems.

The company that I work for,, just hired an intern who is a CS major from the top university in the area. He wants to get into web software product management but did not even know about HTTP or JSON. These did not take terribly long for him to understand due to his education and the beauty of YouTube, but I was surprised that none of his classes taught him what we would consider basics despite being in his last year of school.

I do not have a computer related degree and am largely self-taught, so this makes me wonder about a few things:

Is this typically the experience of CS grads? And if so, what have other CS grads done to bridge the gap?

What have other web tech companies done to help new CS grads get up to speed quickly?

cartinez profile image
F. • Edited

I study Computer Engineering and even though it's technically not CS, I understand what you're saying about your CS intern.

This is what actually scares me when I'll get my degree, because even though I know how to program in C/C++, JS, PHP and Java, we didn't really applied any of that stuff to real-world problems.

I had a small 60-hours course for web development that focused more on the good and bad practices of the craft (we used PHP 5.7, JS 1.6 and DOM handling.. like, "innerHtml" was a no-no). Funny enough, with that course you wouldn't know what a web API is or even how the internet works. The scope was to build a small website with basic client/server interactions using vanilla old-school languages.

Most of the stuff I know I learned it here or trying stuff by myself.

I have friends that are taking a degree in "pure" CS and they don't have a single course on web development, but instead focus on algorithms efficiency, hardcore C and Java programming, architectures and programming languages theory using CAML and other weird stuff that even I don't really understand (the main difference with my degree is that we have more hardware-based knowledge, digital electronics and stuff like that).

Hope this answered your question.