a journal of a researcher

Monday, June 23, 2008

Software Engineering vs. Computer Science

Sitting in the garden of Daniel Lemire, we were talking about research and computer science. Below is from our conservation. I should say I am thinking about this topic for a whole, as I am one of the new recruitments in SE.

  • Computer Science is dying. The CS departments now only recruit in software engineering.
  • Computer scientists do not care programming. They can be very bad in programming. Programming is just a way to get results. It is like the other scientists in physics or chemistry. They know programming for computation. Of course, computer scientists should have better programing skills than physicists and chemists, as they know how computer works.
  • Building software systems is software engineering. But not many profs in software engineering have a lot of engineering experiences in developing serious software systems. The most “successful” career path is to get a faculty position directly out of school.
  • Software engineering methodology is more from brains than from experiences. This is different from other engineering domain. For example, construction code is more summarized from practices. Well, people have been building buildings for thousands of years, but only 50 years for software. So we are lack of experiences for software engineering. The current software engineering methodology is not proved enough from practice.

Here are some of my opinions as a SE guy:

  1. Always update your knowledge on programming. I found if I do not look around a while, many many new SW is generated. I am looking around now for my own project.
  1. Practice in the real world. Accumulate enough first hand experience yourself. I do not know if it helps your career, because your career is more built on papers than projects. But if you are serious to what really works, you cannot stay away from reality.
  2. Following industrial trends. You can say the industrial trends are not serious enough for academics. But your students are going to go to industry. You cannot be too behind or stay irrelevant to what the industry is doing.
  3. Engineering, keep practicing and practical.


  • I agree with you Yuhong.

    By Blogger Daniel Lemire, at 5:08 AM  

  • I'm curious why you say that "computer science is dying", and that software engineering is comparatively healthier.

    By Blogger Neil, at 3:46 PM  

  • Can anyone recommend the best Endpoint Security tool for a small IT service company like mine? Does anyone use Kaseya.com or GFI.com? How do they compare to these guys I found recently: N-able N-central systems management
    ? What is your best take in cost vs performance among those three? I need a good advice please... Thanks in advance!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:36 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home