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Archive for March, 2017

Are Indian CS Engineers Untrainable?

Posted by desicontrarian on March 3, 2017

Professor Dheeraj Sanghi believes so. He thinks that the reason is copying instead of coding. Not that simple.

Copying code per se is not the real issue. Nowadays experienced developers and lead engineers also do it.

The software world is awash in code. There are places like Stackoveflow and Code project that have snippets, examples, answers to how-to questions on any programming, design or database topic that you want. The technology landscape changes all the time. The real issue is understanding a piece of code, a design issue, a risk or a customer requirement.

The best brains in the world have already solved many problems in great detail. You can immediately access those solutions. The challenge is understanding the solution, where it can be applied, who you can tap for trouble-shooting and how to collaborate “virtually”. It is best practices, code reviews, test packages and algorithm design that are more important than knowing all kinds of sorting, hashing and red and black trees.

Modelling the world is the key. Indian CS education and every other syllabus (like ICSE) is breadth-first in its approach, and wants students to swallow and digest impossible amounts of information. There is no time for such digestion. That is why many resort to copy-paste.

Faculty are too ivory-tower oriented and not many have felt the pain of the business, corporate and start-up world. They are secure in their tenure and never have to account for mistakes and failures in projects and products. Seldom do they have deadlines (except in finishing portions). The culture is hand-me-downs, not engagement with the class. Its very different from the way it is done in UK, US, Europe or Australia. Look at the quality of the online courses and MOOCS from Stanford, Cambridge or Oxford. Much to learn in course design.

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