jammag writes "Bjarne Stroustrup, creator of C++ and a professor at Texas A&M, weighs in on the problems in today's CS programs. In particular, Java (there's too much of it), the quality of graduates (companies aren't happy), and the need to balance the theoretical and the practical (long overdue). Not pulling punches, Stroustrup even talks about high schools — 'High schools could teach students to work hard at something (just about anything), to search out information as needed, and learn to express their ideas in writing and orally.' He finishes by giving advice to working developers: 'Serious programming is a team sport, brush up on your social skills. The sloppy fat geek computer genius semi-buried in a pile of pizza boxes and cola cans is a mythical creature, best buried deep, never to be seen again.'" Read on for more choice quotes from the quotable professor.
I have even had questions from strangers in airplanes: "You're a professor? In software? Have you got any students? Here's my card."
The US industry could absorb more good developers than there are currently students enrolled in IT-related programs — but not all of those programs and all of those students would qualify as "good" in this context.
The companies are complaining because they are hurting. They can't produce quality products as cheaply, as reliably, and as quickly as they would like. They correctly see a shortage of good developers as a part of the problem. What they generally don't see is that inserting a good developer into a culture designed to constrain semi-skilled programmers from doing harm is pointless because the rules/culture will constrain the new developer from doing anything significantly new and better.
The contemporary Math, Physics, and Biology books I have seen are far, far more conceptually challenging than what we present to CS and engineering students in the area of programming.
I think the ultimate aim is to make programming more of an engineering discipline, more mathematical or scientific; "craft" and "art" are both needed, but there ought to be a scientifically based core on which people can base their craft and art. Software design and implementation is more than a craft; there is more math, science, and engineering to know and apply than is customary for fields we call "crafts." Incidentally, I find it appalling that you can become a programmer with less training than it takes to become a plumber.