I am at university right now and I completely agree. One of my professors would only accept a netbeans directory as a C++ code submission. But how do you start the change?
You start by contributing to open-source projects. Minor fixes are ok but, I really encourage young people to really get involved into the project to the point they are considered maintainers. It will not only teach you how to work in a professional environment but, in most cases, it will teach you things that many companies get wrong (proper use of git and code-review to name one).
For sure, I am working on a personal project right now that is still in development. Heres the repo of it if anyone is interested github.com/Squwid/bytegolf
It will be very interesting to hear what do you, or your classmates, think about this? Do you already have some idea how to improve school system? Do you take projects to work on during studying? Did you or your classmates ever ask the teacher to tell you some real-life story or anecdote? I think real life examples are always interesting for students.
The CS department is far behind other school's with similar departments. We tried to talk to the adviser/dean because lots of classes here have issues with material (learning legacy materials/wrong approach to problems), but nobody is held responsible so it was really no help. The dean told us to talk to the adviser, and the adviser told us to talk to the dean.
The senior level classes have gotten better in terms of professors, but the high level professors agree that the system needs to change.
The way that I think the classes should be fixed is learning why things work rather than changing languages and taking a deep dive for every single class. My classes right now make you code in a specific language with SUPER specific code standards but I think what makes you better at what you do is figuring out the task at hand and come up with a working solution rather than agonizing over PHP solving a problem that might take a few lines in Node or Go.
I was lucky enough to work as a teacher for a couple of years. In that period I spot this mistakes I mention here, some of my colleagues quite literally had their plan, they stick to it, squeeze what they believe it's important and present it that way. Students, of course, know then how to solve some algorithms from the book but have no idea how to understand a customer.
Well, what I saw that works for most of the students, that they taking projects in parallel with the studying. That teaches them to understand business, customers, agile and communication, essential skills for the outside world.
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