A conversation with a wolfTags: English, university
Created on Tue, 20 May 2014
Hello Mr Storer,
Thank you for the feedback. Allow me to address your comments.
We randomly allocate students to teams because it better reflects reality (believe it or not, you don't get to work with geniuses all the time, partly because they may not want to work with you :-) ).
Then these "real" companies should have a hard time to think how they employ people and match teams. If they match teams randomly and there happens to be such big difference of capabilities as it was this year in Uni, then this company is unproductive in the long term and I definitely would not like to work for it. (Maybe I should point that the difference is more geared towards laziness, rather than actual capability - if I see a person gives his best and as much time as possible to the project, I will never judge him how much they know or can as long as they are striving to compete and do their bests). Giving the hunger for good CS guys right now, I have too many options (from one-man-job to hundreds of startups, to the big IT guys, to almost every single industry in the world) to stick with a company that has no idea how to make good environment so that their people work their potential. People who slow me down and are lazy will never be tolerated around me and that's why I made (maybe not so much) noise about it. And the reverse is of course true as well - if people are more experienced than me and I am slowing them down, I will feel not capable and I would like to be reallocated until I learn or will work day and night until I catchup (done that!).
An interesting observation that PSD is geared towards assuming everyone will work for a company. From what we know, this happens to be the case, but it doesn't mean it should be.
Everyone? You are telling me in the past 5-10 years at University NO ONE was able to create his own business? No one self-employed doing mobile apps, websites, video animations, inidie games, no profit organizations etc? Because if this is the case (and I really hope it's just a generalization) there is something seriously wrong with the whole CS teaching and I will certainly not waste another year of my life and quit straight away!
Having said that, I guess the question is then what are the implications for software practice. If you run your own business, it is rather likely that sooner or later you will have to start working with people (sorry for you I'm afraid).
And where exactly the course taught me about this most valuable thing - how to work with people? There were advices on different charts, tens of frameworks but nothing on how to deal with people - why are some people lazy, what are the implications, how to deal with different characters... are there any mechanisms to complain when nothing is working, when I am doing everything and no support from my team. I raised this to everyone I knew (team manager, Mr Singer etc), but there was absolutely no result.
And I am not the only one! And I have worked with people in the past - in high school me and a friend were able to create science documentary movies and go to International expos, present them in many schools in Bulgaria, even make some profit!! (which we were actually never going after, it was a by-product) So I have worked with people and it has been very pleasant - these were one of the best years in my life so far! Creating the GUTS hackathon this year was another example and the way it turned out - it was magical and I would've never been able to pull this alone. The people were amazing, everyone was giving 140% of his/her powers, writing emails, talking with companies for sponsorship, setting up the website, dealing with problems etc. But in both cases - everyone was doing his/her job! This is what pleases me and what I believe should be like in a University that pretends to be in the top 5 in UK for Computing Science.
A very entertaining blog. A lovely blend of moral certainty, an overwhelming sense of self-superiority and confirmation bias. Good stuff!
Thank you (I guess).
For me, this course had very subjective and unclear rules, especially the blog. I cannot see a company which would make me write a blog or a diary to reflect what have I learnt. I don't see any application in the "real" world for CS people to be able to write - there are humanitarian disciplines like bussiness and management, psychology and literature for people interested in these areas. I want to be allowed to do what I do best rather than waste my time writing things that are outside of my control. I can clearly see the feedback I received for programming in C for example - things work or things don't work, the queries in the database return the right results or they don't. I can't see what this blog can help me with even with the feedback received. There are some random grades without further explanation of them. Tell me "this line is wrong" or "this is wrong reference" or "improper use of the word 'whom'". From what I can make of it, I am an average writer. Well, that's beyond my expectations as I thought I am not even in the average area - not being a native speaker and read 10 novels in my life (7 of which are Harry Potter). Let me do what I do best and mark me on that - don't force me to do things that I have no idea or desire to do, because the feedback that I would get wouldn't help me to live my life better.
Bests, Daniel Tsvetkov