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Ars Technica: What’s the difference between college-level and corporate programming?

This article strikes home as I am now completing my first year as a college instructor who teaches computer programming:

When they graduate and get their first job, a lot of students feel like they don’t really know how to program even though they may have been good programmers in college.

What are some of the differences between programming in an academic setting and programming in the ‘real world’?

In a traditional undergraduate computer science program you learn just programming. But the real world doesn’t want people who are just programmers. The real world wants real software engineers. I know many job descriptions don’t seem to express this distinction, which only confuses the matter.

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A change of seasons

Starting on January 7th, 2013 and going through June, 2013 I will be an instructor in the Computer Technology program at Vancouver’s Clark College. The four classes are:

Winter 2013 Quarter

  • Introduction to Programming and Problem Solving (CTEC 121)
  • HTML Essentials (CTEC 122 – two classes)
  • Introduction to PHP (CTEC 127)

Spring 2013 Quarter

  • Introduction to Programming and Problem Solving (CTEC 121)
  • HTML Essentials (CTEC 122 – two classes)
  • Advanced PHP (CTEC 127)

Teaching is something that I have always been interested in doing career-wise and, this opportunity provides me with an opportunity to give it a try. Over the last couple of weeks I have been guest lecturing and so far so good. The students are amazing and it’s a huge departure from the “enterprise” world that I came from. They offer a totally different perspective that I am welcoming with open arms.

At Elguji we are hard at work on IdeaJam 2.0 which is going to be a groundbreaking release. We have learned a lot about running a micro-ISV both in the on-premises world and the world of cloud computing. There are some amazing things you will be seeing from Elguji in 2013. We recently launched V1.3 of our popular IQJam product.

I will be at Connect 2013 with Gayle and will be delivering three sessions:

  • Apps, Apps, and More Apps: Meet the Very Best Open Source Apps from OpenNTF (with Niklas Heidloff)
  • Meet the Java Application Server You Already Own – Domino (with Serdar Basegmez)
  • How We Built CollaborationToday.info in a Matter of Weeks (with Per Henrik Lausten)

2013 is shaping up to be another amazing year and I would like to thank Gayle, my family and friends for their support.

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