[clug] Software Engineering

Martin Pool mbp at canonical.com
Mon Sep 4 05:46:58 GMT 2006

On  2 Sep 2006, Tarrant <tarrant at aeria-design.com> wrote:
> Thanks for the insight everyone, you've all helped to a degree.


To pile on one more opinion: I did BE (Computer Systems) at UQ, which at
the time was about 30% maths, 30% computer science, 40% electrical and
other engineering.  For me it was more enriching than just computer
science, which would have either been the kind of hacking I did in
my own time, or the formal-methods-oriented theory popular at UQ, which 
I find unsatisfying.  Building hardware and trying to understand
antennas and transmission lines got me out of my comfort zone.
If you're getting high Bs in maths it will need a lot of work but should
be possible.

That said the ANU engineering degree may have less maths and general
engineering than UQ did last decade.

> So yes, I'm hesitating on not doing software engineering. While I've now
> been told by ANU students and staff that I'd come out with a better degree,
> able to get better job too, it's obviously harder and risk of not passing or
> coming out of the degree as well as I'd wish. 

I wouldn't be put off.  Try it; if it's not working you can usually
change across without too much penalty.  Taking a wrong turn or fluffing
a couple of subjects doesn't rule out a great final result.

> I've also been told that the first year or two(two for software
> engineering) you just need passes? It doesn't so much as count, is
> that true?

It might be technically true but if you don't work in the first two
years the later years will be much much harder.

> Of course that's not to say I don't love coding, it's good fun and I've been
> coding PHP, VB, C++ and various others since 14 so... yeah. At the moment
> I'm still leaning towards B/IT - just need something obviously convincing
> for me to do Soft Engineering. Needless to say my UAI is far higher then the
> entry anyway... I think I could potentially do law... yeah right.

My 2c would be you should try engineering to get more than just
"coding", and if it doesn't work change back.


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