[clug] Software Engineering

Michael Ellerman michael at ellerman.id.au
Thu Sep 7 00:56:00 GMT 2006

On 9/1/06, Tarrant <tarrant at aeria-design.com> wrote:
> Hey all,
> I'm considering studying either Bachelor of IT, or Software Engineering at
> ANU (not next year, but the year after - deferring to earn that precious
> thing called money) but I am having difficulty making the decision between
> the two for a list of reasons. Just wondering if any of the fellow members
> are currently studying, or have studied software engineering - and if you
> are happy to answer some questions I may have, could you please drop a
> message to Tarrant at aeria-design.com

Wow, long thread, you've probably heard all you need.

Still, I thought I'd chime in because I actually did the Bachelor of
Soft Eng at ANU just a few years back, well 4, or was it 5?

In short - I'd definitely recommend the 4 year degree, if you can do
it and do it well it will set you apart from a large percentage of the
IT population. Having said that, once you've graduated no one really
cares about your degree, they just know you've got one. And if you're
interested in Linux or open source generally, the best qualification
is to get involved with some project and learn the ropes while you're
at uni.

Without wanting to offend anyone, I think there is definitely a bias
in Canberra towards ANU vs The Canberra Hairdressing ... er College of
Advanced Edu ... er University of Canberra ;)  I also think you'll
find the ANU is much more widely known around Australia and the world.
I've also heard UC is more Microsoft focused vs ANU which is more UNIX

The course structure may have changed since, but I did zero physics,
and only two years of maths, a lot of which was computing related and
not massively hard. We also did a unit of law which was awesome, and a
unit of eco/accounting which was, as you'd imagine, a total waste of

The BSE also gave you a free major, I did geography which was a great
break from the computer labs. But you could also use it to get more
physics or chem or whatever you're into, you might even be able to do
a language (or perhaps they have to be science points?).

My final year was spent working on a reasonable size (15Kloc?) piece
of software for a paying  customer. It was an awesome way to finish
the degree, and really brought home the point that getting good
software written is as much about the soft stuff as the techy details.


Michael Ellerman
OzLabs, IBM Australia Development Lab

wwweb: http://michael.ellerman.id.au
phone: +61 2 6212 1183 (tie line 70 21183)

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors,
we borrow it from our children. - S.M.A.R.T Person

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