UVU students just starting into Computer Science this year aren’t exactly getting what they are paying for. Many of these students have a desire to be prepared for industrial software development and are being robbed of the opportunity by a few UVU professors with a greater ambition to further their own ideas than actually instruct and prepare students for the future.
This fall (2009) UVU Computer Science students are being subjected to learning C# as a beginning course rather than C++. This decision was made without consulting students and without consulting industry workers.
In the past students have had the opportunity of choice to pick their development environment. C++ has many different implementations, and can be done on just about any platform. This choice has been taken away as some professors choose to grovel to the great software giant in Redmond Washington. The argument from these professors is that the choice isn’t taken away due to projects like Mono. This argument would seem not to hold much water because it would segregate students not using the “standard” Operating System.
Failing to teach fundamental, and core principles to enable faster development of more abstract concepts robs students of valuable knowledge that could be used to carry them forward in the field of Computer Science. Principles like pointers, and memory management for solving less abstract problems are essential in more advanced courses. Do professors think this all just too hard? Will adding a C# as a crutch help or hurt students?
As a graduate of Utah Valley University I am quite disappointed in the lack of research put into this decision, as well as the lack of concern some instructors have for their students. What will happen to these people as they try to program in C for their future Operating Systems course? My belief is that these professors have truly lost their connection with students, and are much more interested in pushing forward their own personal agendas.