A Very Controversial Programming Opinion

James Hague references a post titled 20 Controversial Programming Opinions and adds a few in his own post titled Hopefully More Controversial Programming Opinions. I don’t usually go for list articles but this one that James came up with jumped out at me immediately:

Computer science should only be offered as a minor. You can major in biology, minor in computer science. Major in art, minor in computer science. But you can’t get a degree in CS.

Don’t know why this one would jump out at me! Oh, right… I majored in business (accounting), minored in CS.

In some ways, that was an invaluable experience. Majoring in business has helped me immensely in the years I’ve run Infinity Softworks. It gave me a grounding in the finances of a business and how to project. I also happened to be in college so long that I came very close to degrees in finance, management and marketing, too, all of which I’ve used in this business.

What did I lose by getting a minor rather than a major? From what I could tell at the time, a lot more mathematics and a lot of theory. To be honest, though, my eyes glaze over with theory. I always want to jump into the code.

The one class I wish I would have had that I didn’t was compilers. I think it would have been a fascinating class as thinking through text and how a computer can break it down to derive meaning is very interesting. I even bought the compilers book thinking I’d self teach. I never got the time.

The irony, of course, is that Infinity Softworks hasn’t developed an app without a big compiler on the back-end in 12 years. Our compiler breaks down mathematical equations and turns them into templates and results. The good news, though, is that I don’t have to write it, update it or maintain it. My technical partner takes care of that!