this is part of a series of posts i wrote for my software engineering course at university of texas.
i think my summer software engineering course is excellent. i've written a couple posts that may suggest otherwise, but those are just details. if you're going to pay someone to teach you how to program, you'll won't do better than ut's cs373.
so i think the best part really has to be the professor though. they say there's a big difference in effectiveness between the best and worst programmers, and after 1.5 college degrees i'm starting to think the same holds for teachers. here's some of gpd's highlights:
on the first day of class he gave us a hard time for being there and not at a summer internship. without pretense or sugar-coating, he made it clear that the most important part of software engineering is doing.
he gets excited about the technology we're learning. i mean programming would be insanely boring if you didn't enjoy it right? you're just staring at thousands of lines of text all day! so twice (when we learned about generators and callable instances) he just stopped the lecture and was all like "come on, are you getting excited?!!".
he loads the curriculum with modern tools like github and python. i think it's impressive that he's able to keep the tools so relevant at a massive university with such a rapidly evolving industry. i bet that's a lot of work.
i think the best part, though, is how well he explains the concepts. he's so good at getting people to understand in class that it looks easy, but it's not. this fact was reinforced this week when i was trying to explain some code to the class. i think the hard part is knowing which details to omit. you can say a lot about a single line of code, but when you're explaining it to someone, you don't want to confuse them with too much information. so i feel like the prof just nails this, but i stumbled all over the place trying to get it right.
all that to say the class is great, and if the other students' weekly blog posts are any indication, they agree. if you're a ut cs student, you should definitely check out cs373.blog comments powered by Disqus