And the more i think about it, the less ASU is challenging me. The less I'm learning from this school, specifically the Fulton college. My classmates are struggling to understand data structures in CSE205 after they sturggled to learn the basis of software development in 100/110.
I've been doing this stuff for years. I look at the stuff that the upper-classmen are working on, and my thoughts are the same. "I can, and have done this." I want a challenge, and ASU, and most CS programs in general, aren't going to give that challenge to me. Spolsky wrote about this six years ago. Six years. Nothing has changed. It has probably even become easier. None of my classmates have ever worked with pointers, none of them have written more than a throwaway assignment that took them three hours. None of them have worked on a team of developers, none of them have done anything.
My 205 class, which is a challenge for nearly everyone in it, is no more than a "translate these plain text instructions in to Java" class. My last assignment would have been a challenege – a welcome and exciting challenge – if Navabi hadn't laid out exactly what the code would have to do in the assignment. You're not forcing me to think and to solve problems, you're forcing me to be a code monkey and nothing more. And what can I do about it? I have given myself every challenge I could find outside of school; I've joined Fedora and KDE, the local hackerspace, found anyone with a passion and tried to share their passion, simply for the sake of having a passion.
But I don't need ASU to find passionate people. While university is a natural cultivater of passion, it's only one place the passionate people congregate. With the success of HeatSync Labs, and the small group of passionate people that I have pulled together from ASU, a group that I could count on both hands, I don't need to roam these 100 level classes, looking for someone who cares. I don't have to wander down the hall to my dorm, past spilled food and cans of beer, past the sound of top 40 trashmusic, to my little hacker conclave. o
What do I need ASU for? A slip of paper. A slip of fucking paper that says that I have suffered through four years of toil, having learned nothing in my schooling which will matter to those that hire me.
And the more I talk to people – people responsible for hiring those graduates like I would become – the less I think that slip of paper matters. The four years that I spend in this institution could be four years spent honing myself at a place which would actually teach me how the real world works. I know how to regurgitate linked lists and stacks already, teach me something that matters. There will always be companies that only hire those with that idiotic slice of paper, but there are others, who care what you've actually done. And I've done more than most college graduates can say:
What does that little piece of paper get me?