Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Technology And The Computer Science Undergraduate Student (Case Study: Nigeria)

When I hear the word technology, things like computer programming, cool devices, software, robots, artificial intelligence and many more sophisticated tech terms appear in my mind, but it becomes like a pain when so many people studying computer science don’t feel that groove especially ladies, just lately I remember asking a few ladies on the web and in my environment who are currently studying computer science what they could do, produce or stunts they could pull with their computer science skill set, well many had nothing to offer or they would say I can teach you how to type fast… Really? I would reply, well last time I checked I also remember that I used Mavis beacon when I was a little kid so thanks… not sounding rude but it’s a serious case, especially if we need to take the future of our country’s advancement serious . So what’s the problem? Where did it come from? How can we solve it? 
Finally am going to get my first degree next year as happy as I am, computer science as my field of study has really made me see so much to what technology has to offer, with the world people call a global village, the super duper way technology advances if you don’t get updated you could get lost and maybe remain old fashioned, so you have got to get entwined with the latest and recent trends and also foresee the future trends, as far as I am concerned technology is also like the stock market, you have to check the indexes, top gainers, top losers, the stocks, like is it rising? Falling? am I making the right choice, am I on the right path…
Now what’s the problem? A student gets admission into a college or university to study computer science first year you have to offer many courses  irrelevant to your field of study and maybe one or two relevant to your field but not really necessary, then the remaining years you offer some really good courses with cool titles where you end up writing notes using different cool fonts and no real hands on practice or practical projects  or actually making something cool, well the aim of most students is to just get an “A” in the exam, so you don’t care what the courses are all about or what you can make of them, well it is said that you only get what you are looking for,  Not blaming the lecturers and also not blaming the students, because a few guys like us which people call geeks try and do some extra dig up and try to come up with something cool, that’s the trend in countries like US, Russia, China and many more like that, finally when you get to the last year in school where you have to do your project you either outsource to your friend, pay some dude or copy somebody’s previous project and then your out of school with little or no skill looking for a world class job… Duh! Only a few actually sit down and come up with something. Just look around the web, you see products, services and so many tech things, they are all brain child of somebody who not only wrote classic long boring notes but did some extra patching. I can continue saying more and more but that’s really not important so let’s take a coffee break and talk about solutions…

What’s the solution? Hmmmmm well just like computer programming there are many approaches to solving a problem, well it also depends on the algorithm we decide to use, the most important thing is RESULTS!!!. So in my opinion I would suggest that we scrap off irrelevant courses of the syllabuses from the day 1 a computer science students get admission, few notes more projects, more research tasks, build teams and groups to solve problems, throw challenge classes not class sessions where we write 12 pages notes, intimidate the students with other peoples success, that’s like a drive and it sure works, let us take one or two visits to cool tech companies, actually I dream of going to Microsoft…. just saying because the Windows 8, Microsoft Surface and Metro Style thingy is actually cool… ooops where did I drop off and more importantly assign a supervisor to students and throw proposals to companies and individuals to fund student projects and ideas. Before I also leave I forgot to say am Nigerian.

altAuthor: Salem Kosemani. Salem Kosemani is a final year student of Computer Science, University of Ilorin Nigeria. Connect with him on Facebook,  Twitter and on his blog at http://www.salemsky95.wordpress.com
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