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How Much Tuition is Wasted on Anti-MS Univesities

In another thread, Marc writes this:

>> "My cynical opinion is that every computer science department in the US has only one agenda; hate Microsoft."

This is also my experience.  A bunch of developers from my company are in undergrad or grad CS programs at various universities (all first or second tier universities in the United States).  For each course any of us takes, we keep track of the first lecture that the anti-Microsoft talk takes place.  It usually happens within the first three weeks. 

Since our company pays 100% of our tuition (for Bs or better - or Cs for undergrad) we've estimated that the company has spent well over two thousand dollars in the past three years for us to hear anti-Microsoft propaganda.

When does your first anti-MS lecture usually take place?  How much tuition money have you wasted?

anon
Monday, June 23, 2003

Week 2 at my database class

Mike
Monday, June 23, 2003

One of my profs while I was in college gave it on the first day and defended his anti-MS slant because he maintained that we are going to be seeing a pro-MS slant in the working world and even on campus.  Same prof handed out the text of the findings of fact in the anti-trust case in celebration when that came out.

I mean, with all of the MS give-a-ways and various efforts by MS to counteract the anti-MS slant at my campus, he does have a point. ;)

Flamebait Sr.
Monday, June 23, 2003

To get MS skills you take a few courses, and you're done. At most, you spend few months in a technical school to achieve this.

On the other hand, people don't go to colleges to study CS just so that they can learn MS tools. They go there to develop skills *independent of any particular technology*. Something that 10 years from now would still have significant value. In fact, if they were to learn MS tools for a significant period of time in college they should be rightfully pissed!

Mr Curiousity
Monday, June 23, 2003

>> "They go there to develop skills *independent of any particular technology*. "

Wrong dude.  They go to school and get force fed a steady diet of 1970's Unix crap.  And that's that.  Nothing more.  From the second you take your first class, to the second you graduate:  Unix, Unix, Unix.  That's a pretty damn strange definition of 'independent', dude. 

anon
Monday, June 23, 2003

Mr C - agreed, but the problem is professors who use class time to denigrate MS instead of simply teaching.

Can you imagine the /. outrage if someone was teaching a database class and spent an hour or so bitching about what a waste of code MySQL was, because it was open-source? Or in an OS course calling Linux "that misbegotten ball of mud run by sophomoric hackers who only wish they could do 1/10th of what Redmond has accomplished in just ten years"?

Philo

Philo
Monday, June 23, 2003

"the problem is professors who use class time to denigrate MS instead of simply teaching"

true ...

but have you ever seen a professor who would not have a few strong opinions and would not be willing to use the class time to force feed those upon the students?

I am willing to bet there is no such beast!

Mr Curiousity
Monday, June 23, 2003

On a positive note, my instructor also ran down mysql as the fast but not terribly featurful or concerned about data integrity database that it is.

Mike
Monday, June 23, 2003

I think MS need to get some professors to write books about dot Net, or whatever.

Rationale: Call me a cynic, but some professors like to promote topics they've written a book about. They have spent time researching the topic, and if it helps their book sales, that's just a happy coincidence!

S. Tanna
Monday, June 23, 2003

No, the anti-MS comes from plain old politics. For whatever reason, academia tends to be liberal-leaning. And it seems that in general MS~conservative, Linux~liberal.

Add in that until recently, universities were unix-based because their (ancient, established, no reason to change them) mainframes are unix boxen.

Therefore, academia will, in general, be anti-MS despite the merits of either plaform.

Philo

Philo
Monday, June 23, 2003

Where I went to University, it was predominantly Unix (mostly for historical reasons), but there was also Windows in use.

Some lecturers has an anti-Microsoft axe to grind, others lent the other way. I'd say the majority didn't express leanings for any particular camp.

At the other major University in the city (read: only other place you'd want to go), it was all Microsoft, from what I understand. I'm not sure if they even got to touch Unix unless they did a subject that required it.

Maybe it's different in the US, but in Australia it seems pretty different to what people are describing in this thread.

And the horse you rode in on
Monday, June 23, 2003

I got a BS and a masters, and I maybe once in that entire time heard a single professor mention Microsoft, or any specific vendor.  Weird.

We also used mostly windows machines in all the labs, even some Macs.  It was harder to find Unix.  This was at Cornell.

I can't imagine why a professor would take valuable time out of a class to talk about any specific vendor, which is largely irrelevant to computer science.

Andy
Monday, June 23, 2003

I'm at Uni right now using IE under Windows XP Professional.

Daniel Searson
Monday, June 23, 2003

I have to agree with Andy.  I got my BS in Computer Science and Mathematics without any comment on vendors.  Yes, IBM and Microsoft were out there, but they were of little consequence to the topic at hand, except as business cases.

I wonder how much occurs, how much is just listened for, by the over sensitive and how much is just urban legend. 

Mike Gamerland
Monday, June 23, 2003

An opinion is only a waste of time and money if you agree with it wholeheartedly.

Stephen Jones
Tuesday, June 24, 2003

The CS curriculum I keep up with is extreme anti-MS. For some classes you could be forgiven mistaking the lecture for a Scott Mcnealy rant.

Just me (Sir to you)
Tuesday, June 24, 2003

>When does your first anti-MS lecture usually take place? 
>How much tuition money have you wasted?

The thing with universities is that they should not be either pro- nor against any vendor. The whole idea should be to teach concepts rather than using specific products.

Who cares if you use MS-SQL or Oracle or PostgreSQL, conceptually they are all RDBMS. Same goes for programming languages, they can use whatever language serves the purpose of showing the different kinds of programming (procedural, object oriented or whatever) conceptually, not necisarily what is currently in popular demand.

Patrik
Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Guys, that's a piece of high education you have, I must tell !

I see people coming out with CS degree know that:
1) they didn't study anything useful, hence all those "what's degree for" threads
2) their professors talk about MS instead of teaching

Well the place I got my degree from had none of above. May be you go to the wrong universities ?

Evgeny Goldin
Tuesday, June 24, 2003

OK, another back-in-the-day comment. I got my CS degree before MS even existed and back then the Profs spent the occaisional lecture bashing IBM. In another couple decades it'll be someone else. Whoever is the front-runner is going to take some flack. Just because.

old_timer
Tuesday, June 24, 2003

How odd, in my undergrad we were just taught theory, there were no practical applications, all problems were written using pseudo code.  There was no pro-this or anti-that (this, that, being corporations, products), since we never used any products.  Sure we had old NeXT boxes and ran slackware, but  those were just the anonymous tools, they could have been anything.

shabob
Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Shabob,

You're clearly an anit-MSFT biggot.  Get with the program.  If you don't use VisualStudio you must be a communist.  Doesn't "shabob" mean "witch" in some vernacular?  We'll see...

Hmmm.  Kinda makes me wonder...  Is there any correlation between those who despise the classical CS cirricula and those who are whining about being displaced by overseas competition and H1B's? 

In other words, if you we're taught to the tool, and not to the concept, should it be any wonder that when some "technology" (or worse an _API_) becomes obsolete, that you do also?

Nat Ersoz
Tuesday, June 24, 2003

I got my degree at one of the top tier engineering colleges. never heard a word spoken about MS one way or the other. In the embedded systems classes we used an Intel architecture, in one of the OS classes, we used Suns with Motorola chips. In music classes, there were a few mainframes, mostly NeXTs, and towards the end a few SGIs. All the engineering labs had monochrome terminals and most people used vi, though I preferred emacs. In the computer labs for general consumption, all the computers were Macs, except in the central library where they were 1/3 Macs 1/3 PCs and 1/3 terminals.

agnost
Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Most Profs I know crack jokes about MS, it is a kind of bonding for them....

Prakash S
Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Nat: Good theory.

I've always felt that practical education should be left for the trade schools, community colleges, IT schools etc...  Let's face it,  you'll learn more about programming in 4 years of work than 4 years of University.

shabob
Tuesday, June 24, 2003

I suppose it depends on the work you do. In some companies it could be just the opposite.

Johnny Bravo
Tuesday, June 24, 2003

"Wrong dude.  They go to school and get force fed a steady diet of 1970's Unix crap."

Name another computer technology that's still thriving after 30+ years.  Also, you can freely show students source code from several different open source Unix implementations.  Which you can't do with proprietary OS's.

And maybe the attempts to influence curricula through strategic grants by proprietary vendors rubs some professors the wrong way, and rightly so.

I think you could make a good case for using the most open technologies for teaching CS.  I agree, though, that "ranting" to a captive student audience is a bit unprofessional.

Jim Rankin
Tuesday, June 24, 2003

$0. (Of course, I was on a 100% paid scholarship to my university.)

My university was Unix orientated. I had a computer graphics class where I did a bit of MS-Windows programming.

Anyhow, I work as a developer for a company that produces security hardware that requires lots of kernel/network programming. I'm well paid, have a nice cubicle, was recently given a huge raise, and pretty much free to work on whatever task to improve the product. The flat-screen LCD they gave me was nice too.

So I suspect my university education was quite worth it. :p (Even though I was pretty sharp going into the university...)

SG
Tuesday, June 24, 2003

A few things that I wish to clear up:

My gripe is with the anti-MS attitude. Not the "no vendor" attitude. I *expect* to have most of the classes be about theory rather than tool experience.

My other gripe is with the holes in the theory. For example, how can anyone graduate with a CS and have never even HEARD of Extreme Programming, Agile Development, SSC, Life Cycle, etc. This is the stuff I think students need to have some sort of exposer to. I'm not talking about trade school level, but something more than there is today (which is nothing).

I would however like to see more schools add some "Real World 101" to their curriculum. Something you would take in your senior year that gives you an idea of what tools, practices, and standards you will face after school.

But hey, I'm just the one trying to hire the graduate. So what do I matter? ;-)

Marc
Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Marc,

>never even HEARD of Extreme Programming...

Students will hear about all this, in 5 years time. Schools are for the most part behind their times.

Patrik
Wednesday, June 25, 2003

--" need to have some sort of exposer to"----

"Exposer" refers to the person.

The abstract noun is "exposure".

This seems a very common mistake on this forum.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, June 25, 2003

>>never even HEARD of Extreme Programming, Agile Development, SSC, Life Cycle

I would seperate 'Extreme Programming' 'Agile Develement' from 'SSC' and 'Life Cycle'

The latter are established practice.

The former are ... experimental ideas. I would say now Agile Development is valid idea to be talked about in software engineering course, but not sure about Extreme Programming.

Rick Tang
Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Second Rick's post.  Life Cycle has to be one of the most used expressions.  If I remember correctly I've had at least 4 required classes where it was a cornerstone concept and probably half a dozen other where it was used sporadicly.

Things like XP get mentioned by profesors more or less as research topics.

tekumse
Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Schools are often behind their times for good reason.

Would you really want those coming out of the Masters courses now to have had a solid undergraduate basis in push technology and web portals?

Stephen Jones
Thursday, June 26, 2003

What's SSC? You can't mean the superconducting supercollider, the particle accelerator that was cancelled over a decade ago.

Julian
Saturday, June 28, 2003

Julian, spend less time touting your knowledge (do we really care that you know that the acronym SSC represents a partical accelerator?) and more time analyzing the text of his message.  I don't know what SSC means either, but since he put it in a list with "Extreme Programming" and "Agile Development", one can infer that perhaps SSC is another programming paradigm.  Or at least, that he's not talking about particle physics.

J S
Tuesday, July 08, 2003


Please tell me the titles of books which severely criticize Windows, Microsoft and its management strategy.

I'd like to purchase them via amazon.com and read them.

Lancelot
Tuesday, June 29, 2004

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