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Trurl

Computer Science Education

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I was just wondering if anyone has come across this computer programming exercise.

 

You are a programmer hired by a bank to manage several bank accounts.

 

That isn’t always the exact description, but this question is standard for online courses. And from people I talk to they had the same question at traditional colleges.

 

This is bad for uncountable reasons. This question even goes across different languages, such as C++ and when you learn Java it is the same question with different syntax. Not to mention a quick web search will answer the question. You are supposed to be a computer scientist and they give you a bank question.

 

My complaint is that no one is writing proper computer science curriculum. I have taken classes how to teach adults and with my limited experience this question is an insult to the student. The thing is these programming classes aren’t teaching you to problem solve and program real solutions. Yes, I know there are better classes that a fifth grader is programming a robot and now has better programming skills than me. I know there are better questions that you can ask an adult programming student.

 

I put this in the computer science, but this is also an education question. I get they want to demonstrate arrays and memory storage, but the truth is this is a disservice to the students. So, you pay to go to school and they teach you programming exercises that don’t go together. Then you graduate and you have to teach yourself how to actually program. Basically, what I’m saying is that a YouTube video or a Learn C++ book in 24 hours is more cost effective.

 

How broad is this bank computer program? Has anyone here encountered it?

BTW this bank exercises is usually a major project of the programming courses. Obviously I don't mean that it is just a simple exercise. This is a final project.

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12 hours ago, Trurl said:

I was just wondering if anyone has come across this computer programming exercise.

Not in practice.

12 hours ago, Trurl said:

You are a programmer hired by a bank to manage several bank accounts.

Student who is receiving such task, has to imagine what has to do to create bank website.

i.e.

1) user registration

2) user logging in and logging off in secure manner (i.e. HTTPS, virtual keyboard, secure holding and pre-encrypted transfer of logins and passwords, unable to be read by company staff and hakers, even if they get access to db)

3) user edit of details after logging in to account

4) user making transfers and other operations

etc. etc.

Actually this question is very little different (just in details) from "you are a programmer hired by company to make on-line shop". Which is very common assignment for IT specialist.

12 hours ago, Trurl said:

You are supposed to be a computer scientist and they give you a bank question.

This has nothing to do with banks and money. It's about visualization of tasks, which normal employer will give his or her programmer. Programmer has to investigate it. Make a list of the all operations which must be programmed. Make a research of subject. That's how I am reading aims of this exercise.

Edited by Sensei

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Well there is some learning and fundamentals to the question. I wish I could locate the question and the specifications. But it is the usage of this programming exercise I don't like.

Say there is a C++ you have this exercise, then you take Java you see this problem again. If I can find the exact problem, you might recognize it.

I'm just trying to demonstrate that actual programming differs from the bank problem. One its first use it probably demonstrated arrays and memory, loops and program structure. You make a good argument, but trust me if you would have come across this as a final project you would agree that the curriculum needs updated.

I've been researching and studying trying to improve my programming skills. But elementary and high schools have upgraded there STEM programs. I know some programming experience is better than no programming experience. However, the quality of a lot of colleges is too dumbed down. It does take some know how to organize the bank problem, but a high school student is spending hours to program a robot. (Yes I know adult students are pressed for time, but why isn't the curriculum similar to the high school's?)

I have some learning in adult education. I know that curriculum design is serious stuff. I think that is the problem here. The instructor may well be an awesome programmer but he must evaluate us based on an established curriculum. The instructor must teach the curriculum good or bad. But I don't know how you would improve the class without better curriculum design and the ability of the instructor to modify curriculum.

The better curriculum is possible. It is the leeway of the instructor to improve it. For example, a math class could have a recitation where students ask questions and bring up questions that both relate and explore the material. Then a lab where questions such as the bank problem are ask.

The bank problem was actually designed well the first time it was ask. But if you search online classes you will  see many students complain about it. Why this problem again? My code is supposed to do something cool.

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31 minutes ago, Trurl said:

The better curriculum is possible. It is the leeway of the instructor to improve it. For example, a math class could have a recitation where students ask questions and bring up questions that both relate and explore the material. Then a lab where questions such as the bank problem are ask.

Teacher could run existing C/C++ project in debugging mode, and stepping-in and stepping-over each line of code, explaining what line does, and why it is there. But that is for beginners in programming. I would do something like this in the first few lessons for novice, no programmers yet, to teach them how to use debugger in C/C++. It would show programmers-to-be what does it mean "uninitialized variable" (having random trash from CPU POV), later initialization by code made by programmer, later assignment, addition, or other math operation on them. In the real-time, as CPU executes each line of code.

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