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Old 03-11-2012, 05:38 PM   #51
klior
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

One question, why aren't you doing a bachelor in computer science? I don't think people will value a master differently and I would expect that you learn more in a bachelor since it's a bit longer.
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Old 03-11-2012, 06:14 PM   #52
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by klior View Post
One question, why aren't you doing a bachelor in computer science? I don't think people will value a master differently and I would expect that you learn more in a bachelor since it's a bit longer.
I thought about it, but if a Master's and Undergrad degree are valued equally, I'd rather get the Master's. That was actually part of the reason I started this thread...I wasn't sure if a Master's with no prior degree/experience would be valued. One nice thing about Depaul is including the pre-reqs, I'll be taking ~20 classes. This should put be in a position to learn quite a bit.
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:15 PM   #53
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

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Originally Posted by Go_Blue88 View Post
I began doing CodeYear last month. It is a cool learning tool, but it's not enough for me to truly get the foundation I need to change careers. You have an advantage with your Math background. People with Math backgrounds can get programming related jobs pretty easily. People with English and Philosophy backgrounds need to prove that they have the ability to excel at programming, and the best way for me to do that is with a degree.

I know many people will say "a degree doesn't mean you can program," but what else are companies supposed to judge me based on?
According to their site there should be a lot of connections made with Chicago area mentors/startups. The way for you to prove it would be to build something useful, which is definitely a more ambiguous goal compared to getting a degree, but could work.

What if you did Code Acad (unaffiliated w/ the CodeYear Code Acad) and an MBA, which would put you in more of a product management role than a coding role, but would also probably give an opportunity to improve your coding and be surrounded by good engineers?

Your recruiting and career ops and networking might be better that route since your preparation is more in line with the MBA so you could probably end up at a relatively better program and not have to do anything w/ 19 year olds.

Maybe some CS people can speak to how necessary it is to have those algorithmic type courses compared to the hands on building with Ruby approach.
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Old 03-12-2012, 01:07 AM   #54
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

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Originally Posted by Go_Blue88 View Post
I know many people will say "a degree doesn't mean you can program," but what else are companies supposed to judge me based on?
Open source projects you've contributed to, mobile apps, an internship, writing code in an interview, explaining how you would design a class / module, etc.

If you know the right questions to ask, it really only takes 10 minutes of talking to someone to find out if they can code. Figuring out if they're compatible with your organization is much more difficult.
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:58 PM   #55
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by klior View Post
One question, why aren't you doing a bachelor in computer science? I don't think people will value a master differently and I would expect that you learn more in a bachelor since it's a bit longer.
It's very uncommon to do a second bachelor's degree in the US. Afaik some schools don't even allow it.
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:31 PM   #56
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

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It's very uncommon to do a second bachelor's degree in the US. Afaik some schools don't even allow it.
Okay that's ridiculous, I would assume that in the country where you actually pay for your own tuition no one would have a problem with that. I wouldn't say it's common in Sweden but some people do a bachelor in economics and a BSc + MSc in engineering. Some other combinations are popular top, like law + bsc in econ.
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:00 AM   #57
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

My reasoning behind getting a Master's as opposed to a second Bachelor's had more to do with where I'm at in my life right now. I'm 27, getting married next month, and my fiance is a lawyer which means she can't move (ie- if I wanted to go to U of I or U of Michigan). Plus, as I've mentioned, Depaul includes 6 undergrad courses, which essentially accomplishes the same thing I would want out of an undergrad degree (a strong foundation to learn harder concepts and adapt to different languages easily).
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:04 AM   #58
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by meekrab View Post
Open source projects you've contributed to, mobile apps, an internship, writing code in an interview, explaining how you would design a class / module, etc.

If you know the right questions to ask, it really only takes 10 minutes of talking to someone to find out if they can code. Figuring out if they're compatible with your organization is much more difficult.
Right, well I think I'd need to do this regardless. You guys may have had better experiences in the job market, but I'm not sure how you expect me to even get interviews without a really solid resume that has the key words recruiters look for. It's all about getting my foot in the door of companies I'd want to work for so that I can prove myself in an interview.

A degree will at least get recruiters to call me. Once I'm in the door, I will then need to show projects I've contributed to. I am guessing I will have questions for you guys when it gets to that point (but that's like 2 years away). One of the professors I met with suggested keeping a portfolio of work I'm proud of throughout the degree.
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Old 03-14-2012, 05:25 PM   #59
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

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Originally Posted by Go_Blue88 View Post
Right, well I think I'd need to do this regardless. You guys may have had better experiences in the job market, but I'm not sure how you expect me to even get interviews without a really solid resume that has the key words recruiters look for. It's all about getting my foot in the door of companies I'd want to work for so that I can prove myself in an interview.

A degree will at least get recruiters to call me. Once I'm in the door, I will then need to show projects I've contributed to. I am guessing I will have questions for you guys when it gets to that point (but that's like 2 years away). One of the professors I met with suggested keeping a portfolio of work I'm proud of throughout the degree.
Definitely a good a idea to have a personal webpage. Just a simple one with links to source code, some screenshots, and description of the projects.
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Old 03-15-2012, 05:11 PM   #60
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

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Originally Posted by muttiah View Post
Definitely a good a idea to have a personal webpage. Just a simple one with links to source code, some screenshots, and description of the projects.
That's a really good idea. I will definitely do that in the future.

I signed up for my first 2 classes: Discrete Structures for Computer Science and Java I. Unfortunately, I need to take Java I online because they only have available classes during the day. That's not ideal, but I will have access to office hours and all that jazz when I need help.

Classes start on March 26th. We will see what happens...
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:05 PM   #61
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

As a brief update:

So far everything is going well. I have two really good teachers, and I am learning a lot. I no longer have doubts about job prospects once I graduate; completing this degree with good grades will mean that I have worked very hard/learned a lot.

Java started out with some pretty simple/interesting programs. I actually like taking this class online because I can pause the lectures and practice programming what he teaches us.

Discrete Math started out seemingly pretty easy, but then got much more difficult at a rapid pace. I have been forced to dedicate more time to that class than the Java class.

The full time job makes things more difficult...I am generally gone from 6:30am to 10:30pm every day. Anyway, so far so good.
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:45 AM   #62
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Ohhhhhh the humanity

So last night, I took my first exam in 5+ years. It was for Discrete Math. I experienced the whole post exam "Son of a...I should have done x,y,z on that problem!" dread, which is unfortunate. Hopefully they won't be too ruthless on that one.

Also, last night i had to write 3 Java programs for an assignment. Two of them went great, but then on the third one I somehow got stuck in an infinite loop using the While loop. I literally spent from 2:00am until 6:00am trying to get out of the loop, but nothing I did worked. Now I'm at work without sleeping, and I'm still really curious about what I could have done.
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Old 04-24-2012, 05:13 PM   #63
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Post your code that you were having trouble with and I'm sure someone here can help.
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Old 04-24-2012, 05:35 PM   #64
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Sure...keep in mind I only have one month of experience. I am completely new to strings...I started to get the hang of numbers, but I have a harder time picturing the conditional statement with strings.

(30 points) Write a program which receives two inputs: a string and a character. The program counts and then prints how many times the character appears in the string.

This is what I turned in:

Code:
import java.util.*;
public class COUNTING_CHARACTERS
{
    public static void main(String[] args) {
    Scanner input = new Scanner(System.in); 
    String inputString;

    String theCharacter;
    char theChar;
    int count = 0;
    
    inputString = input.next();
    theCharacter = input.next ();
    theChar = theCharacter.charAt(0);

    
    System.out.println("Enter a word and a letter");
   

   int i=0; 
   int j=inputString.length()-1;
    
    while ( i<j ) {
        if (theCharacter.charAt(i)== theChar) {
        count = count + 1;
        j=j-1;
        i=i+1;
        return;
    }
       else { 
        count =0;
        }
    
   System.out.println("The the number of times this letter appears in the word you entered is" + count); 
    }
}
}

Last edited by _dave_; 04-24-2012 at 06:22 PM. Reason: [code] tags pls :)
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Old 04-24-2012, 06:22 PM   #65
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

You have a whole bunch of errors.
1. Print statement in the wrong spot.
2. Incrementing both i and j.
3. Wrong starting position for j
4. Else statement unneeded -- sets the count to zero whenever a non-matching character is found.
5. Return statement ends program without printing anything anytime a matching character is found
6. Input not verified to be correct.
7. The loop doesn't always change i -- program runs forever on some input
etc.
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Old 04-24-2012, 06:44 PM   #66
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Post edited to include [code][/code] bbcode tags, as you can see they make code sample much easier to read by retaining formatting

OK, now I preface this by stating I do not know java, and can not even test your code.

I guess maybe it's waiting for input before displaying it's message "Enter a word and a letter", since the input.next() commands come before the user is prompted for input. I found this tutorial that does it prompt first then input.next(), from a local uni: http://www.csc.liv.ac.uk/~frans/OldL...ek3/input.html

Looks like the infinite loop is perhaps caused by mixing up inputString and theCharacter in the while loop's if statement - I guess:
Code:
 if (theCharacter.charAt(i)== theChar)
should be
Code:
 if (inputString.charAt(i)== theChar)
But I also guess that after one match on first pass through the loop, the theCharacter.charAt(i) should resolve to theCharacter.charAt(1) - which should be null. so it'll execute the else block - in which count is set to zero (why? this will happen on every letter not matching theChar, no matter if matches have been detected in prioor parts of the input word - not I think what is intended) - and i and j, the conditionals for exiting the loop are not incremented / decremented. So once your code path fails the if(test), and execution gets in to this else block - it's never coming out, since it will just repeat the same test over and over never advancing along the input word.

At least I hope that made sense!

Last edited by _dave_; 04-24-2012 at 06:48 PM. Reason: omg I took a while to "learn Java" (read my link) and type this post, ninja'd by 20+ minutes!
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:50 PM   #67
Go_Blue88
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Ug so I think I made the misake of trying to mimic examples from class without fully understanding the implications of what I was doing. For some reason, Strings really throw me off when it comes to loops. In order to have a condition that is true or false, don't you have to store the strings in variables?

I ended up re-working this one so many times that it seems I made things worse rather than better after a while. I just couldn't figure out why the condition while (i<j) would cause an infinite loop when I say below j=j-1...eventually this should cause j to no longer be >i right?
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:55 PM   #68
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by au4all View Post
You have a whole bunch of errors.
1. Print statement in the wrong spot.
2. Incrementing both i and j.
3. Wrong starting position for j
4. Else statement unneeded -- sets the count to zero whenever a non-matching character is found.
5. Return statement ends program without printing anything anytime a matching character is found
6. Input not verified to be correct.
7. The loop doesn't always change i -- program runs forever on some input
etc.
So I should increment one or the other? I based this one on an example of a function I wrote where you enter 2 integers that produce an output x^y. I got it to work with:

while (y>0)
{
y = y-1;

i=i*x;
}

Anyway, clearly I need to sit down this week and get a better feel for loops.
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:56 PM   #69
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

it's because you drop in to the else on any character non-match, once in there i and j are no longer updated and just loops e.g:

is i < j? no, well let's set count to zero. ok then is i < j yet? no? well then count=0... back to check if i<j, uh not changed yet, best set count to zero... and so on
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:01 PM   #70
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

for/while are kinda interchangeable depending on how you write it out, but a for loop may be more easily understandable and appropriate to this situation. though I find myself use a for loop almost all the time. it's easier to get right since the inrementor and the exit condition are all in the initialization at the top imo. something like:

Code:
count = 0;
for (i = 0; i < inputString.length(); i++)
{
  if (inputString.charAt(i)== theChar)
  {
    count++;
  }
}
System.out.println("The the number of times this letter appears in the word you entered is" + count);
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:27 PM   #71
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

^ yep I agree (disclaimer, second year CS student here)

I try to stick to for loops (readability ftw) unless it's a situation where you don't know how many times the loop will execute, in which case the while loop is appropriate.

A for loop in actuality is a while loop with variable incrementation.

Take these two examples which will do the exact same thing:

Code:
while(true)
{
}

for(;;)
{
}
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:11 PM   #72
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Wow that looks like my !!@#$ code about 4 years ago. Welcome to coding!

What ide are you using? Do you know how to debug/code trace with it? This will make your job 1000 times easier.
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Old 04-25-2012, 12:45 AM   #73
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

I have a bachelors degree in Computer Engineering and have a lot of experience as a software engineer. I can tell you for certain that as a software engineer I've been involved with OS design; electronics; hardware-software interfaces; algorithm design and effeciency; low level software; code optimization; etc. In short I've written a lot of code on a lot of different and varied projects. I won't quibble too much with language design and compiler writing being more in the realm of Computer Science but I know there are other people that could argue very persuasively that these are also included in the realm of software engineering

The reality is that the dividing lines between the two are pretty blurry especially in the working world. Post graduation the college courses taken matter for the first job or two but after that it's not that relevant.
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Old 04-25-2012, 12:50 AM   #74
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by checkm8 View Post
^ yep I agree (disclaimer, second year CS student here)

I try to stick to for loops (readability ftw) unless it's a situation where you don't know how many times the loop will execute, in which case the while loop is appropriate.

A for loop in actuality is a while loop with variable incrementation.

Take these two examples which will do the exact same thing:

Code:
while(true)
{
}

for(;;)
{
}
This is very good in my view. Also the do-while loop can be applied to accomplish certain things that are more awkward when using the loop constructs you mention.
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Old 04-25-2012, 02:02 AM   #75
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by adios View Post
This is very good in my view. Also the do-while loop can be applied to accomplish certain things that are more awkward when using the loop constructs you mention.
I thought the only difference was that a do while loop does one loop even if the condition is false to begin with.
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