On that note, my experience has been that academic environment often does more damage than good to its students. It sometimes takes a monumental effort to make the graduates unlearn all the wrong things they learned in the academic environment before they can proceed further in their professional development without all that bad baggage that keeps pulling them in the wrong direction.
It's like children mistreated by their parents in their youth who will carry their psychological trauma from the childhood through the years and that would detrimentally affect their lives until they get some professional help from a skilled counselor.
Not helped by lecturers who'd either always been lecturers or lecturers who'd left industry 15 years earlier (this was 2005 so they'd have left in 1990).
It was still a valuable experience since a lot of the other stuff was valid but I took all the programming stuff with a massive pinch of salt.
* Except Charlie, Charlie was an ex-telecomms C/Unix God he didn't like the way a lot of the programming stuff was taught but he did point us all to where we should be looking.
Exactly what I'm talking about. I've met graduates with very weird ideas about how to approach problem solving, and they would eventually confirm it had been taught to them at the university as the one true method of doing things. I remember that I myself had to "accept" some of the ideas being taught to us and recite them at the examination, pretending I agreed with them. Was the only way to get through some courses, and I recall many other students suffering from wrongful instruction. Some tried to argue with the academic staff and get those wrong things fixed, many of them would pay the price later by failing the examination. Apparently, those lecturers and professors didn't like their competence questioned.
About 15 years ago we had a new lecturer come to teach our group. I remember my thoughts after a couple of his lectures: this guy must have been thrown out of every shop that's out there. Was completely useless, even if senior by age (around 50 I believe). Tried to teach us about computers by reading aloud a book similar to the "Computers for dummies" series. Was not a good reader either. From the rumor that was circulating around he had a buddy in the hierarchy and used that to land a job at our university. Was truly pathetic.
As the common saying goes: Those who can do, do. Those who can't do, teach. Those who can't teach, manage.
Please, your analogy just doesn't make any sense. Just because someone is stubborn and doesn't want to relearn something doesn't make it professor fault. Nor does it mean he/she suffered child mistreatment.
Parents beating their children leads to mental illnesses if the right genes are present. You are reducing child abuse to banality.
Consider that as a lecturer every your word will carry a meaning. Even an innocuous remark may turn out to be something that will stick with one of your pupils for years and will lead them to make a sequence of wrong decisions that will eventually ruin their life.
Having access to younger minds and influencing their personal and professional development is not a joke. It's that kind of a job which if not done properly may potentially produce the next tyrant.
Generally speaking, a person only begins to reach psychological maturity at around 30 years of age. Until that time all incoming ideas generally fall on a fertile ground, as the person is not yet capable of telling bad apples from the good ones apart and can't always discard the wrong ideas. Sometimes it's exactly those ideas that take and derail somebody's life, unnoticeably, one step at a time.
I asked him why he wasn't just storing it in a hash table instead. His answer: "Because I sometimes need to iterate over it and get both the key and the value"
My brain had to sit and parse what he'd said for a few moments, before I realized what the heck he was talking about. In all of the data structure courses, he'd been taught "A hash table hashes the key, and stores the value in the corresponding slot". In that mental model, there's no way to retrieve the key, only to retrieve the value given the key.
I explained to him that real-world implementations do do that, but also store the key along-side the value, so that you can still iterate across it. You could see the look of amazement wash over him, and then he frustratingly declared "Why the hell didn't they mention that?!"
And yes, when you've got a complete understanding, it seems quite obvious that the key has to be stored with it. That's why I got it. He'd just learned it though, and there were still those gaps in his knowledge that he would have carried for a long time until someone else helped point out the missing piece (or he had decided to sit through and make sure he understood everything)
DISCLAIMER IAMA academic
Grandparent. Two posts up the hierarchy from the person who used the term "GP".
So this is a personal attack then. Frankly, I expected better from the HN community. It looked more evolved when I was just an occasional visitor prior to joining. Rather disappointing.
It seemed like a bit of a snipe maybe (or a joke where they forgot the smiley). I went back and re-read your original "GP" comment and it seemed like you had encountered a number of students who had trouble as a result of such teaching. The snipe implied your experience was just your own personal problem, which seems false in looking at it again. Relax, it's just people you don't know responding to someone they don't know.
Anyway, I appreciate your viewpoint.
How bad are we talking? My small bubble doesn't constitute mountains of data, but I have friends across the US from top-tier and not-so-top-tier schools that aren't damaged goods from academia.
Better yet, are you sure it's academia that screwed up or stubborn individuals who worship the ground their professors walk on? Those are the types of people that see academia as the end all, be all of what's right.