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Student projects



Conversely though - doesn't that lead to bad habits?

If security is taught at the student level, by the time they get to junior developer they'll have an understanding of it / do it automatically.


Pretty sure student projects should teach you something other than `$ npm install`, no?

When I was a hiring manager and scoped out juniors from bootcamps I had a conversation with some candidates and they would say, "I built user registration and login". When I asked them to talk more about it they said, "well I installed auth0"... Any student project which doesn't teach them how something works is not really teaching anything of value, is it?


Expecting a student to learn how to code at all, not to mention code well, from an academic/bootcamp setting, is an expensive fool's errand for anyone that hires them.

Programming is not academic. It has more in common with plumbing and carpentry and electrician work: you learn only by doing, and you learn how to do it well by doing with critical supervision from a mentor.


The difference between engineering and trade work is that trade work, like the jobs you mention, either follows a plan written by an engineer, or prescriptive standards designed by engineers (and usually certified by governing bodies of engineers). Prescriptive standards allow skipping all the engineering calculations as long as the guidelines are followed and tolerances respected.

Software development (and a lot of hardware development, to be fair) is unique in that doing it well requires functioning as both an engineer and a tradesperson. One's skill has to cover a wide section of the spectrum.


That slight wobble in Earth's orbit we're experiencing, that's Dijkstra rolling in his grave.

All joking aside, programming should be treated a lot more like engineering and a lot less like craft. Yes, it does have aspects of both, but neglecting the engineering aspects of it is proving to be increasingly harmful to our end users.


> a lot more like engineering and a lot less like craft

I think the curve of diminishing returns plays an important role. A near hack job will often get you 90% there, in terms of fulfilling what was exactly requested. I don't think this is true for any other skillset. It's so easy to make something featureful and fragile in software. The time and cost above that can be very difficult to justify to customers/management.

In the words of a previous boss, after I pointed out we need more testing, "Everything is working, we'll fix the bugs as they come".


When you're learning, you need to also learn security implications of what you're writing. Insecure projects should never be allowed to pass.


I disagree somewhat. If the goal of a project is to teach a different skill and it may cause too much of a headache to add a real server this service might make sense. It’s like when you’re learning a new spoken language. It’s better to practice a breadth of situations and vocabularies and make mistakes (that get corrected over time) than to learn fewer things perfectly




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