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After reading this I have a dumb question: The person behind the post is a CS major but only played a little bit with the C programming language in college — is this pretty common these days?

Certainly at the school I went to you had quite a lot of choice over what courses you took. I imagine it would be quite possible to get a CS degree without ever touching C, especially if you took either a more math/theory approach or a more UX/HCI approach to your degree. Of course it was equally possible to spend half your degree writing operating systems and programming micro-controllers in C and assembly if that was your cup of tea.

Basically CS is a huge field and any assumption you make about someones skills just because they have a "CS degree" is almost certainly false to a greater or lesser degree.

Yes, I have seen many CS graduates who couldn't write C or C++ if their life depended on it. In fact, I have seen CS graduates who could explain the theory behind, say, parallel computing in detail, but could barely write scripts.

Knowing everything about painting doesn't make you a good painter :).

Knowing everything about painting doesn't make you a good painter

Then again no one automatically expects an art history major to know how to paint (even though there no doubt is quite a bit of overlap).

Yes, I've interviewed plenty of people with degrees from very prestigious Universities that evidenced no real programming skills, and a wonderful (truly) grasp of algorithms. Trouble is, the former is necessary on a day to day basis, and the second is always available from some contractor when you need it.

You've just shocked me! I went to art school and back in the day even if you studied say graphic design or fashion they actually taught you basic foundation skills which included painting and life drawing. Of course that was in the better schools, so maybe CS faces the same issues.

Heck, in grad school I wrote C to hack data in memory layouts designed to minimize page faults. Lots of bit-twiddling nuttiness.

I don't think I could write a simple echo clone in C anymore.

I miss C, but since entering the "real world" I haven't written a line of C for work purposes.

He said he went to a small liberal arts school.

We definitely do C programming at my program (shell, malloc implementation, thread pool, web server, MIPS assembler/interpreter etc.). I go to Virginia Tech, a public university.

I go to an Engineering school, and there are only two classes that use C and are required for my CS major. The first one is the second programming class we take and is three quarters java and one quarter C. Pretty basic stuff. The second class is Operating Systems, and is C the whole quarter. I'm pretty sure those are the only two required classes that use C. And I didn't have to take the first one cause I tested out of it with AP credit, and I didn't do C in HS. So some people will only take one class in C when they graduate.

CS is about the theory and not the practice plenty of mech engineers probably woudl not be able to use a lathe that well.

Current college student, probably have written 5,000+ lines of C directly related to class assignments

I started uni in 2002 and only did half a semester in C, and the other half on C++. I picked up a game dev elective for a semester, and did that in C++. Other than that, it was Java and PHP mostly, with smatterings of Lisp and Prolog for our AI classes.

It depends on the quality of the university, I graduated in 1999, but from quick glance at the CS department web site, you still get to use at least C, C++, Prolog, ML, Java, C#, depending on the project assignments.

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