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No programming experience in high school

charlieharpercharlieharper Posts: 720- Member
edited July 2010 in Engineering Majors
I'm going to be a freshman this fall, looking to major in chemE, but i've had no prior programming experience. Am I screwed?
Post edited by charlieharper on

Replies to: No programming experience in high school

  • illegalSmileillegalSmile Posts: 48Registered User Junior Member
    Uh, no. The school may recommend that you have prior programming experience before taking the intro to programming class, but with some effort, you will do fine. I had no programming experience (except for some Basic on a TRS-80 back in the day) and I aced the class.
  • charlieharpercharlieharper Posts: 720- Member
    thanks dude, that brought me up a little :)
  • jwxiejwxie Posts: 1,479Registered User Senior Member
    90% of Computer science major students have no programming experiences prior to intro course.

    exactly as illegalSmile.
  • JamesGoldJamesGold Posts: 496Registered User Member
    Are you sure about that, jwxie?
  • jwxiejwxie Posts: 1,479Registered User Senior Member
    Well :) I just made that up. 90% is way too off. But I am confident to say at least 50-60%
    Many that I have met said they picked CS because they liked computers

    :) and also, other than computer science and engineering, and financial engineering, students from other engineering disciplines that do not rely on computer science, GENERALLY had never taken any programming class.

    A good survey would be Harvard's CS 50
    72% had no knowledge of any programming practice
  • rsala004rsala004 Posts: 827Registered User Member
    nice statistic ..i would say that the number seems about right from what i've seen
  • EngineerHeadEngineerHead Posts: 928Registered User Member
    And of those 72% how many make it through to the end, and of those 72% who made it through, what were their grade ranges? The logic is incomplete.
  • GShine_1989GShine_1989 Posts: 635Registered User Member
    Introductory programming is trivial. I went into ECE with zero programming experience (didn't even know the basic loops) and did fine.
  • jwxiejwxie Posts: 1,479Registered User Senior Member
    The statistic is incomplete of course, and I am not a Harvard student.
    As I always tell people on CC, courses are taught by human beings. Some will eventually appear on your hater list while some won't. It might be misleading to believe introductory course in computer science is easy, or any introductory course in college is supposes to be easy.


    As illegalSmile suggested, if you work hard enough, very often your effort pay for it.
    If you are another victim of a super nova type professor, nobody can really save you from that.

    :) I know in our C++ introductory course, the professor I took was very easy (and I do have a solid programming experience prior taking this course), and the other professor who taught Python made the class so hard that even I think it was way too off. :)
  • hadsedhadsed Posts: 738Registered User Member
    The important thing is to make sure you thoroughly understand your class. The professors know that a lot of kids may not know what the hell is even going on, so seek help if you need it, it's nothing to be shy about since lots of people have problems with it.

    If you find that some time down the road you didn't learn it properly, you may get very irritated when you have to learn a lot of things over again. So personally, I'd try very hard the first time around. That being said, it's still an intro course and it shouldn't take a gargantuan effort to do well. It's one of those things that needs to 'click'.
  • Beta_FistBeta_Fist Posts: 646Registered User Member
    I am in the same situation, going into the same major. I tried to learn a little bit of c++ last week, but I couldn't get hello world to work. I'm just going to learn programming in the intro class.

    We can place out of that class if we show proficient programming knowledge (pass their test). This makes me think that the class is designed with the most beginner in mind, and everyone else who knows their stuff will skip it. I'll definitely be taking it.
  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 Posts: 22,762Registered User Senior Member
    In my son's schools, based on course enrollments, I'd say that around 30% actually finish with the CS degree. There's programming, physics and calculus in the first year and those weed out many students. Then there's circuits, the higher-level math courses and the theory courses that some don't make it through.

    Nothing wrong with learning programming over the summer.
  • JuggernautCos0JuggernautCos0 Posts: 163Registered User Junior Member
    When I went to Purdue for Computer Science. They told us in the first day of class, for encouragement, that Purdue's CS department had a 20% graduation rate. When they stated this they almost did it with a bit of pride. Sure they are making a challenging degree but from my experience they did everything they could to make it impossible. For example, my java class, our first test the professor's assistant wrote. The professor took and said he completed it in 20 mins. He told us it should only take about 40-60 mins to complete. Well let's just say 5 out of 100 completed it in the allotted time (2hrs). Our TA said it took him 2.5 hrs to do. They made it difficult, thus they have a 20% graduation rate.

    This always made me think some schools overseas who have just as good CS programs can graduate 90% while the US can only graduate 20-30%.
  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 Posts: 22,762Registered User Senior Member
    Some of my sons courses (CS, math, science) had tests or labs where you needed knowledge from courses that you took in later years making it impossible to do the problems unless you had read textbooks for future courses or had seen the material from outside of the classroom. This sort of thing makes it pretty hard to get an A unless you love the discipline and just enjoy reading textbooks.
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