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A Comparison Of Software Engineering And Computer Science

Institutes of higher learning are still not in consensus of what is meant by many technical degrees, such as software engineering and computer science. These fields, along with information technology, information systems, and computer science engineering, are simply too new. Therefore, what one school or employer perceives as a requirement of computer science may be interpreted by another as software engineering.

There are many similarities between the two fields. Both will be expected to understand how computers work, how programs are structured, and what the user is entitled to expect. However, computer science is typically overseen by the mathematics department while software engineering is normally included in the engineering school.

In the early days, computers were hard-wired to perform a certain function. The user did little more than punch a button. Allowing greater user control led to the development of programming languages and compilers to translate “normal” language into computer language. Punched tapes or cards allowed the user to write his own routines. The actual keypunch was often performed by another, typically someone with clerical skills. A misplaced dot, missing bracket, or transposed letter meant that the entire program would fail. There was often no clue as to why, leaving the programmer to pore over the cards as well as his program.

Computer programming began to come into its own with the development of the personal computer. Simplified languages such as BASIC gave more control to the average user. A few minutes spent with a book enabled the user to begin to construct rudimentary programs. Many times, however, the lack of understanding about what a computer could and could not do led to failure. This laid the foundations for the software engineer, who not only understands the program but the physical abilities of the hardware.

One method of examining the differences between software engineering and computer science is to consider how most printers were controlled by the first personal computers. In most cases, changing printer functions such as font size, number of copies, or paper size required entering the proper printer string in DOS. Today, these functions are controlled from an interface on the desktop. The user may enter the information in the software or in the printer dialog box. In a simplified statement, one might say that the creation of the dialog boxes and underlying code was provided by a software engineer. The ability of the printer to understand the commands and comply with them was provided by the computer scientist.

In the most basic terms, CS focuses more on the hardware, circuitry, and networking involved. An SE is typically more concerned with creating a program that will be efficient in terms of size and speed and optimizing the user interface. Neither area, however, has a patent on any one area. To build a network or a computer that is reliable and efficient requires an understanding of what demands will be placed upon it. To write a powerful, “bug-free” program requires knowing how compilers operate, what the processor speeds mean, and the memory needed.

With little standardization between universities, the quality of the degree can vary greatly. Some colleges require CS majors to take Microsoft Office as their first programming course. In some cases, this may be followed by Pascal, COBOL, or RPG, none of which are in high demand today. They may also teach Visual Basic, Visual C++ or Visual J without first teaching the underlying language. By the same token, software engineers may be graduated without a basic understanding of wireless technology. Those seeking a degree as well as employers might be better served by ignoring the title and examining the actual courses required.

Not too many years ago, computer science positions were often filled by those with other degrees, such as electrical engineers. Software engineers were usually those with programming skills, many of whom held no degree at all but were self-taught. As technology became more complex, increased specialization followed. Only by considering the goal is it possible to differentiate between them. For example, if the goal is to produce the greatest game of all time, a software engineer is likely to be the one to meet the challenge. If the goal is to produce the next generation of gaming systems, however, a computer scientist is probably going to make the greatest contribution.

Most Important Aspects of Gaming Notebook Computers

No more do you have to use a super powerful desktop computer to play games, the gaming laptop is now gaining tremendous popularity due to increased performance of laptops. It seems every year or so we are seeing tremendous breakthroughs in notebook technology such as dual core processors, increase storage, more RAM, faster chipsets, more battery life and many more.

However for performance intensive activities such as gaming, only the top of the line will cut it. Gamers are increasingly demanding on technology, they are on the cutting edge of technology and know exactly what they want. As a result, they typically either build their own laptops or have them built to spec for them by the most reputable manufacturers.

One of the most important considerations for gamers is the ability to upgrade components on a regular basis since the computing industry advances so quickly. In fact, notebook technology changes every year if not every six months significantly.

Here are some of the critical areas gamers focus on when shopping for laptop computers.

Only the Best Graphics Technology

Gamers absolutely must have the fastest and hence the latest graphics technology available. In fact they are obsessed with acquiring the most cutting-edge graphic chipset’s as soon as they are released.

The Most RAM Available

In addition to the latest graphics technology, most gamers preferred the absolute most RAM available for their systems. RAM or random access memory is responsible for processing and graphics files, so it is closely related to the graphics chipset. Additionally, the more RAM you have the more programs you can have open at the same time without worrying about performance issues. So naturally, and gamers want the most RAM possible.

The Most Speed Available

Gamers need absolutely the fastest computers money can buy. The faster a gaming laptop is, the better it can handle 3-D video games without the PC freezing up in the middle of your session

The processing unit or CPU is responsible for the computer speed for the most part. It is essentially your computer’s brain, which does all the data processing. However since it’s the most important aspect of the computer, it tends to also be the most expensive.

The Sharpest Display

The final element to a gamers dream laptop notebook is its display. Gamers need only the sharpest and brightest of displays. After all, the display is what all the other laptop components are working towards. For the absolute best gaming experience, make sure your resolution (display quality) is the finest money can buy. The best way to make sure your display is able to handle the latest 3-D gaming technology, be sure to view your laptop in person and give it the eye test. You should be able to tell what the image quality is like from checking out the laptop and a local computer store.

Put Your Own Skin in the Game and Get a Job

Throughout our decades of working with great people who have sought a new job or a better opportunity, we have observed a missing advantage. Let us take a clearer look at what job seekers are facing now.

Today’s job seeker faces a very challenging marketplace and discouraging economy. Nearly everyone who finds themselves in a search for new or better employment feels that they are behind the “eight ball” so to speak in facing an endless litany of media pundits and “chicken littles” touting the doom and gloom.

Okay, we get it. It is an uphill battle, yes, but by no means an assured failure. Some folks have resigned themselves to an existence in their homes and either on the computer or couch watching television. This is not to make a disparaging comment about these folks; it is just a widespread and unnecessary reality.

Some folks are unemployed as a result of circumstances beyond their control. Some are coming from high performance careers. Still others were released from their jobs for falling short of outrageous demands put upon them or by organizations so compressed that they couldn’t expand their staff. Finally, others are without jobs due to a myriad of economically insane moves by employers and our government alike. This has caused a widespread sense of fear and futility causing huge numbers of those who simply feel like giving up the good fight.

Reality is a harsh element when you are a job seeker. Nevertheless, you must pull yourself up and press onward. The major reason many “throw in the towel” is because they see a lack of results using what they have come to believe works to gain new employment. I suspect that the underlying cause for a sense of desperation is that the “tried and true” practice of compiling a mega list of employers, writing a resume that seems to meet the recommended one size fits all models, creating a resume blast campaign and then waiting on the flurry of calls. How is that working for you?

The disappointment most face from this well intended process is often caused by the inevitable fact that you just joined a thundering herd of folks doing exactly the same thing. Let’s examine an alternative way of looking at your situation and how to approach it in a manner that will create results in the form of interviews and offers.

Go back to the time when your major focus was on achieving the highest performance in your career positions. These are a few of the tactics employed by the most successful professionals in their position.

They:

  • See the status quo and determine how they can reach outside the box.
  • Amass the resources they know are essential to their success.
  • Prepare a value-based proposition to “sell” the outcome of their ideas being implemented.
  • Identify the potential pitfalls they face and either chose to avoid them or seek a means to overcome them.
  • Align themselves with those who can be a resource and asset to achieve the success they envision.
  • See obstacles as an opportunity to adjust and improve the game plan for victory.
  • Know that resilience is a prerequisite when dropping common practices as barriers to success.
  • Never feel that they must accept the bird in the hand, even in the darkest times on the road to success.

Many of you reading this know these tactics and attitudes to be self-evident. Others know that they may have done more had they been a stalwart in applying them. Regardless of which person you may be, these are the same fundamentals applied by those who find the job they want (or need) and stay in control of the outcome of their plan to do so.

This now begs the question, “How does this translate to a job search?” Here are some paradigms that will help in understanding how seizing a great opportunity and the job that you can count on parallels the same behavioral attributes of highly successful people. They:

  • Create a list of well researched potential employers that are high probability targets
  • Make contact with every individual who can prove to be a resource in their campaign
  • Exploit the use, not abuse, of the technology tools at their disposal wherever they exist
  • Quantify and detail their career accomplishments to a bottom-line level
  • Create a value-proposition that is specifically tooled for each targeted position they pursue
  • Construct a list of direct and liaison contacts as touch stones who will provide competitive interview intelligence
  • Amass the knowledge essential to create the impressions that dramatically separate them from the job applicant stereotype
  • Investigate the real time status of any position of interest and plan their approach with a timely strategy
  • Categorize their references according to their key skills and accomplishments
  • Approach the refined list of high potential employers with a well crafted dialog
  • Craft a material presentation that creates an admired perception of their professional ability to create exceptional results and solve the most challenging obstacles facing that specific employer.
  • Understand the “buyer-seller relationship” and how to pilot it to their goal, an offer.
  • Conduct interviews in a professional, qualifying and compelling manner knowing that the best contributor is not passive

The missing advantage of many job search campaigns is the application of a targeted process to identify and research potential employers, prepare a professional inventory of career accomplishments and then tactically apply your insights to each unique situation. Top performing professionals constructing a job search have mastered a process that includes an aggressive action plan. The put some of their own skin in the game rather than send a resume and passively await the results they want. Of greatest importance to those who seek and find the best opportunities, under any conditions, is acquiring the process and the knowledge of the few who have mastered it and know how to help you apply it..

Here lies the “rub”. I know of no college or institution of higher learning that teaches an individual the seemingly elusive secrets of a successful job search. It’s equally rare for either an employer or consultant outplacement firm, hired by an employer, who provides any advice, let alone a total process, which will run against the “common wisdom” of get your resume together and send it to anyone who will read it, etc. etc. Empowered with the insights of top professionals, jump into the game and win big!