Monday, December 10, 2007

re: ICS or EE

one of my friends posed this question: "i was thinking about transferring to ICS from EE, what do you think"?

here is my generic answer:

companies needs management that understands about software development. in my opinion, a lot of companies are missing that. companies that have that sort of leadership probably has a culture that has good software practices. so, i think that you can grow those skills and use it when you lead your company. but, that is the important part. you need to use it to lead your company. that means creating policies and management procedures that rock star programmers feel that they can thrive in your company. that means understanding how developers think and what drives them. in my opinion, i think only people with software development expertise knows how to do that.

on the other hand, i think, going the engineering rout is equally important. companies need subject matter expertise. and that is equally important. engineering offers so many other subject matter expertise that ICS cannot provide. (just think if they combined curriculum's. that would be awesome). in my opinion, a rock star would "rock" either major. EE guys are awesome too.

both opportunities will teach you how to conduct research and to critically think about problems. that is the most important aspect of any masters or phD education. it is the quest to write down your ideas and evaluate them objectively and subjectively that is most important. in addition, growing leadership skills, communication skills, and "knowledge skills" are really important. so one needs to focus on that.

i don't think picking one major or the other will vastly change your ability to make an impact. its more about what you like and what you enjoy learning. one or the other are fantastic opportunities.

i just personally like the software engineering problem more than i like something like signal processing. my belief is that software is going to revolutionize the world once more of us attack the essence of software (read the mythical man-month by fred brooks if you don't know what i'm talk about).

anyway, back to you.. i think you have a wonderful opportunity to learn about solid software engineering practices (from Dr Johnson) and actually putting them in place; by sticking with ICS and using your position to make difference in your company and in the industry. that is just my 2 cents.

either way, i know it will be an awesome experience.

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