Systems People

Rick Westerman westerm at aclcb.purdue.edu
Wed Jun 24 10:32:15 EST 1992

elliston at msdrl.com (Keith Elliston) writes:

>Come on, step up... how many of you who are running mol. bio.
>computing facilities have CS degrees? 

I do. A lowly B.S. but a C.S degree never-the-less (with a minor in Biology).

But I agree with Keith: C.S. people tend to make lousy system adminstrators.
Most of the C.S. people I know couldn't program their way out of a paper
bag.  Many C.S. programs concentrate on theory and proofs, not on how to
manage computers or how to program.  So the people who graduate in C.S.
tend to be, IMHO, glorified mathematicans who have little real-world 

Of course, C.S. programs vary from school to school. At my Univeristy -- Purdue
-- we have a "top 10" C.S. department that is very theoritical and a C.P.T.
program in the school of technology that is very down to earth. Guess which
department sneers at the other?  :-)  Some univeristies combine the two
departments together, so I can't say that all C.S. programs are no good.

BTW: I hated my last year in school; I would have much prefered to complete
my degree in genetics. But I was 32, with kids, broke, and knew that a 
B.S. in C.S. would pay better and get me better jobs than any degree in Biology.

-- Rick

Rick Westerman                System Manager of the AIDS Center Laboratory
westerm at aclcb.purdue.edu      for Computational Biochemistry (ACLCB), BCHM
(317) 494-0505                bldg., Purdue University, W. Lafayette, IN 47907

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