Define: “Computer Scientist”

I was in a meeting the other day, and something cropped up which was cause for much debate. This was attempting to define exactly what a “Computer Scientist” is. This is of course very relevant to the BSc (hons) Computer Science degree programme.

The question is: What skills should a graduate of this discipline have at his/her disposal? It’s all well and good saying “a bit of everything to do with computing”, but in practice an approach like that is very hard. How do you balance? Is there a bias? If I refer back to my Breadth Vs Depth post, I am talking about programming in specific. However, there is a lot more to “computer science” than just programming.

The “Science” part of “computer science” suggests that this is far more analytical than, say, a “software engineer” which is more development orientated. That is not to say that a “computer scientist” shouldn’t be a capable “software engineer” and vice versa. Are these two disciplines blurring? What industry should a computer scientist go into, rather than a software engineer?

Comments on a postcard please!

Leave a Reply