[ubuntu-uk] A-levels (was Royal Society)

Mark Harrison Mark at ascentium.co.uk
Fri Aug 27 11:50:01 BST 2010

This is a genuine question to those currently / recently at Schoo/Uni.

When I was choosing my A-levels (1987), there was a strong piece of advice
for those who wanted to study Computing at Uni. That advice was "don't
bother with Computing A-Level, do Maths and Further Maths instead."

This was on the basis that, at the time, the Universities were saying that
they basically wanted to teach programming / analysis to people who had good
experience at symbolic manipulation, and considered the A-level syllabus, as
it was at the time, to be a bit of a waste of space.

These days, has the world changed? If you are studying Computing at Uni (or
aiming to do so), is the expectation that you would have done A-levels
(A2,AS, whatever they are these days) first???

My experience, by the way, is that the people who are BEST at Programming,
are those who've discovered it OUTSIDE of the formal teaching environment,
and want to "hack" (in the old-fashioned sense) for the pleasure of doing
so. For this (among many other things), we need to thank the Linux community
for providing a set of tools allowing the potential programmer to get
started. (Yes, I know you could get started with VB, but, while I've written
a lot of code in it over the years, I don't think it's a great language in
which to teach the fundamentals.)

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