Is one C++ programming course enough?

Is one C++ course enough to become a competent programmer?

  • I don't like programming so one is perfect.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    49
Greg and Dave are the instructors for our Fall 2006 C++ course. They will take turn teaching us the course. If you stayed late after the Orientation on Tues and talked to Mr. Greg Ciresi, you would be informed that he will be teaching an elective course in Spring 2007 in the area of Risk Statistic. This means he won't be teaching us the second C++ course. It could mean that someone else will be teaching the second C++. It could also mean that we only have one C++ course for the whole program. At this point, nothing has been decided.

Greg has been pushing hard to install a 3-semester programming schedule where we will come out competent programmer. I'm on his camp about this. I'm not sure what field I'd like to enter but I'd like to come out a very strong programmer. Without work experience, programming is the skill I like to play to my strength in front of my employers.

So what do you think, is one semester enough to become a strong programmer? My opinion is that at least, some programming course should be offered as elective. I hope to come out of Baruch and be able to program better than the Polytech guys, on par with the NYU,CU MFE guys and with some effort, comparable with the CMU guys. If I have to take 4 required course and one C++ elective course, then that what I'll do to achieve my goal.
 
Keep it in mind that this is not a program of MASTER OF SCIENCE IN PROGRAMMING though. What is really the big picture here, anyone?
 
Bridgett said:
Keep it in mind that this is not a program of MASTER OF SCIENCE IN PROGRAMMING though. What is really the big picture here, anyone?
[raising hand] Dear Teacher, it is APPLIED MATH for FINANCE.
But isn't programming the most marketable, obvious skill for the graduates of these MFE program? And no matter where you go, some programming will be part of your job? If you like no programming at all, aren't you going to MBA?
Some planning to go into Finance will take more Finance elective course. Some planning to go into hard core programming quant field will take.... :smt017 ...oh wait...there is none.
Choices, more choices...please teacher. :smt027
 
Bridgett said:
Keep it in mind that this is not a program of MASTER OF SCIENCE IN PROGRAMMING though. What is really the big picture here, anyone?

That's why it should be an elective course. If someone is not looking to get a position which involves programming he or she will choose some other course in Finance.
 
Andy said:
If you stayed late after the Orientation on Tues and talked to Mr. Greg Ciresi, you would be informed that he will be teaching an elective course in Spring 2007 in the area of Risk Statistic.

This is great news, even though I am scheduled to graduate in December, I would seriously consider take this class. I have taken some classes with Greg, his classes are always fun.

Greg has been pushing hard to install a 3-semester programming schedule where we will come out competent programmer. I'm on his camp about this. I'm not sure what field I'd like to enter but I'd like to come out a very strong programmer. Without work experience, programming is the skill I like to play to my strength in front of my employers.

So what do you think, is one semester enough to become a strong programmer? My opinion is that at least, some programming course should be offered as elective. I hope to come out of Baruch and be able to program better than the Polytech guys, on par with the NYU,CU MFE guys and with some effort, comparable with the CMU guys. If I have to take 4 required course and one C++ elective course, then that what I'll do to achieve my goal.

An alternative would be to incorporate computational (C++) elements into other the (applied) courses in our program.
 
I agree with the elective concept. I personally feel that programming is a marketable skill yet with all of the outsourcing going on, it may disappear. Yes you will need people who understand the concepts of programming etc. but I do not think this is the future. In my company the group in charge of creating the models that we use to price bonds (methodology group) is supposedly moving away from programming since we do have a fixed income developers group. Instead the methodology group will focus on designing algorithms that the developers will actually code and that evaluators (thats my group) will use. Having said all this I do hope to improve my programming(or lack thereof) skills in the AMF program. It also depends on what you plan on doing. If you work at a small company you may be required to do all and know all. If you work at a large company you are a small cog so you will have to know a small part. I plan on doing risk management where programming should be minimal so for me 1 semester should be enough.
 
John said:
I have taken some classes with Greg, his classes are always fun.
Yes, I know what you mean. You can not guess what he will throw at you the next minute. His style can be said as "throw them to the wolves" kind; this is the real world kind. I enjoy his class very much and I learn a lot.
An alternative would be to incorporate computational (C++) elements into other the (applied) courses in our program.
Or having Dave teaching the second course by himself. Dave is very organized, his notes are so well written that one knows exactly what to do to perform the tasks. Having Greg and Dave teaching the same class is perfect but now with Greg teaching the other class, I think the second best thing is having Dave next Spring.
 
We do have C++ in our classes (we had 2 programs we had to write in Advanced Calc). Now the question is did you use classes, objects functions or did you do what I tend to do (i.e. code, get result and then improve the program after the result)
 
John said:
This is great news, even though I am scheduled to graduate in December, I would seriously consider take this class. I have taken some classes with Greg, his classes are always fun.
After talking to Greg and some current students during orientation I will consider taking as many courses tought by Greg as possible. His lectures are very practical and useful in the real world.
John said:
An alternative would be to incorporate computational (C++) elements into other the (applied) courses in our program.
The computationa elements using C++ are already there. Even in the Calculus refresher we had to code C++. On the other hand, professor teaching numerical methods is not going to teach us debugging techincs for C++ etc.
 
John said:
An alternative would be to incorporate computational (C++) elements into other the (applied) courses in our program.
From my conversations with Jay during the C++ refresher, I have an impression that C++ will be used almost in every course. That said, the number of hours doing coding is huge but the number of hours actually learning C++ is not comparable if we only have one class.

Also, Greg plans to teach us debugging, CVS, XP (extreme programming)...I'm very excited to have him as our instructor. This is a big advantage of our program compared to others. Other programs will have some big shot PhD guys teaching us textbook stuff while Greg will teach us things he encouters at work.

Like Max, I'd like to take many of Greg's class, specially if it involves programming.
RussianMike said:
We do have C++ in our classes (we had 2 programs we had to write in Advanced Calc). Now the question is did you use classes, objects functions or did you do what I tend to do (i.e. code, get result and then improve the program after the result)
Even though I did a quick and dirty code to get my result, I don't think that's the correct way to do it. How about if we need to expand our code to price different bonds, options with various maturity duration. The last program only works with that specific data...no more, no less. I do not plan to write a code to work in a specific case the next time. As Greg said: "Think modular, modular, modular".
 
On the portion of the Baruch website describing the program, there is a comment to the effect that people who come out of the program will most likely end up in a more programming oriented job or a more finance oriented one. With regard to programming, this fact should be kept in mind for those of us who already know we do not want a job in programming. I agree that extra programming courses should be offered as electives. I just want enough programming made manadatory so that the Baruch program is equal to or exceeds the other top FE programs across the country.
 
I want enough programming to be able to write algorithms, that is why I like the elective route. Also C++ programming is a requirement to get in so we all have some background in programming(1 class, experience)
 
A side note regarding programming in our program is that in the two Dr. Raynes structured finance courses, students will do quite of bit of coding in Excel VBA. Our group toyed with the idea of creating compiled C++ code to speed up the computationally-intensice, Monte Carlo simulation portion of the algorithm. In the end, we stayed within a pure VBA environment for convenience since there were already enough complexities to worry about in the Asset-backed securities model (several layers of loops).

This is an example of potentially incorporating C++ into a course albeit at our own initiative.
 
RussianMike said:
I want enough programming to be able to write algorithms, that is why I like the elective route.
It depends on how you define "enough". I'd rather take more than the minumum required. Being a competitive person, I'd like to come out and say with confidence that I can program as good as any MFE graduate. I'm pushing the issue sometimes but well, what do i have to loose. :smt102
 

alain

Older and Wiser
I think that as long we have programming tasks in all the other classes, we should be ok. We need to apply the programming in the classes that we take. It helps to understand the concepts when they are applied, at least for me. I can see things clearer.

I feel a little disappointed but I understand the reasons behind it.
 
John said:
A side note regarding programming in our program is that in the two Dr. Raynes structured finance courses, students will do quite of bit of coding in Excel VBA.

Was VBA taught in the class or were you all expected to know it already.
 
frankm1342 said:
John said:
A side note regarding programming in our program is that in the two Dr. Raynes structured finance courses, students will do quite of bit of coding in Excel VBA.

Was VBA taught in the class or were you all expected to know it already.

My recommendation would be to learn VBA beforehand since it is not terrible difficult vis-a-vis C++. Moreover, since this is a structured finance course, Dr. Raynes will not teach VBA but rather the core SF stuff (legal, structure, cash flow, etc.) He does give you excellent notes and even some sample VBA codes.
 
frankm1342 said:
Was VBA taught in the class or were you all expected to know it already.
Frank, either John or Jimmy once told me that Excel/VBA is used heavily in this program and in the industry (I'm sure you know that too well). It does not appear to me that we will spend any time in class to do VBA 101 so students need to pick it up in their own time. We will need to hit the ground running with many of the skills (not neccessary a bad thing).

Once upon a time on Quantnet, there was some guy running a VBA workshop for the current students. See here http://www.quantnet.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=34
We need to get the experts among us to run one soon. Who volunteers?
 
Why dont we have a VBA refresher next summer or in January(so as not to interfere with regular classes)? When does one take the Structured Finance Class? I think ideally we should take it/have it before the classes where we will use it.
 
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