From Degree to Developer: the Creation and Evolution of a CS Course Designed to Bridge the Academia-Industry Gap
This program is tentative and subject to change.
Computer science graduates seeking a career in software engineering often find themselves inadequately prepared for the challenge demanded by technical interviews, as the interview questions frequently transcend the scope of standard data structures and algorithms courses. Thus, after spending four years pursuing a specialized degree, many graduates begrudgingly purchase technical interview crash courses and allocate an additional two or three months in interview preparation, effectively studying the equivalent of what otherwise could have been an advanced course in applied algorithms and data structures. This paper outlines our journey in designing and evolving a structured computer science course aimed at bridging this academia-industry divide. We detail our collaboration with industry experts to enhance course outcomes and present a retrospective analysis spanning five years of continuous improvement efforts. This course primarily targets third and fourth-year undergraduate students and covers the precise topics found within technical interviews, with a focus on both implementation and running time analysis. Student performance from the most recent offerings indicates a significant improvement in the course learning outcomes, and indirect assessment reflected this success, with students feeling both confident and empowered to excel in interviews and beyond.