Academic Honor Code Violations

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Computer Science students are constantly getting into trouble for lifting entire blocks of code from the Internet.
Yesterday, the New York Times published a fascinating piece about academic dishonesty in the computer sience field, which it says is rampant.
Here’s some eye-catching figures. At UC Berkley, 100 out of a cohort of 700 computer science students were discovered to have used code that wasn’t entirely their own. At Brown University, almost half of all academic honor code violations involve CompSci students. Elsewhere at Purdue University, two students were caught after they handed in projects that had 100 identical lines of code.
It’s not a new phenomenon either. In 2010, Ars Technica reported that 22-percent of all honor code violations
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When you’re a professional coder, the priority isn’t to demonstrate originality with each line and algorithm, but rather to complete tasks as efficiently as possible.
In practice, this means consulting sites like Stack Overflow and Reddit, in order to solve the problems you are unable to. Within a workplace context, plagiarism isn’t a vice, but a skill. It takes aptitude and understanding in order to look at how someone solved a problem, and integrate it into your own code.
There’s a certain irony that, in fields outside of computer science, plagiarism is a sign that you didn’t understand the question. Within computer science, the opposite is true. Not only have you found an acceptable solution, you’ve understood it enough to use it within the parameters of your own project.
Or, as the writer T.S. Elliot once said:
“Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.”
Universities aren’t teaching job skills
This debate surrounding plagiarism is indicative of a wider discussion going on about the role universities play in training the next generation of
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Ideally, this would look like the now-ubiquitous software development bootcamps that have sprung up everywhere.
This line of thought has its supporters. In 2008, Stack Overflow founder Jeff Atwood penned an article that argued for the reformation of computer science university programs in relation to present-day industry requirements.
The same year, CrossTalk — a defense software engineering publication — argued that computer science education was failing to teach basic professional skills.
Interestingly, it said that the practice of teaching Java as a first language was partially to blame. This is an argument I’ve got a lot of sympathy for, myself.
“It is our view that Computer Science (CS) education is neglecting basic skills, in particular in the areas of programming and formal methods. We consider that the general adoption of Java as a first programming language is in part responsible for this decline.”
So, what would an ideal programming course look like?
Not only would these focus on teaching the fundamental skills required to be a developer, but would also emphasize the professional skills that are required

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