Almost 70% of the students that participated had minimal to no coding experience (0 - 2 years), prior to coming into UW. It goes to show that years of programming knowledge is not required to be admitted into CS / CFM / CS/BBA at UW.
Most people stayed on track with their original plans, but it’s not unheard of for students to delay their graduation date due to retaking failed classes, gap terms, completing minors, etc. Students are also able to shorten their undergraduate career through various ways such as removing co-op from their degree. It's normal to diverge from the planned route for your degree!
The class favours VS Code, a versatile and customizable code editor. This is no surprise as VS Code is known to be a sweet spot between Vim and more complex IDEs like IntelliJ. It's fast, lightweight, easy to use, powerful with its extensions, and offers a plethora of themes. Shout out to the one Microsoft Word user out there!
The favourite programming language award for the class of 2022 goes to… PYTHON! No surprise here - it reads the most like English. C++ is a very notable language as a part of the CS program; thus, it’s no surprise it comes in second. It looks like we’ve come a long way from the days of Racket in first year!
85%+ of individuals that participated in the survey know 4 or more languages. It's evident that, as students take more internships and classes, they learn more programming languages, especially in a field that is continuously evolving!
MacOS and Windows are the predominant operating systems used by our respondents. Each OS provides its own benefits, capabilities, and downsides. As such, choosing the right operating system largely boils down to personal preference and comfort for daily use or programming. We can establish that UNIX based OS (MacOS and Linux) are favoured by our respondents, due to the various tools and features that cater to programmers.
It seems like the class really enjoyed their humanities courses! Perhaps this is due to the stark contrast between the content of courses that belong in this category compared to their mandatory math and computer science courses. The refreshing subject matter, combined with the overall ease of the courses, makes for some of students' favourite electives. For context, these electives are a part of the computer science degrees at UW due to breadth and depth requirements for graduation.
There are lots of amazing non-math electives mentioned in the list, with MUSIC 140, MUSIC 246, and CLAS 104 being crowd favourites!
CS 343 and CS 486 both tied up in first place. CS 343 teaches concurrent parallel programming while CS 486 delves into the realm of artificial intelligence. Both are very interesting courses, exploring niche aspects of computer science! CS 246 is the third most popular CS course for the class of 2022. This course introduces object-oriented programming, a fundamental programming paradigm that is used in many places. No wonder this course is so well-liked!
CS 245, Logic and Computation, was the least favourite CS course students took by large margin. It can probably be explained by its difficulty, the theoretical focus of the course, the content being less applicable outside of class, plus it being a core CS course. As of December 2022, the course has a 28% liked rating on UWFlow. Coming in second place is CS 348, Introduction to Database Management, which has a 36% liked rating on UWFlow. Some common complaints of these courses include organization of the course and how interesting the course content is.
CS 341, Algorithms, was deemed the most useful CS core course for job preparation according to respondents. This could be linked to how common software engineering positions are among computing students, and how LeetCode practice is crucial for passing technical interviews! Meanwhile, CS 246, Object-Oriented Software Development, is ranked second. This can be correlated with students ranking it as one of their favourite CS classes!
45% of the class has taken at least 1 advanced/enriched course before their graduation. Advanced and enriched courses have a reputation to be time-consuming and contain much more difficult course material, which can already be hard in the first place! However, for those seeking an academic challenge or are curious about math and computer science topics, this deeper dive into the content can be worth the additional struggle. Additionally, many students claim that some courses are simply taught better. Ultimately, it is up to every individual student to decide what they are capable of and desire. Looks like most of the participants were not afraid to take on this challenge!
Advanced/enriched CS courses are rated pretty high overall, and it looks like most respondents decide to take them in earlier terms. Trying out advanced courses early and seeing if they’re right for you can be a good strategy to figure out what you’re comfortable with before the workload starts ramping up.
The class of 2022 would like to give a shout out to Alice Gao, Carmen Bruni, Lesley Istead, and Brad Lushman as some of the best professors at UW! Go read their ratings UWFlow! We would also like to give an honourable mention to every professor who has poured their passion into teaching. This has helped the CS Class of 2022 grow and succeed! You guys are all amazing! ❤️
Second year seems to be the hardest year for most respondents with a whooping 52% of respondents agreeing on this. 2B has the second highest vote which comparatively makes the later terms look almost relaxing…🤔
The majority of people did their best in 1A and their worst in 1B, 2A, or 2B, likely because of the mandatory challenging computer science and math courses that lie around that period of time. Students started getting better grades in 3A, correlating with the term difficulty question. As a clarification, CAV stands for Cumulative Average.
Most people tend to complete their degree without failing a course, but clearly it's not over if you have failed some.
50% of the students have completed some form of option, specialization, or minor during their undergrad. These are ways you can add qualifications to your degree using the electives that you have. That's what they mean when they say you can customize your CS degree!
I was interested in business at the time, and I wanted to avoid Breadth & Depth
The business option allowed me to skip breadth and depth
No breadth + depth in the option
Interest; I like learning
Exploring the more mathematical side of computation
Overlap in requirements from CFM, also no breadth and depth requirements.
It was easy to add the minor, I figured why not. Plus, I use stats in my work
I came to university wanting to do a pure math major. I added CS because it has great job prospects.
The required coursework interested me.
I am horny for pure math
I like Number Theory
enjoyed the courses
I enjoyed math courses during my first and second year
Because CS is pretty boring by itself
I like music
No breadth and depth requirement
I enjoyed taking MATH 239
Only a few extra courses, I really enjoyed the required courses in the departments, and having a minor in “combinatorics and optimization” just sounds super cool B)
To make getting a visa easier
Took a bunch of courses on the option's list originally, then realized I could just fill in the rest of the courses
Interest in the field after CO250
Just to add a specialization
I just think that learning CS will be much more interesting if I complement it with more mathematics in form of Pure Math; in fact, I have stronger math background than CS background. It also helps with the upper-year CS courses I ended up taking.
Enjoyed the subject
Contained many courses I wanted to take anyway
I like hardware
It’s my calling
UW academic terms can already be challenging; however, over 45% of participants were able to overload at least 1 term. 20% of students overloaded 3 or more terms. 🤯
23% of respondents transferred into their current program, which is a surprisingly high number. We can assume that the majority, if not all, of the people that transferred programs transferred into CS as getting into CS/BBA and CFM after initial applications can be exceedingly difficult.
Most transfers came from Math and CFM. Math and CS share a lot of courses through the first year of the degree, which might have resulted in many of those students pursuing their passion for CS directly by transferring. CFM transfers may be due to students disliking the finance side of their degree.
Most of the transfers occurred during 2A and 2B terms, which makes sense since students have time to re-evaluate their academic/career path after spending a year in their original program.
Program interest, flexible course requirements, and a flexible schedule were the most common reasons people transferred into their current program. Many respondents also justified their transfer due to future job prospects and to avoid mandatory courses in their original program. With so many industries relying on technology, it's no wonder computing degrees are so in demand!
Students can apply to the exchange program starting in their second year to experience studying abroad for a term! Note that exchange does not necessarily imply switching schools with another student. It seems that not many students took exchange terms from this sample.
Only 7% of students decided to take an exchange term during their undergrad with most students going during their 3A and 4B terms. Unfortunately, 21% of students were interested in going on an exchange term but were interrupted and unable to go due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Only three people declared exactly where their exchange term was.
With the severity of the pandemic restrictions in Canada extending from the beginning of 2020 until 2022, it is understandable that most 2022 graduates’ exchange terms were interrupted. Unfortunately, our results show that a lot more people would have gone on exchange if it wasn’t for the pandemic.
Making new friends
The complications of COVID
Hopefully more students in future classes will have the chance to experience cool opportunities like these as well.
치맥 at the Han River
Lots of biking