TITLE: Computer Science Everywhere, Military Edition AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: January 09, 2015 3:40 PM DESC: ----- BODY:
Military Operations Orders are programs that are executed by units. Code re-use and other software engineering principles applied regularly to these.
An alumnus of my department, a CS major-turned-military officer, wrote those lines in an e-mail responding to my recent post, A Little CS Would Help a Lot of College Grads. Contrary to what many people might imagine, he has found what he learned in computer science to be quite useful to him as an Army captain. And he wasn't even a programmer:
One of the biggest skills I had over my peers was organizing information. I wasn't writing code, but I was handling lots of data and designing systems for that data. Organizing information in a way that was easy to present to my superiors was a breeze and having all the supporting data easily accessible came naturally to me.
Skills and principles from software engineering and project development apply to systems other than software. They also provide a vocabulary for talking about ideas that non-programmers encounter every day:
I did introduce my units to the terms border cases, special cases, and layers of abstraction. I cracked a smile every time I heard those terms used in a meeting.
Excel may not be a "real programming language", but knowing the ways in which it is a language can make managers of people and resources more effective at what they do. For more about how a CS background has been useful to this officer, check out CS Degree to Army Officer, a blog entry that expands on his experiences. -----