Technology changes at an extremely fast pace. One might even say that it changes every day. So shouldn’t universities keep up?
Back in college when I was studying I.T. I used to just take whatever material the professor gave us. But looking back now, I realize how much of it was so outdated it makes me cringe.
I Learned Something Today! No, Not Really
If you gained knowledge or learned a skill that the world doesn’t really care about anymore, did you really learn something? Here are some of the things that should no longer be used and taught to anyone studying in the field of I.T.
Deprecated Language Elements
A lot of lectures we’ve been given were riddled with deprecated HTML tags. The most frequent to appear were:
The reason these have been deprecated is mainly because we have CSS now. The first 3 items in the list above are 5 old presentational tags. They style the appearance of the HTML in a certain way. The problem with those tags is that they severely clutter up the structure of your page. Since they’re in the same space like that, whether you are changing the structure or the presentation of your page, either way it will be very tedious. Nowadays - thanks to CSS - we are now able to separate the structure and presentation.
In our PHP classes literally ALL of the material still contained the
mysql_ functions. During that time they were only deprecated, but at the time of writing this, PHP 7 has already been released and these functions have been completely removed which means they simply won’t work anymore.
In another one of our classes we needed to learn Photoshop, which is good. And we also needed to learn Flash, which is terrible. The reason why I say that is because Flash is an already dying technology. If you do a Google search right now with the keywords flash and dying I’m sure that several articles describing the slow and painful death of Adobe Flash will come up. I won’t be going into detail on why Flash is becoming irrelevant, if you want to know more go ahead and read any articles you find.
In that class we were required to design a logo with Photoshop and an animated website header with Flash. Even though I already knew that Flash was a no-no back then, I was forced to add the flash header to the website against my better judgement.
Code Editors? I Use Notepad
Now this one in particular isn’t about outdated technology, it’s more about using better tools to make learning and working on projects easier. When I first discovered Notepad++ I loved it (NOTE: I use Sublime Text and Atom now). It was so much better than the Windows Notepad, but it’s still beginner-friendly, it’s not too complex compared to other feature-packed code editors, and it’s FREE. I installed it on the university computers using the zip version to bypass restrictions. It was then that I asked myself, “Why don’t they have this on all the computers?” surely that could easily be done since there aren’t any issues like cost and restrictions on how many times you can copy and install it. Why has no one jumped on this yet?
Can You Blame Them?
At the end of the day, it is the responsibility of both the provider and the recipient of the information to verify how recent and accurate it is. So no, I can’t blame them, but I still think and hope that they could do better.