Linked by snydeq on Thu 15th Jul 2010 18:31 UTC
General Development Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister asks whether the need for advanced development expertise is on the decline in an era in which tools grow increasingly more advanced, and coding increasingly moves offshore. 'Few companies share Google's zeal for academic credentials when hiring new developers. Many are willing to accept self-taught programmers, particularly if they have other skills relevant to the business.'
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Breadth is important
by robco74 on Fri 16th Jul 2010 01:32 UTC
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Most successful programmers I've worked with have breadth of skills. I have a friend who is a musician and amateur photographer, that served him well working for companies that develop creative software. Unfortunately with the state of math and science education in K-12 system, a lot of CS students wind up having to play catch-up and are exempted from many breadth requirements. Sometimes the unrelated soft skills are important. It's nice to be excited and interested in technology, but if you have a passion for industry you're working in, that's great too.

I think it also depends on what level you're working at. I've had CS grads tell me that a lot of the theoretical stuff they learned was useless. They don't work designing compilers, file systems or new operating systems. Some have said they would have liked to get more knowledge in business areas like project management. For folks who do want to go hard core into the depths of computing, a CS degree is great. But for those who don't want that, a more interdisciplinary approach to software engineering may be more helpful.

Colleges and universities should be turning out grads with a well-rounded education, but with the course load for programs like CS, it's not always possible, too much catching up on basic math and science.

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