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Comment Re:Time for Microsoft to be sued out of existence (Score 5, Interesting) 272

Personally, I've used MS Office since 2.0. I've taught classes in many versions. If I go boot up Word on my work machine, now, I can't find a flipping thing. It's easier to get around in LibreOffice. And all that time I spent getting good at Office feel like as big a waste of time as VisualBasic.

Comment It's true that it depends... (Score 1) 1086

It depends on how interesting you want your work to be, and how good you want to be at it.

I have been through several levels of Calculus, and, admittedly, have never actually used Calculus in any of my programming jobs; but I didn't get high enough into the theory of things to need it. I did some work with biometric scanners, but not the theory end. I just missed a job programming laser cutters that sounded like it would use fairly decent math. I've had one boss and one teacher who worked at NASA; and I wouldn't expect anything that cool without some serious math.

OTOH, I am pretty good at basic math through trig (partly from the calc classes), and it has been a huge help to me in most of my dev jobs. I've had a few positions alongside non-mathy programmers, and I ran circles around them. I once took a professional developer's code, and reduced dozens of complex lines down to three simple math equations. There was nothing exactly *wrong* with his code (except he was getting a logic bug he couldn't find), but three lines is way easier to maintain, and it's a lot more fun to write.

If you want to do anything with networking, masks are easier to do if you understand boolean logic well. If you want to write games--especially graphics--you can be a lot more efficient if you're good at math (and more efficient=faster). Text manipulation is easier to do when you get things such as capitalizing a letter just means subtracting 32 from it. Twiddling the calendar is easier when you get that a month is 30.6 days, and how that reduces date math to a division and an addition.

So, no; you don't need math--all of that is doable without, as long as you have the libraries, etc--any more than you need to be a good runner to enter a marathon. But being good at math will make you more competitive, and a better programmer, and will give you better tools for problem-solving.

Hiring-wise, I would take a candidate that is good at math over a more experienced one who isn't.

Life is a healthy respect for mother nature laced with greed.

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