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Comment: Re:Idiots (Score 2) 205

by VorpalRodent (#47615007) Attached to: MIT Considers Whether Courses Are Outdated

I was talking with a friend who recently went back to school. He has a degree which doesn't remotely relate to anything he wants to do, and decided that he wanted a computer science degree. But then he shifted gears - he was saying "I could stop after getting the minor, and save all the extra money from the additional year I'd have to go". His logic is that all the interviews he's gone to have asked him whether he's had SQL, Unix, etc. experience. Now that he's been exposed to those, he figures that's it, now he can be hired as a professional software engineer. There seems to be this misconception that if only he had these couple checkboxes ticked, he'd be fine.

Being well rounded isn't about hitting all the checkboxes (or in the case of the summary, getting the appropriate modules). It's about everything that isn't explicitly in those checkboxes. It's about seeing how all those things relate to one another in useful and sometimes unintuitive ways. It's about being able to take everything and go and do something new.

In school, a professor told me that what they were teaching wasn't for our first job out of college, but for our third. It's a bit oversimplified, but it's more or less valid. You get well rounded not so you can handle the stuff that they hire you for initially, but so that as you advance along your career path, you have some scaffolding on which to put all the other things that you learn along the way.

Comment: Homeland Security (Score 3, Insightful) 55

by VorpalRodent (#47477625) Attached to: More Forgotten Vials of Deadly Diseases Discovered

So, the department that pretends to keep me safe on airplanes is now also the one that pretends to keep me safe from deadly airborne pathogens?

Why is the CDC not holding on to these for safekeeping? Their obvious failure here notwithstanding, I'd think that this is more their bailiwick than DHS's.

What this country needs is a good five dollar plasma weapon.