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basic IQ can be measured.
And it is subject to the Flynn effect. So saying "It can be measured" hardly invalidates the idea that a better model of intelligence for aged brains will incorporate the various other things that are affecting the measurement.
A degree matters only insofar as you try to meet people who are interesting and interested in what you want to do. Research your professors. Join the CS club. Join the math club. Join the Fine Arts faculty for whatever social events they hold, because some of those people can do your site design, or your art, or help you understand how visual thinking works. Meet people. You need to behave as if you are interested in what you are doing. If you are interested, and if you apply yourself to those interests, then you will find that your degree benefits you.
If you're doing a program online, then you need to engage with people a different way - look at the teams behind tools you like, and reach out to them via forums. Participate in communities that cater to your field. Meet people who are launching web startups nearby.
Find people. Meet them. Engage with them. This is the work you will be doing for a long time, so get started on it.
You save the $5k on using cheaper hardware in Dev, but cost them $50k in downtime because that difference causes a bug to be exposed in Prod.
The problem with choosing the number $5k is that $5k is nothing. Spending a quarter mill to save a million down the road makes sense, but you just try making the case to the business some time.
1. If it was good enough for Einstein, it's good enough for you. Spend a little time reading patents. Maybe you'll change the world
2. Congratulations to Spolsky and Atwood, because damn