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Microsoft Education

Bill Gates to Finally Receive His Harvard Degree 336

coondoggie writes "It's not like he needs it to beef up his résumé, but the world's richest college dropout finally is getting his degree. Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft, will speak at Harvard University's commencement ceremony in June and, like all commencement speakers, will receive an honorary degree from the institution. It's hard to guess if Gates, the wealthiest person in the world and co-founder of a company that brought in $44 billion in revenue last year, cares. But the programming whiz who once dropped out of Harvard will likely feel some sense of satisfaction."
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Bill Gates to Finally Receive His Harvard Degree

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  • by Paolo DF ( 849424 ) on Friday March 23, 2007 @04:11AM (#18455567)
    I don't think so.
    Recently somewhere I read that there was a 'driving game' in some msdos distribution, and that it was awful (at best). Well, BillyG thought it was good enough to stamp his name in the credits for programming.
  • by sarahbau ( 692647 ) on Friday March 23, 2007 @04:52AM (#18455713)

    Seems like it would be a better process to work in your desired field for a few years, then go for the degree.
    I originally dropped out of college, and worked a few jobs somewhat in my field, but when I wanted to move into anything more, I always got responses like "while your resume shows a lot of the experience we're looking for, you don't have a degree." I wouldn't even get interviews most of the time, just because I didn't have a piece of paper that said I know how to learn. It didn't matter that I had 2-3 times the experience they were looking for. So I decided to go back to school. Now that I'm more mature, and more experienced, I think I'm getting more out of school than I would have if I had stayed in the first time around.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 23, 2007 @05:36AM (#18455913)
    People who never went to university almost invariably always miss the point. You do not go to a challenging school to learn direct skills you would need to do any particular job, and that is true even for ultra specialist disciplines like a pediatrics.

    It is comparable to saying why go to a gym and work out every other day, lifting weights in some prescribed motion and good form, when you know that loading up a truck will never use those same motions.

    Replace muscle above with brain and you get the idea. You go to a challenging school to do gymnastics of the brain, to learn to think, to learn to do your own research, to discover, to grow, to become better than just the skills a corporation may want today.

    I went for a degree in pure math, and subsequently masters in pure math as well. Will I ever actually use any of that skill in my job (software developer)? Not in a million years. But, did I ever encounter a problem that I felt my brain just wasn't ready to cope with and could not think of a solution in my daily job? No, never. Actually, programming itself is absolutely un-challenging compared to math study.
  • by Framboise ( 521772 ) on Friday March 23, 2007 @06:07AM (#18456067)
    From this page everything becomes limpid: ooms/maxw.jsp [] : "The Maxwell Dworkin building was built with funds donated by Microsoft Chairman William H. Gates III and Microsoft President Steven A. Ballmer, both members of the Class of 1977, in memory of their mothers, Mary Maxwell Gates and Beatrice Dworkin Ballmer. Maxwell Dworkin building opened in 1999 and, with its extensive office and laboratory space, will allow Harvard to double the size of its computer science faculty over the next several years."
  • Re:Rich man's GED (Score:2, Interesting)

    by joshetc ( 955226 ) on Friday March 23, 2007 @06:08AM (#18456077)
    Most people strive to become sucessful to spite the fact that they have no degree. Myself included. I would absolutely refuse one should someone attempted to offer it to me.

    That said, being Bill Gates might be a different story. Hes got enough money to buy the damn school.
  • by CaptainBJones ( 895857 ) on Friday March 23, 2007 @08:07AM (#18456717)
    You say that like its funny... I got a call from some recruiter (who saw my resume online w/ vista listed) that had a job opening (for a "major national software & storage company") that required a minimum of three years managing a mixed Windows Vista, XP and Linux envrionment. When I challenged him on the vista part since it has not been out that long he said he would call his client and see if the would be willing to waive the vista requirement. The recruiter called back the next day and said his client was admimant about the three years of vista experience and more was a plus. I thanked him for the offer but declined it. I bet that company will be looking for a couple of years to find someone...
  • Re:Rich man's GED (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Raffaello ( 230287 ) on Friday March 23, 2007 @08:42AM (#18456995)
    Programming "whiz" [sic] is right - like cheese whiz. It was Paul Allen who was the wizard programmer, not Gates, who was always the businessman. Of course they wanted the colloquial abbreviation "wiz."
  • The other day my bf B. was telling me about a low-level tech candidate he had interviewed for some support work in his department. The guy had a great-looking resume that consisted mainly of "in-the-industry" experience. He "implemented" this, "organized" that...B. asked him about 20 questions in all. Mix-n-match. From very basic, to very complex issues, and no theoretical, textbook stuff. You had to be there to fix it. It was appropriate, given that this dude ws claiming most of his qualifications from field experience.

    He managed to answer from 20, oh, about one question. He got stumped on 19 other problems that he was supposed to be at least familiar with. His resume was a hoax. The "implementation" entries apparently meant that he carried PCs around for some project. No, really.

    It's hard to properly qualify this type of candidate. This is how sometimes morons get hired into companies, and end up being a drain of resources and a problem waiting to happen, that most often their peers or boss will have to fix. Morons get stuck into jobs in the next cube beside people like you and me and they entail an ugly and exhausting cycle of damage control. All this to say, a college degree will at least indicate that the candidate is not a bum-off-the-street building a CV on fabrications, trickery and subterfuge. Saves time for most employers IMO. And if the person has proved that they can learn in school, they can likely learn and train to do well on the job.

"To take a significant step forward, you must make a series of finite improvements." -- Donald J. Atwood, General Motors