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Comment Re: Is Coding Computer Science? Of Course! (Score 1) 546

I wouldn't discount hiring a programmer without a degree. I've worked with several excellent--really, truly excellent--programmers that came to the industry without anything other than motivation. But don't tell me that just because out of my 18 years of being academically involved with computers, 4 of those were spent mostly in the classroom that I don't know how to fucking code.

Sure, there's going to be exceptional members of each class. But look at it this way:

Who am I, as a un-degreed programmer, more likely to run into when dealing with someone with a degree - you, or the guy who can't code and who is using his degree as a crutch to bully the people who actually know what they're doing?

Who are you, as a degreed programmer,more likely to run into when dealing with someone without a degree - me, or the guy who just knows how to cargo cult his way through a CRUD web form?

I've taken a strong interest in biology, biochemistry, physics, neuroanatomy, sociology, psychology, history, and abstract math; while I have no major or minor in any of these subjects, I can generally have an interesting discussion about the relative merits of Bohm vs. Everett-Wheeler or the cellular hormone signalling going on in butterfly metamorphosis or the peculiar sociopolitics that influenced the transition from the last Chinese emperor to the pseudo-communist regime. And not everyone who didn't go to college is like that, but generally speaking, neither is everyone who went to college. And I've found that being a college graduate is completely orthogonal to knowing what the hell you're talking about, whether it's within your major or outside it.

But the thing is, if you're coming in as a Lead Developer, and you have a degree, I can't discount the possibility that you got the job on the merit of your degree rather than your skill - so from my perspective, the likelihood that you know how to code is less likely if you have the degree, because it provides an alternate (and regrettably much more salient) hypothesis for how you got here.

Does that make sense?

Comment Re:Experience versus Credentials. (Score 1) 546

I'm just saying I wouldn't have a place for them in my line business, we don't just do run of the mill CRUD stuff, we need people who can genuinely innovate and create great new products and who are driven to constantly improve their skillset to keep pace with that.

Okay, so serious question:

how can someone who used to DREAM of jobs like that, who has become completely disillusioned and beaten down by having to code crappy CRUD work for 15+ years, break out into the kind of work you do?

Comment Re:Experience versus Credentials. (Score 1) 546

It depends on your definition of experience, I had a CV sent to me just the start of this week - "Exceptional candidate, 23 years software development experience" and sure enough there was 23 years professional development employment on his CV. But here's the thing, he was only looking for £40k a year, that rings alarm bells with me, why would someone with such a vast amount of experience only be looking for a mid-level salary at best? after all that time I'd expect him to be looking for at least double that if he was actually any good (I don't buy the argument that maybe he wanted an easier life - I've found the higher you get up the career ladder, the easier it gets, not vice versa).

I've been exactly that guy. 20+ years experience, applying for a US$35K salary.

Because between mental health issues and just being tired of work-related drama, I didn't think I was worth the $120K I used to get.

And yeah, I get that self-confidence and salesmanship go a long way, but they're also really tiring for some people to emulate.

Comment Re: Is Coding Computer Science? Of Course! (Score 1) 546

Congratulations! You have exhibited all the negative stereotypes we associate with non college grads. You may now proceed to explain to us why, if you are so much more intelligent than us, you are so dissatisfied with your life relative to ours.

Because my parents couldn't afford to send me through college, and I was too busy coding in junior high and high school to keep my grades up or network with the right people.

Comment Re: Is Coding Computer Science? Of Course! (Score 3, Interesting) 546

As someone without a BS in anything, I've actually found the opposite.

Yes, people who are self-taught often have gaps in our knowledge, but we tend to be *much* faster at filling those gaps. Also, the fact that we acquired all the knowledge we did without a college degree indicates that we are motivated to fill those gaps ourselves.

It is very likely that there are things we have not been exposed to, even if we match your 15 years' experience as a software engineer. However, upon exposure, I am willing to bet that we will beat you soundly at rapid acquisition and assimilation of knowledge - especially since, if you've been in the field for 15 years, your degree is over 15 years old. Which means that plenty of things which are new to me will be new to you, too.

You're absolutely right that you'll never have to compete for a job with someone that does not have a bachelor's degree. I, on the other hand, have to compete with people like you for the right to do my damn job all the time, because you're absolutely convinced that four years in a university beat four years actually in the field working on real-world problems, while voraciously consuming papers and books, and while corresponding with experts in the field - because unlike you, my tools were not handed to me by a university; I had to build them myself.

None of which translates well to a bureaucracy-approved stamp I can stick on my resume, so you're right - good on you. You'll get fast-tracked to management, where you'll continue to pretend like you know what you're doing more than I do, where you continue to ignore my explanations of why your harebrained ideas won't work, and where you'll continue to get me fired when they fail in exactly the way I warned you they would. You've certainly got it all figured out.

Except how to fucking code.

Comment Cargo-Cult Sociology (Score 4, Insightful) 221

"I don't know why it's important for physical sports to have gender segregation, but they do it and people recognize them as legitimate! If we segregate by gender, maybe that's what will make people recognize us as legitimate!"

Just like in programming, this line of thinking clearly translates down to "I have no idea what I'm doing, and I have no idea what the consequences of these choices are, but I'm just going to bang at things until something works or everything breaks."

(Spoiler alert: usually, everything breaks.)

Comment Re:When you can't innovate... (Score 1) 140

Burning the bridges the trolls live under? Patent reform? Thorough review of ALL patents to see if they make sense? Force Microsoft to disclose ALL patents they feel might be infringed?

All of this would require a MASSIVE amount of lobbying to accomplish, and therefore a MASSIVE amount of money.

How do you currently get massive amounts of money?

Therefore, what incentive do people who currently have massive amount of money have, to make the changes you propose?

Comment Re:And hippies will protest it (Score 2) 396

No, becasue the only food they can afford is salt laden fatty food.
Remember most pore people work full time jobs and still are at the poverty line. So no time, and not money, and limited education.

And massively high cortisol stress levels, which - when combined with the food desert - will muck up people's metabolism in short order.

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