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Comment In my 40s... (Score 1) 918

I did not pursue a CS degree, and I guess at this point I wouldn't even consider one, except perhaps for laughs.

I spent my twenties as a journalist and bandsman in the military, then studying music in college. Yeah, music, The Degree That Garners No Wage.


I messed around with computers since my teens. I started programming on TRS-80 Model III systems for a science museum. And I never stopped. Not even when I went to college to study music, not even when I studied journalism. I'm one of *those* guys.

Today, I have 10 years of corporate programming experience under my belt. I worked as a consultant in QA and Tech Support prior to gaining my first programming job, and found those experiences worthwhile. And I've only worked for two projects in those 10 years, which should give you an idea of my retention rate (companies want to hang onto me.. I've even survived several mergers).

Some of the folks who did not make it on my projects had degrees. They had certifications. They did not have experience, and they did not demonstrate competence.

At my last job, none of us were under 30 years old. At my current job, we have a better balance of young vs. old, although the older folks mentor the younger ones.

In my experience, the people with the degree really couldn't think on their feet well enough to write even the simplest bits of software, yet demanded more money. The folks with certifications were even worse. If you displayed either of these on a resume, I would try to figure out if you got it after you gained experience (for the sake of having a degree... I live in an area that often requires a degree as a precondition for employment... stupid government rules). I'd ultimately look at what you can do, not what a piece of paper says.

Oh, age? I don't personally care how old or young you are. If you can do the job, great. If you're older, you can probably work with customers better, because you're likely to be a little more patient (at least up to a point). If you're younger, you're probably willing to try some weird things that might be interesting, and at least have the drive to work at a crazy pace. If I were an employer, I'd figure out how best to make use of your faculties, regardless of age.

Get the degree if you want, but you should really ask if that's the kind of work you want to do. Are you really driven to do this kind of work? If you aren't, you will burn out. This kind of work will consume you very quickly. You must have a passion for it.

The Internet

High-Quality YouTube Videos Coming Soon 134

mlauzon writes with the news that YouTube's co-founder Steve Chen has announced high-quality video streams are in the works for the popular site. He spoke today at the NewTeeVee Live event, discussing the challenges facing the project and when we can expect to see less grainy social videos. "The need to buffer the video before it starts playing will change the experience. Hence the experiment, rather than just a rapid rollout of this technology. On stage, he said the current resolution of YouTube videos has been "good enough" for the site until now. Chen told me he expects that high-quality YouTube videos will be available to everyone within three months. Chen also confirmed that in YouTube's internal archive, all video is stored at the native resolution in which it was sent. However, he said, a large portion of YouTube videos are pretty poor quality to begin with — 320x240. Streaming them in high-quality mode isn't going to help much."
Linux Business

Submission + - Microsoft Claims Patent On Embedded Linux? 1

Preedit writes: This InformationWeek story points out a recent deal between Microsoft and Japanese printer maker Kyocera Mita, under which Kyocera obtained from Microsoft a license to patents used in "certain Linux-based embedded technologies." The question everyone's asking is why Kyocera needs a patent license from Microsoft to develop its embedded Linux products.

Submission + - Citadel becomes the first GPLv3 "Exchange kill (

IGnatius T Foobar writes: "Open source has more than a few "Exchange killer" messaging and collaboration packages to choose from. Some are better than others, and some are "free-er" than others. It's disappointing that some of the ones that look good end up requiring a paid upgrade to a commercial version if you want the full feature set. Happily, the folks at have announced that their system is now end-to-end GPLv3 across the entire code base, making the entire platform available to everyone on the same terms."

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