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Comment No degree != No theory (Score 1) 612

I'm a college dropout. I've worked at several companies, from large and well-known (SDE at Amazon, among others) to small and unheard of. I worked in the industry while in school, and dropped out of school when it became clear that continuing it wasn't going to help anything.

When I dropped out I had a 2.8. I did terribly in classes because I didn't care about things like homework, and because I was spending my time working. I read technical books for fun, and not just language references. I read books on concurrent programming, on language design, on data structures and algorithms, on data mining.. the list goes on. And in technical interviews and my job, I excel in these areas. I'm language-agnostic, and have used C#, Java, and Perl professionally.

And let's be clear: I'm not special or particularly smart. I just took the time to learn, except I did it outside of a classroom where the professor regurgitated the textbook at a lectern. Let's not pretend you need school to study. The only classes from which I benefited in college were non-required classes where we worked on group projects in OOP and design patterns.

Everyone here on both sides of the "debate" seem to assume that lacking a degree implies some lack of fundamentals and theory, that someone with just a high school diploma (or less) is a self-taught nightmare that doesn't know what big O notation is. Dropping out isn't a sign of lack of effort that will translate to the Real World; it's a sign that you think college (at least your college) is stupid (and it wasn't some terrible school, but a top 50 ranked one in CS).

I've worked with people who have degrees whose knowledge of data structures and algorithms is abhorrent, and with other people who don't have degrees who are very skilled. Sure, college will put you in an environment where you can learn the fundamentals, but all you need is a good textbook and someone who knows what they're doing that you can discuss it with.

Just because this company is going to "train their own" doesn't mean they're going to leave out the fundamentals and theory. The school of hard knocks can teach those too.

Comment Re:Environmental Nutters (Score 1) 1190

I don't think the parent was suggesting that everyone who believes in man-made global warming is a nutter. I think there is a large population in the world that believe in man-made global warming because it is trendy, not because of data; just the same, there is an equally large (if not larger) population who believe global warming either does not exist (or is not caused by man) for the same reason.

These are the "dogmatic idiots" on both sides of the issue who hold their professed "beliefs" either because it is popular to do so or taboo not to in their social surroundings. I doubt most of the general populous on either side of the issue could quote you any data on the situation, which makes their all-knowing attitude all the more irritating. Just look at Drudge, who posts stories about global warming protests next to stories about record cold temperatures. Clearly he's missing the point. But so are those that point to those cold temperatures and say, 'well, clearly this indicates climate change.' Neither is a climatologist, and both should shut up. Maybe it's just cold this year.

We should be approaching the issue of global warming from a scientific perspective, not a political one based on "beliefs". Both sides tend toward the latter.

Comment Re:Dr. House Syndrome (Score 1) 1134

I am never an ass to the people I work with. I'm a really nice guy. And I shower, wear normal clothes, and I don't shit in flower pots. But -- I have been subordinate to people who were assholes, and had quirks. They were some of the best people to work for because they cared more about getting the job done than people's feelings. Because their attitude wasn't just about their ego (though it certainly in part was); it was about motivating their subordinates. They don't put up with incompetence or laziness.

Comment Re:I had a "House" ENT do my sinus surgery (Score 1) 1134

"I'd rather" does not imply mutual exclusivity. Allow me to rephrase: Given the choice, I would prefer someone who gets the job done over someone who is tactful. My last ENT was exclusively the former, and the others (as far as I am concerned) were exclusively the latter.

It isn't mutually exclusive for developers either, but given the choice, I think getting the job done should be more highly regarded.

Comment Re:I had a "House" ENT do my sinus surgery (Score 1) 1134

I actually had the same thing happen. I had sinus problems - severe pain - for years, went through several doctors. My last ENT was a dick and had me in and out of surgery one week after my first appointment. I haven't had any problems since. I'd much rather have someone who gets the job done than someone who is tactful.

Comment Re:Precious Snowflakes (Score 1) 1316

There is a gulf of difference between being arrogant and narcissistic and being aware of your abilities. He sounds aware of his abilities, and he is exactly the kind of person I would want to work with on a project.

Self-starters tend to care more about learning than doing well in school. Sometimes doing well in school is a side effect.

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"There is no statute of limitations on stupidity." -- Randomly produced by a computer program called Markov3.