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Comment You can sell philosophy (Score 1) 266

I started programming professionally about 2 years ago. Before that, my education was all in Philosophy, like your friend.

In general, although businesses SAY that they want someone with a CS degree, it hasn't really stopped me - I apply for the job anyway, and then talk about how I think the philosophy degree actually helps. My first job programming came because I went to a Ruby on Rails conference, and at the end they had a jobs board where employers could write their name if they were looking for someone, and potential employees could write their information if they wanted a job. So I wrote my name on the board, and was contact in a few days and offered a position as a Rails software developer. I had no professional experience doing programming, but I was able to sell the philosophy background as being relevant.

So my advice is twofold:

1) Think about ways his background actually helps (for example, being able to conceptualize well and think through the logic of things are very well trained in a philosophy programming).

2) Go to conferences and programming groups. There are groups in every city, you just have to find them.

If your friend is looking for some other tech job, not necessarily a programming one, I imagine the same advice applies.

Comment Re:I think this is a good thing (Score 1) 386

I know this is Slashdot and nobody RTFA, but it's a new low if you post an article that you didn't even read, and then comment based on your misinformation. The government did not infect people with Syphilis in the Tuskegee experiments. The people in the study already had syphilis before they walked in the door. The ethical violation was that the researchers did not tell the participants that they had syphilis, and also did not treat them for that syphilis despite knowing about it and that there was a readily available treatment.

Submission + - Computers to mark English essays

digitig writes: "According to The Guardian newspaper, computers are to be used in the UK to mark English examination essays. According to the article, "Pearson, the American-based parent company of Edexcel, is to use computers to "read" and assess essays for international English tests in a move that has fuelled speculation that GCSEs and A-levels will be next". Can computers now understand all the subtle nuances of language, or are people going to have to learn an especially bland form of English to pass exams?"

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