DEV Community


Discussion on: What Are the Most Important CS Principles to Learn as a New Dev from a Non-Traditional Background?

bradtaniguchi profile image

I 100% agree with Big 0, but not calculus.
As someone who struggled greatly with calculus, and had to try very hard to get through it. I can firmly say I haven't use calculus professionally what-so-ever.

I can see it coming in handy if your doing physics, but if your not making game engines you probably wont need calculus.

rikkepeterzen profile image
Rikke K. Petersen

If you struggle with calculus (like me) I can really recommend the book Infinite Powers: The Story of Calculus - the Language of the Universe by Steven Strogatz. It is an easy to read (I am dyslexic) and fun book, which explains calculus in a more meaningfull way.

kennycoc profile image
Kenneth Cochran

Alternatively, the people that learned calculus enough to apply day to day have a secret advantage over you that you'll never know about

Thread Thread
bradtaniguchi profile image

Its possible there is a point where I understand calculus enough that it applies to my day to day dev work, but from what I do know of calculus, it hasn't helped me and it doesn't seem like it would help me much even if I were to go out and get a PHD in it. Again, if you go into work that relates to physics, calculus will pop up.

I found other types of CS math like discrete mathematics and finite automata
to be more relevant and useful for day to day programming work. The names sound crazy, but the ideas are very relevant to basic programming concepts, algorithms and data structures.

(fun fact) Calculus was invented by Isaac Newton (at the same time as Leibniz 😉) when he was trying to explain why the planets orbits the way they do at the age of 25.