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Discussion on: Can you become a successful software developer without a CS degree? My opinion

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cseder profile image
Chris Sederqvist

Do you have any examples that illustrates what you're saying?
Like maybe a link to some software that those "3 best developers you've met" have created, maybe even a source control link of any kind that could be a source of inspiration to all those who have wasted their money on a good education? ;)

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aminmansuri profile image
hidden_dude • Edited

This was many years ago, I have no idea if they've ever done open source.

I didn't say a CS education was a waste of money.

I also didn't say these people didn't have an education. They just had educations in other fields.

2 of them were absolutely brilliant programmers that don't shy away from anything technical. One of has moved onto Machine Learning these days. They must have taught themselves about a lot of this stuff or taken courses about it. I don't know.

The other, shined by his ability to understand customer needs, explain his designs clearly to the team, and then implement them. He was very good at delivering and delivering quality. And being an outstanding part of a very large team and had great people skills. (His degree was law, and he learned how to program with a 1 year program)

As in any field, formal education will always help you (as it has helped me). But there are people who self-learn very well as well.

I don't discount someone because their degree was something other than CS. In the end experience, skill, hunger for learning is great.

I've met some Physicists that were great developers or testers as well.

Being smart, being hungry for knowledge, and dedicated to your craft can always get you places.

Elon Musk, for example, doesn't have a business degree or an Aerospace degree, nor a mechanical engineering degree.

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cseder profile image
Chris Sederqvist

I'm sorry, but this does, quite frankly "not compute". It just isn't believable in my world at least:

"The other, shined by his ability to understand customer needs, explain his designs clearly to the team, and then implement them"
"being an outstanding part of a very large team"
"he learned how to program with a 1 year program"
"I've met some Physicists that were ... great testers as well."
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Who would get a physicist to do software testing in the first place?

Meet Our New ... tester!

One Good Tester

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aminmansuri profile image
hidden_dude

That's fine. I don't need you to believe me.

fyi.. at the end of the 90s many people were flocking to the tech sector to ride the .com wave. The company I worked for loved physicists, and physicists were happy to get more money and get out of academia. We even got some PhDs.

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aminmansuri profile image
hidden_dude

Also, I'd say that most of the good software development and engineering techniques that people accumulate over the years is rarely covered in depth in CS programs (in the US at least). Most of what I learned was through other books and learning from others.

CS gives a good foundation. But much more study is needed beyond what a Bachelors or a Master's Degree teaches.

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cseder profile image
Chris Sederqvist • Edited

"most of the good software development and engineering techniques that people accumulate over the years is rarely covered in depth in CS programs"

This is very true.
These are moving targets, and different practices are used at different companies.
This is a set of skills that can only be learned through years of experience.

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