I like a lot of your thoughts, and as a 25 year veteran with a CS degree and masters, who did have to learn how pointers worked and write a simple interpreter, I probably would still fail some of those codewar tests.
Two things stand out as areas of lukewarm disagreement:
1) I find that having some decent familiarity with the way the low level architecture works (assembly, pointers, call stacks, etc) can be beneficial in solving some otherwise incredibly weird technical problems in business applications. And yes, even in the world of virtual machines. This is one of the areas where my education has resulted in savings of tens of thousands of dollars of debugging effort.
2) There are some "developers" who know how to google and fix syntax errors, and that's it. They appear to be developers, but are unable to produce almost anything non-trivial without a template. Those people are not common, but they exist, and I would prefer not to have to clean up after them. Having said that, esoteric coding tests are not the sensible fix.
I agree with you. The CS things I've learned do come in handy on occasion!
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