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With a Computer Science Degree, an Old Man At 35?

gubachwa Perhaps a college diploma instead? (918 comments)

If your goal is to be a programmer, you may find that only a fraction of the courses that you take are relevant to your career aspirations. CS degree requirements are usually more than just learning how to program. A lot of places will require that you take breadth credits from the humanities or social sciences. Besides that, you'll probably be required to take a number of courses within the CS department that are theory related. Although the material you'll be exposed to in these courses is incredibly interesting (IMHO), you may find yourself becoming cynical about why you have to learn material that doesn't really help you become a professional programmer. You'll also have to take a number of math courses (calculus, linear algebra). This stuff is important, since a lot of areas in CS (e.g., AI, graphics), require that you have a solid math foundation.

Depending on where you want to land a job, and what type of software you want to program, you may or may not need a degree. For example, if you want to land a job as a software developer at IBM, you'll probably need a degree. (The work itself doesn't necessarily require a degree, but IBM tends to hire degreed people.) You'll also need a degree if you want to do any hard-core graphics programming.

However, there are a lot of other types of programming jobs out there for which a college diploma will suffice. A college diploma will also cost a lot less money, and you'll be able to complete it in a lot less time.

Your best bet is probably to look at what kind of jobs are out there now and identify which ones appeal to you the most. Once you've identified this, look at the requirements that these jobs list. Do they want a degree? Will they settle for a diploma? Job ads sometimes say "degree or equivalent experience", which usually means that as long as you can demonstrate you'll be able to do the job competently, they don't care whether you have a "B.Sc" after your name.

Good luck, whatever you decide to do.

more than 5 years ago
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Fundraiser For "White Male" Illness Dropped

gubachwa Re:Update (241 comments)

Such an ignorantly worded motion should have never passed in the first place. It also took quite sometime for a real apology to be forthcoming, and it was not until after the Carleton president got involved. The initial reaction by CUSA to the backlash was that students and the rest of the country just "didn't get it". Brittany Smyth, the CUSA president, kept trying to explain away the decision as having nothing to do with the clause that said CF was a white male illness. You can hear her here, on CFRA (Ottawa) radio. After a couple of days of public outrage, and a petition to have her impeached, Brittany did finally issue a somewhat mediocre apology.

The real star of this debacle is Donnie Northrup, the 4th year science student who authored the original motion. He made some interesting comments to a reporter of the Ottawa Citizen. Essentially, he regrets that we misunderstood the intent of his motion, and that he should have worded the motion more carefully. He claimed that he slipped up because he had a lot of homework due at the time. And to make himself look like a bigger ass than he's already made himself out to be, he adds that "writing is not something he's focusing his degree on."

So yeah, the decision is being revisited, but the idiots who made it are still idiots, and bringing attention to this stupidity is still worthwhile.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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Fundraiser for "white male" illness droppe

gubachwa gubachwa writes  |  more than 5 years ago

gubachwa (716303) writes "The student association at Carleton University in Canada recently voted that Cystic Fibrosis was a charity unworthy of receiving money raised during orientation week fund-raising activities. The reason behind the decision, as given in the motion on which the student association voted, is that Cystic Fibrosis "has been recently revealed to only affect white people, and primarily men.""
Link to Original Source
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Software engineer is top U.S. "mental athlete&

gubachwa gubachwa writes  |  more than 6 years ago

gubachwa (716303) writes "Remembering a phone number or a person's name is likely child's play for Chester Santos, a 31-year-old software engineer from San Francisco. Today Santos won a competition in which he was awarded the title of having the best memory the United States. This competition is not for the feint of heart. Santos was given a deck of 52 cards whose order he had to memorize in under 5 minutes, which he then recited in front of an audience. Full story here."
Link to Original Source
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gubachwa gubachwa writes  |  more than 7 years ago

gubachwa (716303) writes "Astronaut Lisa Nowak was a part of a crew that was docked at the International Space Station last summer. Today, however, she finds herself locked in a jail cell awaiting a court appearance for alleged kidnapping charges. Supposedly Nowak was involved in some kind of a bizarre love triangle, and the kidnapping victim was to be a woman that Nowak saw as her romantic rival. Read the full story here."

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