Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Interesting/controversial HN thread about programmers with/without formal education

Interesting and controversial Hacker News thread about programmers with/without formal education:

My personal take is that there are pros and cons to both sides of the controversy.

The thread is in response to this post:

How to get a job as a developer in less than six months.

There is also a reference (see HN user mattdeboard comments in above thread and Google for links about him) to another similar post of some time earlier, and its consequent HN thread.

Also related and of interest:

mattdeboard: "To all the negative nancies, take it up with Dr. Norvig":

The above link is to Dr. Norvig's comment (on Hacker News) on the thread about user mattdeboard's earlier post (link not given by me in this post, as I said, Google for it using relevant keywords :). It's such a good and wise comment (IMO) that I'm posting it below in its entirety, instead of excerpts as I usually do (with emphasis mine, in bold):

[ Let me say that in my opinion, Matt DeBoard has certainly earned the title of "programmer." Welcome to the club, Matt, and you have my appreciation for the hard work you put in. It sounds to me like you're going about it in the right way; I encourage you to keep it up, and I encourage others to do the same (that is: find a way that works for them, not necessarily copy your approach). Please pay no attention to the negativity. As spacemanaki and others have pointed out, Matt is not a complete programmer yet, and he has more to learn. But I think he knows that, and remains open to learning, which is the important point. I've got more than 12 weeks under my belt, but I still feel like I'm learning all the time. My thoughts are summed up by the character of chef Gusteau in the movie Ratatouille: "Anyone can cook." This very pointedly does not mean "everyone can cook" -- it takes a combination of interest, aptitude, and long study to become a chef, and most will not make it -- but it does mean that there is no one route to achieving competence, then expertise, then mastery. ]

"Dr. Norvig" refers to Peter Norvig, Director of Research at Google, and author of one of the most well-known books on Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Dr. Norvig also recently co-conducted Stanford University's free online AI course (which I blogged about earlier). It had over 100,000 participants, and indirectly (along with similar courses conducted by his Stanford colleagues) led to the founding of the online education startups Udacity and Coursera. - his personal site, is very worth reading for programmers.

Peter Norvig's bio.

And this is one of my favorite essays, read some years ago:

Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years - Peter Norvig

Wikipedia page for Peter Norvig

Inspired by nature.
- | @vasudevram |

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