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Edit: I wrote a whole post but now realize that software engineering is a much more conceptual master than computer science. I'll leave the following below still here since it might be interesting. I mistook the perspective though, since I talked about computer science and not software engineering.

/edit

What I'm wondering is: doesn't university prove that one is capable of learning programming/computer-related topics?

The hardest things I've learned about were:

- rowhammer/cache sidechannel attacks via the GPU with C and then porting that to Javascript and do it over the web

- creating a computer graphics engine from scratch (I did this in Java which made it easier)

- reproducing a simplified version of Kevin Mitnick's attack on the Boston super computer (? not sure, memory is vague) with C, libpcap, tcpdump and other tools/libs

- being passable at reading x86/x64 assembly and understanding how a computer is built from the architectural level to a modern programming language, playing around with creating an MUL instruction for a toy ISA

- compilers and reading a toy ISA to then be able to read the toy machine code made for it

Is this practical? No.

Is this a lot harder than creating a new web app for a startup just starting out? Yes, if you know a programming language or two, then it's easy to hack things with JS together and also fairly easy to get up to snuff with ReactJS and ES<whatever_year_it_is> since it's mostly syntax features.

I don't have experience working with legacy systems or 1 million users large scale systems, so I can't comment on whether that's more difficult. However, since this article is about startups. I've worked for startups that existed 2+ years, and becoming productive on the job didn't take me long and I'm not an amazing programmer by any means.

My bachelor though, yea, that was a lot worse. My master in CS saved me by following security courses where the professors expected you to learn almost anything on your own.




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