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guard-of-terra 491 days ago | link | parent

It does not takes a degree to know about FSMs.

You have to know several hundred things in order to be a good programmer, and a good chunk of these aren't even on CS program.



pnathan 491 days ago | link

CS programs aren't designed to turn out programmers.

I interviewed a guy once whose list of data structures was "bit, nybble, byte, float, char, int". As I recall, he didn't have a CS degree, and had over a decade of experience in the field. He did not get the job.

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randomdata 491 days ago | link

The fact that he didn't rhyme off data structures to your question alone doesn't mean he is unfamiliar with them. He may just use a different naming convention and calls them whirligigs instead.

There is something to be said about using a common nomenclature, and I understand why you might be hesitant to hire someone who isn't speaking the same language as the rest of your team, but underneath he could still be an algorithms genius.

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nasmorn 491 days ago | link

Sorry but a decade of experience is not allit is cracked up to be. Neither is college or determination or raw intelligence. People have good careers lacking one or two of those and if I had to choose college would be the one I could live without the easiest. But Plato, Newton or Feynman show that a perfect hand can lead you to big things

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guard-of-terra 491 days ago | link

Then what is designed to turn out programmers? What if I don't really want to be anything else?

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pnathan 491 days ago | link

I don't personally know of programs that are designed to turn out straight-up programmers. Some CS programs dial pretty far over that way, but they still retain the CS-ness.

There are software engineering degrees, but I don't personally have a high opinion of academic software engineering research & practice, so I personally don't recommend them.

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guard-of-terra 490 days ago | link

Which is strange if you think of it. Imagine you come to the shop and it does not have any kettles, buuut you can buy a stew pot and boil water for tea in it.

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RivieraKid 491 days ago | link

If he was someone who gets things done, I wouldn't really care if he doesn't know much about data structures.

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veverkap 491 days ago | link

Depends on the job he was applying for. Data structures might be important.

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sigil 491 days ago | link

True. Empirically though, very few self-taught programmers seem to know about FSMs or other core CS topics like complexity theory. This has been my experience interviewing programmers at least.

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bobcattr 491 days ago | link

But you have to know what to look for to know what they are. HS is not going to teach you that

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