Blinded By His Brightness

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  • pseudo anonymous 2007-10-08 12:09
    Always a good idea to insult people in an interview! </sarcasm>

    Had he gone to college to get a degree, the surely would have made him do mock interviews and he would have known that... Or he could have just used a little common sense...
  • Bored Programmer 2007-10-08 12:09
    Holy crap, that's some incompetent job interviewing. It takes minimal awareness to know that the appropriate tack to take is to briefly touch on a great high school experience, then quickly dovetail and focus on how an education was derived from experience 'in the field', and you reads relevant publications on a regular basis. Geez.

    CAPTCHA: Craaazy. No doubt.
  • Beau "Porpus" Wilkinson 2007-10-08 12:26
    <sarcasm>Yeah, you'd think with his elite HS experience and passing exposure to a Yankee college curriculum, he would know better than to insult the job interviewer. </sarcasm>

    In my experience, the crappiest employees come from the two extreme ends of the "school quality" spectrum. The DeVry / U. of Phoenix / ITT Tech end of the spectrum is pretty bad, but so is the end that comes from the "elite" schools. The "better" schools suffer from grade inflation, and their graduates tend to suffer from an entitlement mentality. Sometimes they also have a very romantic notion of the field and its "cutting edge" which could benefit from a broader educational experience.
  • Yeraze 2007-10-08 12:34
    As a resident in Mississippi & Graduate from a Mississippi high-school and college (Go Bulldogs!), I find it hilarious some of the preconceptions about life in mississippi. Although, it's a helluva lot of fun messing with people who seem to think we all have Moonshine Distilleries behind our outhouses.

    Not many people seem to realize that 2 of the DOD's 4's supercomputing facilities are in Mississippi ( http://www.hpcmo.hpc.mil/Htdocs/MSRC/index.html ). Also, Mississippi is home to the #21 system, according to the Top500 ( http://top500.org/list/2007/06/100 ).
  • akatherder 2007-10-08 12:34
    Yeah I didn't go to your crappy backwater schools and I have all my teeth. I figure I'm pretty much a shoe-in.
  • Da' Man 2007-10-08 12:41
    A great strategy of the interviewer, though: Deflating that guy a bit when he started to get too pumped up...

    Good damage control (though probably a tad too late) from the interviewee. Glad he got a job :-)

    Captcha: tesla - speaking of genius..!
  • FredSaw 2007-10-08 12:42
    Yeraze:
    I find it hilarious some of the preconceptions about life in mississippi. Although, it's a helluva lot of fun messing with people who seem to think we all have Moonshine Distilleries behind our outhouses.
    As a native Texan, I can relate. People seem to think we all still wear Colt 45's on our hips.

    'Scuse me, be right back... my horse is double-parked.

    By the way... mississippi is lowercase, but Moonshine gets the big M... Freudian slip?
  • bob the dingo 2007-10-08 12:43
    Yeraze:
    As a resident in Mississippi & Graduate from a Mississippi high-school and college (Go Bulldogs!), I find it hilarious some of the preconceptions about life in mississippi. Although, it's a helluva lot of fun messing with people who seem to think we all have Moonshine Distilleries behind our outhouses.

    You mean, you don't make the 'shine in your back yard? See if I ever visit then.
  • whicker 2007-10-08 12:44
    The truth is the truth. And, oh wait, that's right-- displays of intelligence in the US are frowned upon. You can provide examples that you are wittier, stronger, or more punctual or affable, but god forbid you try to make a point about your smarts. "Arrogant" is all you'll be considered as.

    And the decision of hiring or not hiring probably had nothing to do with the Mississippi ejumicashun thing. However, in tune with the punchline of the story, following up on the interviewer's bullshit probably did gain him the recommendation.
  • Vechni 2007-10-08 12:56
    FredSaw:
    As a native Texan, I can relate. People seem to think we all still wear Colt 45's on our hips.


    You do elect them though: http://www.theonion.com/content/node/29833
  • Dustin_00 2007-10-08 13:01
    Is Mississippi backwards, bumbling, incompetent, drenched in cronyism and corruption?

    The Wall Street Journal observed on Oct 6, 2007:

    http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB119162544567850662-lMyQjAxMDE3OTAxNjYwMjY1Wj.html

    They like to lock up random innocent people... which means the murderers are still out there somewhere!

    (As if the inept handling around Katrina didn't highlight things enough.)
  • Otter 2007-10-08 13:07
    And, oh wait, that's right-- displays of intelligence in the US are frowned upon.


    Which state you lived in as a teenager doesn't constitute "intelligence".
  • SomeCoder 2007-10-08 13:12
    Sorry, but the real WTF is that Jay thought he was more qualified than someone that went to college.

    I will admit, there are a lot of moronic college graduates out there. Even so, I think Jay's opinion of himself was a bit inflated.
  • eyrieowl 2007-10-08 13:23
    whicker:
    And, oh wait, that's right-- displays of intelligence in the US are frowned upon. You can provide examples that you are wittier, stronger, or more punctual or affable, but god forbid you try to make a point about your smarts. "Arrogant" is all you'll be considered as.


    said in all humility, of course... :)
  • Drum D. 2007-10-08 13:24
    SomeCoder:
    I will admit, there are a lot of moronic college graduates out there. Even so, I think Jay's opinion of himself was a bit inflated.


    Nevertheless, he got the/a job so he was kinda right.

    Regarding the texan habit of wearing Colt 45s. Everyone knows that today Desert Eagle .50 is the prefered model ;)
  • SomeCoder 2007-10-08 13:32
    Drum D.:
    SomeCoder:
    I will admit, there are a lot of moronic college graduates out there. Even so, I think Jay's opinion of himself was a bit inflated.


    Nevertheless, he got the/a job so he was kinda right.



    That's true. I got my first programming job right out of high school as well.

    Of course, the years since then have made me realize just how incredibly valuable having that degree can be.

    I guess my point is... stay in school kids! :)
  • someone better than you 2007-10-08 13:38
    eyrieowl:
    whicker:
    And, oh wait, that's right-- displays of intelligence in the US are frowned upon. You can provide examples that you are wittier, stronger, or more punctual or affable, but god forbid you try to make a point about your smarts. "Arrogant" is all you'll be considered as.


    said in all humility, of course... :)


    The big downside to being better than everyone else is that people tend to think you're pretentious.

    /not my own original words; i'm not quite that awesome
  • KattMan 2007-10-08 14:07
    bob the dingo:
    Yeraze:
    As a resident in Mississippi & Graduate from a Mississippi high-school and college (Go Bulldogs!), I find it hilarious some of the preconceptions about life in mississippi. Although, it's a helluva lot of fun messing with people who seem to think we all have Moonshine Distilleries behind our outhouses.

    You mean, you don't make the 'shine in your back yard? See if I ever visit then.


    Of course not, in Mississippi they are smarter than that. You make the shine in your garage where you can lock the other varmints out so they don't steal your shine. Just need to add a few exhaust fans in the walls so it don't 'splode on ya.
  • Franz Kafka 2007-10-08 14:08
    Drum D.:
    SomeCoder:
    I will admit, there are a lot of moronic college graduates out there. Even so, I think Jay's opinion of himself was a bit inflated.


    Nevertheless, he got the/a job so he was kinda right.

    Regarding the texan habit of wearing Colt 45s. Everyone knows that today Desert Eagle .50 is the prefered model ;)


    while the DE .50 is cool from an engineering point of view, 454 cassull has my heart.
  • ParkinT 2007-10-08 14:29
    pseudo anonymous:
    Always a good idea to insult people in an interview! </sarcasm>

    Had he gone to college to get a degree, the surely would have made him do mock interviews and he would have known that... Or he could have just used a little common sense...

    Experience is always the best teacher. Although the lesson comes AFTER the test.
  • pythonic 2007-10-08 15:06
    whicker:
    The truth is the truth. And, oh wait, that's right-- displays of intelligence in the US are frowned upon. You can provide examples that you are wittier, stronger, or more punctual or affable, but god forbid you try to make a point about your smarts. "Arrogant" is all you'll be considered as.


    What are you even talking about? Did people at Mensa tell you to put your IQ on your business card? The way you demonstrate intelligence in conversation is by reacting to what the other person is saying, not by telling some story about how you were right and everyone else was wrong.
  • FredSaw 2007-10-08 15:33
    pythonic:
    whicker:
    The truth is the truth. And, oh wait, that's right-- displays of intelligence in the US are frowned upon. You can provide examples that you are wittier, stronger, or more punctual or affable, but god forbid you try to make a point about your smarts. "Arrogant" is all you'll be considered as.


    What are you even talking about? Did people at Mensa tell you to put your IQ on your business card? The way you demonstrate intelligence in conversation is by reacting to what the other person is saying, not by telling some story about how you were right and everyone else was wrong.
    Smarts (read: "skills") are only perceived through use or example. It's pointless to talk about how smart or skilled you are; it's nothing but words. You might as well be talking about how great a lover you are: until you perform, your words mean nothing. But in a job interview, where you wish to convince the interviewers that you are the best qualified applicant, it is expected that you would "sell yourself" by giving examples of your skills in action.
  • whicker 2007-10-08 15:38
    pythonic:
    whicker:
    The truth is the truth. And, oh wait, that's right-- displays of intelligence in the US are frowned upon. You can provide examples that you are wittier, stronger, or more punctual or affable, but god forbid you try to make a point about your smarts. "Arrogant" is all you'll be considered as.


    What are you even talking about? Did people at Mensa tell you to put your IQ on your business card? The way you demonstrate intelligence in conversation is by reacting to what the other person is saying, not by telling some story about how you were right and everyone else was wrong.


    Just... wow.

    This is an interview setting. You're supposed to tell stories. My assumption was that by bringing up his education that he was trying to lead into the "extraordinary" things he did or learned while there. Some sort of thing that made that area special because it allowed him to do certain specific things or participate in whatever relevant thing. (Something he felt most likely wasn't happening in that state.) :)

    Instead he misspoke, and the interviewer was the kind of person to pretend to be insulted, versus asking, "what do you mean by that?"


    And the Mensa thing you just said pretty much drives home the point I was trying to make. The kind of intelligence your post seems to indicate you value is "interpersonal intelligence". A slick talker may ace the interview, but is that what really matters? What about performance after the winning sales pitch?
  • Anon 2007-10-08 15:50
    someone better than you:
    The big downside to being better than everyone else is that people tend to think you're pretentious.


    No, those are people who either really aren't smarter than everyone else or have a giant inferiority complex.

    If you are indecently intelligent and lack massive self-esteem problems then you don’t need to constantly show your genius. If it matters for something then the other person will quickly learn of it through your actions. If they don’t need to know of it then it’s pointless to mention it, after all people don’t like to feel inferior or stupid.

    whicker:
    And the Mensa thing you just said pretty much drives home the point I was trying to make. The kind of intelligence your post seems to indicate you value is "interpersonal intelligence". A slick talker may ace the interview, but is that what really matters? What about performance after the winning sales pitch?


    If the interview is so non-technical that only your "interpersonal" skills matter then it’s a shitty interview. In a good interview the questions are (in many ways) technical, you can’t slick talk your way out of solving a problem. THAT is how you show your intelligence in an interview, you answer the question faster and better than the other candidates. And of course you sell yourself but if you keep trying to push how "intelligent" you are then that just makes you look like an idiot who thinks they are intelligent.
  • jayh 2007-10-08 16:05
    An interesting scientific study a while back found the people who were actually lacking in a particular skill tended to rate their own performance higher than people who demonstrated significant skill.

    I suppose it's because most people cannot conceive of how much they don't know.

    and yeah, I got pretty far without a degree, but it didn't happen overnight. Fortunately my son did not have to start with that handicap.
  • sammy 2007-10-08 16:23
    whicker:
    "Arrogant" is all you'll be considered as.


    Pfft. Whatever, Yoda.

    (For the record: I'm sure that being affable & glib has never hurt me on a job interview, but I doubt seriously I'd have gotten anywhere if I'd come off as dumb.)
  • Zylon 2007-10-08 16:27
    jayh:
    An interesting scientific study a while back found the people who were actually lacking in a particular skill tended to rate their own performance higher than people who demonstrated significant skill.

    The study is titled "Unskilled and Unaware of It":

    http://www.damninteresting.com/?p=406
  • GrandmasterB 2007-10-08 16:37
    SomeCoder:
    Sorry, but the real WTF is that Jay thought he was more qualified than someone that went to college.


    Of the truly exceptional developers I've worked with over the past 20 years, most did not have degrees in Comp Sci, and most of them had no college degree at all. I'd hire a young developer with no college education and 4 years of real world programming experience over a kid right out of college (dont care which) any day of the week. With the former, he already has a track record and you know he's got a passion for programming. With the college kid, he's just as likely to have chosen his major because he thought it'd land him a good job after graduation as he is out of interest in the field.

    Imo, I think people over-inflate the importance of a college degree in Comp Sci/IT because the alternative is to admit their degree isnt worth as much as they think, and that they wasted 4 years and a crapload of tuition on skills they could have learned in 6 months on the job.
  • SenorLapiz 2007-10-08 16:37
    Wow. A story about an arrogant programmer. How novel.

    And, btw, my O/S is better than yours, my choice of programming language is better than yours (and speaking language for that matter), and OF COURSE my editor just totally pwns y'all! (oops spent my teenage summers near Biloxi...)
  • GrandmasterB 2007-10-08 16:40
    FredSaw:
    Smarts (read: "skills") are only perceived through use or example. It's pointless to talk about how smart or skilled you are; it's nothing but words.


    Well said. Actions speak louder than words.
  • Let the South Secede 2007-10-08 16:42
    - Your culture is explicitly racist (as opposed to vaguely racist in the north and west)
    - Your economy depends on riverboat gambling and almost nothing else
    - Your supercomputer centers are there because of congressional pork, not merit
    - Your state would still vote for Bush if he ran for an illegal third term.

    http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/statelis.htm

    MS is sixth for highest percentage of health uninsured
    MS is second at 12.9 murders/100,000 people
    tenth in highest unemployment rate
    second in percent under poverty line (23.5)
    seventh in per-capita defense spending

    http://www.morganquitno.com/edrank.htm

    Don't know if it's valid, but you're #49 of 50 there...

    Notice that my statistics are per-capita/percentage based, so rankings aren't skewed by absolute population numbers.

    so:
    -crappy
    -dangerous
    -lazy
    -poor
    -fat on the government till

    oh yeah..

    -stupid

  • SomeCoder 2007-10-08 16:47
    GrandmasterB:
    SomeCoder:
    Sorry, but the real WTF is that Jay thought he was more qualified than someone that went to college.


    Of the truly exceptional developers I've worked with over the past 20 years, most did not have degrees in Comp Sci, and most of them had no college degree at all. I'd hire a young developer with no college education and 4 years of real world programming experience over a kid right out of college (dont care which) any day of the week. With the former, he already has a track record and you know he's got a passion for programming. With the college kid, he's just as likely to have chosen his major because he thought it'd land him a good job after graduation as he is out of interest in the field.

    Imo, I think people over-inflate the importance of a college degree in Comp Sci/IT because the alternative is to admit their degree isnt worth as much as they think, and that they wasted 4 years and a crapload of tuition on skills they could have learned in 6 months on the job.


    Well, let me say this: Yes, you are right. Most of the skills you need in industry is gained from on the job experience, not college. I'd even go so far as to say 99% of it. I got a few nuggets of goodness from college, but not much.

    That said, almost any employer is going to want that piece of paper. While the skills you might have gained while earning that piece of paper are negligible, having the paper makes you vastly more employable.

    The part of the story that I have an issue with is that Jay thought his high school was better than any college in the southern states. I'm not from the south, but that seems like a giant WTF right there to me.

    We are also told that Jay has no industry experience. Based on what you just barely said, you wouldn't hire Jay either.

    On the whole, I'd agree with you though and I have a degree of my own.
  • pweegar 2007-10-08 16:50
    Re: Blinded By His Brightness
    2007-10-08 12:26 • by Beau "Porpus" Wilkinson

    In my experience, the crappiest employees come from the two extreme ends of the "school quality" spectrum. The DeVry / U. of Phoenix / ITT Tech end of the spectrum is pretty bad, but so is the end that comes from the "elite" schools. The "better" schools suffer from grade inflation, and their graduates tend to suffer from an entitlement mentality. Sometimes they also have a very romantic notion of the field and its "cutting edge" which could benefit from a broader educational experience

    And why do graduates from DeVry rate so low in your opinion???? I graduated from DeVry and felt the CIS courses were VERY good. Not only did we get theory, we got practical experience. EVERY computer class had a related programming lab. NOne of them easy. In fact, one of the best instructors I've EVER had was at DeVry.

    Where did YOU go to school (if you actually did). What % of your class had a job waiting for them upon graduation (mine was 85%+).
  • dkf 2007-10-08 16:56
    Anon:
    In a good interview the questions are (in many ways) technical, you can’t slick talk your way out of solving a problem. THAT is how you show your intelligence in an interview, you answer the question faster and better than the other candidates.
    A good way of demonstrating that you're smart (or at least really know your stuff about the field, the interviewer, and the relation of both to the prospective employing organization) is to find aspects of the question that the interviewer had not considered before. Or at least that's always worked for me.
  • GrandmasterB 2007-10-08 17:09
    SomeCoder:

    That said, almost any employer is going to want that piece of paper. While the skills you might have gained while earning that piece of paper are negligible, having the paper makes you vastly more employable.


    Oh, dont get me wrong. I do agree that piece of paper makes a person more employable, and will likely get them more dinero. I was speaking purely from the point of the actual skills a person has.


    The part of the story that I have an issue with is that Jay thought his high school was better than any college in the southern states. I'm not from the south, but that seems like a giant WTF right there to me.

    Agreed.


    We are also told that Jay has no industry experience. Based on what you just barely said, you wouldn't hire Jay either.

    You're right - I definately would not hire a developer with no demonstratable experience or skills. If they had no work experience or related education, they'd need to show a project or program they worked on on their own. Someone like that interested in tech I think would probably go best starting out in a 'front line' tech support position where they can start learning the ropes - learning how to troubleshoot, how to deal with customers, etc.


  • stupid old me 2007-10-08 17:11
    whicker:
    The truth is the truth. And, oh wait, that's right-- displays of intelligence in the US are frowned upon. You can provide examples that you are wittier, stronger, or more punctual or affable, but god forbid you try to make a point about your smarts. "Arrogant" is all you'll be considered as.


    Of course, ending a sentence in a preposition doesn't help your position. ;-)
  • AnonymousCoward 2007-10-08 17:17
    GrandmasterB:

    Of the truly exceptional developers I've worked with over the past 20 years, most did not have degrees in Comp Sci, and most of them had no college degree at all. I'd hire a young developer with no college education and 4 years of real world programming experience over a kid right out of college (dont care which) any day of the week. With the former, he already has a track record and you know he's got a passion for programming. With the college kid, he's just as likely to have chosen his major because he thought it'd land him a good job after graduation as he is out of interest in the field.

    Imo, I think people over-inflate the importance of a college degree in Comp Sci/IT because the alternative is to admit their degree isnt worth as much as they think, and that they wasted 4 years and a crapload of tuition on skills they could have learned in 6 months on the job.


    Valid points on the importance of a college degree vs. experience for the development of certain skills, perhaps, but people DO go to college to learn more than job skills. A person with a degree will often have a well-rounded education, a much different outlook on life, and a different approach to learning than someone without. There are always exceptions on both sides, but I think it is lame to say that the entire college experience is wasted because you could learn the skills necessary to be competent at your job in six months. I would usually choose a candidate with a college degree, everything else being equal.
  • Alcari 2007-10-08 17:26
    Well, you could argue that a degree is useless, but don't forget that there are far more idiots without a degree then idiots with a degree.

    It does count for somethine, seeing a degree usually ensures you of at least a modicum of skill and intelligence. Not that there aren't any smart, skilled people without a degree.

    And of course, every employer in the world wants to see one, which seems to be the only real reason to get one.

    as for schools being judged on how many graduees getting a job, my current education must rate top 3, there are currently 2.8 jobs for every engineer over here, the job ratio is in the 99%.

    Howdy ya'll
  • whicker 2007-10-08 17:27
    dkf:
    Anon:
    In a good interview the questions are (in many ways) technical, you can’t slick talk your way out of solving a problem. THAT is how you show your intelligence in an interview, you answer the question faster and better than the other candidates.
    A good way of demonstrating that you're smart (or at least really know your stuff about the field, the interviewer, and the relation of both to the prospective employing organization) is to find aspects of the question that the interviewer had not considered before. Or at least that's always worked for me.
    Agreeing.

    Another is to understand and point out the equivalence of certain things. For me personally, I may not know the exact brand PLC, Servo Controller, SCADA, or HMI system a builder (OEM) uses, but the major controls manufacturers just copy each and every feature from each other anyways. (Square-D, Allen-Bradley, and Siemens being the worst offenders).

    It's good to sometimes go up to a higher level of abstraction when they're so focused on the details. Do you want a good programmer? Or do you want somebody that knows the intricacies of the quirks of your mishmash of equipment and exact lexicon of the development environment?
  • Anon 2007-10-08 17:39
    Personally I find college useful in a number of ways which have nothing to do with the actual skills needed for your job. It teaches you a well rounded education and a different way of looking at the world as was already mentioned, at least it does if you let it. College is not a trade school, many who don’t like it seem to do so because they expect it to be one and that mindset kills any advantages it may have had.

    Most importantly a good college lets you gain connections and network. In life it matter more who you know than what you know, you may not like it but that’s how things are. Furthermore it matters more what people think you know than what you actually know. A college degree makes most people think more highly of you so you get paid more or get a leg up on the competition.

    A well rounded education is also useful because if all you know how to do is X, no matter how good you are when X ceases to be relevant you will be left option less. A degree lets you move into other fields even if you don’t have experience in them.

    Some jobs require you to know a lot more than the bare minimum skills of a programmer. In the last year alone I have used what I learned in computer science, programming, statistics, economics, data mining, AI, machine learning, bioinformatics, IT and others which I don’t even remember of the top of my head. I have used skills which no textbook has, as they were the comments of professors and guest lecturers.

    In terms of my personal or intellectual development I have found certain classes that had nothing to do with my major to be invaluable in letting me grow as a person.
  • FredSaw 2007-10-08 17:44
    I think this WTF should have been titled, "Blinded by his Brillance".
  • Eric Aitala 2007-10-08 17:46
    Don't forget the Mississippi Center for Supercomputing Research (http://www.mcsr.olemiss.edu) and the only legal marijuana plot in the country. And we successfully implemented SAP for the University backend... unlike the supposedly bright folks in California...

    Go Rebels..

    Dr Eric Aitala...

    captcha - quake (something one does not have to worry about in Mississippi, unless the big one happens at New Madrid)
  • DWalker59 2007-10-08 18:29
    akatherder:
    Yeah I didn't go to your crappy backwater schools and I have all my teeth. I figure I'm pretty much a shoe-in.


    That's "shoo-in", not "shoe-in". Unless you were putting yout foot in your mouth, or being sarcastic (or craptastic).
  • FredSaw 2007-10-08 20:38
    DWalker59:
    That's "shoo-in", not "shoe-in". Unless you were putting yout foot in your mouth, or being sarcastic (or craptastic).
    Maybe he figured he had a shoe in the door.
  • koni 2007-10-09 01:13
    Franz Kafka:
    Drum D.:
    SomeCoder:
    I will admit, there are a lot of moronic college graduates out there. Even so, I think Jay's opinion of himself was a bit inflated.


    Nevertheless, he got the/a job so he was kinda right.

    Regarding the texan habit of wearing Colt 45s. Everyone knows that today Desert Eagle .50 is the prefered model ;)


    while the DE .50 is cool from an engineering point of view, 454 cassull has my heart.


    Either caliber is acceptable, as long as the weapon is belt-fed with quick-change barrels.

    (I just love to watch the clerks at the sporting goods store when I ask "Does that come with a belt feed adapter?")
  • masuku 2007-10-09 01:56
    AnonymousCoward:
    GrandmasterB:

    Of the truly exceptional developers I've worked with over the past 20 years, most did not have degrees in Comp Sci, and most of them had no college degree at all. I'd hire a young developer with no college education and 4 years of real world programming experience over a kid right out of college (dont care which) any day of the week. With the former, he already has a track record and you know he's got a passion for programming. With the college kid, he's just as likely to have chosen his major because he thought it'd land him a good job after graduation as he is out of interest in the field.

    Imo, I think people over-inflate the importance of a college degree in Comp Sci/IT because the alternative is to admit their degree isnt worth as much as they think, and that they wasted 4 years and a crapload of tuition on skills they could have learned in 6 months on the job.


    Valid points on the importance of a college degree vs. experience for the development of certain skills, perhaps, but people DO go to college to learn more than job skills. A person with a degree will often have a well-rounded education, a much different outlook on life, and a different approach to learning than someone without. There are always exceptions on both sides, but I think it is lame to say that the entire college experience is wasted because you could learn the skills necessary to be competent at your job in six months. I would usually choose a candidate with a college degree, everything else being equal.


    You are absolutely right, you learn much in college - how to drink till you pass out in your own puke, where to find illegal substances, which classes you can pass for sexual favors (male or female), how to avoid debates with people on the merits of your viewpoints by stating "You would agree with me if you had enough education to realize how incorrect you are", etc. (the list is long and not pretty). I spent 15 years working in "higher education" at four different universities watching the show, so get real - what you want is paper (degree), what they want is FTE (full time equivalent) seat-time students so they don't lose funding. If you learn anything, it is an accidental byproduct of years of sitting on your ass, with an overpriced book (that is changed every year to keep the bookstore in business) in front of you. After you graduate, then you find someone to hire you so you can learn how to do "all that bullshit you said" (from Independence Day, a popular movie about genocide, on TV tonight)
  • MrTweek 2007-10-09 03:52
    For all the non-native English speakers, can someone tell what GPA means?
  • dkf 2007-10-09 04:21
    MrTweek:
    For all the non-native English speakers, can someone tell what GPA means?
    I know it stands for Grade Point Average, but I've no idea what it means in practice. We use a different system round here...
  • Alcari 2007-10-09 04:46
    dkf:
    MrTweek:
    For all the non-native English speakers, can someone tell what GPA means?
    I know it stands for Grade Point Average, but I've no idea what it means in practice. We use a different system round here...


    In practise it's simply how well you've preformed in college. only rated on a 0-4 compensated scale.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GPA#United_States
  • Taz 2007-10-09 04:55
    MrTweek:
    For all the non-native English speakers, can someone tell what GPA means?


    Grade Point Average.

    Disclaimer: I'm not American and have never been in MS, so I'm pretty unbiased.

    For all the MS bashers out there: you shouldn't take the handling of the Katrina disaster as an example. New Orleans, LS and pretty much all of the Texan cities did a shitty job at that as well.

    And I agree with all saying that a college paper helps you set your foot in the door to get your first job. A degree doesn't tell very much about your smartness in general.
  • misha 2007-10-09 07:08
    Drum D.:
    SomeCoder:
    I will admit, there are a lot of moronic college graduates out there. Even so, I think Jay's opinion of himself was a bit inflated.


    Nevertheless, he got the/a job so he was kinda right.

    Regarding the texan habit of wearing Colt 45s. Everyone knows that today Desert Eagle .50 is the preferred model ;)


    Do they know that's a Jewish handgun?
  • rumpelstiltskin 2007-10-09 07:17
    Funny Mississippi story:
    Back when I had a real job (as opposed to an IT job), my company bought a piston plant in New Albany. I was the Product Manager of the piston line, so I flew down to the plant to talk with the Plant Manager about our plans.
    I asked him how long it would take to hire and train a bunch of people, since we planned a big expansion. He said it could take a while, because unemployment ran around 3% there.
    I told him the State figures showed over 20% for that area.
    He said, "yeah, but they count the blacks."
  • misha 2007-10-09 07:23
    rumpelstiltskin:
    Funny Mississippi story:
    Back when I had a real job (as opposed to an IT job), my company bought a piston plant in New Albany. I was the Product Manager of the piston line, so I flew down to the plant to talk with the Plant Manager about our plans.
    I asked him how long it would take to hire and train a bunch of people, since we planned a big expansion. He said it could take a while, because unemployment ran around 3% there.
    I told him the State figures showed over 20% for that area.
    He said, "yeah, but they count the blacks."


    I wonder where he got the whites-only figures from? Possibly his capacious backside?
  • Alonzo Turing 2007-10-09 07:27
    Does anyone study for the knowlegde? You seldomly get taught anything about functional programming or information theory when programming a PHP script... I know it may not get you money later, but maybe (just maybe) it's not all about the money?
  • real_aardvark 2007-10-09 08:12
    Let the South Secede:

    http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/statelis.htm

    MS is sixth for highest percentage of health uninsured
    MS is second at 12.9 murders/100,000 people
    tenth in highest unemployment rate
    second in percent under poverty line (23.5)
    seventh in per-capita defense spending

    http://www.morganquitno.com/edrank.htm

    Don't know if it's valid, but you're #49 of 50 there...

    <snip>

    oh yeah..

    - [you're] stupid


    Way to go on an intentional wind-up -- I'm proud of you, kid.

    However, you should note that, in the survey you quote, California comes 46th. (This is a source of distinct disquiet to me. I love the place, but God, the educational system blows chunks.)

    This doesn't stop it being chock-full of hi-tech jobs, intelligent people, etc etc. It just suggests that you shouldn't convert a global prejudice ("Mississippi is part of the Third World") to a particular case (interviewing for a job in Mississippi). It will certainly be wrong in the particular, and might welll sit on shaky foundations in the general.
  • poopdeville 2007-10-09 09:02
    pweegar:


    And why do graduates from DeVry rate so low in your opinion???? I graduated from DeVry and felt the CIS courses were VERY good. Not only did we get theory, we got practical experience. EVERY computer class had a related programming lab. NOne of them easy. In fact, one of the best instructors I've EVER had was at DeVry.


    Someone else mentioned this study in the thread, but you should google for "Unskilled and Unaware of It". Thinking DeVry was rigorous isn't helping your cause. Your punctuation and spelling are not helping either.
  • KattMan 2007-10-09 09:49
    All the talk about degrees here seem to be missing something but everyone seems to be saying it without realizing it.

    Networking, outlook on life, basic knowledge, all this you get, but for how long is it truly worth it? They way I see it, these "advantages" are only valid for maybe 5 years.

    You want networking and the example that I work hard? I spent a few years as a professional musician living off the money I made while playing and touring the east coast of the US. I showed my hard work and dedication for something I am passionate about. I learned how to network with people within my field, from club owners, record companies, booking agents, talent scouts and other musicians. Basically, I got paid to party for two years instead of having to pay to party for two years. That is the only difference between what an education 15 years ago would have given me today over having the guts to chase a dream.

    Anyone in this field for more than a few years and still talking up their degree, in my opinion, are seriously lacking in true skills. The industry changes to fast for that degree to mean anything for to long. Any theory and basic practices you learned while there could easily be learned on the job.

    Everything else being equal, a junior programmer with a degree will be hired first, a senior still thinking his degree makes him better will be removed from the list. A senior developer should have a degree as a footnote, not as a major accomplishment, it just doesn't mean anything after five or more years in the field.
  • AdT 2007-10-09 09:56
    misha:
    Do they know that's a Jewish handgun?


    It's not, unless it received the bris by the mohel.
  • KattMan 2007-10-09 10:05
    AdT:
    misha:
    Do they know that's a Jewish handgun?


    It's not, unless it received the bris by the mohel.


    No it can be Jewish, just not kosher.
  • Shlomo 2007-10-09 10:06
    AdT:
    misha:
    Do they know that's a Jewish handgun?


    It's not, unless it received the bris by the mohel.

    So my sawed-off shotgun is Jewish?
  • FredSaw 2007-10-09 10:56
    poopdeville:
    pweegar:
    And why do graduates from DeVry rate so low in your opinion???? I graduated from DeVry... <snip>
    Your punctuation and spelling are not helping either.
    The mission of DeVry is to help you get school financing so that you can saddle yourself with a debt of 10 times what their education is actually worth. The teaching is just a necessary sideline to keep up appearances. Never trust a school that advertises on TV.

    Regarding the punctuation: The four question marks, followed immediately by the declaration of school allegiance, said it all for me.
  • RichNFamous 2007-10-09 11:11
    Yeraze:
    ...people who seem to think we all have Moonshine Distilleries behind our outhouses.


    You don't? Dammit, you can't even trust Hollywood these days. I bet you shoot at road signs, tho...
  • Mike 2007-10-09 11:23
    FYI, Mississippi State University in Starkville, MS had the first major web server in the south and the largest server farm in the states in the 60s (i think) the school is a major pioneer in computing technology and AI development with a lot of government backing (the Air Force base nearby helps a bunch)... also USM (southern Miss) is fondly in my memories as the host of yearly computer programming competitions...

    MS may seem backwater, but you would be surprised what gulf coast casino money can buy...
  • Cloak 2007-10-09 11:34
    jayh:
    An interesting scientific study a while back found the people who were actually lacking in a particular skill tended to rate their own performance higher than people who demonstrated significant skill.

    I suppose it's because most people cannot conceive of how much they don't know.

    and yeah, I got pretty far without a degree, but it didn't happen overnight. Fortunately my son did not have to start with that handicap.


    I don't believe that owning a CS diploma will always be an advantage compared to somebody without one. At least when I started (some 15-20 years ago) industry was looking for people who had that special skill to be computer literate and at the same time were actually a (not so dumb) user. With that combination it is possible to understand both worlds and, hence, write programs with usable user interfaces. In my opinion many HS people are not the best choice for such a project.
  • misha 2007-10-09 12:07
    Shlomo:
    AdT:
    misha:
    Do they know that's a Jewish handgun?


    It's not, unless it received the bris by the mohel.

    So my sawed-off shotgun is Jewish?


    A rabbi and a priest are discussing their new cars. The priest says "I sprinkled my new car with holy water and performed a benediction." The rabbi says "Well I also performed a ritual on my new car. I cut 2 inches off the exhaust pipe."
  • fsilber 2007-10-09 12:09
    Let the South Secede:
    - Your culture is explicitly racist (as opposed to vaguely racist in the north and west)
    ...
    MS is sixth for highest percentage of health uninsured
    MS is second at 12.9 murders/100,000 people
    tenth in highest unemployment rate
    second in percent under poverty line (23.5)
    seventh in per-capita defense spending
    ...

    so:
    -crappy
    -dangerous
    -lazy
    -poor
    -fat on the government till

    oh yeah..

    -stupid

    However, if you correlate by racial background, Mississippians are probably doing fairly well. That is, the statistics for Mississippi whites are comparable to those for whites in other states, and the statistics for Mississippi blacks are probably also at least as good as those for blacks in other states.

    Mississippi probably has the highest black percentage of any state in the U.S. (I think one-third) -- and given the racial discrepancies nationwide this cannot but affect Mississippi's overall state averages.

    If the difficulties with which blacks nationwide struggle make you not want to have many of them around, then you won't like Mississippi. However, I suppose that insulting Mississippi for the resulting averages is one of the ways people in the North and West can avoid expressing explicit racism. Indeed, your insults are virtually identical to the accusations racists make.
  • seymore15074 2007-10-09 12:15
    A degree doesn't just happen overnight. At the very least you know this person set goals, pursued them, and didn't give up along the way. This is the type of person that I would hire...
  • Opie 2007-10-09 12:16
    There is no rule in English forbidding ending a sentence on a preposition.
    Please learn that fact and spread it to all the people you know who also think it's somehow true.

    It's one of the most commonly misunderstood rules in English I know of.

    Here's a link for the non-rule, as well as many other non-rules in "formal" English:
    http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/nonerrors.html

    And here's a slightly amusing thing I found with a quick internet search for "ending sentence with preposition:"

    Child: I want to be read to.
    Mother: Which book would you like to be read to out of?
    Child: Robinson Crusoe.
    Mother brings Swiss Family Robinson.
    Child: What did you bring me that book to be read to out of for?


    There are actually quite a few amusing ways various educational institutions and grammarians poke fun at this non-rule.

    The non-rule is based on people trying to shoehorn English into Latin, which it most certainly does not fit particularly well. Much of our syntax is directly descended from original anglo-saxon, while it's mostly just a bunch of words that are based on latin roots - not our grammar.
    If English was like Latin, word order in languages like French and Spanish would not seem odd to English-speaking students of those languages.
  • Cloak 2007-10-09 12:28
    GrandmasterB:
    SomeCoder:
    Sorry, but the real WTF is that Jay thought he was more qualified than someone that went to college.


    Of the truly exceptional developers I've worked with over the past 20 years, most did not have degrees in Comp Sci, and most of them had no college degree at all. I'd hire a young developer with no college education and 4 years of real world programming experience over a kid right out of college (dont care which) any day of the week. With the former, he already has a track record and you know he's got a passion for programming. With the college kid, he's just as likely to have chosen his major because he thought it'd land him a good job after graduation as he is out of interest in the field.

    Imo, I think people over-inflate the importance of a college degree in Comp Sci/IT because the alternative is to admit their degree isnt worth as much as they think, and that they wasted 4 years and a crapload of tuition on skills they could have learned in 6 months on the job.


    We seem to have the same opinion regarding CS diploma. But what about certs? I must admit that (MS) certified people tend to have a more theoretical than practical background.
  • Opie 2007-10-09 12:34
    Cloak:
    I must admit that (MS) certified people tend to have a more theoretical than practical background.


    I'd say that's true of a lot of certifications - not just MS.
    Once again, a book cannot convey experience.

    Most people end up "studying" for certification exams by memorizing a bunch of test material, anyway, so why would one expect it to be particularly valid?

    This coming from someone who just took (and passed) a certification exam just two hours ago...
    Shows you what the industry values...

    At least some of us take it seriously and actually learn what the certification says we should know and then apply it.
  • Your Name 2007-10-09 12:49
    FredSaw:
    poopdeville:
    pweegar:
    And why do graduates from DeVry rate so low in your opinion???? I graduated from DeVry... <snip>
    Your punctuation and spelling are not helping either.
    The mission of DeVry is to help you get school financing so that you can saddle yourself with a debt of 10 times what their education is actually worth. The teaching is just a necessary sideline to keep up appearances. Never trust a school that advertises on TV.

    Regarding the punctuation: The four question marks, followed immediately by the declaration of school allegiance, said it all for me.
    Yay for ad-hominem attacks.

    Notice the discourse. Traditional colleges apparently don't teach you job related skills. The paper diploma gets your foot in the door. DeVry tries to be job-related. The diploma still gets your foot in the door, but it is resented by some. None of the previous statements are universally true, but yet it keeps getting repeated.

    The other unfortunate part about ITT/Phoenix/DeVry is brand image. It's too easy to say "McDonald's food is bad" because it "made me throw up." Then you tell 20 people. Never mind if it was a particular crew at a particular time period and particular location (or you were already sick or hung over). Because of the unpleasant experience and a clear attributable source (a brand), the memory is cemented.

    Where did you go to school?
    Option 1: I went to University of <State> (never mind if it was crappy X extension campus).
    Option 2: I went to ITT Technical Institute. <snicker>

    Maybe large private technical college bashing is just par for the course here. I would surmise a story involving VB, DeVry, and a long code snippet failing to use a regex would become article of the year.
  • misha 2007-10-09 13:02
    Your Name:
    It's too easy to say "McDonald's food is bad" because it "made me throw up."

    I prefer to say "McDonald's food is bad" because "it tastes like assbarf."
  • ac 2007-10-09 13:15

    However, if you correlate by racial background, Mississippians are probably doing fairly well. That is, the statistics for Mississippi whites are comparable to those for whites in other states, and the statistics for Mississippi blacks are probably also at least as good as those for blacks in other states.

    Mississippi probably has the highest black percentage of any state in the U.S. (I think one-third) -- and given the racial discrepancies nationwide this cannot but affect Mississippi's overall state averages.

    If the difficulties with which blacks nationwide struggle make you not want to have many of them around, then you won't like Mississippi. However, I suppose that insulting Mississippi for the resulting averages is one of the ways people in the North and West can avoid expressing explicit racism. Indeed, your insults are virtually identical to the accusations racists make.


    Great, Mr. Apologist - what the fuck is West Virginia's excuse, then?
  • FredSaw 2007-10-09 13:19
    Your Name:
    Maybe large private technical college bashing is just par for the course here.
    I couldn't say. My position on any subject is never based on its popularity here or anywhere.

    I had a girlfriend some years back who decided to improve her employment chances by taking some business courses. She went to DeVry to discuss curriculum and enrollment. They hooked her up with a finance manager who was eager to help her find financing. As this was back in the '90's, I don't recall exact amounts, but it added up to a ridiculous amount; I want to say, something like $2200 for a typing course.

    Later, a friend of mine went to work for DeVry. When she mentioned this to me, I told her frankly that I considered the school to be a ripoff, created to sucker under-educated people into committing to massive student loans for a chance at the dangling carrot of becoming a skilled and desirable part of the workforce. She apologetically explained, "Yeah, I know it is, but I need to support myself, and they were hiring."
  • fsilber 2007-10-09 13:54
    rumpelstiltskin:
    Funny Mississippi story:
    ... my company bought a piston plant in New Albany. I was the Product Manager of the piston line, so I flew down to the plant to talk with the Plant Manager .... I asked him how long it would take to hire and train a bunch of people, since we planned a big expansion. He said it could take a while, because unemployment ran around 3% there. I told him the State figures showed over 20% for that area.
    He said, "yeah, but they count the blacks."
    I imagine a piston plant needs mainly tool-and-die men -- steelworking lathe operators. These people have to be able to read 2-D technical drawings of 3-D objects (a talent for geometry), have problem-solving skills, etc. I guess that's why good tool-and-die men earn as much as programmers. Training a laid-off cotton-picker might not be so easy.

    Your story reminds me of New York City in 1978. Back then recruiters had ads everywhere begging college graduates who had at least minored in math to accept positions with Fortune 500 companies to be trained in computer programming. That's how hard they thought it was to find qualified trainees. This was while NYC had a 10% unemployment rate -- 50% of the blacks in NYC were receiving welfare, were presumably unemployeed, and therefore would have welcomed the opportunity. (At least New Yorkers know how to speak with political correctness.)

    ac:

    However, if you correlate by racial background, Mississippians are probably doing fairly well. That is, the statistics for Mississippi whites are comparable to those for whites in other states, and the statistics for Mississippi blacks are probably also at least as good as those for blacks in other states.

    Mississippi probably has the highest black percentage of any state in the U.S. (I think one-third) -- and given the racial discrepancies nationwide this cannot but affect Mississippi's overall state averages.

    If the difficulties with which blacks nationwide struggle make you not want to have many of them around, then you won't like Mississippi. However, I suppose that insulting Mississippi for the resulting averages is one of the ways people in the North and West can avoid expressing explicit racism. Indeed, your insults are virtually identical to the accusations racists make.


    Great, Mr. Apologist - what the fuck is West Virginia's excuse, then?
    I suppose this can only be due to the rampant hateful (and obviously unjustified) anti-hillbilly bigotry which for 200 years has pervaded our society.

    Some of the stereotypes are accurate, however. In my previous job in the south (New Orleans, LA), my boss and I had a big disagreement over handguns in the workplace. He simply refused to admit that the right ammo could make a 9mm every bit as good as a .45acp.
  • BigJim 2007-10-09 13:57
    Here is why DeVry rates LOW in my opinion. True story. I worked with a DeVry graduate, who lived his ENTIRE life in Illinois. Which is bordered by this great big river called the Mississippi. He actually came to me with a US map (with states outlined) and said "I have to write this code for the eastern section of the US. Can you show me which states are east of the Mississippi?" DeVry taught him NOTHING but how to code COBOL (back in the 80s when this was more valuable). Nothing about the outside world around him!
  • commenter 2007-10-09 15:09
    BigJim:
    Here is why DeVry rates LOW in my opinion. True story. I worked with a DeVry graduate, who lived his ENTIRE life in Illinois. Which is bordered by this great big river called the Mississippi. He actually came to me with a US map (with states outlined) and said "I have to write this code for the eastern section of the US. Can you show me which states are east of the Mississippi?" DeVry taught him NOTHING but how to code COBOL (back in the 80s when this was more valuable). Nothing about the outside world around him!


    You're blaming DeVry for what his first grade teacher most likely taught him and he simply forgot?
  • KattMan 2007-10-09 15:26
    commenter:
    BigJim:
    Here is why DeVry rates LOW in my opinion. True story. I worked with a DeVry graduate, who lived his ENTIRE life in Illinois. Which is bordered by this great big river called the Mississippi. He actually came to me with a US map (with states outlined) and said "I have to write this code for the eastern section of the US. Can you show me which states are east of the Mississippi?" DeVry taught him NOTHING but how to code COBOL (back in the 80s when this was more valuable). Nothing about the outside world around him!


    You're blaming DeVry for what his first grade teacher most likely taught him and he simply forgot?

    Agreed, I'd be more critical of the school that taught BigJim his critical thinking skills.
  • fsilber 2007-10-09 15:29
    commenter:
    BigJim:
    I worked with a DeVry graduate, who lived his ENTIRE life in Illinois. Which is bordered by this great big river called the Mississippi. He actually came to me with a US map (with states outlined) and said "I have to write this code for the eastern section of the US. Can you show me which states are east of the Mississippi?"


    You're blaming DeVry for what his first grade teacher most likely taught him and he simply forgot?
    In Europe, universities are mainly just for scholarly people interested in the liberal arts. What Americans learn in third and fourth tier colleges is pretty much what Europeans have already learned by age 15, when they begin their vocational training and apprenticeships.

    America changed to its system because, during the 1950s and 60s it was rich enough that we could afford to waste years of our children's lives and tens of thousands of tax dollars per child. Also, when sociologists discovered that high school graduates got most of the best jobs (this was in the 1950s), they decided that a good way to pursue economic equality would be to lower the standards far enough until every child could get a diploma.

    It seems as though an employer ought to be able to test the effectiveness of an applicant's education rather than relying upon degrees awarded, but the federal EEC won't allow it. So instead, they demand college graduates only. The EEC would probably put a stop to that as well, but then there'd be fewer jobs for people teaching or doing research in race, class, gender, and sexual-orientation victimology.
  • seymore15074 2007-10-09 15:37
    BigJim:
    Here is why DeVry rates LOW in my opinion. True story. I worked with a DeVry graduate, who lived his ENTIRE life in Illinois. Which is bordered by this great big river called the Mississippi. He actually came to me with a US map (with states outlined) and said "I have to write this code for the eastern section of the US. Can you show me which states are east of the Mississippi?" DeVry taught him NOTHING but how to code COBOL (back in the 80s when this was more valuable). Nothing about the outside world around him!


    Did you tell him you didn't know?
  • misha 2007-10-09 18:27
    fsilber:
    commenter:
    BigJim:
    I worked with a DeVry graduate, who lived his ENTIRE life in Illinois. Which is bordered by this great big river called the Mississippi. He actually came to me with a US map (with states outlined) and said "I have to write this code for the eastern section of the US. Can you show me which states are east of the Mississippi?"


    You're blaming DeVry for what his first grade teacher most likely taught him and he simply forgot?
    In Europe, universities are mainly just for scholarly people interested in the liberal arts. What Americans learn in third and fourth tier colleges is pretty much what Europeans have already learned by age 15, when they begin their vocational training and apprenticeships.


    Eh? Eh?! Is this some wonderful fairy-tale version of Europe I've somehow missed? You do realise that a modern apprenticeship is something devised by Satan to make people *more* stupid, so that employers have to patiently unteach the lies and half-truths their new employees have learned as fact?

    I'm happy to accept the idea that America has a rubbish education system, but I don't know where you get the idea Europe's is any better. OK, I've never been to school in France or Germany; maybe education is just another of those things in which Britain comes bottom of the EU league table.

    Also, I've been to plenty of interviews where I was given aptitude tests, what EEC regulation are we talking about here?
  • mudkip 2007-10-09 19:35
    Your Name:
    FredSaw:
    poopdeville:
    pweegar:
    And why do graduates from DeVry rate so low in your opinion???? I graduated from DeVry... <snip>
    Your punctuation and spelling are not helping either.
    The mission of DeVry is to help you get school financing so that you can saddle yourself with a debt of 10 times what their education is actually worth. The teaching is just a necessary sideline to keep up appearances. Never trust a school that advertises on TV.

    Regarding the punctuation: The four question marks, followed immediately by the declaration of school allegiance, said it all for me.
    Yay for ad-hominem attacks.

    Notice the discourse. Traditional colleges apparently don't teach you job related skills. The paper diploma gets your foot in the door. DeVry tries to be job-related. The diploma still gets your foot in the door, but it is resented by some. None of the previous statements are universally true, but yet it keeps getting repeated.

    The other unfortunate part about ITT/Phoenix/DeVry is brand image. It's too easy to say "McDonald's food is bad" because it "made me throw up." Then you tell 20 people. Never mind if it was a particular crew at a particular time period and particular location (or you were already sick or hung over). Because of the unpleasant experience and a clear attributable source (a brand), the memory is cemented.

    Where did you go to school?
    Option 1: I went to University of <State> (never mind if it was crappy X extension campus).
    Option 2: I went to ITT Technical Institute. <snicker>

    Maybe large private technical college bashing is just par for the course here. I would surmise a story involving VB, DeVry, and a long code snippet failing to use a regex would become article of the year.


    poopdeville here -- posting from work.

    I went to Reed College, in Portland Oregon. One of the better institutions of higher learning, and top among liberal arts colleges in producing PhD's in my field of study.

    But bragging is pointless, especially since I had to drop out due to financial reasons. On the other hand, I completed my senior thesis on a fairly esoteric subject, and later joined a firm specializing in data mining and classification algorithms. I'll be going back to school in a few months (sadly, I was unemployed for a few months and couldn't use my severance to pay for school this Fall)

    In short, college is what you make of it. If I hadn't been passionate about mathematics, I wouldn't have been hired at my previous job. I wouldn't have been able to do cool research, and gained a great entry for my resume. At the same time, being passionate about a subject is much easier when you can focus your time on it, and have the necessary resources to persue the subject available.

    Obviously, I do not regret going to school. Once I've completed my bachelor's degree, I will persue graduate studies.

    I try to not be pretentious, but DeVry does not teach anything I couldn't have learned in my first year in my first job. Very much unlike a traditional four year institution. I value what I have learned, and hope to continue.
  • Kuba Ober 2007-10-09 23:57
    masuku:
    I spent 15 years working in "higher education" at four different universities watching the show, so get real - what you want is paper (degree), what they want is FTE (full time equivalent) seat-time students so they don't lose funding. If you learn anything, it is an accidental byproduct of years of sitting on your ass, with an overpriced book (that is changed every year to keep the bookstore in business) in front of you.


    I agree with the book part. Unfortunately, many academic books seem unfinished, rushed, and not fully thought of. Worse yet, most are wholly redundant, with good texts on the same subject existing even 100 years ago.

    The authors think that there's some good reason for a 192nd intro calculus book, like if all of the 191 before it weren't good enough. The worst incarnation of the NIH syndrome is the academic book market. Instead of rewriting the same crap over and over, someone should get in touch with the copyright holder(s) of a "pretty good" out-of-print book, update it, maybe extend, clean up, and get it back on the market. I could never understand why noone tries to bring back older, out-of-print books, in a contemporary revision. Work on extending and improving existing works... this model has worked pretty well in bringing open source software to us. Just imagine where GNU/Linux would be if we'd get new set of core tools every other year.

    Admittedly, the publishers aren't used to this, but it has to change, othrewise we'll all just keep wasting time revising our course notes with new problem numbers, writing the new books about the same topic, presented in the same way... ARGH.

    Cheers, KUba
  • Richard Asscock, III 2007-10-10 09:42
    Did anyone ever consider that your 4 year college degree shows an employer that you have commitment to take on an extended task and complete it? You're damn right if you think that's pretty important. Have you ever been on a 2+ year project?

    Sorry, 4 years in highschool, no matter how much of a spaz you were in drama club, doesn't count.

    IMO, I prefer the IT/programmers that have a math background (or received their degree from an engineering school). Sure, most of 'em will end up supporting business software rather than designing operating systems (or XBox Live as a buddy of mine), but their mind will be trained to think properly and they will easily pick up the equivalent of a business degree in 12 months. If you understand numbers, it ain't much of a big deal to undertand how to make a profit, debits and credits aside.

    Peace out,
    Dick Asscock
  • FredSaw 2007-10-10 10:02
    Richard Asscock, III:
    Did anyone ever consider that your 4 year college degree shows an employer that you have commitment to take on an extended task and complete it?
    So does four years at the same employer. Difference: they pay you instead of you paying them.
  • Richard Asscock, III 2007-10-10 10:31
    Oh, c'mon. It's pretty easy to 'float' four years on the same job/employer (plenty of the stories here on thedailyWTF* are about those floaters), but a heck of a lot more difficult to complete that engineering degree in the same time. Sure, there are exceptions--like the employee who is NOT related to anyone in management carving out some promotions on her [<-yes, I'm trying to impress the chics] own.

    *I don't recognize this site by any other name.

    Regards,
    Dick Asscock
  • Anonymous Pedant 2007-10-10 11:03
    Opie:
    There is no rule in English forbidding ending a sentence on a preposition.
    Please learn that fact and spread it to all the people you know who also think it's somehow true.

    It's one of the most commonly misunderstood rules in English I know of.

    Here's a link for the non-rule, as well as many other non-rules in "formal" English:
    http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/nonerrors.html

    And here's a slightly amusing thing I found with a quick internet search for "ending sentence with preposition:"

    Child: I want to be read to.
    Mother: Which book would you like to be read to out of?
    Child: Robinson Crusoe.
    Mother brings Swiss Family Robinson.
    Child: What did you bring me that book to be read to out of for?
    .


    I lately lost a preposition
    It hid, I thought, beneath my chair
    And angrily I cried, "Perdition!
    Up from out of in under there."

    Correctness is my vade mecum,
    And straggling phrases I abhor,
    And yet I wondered, "What should he come
    Up from out of in under for?"

    -Morris Bishop in the New Yorker, 27th September, 1947
  • seymore15074 2007-10-10 12:44
    FredSaw:
    Richard Asscock, III:
    Did anyone ever consider that your 4 year college degree shows an employer that you have commitment to take on an extended task and complete it?
    So does four years at the same employer. Difference: they pay you instead of you paying them.


    You can't be serious...wtf.
  • FredSaw 2007-10-10 12:52
    seymore15074:
    FredSaw:
    Richard Asscock, III:
    Did anyone ever consider that your 4 year college degree shows an employer that you have commitment to take on an extended task and complete it?
    So does four years at the same employer. Difference: they pay you instead of you paying them.


    You can't be serious...wtf.
    Of course I'm serious. If your reason for going to college for four years is to prove that you can stick with something for four years, you're going to be out an awful lot of tuition to make that point. Why not stick with a job for four years, all the while pulling in money instead of paying it out? Where's the WTF in that?
  • Franz Kafka 2007-10-10 17:20
    fsilber:

    I suppose this can only be due to the rampant hateful (and obviously unjustified) anti-hillbilly bigotry which for 200 years has pervaded our society.

    Some of the stereotypes are accurate, however. In my previous job in the south (New Orleans, LA), my boss and I had a big disagreement over handguns in the workplace. He simply refused to admit that the right ammo could make a 9mm every bit as good as a .45acp.


    I find it amusing that you can have an argument with your boss over handguns - most places on the west coast wouldn't be so friendly.

    And yeah, you're right - 9mm hollowpoints do very well, especially when you have 15 per mag.
  • poopdeville 2007-10-10 21:42
    [quote user="Anonymous Pedant"][quote user="Opie"]There is no rule in English forbidding ending a sentence on a preposition.
    Please learn that fact and spread it to all the people you know who also think it's somehow true.

    It's one of the most commonly misunderstood rules in English I know of.

    Here's a link for the non-rule, as well as many other non-rules in "formal" English:
    http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/nonerrors.html

    [/quote]

    I don't exactly disagree with you, as English has no "rules." But your interpretation of that link is wrong. The prescriptivist grammarian John Dryden established that rule based on Latin grammar. It definitely had a historical and linguistic basis, even though it has fallen out of favor.
  • Synonymous Awkward 2007-10-11 04:09
    Richard Asscock, III:
    thedailyWTF*

    *I don't recognize this site by any other name.

    You must be getting pretty confused by now, then.
  • anon 2007-10-11 04:42
    If I had gone to a bad grammar school and someone pointed that out for me, I'd just agree without being insulted. It doesn't mean I am stupid. I could have all kinds of reasons to go to that particular grammar school.
    If however the person seemed to imply (telling by eg. the tone) that I was stupid, that'd be an insult.
  • Hognoxious 2007-10-11 12:49
    Otter:
    Which state you lived in as a teenager doesn't constitute "intelligence".
    On the other hand, living in some of them (no, I'm not looking southwards, it was just a tic) is a pretty reliable indicator of stupidity. Hey, that's a nice gu
    no carrier...
  • seymore15074 2007-10-11 13:10
    FredSaw:
    seymore15074:
    FredSaw:
    Richard Asscock, III:
    Did anyone ever consider that your 4 year college degree shows an employer that you have commitment to take on an extended task and complete it?
    So does four years at the same employer. Difference: they pay you instead of you paying them.


    You can't be serious...wtf.
    Of course I'm serious. If your reason for going to college for four years is to prove that you can stick with something for four years, you're going to be out an awful lot of tuition to make that point. Why not stick with a job for four years, all the while pulling in money instead of paying it out? Where's the WTF in that?


    Explain that to your next interviewer.
  • FredSaw 2007-10-11 14:13
    seymore15074:
    Explain that to your next interviewer.
    No need to explain. That wasn't my reason for going to college.
  • Opie 2007-10-11 14:36
    poopdeville:

    I don't exactly disagree with you, as English has no "rules." But your interpretation of that link is wrong. The prescriptivist grammarian John Dryden established that rule based on Latin grammar. It definitely had a historical and linguistic basis, even though it has fallen out of favor.


    It most certainly has not fallen out of favor.
    In fact, if anything, it's just as popular now, among pedantic english teachers, as it ever was.

    Also, don't say English has no rules.
    Only people who don't know of their existence say such things. English is actually quite specific about a LOT of things you wouldn't expect it to be.
  • Hognoxious 2007-10-12 10:34
    fsilber:
    In Europe, universities are mainly just for scholarly people interested in the liberal arts.
    Totally true. Our doctors grow on trees, engineers are mined from under the ground and chemists are bred in the seas West of Corsica.
  • Hognoxious 2007-10-12 10:42
    misha:
    Also, I've been to plenty of interviews where I was given aptitude tests, what EEC regulation are we talking about here?
    Wild guess time. Given mentions of: DeVry, Illinois, and the Mississippi, I'd conclude thate none of the 'E's stands for Europe[ean].
  • J 2007-10-12 13:42
    That's true for the first 2-5 years. After that, the gap disappears.

    As a side note, my first boss would've done the same thing. I learned more from him than any boss since.

    Captcha: muhahaha - boy, i wish i'd had a better comment now
  • Nefarious Wheel 2007-10-14 20:16
    If you want people to laugh, tell them a joke. If you want them to think you're witty, feed them a straight line.

    Intelligence, knowledge and education are all useful, but their documentation is sometimes unremarkable and often regarded only as a ticket to the interview. If you can demonstrate that you can follow the line of conversation in a clever way, that you actually listen rather than simply wait for your chance to speak, you'll have a better chance.

    Of course I could be mistaken, but I have hired a hundred or so programmers in my career directly with 98% success. Your mileage may vary. Brilliance and a balanced personality on the day will win out over the best resume.
  • Alex Gergoriev 2007-12-05 23:34
    Let the South Secede:
    - Your culture is explicitly racist (as opposed to vaguely racist in the north and west)
    - Your economy depends on riverboat gambling and almost nothing else
    - Your supercomputer centers are there because of congressional pork, not merit
    - Your state would still vote for Bush if he ran for an illegal third term.

    http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/statelis.htm

    MS is sixth for highest percentage of health uninsured
    MS is second at 12.9 murders/100,000 people
    tenth in highest unemployment rate
    second in percent under poverty line (23.5)
    seventh in per-capita defense spending

    http://www.morganquitno.com/edrank.htm

    Don't know if it's valid, but you're #49 of 50 there...

    Notice that my statistics are per-capita/percentage based, so rankings aren't skewed by absolute population numbers.

    so:
    -crappy
    -dangerous
    -lazy
    -poor
    -fat on the government till

    oh yeah..

    -stupid



    California fares even worse in this data...
  • The Mississippian 2008-01-03 18:02
    The author obviously doesn't know that Mississippi is ranked as being on the top 10 list of SUPERCOMPUTERS IN THE WORLD. That the Saturn rockets were built in Mississippi and that all engine testing is performed at Stennis Space Center (SSC). SSC is also a satellite facility to over eight major universities in Mississippi and the world and the home to the Naval Oceanography Office...you know that place that performs MASSIVE computing on the worlds OCEANS.

    As a Mississippian that is also a Software Engineer who has programmed in PERL, Python, Java, Matlab, PV-Wave, IDL, C, C++, Zope, Ruby, used every RDBMS and many applications servers and COTS I'd say the author is DEAD wrong.

    So, I personally think the author should consider doing some basic research prior to making blanket statements about a place he/she has never been to.
  • Annie 2008-01-31 12:39
    Midco, my employer in Kansas City, has just been sold to Bigco, a silicon valley firm. One of the Bigco managers comes out to Kansas and is given the task of managing the company's hot new product being developed. While waiting for people to filter into the first meeting she'll attend with the development team, she asks another suit, "This is advanced software. Can we DO this with Kansas programmers?"
    Most of the dev team is in the room. As is the COO.

  • Marvin 2009-11-08 12:36
    My Moonshine Distillery has indoor plumbing, natch!
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