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I think your analogy could be better. While I can understand trying to compare/contrast good software to a good story, I can hardly agree that the same can be said for computer science and literary criticism. Now if you had said:

A computer science degree is as useful for writing good software as a literary arts degree is for writing a good story.
I could agree wholeheartedly. Both lay a foundation that is necessary to adequately understand and excel in those respective fields. To excel in either field does not require a degree, but it does require a fundamental knowledge base.

A person with either degree has demonstrated that they have met the minimum requirements necessary to obtain that fundamental knowledge base. They have at least been exposed to those fundamentals. The same is much more difficult to assess for someone without a degree.

As the others have already said, having a degree doesn't necessarily make one individual smarter or a better programmer/author. But it does show to prospective employers that they have been exposed to the fundamentals.

BTW, I ++'d every node in this thread (including the original one) because they stimulate thoughtful discussion. The sign of a good Meditation.

--Jim


In reply to Re: (OT?) Usefulness of CS by jlongino
in thread (OT?) Usefulness of CS by social_mandog

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