Best Computer Science School in Utah

Sasha Pachev sasha at
Wed Sep 26 12:39:28 MDT 2007

> It's no surprise that employers like ITA and Google, who work with
> massive, complex data sets, are interested in people with CS theory.
> And with hard drive and memory capacity going up, data sets are > only
> getting bigger.

There are lots and lots of businesses out there. Some need people who
understand algorithms very well, others can get by with somebody who
can generate a web page in a scripting language and create/implement
algorithms of bubble-sort level difficulty.

I have been programming professionally for over 10 years now. Perhaps
it has been my choice of what to work with, but I have found myself
using a craftsman-style skill set probably at least 90% of the time,
and occasionally getting  to solve a creative problem that required a
more in-depth understanding of algorithms.

Craftsman-level skill should not be looked down upon at all. As I
mentioned in my book, the power of MySQL is not so much in its
underlying algorithms, if anything that would be the area of its
weakness, but in the craftsmanship with would those algorithms are

Additionally, the value of software is only very partially is in the
algorithms (CS expertise). Does it have the needed feature set? Is the
user interface properly designed for the intended audience? How stable
is it? How responsive is it? (You could have a brilliant algorithm
underneath, but without some practical considerations the application
will not be responsive)

We need all kinds of skill sets, and we should not feel like we are
better than others because we possess a certain unique skill set. Some
food for thought - every surgeon needs a plumber, but not every
plumber needs a surgeon.

Sasha Pachev
AskSasha Linux Consulting

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