no degree impedes climbing the ladder, was Re: mysql issue

Levi Pearson levipearson at
Fri Feb 10 11:36:50 MST 2012

On Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 10:28 AM, Daniel C. <dcrookston at> wrote:
> On Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 9:40 AM, Aaron Toponce <aaron.toponce at> wrote:
>> Lastly, I learned a great deal finishing my education. It was more than
>> just jumping through hoops.
> I think that this aspect gets downplayed too much when discussing
> college degrees.  At one point I would have argued that there's
> nothing you can't learn on your own, but since going back to school
> I've realized that having an experienced professional direct your
> learning can be invaluable.  There have been a few "wtf" moments - for
> example, when I realized that my TA had never actually touched
> production code or worked with a professional software development
> team - but overall the experience has been positive.
> And that's only on the technology side - the improvements I've seen in
> my ability to examine a problem critically and communicate my
> conclusions would be worth it even if I never took a CSCI class.  I'd
> even say that expository writing and business communications should be
> "required" study for anyone who wants to be a software professional.
> If nothing else, it would help a person demonstrate why they should be
> given a promotion instead of the other guy who has a degree.

One important point here is that what you get out of higher education
depends a lot on how you approach it.  There's no school in the world
that will *force* you to learn useful things.  On the other hand, you
can turn even the worst classroom experiences into valuable learning
opportunities if you take the view that it's your responsibility to
learn from it rather than do the minimal amount necessary to get by.
Finishing a degree program shows that you've got the patience to see a
task like that through, and hopefully that you understand the value of
a broad educational background behind your specific technical skills.

More information about the PLUG mailing list