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Re: Certification or College degrees?
Personally, in the technical industries I have observed that is a person's logical thought process is far more important than formal education. Also, if you've been fed a master's degree worth of knowledge in computer science and then sit on it, you will be outpaced quite rapidly by many high school kids who are dedicated to computers because it's his or her hobby. It's sad but when I was taking college classes, I had no respect for the head of the computer science department who held a masters degree because he could not follow a conversation I would have with him about any modern technology emerging in the industry. Nor did he have a solid grasp on modern operating systems. I thought this was a unique case at the college I had attended (shortly) but I have found that many others have experienced the same thing at various universities around the country.
Never having finished college (being frustrated I could not learn what I wanted to), yet having started a successful business at the age of 19 (which I later sold to my partners $$) and now working as the head of engineering for a mid sized ISP, I find that no formal training can replace logical thinking. I realize that a piece of paper can open doors and many employers look for one, but skill and personal commitment accounts for much of what you can accomplish in life. I never fear not having a job because I can always create my own again if need be. It's sad but 90% of the consultants in this industry don't know what they are doing at all and people still pay them top dollar. That's always something I can fall back being that I actually DO have a clue. Again, the computer industry is unlike many others where if you have the skill and logical thought process, you can make the buck. I ignore most people's educational achievements and certifications and would rather speak with them or see them in action. Most educated people in the computer industry that I have met disappoint me especially a large cross section of college graduates who have majored in computer science. The ones that I hold high regard for are the ones that have pressed through their education and continue to self educate themselves.
Just to give another example, the programmer that wrote our management system for our customers isn't even old enough to have graduated from college and is taking a break. He tutored a person who is in a masters degree program for computer science and needed help with programming. He's also ahead of much of the industry because he's been programming with .NET for quite a while now and we already have very awesome applications written by him in .NET when the rest of the industry is still wondering how to get into it. I hold him in very high regard.
This is just my $0.07. In no way do I recommend you base your life on my advice or experiences. ;) Feedback is welcome, but I prefer it to be off-list only because I wish to have useful technical discussions on NANOG. I just had to comment on this as I'm sure many others have as well. :)
At 09:37 PM 5/22/2002, email@example.com wrote:
The base pre-req for this is that the person is educated to tertiary level skills in Maths. Or, are evidently bloody good for other reasons. Lets not forget that some of the people who write the systems are actually just smarter than me, and thats why they find it simpler and I find it hard. Anyway, I echo Randy. I think that you should go for people who have fundamentals like an understanding of analysis, synthesis (of ideas) and processes like introspection. And who have graph theory, numerical analysis, statistics... -George > > if i was to take a newbie, i would much rather hire someone who has > taken algorithms and data structures, queuing, ... than someone who > has spent their time studying for whatever juniper and cisco call > their vendor certifications. > > one can teach a monkey how to hack a router, as is demonstrated on > a daily basis. but a little computer science goes a much longer > way. > > randy -- George Michaelson | APNIC Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | PO Box 2131 Milton QLD 4064 Phone: +61 7 3858 3100 | Australia Fax: +61 7 3858 3199 | http://www.apnic.net
Vinny Abello Network Engineer Server Management email@example.com (973)300-9211 x 125 (973)940-6125 (Direct) Tellurian Networks - The Ultimate Internet Connection http://www.tellurian.com (888)TELLURIAN