Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments
NOTE: use Perl; is on undef hiatus. You can read content, but you can't post it. More info will be forthcoming forthcomingly.

All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

use Perl Log In

Log In

[ Create a new account ]

pjf (2464)

pjf
  (email not shown publicly)
http://pjf.id.au/
AOL IM: miyuki3k (Add Buddy, Send Message)
Jabber: pjf@jabber.org

I run Perl Training Australia [perltraining.com.au].

I help with Melbourne Perl Mongers.

I spend an awful lot of time talking about Perl, and have had my picture in the Australian newspapers with a camel. That's rather scary.

Journal of pjf (2464)

Thursday April 13, 2006
08:07 AM

University degrees; Perlish dreams

[ #29312 ]

University degrees
I've been doing an awful lot of teaching these last few weeks, and part of it has made me think a little more about university degrees, and whether or not they're useful.

I had a great time at university, and am very happy with both what I had learnt in my degree and the social connections that I made. However I also have a number of friends and associated who are very successful and skilled, but have no tertiary qualifications at all. Indeed, my first year computer science teacher explained that if we really wanted to make money we should have left school at sixteen to become bricklayers. There's a shortage of bricklayers, and by the time we would be graduating our bricklaying alter-egos would be running their own tax-effective business and own three houses.

So, is it really worthwhile spending three or more years of your life to get a piece of paper? For the individual I really can't say, but for a trainer with a class filled with postgraduates, the answer is yes. Hell yes!

My class of recent graduates learnt much faster than any other class I can remember. We covered four days worth of material in a mere three days, and spent the extra day covering extra theory and object oriented design in Perl. Regardless of the rewards to the attendees, it was a very rewarding experience for myself.

Now, it could just be luck that I had a particularly smart class, but I think the fact that most were fresh out of university was a factor. If nothing else, holding a university degree shows that you know how to learn and absorb knowledge, and are able to adapt to new situations. I know that should almost be self-obvious, but it's not something I had encountered in such a stunning way until recently.

Perlish dreams
I have strange dreams sometimes, and usually I forget them. But last night's one stuck in my head. I was at a conference, and Audrey Tang was giving a presentation. Not just any presentation, but the best presentation I had ever seen in my life. It was truly spectacular, and used many new presentation techniques I had never before encountered.

I was saddened by the end of the presentation, not only because it was so good, but because if I took my new-found techniques everyone would know that I lifted them directly from Audrey's keynote. They just won't be as cool.

It took me 90 minutes after waking up to realise that the whole thing was a dream, and that I could use these great new techniques and have them appear original!

My happiness lasted but a few mere seconds before it also dawned upon me that unicode doesn't have frozen bubble glyphs. And even if it did, "&penguin; &penguin; &orangeball; &igloo;" probably wouldn't be a valid Perl 6 program, regardless of how much cool stuff it did in my dream.

The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
 Full
 Abbreviated
 Hidden
More | Login | Reply
Loading... please wait.
  • My happiness lasted but a few mere seconds before it also dawned upon me that unicode doesn't have frozen bubble glyphs. And even if it did, "&penguin; &penguin; &orangeball; &igloo;" probably wouldn't be a valid Perl 6 program, regardless of how much cool stuff it did in my dream.

    I'm sure if you do your part and manage to convince the keepers of Unicode to add the frozen bubble glyphs, then lamdacamels will do their part and add it to Pugs.

    For some reason this all reminds me of the April [google.com]

  • I never finished my degree. I had money issues, plus the degree wasn't entirely what I expected. So I only did 2 years.

    But I think got as much benefit out of it as if I would have finished the degree (given I don't work in the area of my degree).

    I think University (and particular your undergraduate degree) is about learning to learn on your own. The fact you pick up background knowledge in your desired area adds to it and means that when you go to work in your area, you can pick up the specific skills quite