Thursday, September 3, 2015

Making The Case That Humanities Majors Make Better Programmers

From the Atlantic, "You Don't Have to Be Good at Math to Learn to Code: Learning to program involves a lot of Googling, logic, and trial-and-error—but almost nothing beyond fourth-grade arithmetic." by Olga Khazan:
In order to figure out what your program should say, you’re going to need some basic logic skills. You’ll also need to be skilled at copying and pasting things from online repositories and tweaking them slightly. But humanities majors, fresh off writing reams of term papers, are probably more talented at that than math majors are.

I know plenty of people with bachelor’s, master’s, and even doctorate degrees in philosophy or international relations who have taught themselves to code. It’s true that some types of code look a little like equations. But you don’t really have to solve them, just know where they go and what they do. The programmer and entrepreneur Emma Mulqueeny puts it well:

In most cases you can see that the hard maths (the physical and geometry) is either done by a computer or has been done by someone else. While the calculations do happen and are essential to the successful running of the program, the programmer does not need to know how they are done.