Is it worth learning python?

Tim Lavoie tool_man at
Fri Aug 23 22:21:05 CEST 2002

In article <3D656E02.4F6BF967 at>, Peter Hansen wrote:

> I've found that more than 90% of programmers I've met who do not have
> university degrees simply do not have the depth and breadth of 
> experience to qualify as what I would call "software engineers".
> On the other hand, I have a university engineering degree and
> I would say that more than 90% of the students in my graduating
> class, not to mention many of those from the Math/CS department,
> simply do not have the depth and breadth of experience to qualify 
> as what I would call "software engineers". :)
> The degree or lack thereof is far from being the most relevant 
> factor in this issue.

True enough. I think the degree helps in exposing the student to more than
they necessarily need to know "right now", i.e. digital logic, boolean math
and hardware basics, instead of just specific apps which are currently in
demand. There still has to be (IMHO) the hacker interest to dig around and
get dirty.

I worked for a while at the same company as one of my CS classmates, who was
an Honours student, probably with better grades than mine. She had no deep
interest in this stuff though, she just thought it would be a decent-paying
job. I got a chuckle one time when she came by to see what I was up to,
which happened to be dissecting HP PCL output from another program so I
could reverse-engineer it. I've got this binary loaded up in XEmacs, and her
reaction is, "WHAT. IS. THAT?" I tell her, and she just gets this blank
look, goes "Oh.", and wanders away. <grin> Better yet, my manager considered
this to be a PITA project (for Pain In The A**), and thought I would be
miffed at having to do it. Heheh. It beat what he considered to be the Good

In terms of interviewing, perhaps part of the test should be done prior to
the interview. Have them wait somewhere due to "unforeseen delays," where
there is a bunch of Lego on a table in the corner. Hire the ones who can't
resist building something while they wait.


"If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the
    -- Winston Churchill

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