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  1. #26
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    Aaron, what is your degree in?

  2. #27
    SitePoint Wizard aaron.martone's Avatar
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    I don't have a degree. There is none for Web Development (to my knowledge) I have certifications and a portfolio.

    CompTIA Certified Internet Webmaster Associate, A+, i-Net+, Network+. Working on getting my Adobe Certification in Photoshop, Illustrator and Advanced Coldfusion, and then towards a MCP and then a MSDBA.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaron.martone View Post
    I don't have a degree.
    Okay. So you basically say that it sucks that you need a CS degree to get an IT job (which I disagree with, as there are plenty of IT-related degrees, but that's beside the point)

    As it stands, I know of NO PLACE (please tell me if you know otherwise) where you can get a Degree in Database Programming and Design. If this guy was told by a hiring agency "We'll hire you, but you need a BS in CS", to me, it's just such a HORRIBLE line of thinking, to require a guy who may have NO INTEREST WHATSOEVER in coding (especially for 4 years!) just so he can get the job.
    What you'll find is that most job postings should read "CS degree required." By that I mean that having a degree is important, but the actual field is of less importance. If you were in an interview and demonstrated that you're a kick *** DB admin, and you have a degree in Soviet Art History, you can still get the job. Degrees represent someone's assertion (the university's) that you're qualified intellectually, not technically.

    It seems to me that you have a misunderstanding of a degree's role in job requirements, or that what you really don't like is simply that a degree is required in the first place. I know it'd be a lot easier if employers said "BS and thorough DB knowledge required," but that's just not how it works.

  4. #29
    SitePoint Zealot covantage's Avatar
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    A college degree gives you an all-around education. An employer is looking for someone that fills the technical aspects of a job as well as everyday skills such as communication.
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  5. #30
    SitePoint Wizard aaron.martone's Avatar
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    Covantage - That makes the most sense out of everything I've seen so far. If they want an all around educated person (thanks in part to the many "core" classes you're required to take for a degree) then that could be what they want.

    Pergesu-
    No, I'm not saying that at all. I don't care that I don't have a CS degree. I'm concerned as to the mentality of the hiring agency for careers in IT that don't have degrees. Companys should not be afraid to change their way of thinking rather than relying on the rules of old. That's not to say that we have to change everything, but they need to be open to a new mentality on hiring. That, or HR isn't doing their job.

  6. #31
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    Well what do you mean by change their way of thinking? I see two things:
    1. Don't limit job positions to particular degrees
    2. Don't require a degree at all

    As I discussed in my post, 1 is simply a misunderstanding. While the ads will say that a particular degree is required, the vast majority of the time it's probably not. Unless they're swamped with applications, having a degree other than CS won't get you tossed.

    If you're arguing 2, well, okay...I'm not sure how many companies will agree with you on that. While there are certainly strong candidates without degrees, in general companies will find better quality among those who do hold degrees. You may be a good catch, but if 10 people without degrees apply for a job, there's almost 0 chance that all 10 are like you. The fact is that if companies restrict their search to those with degrees, the less crap they have to wade through. And even then they wade through a LOT of crap.

  7. #32
    SitePoint Wizard aaron.martone's Avatar
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    My dad tells me the same thing. How that degree is worth it's weight in gold. I don't know if it's because I'm impatient or that I don't want to waste not only thousands of dollars in tuition, but as many countless hours in effort towards getting it, when I could be using that time to perfect my "craft"

    For example, I told myself "this year, you're going to push your career forward - not just sit there and let the year pass you by" Sure enough I've taken 2 college classes, will take 2 more when those are up, and so on and so forth until I've exhausted every local resource towards getting me where I want to be, and that's with 5 additional career-related certifications, and an ever-growing portfolio.

    I'm no businessman by any stretch of the imagination -- but aside from someone just saying "that's how it is, so you gotta deal with it", I can't see why such massive significance is put on the degree, when, to me, it doesn't logically validate a person for a position as well as certification from professional staples in the field, and a portfolio that makes the employer's jaw drop.

    Maybe I'm thinking too far forward, and the job field is taking baby steps to where I think it should be running marathons..... hmmm.

  8. #33
    Webwellwisher Robert Warren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaron.martone View Post
    Robert Warren-
    You seem to have gone off on a completely unrelated tangent. Be careful of calling someone's thesis or view flawed, especially when it's based off perception and experience.
    I don't think it's unrelated at all. In fact, it goes right to the heart of the very first sentence you wrote in this thread, that basically all those old farts don't realize that technology drives industry today - as though that's anything new. My point is that you're proposing a very myopic, condescending logical position that isn't supported by actual history, and then you're trying to build a coherent argument on it. You did that straight from the title of this thread.

    I never said your view is flawed; I said your thesis is flawed. It's factually deficient. If you can't see that, well, that's exactly the reason why so many companies do still require those degrees. Education provides perspective (whether it's accepted or not), which is what most of those companies are looking for - not just glorified data entry clerks with off-shelf corporate paper who think the world began when they were born.

    (And yes, I've worked in all those same IT jobs, and more. I'll be happy to stack my "perception and experience" against yours, any day.)

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaron.martone View Post
    Robert Warren-
    You seem to have gone off on a completely unrelated tangent. Be careful of calling someone's thesis or view flawed, especially when it's based off perception and experience.

    Technology has emerged into a career field that (for many, but not all fields) does not require (nor do places even offer) degrees in those fields. The only class I made mention to was programming, however I'm sure you'll find that there are others, and many educational facilities are trying to cater to an ever wider spectrum.

    The point isn't that "technology" has evolved from being what it was 30 years ago to what it is today. It's that many companys still believe that all careers orbit around a select few degrees that have next to nothing to do with the job at hand. Let's just take web development for example. A web developer and graphic artist worth $60k/year (mediocre) is turned down because he doesn't have a BS in Computer Science, whose curriculum centers around C++ programming.

    I've personally seen this in many fortune 500 company applications, and it's gotten me to question the validity of such policies. If someone said "Your technology fields in question are relatively new, that schools havn't gotten around to developing legitimate degrees for them", then that would suffice. Til then, the only viable way I see that these professionals can showcase their abilities is by word of mouth, certifications from accredited career-related companies (like Adobe), or portfolio.
    "It's that many companys still believe that all careers orbit around a select few degrees that have next to nothing to do with the job at hand. Let's just take web development for example."

    why shouldn't they hire based on what they believe is important?

    this thread is nothing more than OP whining. if you can get a job without a degree, that's good. if you can't, well. stop your whining and go get a degree. what's there to aruge about?

    Company have the rights to their hiring policy, just like OP have the rights to whine about their hiring policy.

    edit: btw, CS is not all about C++ programing. Crticial thinking (algorithm) is big part of CS.

  10. #35
    SitePoint Wizard aaron.martone's Avatar
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    Dotnetnoob-
    I'm thoroughly well versed with people of your type. Rather than go in depth, you are an individual who fears change, and sees people who post questions to traditional methods as "whining". You are intellectually incapable of continuing a conversation on this topic unless you attempt to be less close-minded. You mistakenly feel that I hold a grudge against a company who doesn't hire me because I didn't meet the criteria aforementioned, but this isn't the case. My OP is concerned merely around the mentality used of that business and how it doesn't necessarily apply to IT today.

    Robert Warren-
    If you cannot see that a person's post on a forum is always based off their perception and experience, possibly making it correct as naught times wrong, and instead believe that in your very same capacity for your life's perception and experience, what you state is supposedly factual, then I think our conversation cannot continue since you take what you say instantly as undisputed fact, and any other differentiating view as automatically wrong.

    If you remove your imposed belief that I'm talking from a point of fact, and instead re-read the post from a standpoint that I'm inquiring as to an understanding of WHY these companies hire in the manner we've described, you'll see there's nothing myopic about it. I'm always amazed at how many people imbue an emotional state merely from reading text, which to my knowledge, has yet been able to emote.

    So far, the best response I've seen to this entire discussion is Covantage's statement that the degree merits worth because it signifies the individual is well rounded in education. I'm very open to everything else, but we need to be a bit more mature in this thread rather than insulting people with their personally justified descriptions of other's views.

  11. #36
    Non-Member deathshadow's Avatar
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    ... and here I thought we were going to be discussing places who want part-time or full-time web developers that reject anyone not willing to do an in person interview or to work face to face - NOT degrees. (Something that with one of my clients sibling departments is increasingly frustrating - as I'm 100% sure is preventing the position of a part time php back-end coder/maintainer from being filled by anyone competant)

    Instead, it's the old degree or no degree arguement, and as much as I am against degrees, consider college not only wasted on 90%+ of the people who go, stamping out free thinking, prolonging the sheep mentality and is one of the leading causes of our being a society of debters resulting in bankrupting our economy...

    Simple fact is it's what society expects, as it's called 'playing the game'. SOME form of organized education, be it college, military service (the route I took) or BOTH shows devotion to a goal and the ability to conform - which for a LOT of employers that's exactly what they want. Employers want employees - people who will shut up and do what they are told... It's usually WHY they are employers, and most people are employees.

    Still, it depends on WHAT you go to college for - I still say that attempting to keep a school up to date with an industry that has three years being obsolete, five years being scrapheap is futile... Case in point, those Cobol classes I took and that DEC diBol certification are just SO useful today. If you are going to go to college instead of blowing credits on stuff that's going to be useless in a few years, concentrate on stuff that is going to be around a while - like Business and Marketing. These are the courses that can MAKE you a employer, and not just another common worker.

    Marketing in particular when it comes to web design - I see so many graphics folks with little or no marketing background, which to me is like attempting to build a house from the ground up on the knowledge from an interior design course.

    But then, being that all but one of my friends with college degrees are flipping burgers or working convenience stores right now... while my friends without degrees all own their own businesses says something. (though the most successful of my degreeless friends ALSO went the military service route)

    On that subject - that's something that ALWAYS pisses me off on applications, polls, etc... People rarely list military service as an option INSTEAD of college, leaving people with a decade or two of service having to check the 'High School' box. Honestly, I'd stack someone with two tours as a PLO (permanant latrine orderly - I say, I say, that's a joke son...) up against most people with docrates any day when it comes to simple things like problem solving skills and work ethic.

    Again though, back when I was handling hiring for a major computer sales/service company in the Boston area I often came to the conclusion that janitors might have been more qualified to service computers than most of the people I interviewed with degrees.

  12. #37
    SitePoint Wizard aaron.martone's Avatar
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    To be honest, I never even thought of Military as a viable area of an application, not because I didn't think it worthy, but just because it never came to mind. I agree that military experience should hold a significant weight when it comes to a person's eligibility for the position.

    I appreciate your feedback towards the "degrees aren't seemingly worthwhile" I would still like to hear if someone people have reasons otherwise, such as Covantage's statement of an all around education, and the general consensus that it indicates an individual's ability to set a goal over time and meet it.

  13. #38
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaron.martone View Post
    Vinnie,

    I can see what you're saying, but, for example, let's take a MSDBA. Let's say this guy knows Databases so well, he could do them in his sleep. A company that hires this guy would be ripping him off if he only got $80k/year. He's just that good.

    As it stands, I know of NO PLACE (please tell me if you know otherwise) where you can get a Degree in Database Programming and Design. If this guy was told by a hiring agency "We'll hire you, but you need a BS in CS", to me, it's just such a HORRIBLE line of thinking, to require a guy who may have NO INTEREST WHATSOEVER in coding (especially for 4 years!) just so he can get the job.

    I'm not saying that's how it SHOULD be, but I'm just not happy with what it is as it stands today. I guess a lot of it is resentment for companies that look like they offer a great opportunity, but then I end up unqualified merely because they want a degree I don't have that contains a myriad of classes unrelated to the job. :\
    As pergesu said, a CS degree requirement is pretty flexible in many cases. Plenty of people get jobs with a CS degree listed as a requirement and have a degree in something else.

    You're really arguing two different things here: the applicability of a degree in one subject to a job in another, and the applicability of a degree to certain jobs at all. I believe there is a difference between the two and you're muddying the waters.

    As for your DBA example, if the guy had experience out the wazoo to back him up and possibly a degree in ANYTHING, even Art History or whatever, he'd get a good job.

    This all really begs a bigger question: why go for a brick-and-mortar type job where the background of all the employees and even the company's very corporate culture go against your background and what you stand for? I know in my case there are certain industries/companies I'd never even consider applying to because I know I wouldn't "fit in" and I'd have a terrible time at the job, regardless of how much I make.

  14. #39
    Level 8 Chinese guy Archbob's Avatar
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    I know that University of Wisconsin at Madison has specialization in database research and so does Illinois.
    CS degrees generally are not geared towards programming one specific language(I'm not sure why you say they are), they are much more algorithem and math based. In fact, there are very few classes in a CS degree that actually teach you a specific language, which is why I quite CS and went into management.

  15. #40
    SitePoint Wizard aaron.martone's Avatar
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    Vinnie-
    The original point I was debating (aside from the other debates that entered afterwards due to miscommunication or lack of understanding) didn't really have to do with me job seeking and finding thiis out, then becoming discouraged at the snafu -- it was just understanding the reasoning behind it.

    But the example you gave for the DB gentleman, why is it that the degree in Art (or whatever) would even matter to the employer? I'm just baffled as to why so much emphasis is put on something that, to me, kind of is extracurricular, if not poignant.

    Surely, Brick and Mortar (mentality, not the building) might have thrown some people off -- I guess I should have called it "traditional" vs. "contemporary" lines of thinking. Though I can agree that I wouldn't want to necessarily work for such a traditional company, even the position was perfect for me, their line of thinking might keep me from getting that position, and in the end, helping THEM out as much as it's helped ME.

    I'm not eloquent with words, and I think you do understand what I'm saying. It's kind of a stalemate discussion, no?

    Archbob-
    I say CS degrees were towards C++ and/or Java merely because that's what I've experienced personally -- I'm nore than open to believe that there are educational facilities out there that have CS style degrees that cater to other IT-related fields, but the problem is that those degrees aren't being listed as the requirement for the position on the job applications.

    CS to management, though, eh? Quite a career change. Hey, maybe as management, you'll have say in the hiring policies of future applicants? Think post-modern!

  16. #41
    Employed Again Viflux's Avatar
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    aaron:

    I think that one of the key contributing reasons to most organizations requesting, or even requiring, a degree, has to do with discrimination.

    The stereotypical, clean-cut, straight-and-narrow kid does well in high school, goes on to post-secondary, and then enters the workforce with a degree that may or may not be useful to them. Anyone who deviates from that path is, well, a deviant.

    I'm not saying that I support that view, nor that it is correct. That's just how I've always pictured the situation.

    Managers in larger institutions, the kinds that require degrees more strictly, are much more likely to have followed that path themselves.

    I've noticed that a lot of smaller companies, who are run by talented, but not "degreed" people such as yourself, are less likely to place an emphasis on following that path.

    It doesn't apply just to the I.T. field, although it may seem like it just because that's where our experience and interest lie.

  17. #42
    Webwellwisher Robert Warren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viflux View Post
    The stereotypical, clean-cut, straight-and-narrow kid does well in high school, goes on to post-secondary, and then enters the workforce with a degree that may or may not be useful to them. Anyone who deviates from that path is, well, a deviant.
    I think there's some validity to that point, but only as far as it goes. There's definitely a certain level of discrimination going on, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

    For most companies, a college degree says certain things. It says that you had what it takes to stick with a goal for years and achieve it. It says you're patient. It says that you have some real intellectual perspective beyond today's product manual. Most of all, it says you've at least been exposed to dialectic reason, and at least have had the opportunity to be trained in it. Even though few hiring managers probably think of it in these terms, I'd say that exposure to formalized dialectic reason is the whole central value of a college education - and exactly what a cert (or vo-tech) doesn't provide. That's just training.

    Self-educated people - not all of them, but enough - tend to develop very one-sided logical processes; that's how people naturally are, unless they've been conditioned otherwise. Self-educated people usually don't work particularly well in groups without turning argumentative, and so have limited value to companies who want to build long-term, efficient working teams. Much of this thread is case in point.

    So yeah, I'd say the discrimination/deviancy point is valid, but it's only one side of the coin. Hiring managers are looking at it from the other.

  18. #43
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viflux View Post
    aaron:

    I think that one of the key contributing reasons to most organizations requesting, or even requiring, a degree, has to do with discrimination.

    The stereotypical, clean-cut, straight-and-narrow kid does well in high school, goes on to post-secondary, and then enters the workforce with a degree that may or may not be useful to them. Anyone who deviates from that path is, well, a deviant.

    I'm not saying that I support that view, nor that it is correct. That's just how I've always pictured the situation.

    Managers in larger institutions, the kinds that require degrees more strictly, are much more likely to have followed that path themselves.

    I've noticed that a lot of smaller companies, who are run by talented, but not "degreed" people such as yourself, are less likely to place an emphasis on following that path.

    It doesn't apply just to the I.T. field, although it may seem like it just because that's where our experience and interest lie.
    And again we get into the discussion of why someone would apply for a job at a company whose corporate culture is in such stark contrast to their own views on the world.

  19. #44
    SitePoint Wizard aaron.martone's Avatar
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    Well, heck, I'd apply for a job is it sounded like a great opportunity, even if HR seemingly was using out-dated (to me) methodology to the hiring process. It's just that because of the latter, I may not get it. I would hope that their hiring policies wouldn't be the bread and butter of the day to day operations of my job with the agency, but merely the speed bump I have to get across in order to get my foot in the door.

  20. #45
    Non-Member deathshadow's Avatar
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    Oh, BTW - don't badmouth computer programming courses focusing on C... It's the one language that's been at the core of real computer development for close to three decades now, and most every REAL language is little more than window dressing atop that foundation.

    Take PHP and Javascript for example - core web technologies that are both C syntax languages with minor quirky changes like a lack of typecasting, or in PHP's case using $ before all variables and reversing how local/global is handled.

    Learn an "object C" like C++ or C#, or even a close cousin like Java, and php/javascript should take hours to learn as apart from different libraries and minor syntax changes, they are the same damned thing.

    On top of which certain key programming concepts, such as procedural flow and algorythm handling are important across all computer languages. A fundemental understanding of those can apply a lot more than the specifics of any one language.

  21. #46
    Level 8 Chinese guy Archbob's Avatar
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    If don't have a college degree, honestly, get one. Its so muich easier to land an entry-level level job and not having a degree will pretty much kill your chances at promotion.

    CS programs for Univerisities are no based on programming at all. Its Computer Science, not computer programming. It has much more to do with computational algorithems than actually programming syntax.

    I find these advanced math procedures quite useless to me in real-world applications and I entered B-Schoool because it was more practical for me.

  22. #47
    SitePoint Wizard aaron.martone's Avatar
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    Deathshadow, I don't know WHERE you got the idea that I was badmouthing C (or it's variants), if indeed you were addressing me (since you made no mention of whom you were replying to)

    Absolutely NOWHERE did I disparage C -- it's a cornerstone to application development, and programmers have it better simply because their field of choice is prime for getting a degree in computer science. I am not the kind of person who "If you're pro THIS you HAVE TO BE con THAT" I believe there are many shades of gray in between.

  23. #48
    Webwellwisher Robert Warren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaron.martone View Post
    If you remove your imposed belief that I'm talking from a point of fact, and instead re-read the post from a standpoint that I'm inquiring as to an understanding of WHY these companies hire in the manner we've described, you'll see there's nothing myopic about it.
    Oh - and by the way, Aaron - when you get a few spare moments, look up the definition of the word "thesis". It doesn't mean "view" or "opinion".

    What you're saying here (in this particular sentence) makes no sense from a logical perspective - you're essentially saying, "If you just step away from your belief that I'm claiming something to be a fact, and instead see that I'm asking people to tell me why that fact is indeed true, you'll see that I have a point."

    If you're asking, "Why does it seem this way to me?", then that's fine - that's your perspective. But you're asking, "Why is this true?". You're strawmanning.

  24. #49
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    My "business" degree is in Management Information Systems, about as IT as you can get.
    ...
    if you just want to learn web development there's little reason to even go to something more than a community college. MIS Bachelor's degrees and the like get more useful when you're higher up on the totem pole than "Junior Web Developer". University is a great place to go if you're looking for a career path; it's a massive waste of time if all you want is a job.
    Your degree sounds like the Information & Decision Sciences degree that you could get in my college. In that case, I didn't realize where you were coming from. I just jumped the gun because in my mind I immediately tied a business degree exclusively dealing with finance or marketing.

    I never thought of web development as just a "job", well not in the same way that I consider store manager or a construction worker as just a "job". I got the impression that it can lead to a career path So I'd take it that web dev is being overhyped as an industry on its own that merits its own complex education program, is this correct?

    Deathshadow also made a few good points on his first long post. College programs would be more useful if they taught skills that are timeless in addition to based on recent tech developments that have a risk of going obsolete. Especially speaking as an art major, I think marketing is important if you want to make it on your own. Here, time conflicts with art classes makes it difficult to double major, or even minor with business.

  25. #50
    SitePoint Wizard aaron.martone's Avatar
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    Robert, if you can't continue this discussion in a mature, non-condescending manner, then I'm going to just set you to ignore. If you have an inability to inter what I've written, ask for clarification and I'll be glad to give you that. I will hear out any opinion someone has to say, but don't try to come across that your opinion is fact -- that's egotistical. We all have our personal experience by which we form our opinions, and I'm willing to learn from others, but not when addressed in a disrespectful manner.

    ccRicers-
    I feel that web development is an "umbrella term" I myself do server side programming with Coldfusion, Graphic Design, Server Administration, Network Adminstration, Print/Media, Flash Animation, Computer Hardware/Software Repair, Database Design and some other this n that's. I call myself a "Web Developer" (I DESPISE the term 'webmaster'), and sure enough, many employers have different names for the role. I've heard:

    Web Developer
    Web Designer
    Web Engineer
    Web Architech
    Webmaster (yuck)
    Internet Architecture Specialist
    blah blah blah...

    I enjoy where I am now since it's relatively creative work, with a pinch of some by the books style work. Kind of a mutt position, where you try to widen your skillset so that you're not a jack of all trades and a master of none. Just my $0.02.


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