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  1. #51
    SitePoint Addict sporkit's Avatar
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    I'm in my last semester here at school and I'd have to say that a CS degree is totally overkill for most web development type jobs. Until I spent the time here I thought I was a real hotshot. People severely underestimate the difficulty of getting a CS degree. I was forced to take years worth of mainframe assembler with projects literally taking a week to finish, sleeping in 3 hour increments every 16 hours or so. It’s honestly a ****ing nightmare. It’s irritating when people look down on you because your degrees name doesn’t have engineering tagged on the end of it, but there is a reason the starting salary of most CS majors is still higher than most engineers.

    I’ve been able to support myself financially in the web development field since high school and certainly would like to move on to bigger things. Many community colleges offer AS degrees in web development and certificates in systems administration. Training like that is an awesome way around going for the full degree especially if you don’t ever plan on doing consulting work or things of that nature.
    Last edited by sporkit; Jan 17, 2007 at 21:15.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaron.martone View Post
    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
    What is the outdated methodology? Is it requiring a degree in a particular field? In that case, I've already pointed out that you're misunderstanding that aspect. Is it requiring a degree altogether? In that case, you're probably just out of luck.

    Honestly, a lot of what you're saying just doesn't make sense. You say that you're only discussing your experience, but the fact is that you don't really have experience. You don't know what particular degrees actually cover because you've never gone through the program. You don't know what the hiring process is because you've never really gone through it. So you're making all these points based on your assumptions, rather than experience, and those points happen to be in direct contrast to other people's real experience.

  3. #53
    Non-Member deathshadow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaron.martone View Post
    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)
    Sorry, perhaps I wasn't clear enough - it SOUNDED like you were disparaging the COURSES that focus on C - not the language itself... at least in terms of aiming for a career in web development. I can understand the attitude as C itself is not used for web apps, but as I said learning C or any other high level language can imbue programming habits you can carry over to HTML, PHP, Javascript, etc. This is why taking at least some of those courses would give you a firm grounding in the basics of programming logic.

    Which is something I see a LOT of web developers falling short on - AND is a shortcoming of HTML/CSS and Javascript themselves is a lack of grounding in the fundemental logic of programming. I differ from a lot of web designers/developers as I view HTML itself as 'just another interpreted programming language'...

    Hell, if nothing else it might teach people to use the tab and enter key correctly - some time spent with a good Wirth type language (Pascal/Modula) would go a long ways towards clear code, and avoiding common mistakes in the first place.

  4. #54
    Level 8 Chinese guy Archbob's Avatar
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    Do you really want to be a Junior Web Developer for the rest of your life? If you want any sort of career path beyond entry level, you need a degree. Think about the future here, no just the present.

  5. #55
    SitePoint Addict sporkit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deathshadow View Post
    I can understand the attitude as C itself is not used for web apps, but as I said learning C or any other high level language can imbue programming habits you can carry over to HTML, PHP, Javascript, etc. This is why taking at least some of those courses would give you a firm grounding in the basics of programming logic.
    Good point. In the first 2 years of your schooling youll learn C and Java ect. But durring your junior and senior year youll be taking courses like data structures which teach programming skill, but use C++ as a tool rather than trying to teach it as a language. Recently ive been doing some OOP in my php apps which only took me a few minutes to adjust to since I understand the concepts of programming. The same goes for any language you might pick up, its concepts not syntax.

  6. #56
    SitePoint Wizard aaron.martone's Avatar
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    pergesu-
    The methodology in question was that a AS/BS/MS in Computer Science applies to any and all IT-related jobs. My points where (for example) that web development probably doesn't even have 1 related class in a CS degree, so it seemed to be superfluous to me.

    deathshadow-
    I agree, that those programming languages can VASTLY help you learn other languages in the latter. Since I see a lot of people who do programming and they know a MYRIAD of other languages, probably because they were similar enough for them to pickup quickly (but I know all to well, at least for me, that I start mixing programming techniques when I learn more languages)

    Archbob-
    To me, there is no such thing as a "Junior Web Developer" To me, "Web Developer" is an umbrella term. You can't JUST do website programming OR graphic design OR database design OR server maintenance OR network management, etc. There are many aspects of web development. And the more potent I make myself in each of these, the more desirable and effective I will be as a web developer.

  7. #57
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    http://ask.slashdot.org/article.pl?s...13232&from=rss

    this is a good thread on slashdot. College (traditional education) is where you learn how to think in higher level. if you just want to learn php, you can pick up a good book and read it. just like if you want to be a trademan (plumber...etc) there is a trade program that will teach you all about plumbing.

  8. #58
    Level 8 Chinese guy Archbob's Avatar
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    You can be as potent as you want. But without higher education, your chances of advancing and getting promotions are next to nil.

    A college degree symbolizes higher education and higher standards. In College your not going there to learn a specific material, your going there for the environment and the way of thinking. And a degree shows you can focus and accomplish something.

  9. #59
    SitePoint Wizard aaron.martone's Avatar
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    That's a perspective I did not think about, Archbob. I've always seen college as a place to go and SPECIALIZE in a certain field, but maybe a large part of the college experience is gaining general knowledge.

    I've always had some kind of overbearing feeling that my time was more important that it probably is (even though I spend a significant time gaming), and that might lead to why I believe that curriculum which doesn't zero in on specific career-related classes isn't worth my time.

  10. #60
    Level 8 Chinese guy Archbob's Avatar
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    College is a great experience and there's alot more than classes. Plus its a means to an end, they want someone with higher education in the top ranks of their company, thats why there's college and grad school.

    Sure you can be an entry level-code monkey with a HS degree and some experience. But don't ever expect to make it to management with that.

    Curriculum that Zeros in a a web development career? There'd be no point to that, you could pick up a few books and learn that for yourself in less than a year. Do some freelance or your own projects and you'd been a decent web developer.

    Most of us are web developers to some extent and honestly, the skills are not that hard.

  11. #61
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    A college degree symbolizes higher education and higher standards. In College your not going there to learn a specific material, your going there for the environment and the way of thinking. And a degree shows you can focus and accomplish something.
    Exactly. Though some degree programs are specifically tailored to the knowledge one needs to do a specific job (think accounting, medicine, statistics), most are simply about learning to think and communicate. Not everyone leaves college with these skills but four years of projects, term papers, and finals sure help. Logical, analytical thinking and clear communication are essential for everyone.

    If you can pick these skills up outside of college, that's great, but a degree serves as a proxy for them. The degree helps a prospective employer make that leap of faith that you can not only meet the requirements of the job, but will also excel in the company and be an asset for years to come. (Or, in the case of freelancers, that you will be a reliable, beneficial business partner.)

    I think it's less relevant *what* you study than the mere fact of *having* studied.

  12. #62
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    Sorry guys, couldn't get further than this post, gotta run. Just wanted to dip in my 2 cents:

    Quote Originally Posted by wwb_99 View Post
    First, how many people actually need CS-style skills? As a friend of mine put it--"They tought me how to write a compiler and an operating system. Not write anything you actually get paid for. Like accounting software."
    Your friend completely missed the point of his education. If you know how to write compilers and operating systems, writing accounting software is a walk in the park, because by then you should have such a deep understanding of programming in general that learning ANY programming language for ANY task is just sooo easy. This is why no university will bother teaching you some programming language like PHP. Why bother? You teach something like C++, and then learning PHP takes about 2 hours.

    I'm now writing my bachelor's thesis in my business management course, and now looking back at my education, OH MY GOD, they haven't taught me how to earn a million dollars either! I should ask for my money back. Oh wait no, maybe it's because they have taught me the theoretical basis for making a million dollars so that I can actually do it.

    Also, the fact that you are trying to somehow claim that liberal arts graduates are better at computers than computer science graduates is just goddamn stupid.

  13. #63
    SitePoint Wizard aaron.martone's Avatar
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    I don't mean to be rude here, and this may just be me since I know myself to be a perfectionist, and in as much I feel that if you don't have perfectionism, you may not be able to speak from someone who has that "curse" on them.

    But I would venture to say that in my 13 years online, well over 97% of the websites I've visited are NOT professional by current day standards. These people who pickup a book on HTML or other outdated and non-progressive technologies, and put together poorly designed and coded websites, or even utilize social bookmarking tools to create template driven pages like Geocities, Angelfire and MySpace.

    Again, please don't take offense, Archbob, but I went to the 3 sites listed in your signature. From left to right, the sites had 40, 57 and then 52 validation errors. And though subjective, I didn't feel that any of the sites were graphically attractive, functionally engaging, or unique. The validation failure alone would warrant the work unprofessional, but without changing topic, there are really a myriad of other issues that could be said as well, and even though it's never possible to make a PERFECT website, there are many snafus that professionals are aware of and work to avoid.

    And this is not only true for the hobbyists who call themselves professional, but many design houses that create sites for Fortune 500 companies as well. I, of course, hold myself to those standards, often finding my work lacking in many areas as hard as I try to make it as modular and functional as possible.

    I may be called a "Web Nazi" for this, but I'm sure next to nobody is even a half-way decent web developer in less than a year. I've been working in web development since 1994 on Netscape Composer, and my work gets better and better by the year - but to me, true web professionals need to stay on the edge of many different aspects of web development to be seen as a professional by his/her peers.

    =========

    On a similar note, many people call themselves "Graphic Artists" once they master a drop shadow in Photoshop. People have less tendency to merit graphic art, since it is very subjective - however, people "in the know" know what is "hot" and what is "not". On a different forum I frequent, a gentleman posted a great short story that was, in summation:

    "A woman who was studying art in the late 1900's came across Pablo Picasso while walking to her next class. Elated, she accosted him, asking if he could create a portrait of her, to which she would be glad to pay him.

    He looks the woman over for a moment and nods, agreeing to the transaction, and after 15 minutes, creates a stunning rendition, to which she is delighted to have. Ecstatic, she takes out her checkbook and asks "How much for this fantastic portrait?"

    Picasso looks over his work, and after a moment, says "That will be about $5000." The woman is taken back at the seemingly large amount of money, and asks "But... it only took you 15 minutes to create it!" To which Picasso responds, "No ma'am, it took me 80 years and 15 minutes to create it."

    =====

    I always liked that story. Talent takes time, and though there are gifted people, there's more behind the scene to web development and other fields than many might first believe.

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaron.martone View Post
    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.
    then what's stopping you from going out and start your own company and start a new trend that opposite "brick n' mortar" thinking?

    Can you became a doctor without a college degree? how about a lawyer? would you trust someone who earn a nursing cert. to operate on your heart?

    traditional education is "tried and tested" method. it is where all research is done. i'm simply stating the fact. if you can get a job without a degree. that's great but if you can't maybe you should get a degree instead whining about it. that's the fact. i'm not even debating with you about the merit of a degree.

    heck, i was like you in my early 20s. i got two cert. A+ and MCSE. it was great during dot com boom but when dot com goes busted. i can't get a job without a degree. i stop whining about it and went back to school and finish my CIS.

    it got me a programing job 3 months right out of school and make a jump to another company with better pay within 8 months.

    let me repeat it again for you. i'm NOT debating with you about degree. i'm merely stating the FACT, if you can get a job without a degree, that's good but if you can't MAYBE just MAYBE you need to go back to school and get a degree. instead whining about it or better yet start your own company and show these brick 'n mortar how their hiring policy is WRONG.

  15. #65
    Level 8 Chinese guy Archbob's Avatar
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    I could make a website that fits w3 standards, thats actually not that hard. I just don't see a point to it right now. Through my research and experience, there's no benefit in doing so. Search engines don't care and people who visit aren't really going to care.

    My main project chipmunk-scripts.com is more about content than about design or w3 validation. Content is easy to find on the site and I've never received any complaints about w3 complaince or it being graphically Unattractive. I personally abhoor graphic heavy sites. My goal for that site is a a site that is clean and where content is easy to find. Despite being "unprofessional", I still get more freelance requests than I can handle. I usually turn them down because I have a dayjob as a interface dev/analyst for a medical company. I just haven't bothered with validation because despite the w3 people who have said thats its the greatest thing since sliced bread, no one actually cares.

    But see thats where the difference is, whereas no one really cares about W3C standards(I've been hired for freelance by a couple of design companies and not one of them asked about w3standards), everyone cares about a college degree. People with degrees are just generally on average much more intelligent than people without and they have the higher education training which is priceless.

    Can you code w3c complaince by picking up a CSS book in a couple of months, sure, its not hard.

    But you can never substitute anything for higher education.

  16. #66
    SitePoint Wizard aaron.martone's Avatar
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    DotNetNoob-
    I have my own personal side business doing freelance work - currently no need to hire, but rest assured if I ever did, I would keep an open mind to post-modern hiring policies. Lawyers, Nurses and Doctors are have time-tested degrees in their respective fields, so those examples would not be indicative of modern-day IT fields.

    Please understand though, because I feel by your post that you don't see this -- I have a job, am not currently looking for a new one, and am happy where I am in my career. I will move forward in time, but the topic is merely around the logic behind current day "traditional" hiring policies.

    Archbob-
    I respect the fact that you choose not to create standards compliant websites, but I personally feel that to be professional in this field, I must start "chipping away at the iceberg". No progress will be made if nobody takes the first steps, know what I mean?

    I understand fully the value of content in a website. Many people look beyond design and functionality, and will revisit a site merely on its contents. You should not expect the public to be concerned with W3C compliance though -- it isn't their "job" to make sure the site works and looks like/how you intend it to --, that's the responsibility of the developer. Standards, as I'm sure you know, help ensure this aspect among other things as well.

    I'm kind of confused with your comment about CSS equating to a W3C compliant website. CSS has next to nothing to do with W3C compliance, even though it in itself can be run against validators to ensure that it is well-formed, but merely provides design formating for X/HTML elements. It's the data that needs to meet compliance.

    I feel that it's better to progress than regress. Doing nothing to help the situation at present becomes regression in the next moment.

    I'm not saying higher education is not important - I'm sure it is, and maybe I did not see that importance as much as I have after the insight on this thread, but with as progressive as this field has been, higher education has seemingly been available in many career fields, especially since IT tech can become obsolete rather quickly.

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaron.martone View Post
    That's a perspective I did not think about, Archbob. I've always seen college as a place to go and SPECIALIZE in a certain field, but maybe a large part of the college experience is gaining general knowledge.
    That would suck. I can't imagine having my life's skills determined at 18.

    College is about gaining general knowledge, learning how to think at a high level, dating pretty girls, and having fun. Technical skills are the least important thing on your plate - they get outdated quickly and are easy enough to learn without college. It's the other stuff that you'll really take with you.

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edman View Post
    If you know how to write compilers and operating systems, writing accounting software is a walk in the park
    Maybe by "writing" you mean implementing...because otherwise that statement is complete crap. Implementing technical details is not the hard part of writing business software.

  19. #69
    SitePoint Wizard aaron.martone's Avatar
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    That makes sense. Maybe my inability to remember things that happen over 2 second comes into where I stand in my view on this.

    Where am I anyways?

  20. #70
    Level 8 Chinese guy Archbob's Avatar
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    I actually don't see W3C as a standard.
    A standard is by definition something that alot or a majority of people follow, that by definition is not W3C, which the majority doesn't care about. A 3% following is hardly a "standard".

    I don't see the benefit. It doesn't help render my pages better, it doesn't really reduce loading times, and it doesn't effect SE rankings, so I'm wondering, whats the point to it?
    I've written w3 complaint and non-complaint pages, there is harding any different in loading times.

    Back on the subject of college: College is far more about what you learn outside the classroom rather than inside. Many of us have chosen careers outside out area of study.

  21. #71
    SitePoint Wizard aaron.martone's Avatar
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    W3C compliancy is an entirely different area of professional web development than optimized load times and search engine optimization. Actually, by definition, a "standard" is a basis for comparison, and has nothing to do with the percent of people who meet that standard.

    Take Firefox for example. It has gained more and more popularity in the past months (during the emergence of web 2.0 tech) and globally is showing a 15-20% market share. This is a SIGNIFICANTLY more standards compliant browser than the proprietary crap Microsoft has released and plagued the net with. Standards are about equality and defining levels of quality and performance. Thanks to IE (and other browsers that don't take compliancy seriously), developers have to hack code to get the browser to render properly.

    You say you've developed compliant pages and non-compliant pages, but since you might not be aware of the full advantages of W3C compliance, can I ask why you coded towards it? Were you just interested in looking for some kind of benefit that compliancy doesn't give?

    I don't want to sound like a fortune cookie (sorry if I do), but one of my other favorite sayings is "The Journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step." Many people fought against the majority of how things were if they felt the effort was worth the effect. I have nothing against those who don't code to compliancy. For me to expect the web to convert to W3C compliancy overnight is implausible, since a majority of the sites designed aren't by professionals, but instead by hobbyists.

    But I just like working towards a positive end. I kinda hate Microsoft for what they've done to standards, but that's another post entirely.

  22. #72
    Level 8 Chinese guy Archbob's Avatar
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    Its not overnight buddy, w3c's been there for several years and it hasn't got too much support.

    It if doesn't make pages load faster and not beneficial in the SE wars. Where's the benefit? "Ohh look, my website is nifty and standard complaint" is not an answer.

    My site may not be standards complaint, but it works and looks fine in both FF and IE. So where is the benefit? And if there is none, why do people have any incentive to go after it.

    I do not see any different between the quality and performance in a complaint site and a non-complaint site.

    SPF is standard complaints, but unfortunately it loads as slow as crap half the time for me because of I'm guessing of server loads.

    I did the test to compare the performance different between a standard complaint page and one that wasn't really standards complaint, and there was no real different in performance. W3C doesn't effect anything, it doesn't enhance the user's visit to the site, improve loading times, or drive in more traffic.

    I truly see no different between w3 complaince and no w3 complaince.

    Not so with a college, I can see a clear difference between the people that went and the people that didn't.

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaron.martone View Post
    DotNetNoob-
    Lawyers, Nurses and Doctors are have time-tested degrees in their respective fields, so those examples would not be indicative of modern-day IT fields.
    i detest that statement. all the "modern-day" IT were developed by people with "traditional education" where you learn how to think.

    Tim Berners-Lee - Oxford Unversity (inventor of WWW)
    "Berners-Lee attended Sheen Mount Primary School (which has dedicated a new hall in his honour) before moving on to study his O-Levels and A-Levels at Emanuel School in Wandsworth where he learned about computer science. He is an alumnus of Queen's College (where he played tiddlywinks for Oxford, against rival Cambridge), Oxford University (which has dedicated a computer room in his honour), where he built a computer with a soldering iron, TTL gates, an M6800 processor and an old television. "

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Berners-Lee

    Apache HTTP server - The first version of the Apache web server was created by Robert McCool, who was heavily involved with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications web server, known simply as NCSA HTTPd. When Rob left NCSA in mid-1994, the development of httpd stalled, leaving a variety of patches for improvements circulating through e-mails.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apache_HTTP_Server

    Rasmus Lerdorf (PHP creator) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rasmus_Lerdorf

    University of Waterloo with a BASc in Systems Design Engineering. Since September 2002, he has been employed by Yahoo! Inc. as an Infrastructure Architecture Engineer.

    Van Rossum (Python creator) was born and grew up in the Netherlands, where he received a masters degree from the University of Amsterdam in 1982. He later worked for various research institutes, including the Dutch National Research Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science (CWI), Amsterdam, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, Maryland, and the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI), Reston, Virginia. He worked on the development of the ABC programming language.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guido_van_Rossum

    you can tried to slice and dice about laywer and doctor "time-test" whatever. all the "modern" technologies were create by people educated in "traditional education". You learn how to think in College and not how to use a tool. php or whatevver is a tool, you can learn that with book. you're confusing with how to use a tool with how to think.

  24. #74
    SitePoint Wizard aaron.martone's Avatar
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    Archbob-
    A page with an image centered in the middle is about the technical equivalant of the sites in question. Of COURSE it looks the same in Firefox and IE. There's nothing advanced or even intermediate about it. You have a rather set-in-stone vision of what compliancy is. You want some kind of tangible effect that will either give your customer oohs and ahhs, get you more money, or do something for YOU.

    Compliancy is about making your site accessible, usable, future-proof, compatible and device interoperability. You can see this link for WASP's short FAQ.

    You need to get a better grasp of what compliancy is and what it does, because you seem to be set in believing it has something to do with how fast a page loads.

    Dotnetnoob-
    Try not to take personal offense at anything said here. Everyone is free to object, but remember that (at least, speaking for myself), nothing is said to be inflammatory to anyone else.

    I'm not sure you took what I said properly. Of course I.T. as it stands today was developed by people who studied in time-tested fields. I.T. can't come out of nowhere, that's only logical.

    I have to disagree on the statement that "You learn how to think in college". Ingenuity and intelligence are not "gifts" bestowed onto only those who can afford to head off to college. Albert Einstein was expelled from secondary school, even said to be a slow learner. The only college-level schooling he took was a technical school and even then he was passed over by people who had degrees. Does this mean Einstein learned to think on his own?

    I don't buy into this "Tool vs Learning" theory you have. Because I read it from a book, it's a tool? What school teaches you HOW to learn? They teach you KNOWLEDGE. You develop learning on your own. Like I was saying, Einstein was a slow-learner; others are quick, but be it Liberal Arts 101, or Advanced Coldfusion MX, you're not gaining a learnedness or tool, you're merely gaining knowledge.

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    Level 8 Chinese guy Archbob's Avatar
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    Yes, I want a tangible result. If I do something, I want to be able to see results. If there's no results, putting effort into it isn't all that sensible.
    The link ou pointed me to says w3 has three main advantages. The 3rd one about backward compatibility is pretty much theoretical Ho-Hah. Based on real-world conditions, a complaint site is no more compatible than a non-complait site and I don't see tis changing.

    The 1st advantage with search engines I've also discussed earlier as purely false. The major SE's could care less if your site was complaint or not, it doesn't really help them spider you. And you don't get better position for being complaint.

    The only real advantage is somwhat mentioned in the 2nd part, which boils down to blind people. Call me crazy, but I'm not too concerned about the availability of my site to brail readers. It represents perhaps .1%(probably less) of the demographics and if your site is about flash games and such, they can't really do anything on it anyways.

    So unless you can actually show me some real tangible benefits of this great complaince myself and other developers aren't going to jump on the w3c bandwagon and I doubt the standard is really going to be much more supported than it is today. Its all about tangible benefits.

    And your wrong about college, it does teach you new ways to think about things. It exposes you to new things. Its not only about the depth of knowledge you learn, but the breadth. In general college-educated people are of a higher quality than the non-college educated type. I do actually think companies do right when they require a degree of some sort and heavily prefer people who have it than not. It is a tried and true method, even in IT.
    Albert Einstein could derive physics laws with ease and easily hold a codemonkey job, but I doubt he could do IT management or go too high up in the company ladder.


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