[techtalk] This talk of N-ary trees and other things...

jenn at simegen.com jenn at simegen.com
Sun Mar 25 10:44:43 EST 2001

Mary Gardiner wrote:

> And is there much non-academic work for programmers/designers* in this
> sort of area? (Yes I realise I'll have to be good :) )

Depends on what 'this sort of area' is. Where in Australia are you?
Dancer (my husband) nowadays has the geek-cred to be getting research
and bleeding edge work whenever he wants it, and could probably point
you at local companies which need that sort of stuff done.

> Should I do postgrad in Australia or not? I'm kind of scared by the
> quality of my undergraduate education and the lack of funding for it.

Australian education is, as far as I know, as good as anywhere else in 
the First World. Well, at least it used to be - apparently some of the
courses are being 'dumbed down' by 'economic rationalism' sorts of 
pressures. :( But not that badly .. yet.

> * I think of project design in research as where I eventually want to
> be, but I think of this as a role you kind of prove yourself into, via
> years as a programmer in these kind of projects.

Academic stuff only goes so far - in academia, you get the mental hooks
to Know Stuff. Which is half our job.
In commercial programming, you get the practical half. THIS is why, 
fresh out of uni, you only get jobs as a junior. Even with postgrad
creds, you still don't really have the practical base. Even if you do
one of the degrees that tries to teach it to you. Somehow, academia is
just the wrong environment.

Of course, people who don't have the academic knowledge don't have some 
of the necessary theoretical knowledge to become a top flight 
programmer. You do need both. Dancer cribbed the academic knowledge out
of my degree, sitting down with my textbooks and exercises... you don't
need to actually attend uni to get the knowledge. But you DO need to 
have it.

Jenn V.
     "Do you ever wonder if there's a whole section of geek culture
             you miss out on by being a geek?" - Dancer.

jenn at simegen.com     Jenn Vesperman     http://www.simegen.com/~jenn/

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