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xploring
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Getting a job with a MS in CS

October 21st, 2013, 11:08 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: UltravioletI love maths and I hate coding - it's so boring and dull that my brain feels like partially shutting down when I do it. The thing is it's becoming more and more popular (traders code in Python and analysts write macros in VB), even in maths when you try to solve some interesting problems you sooner or later end up doing numerical simulations. I would say programming skills are already as universal as speaking English. I wouldn't choose studying English unless I loved it for some reason - I needed it for studies and work so I've learnt it myself.This. I find programming boring and difficult. My brain feels like it's trudging through mud when I have to follow loops and track down what array element is being called by another array element to count the total number of... Bah! It's diificult only in that it's tedious and I am slow at it. I'd much prefer learning math proofs like n in the domain of positive integers prove n^2 >= n. Also love puzzles and stuff like the birthday and barbershop paradox. Things that require insight, a-ha moments, original solutions, and definitely out of the box thinking.Agree that programming is like learning English. You do it because you have to. I just want to speak it well enough, but want to spend as little time on it as possible. The way people talk about programming / software these days it's like it's all that matters. Sure it's useful but it's only a tool. The real science is the math behind it.
Last edited by xploring on October 21st, 2013, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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ArthurDent
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October 21st, 2013, 11:40 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: xploringAgree that programming is like learning English. You do it because you have to. I just want to speak it well enough, but want to spend as little time on it as possible. The way people talk about programming / software these days it's like it's all that matters. Sure it's useful but it's only a tool. The real science is the math behind it.Stay far away from quant jobs - those are predominantly programming. The days of solving differential equations are mostly over.Science is out of the question. It is all about empirical approaches like data mining nowadays.
 
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ArthurDent
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October 21st, 2013, 11:43 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: UltravioletI would say programming skills are already as universal as speaking English. I wouldn't choose studying English unless I loved it for some reason - I needed it for studies and work so I've learnt it myself.While it is true that everyone is now a programmer, the difference between the programs written by professional programmers (ie quants) and traders is day and night - run time improvement of 100X is not uncommon.
 
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xploring
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Getting a job with a MS in CS

October 21st, 2013, 11:51 pm

Ugh, is that where the industry has gone these days? Do they still like hiring nuclear physicists as quants or is it all just computer science guys these days?
 
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bearish
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October 22nd, 2013, 12:24 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: xploringUgh, is that where the industry has gone these days? Do they still like hiring nuclear physicists as quants or is it all just computer science guys these days?Not really. My group, which may not be typical, consists of people with a background in finance (2), OR (2), math, EE, physics and CS. Not everybody is a PhD, but we are in the majority. Everybody does have some core engineering skills, which I would (sloppily) define as the ability to solve actual problems subject to real world constraints.
 
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capafan2
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October 22nd, 2013, 1:20 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: xploringUgh, is that where the industry has gone these days? Do they still like hiring nuclear physicists as quants or is it all just computer science guys these days?I honestly think you should rethink your career choices. Academia might be very much to your liking. In the world you are aiming to enter no one cares about beauty and science. Even outside finance, it is all about "Can your Science make me money".Also good programmers are very well aware that people secretly look down on them. "So you are a programmer"? is a very common question (with one eyebrow aching to go up) and it is does not have neutral or positive ring to it. If that "Ugh" showed even covertly in the interview, someone might take offense. Honestly, I don't mind your disdain. I am quite used to it. But if you showed up for an interview with such as attitude, I would reject you only because I think you will not do the job well as you neither like it and look down on it. Also try to open your mind about programming and work in general. Think of Programming like "Single Malt" or "Beer". It does not taste good the first time you have it. But millions of people (with taste, I would like to believe) relish it. There must be something about it then right? Likewise several brilliant Phd's in Math do programming day in and day out at Wall Street and make good money doing it. There must be something to it, that you have not discovered yet.
 
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xploring
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Getting a job with a MS in CS

October 22nd, 2013, 4:11 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: capafan2QuoteOriginally posted by: xploringUgh, is that where the industry has gone these days? Do they still like hiring nuclear physicists as quants or is it all just computer science guys these days?I honestly think you should rethink your career choices. Academia might be very much to your liking. In the world you are aiming to enter no one cares about beauty and science. Even outside finance, it is all about "Can your Science make me money".Also good programmers are very well aware that people secretly look down on them. "So you are a programmer"? is a very common question (with one eyebrow aching to go up) and it is does not have neutral or positive ring to it. If that "Ugh" showed even covertly in the interview, someone might take offense. Honestly, I don't mind your disdain. I am quite used to it. But if you showed up for an interview with such as attitude, I would reject you only because I think you will not do the job well as you neither like it and look down on it. Also try to open your mind about programming and work in general. Think of Programming like "Single Malt" or "Beer". It does not taste good the first time you have it. But millions of people (with taste, I would like to believe) relish it. There must be something about it then right? Likewise several brilliant Phd's in Math do programming day in and day out at Wall Street and make good money doing it. There must be something to it, that you have not discovered yet.I see, I'll keep this in mind, thanks. I think I'm just going to study whatever is interesting and hope to get some job offers in the future. An unemployed MS in math will not be picky with job offers, I know...
Last edited by xploring on October 21st, 2013, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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DevonFangs
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October 22nd, 2013, 6:51 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: xploringThings that require insight, a-ha moments, original solutions, and definitely out of the box thinking.Agree that programming is like learning English. You do it because you have to. I just want to speak it well enough, but want to spend as little time on it as possible. The way people talk about programming / software these days it's like it's all that matters. Sure it's useful but it's only a tool. The real science is the math behind it.I understand your frustration, but this sounds like pretentious BS from a small-minded child who just dislikes what they're not good at and don't understand. "I'm so cool I learnt the monotonic convergence theorem on a bus ride, but alas I can't get quicksort". Please. You just think differently, get over it and don't call programming stupid (i.e. without a-ha moments and out of the box thinking).Take UV, for example. She says:Quote it's so boring and dull that my brain feels like partially shutting down when I do itwhich I reckon is a very common feeling towards programming, especially among the female population. Which is ok, everyone is different and she accepts that without ruling out that someone might actually enjoy it and not learnt it because they have to.
 
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katastrofa
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October 22nd, 2013, 6:51 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: ArthurDentQuoteOriginally posted by: UltravioletI would say programming skills are already as universal as speaking English. I wouldn't choose studying English unless I loved it for some reason - I needed it for studies and work so I've learnt it myself.While it is true that everyone is now a programmer, the difference between the programs written by professional programmers (ie quants) and traders is day and night - run time improvement of 100X is not uncommon.Quants are not "professional programmers".
 
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DevonFangs
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October 22nd, 2013, 6:52 am

Also, is that possible you are confusing programming with throwing together some VBA or python to fix a couple of mini-tasks?
 
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DevonFangs
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October 22nd, 2013, 6:52 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: katastrofaQuoteOriginally posted by: ArthurDentQuoteOriginally posted by: UltravioletI would say programming skills are already as universal as speaking English. I wouldn't choose studying English unless I loved it for some reason - I needed it for studies and work so I've learnt it myself.While it is true that everyone is now a programmer, the difference between the programs written by professional programmers (ie quants) and traders is day and night - run time improvement of 100X is not uncommon.Quants are not "professional programmers".+100
 
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xploring
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Getting a job with a MS in CS

October 22nd, 2013, 6:59 am

They're not exactly the same. Not sure if it's me but induction proofs in computer science seem less rigorous than in math. At least much wordier Math proofs that are well-written are ingenious and succinct. They make you say "boy, I could have reduced my proof by 20 lines had I been able to see that!"
 
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DevonFangs
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October 22nd, 2013, 7:00 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: xploringMath proofs that are well-written are ingenious and succinct. They make you say "boy, I could have reduced my proof by 20 lines had I been able to see that!"Same for algorithms?
 
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xploring
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Getting a job with a MS in CS

October 22nd, 2013, 7:14 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: DevonFangsYou just think differently, get over it and don't call programming stupid (i.e. without a-ha moments and out of the box thinking).This part is right. I've been programming with javascript and php for nearly 10 years and C++ for 3. I've never done it for fun, only out of necessity for work or to add a mod for a computer game that my friends and I were playing. I never understood when coworkers talked about staying up all night programming "because it's fun". I guess it must be like when linguists enjoy learning a new language for its own sake while others learn it out of necessity. Also, I never said programming was stupid. In fact, I feel pretty dumb because I watched a new guy who whose only experience was that of a marketing assistant join my former company, shoot up the ranks because he could program PHP far better than I could even after spending 5 years at this company. After 6 months he was coding stuff that I could only dream of. It was very unfair but how do you compete with that much passion? I'm sure he had a lot of aha moments while becoming a better coder than me :/
Last edited by xploring on October 21st, 2013, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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MattF
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October 22nd, 2013, 8:17 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: xploring I am not good at programming and it's frustrating to study Quicksort for 3 hours using textbooks, websites, youtube videos and still not understand exactly how it works.Well at least you're honest but if you can't understand Quicksort in a minute then you're not cut out for this world.It's a classic Divide-and-Conquer strategy: Pick an arbitrary element as the pivot, scan through the list partitioning the values into two subsets above and below the pivot, recursively sort each sub-list. How can you not understand that after 3 hours? Try applying it by hand.
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