math in software

Why Math is Important for Software Engineering (Even if You Never Use it Again)

Math is important.  No, really!  I’m not just talking about that 2+2=4 stuff.  I’m talking about the big stuff.  The Cal III type stuff.  The problems that keep you up all night long.  The problems where the professor gives you 5 problems on Monday to do in a week and you say “Oh, shoot, 5 problems?  That’s it?  Pfft.  I’ll start next Sunday night at 9PM because Halo 3 just came out!”  Then you pull an

math in software

all nighter on Sunday and barely get four of the problems done.  Yea, I may or may not know about that first hand.  But really, I ask, why are you learning all this?  Are you really going to need all these crazy formulas for programming and software development?  Can’t just pull them out of a math book later?  It’s just a formula, right?  To be honest, there’s probably a 2% chance you will ever need this kind of math as a software developer.  Unless you go into graphics programming or something like that, you’ll likely never need it, and even then you’ll have references in the real world.  So why do I still think (really) hard math as absolutely essential to being a great developer?  Allow me to explain…

From a broad and practical point of view, math IS software development.  Math problems are solved exactly like you have to solve software problems in the real world, and there are direct parallels between math and programming.  Let’s go over them: (more…)

Software Development: Academic VS Real World Education

I’m pretty lucky.  I knew that I wanted to do something in computers since I was in the 5th grade.  My class got an old (new) computer with a green screen, some kind of math/vocabulary rabbit game, and my favorite…BASIC (the programming language).  Yes, “10 Print” and all.  I wrote my first video game on that machine – Magic 8 Ball.  It was pretty simple.  You entered your name and your gender, and then, if you were the girl that I liked in class, it would tell you who you would end up kissing me by the end of the day.  Ahh, memories.  How did I learn how to code that?  I can’t even remember.  Was it learning from class?  Was it trial and error and figuring it out?  What was most important?