Which Is Better?A CS Degree or Programming Experience?

For the past week or so, a debate has been raging on blogs and social networks over whether it is more valuable for developers to have a computer science degree or just a lot of experience coding. “Coding is just one small part in computer science — an important one, but not enough to replace the whole major,” opined Google+ blogger Rodolfo Saenz. “There are so many courses in computer science that make that a complete college degree?it’s like asking someone who knows how to put bricks together to do the job of a civil engineer.”

Others disagreed. “We as a society place too much emphasis on credentials,” blogged Chris Travers. “The vast majority of programming jobs out there do not require significant knowledge in computer science to do well, but companies use such a requirement to weed out candidates.”

“Why should we have to choose?” asked blogger Kevin O’Brien. “I think both practical knowledge and theoretical background are valuable. The best candidate should have each of these.”

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