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Old 03-20-2016, 10:46 PM   #176
JC2612
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Re: Online Bootcamp or Physical Classroom?

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Originally Posted by candybar View Post
I think that's fair.



By a 2-year diploma, do you mean a master's?
Depending on the language you target, you could have nothing except a github profile and get a job. Not at a corporate C#/C++/Java job, but for example, companies using Rails generally only care if you can code or not. These bootcamps exist because people can't find enough rails developers to meet the demand.

The only bootcamp I'd recommend is https://www.turing.io/, it's 6 months, and even still you'd better be coding your ass off in your spare time. Only of the guys I work with us a Turing grad and he is amazing, only been coding for < 2 years.
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Old 03-20-2016, 11:57 PM   #177
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Re: Online Bootcamp or Physical Classroom?

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companies using Rails generally only care if you can code or not. These bootcamps exist because people can't find enough rails developers to meet the demand.
This is an ideal - in practice lots of people are turned down before they have a chance to showcase their skills because their resume doesn't look the part. It's unrealistic for job-seekers to rely on finding those few companies that don't care about credentials but offer a good opportunity - if you want a good career, you're better off playing the game and make yourself as broadly marketable as possible. At the vast majority of companies, it doesn't matter if the hiring manager or the team doesn't care about a degree because HR/recruiters will screen out these people.

And to the extent that some companies don't care about credentials, they ignore credentials because that's the best way to find undervalued assets and they don't want to pay up for more obvious talent. That means you still get paid less for not having them. Moneyball lets the Oakland Athletics find underappreciated talent and I suppose getting underpaid by the A's is better than being in the minors but you still make more money if the Yankees and everyone else wants you as well.
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Old 03-21-2016, 08:55 AM   #178
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Re: Online Bootcamp or Physical Classroom?

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This is an ideal - in practice lots of people are turned down before they have a chance to showcase their skills because their resume doesn't look the part. It's unrealistic for job-seekers to rely on finding those few companies that don't care about credentials but offer a good opportunity - if you want a good career, you're better off playing the game and make yourself as broadly marketable as possible. At the vast majority of companies, it doesn't matter if the hiring manager or the team doesn't care about a degree because HR/recruiters will screen out these people.

And to the extent that some companies don't care about credentials, they ignore credentials because that's the best way to find undervalued assets and they don't want to pay up for more obvious talent. That means you still get paid less for not having them. Moneyball lets the Oakland Athletics find underappreciated talent and I suppose getting underpaid by the A's is better than being in the minors but you still make more money if the Yankees and everyone else wants you as well.
I think it's the other way around. It doesn't matter what the companies trend is right now. If people started learning on their own, making a good project on github, and that made them good candidates, then companies will shift into caring less about certificates ( and it has.) I think that if companies are not screening through people without any kind of certificates or experience, it's probably because there aren't so many developers of value with that kind of resume. If there were, their screening processes would adapt.
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Old 03-21-2016, 09:43 AM   #179
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Re: Online Bootcamp or Physical Classroom?

sorry but completely on daveT's side here for maybe the first time ever and the doom and gloom seems way off in both my experience and in what I see in the job market.
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Old 03-21-2016, 10:13 AM   #180
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Re: Online Bootcamp or Physical Classroom?

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I think it's the other way around. It doesn't matter what the companies trend is right now. If people started learning on their own, making a good project on github, and that made them good candidates, then companies will shift into caring less about certificates ( and it has.) I think that if companies are not screening through people without any kind of certificates or experience, it's probably because there aren't so many developers of value with that kind of resume. If there were, their screening processes would adapt.
But other people aren't going to stop playing the game on your behalf. People aren't gonna stop going to colleges and most of the best self-taught developers have college degrees. Highly accomplished high school kids aren't going to go, you know I want to go to MIT but I don't want to play this signaling game and would rather just build my github portfolio so that I'm on a level playing field with LoveThee and everyone else. Even with bootcamps, employers care about the quality of your bootcamps and top bootcamps look for credentials that employers love. "Projects on a github" were a useful signal when no one had it - they are not that important when everyone is told to put everything there. For something to be a useful signal, it has to be something a recruiter type can work with and something that's difficult to fake - otherwise you have to give technical screens to everyone. People who can get credentials to get a leg up on everyone else aren't voluntarily going to give that up.

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sorry but completely on daveT's side here for maybe the first time ever and the doom and gloom seems way off in both my experience and in what I see in the job market.
The job market for software engineers may be great for you personally but it's not nearly as great for people coming out of school or bootcamps right now. And it was never that great in Japan or most of the rest of the world or outside of a few hot areas in the US. It's not about the doom and gloom - it's more that you can't extrapolate the experience of those who did job searches in major tech hubs during the boom years to determine average outcomes for someone who's looking to move somewhere that's not one of those places and will be looking for a job a few years from now. Also you guys are suffering from a major survivorship bias - I don't think everyone who was in your spot a few years back made it.
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Old 03-21-2016, 10:22 AM   #181
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Re: Online Bootcamp or Physical Classroom?

GitHub projects are still extremely valuable. The problem is people send in applications with 5-6 projects as their "GitHub resume" that are barely more than the framework generated code and expect that to be impressive. I'm starting to get the feeling people actually think we don't look at their repositories.

Build a package for your ecosystem, or a somewhat interesting personal project (not a freaking blog), something that actually has challenges.
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Old 03-21-2016, 10:32 AM   #182
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Re: Online Bootcamp or Physical Classroom?

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This is an ideal - in practice lots of people are turned down before they have a chance to showcase their skills because their resume doesn't look the part. It's unrealistic for job-seekers to rely on finding those few companies that don't care about credentials but offer a good opportunity - if you want a good career, you're better off playing the game and make yourself as broadly marketable as possible. At the vast majority of companies, it doesn't matter if the hiring manager or the team doesn't care about a degree because HR/recruiters will screen out these people.
I could list quite a few companies I've interviewed for that would be impossible under this assumption, which includes some serious heavy-hitters that everyone heard of.

Where I was working before should have been a total impossibility, as I was, without a doubt, the only person working there with zero college education, and employees with dual PhDs wasn't abnormal.

I've only been white-boarded a handful of times. I was never once asked to write out a sorting algorithm or tested on data structures. I have been asked to work on homework projects that tested my ability to think through bugs, and was asked more about how to design larger systems and how to think through various issues, how I dealt with political issues in prior positions, etc. Many areas of programming don't require much math, especially in the web sphere.
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Old 03-21-2016, 10:37 AM   #183
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Re: Online Bootcamp or Physical Classroom?

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GitHub projects are still extremely valuable. The problem is people send in applications with 5-6 projects as their "GitHub resume" that are barely more than the framework generated code and expect that to be impressive. I'm starting to get the feeling people actually think we don't look at their repositories.

Build a package for your ecosystem, or a somewhat interesting personal project (not a freaking blog), something that actually has challenges.
I'm surprised here. I don't think anyone ever seriously looked at my GitHub outside of a mention that I always add to it, which is rare, I guess. The few people that did talk to me about it were generally way off target about it, and I definitely got more discussion from my blog articles than my GitHub articles.
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Old 03-21-2016, 10:46 AM   #184
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Re: Online Bootcamp or Physical Classroom?

so, I doubt I will get a chance to find out an answer, but I did include my github profile when I apped to A/A. I could try to find out why they thought I was a 'strong candidate'. Maybe it was this, maybe it was previous degree(s), maybe some combination of these things.

I'm going through the curriculum for the jump start program, and though I'm nearly done it's almost all been review. They ask newbies to do Codecademy's Ruby track, and more-seasoned programmers to do Ruby Monk's first set of courses, both of which I'd already done previously. Maybe that's why.

Hopefully with my lack of programming job experience, I'll soon be able to settle the "bootcamps are now overrated" argument.
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Old 03-21-2016, 11:29 AM   #185
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Re: Online Bootcamp or Physical Classroom?

I'd also go through through Ruby Koans, and work some of the problems at exercism.io. If you want someone to look at your Ruby code sometime send me a pm, I work at a very well known Rails consultancy and we try to work with people in the Ruby community on a regular basis.
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Old 03-21-2016, 12:20 PM   #186
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Re: Online Bootcamp or Physical Classroom?

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I think that's fair.

By a 2-year diploma, do you mean a master's?
Not a masters; more like an Associate degree I suppose.

Given that I have very little education/experience that is at all relevant to CS, I'm choosing a course of study that focuses more on applied programming rather than theory-based CS material (though my program will also include some of this). The university-level Masters and post-bacc degrees I was looking into seemed to all include more "advanced" math than I was comfortable taking on.

Ultimately, my goal is just to get out into the industry ASAP and start building experience; I'm not that concerned with pay or prestige at this point. Being 30 with a long resume gap, I figure the sooner I can start adding stuff to my resume, the better. I hope I've got this stuff right and am not just wandering down a hopeless path.
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Old 03-21-2016, 12:46 PM   #187
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Re: Online Bootcamp or Physical Classroom?

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I could list quite a few companies I've interviewed for that would be impossible under this assumption, which includes some serious heavy-hitters that everyone heard of.
You've done ridiculous amounts of work to get to that point, including suffering through a "non-programming" job that paid little but gave you some bona-fide work experience. Your resume has to look pretty decent by now, if not I can help you. The point is that it's a lot easier to just get a CS degree, assuming you have the ability to do so.

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I've only been white-boarded a handful of times. I was never once asked to write out a sorting algorithm or tested on data structures.
I think it's quite possible if not likely that some of the questions you've been asked are rooted in data structures or known algorithms you learn in CS courses even if you didn't recognize them as such. In a lot of interviews, you aren't "tested on data structures" per se but solving the problem requires undergraduate level understanding of data structures and algorithms. People aren't going to make you recite stuff that you learned in CS courses - they are going to ask you questions that are difficult to answer without knowing it though.

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Many areas of programming don't require much math, especially in the web sphere.
From one perspective, programming is just a branch of applied math and being good at one kind of math means you're likely to be better at another. Again, this isn't entirely true but if you think "programming doesn't require much math" for any definition of programming, you're taking basic math skills (Algebra 1 for example) for granted.
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Old 03-21-2016, 12:56 PM   #188
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Re: Online Bootcamp or Physical Classroom?

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GitHub projects are still extremely valuable.
They are not extremely valuable just because you look at it. From an average candidate's perspective, what matters is the overall trend, not the behavior of a few companies.

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I'm starting to get the feeling people actually think we don't look at their repositories.
And they are right. Most companies don't look at it for basic resume screening, which isn't even performed by someone who can meaningfully judge GitHub projects. From some technical recruiters, simply having "a github profile" with anything will earn you some kind of points, most inexperienced candidates are told that this is the case and that's why people are listing it without the expectation that it will be scrutinized.
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Old 03-21-2016, 01:03 PM   #189
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Re: Online Bootcamp or Physical Classroom?

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Not a masters; more like an Associate degree I suppose.
You have a bachelor's degree already right? If that's the case I think it's better to do a bootcamp or a master's. There's not a lot of point in paying for an associate degree if you already have a bachelor's, unless you want the classroom experience. I guess it's fine if you just want to take classes and don't care about getting a degree or anything.

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Given that I have very little education/experience that is at all relevant to CS, I'm choosing a course of study that focuses more on applied programming rather than theory-based CS material (though my program will also include some of this). The university-level Masters and post-bacc degrees I was looking into seemed to all include more "advanced" math than I was comfortable taking on.

Ultimately, my goal is just to get out into the industry ASAP and start building experience; I'm not that concerned with pay or prestige at this point. Being 30 with a long resume gap, I figure the sooner I can start adding stuff to my resume, the better. I hope I've got this stuff right and am not just wandering down a hopeless path.
All of this seems to scream bootcamp to me. The main things that are useful about college-type courses as opposed to bootcamp is CS theory and math. If you don't want that, I think bootcamps do a better job of teaching skills that are immediately useful in the industry.
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Old 03-21-2016, 01:12 PM   #190
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Re: Online Bootcamp or Physical Classroom?

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I'd also go through through Ruby Koans, and work some of the problems at exercism.io. If you want someone to look at your Ruby code sometime send me a pm, I work at a very well known Rails consultancy and we try to work with people in the Ruby community on a regular basis.
I'd actually started on ruby koans, but there's so little instruction or teaching that I kinda gave up after I realized I was looking up answers more than learning anything.

Like, they have some namespacing solution early on that, if you don't understand what namespaces are, you'd have no way of figuring out what they want.

Maybe I was approaching Ruby wrong way, but there wasn't any indication of another way to do them. :shrug:
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Old 03-21-2016, 01:17 PM   #191
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Re: Online Bootcamp or Physical Classroom?

Computer science degree or software engineering degree?
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Old 03-21-2016, 01:32 PM   #192
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Re: Online Bootcamp or Physical Classroom?

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Computer science degree or software engineering degree?
I think they are mostly equivalent from the perspective of most employers, so you probably have to look at the actual curriculum to see which you like better. My gut is that if they offer software engineering as a degree, it's probably more suited to the real world than CS but I think differences are probably minor and it's probably school-dependent. For example, I would definitely not switch to a different school if your preferred school has one degree program but not the other. In the US, a lot of schools, especially good ones, don't offer software engineering degrees because they are biased against usefulness. This kind of thinking, from what I can tell, is probably quite alien to Canadians.
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Old 03-21-2016, 02:03 PM   #193
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Re: Online Bootcamp or Physical Classroom?

Software engineering degree is 2 years longer than CS.

So if one is mostly same thing as the other, software engineering graduate are not considered real engineer?
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Old 03-21-2016, 02:16 PM   #194
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Re: Online Bootcamp or Physical Classroom?

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Software engineering degree is 2 years longer than CS.

So if one is mostly same thing as the other, software engineering graduate are not considered real engineer?
That's a Canadian thing where it matters if you're a real "engineer" or not - virtually no software company in the US cares if someone is a real "engineer" or not - it's just not a thing, like how we don't care if Adele or Whitney Houston or other pop singers had singing lessons from approved experts. They do care about internships/co-ops so I'd go with whatever gives you the best chances at landing good ones.
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Old 03-21-2016, 04:38 PM   #195
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Re: Online Bootcamp or Physical Classroom?

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You have a bachelor's degree already right? If that's the case I think it's better to do a bootcamp or a master's. There's not a lot of point in paying for an associate degree if you already have a bachelor's, unless you want the classroom experience.
I do have a BA degree (history major), but I assume that won't do much for me when applying for programming jobs. My thinking is that a bootcamp won't be sufficient to make up for my total lack of relevant education/experience, so a more respected credential may be worth obtaining.

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All of this seems to scream bootcamp to me. The main things that are useful about college-type courses as opposed to bootcamp is CS theory and math. If you don't want that, I think bootcamps do a better job of teaching skills that are immediately useful in the industry.
This is very welcome food for thought. I live in Vancouver, Canada, so the local bootcamps obviously aren't going to be on the same level as the bootcamps in SF or NY. But since cost isn't a factor for me, maybe it's better to do a bootcamp first, and see where that gets me before pursuing a more formal credential. I see a lot of negativity about bootcamps both here and on reddit, so I had previously dismissed this idea, but perhaps it's worth reconsidering?
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Old 03-21-2016, 04:45 PM   #196
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Re: Online Bootcamp or Physical Classroom?

maybe start by trying 4-8 hours a day on one weekend day at odin project. see how you like slamming down lots of content in a compressed time span

or try to get all the way through the entire ruby or python course on codecademy, that should take about 7-9 hours

Last edited by Loki; 03-21-2016 at 04:46 PM. Reason: apologies if you already have experience, I can't keep track of who's who itt
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Old 03-21-2016, 04:59 PM   #197
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Re: Online Bootcamp or Physical Classroom?

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maybe start by trying 4-8 hours a day on one weekend day at odin project. see how you like slamming down lots of content in a compressed time span

or try to get all the way through the entire ruby or python course on codecademy, that should take about 7-9 hours
Thanks. I've already completed several intro-type programming courses, so I'm pretty confident that this is a direction that I'm interested in pursuing. Currently about halfway through CS50x, but I'll probably start working through Odin or FCC in the near future.
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Old 03-21-2016, 05:35 PM   #198
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Re: Online Bootcamp or Physical Classroom?

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I do have a BA degree (history major), but I assume that won't do much for me when applying for programming jobs. My thinking is that a bootcamp won't be sufficient to make up for my total lack of relevant education/experience, so a more respected credential may be worth obtaining.
At least in the US some people will look down on a 2-year degree or institutions that do give out 2-year degrees but I don't know if this is a US-specific thing - I know a lot of this weird obsession with prestige in the US doesn't exist at least to the same degree in Canada. But either way, I don't think it adds all that much versus programming bootcamps or even listing MOOC classes you completed. I think it puts you in that weird zone where people who care about standard credentials look down on you because you have a 2-year degree and people who value non-standard credentials and bootstrappiness look down on you because you needed standard schooling and didn't teach yourself everything. I think whatever you do, consistency in how you come across is important at the beginning of your career.
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Old 03-21-2016, 07:05 PM   #199
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Re: Online Bootcamp or Physical Classroom?

Thanks very much for your input, candybar. FWIW, the 2-year program I'm considering is highly regarded (locally, anyways) and grads seem to have no problem finding good jobs. But if I could get a job with only a bootcamp, some MOOCs, and some personal projects on my resume, that would definitely be preferable. Lots to ponder...
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Old 03-21-2016, 07:34 PM   #200
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Re: Online Bootcamp or Physical Classroom?

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You've done ridiculous amounts of work to get to that point, including suffering through a "non-programming" job that paid little but gave you some bona-fide work experience. Your resume has to look pretty decent by now, if not I can help you. The point is that it's a lot easier to just get a CS degree, assuming you have the ability to do so.
Why the quotes around non-programming?

My resume must look fine, or I wouldn't be hit back with all sorts of amazing responses...

This morning I chatted with a company everyone here has heard of. I applied for Postgres database engineering and a bit of Linux stuff. They called me wanting to talk about a SysAdmin role that offers end-user support and optimizing Mongo, Elastic Search, and Redis, with at least 5 years experience.

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I think it's quite possible if not likely that some of the questions you've been asked are rooted in data structures or known algorithms you learn in CS courses even if you didn't recognize them as such. In a lot of interviews, you aren't "tested on data structures" per se but solving the problem requires undergraduate level understanding of data structures and algorithms. People aren't going to make you recite stuff that you learned in CS courses - they are going to ask you questions that are difficult to answer without knowing it though.
No, none of them were. Granted, most of what I am for is SQL stuff, which means I have to demonstrate a knowledge of how the query planner works, but that's domain-specific. On Python, etc, never had anything that couldn't be trivially solved in O(n) time, and nothing that someone with introductory material couldn't conquer.

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From one perspective, programming is just a branch of applied math and being good at one kind of math means you're likely to be better at another. Again, this isn't entirely true but if you think "programming doesn't require much math" for any definition of programming, you're taking basic math skills (Algebra 1 for example) for granted.
fair enough...
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