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I am Alex Russell. Ask me anything.


Hi Alex,

What's your opinion on today's value of a computer science degree? If I want to work for a company like Google is it required?



I'm one of the few people at Google I know who doesn't have a degree of any kind, and for a lot of years that was hard.

One of the things I've come to value over the years is the ability to pierce abstractions (in both directions). The best engineers make the smallest cuts for the biggest impact, and they can do that because they can "see" more of the system. I'm not sure you need a degree (I'm proof that Google hires folks without them), but you do need to be able to wrangle with complexity above and below your "layer". Living your whole career in JavaScript or Java without ever diving down to the layers below will be limiting no matter where you chose to work.

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