Re: [OFF TOPIC] College Degree

  • From: Nuno Souto <dbvision@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 08 Dec 2009 21:37:15 +1100

Guillermo Alan Bort wrote,on my timestamp of 8/12/2009 8:40 AM:

So... my question to you is, what is your degree (if any) and what is your opinion on college degrees and real life work.

Electrical Engineering Low-Currents (Electronics). University.
We don't have colleges where I studied: only high school and uni.
One of the final projects was to design and build an audio amplifier. This was way back when we had to use discrete components to make one, rather than just plug-in a black-box module made in China.

I got together with three other students in the project, we did the design according to the books, walked into an electronics supply shop and asked for a few NPN and PNP transistors with Vce of 30V, IC of 300mA and a noise factor that I forgot.

Of course: we got laughed at.

We learned there and then that in real life one picks components from a manufacturer's catalog - the Phillips and Motorola ones used to be excellent! - that most closely match the type of transistor one needs - switching, power, low-noise, high-voltage - and THEN one designs the circuit around those components!

We had a week to re-do everything. This is where my prior experience as "sound engineer" with a high school music band paid off: I *knew* heaps of circuit diagrams and how to read them and draw the PCBs and solder the components without undue EM interference. Top marks at the end: we were the only ones who actually showed a working device.

I learned a lesson that had nothing to do with electronics: don't bend reality to your ideals - real life works the other way around.

I've been working with Oracle for a few years (4 or 5) and I've come to know it a little, I got a good job as a DBA, but I don't really like the 'regular' careers that are usually associated with Systems Administrations... so... if I got, say, a degree in mathematics or physics... how would it affect my work-life?

I don't think it would affect your working life in any way, other than perhaps open a few doors initially. Your approach to systematic work and continuous learning would be a much more determinant factor of your career overall.

Nuno Souto
in windy Sydney, Australia

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