Does a programmer need a specialized education? What do Yandex think

    Today begins a new school year. Hundreds of people who will become programmers in the future, become freshmen or continue to study further. But not the fact that they have everything in the diploma will be written "programmer". Is it important to them at all? This time we decided to ask Yandex employees if a programmer needs specialized education.

    By the way, we often say that Yandex is a company created by programmers. But, as I was somehow corrected by Yandex co-founder Arkady Volozh, none of the creators of Yandex had a “programmer” in their diploma. What our other colleagues told you, as always, you can read under the cut.

    Andrey styskin Styskin
    Programs 18 years. Yandex is 9 years old.
    He came to Yandex as a Java developer in the Market search group. He was engaged in the classification of commodity texts and the extraction of facts from commodity descriptions. Thus began his passion for search and machine learning. Outside of work, Andrei made various IR toys: a verse generator on language models, a robot for pumping social networks. Now Andrey is in charge of the ranking department, which employs a team of almost 200 people.


    It seems to me that the current Yandex is made by people who do not have a specialized education and who just really like programming. These are mathematicians, physicists, people with an economic education or other types of technical who loved programming so much that they went to programmers. And it is thanks to this love, and not to skill, that everything turns out so well for them. Therefore, I can’t appreciate how useful a programmer’s education is. But, for example, managerial education at some stage was very useful to me.

    I am interested in how much education, even in the same School of Data Analysis, affects motivation and love for one’s business. If it helps more and more to love your tasks, then this is very cool. And if a person has learned this, knows how, but does not like and thinks how to build a career in another field, then it can do harm. I am very interested in how to identify this in people at an early stage.

    Mikhail Parakhin
    Programs 24 years. In Yandex - 9 months.

    After graduating from MEPhI, he began working at CJSC STC “Module”. In the 90s, it was almost the only place in Moscow where they studied automatic learning systems. Then he went to Parascript, which is actually a monopolist in the field of handwriting and printed text recognition. For many years he worked in the USA. For the past seven years, at Microsoft, five of which led Bing's multimedia search services division. In the spring, he came to Yandex as director of search technologies.

    If we consider programmer education as the core, then it is probably not necessary. I have a selfish moment here, because I do not have it - I am a physicist by training. Although he never worked as a physicist. I’m a self-taught programmer and it seems like it never bothered me. Therefore, I think that specialized education is not necessary at all.

    Andrey yafinder Plakhov
    Programs for 24 years. Yandex is 6 years old.

    He came to Yandex in 2008 as a senior developer. His first task was to create a new type of ranking factors - domain. Engaged in ranking, created the Spectrum system. Candidate of physical and mathematical sciences. Now he manages the search functionality service - in particular, he develops search hints. He deeply understands both technology and user properties of the product.


    Before Yandex, I was engaged in computer games, and quite regularly people came to us for interviews. One of them came and said: "I am the only person who has a specialized education, a programmer’s education." We were surprised: “As the only one?” He replied: “And so. You look at what people have written in the diplomas - no one has written a “programmer”, but for me it is written. Because I graduated from vocational school, where they teach to be a programmer. " But I do not understand what a specialized education is. Applied Mathematics?

    It’s true that the people who passed the SHAD are epic people, who are here and many others still tear off with their hands, but I don’t know why this happens. Maybe it’s just such people who can go there to qualify and finish their studies. In general, it is very pleasant when a person who has just arrived from an educational institution immediately speaks the same language with you, understands some things, jargon, and has already managed to do something with his hands in the same field. But there are a lot of rather outdated things in classical Computer Science. For example, a large notation has little relation to real work. It’s clear that someday the situation with training will change, but before that another 10 years will pass.

    Stepan Koltsov
    Programs 10 years. Yandex is 7 years old.

    Senior developer in the development of storage and data processing systems. Styopa from those Yandex employees who left but then returned. Now working on monitoring systems in the search.


    I believe that specialized education is not necessary at all. If we are talking about the serious programming that Yandex has in many places, then a person must know the math. But this mathematics is not a specialized education, because mathematics is separate - programming separately. Relatively speaking, a programmer must be able to write and read, but a specialized education in the sense that he should be taught to program, is not necessary. ShAD is more a very specific math, which is needed for serious projects. And it seems that we do not have any training in programming necessary for tasks that people usually solve. And, it seems to me, it is not necessary, because programming in itself is a very simple thing. Anyone can learn to program on a book in two months.

    Artyom breqwas Kireev
    Programs 12 years. Yandex is 8 years old.

    Yandex called for parsing data from Blog Search. They called not only to scold, but also to work. He did Blog Search for many years, in particular, he was the main developer of the Yandex.Puls service. Now it is developing an advertising network, one of the most critical in terms of fault tolerance services.


    Do we give it somewhere? Once I studied at the institute with a degree in Applied Mathematics. I went there because I thought: “Great, math. Applied. They’ll probably teach me how to write programs. ” No, not taught. I was taught mathematics and, after many years, I found out that it really has some applications, but then they did not tell me about them. And I was sure that I was taught boring, dull and not interesting mathematics, and left the institute. I don’t have a higher education. Maybe I’m out of luck and somewhere in Russia everything is different.

    Michael mlevin Levin
    Programs 18 years. In Yandex - 5 years.

    You could see Misha's lecture on how mathematics helps Yandex to earn. A very large part of his activity is working in our academic programs. He teaches at the School of Data Analysis, participates in the creation of a training program at the Faculty of Computer Science of HSE and Yandex. Twice won medals at the ACM ICPC as part of the team of Moscow State University. M.V. Lomonosov.

    I finished the mehmat, and it never focused on programming. The fact that a lot of programmers came from there is a consequence of two things. Firstly, in the country it was not very possible to earn money as a scientist, and secondly, many people cannot go into pure science. In fact, the choice remains to work as a programmer or economist. The two most popular options.

    The practical part on mehmat was never taught. The fact that many of my classmates work for Google, Yandex, Microsoft, Facebook and other cool companies turned out because the course was strong, many helped to advance the Olympiad. Much had to learn on my own. If we took only what the university gave, then this would not be enough even to get an internship at Yandex. SHAD is a way to fix the situation. The mathematical education in our country is, in principle, not bad, although it is not quite the same as it is sung. But really the top graduates of the mechmath and VMK do not lose the top of Harvard and MIT, but this is some small sample, beyond which there is a sharp decline. Western universities have less emphasis on mathematics, but much more practical training. Graduates can immediately enter the industry and work.

    At the new Computer Science faculty at HSE, we want to immediately try to combine mathematics and programming in more correct proportions. Less compulsory mathematics and more programming courses and practical tasks.

    Pavel Sukhov
    Programming - 9 years. In Yandex - 5 months.

    He studied at the Nizhny Novgorod branch of HSE, where he has been teaching for two years. Before Yandex, he worked in a research laboratory. Yandex develops geo-applications.


    If I were working with a cook’s diploma now, how would this affect my work? Exactly nothing. No one cares how you gain knowledge, especially in the IT field. I know an example when a girl came to work as a programmer, graduating from the conservatory. And they took her. At first, there were some difficulties with the salary, because formally they could not pay her the rate, but now she does not work in the lowest position. People are interested in your real knowledge and skills. And even this is not always the case. Very often just motivation is important. Yes, of course, specialized education helps in something, allows you to gain experience in various fields, which may suddenly prove to be useful, but this is definitely not an obligatory factor.

    Andrey Mishchenko has been
    programming for 24 years. Yandex is 9 years old.

    He came to Yandex as a C ++ developer, for a long time he was the head of the development of Blog Search and wrote in Perl. Andrey is a candidate of physical and mathematical sciences. He is currently working on improving search engine learning algorithms.


    Do I need to finish the VMK to work as a programmer? Of course not. But I like it when a programmer has a good fundamental education. This sets the ceiling that a programmer can achieve. You can don’t have a higher education at all, graduate from school, go learn PHP, gain 10 years of experience and be a very good web developer. That is, you can very quickly do some online shopping, and it is clear what level of work you will have. You will receive a very good salary, make high-quality products within the framework of your tasks, but the lack of education will keep you. You cannot rise higher and do any deeper things. For example, search, recommendation systems, your own algorithms are some high-tech things. You will have a job of a completely different level.

    Anatoly anatolix Orlov
    Programs 25 years. Yandex is 9 years old.

    The first two years Market wrote. For a long time I was engaged in search - mainly its performance, and then to everyone else. Now he is engaged in various projects in the field of speed, architecture, etc. Deputy Head of Search Services. Included in 2% of people who complete courses on Coursera.


    I have studied this issue many times because I myself do not have a higher education. I can say that it is worth sharing education as a concept of the transfer of knowledge, training and education as a diploma. I would say that a programmer needs knowledge, and a diploma, in fact, is not really. Obtaining knowledge is not necessary at the university - it can be self-education. If you are not lucky and you did not have a good university, then you just have to watch a lot of lectures. There is nothing wrong.

    Grigory bobuk Bakunov
    Programs for 25 years. Yandex is 10 years old.

    Once I came to work as a system administrator, and now I am the Director for Technology Distribution.


    I know two or three universities that train programmers for real. Everything else is such indirect, related specialties. It seems to me that the programmer, of course, gets most of his knowledge in the process of self-education. Nevertheless, specialized education allows you to get everything that allows you to get any other education. First of all - the right connections, the right acquaintances, the ability to communicate with people in your profession, which is also very important. Then an idea of ​​how life works in the industry. These are the things that profile education should give. Programmers must learn to communicate with other programmers, as well as with people from related specialties. They should realize how industry works, what version control systems are and how they live with all this. Education should provide basic knowledge in the immediate specialty, because everything else a person must learn to perceive from the environment himself. In fact, in Russia there are already several universities that have begun to move in this direction. And in the world, probably, there are three or four universities that live according to this scheme.

    Elena Bunina
    In Yandex - 7 years.

    Director of the computer science department at the School of Data Analysis, HR Director of Yandex, professor at the Department of Higher Algebra, Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics, Moscow State University M.V. Lomonosov, deputy head of the department "Data Analysis" MIPT. Doctor of physical and mathematical sciences. The theme of her doctoral dissertation is “Automorphisms and elementary equivalence of Chevalley groups and other derived structures”.

    I met a lot of mathematicians who later retrained and became programmers without a specialized education. But it seems to me that it's better to learn programming early enough. So it will be much easier to switch from language to language, for example. A person who in the early years learned this, somehow lives easier. There are software engineers who are not very interested in the science of Computer Science; they are rather techies. But those programmers who are interested in inventing and analyzing something new, they just need to study this science.

    Oleg Klimin
    Programming - 23 years. Yandex is the year.

    He graduated from Nizhny Novgorod State University. N.I. Lobachevsky. At a previous job, Oleg was engaged in the creation and support of software for cellular communication nodes. Yandex develops mobile geo-applications.


    It seems to me that everything depends more on a person than on the profile by which he studied. I do not have a programmer education, which, in general, does not prevent me from working as a programmer. I know people who graduated from the Faculty of Economics or some liberal arts faculties, and at the same time they are excellent programmers. There are those who have received a specialty, but then something did not go, something did not like. There are many self-taught people who did not finish anything at all. A specialized education helps, gives a person a systematic understanding of what he is doing, it is probably easier with him if this is really interesting for a person. But I do not think that it is mandatory.

    What do you think? What is written in your diploma? And do the knowledge that was given at the university help you in your work?

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