At the Ref Desk (11/11/17): Getting down to the wire. Next week, finals... [more...]

Humanities -- the Salvation of Technology?

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 7/26/10 (9:19am)

Friend of mine from my undergrad days. Being an English major, it's nice to read reaffirmations such as this one by Daniel Paul O'Donnell in The Edmonton Journal, called 'Humanities, Not Science, Key to New Web Frontier':

"Engineers and computer scientists are not the only ones who have played important roles in building our new digital economy; students of the humanities and social sciences have played an equally significant role."

It reminds me of the time when two Business librarians asked me what it takes to become a programmer and I replied, a knowledge of English poetry.

That said, I've never been a fan of 'all one way or all the other'. I've seen too many ambitious initiatives go sour because the people implementing them simply lacked the technical chops to figure out whether they were headed in the right direction or whether the product just recommended by their vendors was worth its high price.

So although I still think a knowledge of English poetry is perfect preparation for programming there still is the part about learning the programming -- or the systems development or whatever technical aspect is required. Hearing that you don't need one or the other is probably a sign that you should go elsewhere for advice.