Do you have to be good at math to be a good programmer?

  • It seems that conventional wisdom suggests that good programmers are also good at math. Or that the two are somehow intrinsically linked. Many programming books I have read provide many examples that are solutions to math problems, or are somehow related to math as if these examples are what make sense to most people.

    So the question I would like to float is: do you have to be good at math to be a good programmer?

    @Mark Not necessarily. Learning a subject and liking it are two very different things.

    Do we get any advantage if we are really good at math?

    Are you a king? Or conjoined twins? If no, I suggest you stick to "I" when referring to yourself.

    I'm pretty disappointed this is taking so long to close.

    If you have Internet access, no. Most of modern-day programmers copy+paste source code from the code samples on the net and stackoverflow.com

    I don't really think this is the same question as 'Is it possible to become a good programmer if you don't like math' One answer over there points out what I'm saying better than my thoughts. `"Like" and "be competent at" are entirely different things`

    @tp1 differential calculus is actually fairly simple to code, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Runge%E2%80%93Kutta_methods

    @jk - you're correct most likely http://physics.about.com/od/alberteinstein/p/einsteinpro.htm still think there's a good amount of art to programming ;p

    I thought I never liked math. Later in life, I realized I just wasn't happy with the syntax.

    Depends what you mean by "good at math", doesn't it?

    All of programmers use math all the time, they just don't realize it because it is so much different than math taught at school. Discreet math, lambda calculus, Boolean algebra, logic (!) are really advanced math concepts that we use every day.

  • I think it depends on what type of programming you want to do. As far as being a programmer in the business world goes, I would say that the answer is no. You can become a great programmer without knowing advanced mathematics. When you do end up having to deal with math, the formulas are usually defined in the business requirements so it only becomes a matter of implementing them in code.

    On the flip side, If you want to become a low-level programmer or say create 3D graphics engines, mathematics will play a huge role.

    I would like to add that I've seen some PhDs in math and physics write horrible code. These skills overlap to an extent but they are separate disciplines.

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Content dated before 6/26/2020 9:53 AM