Don’t Drop Out
Alex Kern

As a Cal grad I applaud you. The “drop out” mantra is the business equivalent of telling inner city kids to blow off classes and concentrate on basketball so they can make it big in the pros. Except, of course, most won’t. Nobody is the next Mark Zuckerberg, but not one would-be drop-out in ten thousand is even close to that league. And you can bet that if some hot-shot drops out and fails, none of the “drop out” crowd will be there to offer him a job.

I also code, but scientific applications of interest to me. That means I couldn’t have less interest in doing what Zuckerberg does. I didn’t when it was MySpace and I don’t care about Facebook or Twitter. So even if someone has the talent of a Zuckerberg, does he have the interest in anything that would be as successful? If not, he’ll end up being just another under-appreciated genius in a dead-end job.

But part of me also wonders if we all wouldn’t be better off if Zuckerberg and Gates and Jobs had stayed in college and graduated. Because I am constantly blown away by how stupid a lot of “professional” software is. You want a listing of your files to put in a document? M$’s recipe, I kid you not, is take a screenshot and paste the image. If you remember DOS, there’s a way to do it in Command Prompt. We’re staring at, what, Windows 10 and they still haven’t thought to include something a high school kid programming in BASIC should think of? And FAT is a great way to access your files quickly, but shouldn’t we, 30 years into the personal computer era, have alternate ways of recovering data if that part of our hard disk crashes? Not costly specialty software but a standard, built in array of alternatives?

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