5 skills to learn in 2018

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/12/02/5-skills-to-learn-in-2018.html

Is it? I’m skeptical about the definition of “science” employed here. And not every human activity is either a science or an art. There are other categories. Such as pseudoscience.


Said it before & saying it again: Friends Don’t Let Friends Use Excel.
If you think otherwise, for any reason besides “my boss insists on it,” you don’t understand science, engineering, math, or code documentation.

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That stock art is soon to become the international sign for hacker.

You can use it for some engineering stuff, but you have to beat it into submission first.


I really think SQL and Python is the way to go.

The thing that Excel can do is to rotate a data set 90 degrees. And, usually, when you do that the next question should be something like “was that really appropriate? Why aren’t you using a proper mathematics program?”

Makes perfect sense. There are no friends on Wall Street

I actually kind of like Excel. For quick and dirty work on small data sets, it’s adequate.

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It was pretty mind-blowing the first time I realized the potential of Excel, most of the way through an education spent hammering the same calculations out by hand over and over again and typing the results into tables in WordPerfect 5.1. I suppose their might have been some pedagogical benefit to doing things that way, but it would have been minimal.


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If you work in a technical field and you don’t use a spreadsheet, ever, then you do not understand the actual craft of working in a technical field.

Sure, you will use tracking systems, databases, etc … but if you are doing any finance or calculation (as any higher level employee must) and you’re not using a spreadsheet, you are using the wrong tools.

Calling “Finance” a part of technical engineering is ludicrous. Suggesting you use Excel spreadsheets rather than a spreadsheet output from a proper integrated system tool is pathetic.

If you’re not dealing with costs in any way you’re just not high up enough.

And ‘proper integrated system tools’ only go so far. If you can manage to
only use those you just are not high up enough in the organisation.

Ok how about if you are doing a scenario analysis on a list of bermudan option positions using parameters supplied by your risk manager? or perhaps you want to find the SABR parameters for a swaption book, where all your swaption positions are priced using excel functions. One way or another you are gonna do most of the work in excel. Like everybody else does…

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