A high GPA is somewhat helpful when you're looking for your first full-time programming job, but probably not as helpful as how prestigious a school you went to, and definitely not as helpful as industry experience or actual nuts-and-bolts engineering skill. This latter is not to be underestimated; a lot of new CS grads can't quickly write accurate pseudocode, for example, and you will be asked to do that at some point during any half-decent interview. If you can't do it, that's going to be a deal-breaker, but having a 3.2 instead of a 3.5 GPA almost certainly won't be.

After a couple years of full-time experience, almost no one will ask about your GPA (they will, however, ask where you went to school and what degree you got), meaning that GPA is important to your long-term career prospects almost entirely insofar as it affects your standing right out of college. It'll also affect your prospects for grad school, if you're interested in going that direction at some point.

I can't stress this strongly enough. I'm an engineer at Google, and do a lot of interviews here.

The hiring decision is based on interview performance, estimates of where you should be—based on history, age, etc.—and such things. It is not at all based on GPA. GPAs are only important inasmuch as it might get you past the first bar of getting to an interview at all, something you can automatically bypass by having someone who already works for Google recommend you, as well as a couple other ways. Personally, I was headhunted over IRC; my GPAs never came up a... (read more)

Open thread, Dec. 15 - Dec. 21, 2014

by Gondolinian 1 min read15th Dec 2014309 comments


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