Yes, I am a Programmer; No, I am not Good at Maths

There is this general notion that computer programmers are good at mathematics. I really do not know started spreading that rumor, but it is certainly not true. I can only hope that this misconception is being propagated by Mathematicians who just want to make fun of us programmers. But it is no longer funny!

I did my master of science at the European University of Lefke and thankfully, the university had a flexible system where we were allowed to drop courses we didn’t like. We could then take those courses later on (if they were core courses) or swap them for another course (if they were elective courses). I thank God for such system, because it saved my ass so many times!

Two courses that gave me a hard time: Advanced Mathematics and Kuda (I forgot the actual name of the course).

Advanced Mathematics

Advanced Mathematics

I hate mathematics! I hate mathematics! And let me say it one more time… I hate mathematics!!! I hate mathematics and I have always hated it because I am just terrible at it!

I had to do Advanced Mathematics TWICE because I dropped it the first time. Unfortunately, advanced mathematics was a core course and I had to pass it if I wanted to graduate. Thank God that I passed it with the minimum pass grade for a master’s program lol

Like what happened recently when I stopped at my mother’s favorite place to buy boiled corn, as we often do every other day. I gave the woman 200 naira and bought 100 worth of corn, plus 30 naira worth of coconuts. The woman asked if I had 50 naira to give her. Luckily, I had some change.

But then I got really confused as to how much I was to give her since I had 10’s and 20’s in my wallet! I gave her 20 naira, and she was like… no, you gave me 100, right? And then I gave her 50 naira, and again she said no! Then she asked for 30 naira so that she can give me 100 naira back. Simple 230 minus 130 equals 100, was difficult for my brain to calculate… can you imagine!

But give me complex programming task to handle, and I would have thought up multiple solutions in my head almost before you finish describing the problem.

KUDA

Then there was KUDA! Oh my!

I am talking about programming supercomputers to perform enormous calculations that would normally take a “regular” computer days to weeks, to complete. I so happened to take this course at a period of school when I was mostly asleep. And so my brain didn’t help me much in understanding multi-dimensional programming.

Brain Half-Asleep

I had barely slept on the night before the final exam. I got up in the morning with a half-asleep brain that was no useful than that of an earthworm. After staring at my notes for a couple of minutes, I said “fuck it!” and just went to the examination hall! lol

After glancing through the only 2 questions on the question paper, I realized I knew nothing! Nada! I didn’t know shi shi!

So what did Kheme do? I wrote my name and student number (or matriculation number) on the paper and submitted a blank sheet! And yes, I failed KUDA that semester (the only F grade on my M.Sc. transcript).

So don’t believe the rumors out there that “programmers are good in mathematics” because it is all a lie and a false misconception, a terrible attempt at creating a stereotype that has failed to catch on (in my opinion).

Instead, let us spread the truth: programmers are terrible at mathematics! Yes! So please do me and other fellow programmers a favor: tell at least 10 friends of yours, that programmers suck at maths!