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  #11  
Old 02-24-2020, 03:53 PM
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iwakura42 iwakura42 is offline
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Perhaps there is a way to ask the person to self-diagnose the problem they are having. Failure to (begin to) be able to do that is a second red flag.
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  #12  
Old 02-25-2020, 10:31 AM
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Yes
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  #13  
Old 03-01-2020, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Colonel Smoothie View Post
Some people have the mindset that once they get into a position of management, lower level people will do programming for them, so it's not worth investing a lot of time in it if they won't be doing it later. That's kind of the attitude I got when trying to get someone into it and to a certain extent it was true at the company I was at. Technical skills pigeonholed you, people skills got you ahead. Dunno if that's the case with you...

Times are changing and this is a crucial skill they'll need and this type of work isn't going away anytime soon. That needs to be made clear and maybe formal training will help.
On the other hand, there are plenty of roles that don’t require programming. If this guy is otherwise “diligent and producing good quality work” like the OP says, then it’s not the end of the world if programming doesn’t turn out to be his thing.

In my team we have a few specialists taking care of all the programming, leaving the other 90% of us to be able to spend time doing proper analysis. In my team in particular, there is a negative correlation between programming ability and salary. The programming specialists get stuck in dead end roles and the other people with better soft skills, commercial awareness and actuarial judgment are the people who progress to management roles. When I joined this company I was writing all sorts of programs and scripts but realised there were better things to focus on if I wanted fast progress.

The most senior person in my team (one level below appointed actuary) doesn’t know an if statement from a loop, but she doesn’t need to.

YMMV depending on company and role. I imagine in P&C pricing the need to code doesn’t go away. Also at junior spreadsheet monkey level, programming is a very useful skill to have.

Last edited by IroningBoard; 03-01-2020 at 04:44 PM..
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  #14  
Old 03-02-2020, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Noob View Post
It has been almost a year but they struggle with tasks involving anything more than a most basic query pull or a date change, etc.
When you interviewed them, did you assess their technical skills?

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Originally Posted by campbell View Post
A lot of people do not know how to do problem-solving.
Much easier to just memorize formulas and regurgitate. Sounds familiar...

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Originally Posted by Vorian Atreides View Post
Did the individual in question present themselves as technically competent in those skills? And with those programs/platforms (SAS or SQL)?
...and if so, did you confirm with any technical follow ups?

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Originally Posted by Vorian Atreides View Post
Many programs I've seen are focused on learning a tool or programming language without really looking at how to solve business problems.
I often see the opposite issue from analysts, where a great business idea is present, but there is no technical ability to carry it out.



That being said, skills are often relative. With respect to this forum, what should qualify as being able to program?

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Old 03-02-2020, 01:05 PM
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Vorian Atreides Vorian Atreides is offline
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Originally Posted by whoanonstop View Post
I often see the opposite issue from analysts, where a great business idea is present, but there is no technical ability to carry it out.
I was referencing more academic programs more that professional credentialing. I agree that there is often this gap between "technical" skills to solve (business) problems and business solutions being "technologically implementable".


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That being said, skills are often relative. With respect to this forum, what should qualify as being able to program?
I have always advocated people to find actual "problems" and work through that solution. And not some "class" project.

One of the things I really like about the CSPA credential is both an assessment of technical proficiency (can you do things you studied about in R?) as well as "problem solving" capability in the form of having an open-ended project to complete in a 2 month time frame.

And it is this latter aspect that is of high value, IMO, to employers; and something that can't be reasonably assessed within an interview framework; but can be presented on a resume (even "home-made" projects) and discussed at some length during an interview.
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Old 03-02-2020, 04:55 PM
zenkei18 zenkei18 is offline
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I can't get people who do not know how to program to some extent. Probably 90% of anything you do in programming has likely been done by someone else already, so if someone struggles with that, they likely struggle with other basic things like research and self teaching, which to me speaks to a larger problem of initiative.
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  #17  
Old 03-02-2020, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by zenkei18 View Post
I can't get people who do not know how to program to some extent. Probably 90% of anything you do in programming has likely been done by someone else already, so if someone struggles with that, they likely struggle with other basic things like research and self teaching, which to me speaks to a larger problem of initiative.
I agree with this — typically you can find most solutions online but it’d in some weird use case they you have to figure out how to apply to your own situation. People who don’t know how to program tend to be too lazy to understand solutions written on forums and apply them to their own work. Usually these types of people will be able to master basic tasks in programming, but aside from that it’s a lost cause.

As for whether it’s learnable, it’s just a matter of motivation I think.
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Old 03-03-2020, 12:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Vorian Atreides View Post
I have always advocated people to find actual "problems" and work through that solution. And not some "class" project.

One of the things I really like about the CSPA credential is both an assessment of technical proficiency (can you do things you studied about in R?) as well as "problem solving" capability in the form of having an open-ended project to complete in a 2 month time frame.

And it is this latter aspect that is of high value, IMO, to employers; and something that can't be reasonably assessed within an interview framework; but can be presented on a resume (even "home-made" projects) and discussed at some length during an interview.
I heavily agree with this statement and it is something I tell people who want to work with machine learning in their career. I think it can be extended to any technical role that does at least some sort of programming.

The biggest "bonus points" thing for me is if a person has projects that they have done outside of class or work. Building a solution from the ground up is often an extremely deep process, whereas getting a data set from someone and looking at some graphs of that data is not. I want people who can structure a project from start to finish, both from a business and technical perspective. The best way to mimic that is through their own projects.

-Riley
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