Send Bill Gates Your Resume If You’ve Finished These Books

When a book is so hard that Bill Gates himself tells you to send in your resume to him once you’ve finished it


Our world is filled with really advanced technology to help us learn and understand our world better than ever before. However, no matter what you do, if you’re a computer programmer, no video, ebook, or tutorial will ever be as critically acclaimed as the multivolume set “The Art of Computer Programming,” by former Stanford professor Donald Knuth.

“If you think you’re a really good programmer… read (Knuth’s) Art of Computer Programming … You should definitely send me a résumé if you can read the whole thing,” says Bill Gates himself on the cover of the third edition of the first volume of the book.

Source: Business Insider

The quote originally came from a newspaper column. The full text reads:

“It took incredible discipline, and several months, for me to read it. I studied 20 pages, put it away for a week, and came back for another 20 pages. If somebody is so brash that they think they know everything, Knuth will help them understand that the world is deep and complicated.”

The first volume and edition of the book came out way back in 1962, and it was the first of its kind. It took a very deep look into the math and science of programming. This was Knuth’s magnus opus, and once said that it’ll be a seven-volume set before it’s completed. The most recent addition of the book was released back in December of 2015.

Source: Business Insider

“The four hardbound volumes of Donald Knuth’s ‘The Art of Computer Programming’ — all snug in their dark purple case  —  send a clear message: Step aside, Muggles, because you’re in the presence of a Real Programmer. A Serious Practitioner of Computer Science,” writes Carl Tashian, a San Francisco-based entrepreneur.

Over time, the book has been recognized internationally for its ingenuity- It’s legendary. A rite of passage, if you must, for any programmer who wants to go beyond the principles of coping and delve into the deeper complexity of how it all works to the most basic level it could possibly be.

“If there is a Koran, Bible, or Tao of Computer Science, this is it,” wrote an Amazon reviewer back in 1997.

While reading this might be an enlightening experience, it’s also extremely difficult to read and understand. Even the world’s best programmers (including Gates himself) have a hard time browsing through and understanding Knuth’s example problems and long mathematical proofs.

And even if it was published more than 50 years ago, Knuth still keeps the books up to date through releasing new editions of the book, as well as enlisting the fans of his work. He said that if you spot any error in his books and if you can prove it, you can get one of his ever-so-famous “Knuth reward checks,” a check amounting to $2.56, or what he calls “one hexadecimal dollar.” It might be small in monetary value, but the fact that it serves as a badge of honor and a trophy for those who truly know what they’re talking about make it priceless.

Source: Business Insider

Article Sources:

Business Insider

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Send Bill Gates Your Resume If You’ve Finished These Books

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