Do you actually need to be great at math to be a great coder?

Discussion in 'Programming' started by Remy2402, May 29, 2015.

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  1. Hello people of Spigot. I have been wondering this for a while but I have never really thought of asking the people here. So I am wondering, do you have to be good/great at math to be a good C++/C#/Java programmer. I do not do well at Math in school at all (Grade 9 if wondering) and I am hoping to improve but I was just wondering, if I don't seem to improve my Math, do Software Engineer employers really look at your math scores closely and will it affect my programming skills? Thanks <3
  2. Well, the first problem here is that you're using the "word" "coder". That's probably a place to start.

    Really though, depends on what you'll be programming. A decent understanding of simple math is definitely required in most cases, but if you aren't going to be writing mathematical algorithms, you won't need much more than that. You'll probably run into situations where you could use it though.
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  3. I know all the simple math but when it comes to algebra and stuff like that. I just drop off and suck ;-; Would that affect much?
  4. Your question makes just as much sense if you swap out a few words:
    "Do you actually need to be great at math to be fluent in French?"

    If you're going to be using math, yes, probably. If not, you can probably get by with the basics.
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  5. At least when making Bukkit/Spigot plugins, you won't be running into complicated Math problems. That is, if you are not making particle effect plugins. For that you'll need to learn some Trigonometry.

    It's funny because you do need a basic understanding of math to learn french. To say 386, (trois cent quatre vignt six) you literally say 300 + (4*20) + 6
    #5 ItsMonkey, May 29, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2015
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  6. Ok. So say someone who works at Microsoft or Apple that works on various parts of Windows or Mac OS, would they need very good math knowledge?
  7. Yes, they'd need to be pretty proficient at it.
  8. You have 4 more years of school, hoping you pass. You'll pick up what you need to know.

    Learn Math if you want to become a programmer.
    #8 mieky, May 29, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2015
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  9. You can't compare development of software, games and operating systems. The three are usually completely separate.
    • If you go into game development, you will probably need a greater understanding of math, like trigonometry, functions, calculus.
    • If you go into operating system development, I am unsure of what extend of knowledge you will need, but it's basically all base-level development, thus a lot of math is being used.
    • If you go into software (desktop/mobile) application development, assuming it's not a game, the only thing I can think of off the top of my head that uses complex math is FFT algorithms (measuring waves of sound, etc)
    As a side point, becoming an engineer requires even more math in some cases.
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  10. Math is only really used in programming when you're dealing with values that need it.

    If you are going into plugin development, there is lots of math involved for things like moving around a 3D world, and interacting with items in specific areas. Worldedit is a huge mathematical plugin as it uses math in most of its functions to manipulate the world.

    Something as simple as a word filter, or what not, would not really require too much math, if not any at all.

    It is good to have a piece of paper and a pencil around when coding complex things. I've found it to really help me when I jot down what I am trying to do, so I can see it visually. Then come up with the mathematical magic to make it happen!
  11. As said before the most I've seen in bukkit is using trigonometry for particles and Euler angles. Overall in game development you will need good knowledge of trigonometry for e.g) 2D bullet movement. From what I understood in mobiles (not development itself but the manufacturing and base of them) you need an understanding of complex numbers.
    Calculus also helps quite a bit in the long term. Early on, maths isn't the biggest requirement but as you go on it becomes a more fundamental part of programming
  12. I think its cute when people use the term coding, they sound like my ICT teacher.

    Really though, depends on what sort of area you want to go into but in general, yeah work hard a Maths.

    Can also add in that English is important too to write documentation for what you build etc.

    In general get the highest you can in both English and Maths, regardless of your planned job you will need them.
  13. Ok guys. I think I have gotten the point now. Thanks for all your help. Ima go ahead and request a lock.
  14. Going off what he said above, unless you are dealing with vectors and calculating weird shapes (look up SethBlings video on 3D graphs), a basic understanding off simple math is enough. Most equations can be Googled anyhow.
  15. When I was doing Computer Science in Year 11, you had to have a B in maths as your target. Mine was a C. My teacher let me do 7 weeks before we broke up for the 6 week holiday as a trial, then afterwards he'd say if I could stay. I did well enough to stay on the course. My target was a C due to my low maths grade, however I got an A as my final grade, beating people who had A/A*'s in maths and beating people who had previous programming knowledge.
  16. Programming involves a lot of logical and deductive thinking, similarly to the type of thinking you do with mathematical problems, so I believe you do need to be good in maths. This is not so much for the algorithmic/calculation part but more so the reasoning and logic required to diagnose issues with programs and which operations will occur in the program in what order. Programming is very much based around functions that output something for a given input; this is also a big part of mathematics.
  17. jflory7

    jflory7 Retired Moderator
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