Nerd perk #0

This is a perk of being a nerdy girl. You can probably get a computer nerd boy to do all your tedious programming things for you. You know, if you don’t feel like it yourself.

When I was in college, I enrolled in a computer science class without having taken any of the 3 prerequisites. I did this on the sage advice of a CS major who insisted that as a math major, I would do fine despite having zero programming experience.

He was right until nearly the end of the semester. One of the homework assignments included a bit of programming. I had made a habit of ¬†monopolizing the office hours of my professor, one Christos Papadimitriou — mostly because he told funny stories and patiently put up with me flipping through his books and abusing his whiteboard. I had to admit to him that I hadn’t taken any prerequisites and had no idea how to program.

This was his advice (paraphrased):

Just pick one of these nerd boys in the class, and have him do that problem for you. It’s a great deal for him!

What? This isn’t cheating? He had a good laugh at my surprise and re-iterated his opinion that the nerd boy would be the one getting the better deal because he got to work with me.

So, that’s what I did. The first boy I asked was more than happy to do the coding for me. I think there’s a lesson to be learned somewhere here, but I can’t find it. Before you even think it, no, I’m not particularly attractive. During those years, I had one boyfriend who frequently told me I looked homeless. And, yes, I have since learned how to program. But it’s still nice to know this perk exists.


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