Why you don't need to be a mathematics genius to be a developer.

James Perkins

Jul 27 2020

2 min read


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When you first start thinking about becoming a developer, one of the things you might hear is you need to be a math(s) wizz. I am here to tell you that a small number of developers need the mathematics outside of algebra.

I have been a developer for over a decade and have worked on everything from the Lottery / Slot machines to online car registration systems. Even in this industry where algorithms are used heavily to work out the amount of plays for before particular payouts I didn't use a huge amount of complicated mathematical equations.

So when would you use Mathematics?#

This is quite simple, when you are using something that needs extreme precision without fault, such as airplane technology, self driving cars or even a rocket ship would require mathematics of a high level. I suppose also creating video games could be in this bucket as the precision needed in some cases to create AAA games is absurd, next time you take a shot in Call of Duty think how many calculations are completed before that 360 no scope! (Is that still a thing?)

Why learning mathematics is important?#

Mathematics was a passion of mine as a child, I found the calculations simple and algebra simple. I think a lot of logical thinking that is needed to solve problems as a developer can stem from working on mathematical problems.

If you think of the age old question of the traveling salesman, Given a list of cities and the distances between each pair of cities, what is the shortest possible route that visits each city and returns to the origin city? This question takes a logical thought as well as some potential trial and error, which is very similar to development where you logically create an idea from a client but it might not be what you want on the first go.

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