Episode 51: In, Around, and Beyond the CS Degree with Matt Del Signore

Enjoy the Vue

The topic of certifications and degrees for work in tech is complex and highly disputed. Here to discuss the issue with us on the podcast today, is Matt Del Signore! Matt is a front-end engineer at Google and is an organizer for Vue NYC Meetups too. To kick things off, we all briefly share our different certifications and educational backgrounds, noting what has been more and less useful thus far. Matt then unpacks how computer science degrees connect with web development currently, before we jump into some thoughts about the most valuable skills that companies seem to be looking for. It seems pretty acceptable that at this point, the tech world values the ability to learn and adapt to a unique set of circumstances and challenges, over everything else. This, however, is a difficult skill to measure in a setting such as an interview! We also consider the possibilities of specific training for new employees according to their exact job, and how this might play out. Matt weighs in on the skills and learning associated with accessibility and also underlines how much he values education in ethics for anyone working with computers. For all this, and of course, this week's picks, join us on the show today!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Matt's current position at Google, his work with Vue, and his educational background.
  • A look at the panel's interesting and winding journeys through education in tech.
  • The format of computer science degrees aimed at preparation for web development.
  • Assessing the common requirements for computer science degrees for front-end work.
  • The central value of the ability to learn and the challenges this poses to the interview process.
  • Thoughts on new programs that are offered by the likes of Udacity and Google.
  • Training entry-level personnel on the job and gatekeeping associated with certifications.
  • The question of accessibility on the front-end and possible certifications for this.
  • Useful classes that Matt has taken that he would recommend to any front-end developer.
  • Why ethics classes are important for anyone working in tech!
  • The benefits of troubleshooting audio systems, art classes, and working in retail.
  • This week's picks; salt mixes, The Morning Show, Persona 5 Royal, and more!


  • “I was lucky enough to go to a high school that had computer science classes. I started off by learning the 1984 version of GW-BASIC.” — Matt Del Signore [0:02:46]
  • “I learned a lot of stuff I learned on my own. Went to a lot of hackathons and I would talk to people there and then they would teach me stuff.” — Matt Del Signore [0:03:08]
  • “I think with a lot of things, in a lot of industries, we still use degrees and certifications as shorthand for knowledge.” — Matt Del Signore [0:05:43]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Special Guest: Matt Del Signore.

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