# Why Professional Certification Might Be Good

# Why Professional Certification Might Be Good

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**Strike 1. Counting From Zero**

I then ponited out that the Microsoft doco is weird because the highestnumber allowed by ulong is 18,446,744,073,709,551,615 which ends in an oddsnumber

I remineded him that 2**64 = 18,446,744,073,709,551,616

Apparently, this was the first time anyone realized how counting from zero works. If they had actually thought about this, they could have tried a smaller example. For example three bits. 2**3 = 8. When you enumerate the values you get 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. The highest value is 2**3-1. It's not "weird". It's a trivially obvious mathematical fact.

*n*values have numbers from 0 to

*n*-1. Didn't know that? Consider your certification revoked. Even hobbyists know this.

**Strike 2. Wrong Tools and Wrong Approach**

Then he wanted a spreadsheet of 2 raised to nth power.

I put it together and the numbers just looked weird. I then realized thatwhen you type a number that contains more than 15 digits in a cell,Microsoft Excel changes any digits past the fifteenth place to zeroes

What I felt like saying is that Python has built in this concept of "longintegers" which has unlimited precision and it automatically switches tothem

One of the clods knew Python. Instead of writing a trivial loop in Python, apparently, clod #1 proceeded to type numbers into a spreadsheet. The clod didn't

*compute*them -- with formulas or software -- the clod

*typed*the numbers.

*Typed*. Have Python. Elected to type. How did they do the calculations? On a pocket calculator? Oh the shame.

**Strike 3. Floating Point**

contains more than 15 digits in a cell,Microsoft Excel changes any digits past the fifteenth place to zeroes

This is not "news". The link provided in the email (" Last digits are changed to zeroes when you type long numbers in cells of Excel") indicates a profound lack of understanding.

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