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New Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer gives liberal arts grads hope

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Marissa Mayer speaks during an announcement in San Francisco, California. She says verbal skills are just as important as math ability for future programmers.

Marissa Mayer, the new, 37-year-old CEO of Yahoo, is a computer scientist through and through. She graduated from Stanford and was officially Google employee number 20. Okay, so maybe she doesn't program day-to-day anymore. But she's a reliable source of insight about the craft. 

Or is it an art? A liberal art? Here she is in a Daily Beast interview, talking about what makes a good programmer:

“One of the more interesting things they’ve found is that programming aptitude and excellence is more tied to verbal SAT scores than to math SAT scores,” she explained. “Beyond basic mathematical aptitude, the difference between good programmers and great programmers is verbal ability.”

Interesting. And maybe something the hardcore programmer community, with their all-night hackathons, doesn't want to hear. Could it be that Mayer is a more radical chief executive, in terms of how she thinks about preparation for the Silicon Valley life, than we've been led to think?

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