Do you need a degree to become a programmer?
A diploma may be the start of a good career, but I don’t think a diploma is the only oneroad to success. There’s nothing wrong with being a self-taught developer. Not so long ago, studies decided to get a well-paid job in any field. But the world has changed, you can easily hear about successful developers who have never earned a degree in today’s modern world of startups and rapidly evolving technology.
Successful entrepreneurs and programmers such as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg found that dropping out of college certainly did not prevent them from advancing their careers. If you want to become a doctor, you will almost certainly need a medical degree. For technical professions, a diploma is a nice addition, not a necessity.
Younger generations are now learning the basics of coding, learning online and wondering why they even need a university when most can be learned for free online. You certainly don’t need a computer science degree to be a programmer in the most basic sense of the word, but if you’re looking for a job and want a good salary, college may be useful, but it’s not required. Nowadays, many employers care about your attitude, logical thinking, curiosity and willingness to learn.
Do studies teach you?
Studies are not pointless, because the experience gained there is much more than just finding a job after graduation. There are many reasons why you might want to get a degree, even if you don’t need one to get a job after graduation.
You will learn theoretical knowledge in computer science, in subjects such as operating systems, computer networks, computer organization, algorithms, design concepts and more. Studies give you time to focus on a topic and explore it.
The main advantage of studying computer science is that it gives you a huge range of knowledge, which allows you to make insightful engineering decisions and approach tasks in the best possible way with an “engineering mindset”. They’ll teach some programming. They open up a wide variety of career options and are a good starting point for exploring the various programming professions.
Even if you have a degree, it will only be the beginning of learning, you will have a general understanding of how computers work and some useful troubleshooting tools, but you should never stop learning. If you want your skills to stay relevant in the job market, you need to stay informed and keep developing your skills. Being a programmer is a constant development of your skills.
What will you not learn from computer science studies?
There are many examples of professionals who do not have a college degree and are excellent examples of software engineers who are successful without a computer science degree.
You are not going to be strictly a programmer, as this is not a field of study that focuses solely on programming, although it will undoubtedly be part of it. It is a vast and complex field of study, but mostly based on theory rather than on practical projects. And in an IT career, design experience is more important than studying.
If you want to learn the latest languages and the latest technologies, a degree won’t help here. It is very difficult for educational institutions to keep up with the latest trends. A study that focuses on teaching technical skills.
How can I learn to be a developer?
It really depends on you! An ancient Greek maxim is “Know yourself” If you have the focus, discipline, and desire to be a software engineer or developer, you will be successful no matter which path you choose.
There is a huge range of options for those who want to learn a programming language. Now, virtually anyone can learn to code on their own with tons of free resources, online courses, books, and popular educational sites.
Today, almost anyone can learn how to program. Developers are constantly learning new skills, especially in computer science and web development, to keep up with the pace of industry development.
Are Boot Camps an alternative to college?
Boot Camps are popping up everywhere as an alternative to college and promises you’ll be ready for an interview at the end. It certainly works for a lot of people, but not all training camps are created equal, so choose carefully. Are going on from 2 to even 10 months, they are expensive, the prices of the best ones exceed 10 thousand. At the outset, I say that Bootcamp is not a secret knowledge. There is no magic there. You can learn all of this on your own. You just sit down and learn to program.
Boot Camps typically focus on specific languages or training for a specific type of programming job. They often cover the latest technologies and teamwork methodologies, such as agile or pair programming, and also focus on the soft skills you need to work in real-world teams and projects. What they don’t do is discuss the basics of computer science, what is in college.
So why a bootcamp?
Let’s face it, most people aren’t disciplined enough to learn programming on their own. Therefore, before we decide that bootcamp is a cure for all evil in this world and we see it as our chance, it is worth trying to learn for yourself. Perhaps it will turn out that we have enough determination and self-discipline to master the basics on our own, and more. In any case, it will also be a good test if programming is actually for us.
What’s the best option to work as a developer?
Building your own portfolio
This means working on your own projects, using your skills and solving problems as expected of you in the roles you will be working in. This will help you learn, but also show potential employers what you can do. Publish your code on Github and other repositories, demonstrate the application you created. It’s much easier to get hired as a developer if you show the company what you did. The portfolio of projects to which you have made a credible contribution is worth more than years of experience or study.
Programmers must be self-taught, attend courses, trainings, participate in hackathons and competitions, undergo certain certification programs, etc. Having a degree does not guarantee you a job. A diploma from a few years ago may even be outdated tomorrow, for companies the most important thing is your experience now and solid evidence of what you can bring to the company.
Employers need programmers who can work intuitively and naturally, think abstractly and contextually. Agile, dynamic, and creative methods are in great demand these days as programming becomes more and more complex with many frameworks, tools and libraries. Employers need programmers who can use it all in an effective way.
There is no need to enroll in studies. Just improve your skills and learn practical skills in creating web or mobile applications, interface, databases and some infrastructure elements. You absolutely can get a job without a degree. It can be a bit of a difficult path if you are not passionate and motivated.
The current shortage of technical talent will persist for a long time to come, and employers need to consider a number of options when hiring to find the right talent. Finding a great developer who can troubleshoot technical and non-technical issues is hard to find, and a wide range of experience will be crucial, you may need a degree at some point.
Studies do not follow the latest technology, not all programming languages are taught in college, you need to read the documentation, research the source code or take a course. If you can prove you have skills from previous jobs or projects, it will be better than a diploma!