Could I be programmer without any degree?

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#1 clockofdarkness  Icon User is offline

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Could I be programmer without any degree?

Posted 17 January 2015 - 02:46 PM

Hello

Well i'm currently actually in college for IT, but IT is large and it has many courses which doesn't interest me much, Programming is what really interests me. So i'm thinking to drop-out because I really don't want to go further anymore(btw it's my first year). So my question now is if I develop great skills in programming, can I get employed even though I don't have any degree?

What do you think?

Thanks in advance.

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#2 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: Could I be programmer without any degree?

Posted 17 January 2015 - 02:51 PM

This question gets asked all the time. In short, yes. As a degree is a jump start of 'school based' experience, if you can show real-world experience with say an amazing portfolio. It comes down to you showing that you are the best candidate for the job. But if you are thinking about dropping out, be prepared to explain that for the first time to anywhere you interview. It doesn't really speak well to a long term commitment for employment.
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#3 clockofdarkness  Icon User is offline

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Re: Could I be programmer without any degree?

Posted 17 January 2015 - 03:06 PM

Thanks a lot for the answer, it's good to know that a degree isn't actually required to get into the job I want :)

As for explaining, no problem I will.
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#4 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Could I be programmer without any degree?

Posted 17 January 2015 - 05:12 PM

There's no legal requirement of a degree, and there are many programmers who don't have CS degrees. That being said, the field has become more professionalized since the '90s, and if you're competing against people with degrees, you're going to need to show an employer some comparable signs of preparedness. After all, someone with a degree can show evidence of at least having been exposed to and passed examination on some computer science fundamentals. They might have slept through them and cheated past the tests, but at least they've been in the room to pass the classes. What are you going to show an employer to demonstrate that you understand the difference between an O(n log n) algorithm and an O(n**2) algorithm?

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IT is large and it has many courses which doesn't interest me much, Programming is what really interests me.


This is the part that worries me. Which courses are the ones that don't interest you? While I can imagine that there are some stupid classes that you really shouldn't care about, if you can't put together a four-year program of courses that fascinate you (with maybe another dozen that you would have loved to take, but just couldn't fit in) then probably you don't love programming as much as you think you do.
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#5 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Could I be programmer without any degree?

Posted 17 January 2015 - 05:17 PM

View Postclockofdarkness, on 17 January 2015 - 05:06 PM, said:

As for explaining, no problem I will.


Oh, good, you're going to explain. And what are you going to say? I mean, is it your contention that you just don't need that stuff because you're smarter than everyone else, or that you already understand everything on that curriculum, or is it just that a four-year degree in computer science doesn't really teach anything useful, and that everyone should skip it?

"Be prepared to explain" means, you're going to be in a position where you've got a lot of 'splaining to do, so you'd better have a really good story to tell.
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#6 clockofdarkness  Icon User is offline

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Re: Could I be programmer without any degree?

Posted 18 January 2015 - 09:38 AM

Courses I don't like: information management(SQL), system engineering, communication(languages).

Courses I like: application dev, software engineer, network engineering(even though I don't really fit in there).

But I will to take a training in programming at the end I'll receive a certificate. But i'm still doubting which programming language to take a training for C# or C++. I'm currently learning C#, but I could easily switch to C++ as the syntax is almost the same, but could you maybe suggest me a programming language where there will be almost always jobs available for?

This post has been edited by clockofdarkness: 18 January 2015 - 09:40 AM

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#7 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: Could I be programmer without any degree?

Posted 18 January 2015 - 09:49 AM

A degree will mean more to anyone hiring than a certificate. The certificate really, unless Microsoft or Cisco, really doesn't mean squat.

Also (& this is in all reality) if you are wanting to drop out of school because you don't want to take an SQL class, you may want to re-think this entire programming for a profession agenda. You WILL be asked to do things you don't agree with, & you WILL be asked use languages that you don't want to use. Your input is not valued when you are entry level, or even mid level, & to some degree even at advanced levels. Your job will be to write code to complete projects.

If you can't suck it up, learn & regurgitate information in college classes, how are you going to (on the fly) use new languages & technologies, & meet project deadlines?

Can you get a job without a degree. Yes, but it is incredibly hard & requires you to be an expert in your field & prove that you are better than all candidates applying for the position. It is not the likely path, it is not a common thing, & someone that complains about taking some courses they don't agree with, it's doubtful with that attitude that you will be able to get a job.

It is an incredibly competitive, & difficult market to get into. Especially if you are talking about desktop developing languages like C++, as the world is moving away from the typical PC.
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#8 clockofdarkness  Icon User is offline

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Re: Could I be programmer without any degree?

Posted 18 January 2015 - 09:55 AM

Programming will always be a hobby for me, seems like it would be hard for me to get a job without any degree :(/> I think I'll try to find something else then as a job.

Life's hard man :'(

Anyways thank you guys for telling me the reality and see ya around.

This post has been edited by clockofdarkness: 18 January 2015 - 09:57 AM

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#9 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Could I be programmer without any degree?

Posted 18 January 2015 - 10:29 AM

Well, best of luck. (though I wonder - if life's going to be hard in any case, why not just take the classes and do what you want to do?)
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#10 astonecipher  Icon User is offline

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Re: Could I be programmer without any degree?

Posted 18 January 2015 - 11:06 AM

While I understand not wanting to take classes you aren't interested in, the classes you listed are quite important.

Almost every program utilizes a database in some form or another.
Communication, you have to be able to effectively communicate in any job, from gas attendant, to executive. If you can't communicate then you can't do anything, anywhere.

I was expecting classes more along the lines of foreign language, humanities, and European history. Makes you more well rounded, but not a pressing need for them.


Why do you want to be a programmer? Because you like problem solving; fancy a particular language; enjoy math problems; think it will lead to wealth?

If you want to go for something else go for it, but in any job I have ever had, I have had to do things I didn't want to do. I think you will find the same regardless of what you end up doing.

This post has been edited by astonecipher: 18 January 2015 - 11:28 AM

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#11 clockofdarkness  Icon User is offline

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Re: Could I be programmer without any degree?

Posted 18 January 2015 - 11:31 AM

They go to fast and you don't get the chance to really learn/understand about most of the things they teach, I want to do everything at ease and take my time to learn everything in detail. I'll currently go work for some time, and practice/read (about) programming at home until I get good at it, and then give it a try. I know school is important at some point but as you and no2pencil said if you're good into something you'll just have to prove yourself.

Thanks for wishing me luck :)

View Postastonecipher, on 18 January 2015 - 11:06 AM, said:

Why do you want to be a programmer? Because you like problem solving; fancy a particular language; enjoy math problems; think it will lead to wealth?


I do it more because I like to build my own programs, and knowing how it all works and tell myself at the end of the day "I did it :)"

It's really not for wealth I can get into something else for it :P
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#12 astonecipher  Icon User is offline

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Re: Could I be programmer without any degree?

Posted 18 January 2015 - 11:36 AM

Well, at least you have a plan. Taking your time learning something is great, but the fact is you really don't have time in most cases. You can study on your own, and just because the class has moved on does not mean you have to as well. Write down what you don't understand. Then, you can ask the TA/ instructor/ peer about it later. It comes down to studying.

In the not to distant future I have a project that will be utilizing a language that I have little to no experience in. I am studying up now in order to make the project happen, give a best case guess at time it will take me, and use it as a learning process all at the same time. I don't have the luxury of taking it easy and learning anything in detail. It would be nice, but that is not how the technology landscape works.

If you find this daunting, you have two choices:
  • Suck it up and drive on.
  • Quit


You will probably have more appreciation for yourself and what you can accomplish if you drive on...

This post has been edited by astonecipher: 18 January 2015 - 11:37 AM

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#13 astonecipher  Icon User is offline

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Re: Could I be programmer without any degree?

Posted 18 January 2015 - 11:41 AM

View Postclockofdarkness, on 18 January 2015 - 01:31 PM, said:

View Postastonecipher, on 18 January 2015 - 11:06 AM, said:

Why do you want to be a programmer? Because you like problem solving; fancy a particular language; enjoy math problems; think it will lead to wealth?


I do it more because I like to build my own programs, and knowing how it all works and tell myself at the end of the day "I did it :)/>"


Then move on to something else. Honestly. Not kidding.

You will have no say in what is built, or even how it is built when starting at a company. You will be on their time table. They will have stupid feature requests that will change frequently. You will be talked down to, you will be under appreciated. Continue doing it as a hobby where you can leverage your knowledge and do what you want when you want. When you move into the professional realm you are dealing with a different level of systems, people, and project scope.
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#14 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: Could I be programmer without any degree?

Posted 18 January 2015 - 11:52 AM


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#15 clockofdarkness  Icon User is offline

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Re: Could I be programmer without any degree?

Posted 18 January 2015 - 11:52 AM

Yeah, it will be a hobby for me because I like it. Even if I don't get any job as a programmer no problem I can always be a freelancer or start something online ;)

Thanks to all for the comments :)
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