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#1 kyle01  Icon User is offline

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Programming in college v. the real world (a job)

Posted 13 December 2016 - 06:09 AM

I have a question that's been bugging me, for an example lets say that person A is doing a BSc in computer science at university (UK), does he have to be really good at programming whilst in university before he lands a job or does he just gain the experience whilst working and improve there on?

I know a few people from different universities who are doing a computer science degree and they aren't the brightest when it comes to coding, are they doomed when looking for a job? They can pass all the exams/test's etc but if I asked them to write me a program or just do a few basic things in java etc. they would struggle or need help.

So i would like to ask someone that has been in this situation or knows someone that is in this situation, do you have to be really good at programming in university before you land a job?

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Replies To: Programming in college v. the real world (a job)

#2 Atli  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programming in college v. the real world (a job)

Posted 13 December 2016 - 06:26 AM

Having a good formal education will no doubt help you land a job.
Keeping a job, on the other hand, will require actual ability and skill.

Nobody is going to keep an employee that can't properly handle the responsibility of the job they are hired for. That's pretty much universal, regardless of the specific job.
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#3 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Programming in college v. the real world (a job)

Posted 13 December 2016 - 06:33 AM

One would hope you gain experience while working and improve your skills while on the job.

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they aren't the brightest when it comes to coding, are they doomed when looking for a job?

Not necessarily.

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do you have to be really good at programming in university before you land a job?

Depends on your definition of 'really good' is, but no.. Average folk do find jobs and flourish too.. or find jobs and fail.. or fail to find jobs..
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#4 Skydiver  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programming in college v. the real world (a job)

Posted 14 December 2016 - 10:37 PM

Also, some super-star programmers are cowboys at heart and do not flourish well in team or regimented environments. If they can find a job where they can be left alone and not have share code with anybody else, they will have found a perfect match. Pity the poor soul who ends up inheriting their code.
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#5 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: Programming in college v. the real world (a job)

Posted 14 December 2016 - 11:10 PM

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So i would like to ask someone that has been in this situation or knows someone that is in this situation, do you have to be really good at programming in university before you land a job?


By the time one finishes the requisite Data Structures II and Operating Systems courses, said individual should be a competent programmer (if not before then). Additionally, students should be skilled enough to be hired for a software development (or data science, etc.) internship prior to graduating. These are (in my opinion), a student's opportunities to determine if he or she is cut out to work as a professional software developer.

Will there still be room to grow beyond graduation? Absolutely. But students should try to gauge their own competence/potential, rather than knowing everything.
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#6 jjl  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programming in college v. the real world (a job)

Posted 15 December 2016 - 05:55 PM

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They can pass all the exams/test's etc but if I asked them to write me a program or just do a few basic things in java etc.

If they pass the exams that means they understand the concepts, to some extent. The concepts are more valuable than language syntax. Concepts will retain in your memory, syntax is memorized and will not.

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do you have to be really good at programming in university before you land a job?


It definitely helps, but really its more about learning after college. Most jobs will have you do something you have never done before, in a language you have never used, on a piece of hardware you never even heard of. You need to be capable of learning new skills to get the job done.

This post has been edited by jjl: 15 December 2016 - 05:55 PM

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#7 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Programming in college v. the real world (a job)

Posted 15 December 2016 - 11:14 PM

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do you have to be really good at programming in university before you land a job?


It doesn't matter, honestly. A "really good programmer" at university is working to a standard almost completely unrelated to the ones that employers are concerned with. In university, people are largely concerned with how you solve computer science problems on your own. In industry, you're solving engineering problems as part of a team. If you come in to interview for a junior developer position, you'll have to show that you're a decent personality fit for the organization and for the team, that you can demonstrate some coding ability in an on-the-spot test, and that you've got a good potential to develop into a solid developer in a reasonably short period of time. The candidate who pushes furthest out from the origin on these axes, as scaled by the decision makers in the organization, will get the job.

If you're concerned about your abilities as a programmer, you should address that by getting more specific: what is it that makes you concerned, what areas do you feel you're lacking in, what evidence supports this concern, and what steps can you think of to reduce this concern?
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#8 errraddicator  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programming in college v. the real world (a job)

Posted 04 January 2017 - 08:40 AM

It depends. To me, it comes down to what you plan to do in IT.
Do you want to be a software developer, then, of course, it would be helpful to offer some skills in that.
Do you want to be more of an infrastructure or managing member in your team, then you won´t have to gain that deep level knowledge in programming.
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