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Poll: [Link] StackOverflow Survey: Nearly Half of Developers Self-Taught (24 member(s) have cast votes)

How Did You Learn to Program?

  1. Self-Taught (24 votes [45.28%])

    Percentage of vote: 45.28%

  2. High School Computer Science Class (7 votes [13.21%])

    Percentage of vote: 13.21%

  3. College Computer Science Class (10 votes [18.87%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.87%

  4. Other (2 votes [3.77%])

    Percentage of vote: 3.77%

  5. Asking questions at DIC (3 votes [5.66%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.66%

  6. Answering questions at DIC (7 votes [13.21%])

    Percentage of vote: 13.21%

What academic credentials do you have?

  1. None/high school diploma/other (9 votes [30.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 30.00%

  2. Masters degree in CS or related field (1 votes [3.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 3.33%

  3. Bachelors degree in CS or related field (8 votes [26.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 26.67%

  4. Certificate in CS or related field (4 votes [13.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 13.33%

  5. Masters degree in non-CS field (2 votes [6.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.67%

  6. Bachelors degree in non-CS field (3 votes [10.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.00%

  7. Certificate in non-CS field (3 votes [10.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.00%

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#1 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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[Link] StackOverflow Survey: Nearly Half of Developers Self-Taught

Posted 06 June 2015 - 10:44 AM

This article highlights a StackOverflow survey, in which developers could voluntarily respond. About 48% of developers reported never having received a CS degree.

Quote

The Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2015, results of which were released this week, found that 41.8 percent of respondents described themselves as "self-taught," while 37.7 percent had a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science or a related field. Another 18.4 percent had Master's degree. On-the-job training accounted for 36.7 percent of developers' education, and 17.8 percent cited online classes.

"There are many ways to learn how to code. Forty-eight percent of respondents never received a degree in computer science, 33 percent of respondents never took a computer science university course," the report said. "System administrators are most likely to be self-taught (52 percent). Enterprise level services developers are most likely to have an industry certification (13 percent)."


The data certainly has some bias to it, such as selection bias, but it did survey 26,000 developers. Since we get this question here about needing a college degree to get a job, I thought this would be an interesting share.

I've included a poll and would be interested to see how folks on DIC learned to program as well. Did you all learn in a college or high school setting, on the job training, or are you self-taught?

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Replies To: [Link] StackOverflow Survey: Nearly Half of Developers Self-Taught

#2 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: [Link] StackOverflow Survey: Nearly Half of Developers Self-Taught

Posted 06 June 2015 - 10:52 AM

Since I was curious, I added a question about academic degrees. The idea of "related" is intentionally left a little vague. Use your best judgement.
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#3 ybadragon  Icon User is offline

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Re: [Link] StackOverflow Survey: Nearly Half of Developers Self-Taught

Posted 08 June 2015 - 06:50 AM

I have an Associates degree in CS, but it was an accelerated program and we did the work that a student with a Bachelors degree would have done.
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#4 rgfirefly24  Icon User is offline

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Re: [Link] StackOverflow Survey: Nearly Half of Developers Self-Taught

Posted 08 June 2015 - 08:40 AM

I also have an Associates in Computer Science. Mine was focused more on Learning Syntax more so then anything, so you could say that I am self taught because of that. Honestly the only reason I even got a degree is because it was free, and it allowed me to leverage the local Recruiting company to gain experience.

This post has been edited by rgfirefly24: 08 June 2015 - 08:41 AM

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#5 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: [Link] StackOverflow Survey: Nearly Half of Developers Self-Taught

Posted 09 June 2015 - 12:41 PM

I have a BS Mathematics, a BA Economics, and a minor in CS. I learned programming semi-self taught. In my freshman IT class, we did algorithmic problem solving but it was all pseudo-code. I picked up Java from a book and a little help during this unit and ran with it. For the most part, though, I'm self-taught rather than learning in a structured coursework manner.

While I have taken programming courses, I haven't gotten a ton out of them.
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#6 BetaWar  Icon User is offline

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Re: [Link] StackOverflow Survey: Nearly Half of Developers Self-Taught

Posted 09 June 2015 - 02:29 PM

I have a BS in CS, but I count myself as self-taught. I didn't learn much in school that I couldn't have learned (or didn't already know) from elsewhere.

There really should be an option for DIC-taught... Just saying.
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#7 andrewsw  Icon User is offline

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Re: [Link] StackOverflow Survey: Nearly Half of Developers Self-Taught

Posted 09 June 2015 - 02:54 PM

My degree included a module for programming but I only attended the first day, I'd already taught myself the content at school, during breaks. There seems to be a pattern emerging here..
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#8 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: [Link] StackOverflow Survey: Nearly Half of Developers Self-Taught

Posted 09 June 2015 - 07:51 PM

View PostBetaWar, on 09 June 2015 - 04:29 PM, said:

There really should be an option for DIC-taught... Just saying.


Good call. Edited the poll...

For my part, my BA is in linguistics and my only formal training in CS was when I went to get a tech writing certificate. I did Intro Java, Data Structures and Algorithms, Intro C, Compilers, and a two-semester software engineering course. Beyond that, it's a combination of self-teaching and answering questions here.
(I don't think I've actually asked a lot of questions here, oddly enough... I've started a few, but generally by the time I get the question ready to hit post, I've answered it)
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#9 maceysoftware  Icon User is offline

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Re: [Link] StackOverflow Survey: Nearly Half of Developers Self-Taught

Posted 16 June 2015 - 01:03 PM

Hello there,

I went to college to do a computing course, which taught me the bare basic's in vb.net and c++. I have to say I sucked at it in college (had high grade just never really felt I was learning it properly) and reading people's responds on here I do blame it on my teachers teaching us the languages not how to apply them.

At the time I was working in McDonalds even became a manager, I was quite enjoying my job and thought the management side was decent as it was something decent to put on my CV, I was still strongly interested in IT just not programming at this point, another manager at Mcdonalds told me that he was actually a developer and was only working there part time as he enjoyed it, he asked if wanted a hand as I told him I was struggling and he showed me how to actually apply the knowledge the teachers was throwing down our throats. I think I spent 2-4 hours with him explaining different parts of the .Net framework it was absolutely brilliant, I went back into college the next day not only with my fully working application (he actually refused to help me on my project however explain parts in example projects so I could go home to do mine) but I actually assisted most of my friends in the class.

Skip forward a few months and I had finished college, and was currently doing a HND in computer something or other which would of been topped up to a degree, when he asked me if I would like a job at the programming place he worked (he was the lead and they needed a junior). Even though I was enjoying programming at this point I never really considered this a possibility, however I said yes and dropped out of my HND to a HNC through distant learning, sadly the college didn't carry the distant learning courses on so I never upgraded it into a HND.

I do consider myself quite self taught, however even to this day I am most grateful for my friend who believed that I could do the job along with the company that gave me the chance to prove myself. That first job had given me the skills needed to progress onto my second job.

OFC I have learned loads off the senior developers at my current place and the knowledge I have gain from here, looking at questions and answering them to the best of my ability.
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