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College degree or not

Sorry this isn't directly concerning a programming language but I
wanted to reach real programmers. I am in college right now and am not
really interested in investing 3 more years of my life for a Bachelors
degree. I know that I can learn more about computer programming if I
spent the time over the next 3 years reading books and programming at
my own pace rather than an instructors pace, as well as not needing to
take so many electives, and courses unrelated to programming. I would
also save a ton of money and time. The benefits to not finishing
college and just learning myself a overwhelming, and there seems to be
only one problem.

Will I still be competitive in the job market without a degree? Would I
be less likely to succeed in the programming field without a degree,
even if I knew more than someone with a degree?

Can I please have your thoughts on this, Thank you

Shane

Oct 22 '06 #1
66 3334
stryfedll wrote:
Sorry this isn't directly concerning a programming language but I
wanted to reach real programmers. I am in college right now and am not
really interested in investing 3 more years of my life for a Bachelors
degree. I know that I can learn more about computer programming if I
spent the time over the next 3 years reading books and programming at
my own pace rather than an instructors pace, as well as not needing to
take so many electives, and courses unrelated to programming. I would
also save a ton of money and time. The benefits to not finishing
college and just learning myself a overwhelming, and there seems to be
only one problem.

Will I still be competitive in the job market without a degree? Would I
be less likely to succeed in the programming field without a degree,
even if I knew more than someone with a degree?
A degree is pretty much required for most job applications, and since
most companies hire through headhunters, you're going to get rejected
before even having a chance to be seen by the potential employer.

Another important thing that I think you're missing is that university
is supposed to teach you the theory, not the practical aspects.
University is more about learning what are NP completeness and
algorithm complexity than learning about web development. You're going
to have to learn the practical stuff on your own outside of classes
anyway.

Now, that doesn't make university useless. On the contrary, if I were
hiring and had a candidate that knows all the latest hype in technology
but didn't know about the theory I would thank them and move to the
next applicant. It's about laying the foundations for your continued
learning on the job.

Regards,
Bart.

Oct 22 '06 #2

stryfedll wrote:
Will I still be competitive in the job market without a degree?
Most jobs are open to those with a degree or "equivelent experience."
If you can get experience as a developer then yeah, you will still be
competative. Good luck doing that without a degree though.

Would I
be less likely to succeed in the programming field without a degree,
even if I knew more than someone with a degree?
You'll be lucky to get an interview.

Oct 22 '06 #3
stryfedll wrote:
Sorry this isn't directly concerning a programming language but I
wanted to reach real programmers. I am in college right now and am not
really interested in investing 3 more years of my life for a Bachelors
degree. I know that I can learn more about computer programming if I
spent the time over the next 3 years reading books and programming at
my own pace rather than an instructors pace, as well as not needing to
take so many electives, and courses unrelated to programming. I would
also save a ton of money and time. The benefits to not finishing
college and just learning myself a overwhelming, and there seems to be
only one problem.
I'm a potential employer. Your resume here says that you prefer working at
your own "pace", not a pace set by your organization. You also dislike
"domain" research - non-programming activities - because they are boring.
You dislike mentoring, and you seem oblivious to the idea that anyone older
than you - in school or on the job - could have anything to teach you.

You have a tendency to invest in options poorly, and you seem willing to
amortize your learning over making mistakes on the job. You would rather get
paid to learn things adventurously, than pay to learn them rigorously.

Further, you post off-topic because you don't want to do the research to
find real programmers on a generic programming forum (such as, maybe,
news:comp.programming ?). This makes me think that, on the job, you would
ask the cook how to structure the database, or ask the usability researcher
how to debug your memory corruption.

We'll let you know. ;-)

--
Phlip
http://www.greencheese.us/ZeekLand <-- NOT a blog!!!
Oct 22 '06 #4
"stryfedll" <st*******@gmail.comwrote:
Sorry this isn't directly concerning a programming language but I
wanted to reach real programmers. I am in college right now and am not
really interested in investing 3 more years of my life for a Bachelors
degree. I know that I can learn more about computer programming if I
spent the time over the next 3 years reading books and programming at
my own pace rather than an instructors pace, as well as not needing to
take so many electives, and courses unrelated to programming. I would
also save a ton of money and time. The benefits to not finishing
college and just learning myself a overwhelming, and there seems to be
only one problem.
I have to agree with you, when it comes to learning how to program,
college is a waste of time. The only graduates worth hiring are the kind
that would have done just as well studying on their own in the first
place.
Will I still be competitive in the job market without a degree?
You would have a hard time making any headway in the field. Look at it
from an employer's prospective, when he has 200-400 resumes for that one
job opening, the first thing he's going to do is come up with some
arbitrary criteria (like "has college degree") to cull out the stack.
Would I
be less likely to succeed in the programming field without a degree,
even if I knew more than someone with a degree?
Yes, you would be less likely to succeed. An employer cannot tell that
you know more than an applicant with a degree, so he is going to hedge
his bet.
Can I please have your thoughts on this, Thank you
One idea is to go to college while looking for a job. Once you get hired
and have proven yourself, you can quit college. Such a strategy would
have worked well in the 80s but I don't think it will work in today's
market... but it's an idea.

--
There are two things that simply cannot be doubted, logic and perception.
Doubt those, and you no longer*have anyone to discuss your doubts with,
nor any ability to discuss them.
Oct 22 '06 #5
First off, I have a college degree in Comp Sci, but I had to respond to your
response...

comments inlined...

"Phlip" <ph******@yahoo.comwrote in message
news:yf****************@newssvr27.news.prodigy.net ...
stryfedll wrote:
>Sorry this isn't directly concerning a programming language but I
wanted to reach real programmers. I am in college right now and am not
really interested in investing 3 more years of my life for a Bachelors
degree. I know that I can learn more about computer programming if I
spent the time over the next 3 years reading books and programming at
my own pace rather than an instructors pace, as well as not needing to
take so many electives, and courses unrelated to programming. I would
also save a ton of money and time. The benefits to not finishing
college and just learning myself a overwhelming, and there seems to be
only one problem.

I'm a potential employer. Your resume here says that you prefer working at
your own "pace", not a pace set by your organization. You also dislike
"domain" research - non-programming activities - because they are boring.
You dislike mentoring, and you seem oblivious to the idea that anyone
older than you - in school or on the job - could have anything to teach
you.
If I wanted to learn art history, or economics, etc. I would be in those
fields. As a college graduate from a well known, highly regarded university
in my area... I learned almost ZIP about real world programming in college.
Everything I learned about real world programming was umm... out in the real
world, or on projects I gave myself...

Yeah, I know how to write my own linked list class with zero reference
material, but thats not practical knowledge since every single class library
has a bunch of collection classes already written. Just an example, but with
C# and .Net nowadays, people don't really have to know how to program...
sad, but true.

What does liking or disliking mentoring have to do with being able to write
code? I'm a senior developer with 12yrs experience, and I have "mentored" at
least 3 or 4 people. In each one of those cases, said people ended up asking
me questions "every 5 minutes".
You have a tendency to invest in options poorly, and you seem willing to
amortize your learning over making mistakes on the job. You would rather
get paid to learn things adventurously, than pay to learn them rigorously.
I don't even know how to respond to this...
Further, you post off-topic because you don't want to do the research to
find real programmers on a generic programming forum (such as, maybe,
news:comp.programming ?). This makes me think that, on the job, you would
ask the cook how to structure the database, or ask the usability
researcher how to debug your memory corruption.
Isn't your response off-topic as well, Mr. Netcop? This tells me you are one
of those types of people that walk around the office policeing everybody
when its not even your job. You'll turn in Bob from accounting because you
saw him surfing the net for 10 minutes during work hours, you'll turn in
Alice in marketing because you saw her come in 5 minutes late, you'll bash
your team mate Steve because he puts in a solid 8 hrs vs. your "solid" 10hrs
which really isn't solid since half your day is spent being the office
police.
We'll let you know. ;-)
If you were really my prospective employer, I'd probably pass on your
position after 10 minutes of talking to you. You come off like an arrogant
manager who'd micromanage me, never let me come up with my own ideas, expect
me to put in long hours on a regular basis, and make snide comments about my
"work ethic" when I don't kiss your ass. You'll also require that for every
design I come up with 3 solutions and compare & contrast them to you and
defend the one I pick. Then you'll pick a different solution and require me
to do it your way.

I'll let you know. ;-)

That being said, I have co-workers with degrees and without degrees. The
more reputable companies will require degrees "just for whatever reason"...
I guess it shows ability of commitment.

You might want to apply to my previous company though. They didn't require
degrees at all, and were more then happy to serve alcohol during work hours.
If you are a party person, you'll get along great with the 24yr CEO who
didn't even graduate highschool. They also offer drug infested company
parties and sex mingling...

Hey, did I mention they went from 150 employees to 30 employees in short
order?
Oct 22 '06 #6
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

stryfedll :
Sorry this isn't directly concerning a programming language but I
wanted to reach real programmers. I am in college right now and am not
really interested in investing 3 more years of my life for a Bachelors
degree. I know that I can learn more about computer programming if I
spent the time over the next 3 years reading books and programming at
my own pace rather than an instructors pace, as well as not needing to
take so many electives, and courses unrelated to programming. I would
also save a ton of money and time. The benefits to not finishing
college and just learning myself a overwhelming, and there seems to be
only one problem.

Will I still be competitive in the job market without a degree? Would I
be less likely to succeed in the programming field without a degree,
even if I knew more than someone with a degree?

Can I please have your thoughts on this, Thank you

Shane
I am a Chinese student who face the same situation like you .

I don't think I can learn more if I go out the school . If I
go to some software company , I need to work hard to accomplish
the task everyday so that I can't do whatever I like .

I choose to give myself three more years to do what I like , to learn
what I am interested in . And I am also not certain whether my decision
is right ?

There are many classmates talking to me and advise me to leave school
to get a job . They said ," Hi , resortting to your good skill , you can
get a good job easily . But if you decide to go on study for a Bachelor
degree , three years later , the people who are worse than you now will
catch up to you , and then what advantage you have ? Another three years
maybe good for those who has no priority now , but not for you !"

Oh , too many advice , but I just choose to three years more study
without to consider whether this is right or not !

Choose and Do , don't think too much , I advice !

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Version: GnuPG v1.4.5 (MingW32)
Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - http://enigmail.mozdev.org

iD8DBQFFPCJp7tZp58UCwyMRAm9ZAKC/1NvBiVpRrZffnXwx0UXq28CC9wCgwVAZ
T1D3eBXwc4N9bBVoTdp4G1I=
=5OAB
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Oct 23 '06 #7
Noah Roberts wrote:
Most jobs are open to those with a degree or "equivelent experience."
Yeah. And then they'l take someone with a semester of C# over 20 years of
experience in everything else!

;-)

--
Phlip
http://www.greencheese.us/ZeekLand <-- NOT a blog!!!
Oct 23 '06 #8

"Phlip" <ph******@yahoo.comwrote in message
news:Da*****************@newssvr21.news.prodigy.co m...
Noah Roberts wrote:
>Most jobs are open to those with a degree or "equivelent experience."

Yeah. And then they'l take someone with a semester of C# over 20 years of
experience in everything else!

;-)
Actually, they'll take someone with C#, ASP.NET & SQL over an experienced
C++ programmer any day of the week. This I know from a recent job search.
Oct 23 '06 #9
Nobody wrote:
If I wanted to learn art history, or economics, etc. I would be in those
fields.
Then I agree with every reason college degrees impose those odious things.
They make you a better programmer, period.

And part of programming is communicating with other programmers. What we are
trying to do here. You know - English comprehension and such. Including
distinguishing what someone wrote from what you want to think they wrote...
As a college graduate from a well known, highly regarded university in my
area... I learned almost ZIP about real world programming in college.
And that's a separate issue. College degrees for "computer science" are in
their Stone Age these days. Specifically, the overriding topic of this
newsgroup is "software engineering" - how to put technology to work.
"Computer Science" is advanced research, and almost nobody needs that. Our
industry currently has a tremendous gulf between the leading edge of its
science, and the puny subset that we have actually put online as useful
technology. So you should have obtained a "Software Engineering" degree
instead.
Everything I learned about real world programming was umm... out in the
real world, or on projects I gave myself...
In theory (;-) an engineering degree would have simulated real life. Big
projects, stupid bosses, sick bugs, good and bad process, the works.
Graduating should have felt like stuff got simpler, not harder.

And this leads to the reason the OP asked his or her question. Because the
Real World Gap is so great, they are asking if they should simply jump the
gap now. And the ultimate issue here is the schools simply are not teaching
that Real World stuff.
Yeah, I know how to write my own linked list class with zero reference
material, but thats not practical knowledge since every single class
library has a bunch of collection classes already written. Just an
example, but with C# and .Net nowadays, people don't really have to know
how to program... sad, but true.
That helps. Sometimes you have objects with pointers to their own types, and
you might treat that as a list or not. And when things get hard, you need to
draw on more mental resources than just one language's syntax and libraries.
What does liking or disliking mentoring have to do with being able to
write code?
I was seeking ways to flame the OP. ;-)

Specifically, they did not appear willing to learn things which their school
_could_ teach, regardless of those things' utility. The ability to be taught
is very important, and should be exercised.
I'm a senior developer with 12yrs experience, and I have "mentored" at
least 3 or 4 people.
Uh, averaging 1 person every 3 years? Maybe you shouldn't work alone for
long periods - that's bad for the team.
In each one of those cases, said people ended up asking me questions
"every 5 minutes".
Case in point: Either you were Pair Programming (hah!), or they hadn't
practiced "being mentored" like the OP should.

If you were to mentor me, I promise that you wouldn't even notice. ;-)
>You have a tendency to invest in options poorly, and you seem willing to
amortize your learning over making mistakes on the job. You would rather
get paid to learn things adventurously, than pay to learn them
rigorously.

I don't even know how to respond to this...
Are you the OP? The question whether to invest in school is an _option_, a
financial decision with an expected return.
>Further, you post off-topic because you don't want to do the research to
find real programmers on a generic programming forum (such as, maybe,
news:comp.programming ?). This makes me think that, on the job, you would
ask the cook how to structure the database, or ask the usability
researcher how to debug your memory corruption.

Isn't your response off-topic as well, Mr. Netcop?
Yes. This is called "irony" - one of those literary techniques you
dismissed.
This tells me you are one of those types of people that walk around the
office policeing everybody when its not even your job.
No. I was pointing out the OP was not being specifically resourceful. (While
assuring the real netcops around here that I know we are at marginal
topicality...)

Now I'm sure that one little paragraph has "told you so much about me" that
you know everything now, regardless what I have to say, right?
You'll turn in Bob from accounting because you saw him surfing the net for
10 minutes during work hours, you'll turn in Alice in marketing because
you saw her come in 5 minutes late, you'll bash your team mate Steve
because he puts in a solid 8 hrs vs. your "solid" 10hrs which really isn't
solid since half your day is spent being the office police.
No, I will force them to read my online comics each morning.

You, however, seem to have a chip on your shoulder about something. I
decline to guess what, but it ain't me.

Remaining drivel snipped, unread.

--
Phlip
http://www.greencheese.us/ZeekLand <-- NOT a blog!!!
Oct 23 '06 #10
don't judge college education with 1st year entry courses. My personal
experience is that 3rd are 4th year classes are where students are
actually really learning . If possible talk to students who are taking
computer architecture, alogrithum, software arch classes, operating
system or even programming language-compiler class.

Oct 23 '06 #11
ankitks wrote:
don't judge college education with 1st year entry courses. My personal
experience is that 3rd are 4th year classes are where students are
actually really learning . If possible talk to students who are taking
computer architecture, alogrithum, software arch classes, operating
system or even programming language-compiler class.
How many job listings these days openly declare you _must_ have more than 1
year of industry experience before they will consider hiring you?

Of these listings, what fraction are for C++? Is our language
over-represented in this Real World Gap?

The conclusion might be that companies would rather you go thru your "extra
bugs phase" with some other company... and that the colleges aren't
preventing this.

--
Phlip
http://www.greencheese.us/ZeekLand <-- NOT a blog!!!
Oct 23 '06 #12
stryfedll wrote:
Sorry this isn't directly concerning a programming language but I
wanted to reach real programmers. I am in college right now and am not
really interested in investing 3 more years of my life for a Bachelors
degree. I know that I can learn more about computer programming if I
spent the time over the next 3 years reading books and programming at
my own pace rather than an instructors pace, as well as not needing to
take so many electives, and courses unrelated to programming. I would
also save a ton of money and time. The benefits to not finishing
college and just learning myself a overwhelming, and there seems to be
only one problem.

Will I still be competitive in the job market without a degree? Would I
be less likely to succeed in the programming field without a degree,
even if I knew more than someone with a degree?
First of all, yes, you can succeed without a college degree. But it's
harder, and you'll have to constantly prove yourself over and over,
because people will assume you can't hack it if you don't have one.

Here's some advice from an old coot. College is the best investment in
your career you can make. You'll learn how to learn. You'll have fun.
You'll meet people who will later be invaluable contacts and lifelong
friends.

Don't duck the calculus classes. Knowing calculus will pay off for you
in programming skill.

Take classes in a variety of fields. A lot of great ideas come from
cross-pollination between seemingly unrelated fields. And besides,
there's an awful lot of interesting stuff out there besides programming.
I took a course in jet engine cycle analysis. It has nothing to do with
programming, but decades later I still enjoy knowing how those suckers
work. I once had the fortune of attending a dinner with the guy who ran
one of JPL's deep space probe missions. It was nice to know enough about
physics to be able to ask more interesting questions, and be able to
understand the answers. Carl Sagan once came over to our frat for dinner
and a long discussion about the possibility of silicon based life. I
attended a lecture by Richard Feynman on potato chip worlds.

I wouldn't trade those 4 years.

Walter Bright
www.digitalmars.com C, C++, D programming languages
Oct 23 '06 #13
FIRST, it is OFF-TOPIC, try "comp.programming" instead.
SECOND, my answer is OFF-TOPIC as well, but i want to help.

Sorry this isn't directly concerning a programming language but I
wanted to reach real programmers. I am in college right now and am not
really interested in investing 3 more years of my life for a Bachelors
degree. I know that I can learn more about computer programming if I
spent the time over the next 3 years reading books and programming at
my own pace rather than an instructors pace, as well as not needing to
take so many electives, and courses unrelated to programming. I would
also save a ton of money and time. The benefits to not finishing
college and just learning myself a overwhelming, and there seems to be
only one problem.
YES, you are right, you can learn much-more about progamming by
learning it on your own + doing OpenSource projects. college is really
a waste of time. 95% of the colleges & nearly 99% of the
education-system ruin persons of their talent & expertise. i did B.Sc
(with comp app.) in sesion 2000-03 & left this field entirely as i
hated what my college taught me like BASIC, DOS, Java, RDBMS etc etc. i
landed into "Selling" & became a salesman for Standard Chatrered bank,
after that i sold water-purifiers for Eureka-Forbes. One day, in 2005
after 2 years, i was watching "Hackers" at HBO & was very-much
impressed by the *individual talents* shown in the movie + the *group*
of friends shown there. i never had any friends in the college.
everyone was just pure selfish, doing his own stuff only & i did my
graduation on a single bench, alone, lonely, nobody liked me. i always
thought programming assumes no-friends. i knew very well that Hollywood
movies are not like "Indian" movies, they are practical men, they
reflect the reality of life e.g. watch "from hell", "the insider", "in
good company", "spy game", "the pianist", "the secret window", "the
unorganised crime" etc. what really hit me hard was that life of a
graduate was really very *different* from what i lived & most shocking
truth was the programming subjects they have shown.

that day, with the very-vague idea of what programming is, i left
"selling" & started to Google the word "programming". for the 1st time
in my life i saw the words "Common Lisp", "Scheme", "Perl", "GNU",
"String.h" (yeah, i did 'C' in college & they never told me what is
"String.h" :-( now it is the end of 2006, using Debian since Dec 2005,
now i have good knowledge of programming langugaes, learnt Common Lisp,
know something about softwares, Hacking, comfortable with Datbases &
Assembly & presently learning modern C++. i am in love with the Hacker
culture :-)

NOW, why the HECK.... i am telling you this? It is because i did not
get any Masters degree ( as i told you i left the field) Since i do not
have any Masters degree, i am feeling a lot of trouble in getting a
job. i can not apply for nearly 70% of the jobs in India, a Masters
degree is required for applying & if you do apply then employers will
simply reject you (except 1 or 2 who will take your experience
seriously). So i am left with 30% where they accpet a Bachelor's
degree, the one i have, + 2-3 years of project experience & i have
found only 1% employers do not require any degree, they want expertise
but remember that they are just 1% of the entire market, Hence you can
have an idead of where you will stand without a Bachelors degree. I
amnot aware of the situation in your country but most of the time i
have found this to be same across the globe. I know i will get a job
after doing some OpenSource projects but trust me that is really very
troublesome. i have seen here people getting 3000-5000 INR (INdian
Rupees) less than their colleagues just because they dont have a
Masters degree even though they are working together, even they have
same designation. NO, I am not scaring you away, if you have a
Bachelor's degree, then, it happens only in the beginning, after 5
years things go smooth. If you dont do any Bachelors then you will be
rejected by 99% of the employers. well, if you want to run your
business, then go ahead, you dont need a degree for that but you need
business acumen. i recommend doing a "Software Engineering" degree
rather than doing a simple Bachelors. it will increase the chances of
your employment.
Will I still be competitive in the job market without a degree?
If you go on your own you will know more than the person having a
degree but that is not what employers want at 1st place, they want a
degree at 1st place & they want your knowledge & expertise at 2nd place
:-(. i think industry has this fucking situation because of "pointy
haired bosses". (1)
Would I be less likely to succeed in the programming field without a degree,
even if I knew more than someone with a degree?
what do you mean by success here? i have 4 different meanings:

successful programmer meaning # 1: you are a successsful programmer at
a company because just after 2 years they raised your salary & after 4
you are project-Manager there. for this kind of success you deadly need
"Bachelors + Masters" degree. Pointy-haired bosses (a.k.a fucking
morons) take Masters as a measure of a specialised, more powerful &
focussed programmer. after 10 years you are the generl Manager drawing
6 figure salary. you are a successful programmer.

successful programmer meaning # 2: you do not have any degree but you
have run successful OpenSource projects & today, after 10 years,
because of your powerfull programming skills, you are known as one of
the precious Hackers & one of the most better Project Managers of Open
Source projects & you are still working as Sr. Software Developer at
XYZ as you never got sometime improve the skills nedded to surge ahead
on your job & XYZ is considering to put you on cost-reduction list. you
are a successful programmer.
successful programmer meaning # 3: You start a start-up with some of
your friends,do hell-lot of work, 70% of friends gave up in the middle
but still other & you work ridiculously hard for your software & after
4 years Google wants to purchase your software for only $40 million.
you are a successful programmer.
successful programmer meaning # 4: i will not explain it, i hope you
will get an idea. you do contract work with companies & also directly
with customers & fix their problems. after 4-5 years you are earning a
six figure income. you are a successful programmer.

Can I please have your thoughts on this, Thank you
i will sum up & add some things here, step by step:

1.) *DO* get a degree.
2.) If you can, get a Software Engineering degree rather than a simple
Bachelors
3.) make sure you do at leat 1 Open Source project, to get a feel of
real-coding.
4.) C & C++ are different langugaes, you dont need the one, if you want
to learn the other.
5.) never forget "Common Lisp", it is the red-pill (watched "The
Matrix"?)
6.) today, right now, go, sorry.. RUN & order or buy Debian, Fedora
Core or one of the BSDs, install it, run it, live with it, eat with it,
dream with it. you will get a decade ahead from 90% your classmates &
professional programmers.
7.) check these links:

http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/cclass/progintro/top.html
http://www.gnu.org/gnu/thegnuproject.html
http://catb.org/~esr/faqs/hacker-howto.html
http://www.paulgraham.com/hiring.html

http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/ca...acker-history/

8.) Learn Martial-Arts and/or Guitar
9.) Watch these movies (at least): "The Matrix", "Hackers", "Swordfish"
10.) Read SF (Science-Fiction) novels, e.g. to begin, read: "the man
who sold the moon", "altered carbon", "snow crash" etc.
9.) hey check my blog too :-)

-- arnuld
http://arnuld.blogspot.com

(1) for pointy-haired bosses see: http://www.paulgraham.com/icad.html

Oct 23 '06 #14
Nobody wrote:
If I wanted to learn art history, or economics, etc. I would be in those
fields. As a college graduate from a well known, highly regarded university
in my area... I learned almost ZIP about real world programming in college.
Everything I learned about real world programming was umm... out in the real
world, or on projects I gave myself...
Really? You learned nothing? Perhaps you're saying this because you're
taking what you learned there for granted. I know graduates don't know
the latest technologies because universities can't possibly keep up
with that, but I take it for granted that every graduate knows data
structures, algorithms, and such stuff. I assume that every graduate
has a certain level of math and analytical abilities. University
teaches you a certain way of thinking about problems and gives you
tools to allow you to continue learning.
Yeah, I know how to write my own linked list class with zero reference
material, but thats not practical knowledge since every single class library
has a bunch of collection classes already written.
You still have to know how and when to use them. If you need efficient
random access you should use a different class than if you need
efficient insertions or searches. In order to know that, you have to
have some idea of the underlying data structures. Perhaps you never
write code that needs to be efficient, but don't dismiss this knowledge
as useless.
Just an example, but with
C# and .Net nowadays, people don't really have to know how to program...
sad, but true.
If you're into debuging spaghetti code then go for it and hire those
people. Things like design patterns have their applications in C# too,
you know.

Besides, .Net and other such "enterprisey" architectures let different
people with different roles work without interfering. I can write my
server code while someone with less experience takes care of the front
end bells and whistles. The HTML guy doesn't need to know how some EJB
running on the server connects to the database.

Regards,
Bart.

Oct 23 '06 #15
Nobody wrote:
Isn't your response off-topic as well, Mr. Netcop? This tells me you are one
of those types of people that walk around the office policeing everybody
when its not even your job. You'll turn in Bob from accounting because you
saw him surfing the net for 10 minutes during work hours, you'll turn in
Alice in marketing because you saw her come in 5 minutes late, you'll bash
your team mate Steve because he puts in a solid 8 hrs vs. your "solid" 10hrs
which really isn't solid since half your day is spent being the office
police.
I also think that you should Google a little before presuming things
about people you talk to. You may be surprised.

Regards,
Bart.

Oct 23 '06 #16
Nobody wrote:
"Phlip" <ph******@yahoo.comwrote in message
news:Da*****************@newssvr21.news.prodigy.co m...
>>Noah Roberts wrote:

>>>Most jobs are open to those with a degree or "equivelent experience."

Yeah. And then they'l take someone with a semester of C# over 20 years of
experience in everything else!

;-)


Actually, they'll take someone with C#, ASP.NET & SQL over an experienced
C++ programmer any day of the week. This I know from a recent job search.

The job market has been tending toward job specific niche skills. Generalists
need not apply. This has been a trend from the last few recessions where
employers could find programmers with the necessary skills and not have to
do any training. Somewhere they forgot how to determine general aptitude
so I imagine the new hiring scheme gets them no few experienced idiots and
poseurs. But this has been part of a trend to marginalize skilled workers.

Part of what they filter on, as somebody mentioned already, is a degree. In
fact you need a Masters degree. It used to be a Bachelors degree was sufficient
but now a Masters degree is desired in most cases. The Masters degree is the
new Bachelors degree. No so much from knowlege needed as a form of experience.
You can pay entry level salary for "experienced" workers. Internships help out
here. There are lot's of job ads for "experienced" new grads and internships
are the only way of getting that I know of.

So the OP should go for a Masters degree. That won't future proof his career
but it will get him started.

Though on second though, he should drop out of school and save on the tuition
and be prepared to make a career change down the road. The tuition savings
will put him way ahead of the game on all the other unemployed idiots who
wasted money on tuition.

--
Joe Seigh

When you get lemons, you make lemonade.
When you get hardware, you make software.
Oct 23 '06 #17
Bart wrote:
but I take it for granted that every graduate knows data
structures, algorithms, and such stuff.
Those are the very basics you learn in first year, that most people
already knew and that even if you didn't know you understand quickly
since it's so simple.

There is no need to have a MS for that.

Oct 23 '06 #18
stryfedll wrote:
Will I still be competitive in the job market without a degree? Would I
be less likely to succeed in the programming field without a degree,
even if I knew more than someone with a degree?

Can I please have your thoughts on this, Thank you
I think you should try to get some kind of technical degree (not from
university) that allows quick entry in the professional market, since
this is what you're interested in.

University is only good if you want to work on more advanced stuff or
are interested in theory.
Still, the first two years of the BS are boring as hell, they teach you
basic algorithms and programming (only the math classes are worth going
to), the third year is rather entertaining, and the two years of the MS
can be interesting depending on your chosen specialty and university.

Even in a good university, though, your teachers won't be gurus and
won't know about all techniques and practices in programming.
In C++ especially they're rather bad.
I personally encountered severe incompetence in my studies.
So very often you'll have to learn personally for topics related to
programming -- and other domains possibly ; I would advise to do some
personal research at the same time you're studying something in uni to
compare and be more objective about what's being taught.
Oct 23 '06 #19
In article <11**********************@i3g2000cwc.googlegroups. com>,
stryfedll <st*******@gmail.comwrote:
>Sorry this isn't directly concerning a programming language but I
wanted to reach real programmers. I am in college right now and am not
really interested in investing 3 more years of my life for a Bachelors
degree. I know that I can learn more about computer programming if I
spent the time over the next 3 years reading books and programming at
my own pace rather than an instructors pace, as well as not needing to
take so many electives, and courses unrelated to programming. I would
also save a ton of money and time. The benefits to not finishing
college and just learning myself a overwhelming, and there seems to be
only one problem.

Will I still be competitive in the job market without a degree? Would I
be less likely to succeed in the programming field without a degree,
even if I knew more than someone with a degree?
"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." --Mark Twain

I understand how you feel. And I'm not going to try and sway
you one way or the other. However, I'd like to mention some
things I think you may not be considering.

There is one view that one purpose of college is to keep you
out of the job market. Whether that is true or not I don't
want to get into. But it is that case that you can use that
time wisely. Time you have not have if you don't go to college.

Even though college is no panacea, it is at least some
minor way to authenticate yourself.

I know some of the courses can be a real drag.
But then again, since you are young, you may not yet
realize their full potential.

Even if you know what you want to do, there are other
aspects to it that make a lot of sense. It has been mentioned
in this thread about getting theory from school, and that is
actually important in the long run IMO.

One aspect of college is networking yourself.
When I either speak or go to conferences, I often find
one of the most education aspects is not the courseware
at all, but the discussions and gathering that happen
over lunch or dinner or a beer. View college the same way.
Get to know the professors. Ask for an additional account
to study on your own. Finish each assignment on time,
but then do another version where you add something to it
and bounce that off your teacher. Join the school's ACM student
chapter, and if they don't have one, you start it. Set
yourself up as the volunteer in a student help desk for their
programming questions. Try to get your dept head to establish
a lecture series once a week or so with outside invited speakers.

Time is what you make of it. When you finish your classes,
go but a computer magazine or computer books to read, even
if you disagree with the author. Go find another computer
language to learn. Or try to learn a new OS.

See if you can't become a volunteer on some research project
that the school is doing. Or, often, some teacher has
a grant going on that needs programming that is beyond
the capacity of the instructor (for instance, I help my
psychology professor with some behavioral research, or my
English teacher who was trying to analyze Spanish poetry,
or another teacher who was trying to analyze the US census, etc).

There is also the issue of aspects such as documentation,
presentations, etc. Few companies are probably willing
to send you to a English 101 course. And if you're figure
on doing your own company, then having some english and math
etc course under your belt will be to your benefit especially
if the school not only offers say English 101 but stuff
like technical writing, etc.

You may also want to see if it is possible to be able to
substitute course which are more interesting to you
when it comes to electives or even some of the base
bachelor's classes.

There is of course downsides to many of the things I've mentioned
but they are still food for thought.

This is important: whether you get a degree or not,
you need to figure out how to distinguish yourself from others.
At some level you are a commodity, and dilpoma or not,
what make you "worth more" than somebody else.

Also, you mentioned that "the benfits to not finishing
college and just learning myself a[re] overwhelming".
But another way to look at this is that the two are not
mutually exclusive but complementary.

You also mentioned "there seems to be only one problem."
What is that problem? That you feel most companies want to
see the degree? Unlike other here, I think that's a red
herring argument, although I completely agree that some
companies will indeed require it.

You can still be competitive w/o a degree. And, you can
still succeed w/o one, may people do. But, I don't believe
this is the bottom line issue.
--
Greg Comeau / 20 years of Comeauity! Intel Mac Port now in beta!
Comeau C/C++ ONLINE == http://www.comeaucomputing.com/tryitout
World Class Compilers: Breathtaking C++, Amazing C99, Fabulous C90.
Comeau C/C++ with Dinkumware's Libraries... Have you tried it?
Oct 23 '06 #20
stryfedll wrote:
Sorry this isn't directly concerning a programming language but I
wanted to reach real programmers. I am in college right now and am not
really interested in investing 3 more years of my life for a Bachelors
degree. I know that I can learn more about computer programming if I
spent the time over the next 3 years reading books and programming at
my own pace rather than an instructors pace, as well as not needing to
take so many electives, and courses unrelated to programming. I would
also save a ton of money and time. The benefits to not finishing
college and just learning myself a overwhelming, and there seems to be
only one problem.

Will I still be competitive in the job market without a degree? Would I
be less likely to succeed in the programming field without a degree,
even if I knew more than someone with a degree?

Can I please have your thoughts on this, Thank you

Shane
I'd say it's a pretty bad idea. Turning down education is kind of like
turning down a pile of gold. You can get by without it, but hey. Pile of
gold.
Oct 23 '06 #21
stryfedll <st*******@gmail.comwrote:
Will I still be competitive in the job market without a degree? Would I
be less likely to succeed in the programming field without a degree,
even if I knew more than someone with a degree?
I would say definitely yes; if you don't have a degree, it takes much
more effort on the part of an employer to determine whether you have
the basic competence that can reasonably be expected of someone with a
degree. You'll probably get paid more, too. There are a lot of IT
jobs you can get without a degree, mind you - my brother-in-law
recently got hired as a Linux system admin with no degree and limited
related experience other than some book reading - but for a programmer
there's no substitute for the structured instruction a good degree
will get you. Why not read your books AND get the degree? Put
together a nice project on the side? It can certainly be done and
you'll cover a lot more of your bases.

--
C. Benson Manica | I *should* know what I'm talking about - if I
cbmanica(at)gmail.com | don't, I need to know. Flames welcome.
Oct 23 '06 #22
Eric <no@thanks.comwrote:
Turning down education is kind of like turning down a pile of gold.
You can get by without it, but hey. Pile of gold.
That analogy only holds if someone else is paying for your education.

--
To send me email, put "sheltie" in the subject.
Oct 23 '06 #23
Daniel T. wrote:
Eric <no@thanks.comwrote:
>Turning down education is kind of like turning down a pile of gold.
You can get by without it, but hey. Pile of gold.

That analogy only holds if someone else is paying for your education.
For those of you in the U.K. with the same dilemma, take a look at the
government institution The Open University. You study in your own time,
and the degree is highly respected because A) the quality of the
teaching materials is very high, and B) working for a degree on a
largely self-motivated basis is a very difficult thing to do, and shows
that you're a pretty capable person. It might take five, six, even ten
years to complete (although you COULD do it in three), but read on!

I got a good programming job (advertised for graduates only) on the
basis that I was /taking/ an Open University Mathematics degree, and had
my own self/book taught software engineering experience. Just mentioning
that you are currently doing the degree is damned near as good as having
completed it.

The networking aspect of college life is covered through OU tutor groups
- and you're generally with people of all ages who know the score and
are intelligent enough to learn in this way, rather than a bunch of
terrible upstart students being spoon-fed through a course.
Oct 23 '06 #24
Greg Comeau wrote:
One aspect of college is networking yourself.
When I either speak or go to conferences, I often find
one of the most education aspects is not the courseware
at all, but the discussions and gathering that happen
over lunch or dinner or a beer. View college the same way.
Get to know the professors. Ask for an additional account
to study on your own. Finish each assignment on time,
but then do another version where you add something to it
and bounce that off your teacher. Join the school's ACM student
chapter, and if they don't have one, you start it. Set
yourself up as the volunteer in a student help desk for their
programming questions. Try to get your dept head to establish
a lecture series once a week or so with outside invited speakers.
Isn't that the kind of stuff you do after you're a grad student, not to
say after a master's degree?
Oct 23 '06 #25
In article <45**********************@news.free.fr>,
loufoque <lo******@remove.gmail.comwrote:
>Greg Comeau wrote:
>One aspect of college is networking yourself.
When I either speak or go to conferences, I often find
one of the most education aspects is not the courseware
at all, but the discussions and gathering that happen
over lunch or dinner or a beer. View college the same way.
Get to know the professors. Ask for an additional account
to study on your own. Finish each assignment on time,
but then do another version where you add something to it
and bounce that off your teacher. Join the school's ACM student
chapter, and if they don't have one, you start it. Set
yourself up as the volunteer in a student help desk for their
programming questions. Try to get your dept head to establish
a lecture series once a week or so with outside invited speakers.

Isn't that the kind of stuff you do after you're a grad student, not to
say after a master's degree?
I'm not sure what you mean.
--
Greg Comeau / 20 years of Comeauity! Intel Mac Port now in beta!
Comeau C/C++ ONLINE == http://www.comeaucomputing.com/tryitout
World Class Compilers: Breathtaking C++, Amazing C99, Fabulous C90.
Comeau C/C++ with Dinkumware's Libraries... Have you tried it?
Oct 23 '06 #26
Daniel T. wrote:
Eric <no@thanks.comwrote:
>Turning down education is kind of like turning down a pile of gold.
You can get by without it, but hey. Pile of gold.

That analogy only holds if someone else is paying for your education.
That statement only holds if you remove the layer of abstraction allowed
by analogy.

I am saying education has worth. Gold has worth. Neither come for free,
either monetarily or in personal effort. This does not rob them of worth.
Oct 23 '06 #27

Greg Comeau wrote:
Also, you mentioned that "the benfits to not finishing
college and just learning myself a[re] overwhelming".
But another way to look at this is that the two are not
mutually exclusive but complementary.
Yep. Everything I learned at college I taught myself.

Oct 23 '06 #28
Eric <no@thanks.comwrote:
Daniel T. wrote:
Eric <no@thanks.comwrote:
Turning down education is kind of like turning down a pile of gold.
You can get by without it, but hey. Pile of gold.
That analogy only holds if someone else is paying for your education.

I am saying education has worth. Gold has worth. Neither come for free,
either monetarily or in personal effort. This does not rob them of worth.
Yes of course. The question though is whether the cost of going to
university (both in time and money) is worth the reward. That's what the
OP wants to know.

If the goal is to become a good programmer, the answer is no. If the
goal is to get a good programming job, then answer is yes.

--
To send me email, put "sheltie" in the subject.
Oct 23 '06 #29
Daniel T. wrote:
[..] The question though is whether the cost of going to
university (both in time and money) is worth the reward. That's what
the OP wants to know.

If the goal is to become a good programmer, the answer is no. If the
goal is to get a good programming job, then answer is yes.
That's a strange way of looking at things, implying that those two
things are totally orthogonal or mutually exclusive. Besides, it is
not irrelevant _who_ is going to the university. For some it could
be just a waste of time. Others gain substantially. It is all of
course relative, as well.

The problem with discussions of this kind (IMNSHO) is that we often
give examples of an average person's result from an average school
attended during an average year in comparison with an average HS
graduate doing average studying at an average home using average
sources of information, and all of it based on being hired by some
average company looking to find an average good programmer... How
in hell does it apply to the real life? In most cases it doesn't.
There is no average HS graduate, there is no average university, or
even an average company looking for an average good programmer.

V
--
Please remove capital 'A's when replying by e-mail
I do not respond to top-posted replies, please don't ask
Oct 23 '06 #30

Victor Bazarov wrote:
The problem with discussions of this kind (IMNSHO) is that we often
give examples of an average person's result from an average school
attended during an average year in comparison with an average HS
graduate doing average studying at an average home using average
sources of information, and all of it based on being hired by some
average company looking to find an average good programmer... How
in hell does it apply to the real life? In most cases it doesn't.
There is no average HS graduate, there is no average university, or
even an average company looking for an average good programmer.
Actually, I just use my own experiences and assume everyone else is the
same way.

Oct 23 '06 #31
In article <da****************************@news.west.earthlin k.net>,
Daniel T. <da******@earthlink.netwrote:
>Eric <no@thanks.comwrote:
>Daniel T. wrote:
Eric <no@thanks.comwrote:
Turning down education is kind of like turning down a pile of gold.
You can get by without it, but hey. Pile of gold.

That analogy only holds if someone else is paying for your education.

I am saying education has worth. Gold has worth. Neither come for free,
either monetarily or in personal effort. This does not rob them of worth.

Yes of course. The question though is whether the cost of going to
university (both in time and money) is worth the reward. That's what the
OP wants to know.

If the goal is to become a good programmer, the answer is no. If the
goal is to get a good programming job, then answer is yes.
Hmm. The answer to both is maybe. IMO there is too many
variables involved for such black and whiteness.
--
Greg Comeau / 20 years of Comeauity! Intel Mac Port now in beta!
Comeau C/C++ ONLINE == http://www.comeaucomputing.com/tryitout
World Class Compilers: Breathtaking C++, Amazing C99, Fabulous C90.
Comeau C/C++ with Dinkumware's Libraries... Have you tried it?
Oct 23 '06 #32
Greg Comeau wrote:
I'm not sure what you mean.
Usually people aren't close with the professors before they start
thesises and the like.
Oct 23 '06 #33
In article <eh**********@news.datemas.de>,
Victor Bazarov <v.********@comAcast.netwrote:
>Daniel T. wrote:
>[..] The question though is whether the cost of going to
university (both in time and money) is worth the reward. That's what
the OP wants to know.

If the goal is to become a good programmer, the answer is no. If the
goal is to get a good programming job, then answer is yes.

That's a strange way of looking at things, implying that those two
things are totally orthogonal or mutually exclusive. Besides, it is
not irrelevant _who_ is going to the university. For some it could
be just a waste of time. Others gain substantially. It is all of
course relative, as well.
I mostly agree. Having been on both sides of the fence
(student and teacher) it is clear to me that some people
just have it and some people just don't, but there is still
a lot to be said for the masses in the middle. And notwithstanding
that, folks learn differently, at different paces, have different
priorities, etc.
--
Greg Comeau / 20 years of Comeauity! Intel Mac Port now in beta!
Comeau C/C++ ONLINE == http://www.comeaucomputing.com/tryitout
World Class Compilers: Breathtaking C++, Amazing C99, Fabulous C90.
Comeau C/C++ with Dinkumware's Libraries... Have you tried it?
Oct 23 '06 #34
In article <11**********************@e3g2000cwe.googlegroups. com>,
Noah Roberts <ro**********@gmail.comwrote:
>Victor Bazarov wrote:
>The problem with discussions of this kind (IMNSHO) is that we often
give examples of an average person's result from an average school
attended during an average year in comparison with an average HS
graduate doing average studying at an average home using average
sources of information, and all of it based on being hired by some
average company looking to find an average good programmer... How
in hell does it apply to the real life? In most cases it doesn't.
There is no average HS graduate, there is no average university, or
even an average company looking for an average good programmer.

Actually, I just use my own experiences and assume everyone else is the
same way.
But that's exactly Victor's point, we're all not in the same way.
And few of us even get to experience or tap in too strongly to
the other ways. That means what works best for Mr. X might not
for Mr. Y, and so forth.
--
Greg Comeau / 20 years of Comeauity! Intel Mac Port now in beta!
Comeau C/C++ ONLINE == http://www.comeaucomputing.com/tryitout
World Class Compilers: Breathtaking C++, Amazing C99, Fabulous C90.
Comeau C/C++ with Dinkumware's Libraries... Have you tried it?
Oct 23 '06 #35

Greg Comeau wrote:
In article <11**********************@e3g2000cwe.googlegroups. com>,
Noah Roberts <ro**********@gmail.comwrote:
Victor Bazarov wrote:
The problem with discussions of this kind (IMNSHO) is that we often
give examples of an average person's result from an average school
attended during an average year in comparison with an average HS
graduate doing average studying at an average home using average
sources of information, and all of it based on being hired by some
average company looking to find an average good programmer... How
in hell does it apply to the real life? In most cases it doesn't.
There is no average HS graduate, there is no average university, or
even an average company looking for an average good programmer.
Actually, I just use my own experiences and assume everyone else is the
same way.

But that's exactly Victor's point, we're all not in the same way.
And few of us even get to experience or tap in too strongly to
the other ways. That means what works best for Mr. X might not
for Mr. Y, and so forth.
Oh come now...you can't actually believe that.

Oct 23 '06 #36
In article <11**********************@k70g2000cwa.googlegroups .com>,
Noah Roberts <ro**********@gmail.comwrote:
>
Greg Comeau wrote:
>In article <11**********************@e3g2000cwe.googlegroups. com>,
Noah Roberts <ro**********@gmail.comwrote:
>Victor Bazarov wrote:
The problem with discussions of this kind (IMNSHO) is that we often
give examples of an average person's result from an average school
attended during an average year in comparison with an average HS
graduate doing average studying at an average home using average
sources of information, and all of it based on being hired by some
average company looking to find an average good programmer... How
in hell does it apply to the real life? In most cases it doesn't.
There is no average HS graduate, there is no average university, or
even an average company looking for an average good programmer.

Actually, I just use my own experiences and assume everyone else is the
same way.

But that's exactly Victor's point, we're all not in the same way.
And few of us even get to experience or tap in too strongly to
the other ways. That means what works best for Mr. X might not
for Mr. Y, and so forth.

Oh come now...you can't actually believe that.
I believe what I wrote. So either it is incomplete (if so say why)
or we are talking about two different things (so elaborate your
argument and counterargument further).
--
Greg Comeau / 20 years of Comeauity! Intel Mac Port now in beta!
Comeau C/C++ ONLINE == http://www.comeaucomputing.com/tryitout
World Class Compilers: Breathtaking C++, Amazing C99, Fabulous C90.
Comeau C/C++ with Dinkumware's Libraries... Have you tried it?
Oct 23 '06 #37

Greg Comeau wrote:
In article <11**********************@k70g2000cwa.googlegroups .com>,
Noah Roberts <ro**********@gmail.comwrote:

Greg Comeau wrote:
In article <11**********************@e3g2000cwe.googlegroups. com>,
Noah Roberts <ro**********@gmail.comwrote:
Victor Bazarov wrote:
The problem with discussions of this kind (IMNSHO) is that we often
give examples of an average person's result from an average school
attended during an average year in comparison with an average HS
graduate doing average studying at an average home using average
sources of information, and all of it based on being hired by some
average company looking to find an average good programmer... How
in hell does it apply to the real life? In most cases it doesn't.
There is no average HS graduate, there is no average university, or
even an average company looking for an average good programmer.

Actually, I just use my own experiences and assume everyone else is the
same way.

But that's exactly Victor's point, we're all not in the same way.
And few of us even get to experience or tap in too strongly to
the other ways. That means what works best for Mr. X might not
for Mr. Y, and so forth.
Oh come now...you can't actually believe that.

I believe what I wrote. So either it is incomplete (if so say why)
or we are talking about two different things (so elaborate your
argument and counterargument further).
rofl.

Oct 23 '06 #38
In article <11**********************@e3g2000cwe.googlegroups. com>,
Noah Roberts <ro**********@gmail.comwrote:
>Greg Comeau wrote:
>In article <11**********************@k70g2000cwa.googlegroups .com>,
Noah Roberts <ro**********@gmail.comwrote:
>
Greg Comeau wrote:
In article <11**********************@e3g2000cwe.googlegroups. com>,
Noah Roberts <ro**********@gmail.comwrote:
Victor Bazarov wrote:
The problem with discussions of this kind (IMNSHO) is that we often
give examples of an average person's result from an average school
attended during an average year in comparison with an average HS
graduate doing average studying at an average home using average
sources of information, and all of it based on being hired by some
average company looking to find an average good programmer... How
in hell does it apply to the real life? In most cases it doesn't.
There is no average HS graduate, there is no average university, or
even an average company looking for an average good programmer.

Actually, I just use my own experiences and assume everyone else is the
same way.

But that's exactly Victor's point, we're all not in the same way.
And few of us even get to experience or tap in too strongly to
the other ways. That means what works best for Mr. X might not
for Mr. Y, and so forth.

Oh come now...you can't actually believe that.

I believe what I wrote. So either it is incomplete (if so say why)
or we are talking about two different things (so elaborate your
argument and counterargument further).

rofl.
"He held his head high
And he threw out his chest
And he looked at the hunters
As much as to say:
'Shoot if you must
But I won't run away!
I mean what I said
And I said what I meant....
An elephant's faithful
One hundred per cent!"
-- Dr. Seuss, "Horton Hatches The Egg"

:)
--
Greg Comeau / 20 years of Comeauity! Intel Mac Port now in beta!
Comeau C/C++ ONLINE == http://www.comeaucomputing.com/tryitout
World Class Compilers: Breathtaking C++, Amazing C99, Fabulous C90.
Comeau C/C++ with Dinkumware's Libraries... Have you tried it?
Oct 23 '06 #39
"Victor Bazarov" <v.********@comAcast.netwrote:
Daniel T. wrote:
>[..] The question though is whether the cost of going to university
(both in time and money) is worth the reward. That's what the OP
wants to know.

If the goal is to become a good programmer, the answer is no. If
the goal is to get a good programming job, then answer is yes.

That's a strange way of looking at things, implying that those two
things are totally orthogonal or mutually exclusive.
Not totally, but largely. I've seen plenty of poor programers and
designers who none-the-less got decent jobs simply because they had a
degree.
Besides, it is not irrelevant _who_ is going to the university. For
some it could be just a waste of time. Others gain substantially.
It is all of course relative, as well.
Yes, but in my opinion, someone who can't learn it on their own isn't as
valuable despite the "substantial gain".

--
To send me email, put "sheltie" in the subject.
Oct 23 '06 #40
stryfedll wrote:
Sorry this isn't directly concerning a programming language but I
wanted to reach real programmers. I am in college right now and am not
really interested in investing 3 more years of my life for a Bachelors
degree. I know that I can learn more about computer programming if I
spent the time over the next 3 years reading books and programming at
my own pace rather than an instructors pace, as well as not needing to
take so many electives, and courses unrelated to programming. I would
also save a ton of money and time. The benefits to not finishing
college and just learning myself a overwhelming, and there seems to be
only one problem.

Will I still be competitive in the job market without a degree? Would I
be less likely to succeed in the programming field without a degree,
even if I knew more than someone with a degree?
There isn't much more to add to this thread, but remember employers see
a degree (any numerate/science/engineering degree) as much as an
indicator about you as a person as they do as an indicator about you as
a programmer.

It shows the candidate has the ability and discipline to self organise
and learn as well as possessing the required academic ability. Lack of
a degree isn't a counter indicator, but it muddies the waters and adds
an extra level of complexity to the selection process. You have be able
to offer something special to catch their attention.

--
Ian Collins.
Oct 23 '06 #41

stryfedll wrote:
Will I still be competitive in the job market without a degree? Would I
be less likely to succeed in the programming field without a degree,
even if I knew more than someone with a degree?

Can I please have your thoughts on this, Thank you

Shane
Hi,

I know exactly how you feel, and in my case, I dropped out and started
working. I started playing around programming since I was about 12,
learning BASIC on my old Commdore Vic-20, and then assembly on the
Commodore 64, and C on my Amiga during high school (you can imagine how
popular I was). I attended about 2 years of university when I left to
take a job offer. I have been lucky in having a pretty good carear so
far making good money.

In my experience, some of the best programmers I have ever worked with
either had no degree or had a degree in an unrelated field and they
just had a love of programming and tought themselves through reading,
practicing, on the job, etc. Of course, since I am in the same boat,
maybe I am biased here.

Anyway, would I recommend it? No. I would say get your degree now
while you are young. I recently changed jobs, and even though I have
over 12 years experience on my resume now, there were several
interesting job postings that specifically require a college degree. I
never bothered applying to these since I didn't meet the minimum
requirements in that area, and I find I always have to explain why I
don't have a degree when I speak to head hunters and during interviews.
Certainly some doors closed right there, regardless of my technical
abilities.

I have been able to find good jobs however, but it surely would have
been easier to get into some companies with a degree. At the very
least, you have some people in HR and management who assume with no
degree you couldn't possibly program very good (if you want to work for
such people is a different story).

The times I am hiring people, I don't personally care if they have a
degree or not. I want talented developers. But having a degree can
only open more doors for you in the future.

Anyway, my 2 cents.

Oct 23 '06 #42
Daniel T. wrote:
"Victor Bazarov" <v.********@comAcast.netwrote:
>Daniel T. wrote:
>>[..] The question though is whether the cost of going to university
(both in time and money) is worth the reward. That's what the OP
wants to know.

If the goal is to become a good programmer, the answer is no. If
the goal is to get a good programming job, then answer is yes.

That's a strange way of looking at things, implying that those two
things are totally orthogonal or mutually exclusive.

Not totally, but largely. I've seen plenty of poor programers and
designers who none-the-less got decent jobs simply because they had a
degree.
That makes no sense by itself. Did they get it winning over a good
programmer without a degree or another poor programmer/designer without
a degree? What company was it? Is it still in business? Was it at
the time driven by a government-mandated affirmative action of some
kind? And so on. Simply put: an instance of a poor programmer getting
hired because of a degree is in no way a proof that having a degree is
more important when it comes to being hired.
>Besides, it is not irrelevant _who_ is going to the university. For
some it could be just a waste of time. Others gain substantially.
It is all of course relative, as well.

Yes, but in my opinion, someone who can't learn it on their own isn't
as valuable despite the "substantial gain".
This is also nonsense. NOBODY learns "on their own". Otherwise, we
all would be crawling and moaning instead of driving cars and talking.

The question is mostly what amount of assistance one requires at each
point in their development. When I learned to ride a bicycle, I used
a set of training wheels, and when I learned to ride a motorcycle, I
didn't. When I learned to walk, I had to have both my hands held, and
when I learned to ballroom-dance, I held somebody else (sometimes even
from falling down).

Development of learning skills is also a learning process which requires
help at first (just like everything else) and feedback all the way.
Some folks become self-sufficient in learning earlier, but it can take
them longer to reach certain level of self-sufficiency. Others need
more guidance through their studies longer, but at the end they often
gain higher levels of self-sufficiency simply because they experience
more efficient (and sometimes simply longer) pull up the slope.

Besides, all generalisations are wrong.

V
--
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I do not respond to top-posted replies, please don't ask
Oct 23 '06 #43
"Victor Bazarov" <v.********@comAcast.netwrote:
Daniel T. wrote:
>"Victor Bazarov" <v.********@comAcast.netwrote:
>>Daniel T. wrote:

[..] The question though is whether the cost of going to
university (both in time and money) is worth the reward. That's
what the OP wants to know.

If the goal is to become a good programmer, the answer is no. If
the goal is to get a good programming job, then answer is yes.

That's a strange way of looking at things, implying that those two
things are totally orthogonal or mutually exclusive.

Not totally, but largely. I've seen plenty of poor programers and
designers who none-the-less got decent jobs simply because they had
a degree.

That makes no sense by itself.

Simply put: an instance of a poor programmer getting hired because
of a degree is in no way a proof that having a degree is more
important when it comes to being hired.
Look, once we take into account that HR generally gets hundreds of
applicants per position, we can see that most of these applicants won't
even make it to the interview/testing stage, so actual skill at
programming isn't even an issue. Thus, programming skill and ability to
get the job have less to do with each-other, than one's "resume
hot-spots" (like a college degree.)

--
To send me email, put "sheltie" in the subject.
Oct 23 '06 #44
co****@panix.com (Greg Comeau) wrote:
Daniel T. <da******@earthlink.netwrote:
Eric <no@thanks.comwrote:
Daniel T. wrote:
Eric <no@thanks.comwrote:
Turning down education is kind of like turning down a pile of gold.
You can get by without it, but hey. Pile of gold.

That analogy only holds if someone else is paying for your education.

I am saying education has worth. Gold has worth. Neither come for free,
either monetarily or in personal effort. This does not rob them of worth.
Yes of course. The question though is whether the cost of going to
university (both in time and money) is worth the reward. That's what the
OP wants to know.

If the goal is to become a good programmer, the answer is no. If the
goal is to get a good programming job, then answer is yes.

Hmm. The answer to both is maybe. IMO there is too many
variables involved for such black and whiteness.
The question is, what does it take to get a job in today's market? When
there are hundreds of resumes per opening, the first most important
factor is who you know, second runner up are "resume hot spots" (like
degrees.) Skill doesn't comes in handy until the interview/testing stage.

Now, what does it take to be a good programmer? There are mentors to be
had all over the 'net, tons of open source projects to work on and
study, and thousands of books available via your local library.

Note, being good runs a distant third on the list for what it takes to
get a job, and a college degree isn't even on the list of what it takes
to be good at programming.

--
To send me email, put "sheltie" in the subject.
Oct 23 '06 #45
Daniel T. wrote:
"Victor Bazarov" <v.********@comAcast.netwrote:
>Daniel T. wrote:
>>"Victor Bazarov" <v.********@comAcast.netwrote:
Daniel T. wrote:
>
[..] The question though is whether the cost of going to
university (both in time and money) is worth the reward. That's
what the OP wants to know.
>
If the goal is to become a good programmer, the answer is no. If
the goal is to get a good programming job, then answer is yes.

That's a strange way of looking at things, implying that those two
things are totally orthogonal or mutually exclusive.

Not totally, but largely. I've seen plenty of poor programers and
designers who none-the-less got decent jobs simply because they had
a degree.

That makes no sense by itself.

Simply put: an instance of a poor programmer getting hired because
of a degree is in no way a proof that having a degree is more
important when it comes to being hired.

Look, once we take into account that HR generally gets hundreds of
applicants per position, we can see that most of these applicants
won't even make it to the interview/testing stage, so actual skill at
programming isn't even an issue. Thus, programming skill and ability
to get the job have less to do with each-other, than one's "resume
hot-spots" (like a college degree.)
For some reason we switched to arguing the point that having a degree
is better for being hired than not having one. Look at the top. You
started with "the cost is worth the reward" argument. I insist that
getting a degree is the single most important action one can take on
the way to *becoming a good programmer*. You, for whatever reason,
think that "the reward" of becoming a good programmer it's not worth
the cost of obtaining a degree. Too bad. I can only imagine that
your experience (or the experience of those with whom you discussed
this topic before) either was negative or was not prominent enough to
leave a lasting impression (or it was shadowed by other impressions).

Here is what not "totally orthogonal or mutually exclusive" means to
me. Since IMNSHO going to a college and obtaining an advanced (by
some measures) degree is just as important in becoming a good whatever
as getting one's career started, you cannot simply separate one from
the other. If one obtains a degree, one will become a good programmer
sooner than if one doesn't (with all nods towards "everybody learns
and develops differently" argument). If one does become a good (use
the term "better" if it's easier to understand) programmer, one has
more chance of getting hired than one with a degree but without
being a good programmer. Having a degree by itself doesn't really
do much, one still needs to work on becoming a good programmer. I
am convinced that no matter how good one is (and can become a good
programmer without outside help (although see my other argument about
"outside help")), the same person would benefit greatly by going to
school, and would become an even better programmer and get himself
(herself) an even greater chance at a good career. That's why it
is incorrect to put "if the goal is learning" on one side and "if
the goal is getting a job" on the _opposite_ side.

The only time I would even consider discussing those things as
opposites is when a career already exists and is not of professional
programming type, and learning to program is viewed as an improvement
in it. At that time going to college might be too much trouble since
in many cases it would mean interruption in the career, which is
never good. But we are not talking about it here, are we?

V
--
Please remove capital 'A's when replying by e-mail
I do not respond to top-posted replies, please don't ask
Oct 23 '06 #46
Daniel T. wrote:
[..]
Now, what does it take to be a good programmer? There are mentors to
be had all over the 'net, tons of open source projects to work on and
study, and thousands of books available via your local library.
Are you self-taught? Are you good? Well, you don't have to answer,
but take somebody whom you know and just try to imagine: is that person
really a typical case or is he/she an exception? Then, hopefully, you
will see how keeping this position about "mentors to be had" or "open
source projects to work on" is either an illusion or a delusion.

V
--
Please remove capital 'A's when replying by e-mail
I do not respond to top-posted replies, please don't ask
Oct 23 '06 #47

stryfedll wrote in message
>
Will I still be competitive in the job market without a degree? Would I
be less likely to succeed in the programming field without a degree,
even if I knew more than someone with a degree?

Can I please have your thoughts on this, Thank you
Shane
If you are in the USA, your best bet is to drop out of school and join a gang
because crime *does* pay (just look at our congress!!).

In other famous words, "STAY in school" (as long as you can).
[ I often wish I had. Learning on your own is slow, and you get no paper to
prove it (yeah, I know, but I can't afford to buy a diploma on the net!!
<G>).]

Oh, and just say NO to politicians!!!

That's my 2 pico-cents worth...
--
Bob R
POVrookie
Oct 23 '06 #48
In article <da****************************@news.west.earthlin k.net>,
Daniel T. <da******@earthlink.netwrote:
>co****@panix.com (Greg Comeau) wrote:
>Daniel T. <da******@earthlink.netwrote:
>Eric <no@thanks.comwrote:
Daniel T. wrote:
Eric <no@thanks.comwrote:
>Turning down education is kind of like turning down a pile of gold.
You can get by without it, but hey. Pile of gold.

That analogy only holds if someone else is paying for your education.

I am saying education has worth. Gold has worth. Neither come for free,
either monetarily or in personal effort. This does not rob them of worth.

Yes of course. The question though is whether the cost of going to
university (both in time and money) is worth the reward. That's what the
OP wants to know.

If the goal is to become a good programmer, the answer is no. If the
goal is to get a good programming job, then answer is yes.

Hmm. The answer to both is maybe. IMO there is too many
variables involved for such black and whiteness.

The question is, what does it take to get a job in today's market? When
there are hundreds of resumes per opening, the first most important
factor is who you know, second runner up are "resume hot spots" (like
degrees.) Skill doesn't comes in handy until the interview/testing stage.
I know that many people look at it this way. Myself, I've never chosen
to get myself into that kind of situation.
>Now, what does it take to be a good programmer? There are mentors to be
had all over the 'net, tons of open source projects to work on and
study, and thousands of books available via your local library.
Sure, and that's just one aspect.
>Note, being good runs a distant third on the list for what it takes to
get a job,
Depends upon who is doing the hiring.
>and a college degree isn't even on the list of what it takes
to be good at programming.
I'm not sure what this mean, so I'll rest on the above :)
--
Greg Comeau / 20 years of Comeauity! Intel Mac Port now in beta!
Comeau C/C++ ONLINE == http://www.comeaucomputing.com/tryitout
World Class Compilers: Breathtaking C++, Amazing C99, Fabulous C90.
Comeau C/C++ with Dinkumware's Libraries... Have you tried it?
Oct 23 '06 #49
BobR wrote:
If you are in the USA, your best bet is to drop out of school and join a
gang
because crime *does* pay (just look at our congress!!).
Uh, I thought Congress consisted of white-collar, graduate criminals.
("We're not a gang we're a club!" Google "Skull & Bones", etc...)

--
Phlip
http://www.greencheese.us/ZeekLand <-- NOT a blog!!!
Oct 24 '06 #50

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