3rd yr in college to become a Dev and have realized that school doesn't give half as good info as I can find by teaching myself. So question is, am I going to college for a reason? or am I just

  • 7
    Depends on your aspirations. Some companies refuse to hire anyone without a degree or refuse to pay what your worth without a degree. Also, your school opens up connections/friends you might not had gotten otherwise. Now the question is: Is going to a $50k/year school worth it over a $10k/year school for CS?
  • 4
    Honestly, a degree can be very useful for unrelated reasons than knowledge for your specific job. College is a great way to really understand how to learn independently and to find out what drives you.

    Now, for finding a dev job, having a degree makes it significantly easier to get your first job as a software engineer with no experience. However, a degree usually doesn't prepare you to be, or make you, a good developer.

    With that said, almost all of the best software engineers, architects and developers that I have worked with did not have computer science degrees. They found out they loved doing this either in or after college. A smaller number of them never went to college and were self taught.

    College is a good thing for almost everyone. Computer Science degrees, in my opinion, however do not prepare you to develop.
  • 3
    @missionearth your comment reinforces my thoughts on it pretty well. College has been great for many many things including connections, life lessons, Gen Ed's, the degree I'll receive, etc. I definitely need to work at becoming a decent developer myself though. Ironically good programming knowledge seems to be the one place college has fallen short for me haha.
  • 2
    @aceface I'm considered in-state nowadays so it's only about 13k/year, thankfully. Big improvement over the 30k it was when I got here from out of state so at least I win there :D
  • 1
    @Jrakkez I felt the same about college. While I understood linked lists and concepts well, I had a hard time coding it in interviews. I had to spend time outside of school to learn the application side of develoment. I found that school was good for theory, bringing up topics I wouldn't have thought of and hand holding (started with a cs class knowing only HTML prior)
  • 2
    Biggest problem with most people going into CS is that they think they're going to be studying software engineering. Computer Science is NOT software engineering.

    That said universities should offer both programs for people who want to work in academia/r&d and those who want to work in industry.
  • 1
    A degree helps but in addition you should get a solid foundation of software engineering practices and principles if you want to become a real professional. These practices and principles matter more every day for serious software development companies and it makes a huge difference in daily work: it will make the difference between amateur and professional at some point.
  • 1
    a few reasons. It's fun. you get to know people. Your forced to learn the non fun stuff. And it's a stamp of approval for many companies.
  • 1
    The piece of paper gets you through the door. Being good at it lets you stay. ;-)
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