How difficult is it to get an entry level programming job without a CS degree?

I'm gettin fed up with all of my shitty university's bullshit. They constantly try to make a fool out of me, the classes are crap, most of them have nothing to do with programming, and every single fucking day i am constantly anxious about my upcoming exams (that are nearly impossibly hard) and I can never know for sure whether the info that my teachers give me is correct or not.

I am seriously considering dropping out of this fuckfest, but I don't know if I can start making a living after that.

  • 4
    Do you already have experience?
  • 12
    It's harder as you will need to prove you know what you're doing without the paper.

    A public portfolio of work would be essential, do something like freelance work or have your own personal projects to build up a portfolio.

    But in saying that, I'm not qualified to get out of bed (I didn't finish high school) and have been in the industry over 10 years, that lack of a degree hasn't had an impact on my own development, you just need to work harder to make it long term.
  • 4
    @MsPh03n1X I don't have any 'professional' work experience, but I have made a couple freelance projects for clients.
  • 5
    @SparkyTD from what I have seen with my friends is that having a portfolio goes a long way. A lot of them dropped out but have a lot of experience to show so they are fine with out a degree.
    It is hard if you have absolutely nothing (no uni, no working experience etc.) but otherwise I think it is not necessary to have that piece of paper, especially if you feel like you aren’t learning anything useful.
    It’ll be up to you to decide though.
  • 3
    Pretty easy but not worth dropping out.
    Your CS degree will help you in the long run. Stay in school kid 😀

    Edit: what I meant is that the stuff you learn there will help you. The paper in itself is irrelevant, I have no CS degree and still get invited to FANG on-sites so...
  • 2
    @Froot What pissed me off today is analysis. It is a mandatory class, I have to learn 110 lemmas for the next exam. The problem is that I suffer from a mental disability that prevents me from memorizing shit like that.

    And I might be inexperienced with programming, but right now I am not exactly sure how being able to prove the convergence of a function will help me write better code in the future.
  • 1
    @SparkyTD with recursion I'd guess?
    Anyway that's not the point. The point is that the time you'd spend in uni is way more valuable in the long run than the time you'd spend at work. Think of it as an investment
  • 0
    @SparkyTD I hated analysis myself and the way they teach it is exhausting. BUT: I have actually needed that stuff before so it is not completely useless believe me. It might make you cry at times and you will probably never have to use it the way the teach it but it is stuff you should now for the most part.
  • 1
    A CS degree is a foot in the door for an interview.

    A portfolio of actual work is also a foot in the door.

    Be prepared for interviews. It is the industry's tradition.. you can't escape the classic CS questions in an interview. "Cracking the coding interview" is an excellent resource.

    You will probably have to craft your resume to feature your projects. List all the technologies, recruiters need buzzwords and terms to digest. It's just how it is.

    I don't have a CS degree but I had projects and I had a "web design business". My first job wasnt programming, it was in IT, but After a few job changes I am now full-time programming.
  • 3
    CS isn't just centered on programming because it's supposed to give much wider skills than that. It has always been math heavy.

    Math classes like analysis aren't hard. They're usually not even the weed-out courses. If that is already too hard, maybe studying CS isn't the best choice for you.
  • 0
    @Fast-Nop I wouldn't have a problem with math, bou we're forced to learn too much theory. We have to learn hundreds of lemmas, and my brain just doesn't work that way. I've never been good at memorizing things like that. The actual problem-solving part is bearable.
  • 0
    @Fast-Nop On the other hand, programming has always been my main thing. It started as a hobby back when I was 14 y. o. and I've been doing it ever since. I've worked on several big projects but i've never had to use anything above a discrete mathematics level.
  • 4
    @SparkyTD CS is math-heavy, and if you're trying to rote learn math, you're bound to fail. That may have worked at school, but at uni, you need a completely different learning strategy.

    Not least because at school, you have 90% repetition and 10% new stuff in a lecture while it's the other way around at uni.

    CS isn't just a glorified programming course and has never been.
  • 0
    I have an Associate's in Computer Information Technology. Got hired as a developer 3 months after graduation.
  • 2
    @SparkyTD Hey, don't give up. During my studies, we had Analysis 1 and 2 (in the first two years) along with 5 other math subjects. I found it helpful for developing logic skills and expanding knowledge in general. I also thought that I wouldn't need it ever again until one day (5 years into my career) I had to interpolate some chart data to improve performance. I literally used my Analysis skills on paper, to be able to develop an algorithm that'll do that. So, never say never :) the first two years are the hardest, so just stay strong.
  • 4
    Do not make the decision to drop out. Get your degree man, you will regret not having it.

    Source: my lead developer got left out for the depsrtment management position on the basis of him not having a degree. I was the top candidate....

    To be fair I do know more than him, didn't want the position because I was planning on leaving the department. But still, get your degree, else you risk being left out for positions that you might want.
  • 1
    Get enough experience to get intern work. From there work to get a full time spot and then go from there. College isn’t needed. Often wanted. It’s a nice requisite. As an employer I would rather have someone with proven years of hard work and projects under their belt
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