I'm a college drop out. Left my college almost 1 year ago, taught myself php, js, nodejs, basics about servers and how it all works, currently learning angular, nativescript and a few small things.

People still taunt me about leaving my college. About how I should've at least completed my degree.

Student of my university don't even know how to code.
Like they only know simple hello world programs.
They have no idea about :
-Version control system
-Unit testing
-Code refactoring
-Cross-platform app development
-web hooks and REST API
-Stack overflow (Yeah, they don't know about it)
-and a whole ton of small things that you MUST know as a computer engineer like e.g. how to use Vim

I keep getting nagged about my choices and it frustrates me that I can't explain it to them cause they're dumb.

I mean seriously people! Can't you see the difference between me and an engineer who doesn't even know the difference between API and IDE?
I mean seriously?
They say it's APPLICATION PROGRAMMING INTERFACE so it's Qt creator or [any other IDE]

How can I deal with this kind of nonsense?

I'm from India, it's that bad here.

Anybody else a drop out? How did you handle it?
My parents are supportive but they too sometimes worry.

  • 27
    I totally feel you, but I'm here in the US. So many incompetent students, but the only reason I stuck around is because of my job requiring me to be a student. People say they hire based on degrees to show that you know the high-level stuff like structures and what not, but really they do it because it shows you went through the fucking system like everyone else and that you know how to get through stupid fucking systems like that. The paper just shows you went to college, not that you can program.
    Good luck man, I know it's a hard world out there
  • 29
    IT is one of the only industries were qualifications make jack shit and the people that excel are usually self taught.

    Hell some companies only employ self taught people for this reason.

    Technology doesn't stay around long enough to wrote a course on it.
  • 13
    Thanks man, my current mind set is to rant about it all day but I can't, can I? @iam13islucky

    The bigger problem in India is that, students like this cause more pain and trouble for people who actually code. They spread false information, like dude if you don't know this shit don't talk shit about it. I have to handle the client, I have to explain it to them how it's supposed to be or how it works. And trust me clients are hard on there own, and add a little crap from so called engineers to there brain and your whole week is gone.
  • 22
    @nblackburn All good programmers are self taught, some of them also happen to have degrees.
  • 5
    Please πŸ™ sir tell me the names of those legendary companies so that I can apply. @nblackburn
  • 6
    Yes, they happen to have a degree which has nothing to do with there knowledge. But people don't understand this, do they? @ItsNotMyFault
  • 9
    I can relate to this. I'm from India too. Though I didn't drop out and I still go to college. I can safely say that more than three quarters of my class doesn't know about the things you've listed. I'm in my final semester and we are required to do a project in groups of four. And a LOT of people outsource their project because they have absolutely no idea how to go about it. Heck, most of their laptops aren't even maintained properly and are filled with viruses and malware. How do you expect to be a good developer of you can't keep your tools in good condition!?
    I just feel the education system should be changed so that it will instill some level of curiosity in the students to keep learning and actually work on projects etc instead of just learning through textbooks and writing exams.
  • 7
    Don't even talk about textbooks! My college teachers refer to local authors and what do local authors do? They copy each other. Do they ever check if the information they've provided is correct? NOPE! heck they don't even update the books, each semester they only change cover page and each year only the year number is changed from the book pages. @tild3 I mean what is wrong with our education system? πŸ˜’
  • 5
    Well I thought France was the worst place for computing science. Maybe not x)
  • 6
    I was a double major in jazz performance and composition theory. A lot of peeps I've worked with over the years never even attended university ( some of the best engineers that I worked with and learned from ). Your in good company dude.
  • 5
    @kabiir I know how you feel. The teachers who value your attendence and scores instead of the knowledge you have or try to understand what you are passionate about and encourage you.
  • 4
    I'm not a college dropout. I dropped out after college. I get you, brother. Same feels here.
  • 6
    Indian IT/Computer Science courses don't teach software development. They teach IT/Computer Science. Software development is only a subset. The stuff you learn in college is quite important in my opinion. If all you're trying to do is learn to code, you don't need a degree. Nothing I use at work was taught in college. *Nothing*. But I don't regret one bit. But now that you've already made a decision, be strong. People will recognise you for the work you do :)
  • 3
    @p-rex How i love Jazz 😍
  • 2
    What you're saying is that you don't learn anything when going to college, which is not true for most people. You can still learn to program without going to school but I don't agree that not going to school is better.

    But in this industry you should not worry, it's screaming for more engineers so don't worry about not getting a job.
  • 2
    Also, you don't have to know Vim to work as a developer. I know ton of people who does not know it but still work as devs. It helps though, because it's an awesome tool.
  • 3
    I went to get a degree in game/ simulation programming. 1 class of C++ and 20 classes for UDK. Graduating, majority of them still don't know how to code, only loosely script. I wouldn't hire any of them!

    I taught myself 3 languages and made 2 games while they struggled to finish the courses.
    Companies that hire self-taught/ passionate coders who've made unique apps should be more the common.

    *exception being those with a Masters/ doctorates in computer science.
  • 4
    @simeg not down playing the importance of getting a degree (I have one). Just stating a fact that pertains to my personal experience. As with anything, u get out of something what u put into it. Degree or no degree my man. I'm sure anyone can relate to that as it is universally applicable.
  • 7
    The degree shows you put up with bullshit, which based on your post it seems like you don't. Normally a good quality, but companies want you to put up with bullshit and see things through even if it isn't exactly what you want to be doing.

    An open minded company will hire you if you have the skills rather than the degree, and will not hire you if you have the degree and not the skills, but a few things to bear in mind:

    1. Not all companies are open minded
    2. Just because they're open minded does not mean there won't be a little extra challenge with the lack of degree
    3. Not everyone who has a degree is a dumbass, some people made the most of their college experience and are more skilled because of it
    4. Being in college can have significant professional value add from lab experiences and interactions.

    So no I don't judge you for not having a degree, but there are considerations.
  • 3
    @runfrodorun I'm a bit biased, but I agree with every word
  • 3
    If this counts i did put up with the bullshit for 3 years, I could've got the degree by the end of this May. @runfrodorun but then I couldn't have been able to polish my skills as of today. And I am developing a POS for our business with a cross platform app. I don't think this could've happened a year later from now if I had chose to complete my degree because then I HAVE a degree, I must either go for PG or take a job otherwise I'm a person with a degree who sits at home watching videos(learning ofcourse). That's how people around me would've approached me. The constant nagging of 'Dude you've a degree go work somewhere' in India people are not as open minded as you'd imagine. Today I feel more confident with my skill set than I would've otherwise.

    In my rant.
    I'm not saying people with degree are dumb I'm saying I can't explain this to people because they're dumb
    here I was addressing normal people with no technical background.
  • 2
    I don't really know why I have to know vim. Never actively used it and never missed anything.
  • 5
    You just confirmed the laboral environment I was suspecting for india.
    I have worked with some teams there and there too few that actually know their shit.

    Of course same thing happens over here in Mexico, people are over confident because of the school they went to and they are outdated and useless professionals who were trained on outdated project managements protocols and methods. It is fun.

    I agree learning on your own is the best.

    About staying in school or not, that depends on your environment.

    I also dropped out of the University but enrolled on an online Degree, oficial and everything, just to have it in my CV, as many said, it shows you went through the system and helps open doors, for instance, I need that stupid paper to get a work visa in the EU even if a company helps me with the paperwork. That is the world we live in

    so, dude,

    open your eyes big have a look a round and determine if you need the paper or not.
  • 5
    @kabiir dude I'm not attacking you just saying you can do fine without a degree but expect some challenges. World is not fair.
  • 3
    Don't take me wrong, it's just my mind-set today that I have to defend myself. @runfrodorun cause that's what I have been doing for a while now. <sad face πŸ˜” for the sad reality we live in>
  • 4
    @runfrodorun I don't think anyone has been judged either, we were simply debating if a degree is needed or not.
  • 5
    @kabiir No need to defend anything, it's all opinion not fact.

    We are all friends here.
  • 3
    I agree that good coders are self taught! That's why I didn't go to school for computer science or software engineering. I took Mechatronics Engineering so that I get a degree and still have the credibility to get software jobs!

    For those who don't know, Mechatronics is a mixture of mechanical, electrical and software engineering! Sounds cool on paper, a bitch and a half in real life.
  • 3
    I'm from India and kudos to you man...I'm pursuing my masters but you are much more educated as compared to me...Have ++
  • 3
    @kabiir i am from india as well and i am in my 3rd year of college. I only go to college during exams and pay β‚Ή1000 as a fee for my poor attendance each semester. While i am at home, i teach myself programming. So far college curriculum is pure shit. I still pass the exams (scored 7.8 in the last semester). People at my college don't know anything about coding. Hell even they don't even have compiler on their machine and 4 years are almost over. Teachers think that since i flunk college, i am a lost cause. The girl that topped last semester, doesn't know while loop. LOL.
  • 3
    Recently, we had to do a project (online movie ticket booking) with backend in java. We had a group of 4. Teacher was teaching shit(none of his programs compiled, his basics were wrong) and my group members didn't do anything in the project(since they didn't knew how to do). I completed the thing all on my own (i actually loved it) and everyone was amazed at the product. Lol they didn't knew html and my product talked to servers using api's and i even implemented Google maps in it. It kicked so much ass. Now they look at me in awe from a distance. They know that i am at a whole different level.
  • 4
    I thought about it. I'm a student at a university in Denmark, and I have to, from time to time, teach some of my teachers things that I personally think they should know already. I feel like almost none of the other students can follow even simple tasks
  • 3
    Same things used to happen with me, my programs follow standards they haven't even heard of and teachers describe it as "show off" I remember coding a CPU Architecture simulator, dude my program actually worked and you could actually pass in assembly language code to it and it would parse it and show how it all works in a visual way all animated altho at the time I limited the use of AND and OR and a few simple instructions only because ofcourse at the time I had little knowledge of it all. And I was proud of my program. Sometimes if teachers didn't understand my program they acuse me of copying it from internet. @itch96
  • 2
    I feel you, but arguing and teaching them something only caused trouble, they start insulting and making nonsense arguments i mean seriously? You're gonna teach shit to everyone and not even care to improve yourself even though you know you're wrong? @devs
  • 3
    I think college-educated programmers get what they put into it. I went to college and I learned a hell of a lot. I was also up until 4am a lot of nights just messing about. College wasn't just programming, but also a lot of the theory and planning that went into, say, Linux.
    In the end, though I might not know a lot of languages, I learned how to figure shit out.
    Though there were a lot of people in class who, when given a challenge, immediately turned to some out-of-the-box solution wrapped up nicely in a python script.
    Hell, I had the same task and I dove right in to some research, discovered the system files, and figured out how to do all sorts of cool things with Linux.
    I work mostly in C, and I do some work in ARM on the side.
    That's another thing: Mastering assembly programming will definitely boost your game in higher languages. You start thinking of data as their underying values, instead of their type. When you adopt that way of thinking about it, you will really take off!
  • 4
    This is so true! I'm not a dropout, I'm in the last year of my career but only 2 out +20 students that are in my class actually know how to program properly. I've made a lot of money thanks to their inability to do their job but I would never hire them.
    It's very frustrating to help your classmate with something they are stucked with and finding out that they can't even write an if statement.
    I'm don't consider myself an awesome programmer but compared to them I'm godlike...
    And is not the educational system's fault, is the students' fault for studying something they are not passionate about but "it's well paid".
  • 1
    I definitely know what you mean about college gradtuates not typically being very competent. There were a lot of slackers. I sometimes had to stop myself from assaulting my fellow students for being so freaking clueless!
    As I said in my earlier comment, you get out of college what you put into it.
    If you pull an out-of-the-box solution off github and pass that shit off as your own, you aren't going to learn anything except a few python commands; however, if you're like me and you stayed up 'til 4am hacking some code for either school or a personal project, and you challenge yourself to learn everything you can, you will graduate and be able to hit the ground running.
  • 3
    I'm a college drop out too, since Fall 2015. Started teaching myself everything i know on last year, and I've done a good job if i do say so myself. The only thing i can really thank college for is teaching me the basics (if/else, loops, variables, etc), but everything above that is self taught.
    However, being from The Bahamas, having a degree can help greatly visa-wise, so im trying to head back in August of this year
  • 5
    A degree just shows you were committed to something for years.

    You also meet people and make connections that help you get jobs.
  • 3
    The only problem with your story is that it shows me as a recruiter that you began something you never finished, the reasons don't really matter.

    BTW the academy does give jack shit about industry engineers. they care about research, that's why the never will teach you industry technologies but only abstract scientific concepts which will take you to the masters or doctors degrees.
    It's your job to take those abstract concepts and apply them wisely to you concrete work if you so choose.
    You can develop without the degree, you can even be godly at it, all depends on the field.
  • 3
    You are thinking a bit too deep I think. You are talking about things that specifically relates to software development. But degree is way more than that. It teaches you how to interact with different people, work on group project with people that you don't like, leadership (society), challenges (exams) etc.

    Also, when you the difference between an engineer and you, not all the students are bright. They might get a degree with 2:2 but will get stuck when looking for a job.

    Also, most of the major skills you are talking about relates to Web development. Uni will introduce you to a lot of other topics.

    Why do you want uni to teach you how to use stackoverflow or vim?

    And cross platform app development? Uni is not supposed to teach you that either.

    The two most important thing uni doesn't teach imo is VC and UT.

    Although I do agree that the way cs programs are taught is simply ineffective. And very few tutors can get it right.

    Good luck!
  • 2
    'you began something you never finished' @nocgod this got me into thinking that recruiters can think of me as a person who never finishes his job maybe even give me a bad image, this is a fairly big possibility or it would never happen to me. Considering that it does happen to me, how do you suggest I overcome this?
  • 3
    I absolutely feel you. I got my CS degree last year in Honduras. All throughout my career I knew a lot more than my classmates and in many cases more than my teachers. The only reason I stayed was because a degree here is required.
  • 3
    @kabiir find a damn good explanation for why did you leave.
    Telling you were better at coding is not a good explanation, because as I said the academy is not about being able to code it's about grasping the basic and fundamental concepts that stand behind coding.
    It's hard to shake an image of someone who folds when shit hits the fan.
    Why didn't you finish?
  • 2
    I don't say the universities should teach those things, what I said was students don't have any idea about those things because teachers can't make things interesting enough for them to explore. Don't you agree this is one of the cause for this? @tahnik
  • 4
    @kabiir if you think for a teacher's perspective, there are students who doesn't even understand simple for loops. So they have to spend a lot of time on those students. That's kind of why they don't teach these things. Because if it's part of the curriculum, a lot of students might fail. If it's not, the teacher probably doesn't care.
  • 2
    Tbh I felt I could do more with this time that I have than I could while in college. Most importantly my father started his business at the age of 14 and i was turning 20 i just had this thing inside my head going on that I should be able to do more at the end of 4 years of my education I've been sitting in front of my computer most of my life and yet I haven't really made something useful, something that actually real people use and benefit from it. So first thing on my mind was digitizing my father's business and thus offering the same solution to others in my city. I mean I had so much interest in learning new things it diverted me away from college. I mean idk man I don't think it's good of a reason to not finish but that's what it is. @nocgod
  • 2
    Well i did my bachelor's degree in computer science - which is pretty much the basics of everything but the projects we had to do or did on our own were pretty neat. Some of my colleagues do now work in their own game developer company, some of them are self employed as webdev or work for big companies as software developer - and some like me are simply working as web developers. So even if I didn't learn many hard skills (coding,..) i did definitely learn a lot about project management (and how to not do it) and other soft skills like communication etc.
  • 2
    Universities can't teach specific topics, they are like giving you tools that you MIGHT need in the future. However I understand you perfectly, many companies just go by the paper, but at the end, if you can deliver solutions, you're in.
  • 2
    @kabiir holy shit dude. Its like seeing in the mirror. I myself want to create something for the betterment of the society within my college time. Would you be interested in talking further? Reach me out @itch96 on twitter.
  • 2
    @itch96 can i join?
  • 2
    @AllenII ofcourse mate
  • 2
    @kabiir well yeah okay i see. At least my teachers acknowledge when there is something they don't know and ask. At least some of our teachers. We have this one teacher who teaches Linux. He's from India like you as well. He won't acknowledge when there is something he doesn't know. If I ask him a question that he can't answer, he answers anyways, giving a bullshit answer that isn't true at all.
  • 2
    @devs maybe its something in our genes or something. We just want to be the best at what we do but dont want to work hard for it. Theres just a lot of pride. Thats some insightful data. Haveto look for it and make sure i dont turn out like that. Thanks.
  • 3
    Where do bad programmers end up after school/college?
    1.Teachers (not true for all teachers)
    2. Management /PM
    3. Project leader
    4. And so on.. All the positions that give good devs trouble.
    @devs @itch96
  • 2
    I read few lines and I could tell you are from India. I am living the same life. Spent months learning php, js, nodejs and angular. Worked on several projects. I have setup my own agency now but people still think i needed to get a degree. Ignore them mate, knowledge is everything. Few years later your knowledge is all that's going to matter trust me.
  • 1
    @kabiir thats some hard truth.. i plan to keep learning like now, get a small job that pays my bills. Small job means there will be less pressure, so that i can put my real focus in the betterment of society with my knowledge and skills. Thats the plan for now and i hope i dont get influenced by money and loose my track and vision.
  • 2
    I'm from India, First year of engineering went to college with a lot of expectations that I'll learn Node and PHP and AWS and stuff. They fucking taught me basic C in an entire year. Like bro I learnt C in 2011, you are teaching me the same things 6 years late. Then I thought at least my classmates could understand. Only one of them except me knows even HTML, rest are fucking dumb. Lastly, I hoped at least the seniors would know their shit. Went to a Hackathon with three seniors and me as the fourth guy, and all they made in 24 whole hours was a ugly looking non-working login page whereas I made the entire website. There are lile only 10 people in my college who know the MEAN stack. I fucking hate this, and these are the people who'll be earning shit loads tomorrow not really making anything of their own. College is shit, I always think of dropping out too. I completely relate to you bro, wish things were better here. I guess this sums it up
  • 1
    I know right!, there a few of my friends from my university worth my efforts to encourage them so I tried a couple of times to introduce them to a few things but do they take any interest? No! I mean some of them even dream to make games, apps and what not? But little do they know basics of programming? No! They believe programming is just dragging and dropping stuff around the screen untill the computer gives birth to a software all by itself @nottoobright
  • 3
    @kabiir Lol, they'd make excellent Scratch programmers maybe. Even I introduced some people in my class to web development and motivated them to learn more, some started, and lost interest, why? Because they think academics is way more important than this shit. I'm like yeah, academics is gonna teach you how to be awesome at writing code on paper and how to submit unrelated assignments on time. Seriously, the quality of engineers we are producing is pathetic considering how huge in number they are.
  • 1
    I feel you, I took 1 year gap before going to university, still people...
    I know about every things u list up there. I self taught too. Vim is awesome (my everyday text editor). git is a must. Hence, I took about 1 year to setup my own likable desktop (which no need for mouse 99.999%(1% is for program that use better with mouse like image editor, game engine editor)) -> see my lovely desktop : https://github.com/CSaratakij/...
    and at the time a write this, still doing ludumdare 38 game jam (wish me luck ;)
  • 0
    Why do you need to know how to use vim?
  • 0
    @shaji Legacy reasons, mostly.
  • 0
    @mundo03 Which online degree did you pursue?
  • 0
    @nottoobright information technologies, it was not as tech related as I expected.. but it opens some doors because HR does not know that.

    The new curriculum is actually very good on the same University, I want to go and ask if I can do some credits again :p
  • 1
    Haven't entered university yet , but know cryptography, android development, networking, guess I don't need a degree but I need to socialise πŸ˜‚
  • 0
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  • 0
    "Haven't entered university yet , but know cryptography, android development, networking, guess I don't need a degree but I need to socialize"

    So are you considering getting higher education simply for socialization? Weird motivation as for me to spend lots of money!

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