Linked by snydeq on Thu 15th Jul 2010 18:31 UTC
General Development Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister asks whether the need for advanced development expertise is on the decline in an era in which tools grow increasingly more advanced, and coding increasingly moves offshore. 'Few companies share Google's zeal for academic credentials when hiring new developers. Many are willing to accept self-taught programmers, particularly if they have other skills relevant to the business.'
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Damb
by matto1990 on Thu 15th Jul 2010 22:12 UTC
matto1990
Member since:
2009-04-18

Why couldn't you have posted this before I started my Computer Science degree in the UK?

Seriously though, even though I've only just finished my first year I feel like I've learnt so much more than I could have done on my own. For a start I've learnt some of the fundamental principles of programming languages, not just learning the language itself. It's helped me greatly in being able to adapt and learn any programming language that I have to.

I've learnt lots about the inner workings of a CPU, even going as far as designing one using Cadence and Verilog. We also had to do some assembly programming, and learn what happens when code is compiled (or converted to bytecode in the case of Java, which is the language they teach at first). Personally, I've found it helps me loads when I'm writing code now for things like Android apps, that I know roughly what is good, what isn't and why.

All this possible to learn on your own of cause but most people won't bother to learn this stuff, they will just go for the basics of the language. This is fine, however it's a bit like a surgeon learning how to perform an operation, but not why it's performed that way. It will work fine, until something goes wrong, when someone who has read out the subject will step in and help them (hence stackoverflow.com).

Personally I'm happy I've decided to do a CS degree, even if it might lean to me actually being more employable.

Has anyone thought that the fact there are so many bad software products around might be die to these hiring habits of companies?

Reply Score: 4

RE: Damb
by ndrw on Fri 16th Jul 2010 11:11 in reply to "Damb"
ndrw Member since:
2009-06-30

Having some (at least related) degree is currently a formal prerequisite for becoming "an engineer" (which is not entirely fair but that's the way it is at the moment). Without such qualifications door to many good places will close, the fact that is not compensated by door to "Zoho" or similar companies remaining open.

In this context formal qualifications can be a safeguard "protecting" you from doing something stupid with your career (like accepting a job well below your qualifications). The good thing about it is that you don't even have to bother doing the filtering yourself (which is not always an easy task to do, especially for a new person on market) - these lower grade jobs simply won't be offered to you. Some people say, that's a problem for engineers. In my opinion it's not, not for the person that consciously chose this career and then worked hard to gain the qualifications.

With or without qualifications your first job will probably start at junior level anyway, so qualifications are not a replacement for experience. What's different, though, is the scope of this and any subsequent job. On one hand, over time general work experience is making the qualifications less relevant, on the other - different work experience may actually make the split deeper.

Reply Parent Score: 1