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    Lacking a bachelors degree effects your career in development in at least one significant way; limiting your salary and promotion potential. Outside “competent” tech companies, Big Dumb Corp (ie the rest of the Forturn 500) HR will always use lack of a BS degree (or only an Associates) as reason to offer less salary up front, and lower raises once you’re on staff, and deny promotion. It’s a check box incompetents use to because they can’t tell who actually contributes. Some of the best developers I’ve worked with have had no degrees, have been self taught. It’s not right, but what I’ve seen where ever I’ve worked.

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      Another unfortunate but real side effect is many people may be less than thrilled to “work under” you if they have degrees (i.e. self-taught engineer in charge of multiple PhDs).

      The only exception is if you are some god authority figure like Linus Torvalds where no one dares to challenge your expertise.

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        That’s a bias too. There is nothing to say that an engineer without a degree cannot do a good job managing a highly credentialed staff. As long as they have humility, know their limits, and are thinking about how to get the best out of someone it should be possible. Lots of research-based organisations don’t have this occurring a lot because the needs of the job (not the people management) require the PhD, but in the tech industry there are lots of PhDs being managed by less credentialed individuals.

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          I agree. The thing is it’s common enough that you will not be able to consistently escape it.

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        True, startups and most tech companies don’t care. Fortune 500, consultancies etc will be harder.

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          I think that is less of a problem outside of the US (And maybe the UK?). I not in those countries and have not been to university. I’m doing ok as a developer. I think you just need other ways to show your skills such as a website/blog/github/experience. Once you get your first job (It’s probably not going to be stellar) then all the companies after that will mainly be looking at your experience in the work force.

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          It’s good to see more people talking about skipping university/college as an option! A lot of people who I went to high school with went to college because it’s the next thing that they’re “supposed” to do, rather than thinking about costs/benefits and other options. So far, I’ve been pretty happy with my choice not to go, but I definitely had a lot of doubt at first, mostly because I wasn’t seeing anyone else pursue the same sort of path.

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            I’m another person who skipped college and went straight into industry after high school. Based on my experience, I recently wrote a post describing what approaches I found to work when looking for a job. I hope to help people who are uncertain about going to school like I was realize they do have other options.

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              i bet i’ll be shunned for this:

              shes really privileged:

              • “blessed” with self confidence
              • has enough money to travel. and i bet it wasn’t her money. sorry.
              • she has the funds to decide that she does a “boot camp” in the USA, despite university is tuition free for her in sweden (or selected EU countries which don’t have fees).

              edit: to clarify: she does deserve her success, but from my point of view she had it easier than many. most of the advice is common sense. i’m still not sure where to get the 4 hours for personal projects from if - as advised - i sleep enough. and being healthy at 19 is much more easy than being healthy if you are older.

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                she does deserve her success, but from my point of view she had it easier than many. most of the advice is common sense. i’m still not sure where to get the 4 hours for personal projects from if

                These all ring true even though I thought she was awesome. She’s attractive, confident, well-funded, and figured out how to work crowds by 16 IIRC article. Her results such as timing or number of recruiters calling her might in no way apply to the average person following her programming or career advice. However, she still had interesting things to say that they might learn from. Of the privileged people, she was also at least being helpful to others in one of her boastful moments. Plus, I give everyone digging into coding a little props for that, too, as a “Welcome to programming! You’re one of us!” sort of thing. :)

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                  This comment feels a little…something.

                  “blessed” with self confidence

                  Do we know this? Or has she simply figured out effective ways to put herself out there? There are plenty of highly productive people that battle mental disorders, in fact, their productivity may be a way to keep them at bay.

                  My point is to say we shouldn’t presume things by looking at a few attributes of a person’s life.

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                    Do we know this? Or has she simply figured out effective ways to put herself out there?

                    i guess “putting herself out there” took at least some confidence, more than many people have. maybe i could have picked my words more carefully.

                    There are plenty of highly productive people that battle mental disorders, in fact, their productivity may be a way to keep them at bay.

                    yes.

                    My point is to say we shouldn’t presume things by looking at a few attributes of a person’s life.

                    i wrote it because based on the article i got this feeling. for example:

                    I’ve always been very independent: I moved to another country by myself when I was 18, travelled a lot on my own during my teens, and have always been busy doing anything to improve my future. I’ve never felt pressured into doing stuff because society wanted me to, I’ve always done my own thing.

                    at last: why is it bad to say someone is self confident? i didn’t write egocentric ;) it’s a character trait that is usually viewed as a positive thing in our societies. one has it usually more easy if one is self confident.

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                      It isn’t bad to say someone is self-confident :)

                      My point was to not view these traits as immutable, or bestowed. I have little doubt this is a result of her working on said traits, rather than them being bestowed.

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                    Any advice you see posted online (or anywhere else for that matter) is only going to apply to some of those who read it, and it’s going to completely miss the point for many others. It’s nearly impossible to provide advice that’s useful to everyone who reads it. While it can be worthwhile to point out things like this that may have also played a role in her success, it doesn’t negate the other things.

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                      Most people on this forum had it better than 5/6ths of the world population. You’re really splitting hairs.

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                        i thought a discussion board is about splitting hairs? :)

                        Most people on this forum had it better than 5/6ths of the world population.

                        that’s just stating the obvious. the 1/6 part still has a large standard deviation.

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                          Sure, in a 7 billion population even the top percentile has a large spread of wealth. It’s always more fun to look up :)

                          What I was getting at is she is a first world girl without college education who started a technical career as a teen. Sure she didn’t have to walk to boot camp barefoot in the snow, but it’s uncommon enough in 2017 to be of notice.

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                      That young woman is absolutely amazing. She tops most if not all I went to school with just by doing it in a new country. So, lots of potential for starting a business and already coding a lot of web apps? Made an account on Medium just to tell her about Barnacles. We might see advice from her or a case study on there in future if we’re lucky.

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                        What’s Barnacles?

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                          She might like Lobste.rs too :)

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                            I thought about mentioning it but didnt want to seem like url spam or something. Ill tell her if she shows up on Barnacles maybe.

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                          It’s a risky move to skip uni. I’ve seen people succeed from all backgrounds though. No degree at all, masters in CS, physics, business and one great programmer i know actually did english literature. You just have to start learning and do it.

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                            I’m not surprised at all, I think Dijkstra said that literature & writing best predicts success in programming.

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                            Don’t worry, this won’t be one of the I wake up at 4AM every morning and go for a 20km run… -‘inspirational’ posts

                            Hey in the summer I wake up at six and go running 7km! (In the winter I still wake up at six but go skiing instead)

                            This resonates pretty strongly for me, I’m a bit older (25), I’m not a woman, I havent studied abroad and I generally dont stretch much (but I do use an exercise ball for a chair)

                            But i also issued uni (after trying it). I did an actual collegiate level adults program instead of a bootcamp. I think the important parts of was she said was a balanced / healthy work / life and continous learning.

                            The continuous learning wont shore up an actual degree for most companies and you might have trouble finding permanent employment, but I’ve found that people very rarely look at your education when yhey’re hiring you for a specific contract, so theres a lot of potential in contracting / consulting.

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                              “Hey in the summer I wake up at six and go running 7km! (In the winter I still wake up at six but go skiing instead)”

                              What a way to hit the ground running in the morning. You’re living up to your user name. :) I’m more a gradually get going guy. I might try your method sometime in the future just to see what effects it has.

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                                It took a while to get a habit going and it left soon after it started getting cold, but it was really worth it. Morning exercise is still the best treatment to adhd I’ve yet to find.

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                                But i also issued uni (after trying it).

                                Did you mean “eschewed?” I’m guessing so, but that confused me enough that I’m not positive. :)

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                                  Definitely haha

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                                  Somehow, I was able to program without Google and Stackoverflow for twenty years or so. And perhaps you went to a better college than I did, but the assembly taught there was minimal and we never did learn low-level network details and compiler writing was a graduate level course (and as an undergrad, I helped a few grads with their compilers for that class).

                                  In fact, I’ve learned more on my own than I ever did in college (Programming 101 for me was in Fortran).

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                                    As a person who switched into CS from Physics, I don’t feel like not having a formal grounding has been a huge problem. Most of that you can learn in books and essays. Looking back, the most helpful classes were in the humanities. That’s where I learned a lot of important soft skills:

                                    • Editing and proofreading things I wrote
                                    • Making (somewhat more) watertight arguments
                                    • Finding obscure or missing primary sources
                                    • Detecting bias, agendas, or holes in secondary sources
                                    • Identifying That Kids
                                    • Ruining discussions by appealing to Wittgenstein

                                    But, if one’s a js dev, one should have enough problems with the mataphysical concept of equality, to bother with actual equations /s.

                                    Don’t be rude. Knowing a harder language doesn’t make you smarter than a person who uses JavaScript. It just makes you a person who knows a harder language.

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                                      Don’t be rude. Knowing a harder language doesn’t make you smarter than a person who uses JavaScript. It just makes you a person who knows a harder language.

                                      It helps to know “harder” languages, as you gain understanding what happens at the lower levels (with C for example). It also helps with creative thinking if you know a broad spectrum of languages (and maybe some of the things about languages and compilation), as it exposes you to different ways of thought.

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                                        Oh, I definitely agree! Learning harder languages can stretch your mind and expand your skills. I was objecting to the idea that being s js dev means you’re not smart or don’t understand programming. You can’t just a person’s ability just by how many languages they know.

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                                          So should I learn Malboge? ;)

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                                            Learning Malbolge definitely counts as exposure, but I think it’s measured in Sievert.

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                                              the ternary number system sounds interesting enough ;)

                                              not that i’m in any position to give advice:

                                              • knowing a bit C has helped me
                                              • (ba)sh, together with other classic tools is sometimes exactly the right tool.
                                              • a general purpose scripting language. i like python for this.
                                              • any modern compiled language like go or rust. i still have to give rust a look.
                                              • something functional is always nice for the different approach to problems. i never used one for anything of relevance, but worked through a few tutorials.

                                              related: https://pragprog.com/book/btlang/seven-languages-in-seven-weeks

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                                        I’m curious about how prospective employers outside the web-frontend/app development would evaluate someone with her skillset and experience. First let me add the disclaimer that I am a researcher and have never had or hired for a “traditional” programming job.

                                        My hypothesis is that candidates with Computer Science (or equivalent) degrees from reputable universities can be expected to have some “stock” skills: basic to moderate programming skills, knowledge of data structures and algorithms, some systems programming experience, and perhaps some more specialized knowledge in webdev or graphics or compilers or machine learning etc. depending on what higher level courses they took. As a potential employer, I can be fairly confident that such a candidate could pick up whatever the current hip technology is in a couple weeks and work on a variety of projects across my system. With the proper initial training and guidance, such a candidate could work on a front-end app, or a back-end server, or maybe even on mission critical parts of my distributed system (under the guidance of a senior engineer), depending on how good they are and what prior experience they have.

                                        By contrast, for someone like the author, unless my project is specifically involving JavaScript, Angular, ReactJS, I wouldn’t be comfortable hiring them, or I would have to put in lots of time and money into training them. The university degree experience has done a lot of training and evaluation of a potential employee than a bootcamp, or that I can easily learn from a GitHub resume.

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                                          There’s no reason that people can’t be self-taught at systems/data structures/algorithms topics, and while the author might not have that experience, I think that there are many people without degrees that do. That being said, showing that off in a résumé screen or interview is probably more important for candidates without CS degrees.

                                          I can be fairly confident that such a candidate could pick up whatever the current hip technology is in a couple weeks and work on a variety of projects across my system.

                                          I think people often underestimate the depth of knowledge that’s possible in things like this. React is extremely complicated, and while I’m sure I could throw together a webapp using it in a day or so, knowing all of the tools/patterns/idioms available, and knowing how to effectively debug and diagnose problems is a skill that I think would take a lot longer to learn. I’ve definitely made statements along these lines before towards webapp development/react/etc, but the fact is, frameworks are skills just like any other, and there’s no reason to expect that you can learn all of a large/complicated framework in a couple weeks.