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Doug 06-28-2003 04:56 PM

Re: quickest way to a programming job
It's extremely difficult to find a development position with a college
degree right now. Very few employers are even going to interview someone off
the street who claims to have development skills without some sort of
confirmation. A degree in CS/EE/CE (that's computer engineering, not civil
or chemical) is one way of proving you have at least some modicum of
knowledge. Years of experience is another. A working prototype of some code
is a third, provided you can prove you and you alone wrote the code.

If you have neither development experience nor industry experience, I rate
your chances of finding a development position at slim to none. There are
too many experienced developers out there looking for work for someone
without experience snagging the gig.

Take your lumps, go to school. Then in 4 years the economy may be such that
you can find a gig.

As for "wasting the next 4-5 years", you get what you put into it. If you
resent having to spend time educating yourself, you will not do well in
school. Think of it as an investment in your future. You never know, you
might find a different line of work that you never heard of before you went
to school. You might find life-long friends or a contact who ends up helping
you get the perfect job. You might be so lucky as to find the person you end
up spending the rest of your life with.

I would examine why you want to "get a job programming ASAP". Is it because
you love to code? If so, you should already have contacts with other uber
geeks who love to code. Ask them who is hiring. Is it because you think
development is the next big step up from tech support and they get the big
bucks? Is money or status your motivation? Don't forget that in almost every
dev position you have those hours/days/weeks of intense pressure to finish
the code, debug the code, ship the code.

Development is one of the most intense and intellectually satisfying
experiences. If you enjoy mental challenges, you will love to develop.
There's that point at about 1am where you suddenly realize what is causing a
bug, fix a line or 12 of code, then let out a whoop. Unfortunately everyone
else left 4 hours earlier, so you have no one to explain your mental
breakthrough to. When you explain it to your spouse when you get home they
just give you that "That's nice honey, go to sleep" response.


"happyrav" <> wrote in message om...
> For those of you who work as programmers, what is your opinion of
> college education vs. self education? Does it come down to convincing
> an employer to hire you by showing him some programs you wrote?
> I want to get a job programming ASAP without wasting the next 4-5
> years of my life going to college.
> I learned enough about computers on my own to have been doing tech
> support for the last 4 years, sometimes making more money than my
> parents, with only a high school diploma. Am I just lucky, or can you
> still make it in the Industry with out a time consuming degree?

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