To get a CS degree or not?

Following on from my last post I am going to give you my take on getting a CS degree or not.. yes yes I know, its one of those topics that people just love talking about, and yes I have one myself.

So should you get one?

Well this may sound like a cop-out but in my mind this question can only have a worthy answer if we were all equal in our abilities, our interests and our values, but we aren’t.. We are all different, we like different things, we work in different ways and I truly believe there is no right or wrong answer here.

Some points from my perspective:

Cons

  • Degrees are painful when your primary motivation is money.
  • They can be extremely challenging
  • They can also leave you in debt (although they don’t necessarily have to)
  • You need discipline and self-motivation .. i’m not sure this is a con.. well it is if you are not disciplined nor self-motivated

Pros

  • They do add value in some cases when looking for a job, but don’t get me wrong, I ain’t saying you absolutely have to have one, in fact you can do fine without one.
  • Provided you are interested, you will learn a lot.. don’t blame the lecturers, don’t blame the books.. where there is a will there is a way.
  • Uni isn’t just about studying, its about the lifestyle, the experience.. but that’s a topic for another day
  • Getting a degree gives a great sense of self-achievement.

My 2 cents worth

  • Don’t get a CS degree for the money, it’ll cost you more than you think (i’m not talking just about money) and you ain’t guaranteed a job
  • If you are truly interested in the science then go for it
  • Although I would advise against taking out loans, if that’s the only way then go for it. Pursue your dream, your passion will pay dividends.
  • Don’t fool yourself into thinking 10 buck online courses are your saviour, they aren’t..

Nope i’m not done yet.. I think I have one last comment that is bound to piss some people off..

You do not need a degree to become a successful programmer, and don’t believe anyone who says otherwise.

You are the single largest obstacle in your way.. overcome that and you will realise that you can achieve anything you set your mind to.. with or without a degree.

Photo by Cole Keister

The Journey Begins

I am 21 years old, I have arrived back in South Africa for the second time. Greece was amazing, but I have this feeling of emptiness inside. I can feel I am going to miss a lot of people and places.. again.

A couple weeks later I land a job in a hotel as a night auditor, its not as fancy as it sounds, the hardest part of the job is staying awake. After my first couple of shifts it dawns on me, I am going nowhere slowly.

I have abandoned my studies in Greece, am living in someone else’s house, have no friends, have no clue as to what the future holds for me and I don’t have a cent to my name.

Life seems grim, however I think this is a critical moment. A moment I can use to free myself and take the opportunity to start from scratch. Free myself from what you ask.. well .. from myself of course.

I am searching online for days, reading up on different courses, degrees, careers you name it.. and then it hits me.. Programming!!!

Now this sounds cool. Oh and FYI, I have no idea what i’m in for.

Photo by Claire Brear