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LocoDelAssembly
Your code has a bug


Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 4633
Location: Argentina
LocoDelAssembly
This is my situation, I'm somewhat old already and I'm still need about two years more to get a degree. Do you think it worth yet? Will my life be much harder without a degree? Suggestions of what to do apart of killing myself because of being less than average, something that I was never expecting to happen even nearly, is also welcomed.

Thanks
Post 29 Aug 2008, 22:38
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sleepsleep



Joined: 05 Oct 2006
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sleepsleep
of course worth it Smile don't forget to enjoy the process Smile
age is not a problem if that is what you concern.
Post 29 Aug 2008, 22:49
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revolution
When all else fails, read the source


Joined: 24 Aug 2004
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revolution
Experience is golden. Degrees are only needed if you have no experience.

Basically, to get experience, become involved in a project (or starting one would be better if you can) and bring it to completion. This gives you something to show to any potential employer, and you also might find that you can do your own thing (your own company) so degrees and things would then become meaningless.
Post 29 Aug 2008, 22:51
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Zero



Joined: 02 Aug 2008
Posts: 16
Zero
Why do you need a degree? You already know more than 99% of the computer science students i've met at universities. The truth is you have the kind of knowledge that isn't taught in schools, but that comes with experience.

The only thing you'll gain from a university is a superficial knowledge of computer science, they'll feed you a little bit about this topic, and a little bit about another topic. And at the end, when you graduate, they'll tell you how marvelous and great you are and pat you on the back.

But the only thing that will be great is your college debt. Your experience is mor valuable.
Post 29 Aug 2008, 22:59
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drhowarddrfine



Joined: 10 Jul 2007
Posts: 535
drhowarddrfine
A well known university in my town, as its head of the EE department, a famous electronic engineer. I wish I could remember his name because most here would know it. He didn't have a degree.

I remember sitting in on an interview with a guy who we all thought really knew his stuff, both from quizzing him and his background. At the end of the interview, I'll never forget listening to my boss tell the guy, "You really know your stuff, it's just too bad you don't have your degree." He wasn't hired.

I was floored! What kind of foolish thinking was this? And that's when I first became convinced that, in this field, being able to flash that piece of paper lets you into that inner circle where you are no longer questioned as much about your abilities. Having the degree opens many doors otherwise closed despite any reasoning or logic.

That is the only reason I made sure my boys are getting degrees in something....anything of interest....because a degree in botany will land you a job, for sure, in internet programming long before 5 years experience only in creating web pages in C and Python using Unix and Apache servers for paying customers.
Post 30 Aug 2008, 03:18
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revolution
When all else fails, read the source


Joined: 24 Aug 2004
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Location: In your JS exploiting you and your system
revolution
drhowarddrfine: It would seem your boss was a snob, and fortunately those type of people are a minority. Turning away good people is never a good thing to do. Whenever I conduct interviews I never look at the qualifications of the applicants. I always ask what they like to do in their spare time and what interests they have. I look for honesty, any bullshitters are quickly shown the door. So far all my staff have been great at their jobs and I still don't know what qualifications they have (and I don't care either).
Post 30 Aug 2008, 03:30
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sleepsleep



Joined: 05 Oct 2006
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sleepsleep
the argument i heard is :

if he is so smart, getting a degree shouldn't be a hard task, it should be easy.

another counter argument is:
because he/she is smart, thats why he/she doesn't waste his time to get the damn paper degree instead of real experience.

for me, i think who cares, just do what we enjoy and happy.
if getting a degree could make you felt worse. then skip it.
if you felt like wanna enjoy back the study times, then go ahead.
Post 30 Aug 2008, 04:05
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LocoDelAssembly
Your code has a bug


Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 4633
Location: Argentina
LocoDelAssembly
Unfortunately, what drhowarddrfine says in my case is somewhat true, due to changes in legislation on my province (Buenos Aires). I have to be matriculated (because politicians likes to suck our money from everywhere), in order to work* and the matriculation requires a degree (I'm unsure if "degrees" like CCNA are accepted but for sure I won't be allowed to program with it...). I can opt to move to another place to workaround this situation or work in the capital city (also named Buenos Aires), where the provincial legislation doesn't apply and, so far, matriculation is not required.

I forgot to mention, I'm turning 25 in two months and I'm in the university since 2002, do you think that even if by miracle I get the degree it would be a white spot in my curriculum vitae and not a black one?

I wish I have abandoned the career in 2004 when I was almost fully convinced that I would never be good at this...

Thanks for the replies


*Employers can employ undergraduates by means of a kind of grant (that requires you attend to a university and with some level of progress each year), but of course the salary is only good if you can live in your parents' house forever...

[edit]Just as a curiosity, the university I attend to is public and FREE, if it was paid I think that I would have taken the decision of leaving it long time ago Razz[/edit]
Post 30 Aug 2008, 04:30
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revolution
When all else fails, read the source


Joined: 24 Aug 2004
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revolution
LocoDelAssembly wrote:
... due to changes in legislation on my province (Buenos Aires). I have to be matriculated ... in order to work and the matriculation requires a degree
WTF?! What sort of silly legislation is that? What business is it of the government to say who employers can (and cannot) hire? Sounds like you might have been given bad information there, I think you should check it out more thoroughly.

edit: Oh, unless of course you wanted to work for the government, then that could be true I guess, but still ... what are they thinking?
Post 30 Aug 2008, 04:35
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LocoDelAssembly
Your code has a bug


Joined: 06 May 2005
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Location: Argentina
LocoDelAssembly
No revolution, it is as I've said it. Take as an analogy the case of a building company hiring undergraduates in architecture, that would be illegal, you need a graduated architect for the blue print signing. The same applies here. It is not set in practice yet though, the organism that must control this is very new and with not enough power to get worried about but in the long term I could have trouble (as freelancer, my employer and perhaps myself too if I'm employed).

I'm unsure about how strict this is, perhaps the employer can employ a bunch of people with no degree and one with degree and using the latter as the responsible of the project (like the case of the grants but with relaxed requirements). I suppose that this could be the case but I'm afraid the sad true is that the correct analogy is the case of hiring medics on a hospital without a degree, that is clearly illegal.

Due to how bad the public administration is here maybe I'll never have to worry about this, only about how competitive I am upon others.

And about what are they thinking believe me, much more ridiculous things happen here.
Post 30 Aug 2008, 05:08
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revolution
When all else fails, read the source


Joined: 24 Aug 2004
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revolution
For things that involve public safety/health then suitably qualified[1] people will always be required. But surely most companies will not have such public projects? Unless you have chosen a field that is inherently public related, like medicine or building inspection?

[1] Here the qualification would be both formal training and accredited experience.
Post 30 Aug 2008, 05:17
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LocoDelAssembly
Your code has a bug


Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 4633
Location: Argentina
LocoDelAssembly
I'll try to find a transcript of the 13,016 law and tell you if I found what I've said explicitly, but for what I've read so far (at the time when this started and now) it is as I've said... While I was googling I found out that one of my teachers had something to do with this law (somewhat implicitly on a mail of him sent to a public mailing list). I'm not surprised but since I'm unsure if I'm allowed to comment how I knew it then I won't comment anything. Additionally when searched it also made me remind that all this was in 2003 (with lots of opposition noise), however due to the huge silence I see about it so far, this still looks like a law that no one is controlling if it is being applied or not.
Post 30 Aug 2008, 06:02
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Zero



Joined: 02 Aug 2008
Posts: 16
Zero
Loco, the best solution, if you can somehow manage it is to come to the United States. It's not a perfect country, but I think it's still the best one in the world. There are a lot of opportunities, which is why so many foreigners come here to fill the engineering positions. And like I said, from what I can tell, you have more c.s. knowledge than most. If you ever feel like your life needs a change, you might consider such a move.
Post 30 Aug 2008, 06:09
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Alphonso



Joined: 16 Jan 2007
Posts: 294
Alphonso
Loco wrote:
I'm somewhat old already
What does that mean, 23? Rolling Eyes

Having a degree will probably open up more doors (opportunity) for you which is normally a good thing. Seems like you've already put some effort in towards obtaining it and now fed up with studying / waiting.

If a lot of the better (higher paid) jobs are avertised as "degree required", then without that bit of paper, an application probably wouldn't make the shortlist.

That's from my prospective, a person who does not have a degree.

What if you stopped studying for a year or so, could you go back to studying for your degree?

Whatever you decide, I hope it works out for the best.
Post 30 Aug 2008, 07:13
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vid
Verbosity in development


Joined: 05 Sep 2003
Posts: 7105
Location: Slovakia
vid
If you already have invested years into study, I think it would be better to complete it. Especially under circumstances you mentioned.

My personal experience is that if you are good enough, and know something very wanted (like C and Asm system programming), you can do fine without University, but you may have to move.

But it is a risky business, and the university degree can give you more solid foundation and reduce risk.
Post 30 Aug 2008, 08:04
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f0dder



Joined: 19 Feb 2004
Posts: 3170
Location: Denmark
f0dder
Also, keep in mind that while some computer educations might not teach you a lot you didn't already know, you should benefit from the learning process itself, as well as (hopefully) improving your teamworking skills... that can be quite valuable.
Post 30 Aug 2008, 17:18
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tom tobias



Joined: 09 Sep 2003
Posts: 1320
Location: usa
tom tobias
"Can you write a grant proposal, to submit to the NSA?"
No?
"Can you issue a 25 page white paper outlining the cost benefits associated with manufacturing blue laser based switching circuits?"
Oh, No...?? again..?? hmm.
"Can you outline the protocol exchange conventions of networked robots in an automobile assembly plant?"
Ah, No, I see.
"Are you able to guide ten other engineers on an R&D team struggling to meet a deadline for a new cpu design?"
No? Hmm. Still no?...
"Well, then, do you have a Degree?"
Oh you do--terrific ok, that's good enough, you are hired.
Post 31 Aug 2008, 02:53
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revolution
When all else fails, read the source


Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 17287
Location: In your JS exploiting you and your system
revolution
tom tobias wrote:
"Can you write a grant proposal, to submit to the NSA?"
No.
tom tobias wrote:
No?
"Can you issue a 25 page white paper outlining the cost benefits associated with manufacturing blue laser based switching circuits?"
No.
tom tobias wrote:
Oh, No...?? again..?? hmm.
"Can you outline the protocol exchange conventions of networked robots in an automobile assembly plant?"
No.
tom tobias wrote:
Ah, No, I see.
"Are you able to guide ten other engineers on an R&D team struggling to meet a deadline for a new cpu design?"
No.
tom tobias wrote:
No? Hmm. Still no?...
"Well, then, do you have a Degree?"
Yes, is Doctor of Divinity suitable?
tom tobias wrote:
Oh you do--terrific ok, that's good enough, you are hired.
BTW: What is the job I just got? Because my parole officer needs to put it on my official records. And thanks, the magic fairies will be pleased to hear the news.
Post 31 Aug 2008, 03:14
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tom tobias



Joined: 09 Sep 2003
Posts: 1320
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tom tobias
Well, one of my friends has a Bachelor's degree in Divinity. He is a fellow atheist, and basketball player, and concert pianist, and amateur programmer.
His character is what is important. The diploma is simply a plastic ID badge, something that allows him to pass through the turnstiles at the HR (human resources) department of the large firms which employ folks, like Loco. I am not saying that a course in writing a compiler wouldn't be of greater utility to such an applicant, than a course in biblical criticism, but both endeavors require reading, writing, and thinking skills. If the applicant with exposure to divinity training had mastered a foreign language, while engaged in his/her studies, whereas the applicant from a background in electrical engineering had NOT studied a foreign language, I would be inclined to employ the divinity school graduate.
Remember the famous Chinese proverb,
popularized by Deng Xiao Ping, who wrote:
Buguan bai mao, hei mao, lizhu laoshu jiu shi hao mao
It doesn't matter if a cat is black or white, so long as it catches mice:
Post 31 Aug 2008, 19:20
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drhowarddrfine



Joined: 10 Jul 2007
Posts: 535
drhowarddrfine
All that said, if you know little to nothing about the subject, a degree is the right way to go to gain knowledge and at least some experience if you don't or can't take the time to learn on your own.
Post 31 Aug 2008, 19:27
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