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Discussion on: I'm An Impostor

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panditapan profile image
Pandita

aaaah you pretty much explained how I feel about being an imposter! the only difference is that I do have a degree in computer engineering but honestly? I was a little more worried in getting a boyfriend (whyyyy????) than really paying attention to class so, while I studied, passed tests, earned scholarships and even an honorable mention in my thesis... I don't remember most of the theoretical concepts I studied hahaha I'm always looking things up because I have a bad memory for these things! XD so yeah, even us with degrees have to be a bit of an impostor sometimes!

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bytebodger profile image
Adam Nathaniel Davis Author

I have friend who decided, years after he was already an established programmer, that he should get his CS degree. And he did. And he's always told me that it was a complete waste of time and money. I think it's one of the few things he's done in his career that he'd truly take back if he could.

Not that there's anything wrong with a CS degree, of course. (Or any other degree, for that matter.) But he got absolutely no value from it. And it cost him a great deal in time-&-money.

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panditapan profile image
Pandita

aaah well I think it's because he was already an established programmer! I sorta realized mid-way through my studies that what they were doing (at least in my uni) was training my mind to solve problems in an "engineering" sorta way? I can't really explain it! It's like they already have the framework to help you get there, though I think symbolic logic is the main class that helped me understand programming in the end xD

But, if you already know how to solve problems because you're self taught, then you're not going to get value from the classes itself! you might get a bit from the connections and networking but still, you can do that much easily now with social media, conferences and such.

I did have friends in uni who did the same as your friend and honestly, they too where like "I know this already aaagh" but they found value on Fridays when the class would go out and drink hahahaha

There's also that this was in a Venezuelan university that was very acce$$ible at the time. I think I paid very little for my degree compared to other universities, I got a scholarship for 80% or a bit less on my last three semesters (if you were the top student of the semester the next one is free! met a girl who only paid for her first semester only, afterwards all free) so for these friends, they didn't really see it as a money investment, rather an investment that helped open up opportunities for them in the market since Venezuela value degrees a lot. I think that nowadays the uni is a lot more expensive due to situations.

But yeah, I don't regret getting my degree because it helped me be the programmer I currently am, but I also understand that it's not life changing for those who are already established programmers, unless you studied in a very prestigious university (not my case) :3

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darkwiiplayer profile image
DarkWiiPlayer

I "wasted" three years of my life at university without getting a degree. I'm still disappointed that I could count on one hand the useful things I learned from university, yet figured out countless things on my own that have ended up being much more useful. During those years I learned to use Git, to set up a linux server, a whole lot of programming concepts, how the internet works (I'm basicalle "the CSS guy" at my company now, whenever some web-related task comes up every few months), and the list goes on and on and on. All of this from home and on my own.

Every now and then I wonder if I should get a proper degree just to have that piece of paper that says "This guy's cool", but every time I quickly conclude that, even though to others a degree might lend me more credibility, to me it would be worth its weight in toilet paper.

I wouldn't discourage anybody from getting a degree if that's what they want to do, but I just refuse to treat anybody who has one as inherently more competent.