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Discussion on: Why Not Having a CS Degree is Awesome

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remotesynth profile image
Brian Rinaldi

Nice post!

I agree with you that people with different education backgrounds can bring different perspectives. My degree (BA in history) definitely doesn't play an obvious role in my career as a developer (I was mostly self-taught outside of college - bootcamps weren't a thing back then). However, I do think it gave me a different perspective and helped me to bring some communication skills, particularly in writing, that aren't always common in development teams.

I can understand why companies may prefer a CS degree (though not why some require it). But I agree that they can lose a lot of skills and perspective if they shut themselves out from people with different educational backgrounds.

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z2lai profile image
z2lai

How did you end up getting interviews?

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remotesynth profile image
Brian Rinaldi • Edited on

Well, part of what I did is just be lucky. This was in the middle of the dotcom boom in the late 90s. There was a severe shortage of developers, so companies were desperate.

The other part, however, is something I think still applies today, which is that I built a significant project from scratch. It was a site that ended up with thousands of users (remember this is late-90s...that was more impressive back then). This was my main portfolio piece for interviews.

Luck isn't replicable, but I think the second part applies to bootcamp grads and self-learners. I talk to a lot of bootcamp grads through Orlando Devs and they all seem to come out with similar portfolios. Doing some kind of project that shows that you've integrated those skills you learned beyond the classroom setting can really help distinguish you among a group of applicants, many of which may be coming from your same bootcamp. For self learners, I'd say the need for multiple projects that can illustrate the skills you've learned are probably necessary.

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z2lai profile image
z2lai

Awesome advice man, I'm currently building the prototype for my first project which I've planned out the MVP and full product for. I'm hoping to display a wide range of skills with this one project before I start applying for jobs, but if that doesn't look impressive enough on my resume, I'll do another smaller frontend project. Your advice is super encouraging!