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Discussion on: There's More Than One Way to Become a Developer

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Rose

Interesting post and interesting responses. Having been at the same company for many years and not been involved in the job hunt scene for quite some time, I often wonder what it's like out there and just how much these things matter.

My own route was a mix: Self taught as a teenager and that naturally transitioned into college once I started post-secondary. However, I only did a 2 year diploma program, not a 4 year degree, something that I sometimes regret on a level of "It would be nice to have a little more education/and also be nice to be able to say I have a degree" however it hasn't held me back career-wise at all so far (knock on wood!) I did get some of that knowledge breadth in college but I can't help but wonder how much MORE breadth I might have if I had done a few more years.

That said, everyone in my program at college seemed to wash out and end up moving on to a non-dev career unless they were also self-taught to some degree. I don't feel like college was the place to actually learn how to become a practical developer, it was more a place to teach theory, history, best practices, and nurture people who were already doing a lot of this stuff on their own time. It feels like this is an industry that you need to either do a lot of learning on your own time, or else have some kind of apprenticeship or articling approach, in which you take courses but are also required to learn on the job with mentors, maybe similar to how the CPA program works.

I have worked with some really sharp devs in the past who had no formal education and left me totally in awe of how talented they are, so there's definitely many ways to excel in this industry, which is pretty special. It feels like so many industries have hard requirements in terms of education so it's great to work in a field where there IS that flexibility.