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I got a Bachelor of IT at 18, ask me anything!

turnerj profile image James Turner twitter logo github logo ・1 min read  

I was finishing up my Bachelor of Information Technology back in 2011 at the age of 18. While a lot may have changed in the last 7 years and opportunities vary by country (my degree was in Australia), I hope that I can provide insight and encouragement to those starting their journey through Uni, deciding whether it is the path they want or just provide interesting tidbits to others.

Ask me anything!

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I saw your github before... but since you opened the ama I can ask :D

Why didn't you collaborate on this ?
github.com/crhairr/EntityFramework...

Or maybe work together on your repo... the author is looking for help, and yeah he managed to deal with the navigation in the same amount of time you spend I guess :D

 

That's a fair question and the answer is actually pretty simple, when I started MongoFramework that didn't actually exist.

I don't have the exact date when I started MongoFramework but according to the side project that I spun MongoFramework off of, I can trace it back to the beginning of when I was tracking it in Git (July 2016). MongoFramework then hit Github in January 2017.

The repo you've linked to has its origins dating back to March 2017.

In my article about MongoFramework the other day, I actually did a little research into what the state is of alternatives and actually found that same repo.

I might look into contributing to that repository where I can though in the mean time, I will be supporting MongoFramework unless it becomes a bigger burden of itself.

Part of the reason for that is my side project depends on MongoFramework and while I could change it, I don't want to change it for the sake of it currently.

 

Sure... any OSS (libraries) starts by solving a problem in an internal project, then it gets into a public repo!

What I really would hope to is using this library when it's mature, not just for mongo, but for any documentdb (as dynamodb / firebase) within the EFCore interface, that's why I would love to see you both of you working on it together :)

 

I started my bachelors in 2013 but had to freeze in the 3rd year due to some financials issues and started a regular full-time job.

A year and half later, I continued again but since then, I haven't been able to catch up to the speed that I used to have before.

Right now, I have a full time job, a part-time job as well and I am working on a personal project too!

Being this busy, I obviously can't concentrate on my studies well, so the degree is lagging way too much and I am worried about it.

I know, as much as the skills matter in IT industry, the degree has it's own worth. I want the degree and I want to study further, but without a regular job (and a part-time these days - expenses 🙄) I am unable to do it at all!

Can you guide me what would be the best thing for me to do right now?

 

The best advice really depends what your goals. Do you want work for a specific company or starting your own business? Is your personal project something you want to grow into something bigger? Planning on launching it publicly?

You are right about degrees having its own worth. There are plenty of places that still need to see that you have a degree. Whether that is right or wrong is its own discussion.

What I would do is work backwards from your goal to identify the best way to get there. If it is working at a specific company, what types of requirements and experience are they looking for? Does your degree cover those aspects?

If your goal is primarily around running your own business, does your degree help you get there? Answering that can be a little abstract too - perhaps your business needs to do seed funding and they may value that you have completed a degree.

Without looking at what your goals are, I would probably look at time already spent and diminishing returns. If you only need another 6-12 months of study, I'd personally go for it as you've already invested 3+ years of your time. If you need longer than that, you then need to weigh up how much that degree is worth versus your continued time.

Now not thinking about how others perceive a degree, what more do you feel you can get out of the degree? Do you feel that continued study is worth the additional time?

On the other side, you do need to think about yourself personally too. Getting a degree might be great but you don't want to burn yourself out working multiple jobs to do it.

Another option could be to delay the degree a bit longer if possible. Keep working like you are to resolve your financial difficulties and keep working on your project. Once you are in a place where things are more stable, you could potential look at picking up the degree again.

Hopefully that helps!

 

Yes. It absolutely does 😍

About my goals, I do dream, like many of the other developers, of working at a big tech firm and learning how things work on a large scale. But that's not much of a goal here.

The real goal is to start something of my own. The Personal Project is definitely something that I am expecting to be the first step towards my goal.

About whether the degree would help me reach my goal or not, it will be helpful definitely, but I am not sure how much! The thing you said about raising seed funding is correct also, so degree would definitely help with that. But I am intending on studying further. I believe education doesn't just get you a job, but also makes you a better person (not sure how a degree in IT would do that but... )

When I freeze my studies two years ago, that was the plan, to resolve the financials difficulties and then start again! But that never worked out.
Not that I am still on the same salary package or still facing the financials difficulties. It's just now I have a lot of my personal expenses (most of them are unnecessary).

What I am planning on doing is that I should resign from the full time job as it is in the day time and I can't go to University if I keep that one and continue the part time one. That would help with the expenses and I'll be able to keep my concentration on the degree as well!

 
 

Primarily it was software development. We were doing Java, C++ and C# in a variety of different classes. We had a class for Data Structures, a class for User Interfaces, a class for Operating Systems and even a class for Artificial Intelligence (though that was an elective).

One funny thing about what my degree composed of specifically is that I was able to pick an elective unrelated to software development (though the powers that be weren't happy about that). I picked "Progressive Rock" which I found far more enjoyable.

If I had to be picky though, I wish the degree was named "Software Development" rather than "Information Technology" as it doesn't really capture what I studied.

 

How did you decide on a major at the age of 14? Super impressed since I was pretty much undecided forever.

 

My degree began when I was 15 (a 3 year degree). That being said, I've known what I wanted to do from a really young age.

In kindergarten, I first saw a computer and was fascinated by it and how it worked. We didn't have a computer at home (and didn't for many years later) but I knew my future needed to involve computers.

Around Year 5/6, I first learnt a little HTML. At that point, I was already pulling apart computers etc but I knew I wanted to do programming.

I know I'm pretty fortunate to have such strong idea of what I wanted to do. I knew a number of people that started one degree to only change part way through. I feel like what might be the problem is that there is so much emphasis on how important the decision is which kinda clouds what we are passionate about.

 

Heh, I picked mine at the last minute by flipping through a book.

 

What secondary programming language you will choose to work in the future?

 

That is a bit of a difficult question to answer as it changes a bit with different context. The language I enjoy working with the most is C# so that would be my primary but in terms of secondary, I'm not sure.

If we're talking server-side, I kinda would like to be good at C++.

If we're talking client-side, while not strictly client-side, I'd like to learn TypeScript.

Where I work, while I'm the Lead .Net Developer, I deal a lot with PHP too. That however is a language I'd rather not deal as much in anymore.

Does that kinda answer your question?

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Director - Innovator of Things - Co-Author of Your First Year In Code