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

xngwng profile image
Xing Wang

This may sounds a little controversial, since I worked at big companies and small startups:

For big tech companies that everyone wants get into:

  • If you have a degree from a top Computer Science college, you'll most likely move to the front of the line for job interviews (or even get pampered internships from top schools before you even graduate.) These big companies have dedicated on campus recruiting teams at these big colleges that throw parties, host events "free pizza", identify you probably as soon as you chose your major, collect data on you and recruit you. That is why Google and Facebook engineers are dominated engineers from top colleges.

  • Nowadays, at big companies, they will hire bootcamp graduates, but they will be on a different career track almost immediately. Some big companies have "apprentice" programs. But the expectations will be very different.

  • Self taught, usually you have some project or open source project that have some traction, then you would stand out to big companies. It is only ver recently many of the big companies removed college degree as a requirement.

For smaller companies:

  • Then it matters less, it is more about abilities & experience, since smaller companies usually need you to be productive immediately.

Although any one can be a developer if you can develop a product!!! Practice and practice.

remotesynth profile image
Brian Rinaldi Author

My experiences and observations generally align with your. Most big companies, even if they've removed the requirement for a CS degree, still heavily favor them. In my own career, I've encountered positions that I could not be considered for even though I have a degree, just because my major was not computer science.

I think this is where your motivation really matters. If your goal is to work at a major company as a developer, then the safest path is probably still the CS degree. That being said, I know plenty of people who did make it into major companies (myself included, having worked for Adobe) despite the lack of a CS degree, but this required years work and experience that compensated for the lack of a CS degree.