So I am currently living in Germany(Bavaria) and I am looking to get into the web developer scene. But I don’t have any kind of degree and so far I’ve been working in the service industry mainly as a bartender. So my question boils down to this: Should i go to college and get a degree? Are there any coding bootcamps as a better and faster alternative? And general advice that would help me form a plan for my future. All is appreciated
Tell us a little bit more about you, especially about our age and education at the moment
Not much to tell. I am 22 with a high school diploma in economics, and I am teaching myself coding in my spare time in the last 3 weeks.
oh my, same here! I am 20 years old with a high school diploma in economics, and just started self learnning coding 3 weeks now!!!
edit: and from germany too!!
So what are your thoughts on the matter? Do you consider college or a bootcamp?
To give some background, I’m from Portugal and started 7 years ago at 20 years old after dropping from university (economic reasons, for the most part, so don’t decide based on this ), I have a high school diploma in IT (don’t worry also by not having one )
My first job was gotten with a recommendation from a professor and on the second one, they based themselves a bit on the first experience and the projects I’ve built while unemployed looking for the second place to work at.
I’ve been involved in the interview process in the past two companies and here is a list of what ends up sticking in the interviewer’s mind for first job candidates especially:
- Someone who gets the job done without having to be held by the hand all the time
- Build projects, even if things you think are tiny and nobody will care, a tick-tac-toe built and functional is way more worth it than saying “I’ve built nothing, I’m looking for the experience” in an interview
- Build a portfolio that lists those projects (is one of the projects here in freeCodeCamp and I’ve been seeing great stuff)
- These people tend to search by themselves first and only after trying to fix a problem themselves for a while do they ask questions, they don’t want the solution, they want to learn how to solve the problems
- They know where they’re sending the curriculum to
- Know the company where you’re sending the CV don’t just shoot everywhere waiting for it to stick, investigate what the company does, show that you took some time to learn about it
- Ask questions about the company, after all, you’re also interviewing us since they will be spending a third of their days there
- Build something related to the company as an extra to the formal curriculum
- In the case, the interviewee doesn’t know something they have the initiative to go learn it and share their newly acquired knowledge
- We had people coming to interviews for multiple years when open vacancies where available that failed the same questions every time, avoid that, especially in smaller companies or branch of a company where you’re more likely to be remembered
Your background is taken into account, especially in the initial HR filtering but, the places I’ve been always had a directive “If the candidate has a Github (or similar) with complete projects then let him/her come to the interview” so as far as we were worried, you’re a cool person that actively learns and shows that by applying the knowledge in projects well…welcome to the team. I’ve worked with great people that had no experience previous to that job and with diverse backgrounds like bartenders and chemists.
I didn’t reply to the initial question directly because I feel that I can’t tell you which path to choose. I can oversimplify and tell you that I see that a boot camp gives you specific practical knowledge in technology (or stack of technologies) ends up being a “learn by doing” and college gives you the foundations of computer science field so you can select after which field you would like to specialize. Both end up acting like my professor, aka, a recommendation for your first job.
I do hope that the knowledge of how a selection is made, based on my experience, can make it easier for you to choose what best suits you. Regardless of the choice keep learning and building something
A book that I often recommend to people who want to build a career without formal education is The Education of Millionaires by Michael Ellsberg. It talks about how to learn the necessary skills to be successful that no curriculum teaches you like marketing yourself, sales, self-education, networking, etc.
Even if you decide to go to college in the end, this book teaches you how to approach your career with an entrepreneurial mindset instead of an employee mindset. Highly recommended!
Btw, this is coming from a fellow German who, after finishing university at 27, decided to do something completely different with his life and is now successfully doing internet marketing remotely and freelance.
I’ve nearly finished a Bachelor’s degree in Australia in an unrelated field (Mathematics), I’ve done a couple of computer science classes as electives. This is just my experience, at a single university, but I found it extremely underwhelming. The most beneficial thing about university imo is that you can surround yourself with other people with similar interests. As far as the classes go, they aren’t worth much more than a Udemy class, in many cases they are worth less, but they cost orders of magnitude more.
Thanks for the advice, and I will make it a priority to read the book. I was just wondering because around 90% of the job postings for web developers be it front end, back end or both required a bachelors degree in cs or related field.