Hi, I’m a new member here and looking for advice about how to get into the field of computer programming.
I have a bachelor’s degree in a completely unrelated field. However, I’m not totally new to the programming thing. About 15 years ago, I completed a certificate program where I learned things like HTML, cascading style sheets, Perl, Cold Fusion, and I even got Sun certified in Java. Not only are these skills seriously out of date, I didn’t even get to use them in my “Programmer Analyst” job I held at the time.
I left that job to try a lot of other interesting things, but I’ve circled back to programming because I feel it is the best fit for my natural aptitudes (logic, mathematics, ability to focus on a problem and develop a novel solution).
I’ve started working through the freeCodeCamp challenges and it looks very helpful. But I’m also looking into a more formal training program, specifically an associate’s degree in computer science with an emphasis on programming. It costs money, of course, but I’m wondering whether it might be worth it anyway. I know lots of people are completely self-taught, but I get the impression it takes a really long time to get a job that way.
Going back to school would be worth it if:
It would look better on a resume than a self-taught program, and
It would actually teach me something instead of just giving me a meaningless piece of paper.
If anyone here has any thoughts on this, I’d appreciate the advice. If a degree program is not the way to go, how about a certificate of some kind?