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Study seriously CS is important to become a good software engineer

Viết bởi: Evan Miller on Quora, 16 08 2022

Self-taught programming is important and fun, but learn the basics of CS at undergraduate, which may take 1000 hours, is crucial to be a good engineer. What EVERY software engineer should do is….

GO TO SCHOOL. For computer science. I didn’t listen to my friends who were already studying CS at a time that said “Ivan, you’re clearly into this stuff. Why don’t you switch out of business and into CS?” Truth is, I just wanted to have fun in college. I didn’t want to do real work.

Somehow I picked up coding anyway, despite majoring in business. I started with SQL and PHP (rofl). I realized pretty quickly that i was really really interested in code. I started hacking together projects in my free time and bombarding my CS friends with questions.

Fast forward another few years and I’m working a software engineering job at a startup. Not sure how I landed it, because i didn’t know jack, but i did. I thought I was hot shit. “self taught engineer with a 6 figure job at 23”. It’s honestly comical how wrong I was.

People say you can become a software engineer without a degree..and honestly, those people have no clue what they’re talking about. Take it from a guy who wishes he studied CS in school. Sure you can get a job with the title “software engineer”…but you won’t be one. You won’t be any good, that’s for sure. You might know how to write code in the latest framework/library…but you won’t be able to fathom how to write THAT framework.

Without the degree, you’ll have to put in some SERIOUS work to match the knowledge of your CS peers. There are no shortcuts, you’ll HAVE to study CS. there are a lot of great resources out there for self-study, but don’t be fooled—you’ll probably have to put in 500–1000 hours to get to an undergraduate level of understanding. I’ve put in around 400, and while i’ve come a long way—I have a lot to learn.

I had to fail ~10 tech interviews at large companies to realize that my skills were lacking. It took me a long time to realize that the computer science curriculum is insanely important, and you’re shooting yourself in the foot by trying to go the self taught route.

I’m getting by as a professional engineer now, but I always think about where i might have been if I just studied CS in the first place.

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