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General Discussion

Jesse Schoonveld
Jesse Schoonveld
2,943 Points

How realistic is getting into the business with or without "Techdegree" as a self taught programmer?

Hello, i have a few questions actually,

I'm curious as to what people's opinions are about getting into the business as someone that didn't study programming, and teaches him/herself the language. In my case it's C#.

Are there any updates as to when a C# Techdegree will be released? I read somewhere it would be early 2017.

For people that are doing/have done a Techdegree course, do you suggest first finishing all the courses on that particular subject and getting the Techdegree upgrade after? I'm assuming things like 1 on 1 talks, seminars and projects won't really help me that much while i'm still learning the basics.

Basically, going back to school is not really an option to me. I am pretty terrible at formal educations and i highly prefer educating myself. Plus i cannot afford it financially either at the moment. I try to study about 6-10 hours a day, both on here and Udemy. And i want to become a C# programmer as soon as possible so i can get a better job.

4 Answers

Andres Ramirez
Andres Ramirez
18,094 Points

Hey Jesse!

I'm on the same page you are right now. I have some college studies, but not a Bachelors Degree. I have some pretty good experience building custom responsive websites in HTML and CSS - but that's not enough (in my experience) to land a job as any kind of developer.

I have heard of people (and know of one personally) who hold very good jobs as programmers and never stepped a foot in a University. The key is DISCIPLINE, and WORK. Train and teach yourself, and also build up your portfolio to show your knowledge.

Once you have the training and experience, a degree is only a piece of paper.

Personally, I am studying full-time on the Full Stack Javascript Track, and from there I will move on the PHP, and other languages to eventually make myself qualified for an entry level Front End Developer. I have the PRO subscription. I might upgrade to a Techdegree once I have studied most subjects so that I don't have to pay $200 a month for too long!

Keep us posted, and keep learning!

Jesse Schoonveld
Jesse Schoonveld
2,943 Points

Hey Andy,

You are definitely right, i try my best to study as much as possible. But i find myself often thinking i understand what is explained, only to get stuck on a challenge because i missed out on a key piece of information. When that happens i grab my Udemy/Lynda courses on the same subject and can usually figure it out. I try to only move on to a next subject here when i feel like i am comfortable with what they teached me before that.

Not studying full time at the moment though, i have a shitty night time job 3 days a week. And yes that portfolio is super important, that's why i am looking forward to them releasing the C# Techdegree mostly. Guess this gives me some more time to master the basics :)

Kevin Korte
Kevin Korte
28,148 Points

Jesse, you're gaining the right skills by figuring out the answers. It's less about actually remembering everything - while it's very valuable to develop the skills in finding your answers, and sticking to it until you do. It's these two things that I think most people who don't make it struggle with the most. They don't have the energy to stick to it when it's really tough, and/or don't understand how/where, or don't care to find their own answers.

You're asking the right questions, I think if you can stick with it, you'll see positive results from your time investment.

As far as your original question, I think it's very realistic to get in without a techdegree. Techdegree's, (and many other other online degrees for that matter around the tech space) don't really have any prestige or accreditation with employers. The goal of a techdegree, or any of these micro degrees really should be one thing - kick start your learning curve. Whether that might be the pace at which it moves, the mentor/reviews, or the peer to peer "support group", you can self teach everything you can learn in a tech degree, the objective is to do it faster.

Hope that helps.

Andres Ramirez
Andres Ramirez
18,094 Points

Great words, stick to the program!

Jesse Schoonveld
Jesse Schoonveld
2,943 Points

Thanks that makes alot of sense. I guess it's kind of weird for me to be learning things without having to compare myself to other students around me. It's my first programming language and i'm definitely not that mathematically gifted that these things all make sense to me right away. What i've found is that a good night's sleep often does a lot, for instance when i was learning about how methods worked i found it hard to wrap my head around the concept. The next day i woke up and the first thought that popped into my head was methods and how it suddenly all made alot more sense.

One question i have is, does it matter at what point you start doing the Tech Degree program? Should i probably try to finish most of the courses first? Or do you think the Tech Degree program helps you to understand these things faster?

Anyways i'm hoping C# will be added to the Tech degree list soon! :)

Andres Ramirez
Andres Ramirez
18,094 Points

The biggest part about learning is not just studying, but actually putting what you learned to practice. In my case, I have built quite a few (real life) websites, and it has helped me a LOT to absorb the information.

Talk to your friends, family, business partners... See if any of them are in need of your developing skills. If so, suggest building something for them for a small price. If you can't get anybody to pay you, do it for free (remember, this is just like studying, and is the BEST practice you can get!).

My current study strategy is 4 to 5 hours of Treehouse tutorials in the evening, and 2 hours of "reviewing" in the morning - Monday through Friday. In my spare time (besides other things I do in my personal life) I also try to get in small web design projects.

Jesse Schoonveld
Jesse Schoonveld
2,943 Points

Good point, i'll be on the lookout for sure. And if i can't find any i'll look around for good examples of practice projects to try and complete.

James Churchill
STAFF
James Churchill
Treehouse Teacher

Jesse,

Weโ€™re always working on new C# and .NET content but have not yet formally announced a C#/.NET Techdegree, though it's something we'd like to offer in the future.

Regarding whether or not certification is required to get a job as a developer: it really depends on the specific situation.

Most of the time, employers--as part of the interview process--are just trying to determine if you're capable of doing the work that they need you to do (or at least quickly ramp up to doing that) and if you'd be a good fit with the existing team. Certifications can help establish whether or not you're qualified, but there are many other ways to do that, including having candidates write code as part of the interview process.

Aside from helping to establish your level of expertise and knowledge, certifications also help establish that you're a goal-orientated person, which is often an attractive quality to employers.

Thanks ~James

Andres Ramirez
Andres Ramirez
18,094 Points

I would also like to see a Wordpress/PHP Techdegree!