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Computer Science: A delicate subject

Sometimes I see some videos on youtube talking about why you shouldn't get a CS degree and I ask myself:

Why are so many developers or even software engineers recommending not to do the degree?

First of all I want to start by sharing what is Computer Science in general according to Wikipedia.

What is Computer Science?

Computer science is the study of algorithmic processes, computational machines and computation itself.
As a discipline, computer science spans a range of topics from theoretical studies of algorithms, computation and information to the practical issues of implementing computational systems in hardware and software.

Why are some people telling me not to do the degree?

Let's be honest, if you just want to code, there is no better way to learn than going straight to it.

And that's why some people recommend to avoid the CS Degree, because you don't really need it to code, you can just take a course on Udemy, Codecademy, etc.

But what's the real problem then?

The problem is that, even people who may wanted to study a CS degree, are getting those recommendations without asking if they see themselves being CS students.

Some people don't realize the soft skills you win by studying those subjects that you may or not need in your future jobs and we want fast results so we skip the best part of this beautiful world.

We won't know everything for sure, but a CS degree will show us how things work behind code, how a compiler work, how to think logically or even, how to study difficult things.

So this post is to motivate those people who don't know if they should pursue a CS degree or go to a bootcamp or maybe be self-taught. (Both 3 ways are absolutely fine.)

Don't focus just on coding! Computer Science is a whole beautiful world! So don't be discouraged when you watch those videos. If you can afford it, you won't regret going there!

And if you are scared of math, let me share with you a really good quote from Albert Einstein.

Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics, I assure
you that mine are greater.

Albert Einstein.

Top comments (5)

phantas0s profile image
Matthieu Cneude

I'm coding for 20+ years now, which doesn't mean much except that I thought a lot about all of that.

I don't have a CS background and I decided a couple of years ago to study part of it (it's a huge subject) by myself. My thoughts:

  • Don't study CS if you don't have at least one of two year of experience as a programmer. I think many people would find CS interesting when they're able, even loosely, to link it to what they do and what they already know.
  • It helped me so much to understand interesting CS studies or even speakers who have this kind of background. It opens a lot of doors on thought provoking ideas.
  • It changed my way of thinking. It's not necessarily something really visible, but it affected my brain as much as programming did.
  • It opened the door to the history of IT. This is so important, because so many ideas right now are labelled as new even if they are only iterations on older ideas.
  • Knowing the first principles of your craft makes everything built on top easier to learn.

I'm following that, if you're curious:

pablodeveloper profile image

Absolutely! You don't have to go tothe university to study Computer Science as you said.
My point is not just to "code", its an extense subject, but its so interesting!

kruzzy profile image
Andrei Visoiu • Edited

I am a prospective student for a CS degree bound to begin this autumn and I really cannot see myself as a Software Engineer (or the likes) without pursuing such a degree. Yes, a bootcamp or studying by myself could prove cheaper or more time-efficient, but, as you said, I really think that understanding mathematics and the way that things work "under the hood" is crucial in being a brilliant developer. However, I should admit that such a degree is not always the best option for everyone, but learning about computer science is as important as learning how to code, and any developer who wants to improve his skills should learn about it, as you said.
I am glad that graduates share that thought.

pablodeveloper profile image

With that mentality i think you would be the perfect CS candidate!
If you are someone who wants to learn how things work, how to think logically and how to solve big difficult problems without loosing a lot of time, thats for you, even if you are self-taught you can be an awesome developer (sometimes companies want to see the diploma but if you are interested in learning but you can't/don't want to go to the university there are lots of courses out there).

Let me share a couple of really good git repos for CS Subjects without getting into Uni!
*CS Subjects
*CS books

kruzzy profile image
Andrei Visoiu

That's very kind of you! Thanks!