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Discussion on: Can you become a successful software developer without a CS degree? My opinion

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Michael J. Ryan • Edited

First, software development is usually practiced as a craft, not engineering. Most projects are about business logic, not hard engineering or CS.

Second, it's entirely possible to self study and learn outside a university environment.

Understanding many of the concepts behind software can help, but work that leans on them isn't the most common. Understanding why you might choose Cassandra or Redis or a SQL database for something doesn't mean you have to work in the DB source.

In the end, it's more about rigorous understanding of what the needs of the software are than it is any underlying issue specifically.

I've worked on many applications with fewer than a hundred users and those with hundreds of millions. And not everyone is prepared for that. My experience is many developers along their career paths will create an over engineered monstrosity at one point or another. And/or completely fail at usability issues while delivering the letter of a story.

The sheer hubris and arrogance of many educated developers who are so woke and enlightened irks me to no end.

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Natalia Venditto Author • Edited

You brought an important point. A lot of the success of being a developer has to do with understanding the needs of others: business, the users. And that, requires social skills, that you're hardly going to learn at the University. And probably, nowhere.

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Chris Sederqvist • Edited

This would in most cases be the product manager and designer / product team's responsibility.
"the success of being a developer" has more to do with getting things to work in a most efficient, correct, scalable and easy to use manner, as fast as possible, but still avoiding the temptation to cut corners and don't follow best practices, as these will come back and bite you hard.

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Michael J. Ryan

While it wouldn't necessarily be the Developer's responsibility... having empathy for the user will generally be necessary for the "easy to use" portion of your statement.

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Chris Sederqvist

Sure, but if so, you still have to be able to connect those dots. That’s pretty much what it boils down to in the end.

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