“Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live.” — Anne Sweeney
I went to tutoring for my java programming class a few days back. The girl that was assigned for the class was in the masters program for computer science. She basically told me that because I didn’t have a undergrad in computer science I wouldn’t be successful in the program or field because there were classes that covered very topics such a debugging. It made me feel less than. I already know my level of skill in computer programming is crap. It also didn’t help that she was trying to tell me the solution in c++ with techniques I hadn’t even covered in my class — a class my program adviser placed me in specifically as a post bacc. pursuing a master.
I left after having to find the answer with good ole google. That has been the only time I have met someone in the tech field that basically told me I was going into the tech field the wrong way.
In response to her…I know a bunch of people that did not get a major in a technical field but in business or art and work in an IT position. I know people that didn’t finish college but are working in tech. I think alot of the stuff that she thinks you can only get from college classes are now available in many different formats such as online platforms, youtube videos, online schools, blogs, company workshops, mentors, or IT conferences.
In technology, information is available for anyone with access to a smartphone or a computer. If I were to ask something on an online forum or social media, a large variety of people will be able give input.
Because of how quickly the field is changing and how new the industry is, there are jobs created today that weren’t available a year ago. And the newness makes it impossible to create a degree that specifically covers every aspect of the job. I do not believe there is only one path into entering the programming world. I’m going to share my plan and the questions I asked myself before jumping into the deep end and deciding to change my career.
1. WHY ARE YOU GOING INTO THIS CAREER?
I like that I can solve problems that show immediate results. I like that even the experts use google. I’m going into this career because of the diversity of the field as well as the backgrounds of the people in the field.
2. WHAT IS YOUR TARGET?
I would like to have the skills to be an integral player in a startup or large corporation. Maybe even open my own business or work abroad. I have to narrow it down a bit.
3.WHAT WILL YOU WORK WITH?
I would like to do more development than databases from what I have seen.
4. HOW WILL YOU FINANCE THIS?
I have savings that I used to pay for the boot-camp. I am hoping to eventually get a job with those skills and pay for my masters with that.
5. WHAT IS YOUR STRATEGY?
RIGHT NOW…. I am doing my Pre-requisite classes for my masters to apply to for next Fall. At the same time I will be doing evening classes with UT Austin bootcamp. So planning on being prettty savy by next Fall.
6. HOW WILL YOU ENTER/APPROACH THE FIELD?
I am entering via a bootcamp for entry level experience. By the time I finish my masters, I am hoping to have the degree and experience to be a computer ninja.
7.DEFINE THAT YOU THINK IS AN ACCEPTABLE RISK?
I am only working as a tutor while I am attending school and this bootcamp. The financial risk set-back is acceptable to me. Not being able to get a job after the bootcamp is also a risk I view as acceptable because I view it as schooling that can help with computer science skills for my masters.
8. WHERE WILL YOU EXIT IF YOU FAIL?
I plan to go back to safety if both of these things fail to happen.
1. I don’t get a job after my bootcamp.
2. I am not able to get into the master’s program.
If both these things fail to happen, I will find a job with my current degree and find a different way to build myself up in the tech field. I know this is where I want to be. Now, I am just going for it. How I define success is attempting things even with risks.