2019 is upon us. Will this be the year you finally learn to code?
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Must You be a Software Engineer?
There is a common misconception that if you learn to code you are planning on being a software engineer. This is not the truth. I consider myself a software developer but I do not work as a software engineer. Coding does not translate directly to a job title. It’s about who you are and what you do, not who you work for or what they call you.
In this blog we are going to be discussing an extension to the if statement called the else if statement. Now, the else if is different than the if else…Which is confusing because the names are so similar. Soon I will go through all of the differences so you can have a clear definition of all three.
Short circuiting is something that will happen when your program is running and it hits a conditional. A short circuit in logic is when you know for sure that an entire complex conditional is either true or false before you evaluate the whole thing.
You honestly do not have to worry a whole lot about short circuiting when coding because this is something that happens when the software is running, not when you are coding. That being said, it is still an important concept to understand when it comes to logic. There is one specific time when this info is very useful.
This blog we are going to be discussing complex conditionals. First, you let’s do a brief review of conditionals. A conditional is something that evaluates to true or false. Inside of a conditional you can have relational operators. Let’s say we have a variable, x, which has the value 5. We can make a conditional like this:
So far in in this series we’ve discussed the very basics of logic. In the very first blog over logic, I briefly introduced a topic called logical operators but I never went into a whole lot of detail. These allow us to make more complex conditionals, and that is what this entire blog is going to be about.
In this blog we are going to be creating an if statement with relational operators.
We want to create an application that gives the user one try to guess a number between 1 and 5. As we get more advanced, we can do things such as give them multiple tries and see how many times it takes them to get it right. For now, we are just getting the very basics.
I often get people asking me if they should go to school for computer science. I have a lot of good reasons why you shouldn’t which is what we will be talking about in this blog!
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1.) You Don’t Have a Passion to Code
A lot of people are asking me if they should study computer science, but they have either never coded or just dabbled in it. Then they sign up for this four year program and they find that they are miserable!
The harsh reality is that if you go into a program like computer science, there is a high probability that you are going to end up in a career coding! Not all the time, but there is a high chance. If you do, you are probably going to miserable, fat, and then die. Im two of those… but… moving on!
I think part of the reason why people are not enjoying coding, is because they are looking at it in the wrong perspective. They think that coding is the end result, like “now that I have studied computer science, I get to code!” That’s really not how it is!
Coding is a tool that is used to build solutions. If you go into computer science or programming, you should expect to be building innovative technology. often times this technology is rooted in helping others solve problems. It’s more than just coding! It’s ultimately having the opportunity to help the world!
I was really inspired to do this blog (and video) by another YouTuber, Joma Tech. He did a video titled Don’t Be a Programmer! He did a much better job at putting this into words, so check out his video first, before moving on!
This video is so inspiring! I really believe that if you are going to go into computer science, you need to think beyond just programming. If after watching this video and thinking more about it, you are still not motivated to go into computer science, then that might be a good sign that it’s not a career path for you.
2.) You are in the Work Force Already
This isn’t going to apply to everybody, but in the majority of cases, if you are already in the workforce, then going back to school is not necessary.
I feel like society puts a lot of pressure on people saying that “you need a degree in whatever you are going to do as a career.” That is just not true especially with computer science.
The main reason I can say that it is not true with computer science is because if you get a programming job or a computer science related job, you are going to have to continually learn new stuff on your own. That is part of the job description!
If you need the extra structure from college, thats okay! But in general, you need to be a self starter and be motivated to learn on your own! You need to figure out what is essential in order for you to succeed, and then go learn those things.
You might go to computer science school and learn the foundation, but then as soon as you graduate, you are going to start forgetting that stuff right away. If you are not going to continually learn, you are going to fall pretty quickly and then you will be back in the situation where you were 4 or 5 years ago when you didn’t have a computer science degree!
I know a lot of people are going to say “well employers look for people that have degrees and that’s how you get in a job” and that is sometimes the case! What I can say to that is, you need to make sure you have a good portfolio, especially if you decide not to go to college.
A portfolio is a collection of all of you work so people can understand what you are good at! If you do this, you probably want to buy your own domain and host your own website! This is where our sponsor can help!
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So if you are in the situation where you are in the work force and you want to get into coding but you are not in a programming or tech job right now, there are a ton of resource to learn online!
freeCodeCamp is a great way to learn Full Stack web development too! There are ton’s of resources out there! Just look around.
To conclude number two, don’t buy into the lie that you need a degree, build a portfolio, and be motivated to learn on your own with resources available online.
3.) You Don’t Have the Time
This might be hard to believe, but a 4 year program can sometimes takes 4 years! 😂That is a lot of time that you can be investing into other things such as building a start up company, spending time with family, or watching Netflix!
Life doesn’t always have to be knowledge and achievement and work. It’s a huge sacrifice to go to school not only in time, but financially too. You have to weight the opportunity cost! Is it really worth it to give that time and that money?
Hopefully if you were planning on going to college for computer science, I didn’t discourage you! That is not what I am trying to do here. All I am trying to say is that computer science is not for everyone.
What do you think? Are those three reasons accurate? What are some other reasons?
If you are studying computer science, what made you want to do that? Leave you answers in the comments below!
As for me, I ended up pursuing a Bachelors in computer science simply because I wanted to! I was working as a developer before going to school, so I didn’t see it as a huge need for a career change, but I wanted the experience of going to school and extending my knowledge!