Don’t Study Computer Science!

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!

Before we get started, I wanted to give a special should out to our sponsor, .tech domains. So if you are looking to register a website, be sure to check them out to get a really good deal on a .tech extension! We are going to talk more about the sponsor in a little bit, but for now, let’s dive in!

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!

.Tech domains is the new thing cool kids are doing these days! If you are looking to start a website, I would consider a .tech domain. Maybe you have been in the situation before where you try multiple different domains like CalebCurry.com and CalebTheYouTuber.com and everything is already taken! It’s so frustrating!

This won’t happen with .tech domains because they are still new! All the good names are still out there! A lot of popular companies are snatching them up including Consumer Electronic Show and Intel. Make sure you go get yours!

If you are interested in registering your domain, check out www.tech.calebcurry.com to get yours today! They also have an upcoming Black Friday sale where you can get 95% off your domain and if you pre-register for the sale, you can get even more savings! Now is obviously the time!

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!

For example, I have a C Programming Crash Course! I also have tons of educational videos on my YouTube channel as well!

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!

End of Year Tech Reading List!

It’s that time of year again where we cram in a bunch of books to read so that we don’t feel like failures. Ha! Just kidding… kind of. Anyway, education is very important for us computer programmers! We must always be learning and a great way to do that is to read! Today I wanted to share with you the books I am finishing up before the end of this year!

Before we get started, I wanted to talk to you about my awesome sponsor, .tech domains! It’s the thing cool kids are doing these days! If you are looking to start a website, I would consider a .tech domain. Maybe you have been in the situation before where you try multiple different domains like CalebCurry.com and CalebTheYouTuber.com and everything is already taken! It’s so frustrating!

This won’t happen with .tech domains because they are still new! All the good names are still out there! A lot of popular companies are snatching them up including Consumer Electronic Show and Intel. Make sure you go get yours!

If you are interested in registering your domain, check out www.tech.calebcurry.com to get yours today! They also have an upcoming Black Friday sale where you can get 95% off your domain and if you pre-register for the sale, you can get even more savings! Now is obviously the time!

My Reading List!

1.) A Smarter Way to Learn JavaScript!

This book has helped me so much in planning my upcoming JavaScript course! This has helped me learn and review the basics of JavaScript. The main seller of this book is that every chapter has hands on exercises! This is great for beginners who need to learn with hands on examples. It is very hands on and very practical!

2.) Secrets of a JavaScript Ninja!

This book is great for those who are intermediates at JavaScript. This talks about understanding scoping, objects, inheritance and more. I like this book a lot because it is a bit more on my level!

3.) C# 7.0 in a Nutshell!

I am also planning a C# course! This book has helped tremendously. It covers a ton of information and is very practical! I like this book because it’s not over the top challenging, but it’s not for beginner programmers either. 

4.) Programming ASP.NET Core!

This book goes great with the one above! ASP.NET Core is the C# web development framework. The Core version is the newest version which is cross platform! I think this makes ASP.NET a lot more valuable and a lot more in demand. It’s also a more lightweight version. I honestly haven’t started reading this book yet, but it looks like a really great one and I’m excited to read it!

5.) Core Java!

C# and Java are basically the same! I learned C# first and Java is literally no different… ok maybe it has a few minor differences, but still! You can take C# code and then “Javafy it.” It’s a real term! Don’t look it up…. So this book is going to help me make my upcoming Java course! I’m basically taking my C# course and Javafying it with this book. I think it’s pretty cool!

6.) A Smarter Way to Learn Python!

I’m intending to sit down with this book and a pencil and underline things that I am not familiar with and then mark the top of the page. When I come back later, I can just flip through the book and remember the parts where I needed some further study! 

7.) Mastering Object Oriented Python!

I’m hoping to release a full Python course soon! I am not very familiar with Python, unlike C# and Java, so this book is going to help me study and prepare that course!

8.) C++ Primer Plus!

This book is basically a C++ crash course! C# and C++ have many differences, but I am planning on still using C# as a template for my C++ course. C++ is still going to have data types, control flow structures, loops, classes, methods and more. 

9.) Programming in C!

I’m done reading this book because I just released a C Programming Crash Course! This takes all of the information from my recent C Programming course on YouTube, condenses it and adds more practical information! Make sure you check out the Crash Course!

This book has been my reference for that course and my YouTube series and I really like it! It has been very helpful. 

Bonus: BenQ 3-Reading LED Desk Lamp!

I recently got this lamp to do a review on (check out my YouTube channel to see it) and it’s sweet! I just had to tell you guys about it. As you can tell, it’s pretty awesome and it’s what I am going to be using for all of my reading! It’s also fully adjustable. It’s just great! Check it out. 

So that is my reading list! Let me know what you guys think! What is on your reading list for the end of the year?

What is React Native? With Software Engineer Laura Medalia / @codergirl_

What is React Native with codergirl_

Hi! Caleb here. We’ve been talking about JavaScript and how it’s one of the top 3 recommended languages to learn for 2019.  Why? JavaScript is very versatile and capable of building a large variety of applications: Backend development with Node.js, frontend development using frameworks such as Vue.js or React, and even native iOS and Android applications using React Native.

What do I mean by native? Native means the application is running directly on the mobile device and is not virtualized in any way such as a web app. 

With React Native, you don’t build a “mobile web app”, an “HTML5 app”, or a “hybrid app”. You build a real mobile app that’s indistinguishable from an app built using Objective-C or Java.
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Recently I’ve had the privilege of chatting with a well known iOS software engineer, @codergirl_on Instagram. Let’s hear what she has to say (with my thoughts in gray)!

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Why I use PHP (Even though I Don’t Like it)

Many of you have seen my Worst 3 Programming Languages blog where I share my distaste towards PHP. Unfortunately, I believe people took my opinion a bit too seriously. I’ve received hundreds of comments on how I’m a hypocrite because I talk trash about PHP while using PHP to power my personal website.

Am I a Hypocrite?

Absolutely not! Maybe. I’m not sure, honestly. But that’s besides the point. The thing I want to talk about in this blog is that just because I believe something sucks doesn’t necessarily mean I can’t use it and never will

Continue reading “Why I use PHP (Even though I Don’t Like it)”

How to Learn to Code for Free – freeCodeCamp / Quincy Larson

freecodecamp-learn-to-code-for-free
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Hi! Caleb here. Have you heard of freeCodeCamp? freeCodeCamp is a nonprofit dedicated to teaching people to code for free and and helping people get development jobs. Not only is it free, but the curriculum is extremely comprehensive teaching hands on responsive web design, front end development, APIs, data management, algorithms, source control, data structures, and more.

If these technologies are frightening or unknown to you, this blog will help you understand the big picture of web development, how to code, and what you should expect going through the freeCodeCamp curriculum.

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Worst 3 Programming Languages of 2018

Worst 3 Programming Language

There is a plethora of blogs about the top languages to learn, but what about the languages you should NOT learn? You’ll want to avoid these languages like the plague.

I’m going to be calling out three very popular programming languages that I’d advise against you spending your time learning them or taking a position where you’ll have to spend a lot of time using these languages. Just because something’s popular doesn’t necessarily mean you should try it. This is my opinion, yours might differ.

Continue reading “Worst 3 Programming Languages of 2018”

The Complete Guide to Becoming a Node.js Full Stack Web Developer – Quincy Larson / freeCodeCamp

Node.js Full Stack Developer

Recently I had the privilege of working with Quincy Larson, the founder of freeCodeCamp.  If you don’t know, freeCodeCamp is one of the largest online learning platforms for people to learn to code. With over 2000 hours of free training, people are using freeCodeCamp to learn everything they need to get hired as software engineers or full stack developers. I talked to Quincy to figure out exactly what it takes to become a full stack web developer (this content was edited by me from a video interview and are not direct quotes, with my thoughts in gray).

Full stack web development is when you are in charge of the entire project rather than one particular piece. This means you must be fluent in both front end development and back end development. 

What does it take to know the front end for full stack web development?

I definitely recommend learning the fundamentals – HTML, CSS, JavaScript.  These have all been around for 20 years.  They haven’t fundamentally changed that much. JavaScript started out as a basic, browser-native language created in a week, but is getting better every year as the ECMASsript committee piles on additional features. 

Continue reading “The Complete Guide to Becoming a Node.js Full Stack Web Developer – Quincy Larson / freeCodeCamp”

6 Steps to Ace the Coding Interview

Ace Coding Interview

Code interviews are what every developer either despises or looks forward to (if you know what you’re doing). Why is it that so many people despair at the thought of going through an intense code interview? 

This blog will go through my experience with technical interviews and what I’ve done to get through them despite not being a coding wiz.

1. Study Your Face Off

The reality is that most of the fear around coding interviews is rooted in the mere challenge of getting passed the technical questions. It’s like taking the ACT or SAT all over again, but difficulty x1000. Topics include data structures and algorithms, design patterns, distinctions between languages, seemingly ridiculous math problems, frameworks, and more.

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Top 3 Programming Languages to Learn Before 2019

Seriously? Another top languages blog? You may be right, but I’ll try to give you some insight as to why I made the selection that I did. 

I often find myself a step behind every one else.  I’m the one reading the Top Languages of the year blogs as the year is coming to an end. NOT THIS TIME! This blog contains my recommendations for languages to learn before 2019, just to get that upper edge a bit early 😉 (unless you’re reading this in 2019).

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5 Reasons Why I’m NOT a Software Engineer

As some of you know, I’ve created videos like A Day in the Life of a (Future) Software Engineer. This obviously implies that I’m not currently a software engineer. It’s an obvious statement to say that not everyone is meant to be a software developer or engineer. At one point, I thought that was me. Let’s talk about why, until now, I never really saw myself being a software engineer. Even now, I’m not a software engineer. Maybe these are the same reasons you’re not, too.

1. I Didn’t Want to be a Software Engineer

Software development and computer science is overwhelming. As I began learning to code, I always had the same problem – Issues would come up and I’d have no idea how to solve them. This was great for my problem solving skills, but it often left me feeling frustrated or defeated. 

This was before going to school and getting a Bachelor’s in Computer Science. This was just me doing it for fun in high school and some professionally.

Continue reading “5 Reasons Why I’m NOT a Software Engineer”