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    Change Career to programming


    I am an attorney in a bad job market and looking to change careers. The local community college has some certificates in software development and I see different online diplomas, certs and degrees in programming. Can I get some advice about what kind of career path I can or should take short of a full blown bachelor's in CS (which is too long and impractical for me)?

    And if you think its not plausible without a bachelor's in CS please let me know that too.
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    definitely possible


    Luckily, this is one of the careers where a degree is VERY supplemental.

    I'd suggest learning and programming on your own, though this requires self-discipline (which I presume you have).
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    A BS in comp sci will certainly help, there are many companies which require a degree in IT/CS or a related field to even get you through the door. You can't rely on charm or whatever to get you through that wall, since it's often a robot (or the human equivalent) doing the filtering and your resume will be discarded if the keywords aren't met.

    That being said, actually DOING programming is far more dependent on experience than on education. In school they gloss over the real problems in favor of showing you the interesting ones. Nobody wants to take a course on input validation and injection security, so the schools give you courses in algorithmic analysis, discrete structures, artificial intelligence, and robotics. The most useful class I took in college was Formal Logic, an elective. The most useful thing I did in college was found an internet startup with my roommate, fail, and start over.
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    Thanks for the replies.

    What percentage of jobs do you think auto-filter out non-CS degree holders? Would the average employer be okay with a lists of relevant classes I'd taken?

    And how does one prove programming skill? Do you forward some code you've written and hope that they believe you did it?
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    Well I have a decade of experience and I'm looking for management/architecture roles, so my direct experience recently with degree requirements won't match what you're going to see. For my level of job, I'd say 85% of postings specifically require a tech degree, and the rest will frown at you if you don't have one.

    Code samples are good. A github account linked to the same email address you use professionally is better. Patents are the best. I have 3 patents and this devshed account (plus a similar mod account on phpfreaks) that I list on my resume. I also write technical articles and have samples of my writing about the inner workings of PHP and MySQL that they can read. I also kept the flyer for a conference I spoke at a few years ago, that's always good.

    But yes, have code samples and hope they believe they're yours (if you get a job with falsified code examples they'll figure out very quickly).
    HEY! YOU! Read the New User Guide and Forum Rules

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