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    Learning software design without university.


    Hi everyone,

    I've been reading books on HTML ,CSS, PHP, and MySQL for maybe 6-8 months now, and am making fairly good progress. However, if i want to be a Web programmer or Software engineer, people always say to me that there's more to it than just writing code. Apparently a lot of the theory can't be learned from books, and its something a Software Engineering degree would emphasize.

    If I don't go to uni, is it possible to learn software design concepts from reading books ? I don't mean pick up and flick through a couple of books and think I know what I'm talking about...I mean constantly studying for several hours a day, for many months or years (I'm not in a rush).

    I'm 17 by the way, in the last year of high school.
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    The concept of school is learning through books...
    There's no right way to learn, but the politically correct way is through school.
    So if you go to college or university and get the degree than you will be a more trusted employee/intern or whatever you're willing to do.
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    Originally Posted by BKoller
    The concept of school is learning through books...
    There's no right way to learn, but the politically correct way is through school.
    So if you go to college or university and get the degree than you will be a more trusted employee/intern or whatever you're willing to do.
    thanks mate, I guess I'll be aiming for uni then
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    Get the book Design Patterns by Gamma / Helm / Johnson / Vlissides.
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    Originally Posted by ilikepizza
    thanks mate, I guess I'll be aiming for uni then
    To be honest with ya, school is great...They teach you how to learn but it seems as though you're already doing that on your own. The best way to understand it is by doing it. Even if you went to a university and learned the concepts of oop, paradigm, design patterns, etc... it wouldnt really matter until you put them to good use. It's all about experience. There are always students fresh out of college with a CS degree but really dont know the first thing about designing a decent piece of software until years later...In this field, I seriously think that ten years is still a junior developer. Ask someone with 20-30 years of experience in programming and I'm sure you'll learn quite a bit
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    Originally Posted by skeasor
    To be honest with ya, school is great...They teach you how to learn but it seems as though you're already doing that on your own. The best way to understand it is by doing it. Even if you went to a university and learned the concepts of oop, paradigm, design patterns, etc... it wouldnt really matter until you put them to good use. It's all about experience. There are always students fresh out of college with a CS degree but really dont know the first thing about designing a decent piece of software until years later...In this field, I seriously think that ten years is still a junior developer. Ask someone with 20-30 years of experience in programming and I'm sure you'll learn quite a bit
    Yeah fair enough, I do realize that software is something that you don't really stop learning...I've learned that off my computer teacher at school
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    Originally Posted by ilikepizza
    Yeah fair enough, I do realize that software is something that you don't really stop learning...I've learned that off my computer teacher at school
    That's great man. Best of luck to you. Its a frustrating career but also rewarding.
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    FWIW, I'm completely self-taught (as are a few other Mods on DS). College / University is great, but it's not a show stopper if you don't attend. Personally, I can code in over a dozen programming languages, and had done more with my career by age 30 (filed a patent, 3 startup companies, youngest director in a 16,000 person, Fortune 500 multi-national software company, published IT author / analyst, etc) than most do by their 40's or 50's. Have a goal and work your tail off towards it.
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    Originally Posted by drgroove
    FWIW, I'm completely self-taught (as are a few other Mods on DS). College / University is great, but it's not a show stopper if you don't attend. Personally, I can code in over a dozen programming languages, and had done more with my career by age 30 (filed a patent, 3 startup companies, youngest director in a 16,000 person, Fortune 500 multi-national software company, published IT author / analyst, etc) than most do by their 40's or 50's. Have a goal and work your tail off towards it.
    Wow! That's pretty awesome

    I hope I'm still as passionate about software in 10 or 20 years time as you are.
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    I also think that school (with all due respect) is not the only solution. The school offers you mainly theoretical knowledge, while IMHO much more important is the experience. And as drgroove proved it's not indispensable to be a professional.

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