CodeNewbie Community

Discussion on: Weeks 6 & 7 Recap - Switching It Up

anitabe404 profile image
Anita Beauchamp Author

You've made a lot of good points and asked a lot of good questions. Let's go piece-by-piece.

Deciding whether to self-teach is a personal decision with a lot of factors to consider. The primary reason that I feel comfortable going the "self-taught" route is that I'm an energy with over 8 years of professional experience and two engineering degrees (B.S. in Electrical Engineering and M.S. in Systems Engineering). If I was coming from a non-technical background or a technical background vastly different from coding/developing/software, I would probably choose a bootcamp or college-level certificate program.

Being part of a formal program has many benefits:

  • you learn faster since you're not having to wade through so many different resources. There's a path laid out for you and you can focus on following it rather than constantly having to reevaluate if you're going in the right direction or learning the right things.
  • you have access to teachers, mentors, and peers who help you along the journey. This alone increases your chances of succeeding. Working with and studying with others has a way of helping you level up that is difficult to achieve alone.
  • your network tends to be more solid. Many programs have some type of career coaching as well as connections with companies. Additionally, if you have strong connections with your peers and they get a job, they can recommend you to their company.

Like anything in life, doing it yourself is possible, but for many, it comes at the cost of time, effort and quality. If you are going the self-taught route, you'd need to recreate each of those aspects that are built into formal programs. Otherwise, you could find yourself struggling to find a job/pass interviews.

Personally, I wouldn't get caught up on if it's possible to do it myself. I would instead ask, what's the quickest and most efficient way to get where I'm trying to go with the resources I have.

As far as the books you sent, I haven't gotten through much of them as I've been focused on the Python course that I'm in. However, I did like what I saw in the Intermediate Python book. Right now, I'm working on wrapping my head around writing Python scripts that create & modify databases with SQL commands as well as handling data from different file types (text, xml, json). It's been quite interesting. I'm not really qualified to answer what topics are key to learn as a programmer because I'm not a professional programmer. I'm here learning like everyone else.

Whether a curriculum exists depends on what you want to learn. If you're into web development, there's an abundance of curriculums, roadmaps and free programs (including freeCodeCamp, The Odin Project). For other types of development, there's probably free/low cost courses and books. It's just a matter of searching for them. You can also look up university syllabi and curriculums and use that as a base. The sky's the limit. It just takes time and effort and asking questions in forums, on Twitter, etc.

I hope some of this helps.

  • A
Thread Thread
mccurcio profile image
Matt C

Hi A,
Your notes have always been very thoughtful, and filled with great ideas. I appreciate that. Thank you for your effort too.