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Vicki Langer
Vicki Langer

Posted on • Originally published at on

What's in a Software Dev degree anyway?

  • What should I learn first?
  • What should I learn next?
  • Okay, I know some stuff, what now?
  • Are you self taught?
  • Ever wonder what everyone was learning in school?

Did you answer “yes” to any, most, or all of these? Yep, me too. I started learning to code 2ish years ago. For over a year, I’ve been teaching code stuffs to kids and rewriting curriculum. This still hasn’t seemed to be enough to catch the eye of many interviewers.

I started thinking about going back to school. I was pretty interested in going to one school but they never responded to some questions I had. After a few more months of looking, I found the right fit, applied, and got accepted. Though I am choosing to go back to school, I wish it were more obvious what to learn and in what order.

I have seen a few places try to do this. The developer roadmap has done an awesome job laying out a learning path.

With as helpful as those charts are, it might still be helpful to see what a degree program includes. Expect another post for each class with a list of things learned and resources.

Degree Program

This degree is an MS in Software Development and a certificate in Software Engineering. Here are the classes in the curriculum.

Software Development major

  1. Information Structures with Python
  2. Data Structures and Algorithms
  3. Advanced Programming Techniques
  4. Software Designs and Patterns (also part of certificate)
  5. Software Engineering (also part of certificate)

Software Engineering certificate

  1. Information Technology Project Management
  2. Software Quality, Testing, and Security Management

single elective

  1. TBD, there are options.

Discussion (2)

sheriffderek profile image

I like this question.

What is a "software dev degree" though?

If you have:

  • Your Computer Science degrees (which seem to really only have 3 months of web developement in the fourth year)
  • A User Experience / new media style art college that is likely less technical
  • An in person 3-month boot camp
  • An only boot camp
  • An only Udemy or other type of series/class that has "boot camp" in the title.

Are any of those a "software dev degree?"

Seems like the boot camps / when they aren't terrible - and even possibly accredited - are sorta a degree. But - really, I don't think one exists. And - I'm not just saying that to be pedantic. I've spent 10 years thinking about it / and the last 2 years developing what may soon be an accredited "Web design/web developement degree."

I'd love to hear more about your thoughts on this. And how it feels from a seeming Python focus.

vickilanger profile image
Vicki Langer Author

I don't think this is pedantic at all. Honestly, this is a great question. I think bootcamps have a lot of potential and I hate that so many of them fall short because their goals are in the money and not the people.

This software dev degree happens to be more Java-based. Much to my dismay, the first course is the only one with Python. Of the 8 classes, I think 6 of them require programming and actual application of code. This one is definitely not a basic CS degree. Though, it's also not a web dev degree either.

Honestly, I'd love to see some web dev degrees. I don't see why that couldn't be a thing. As long as it include accessibility, ui, ux, and the core concepts that seem to be missing from other learning material.