The Apprentice

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 720952

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item The Apprentice

  • matt.bowler

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2660

    (IMHO) I went to university and studied a variety of ridiculously impractical things like philosophy, mathematics and computer science. I then completed a graduate diploma in IT at the local polytech which was the opposite end of the spectrum - very practical very industry focused. I believe that I have benefited from a balance of the two disciplines. It was the theory from university that enabled me to grasp the concepts in the industry focused course quickly - and often more thoroughly and deeply than others.

  • IceDread

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 5020

    If a person has a computer engineering degree or the lower standing computer software degree that does not involve caliulus but psychology or economy you can be more sertain about how well equiped that person is to solves problems. It does not have to mean that someone without a degree writes bad code and solves problems in a bad manner, I actually have a friend that is very good but never went and studied. On the other hand, not having an civil- or engineering degree then you do not have the stamp that says I have managed this. In general, from what I have seen, those with a computer software degree is not as good as those with an engineer- or civil exam.

    In the university the most important lessons I learned was not merge sort but how to solve problems, training the brain.

    So I believe it's strongly preferable but not needed with an education.

  • Thomas Foster-Baker

    SSChasing Mays

    Points: 606

    As a person who started of as an apprentice then went into Work Study the practical side gave me a better appreciation of the useability of software I developed when I cross trained into computer programming.

    On the database side I have developed application in SQL Server, Oracle and Access databases and in one case all three databases, the knowledge from the piratical side of my former training gave me a clearer understanding of reuse of functionality within the database.

    as I have now pasted 65 and still working I find that still now I am able to draw on the pratical origins of my training to better understand the improvments of all the current developement tools and systems.

  • Jeff Moden

    SSC Guru

    Points: 997132

    We were in a development cycle for a particular "screen". To make a much longer story shorter, the screen displayed certain aggregated data based on user selectable start date and end dates. We had a copy of production data to test against so we had plenty of data.

    Our Lead QA person entered two dates a year apart and the app timed-out. She wrote the problem up as a bug. The developer asked to see a demonstration of the bug and when the time-out occurred, he stated that she had simply selected "too much data".

    Before any application developer goes to any type of schooling for application development, they should go to some form of database school. And, no, I'm not talking a 1 day prep class. I'm talking about a database development class.

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not".
    "Dear Lord... I'm a DBA so please give me patience because, if you give me strength, I'm going to need bail money too!"

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)

  • Ben Moorhouse

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2385

    I have to disagree with those saying that degrees and training outside of the workplace are good things.

    Whilst I've only worked with a limited number of developers, it's easy to spot those who had done degrees simply because they thought about things and structured things in the same way.

    Whilst this is sometimes seen as a good thing, in most cases I've found that they struggle to solve problems as a group because none of them could REALLY think outside of that degree shaped box.

    I'm biased though - Whilst I did an IT based AVCE at school, it was extremely simple and I went straight into work and taught myself everything I know about coding and the various database platforms available to me.

    My brother however, did a CS degree at university, but would call me for advice simply because he didn't have the experience to know what to do.

    When thinking about who I would like to work with, I'd choose achievements and experience over a degree any day.

  • IceDread

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 5020

    Ben Moorhouse (9/9/2011)


    I have to disagree with those saying that degrees and training outside of the workplace are good things.

    Whilst I've only worked with a limited number of developers, it's easy to spot those who had done degrees simply because they thought about things and structured things in the same way.

    Whilst this is sometimes seen as a good thing, in most cases I've found that they struggle to solve problems as a group because none of them could REALLY think outside of that degree shaped box.

    I'm biased though - Whilst I did an IT based AVCE at school, it was extremely simple and I went straight into work and taught myself everything I know about coding and the various database platforms available to me.

    My brother however, did a CS degree at university, but would call me for advice simply because he didn't have the experience to know what to do.

    When thinking about who I would like to work with, I'd choose achievements and experience over a degree any day.

    If you can choose between someone who has a degree and 10 years experience or someone who has 10-14 years experience, would yous till make the same choice?

  • david.wright-948385

    SSCarpal Tunnel

    Points: 4028

    Vocational training would be good - the trainees would be more sought after in the jobs market.

    But... and it's a big but... the courses must be up to date and practical.

    Up to date: in today's fast moving technological world, it's no good knowing last year's favourite: you have to know this year's.

    And practical: you need to be able to point to something you've achieved, not just a sequence of tests or classes. Something useful, preferably involving the whole development cycle. Something that shows you can organise your thoughts into something that works.

  • Ben Moorhouse

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2385

    Yes, definitely!

    I genuinely dont mean to cause offence, but everyone I've worked with who has a degree seems to try to solve problems in the same way.

    If I were picking a group of developers, I'd want a wide range of backgrounds. Whilst I might potentially have one developer with a degree, I'd prefer pure experience from different companies.

    This would (hopefully!) mean that when a problem arose, there were a range of ideas/solutions to choose from.

  • Steph Locke

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2857

    Anecdotally, most people who come out of uni with a computing degree come out with a lot of arcane knowledge, a lot of experience with whatever software is cheapest for the university to run (so LAMP) and no skills in often the most important part of being any type of developer - listening to users. They then spend the next few years learning about the 'real skills' of developing and unlearning habits that academics drill in that stilt development.

    Conversely, I've also seen people code who are entirely self-taught and many fall down because they don't have a 'deeper' understanding of the theory behind things as it it makes it hard to see where to hone or extend your skills.

    If you're wondering where I am - I'm somewhere inbetween with probably come of the strengths and weaknesses of both camps 🙂 My degree is in philosophy and I've got a large quantity of maths qualifications under my belt too. These subjects gave me (I'd like to think) great skills in analytical thinking, problem-solving, and the exploration of concepts and issues on paper and with others.

    Over the years, I've been picking up the technical skills and the theoretical knowledge for this career path I've managed to put myself on by combining practical on the job experience with a LOT of book reading about the theory. I think that without the theory I couldn't comprehend where there were failings in my work or where alternative solutions were available. It has also made it easier to extend my practical skills by being able to discern the patterns and core concepts used in my job. IMO You need to be good technically to be competent but you need to be knowledgeable to be excellent.

    I say ditch the computing degree and begin training people up in relevant technologies and skills straight from college, but make them do a lot of home reading. I think every company should have a great technical/theory language (I pack my own and bring it to the company I'm working for as a value-add for hiring me) and it's useful for not only the newbs but the old-hands as a point of reference or an inspiration piece.

  • Lyle Allen-292721

    Newbie

    Points: 3

    Yes, I do believe we do need to move to vocational developer training. My Vocational school in Oklahoma does offer that very thing. The bigger problem is getting business to accept that training. Most businesses want a college degree before they will accept a developer. When I want my refrigerator fixed at my home, I want someone that knows how, not someone with a PHD that can expound on the therory of refrigeration.

  • Grant Fritchey

    SSC Guru

    Points: 396709

    I came into this career without a CS degree. Still don't have one. What I do have is 20 years of experience (and that mostly is 20 years of experience, not 1 year repeated 20 times). I've met people with masters and doctorates in CS that wouldn't trust to validate a backup. I've met self-taught developers that could write a WHILE loop. From what I can tell, it doesn't make a difference either way. It's down to the person, their abilities, their predilections, not the degree or lack thereof.

    One of the earlier posters asked if I had someone with a CS degree and 10 years of experience or just 10 years of experience, which would I hire (I'm pretty sure the assumed answer is the CS person wins out)... what does that experience look like? Because I'll tell you the truth, after more than 10 years involvement in interviewing and hiring people, I don't even look at their degree... ever. I don't care. I'll look at their experience and I consider military service a plus, but degree's... nope. And before you ask, certifications means they get asked more questions, not less.

    ----------------------------------------------------
    The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood...
    Theodore Roosevelt

    The Scary DBA
    Author of: SQL Server 2017 Query Performance Tuning, 5th Edition and SQL Server Execution Plans, 3rd Edition
    Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software

  • Ben Moorhouse

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2385

    Grant Fritchey (9/9/2011)


    I consider military service a plus, but degree's... nope.

    I hadn't even considered that!

    Is there a specific skill/discipline you like to glean from military service?

  • Grant Fritchey

    SSC Guru

    Points: 396709

    Ben Moorhouse (9/9/2011)


    Grant Fritchey (9/9/2011)


    I consider military service a plus, but degree's... nope.

    I hadn't even considered that!

    Is there a specific skill/discipline you like to glean from military service?

    Not really. Just four years of honorable service means a lot. It doesn't mean they're great, amazing people. It just means they step up (it's a volunteer service) and deliver enough (trust me, if you don't, you don't stay in).

    ----------------------------------------------------
    The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood...
    Theodore Roosevelt

    The Scary DBA
    Author of: SQL Server 2017 Query Performance Tuning, 5th Edition and SQL Server Execution Plans, 3rd Edition
    Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software

  • Ben Moorhouse

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2385

    Grant Fritchey (9/9/2011)


    Ben Moorhouse (9/9/2011)


    Grant Fritchey (9/9/2011)


    I consider military service a plus, but degree's... nope.

    I hadn't even considered that!

    Is there a specific skill/discipline you like to glean from military service?

    Not really. Just four years of honorable service means a lot. It doesn't mean they're great, amazing people. It just means they step up (it's a volunteer service) and deliver enough (trust me, if you don't, you don't stay in).

    Very good shout!

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