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How to Learn Software Engineering: Self-Taught vs College with Mosh Hamedani (S6E9)

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In an era where self-education opportunities are plentiful and cheap, there’s a question on a lot of minds: is it worth going to college?

That answer is going to be different for everyone, but it’s important for potential students to consider the pros and cons of college and know their alternatives.

Mosh HamedaniMosh Hamedani got his Bachelor of Science in software engineering back in 2000, during the beginning of the tech industry when these alternatives were not plentiful. As he’s grown as a developer over the years and started teaching courses himself through Code With Mosh, he’s come to believe a college degree is not the best option for everyone.

In today’s episode, we talk about the pros and cons of college, the other free and cheap resources out for self-teaching, how you can learn on the job, things to consider if you want to work for yourself, and more.

Key Takeaways:

  • There are a lot of talented people who have creative ideas, but a lot of the time, they lack motivation. Maybe they don't see the potential in their idea, or if it doesn’t make money right away, they lose motivation. But if you stick at it and keep trying new things, you’ll find something that works.
  • Doing a university degree isn’t always the best option, especially if you want to study software engineering, because you’re forced to learn a lot of irrelevant subjects. It’s important to really consider what you want to learn, and look at your desired degree’s required courses to see if university would be the best way to achieve that.
  • It’s a good idea to at least consider teaching yourself instead. There are hundreds of courses and resources out there, and they’re so much cheaper (in money and time) compared to the cost of going to university.
  • Work experience and learning on the job is another great option if you want to learn real-world tech skills.
  • Learning to code is so accessible, available, and affordable right now. Anyone can do it! If you dedicate 6 to 12 months of your time, around five hours a day, you’ll have a good chance of getting a junior software development job. It’s all just about choosing the path that suits you, the experience you want to have, and what kind of work ethic you have.

Links and mentions from the episode:

Where to listen to the podcast

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Special thanks to this episode’s sponsors

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Thinkful: With online programs, flexible classes, and one-on-one mentoring, Thinkful’s Product Design program can help you land a job as a product designer. To get $500 off, go to learntocodewith.me/thinkful.

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