FreeCodeCamp or College?

FreeCodeCamp or College?
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#1

Hello everyone! In a sudden frantic state due to financial concerns, I have been rethinking deeply what I want to do with my life. I am currently in college and I have 4+ years of bio experience and about a year of psychology experience. However, this summer I started FCC just simply out of curiosity. I am now in love with coding and I know without a doubt that this would be a career field I would be happy in. I am currently on Basic Data Structures, although admittedly I need to go back through and revisit previous lessons as I haven’t been 100% focused on FCC recently. I am still fully comfortable with the basics, but some of the more complex things I’ve learned ( ES6 and REGEX) are kind of foggy.
ANYWAYS…
I am sincerely thinking about dropping out of college and really buckling down on FCC again. Does anyone have a similar experience that they can share with me? Would I end up screwing myself over? Is it feasible for me to complete FCC (note that my goal isn’t just to fly through the lessons, but to really understand what I am doing) in a timely manner before January? I was dealt a short hand in life and I desperately want to turn it around and I finally found something that I think is worth pursuing. I’m just anxious about the possible outcomes…any advice? I’m currently 23 if that affects anything.


#2

#3

I would definitely encourage college if it’s a viable option. It sounds like you are close to completing a degree. If that’s the case, I strongly suggest that you finish it out. Even if your degree isn’t in Computer Science, having one at all (or, better, having one in a STEM field) is a strict requirement for many jobs and a large advantage for others.


#4

i wouldnt drop out you should finish school you can always do fcc on the side and revisit when youre done with school. youre already commited finaclly itd be a shame to waste that


#5

This doesn’t have to be an either or thing.

As others have said, College, especially a STEM degree will give you an advantage. You’ll find front and backend dev in all kinds of fields…including bio.

Frankly hurrying through FCC isn’t the best course of action in any case. You could finish it by January, but will you be able to use it fully…erm maybe, folks have done it, others have burned out hard.

My advice, finish college if you can. Do FCC as you have time. Don’t set your happiness on a dead line, but be aware that dev jobs, even entry level, are going to expect you to know what you are doing, as in project ready abilities.

And you’ll never stop learning. There is not an end date with dev. In four months, the dev world could and probably will change. it does all the time.


#6

I think this is something you have to devote a lot of research and self evaluation into before making a decision. While FCC is a tremendous resources and very helpful foundation. It might not be enough to make you a highly competitive candidates.

To cast the widest net you can, you have to expand beyond the curriculum here. I don’t just mean learn another language or framework, but also learn design patterns, system architecture, security…etc.

It also takes a lot of self-discipline and mental fortitude to keep yourself on track and progressing. It sounds trivial, but not many people can just set up a structure for themselves and stick to the plan. It’s the same reason why people need fitness trainers. You also need to be highly motivated to learn , apply, and search for knowledge and opportunities. On top of which you have to forge your own connections and network to get into the industry. In a lot of ways, it is a far more arduous path.

While a college degree is not absolutely crucial, there are automatic filters some recruiting services use that sets it as a basic criteria, so you could be setting hurdles that you don’t even know exists.

There are also a lot of resources in college you should be fully utilizing even if you’re considering dropping out, too like career services, career fairs, writing labs, resume workshops, relevant student organizations with established industry networks, free student membership in online learning platforms such as Lynda.com, school sponsored seminars, hackathons…Etc.

There are equivalent of most of these things outside of college, but not aggregated and conveniently located in one place like in college.

I’m not advocating either way, but definitely don’t make this decision without thoroughly evaluating yourself and situation.

I was in a very similar situation as you, although I did already have my BS in bio, so I was considering dropping out of my 2nd degree. However, I don’t think I’d have gotten a job if my fallback was self study through FCC rather than a coding bootcamp. This is not to disparage FCC, but to admit that I’m not a displine enough person to do this just on my own. I needed the extra structure and the network a bootcamp provides.


#7

After my experience at a 4 years university , there is nothing that replaces the life lessons and maturity you gain in college. From the way it sounds you’ve got your fair share of benefit that college offers.

If your back is against the wall and you think your can make a serious commitment to FCC and take the steps to becoming a tech professional my advice would be to go for it! The hard part will be preventing yourself from falling off the ball. To help yourself raise to the commitment I would join a club or community that will help keep you on track and stay accountable. Find a mentor. Apply for internships to boost your credibility. Most importantly be honest with yourself. Having a genuine commitment to studying independently will be crucial to making this path work. You can always go back and change your major and finish your degree once you’re an establish tech professional. Best of luck and keep us posted on your journey.