Hard Core

I like to read Y Combinator News to find interesting stories about software development. Recently I read a request from a young programmer. His father would not cosign a school loan for him. So he had to drop out of college. Since he loved programming, he took a low paying programming job. Unfortunately they took advantage of his lack of degree, and worked him to the bone. Eventually he quit. Now he wants to get back into programming and wanted advice from the Y Combinator News readership.

Most of the people who responded recommended that this guy go back to college and get a degree. In the long run, this will help his career immensely. I agree. You might learn a little bit a college. However there are many opportunities which absolutely require a college degree. The fact that you managed to go to college and get a degree says something in and of itself. Some other readers advised the young developer to go back out and find another programming job. This can be done. But it is not easy. The guy will not get the same respect that he would if he had a college degree. This is the hard truth. So you got to play the game.

I felt for the guy who was reaching out for advice. It appeared he taught himself programming well enough to hold a development job. And he really wanted to do the right thing and go to college. Here is how I know this guy must be hard core. He stated that he passed up spending time with a cute girl because it cut into his development time. This comment got him blasted by a few readers. Yeah he may someday look back and regret that decision. But to me it shows quite a level of commitment to the craft. I have a feeling that this guy is going to be OK. When you are that hungry to code, it is going to take a lot to stop you.

Good luck dude. May the force be with you. Go get your bachelor’s degree.