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I know there are quite a few CS/Software engineers on here, and I was wondering if I could get an opinion on my upcoming career choices.
Currently, I'm a temp working for Google and I mostly do front end work that isn't very technical. On occasion, I get a chance to work with engineers on back end things and I've gained an interest in the field. I've always been extremely comfortable on a computer, and also don't mind the rigorous hours of coding required (already spend 3/4 my day on a computer). Problem is, my college degree is in political science, no where close to any form of software engineering.
The MAIN reason I never pursued a CS degree in undergrad was because I hated math. I took up to calc 2 in college because of pre-reqs and never managed to pull off more then a passing grades (C, B average), whatever it took to get by. I would accredit a large part of this due to a lack of trying and interest in the subject, but still admit math is a weak point of mine. I do, honestly believe, that I could do much better if I put more effort into it. Math requirements for CS or anything engineering seemed too difficult for me at the time though. I also believe I have the analytic skills necessary for engineering, although my quantitative skills might be lacking.
But I recently heard about engineering bootcamps which seem to be growing in popularity in the bay area, 9-12 week crash courses which claim can train you to become a software engineer and have extremely high percentages of success rate. Some are claiming as high as 98% hire rate coming out of the programs with average salaries between 80k-110k. Sounds like a scam right? But from everything I've read online, including credible tech blogs like wired, tech crunch, etc, have been nothing but extremely positive. I know that these types of bootcamps will not give me the same education as a degree, but if it can get me started a career in the field I'm willing to take it.
So have any of you guys heard of these bootcamps or have any opinions on them? And do you think my weak background in math is going to hold me back too much? How meticulous of a person do you have to be? I'm willing to hear about any other opinions/advice on the field too. With the tech boom going on in SF lately, it seems like a field worth going into.
Originally Posted by ipractice
We're they able to find a job pretty easily afterwards? With these bootcamps they don't give you a degree or any sort of certificate. But from what I hear that's not always necessary to get into the field.
I am in a similar boat right now and am switching careers over to engineering. My degree is a BS in Business Administration: Information Systems. I am right now working on getting a certificate or two from a junior college. I am interested in hearing about a boot camp as well but for now i can share some of my thoughts.
Firstly i read a lot on http://www.dreamincode.net
regarding becoming a software engineer and talked to several SE friends. Most SEs said that its not too late and if you have the will you can do it. IMO math is not that important in CS and my old boss whom was a Systems Architect (built fraud engines, really smart guy) told me that SEs are notoriously bad at math. That being said if you took calc and got Cs/Bs you are ok. The point is you understood the concepts. In cs that is super important. If you can get the concepts you can write good code. Its about being detailed, collaborating and testing until you get things right.
Secondly, i hear as a junior engineer you will be working mostly on documentation, debugging and small functions. No company will throw you into writing something big which may cause a system failure. Also most tech companies recognize that mentoring is important so as long as you arent shy and understand things you can catch on.
Thirdly, i think i will go towards the route of UX/Front End and mobile rather than back end. Back end (most C++/java/mysql which is what i know mostly) is difficult. It is very strongly typed and syntactically hard. If you can tackle java/c++ concepts you will find other languages easier, at least i do. I think back end will be kinda boring and you can leave that to the number crunching guys. With front end, ui and mobile you will be prepared for 3 hot areas and get paid pretty well with any of them. Think of it like this most smart business have mobile apps and websites.
Finally, I will pm you with a few other thoughts but i am basically covering as much ground as i can to be an SE. I am trying to be a full stack engineer to know enough of everything to solve problems. Languages i work with: Java, Mysql, PHP, HTML/CSS JS, things i am trying to pick up Ruby, Objective-C, things i dont use from past C++, .Net/C#. I think PHP or Ruby + HTML/CSS + JS and if you want Java or Objective C will land you a job quickly.
Have fun at Goog.