University

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What age do I have to be to take University programming classes? Will I be force to start with a C++ Introduction (I don't want to redo it from the beginning :|)
What age do I have to be to take University programming classes?

Umm, old enough to go to a University?


There's lots of OpenCourseWare videos on the internet if you don't want to wait, but if I recall correctly you're around 12-13 right? I don't know how much math you know, but you should know that they will get pretty math-intensive as you progress through them. If you're willing to work hard though, you should be able to learn, however.

Probably a good place to start: http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm

Will I be force to start with a C++ Introduction (I don't want to redo it from the beginning :|)

It's likely you'll have to start with an Intro to CS class, if that's what you mean.



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You won't have to and you may not even have to go to university/college period. If you learn all you need to know within the five years. The big difference between you and the people that will be in university learn is that you have to build up reputation, and visual examples of how good you are. So this breaks down into a two parts.

1) Examples that show your experience(Portfolio). Working on projects that are either free or ones to make money. from now until your 18 you want to make sure you got yourself into a lot of projects but not only that you want to be sure that some of them you were a LARGE part. Also starting your own open source projects that are good enough that people use it in their commercial projects is also another big thing. For example the zlib compression and decompression library is something a lot of commercial products use.

2) Reputation, and fame. While you work on these projects be it open source or commercial It would be a good idea to do both. If you do them extremely well you will be able to gain reputation from people that are in the business. This is especially true for open source projects. this will allow your fame to then being to rise because more people will know you and know how good you really are.

Sub parts

3) Contracted work. This also helps both with becoming well known and with getting you portfolio even bigger. If these products become very successful it would really boost that reputation.

4) Charities. The same as contracted work and open source. It's all about gaining more visual experience(portfolio) and reputation.

WARNING!!!: REMEMBER THAT FOR ALL WORK YOU WANT TO MAKE SURE YOU ARE CREDITED FOR IT, OR YOU CAN NOT ADD IT TO YOUR PORTFOLIO


on a side note I think that it could be possible if you go to university that they can test your ability and give you an advance placements so you don't have to do things all over again.
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If i get into a good university (Goldsmiths) I will be really happy and I have no Idea what they start you with, However I got into kingston uni and its so basic and not a very good uni im not doing the foundation year AND they start with java ( they say special kind of java!? ) but they are not one of the best unis for computer science in england, though goldsmiths is.

Relax though, they will all teach you as though you know nothing and you should go along with that, students that dont catch themselves out
closed account (3qX21hU5)
You won't have to and you may not even have to go to university/college period. If you learn all you need to know within the five years. The big difference between you and the people that will be in university learn is that you have to build up reputation, and visual examples of how good you are. So this breaks down into a two parts.


I know we have had these debates over and over again in the past few weeks, but I will say it again. Yes you don't have to go to a university BUT if you don't get a degree in this day and age you are basically limiting your options for a job by probably 50% - 70% plain and simple. Most companies now days require at least a 2 year degree and a lot are starting to move to 4 year degrees just to get a interview. Of course there is exceptions, like knowing someone in the company, starting your own business, making connections, ect.

Other people will disagree, but in my opinion if you have the chance and money to go to college do it. I see no reason why you should limit your options by not going if you have the chance to. Now if you can't go to college there is still a chance to get some of them jobs but you will have to work a lot harder then someone with a degree to get it.

Anyways as for the question as to when you can join a college for a CS course, I would say concentrate on getting good grades in you middle school and high school first and following what Storm said about building up your reputation, learning as much as you can, and building your portfolio. Then when the time comes you might be able to take a few college courses in your senior year in high school and with all the extra's you have done probably get into a good school (Maybe a scholarship?).

Remember if you want to get into a good college it is a lot of work actually, they don't just take anyone. And even if you think your the smartest person in the world they might not accept you if you don't have all the extra's on your application.
These days you really do need a degree to get a job in this field. I've heard of people with decades of experience not being picked because they didn't have a degree. Even if you get a job, not having a degree limits your prospects for promotions. You have to get one because it's an expectation now. Everyone has one. They're worthless, but the problem is, if you don't have one, prospective employers might think you aren't smart enough. You don't want to be the one guy in their list of applicants who doesn't have a degree.

Now, to answer your question, yes, you can go to university before the age of 18. I don't know how old you have to be, but I do know you can go early. But whether it's a good idea or not is another matter. To be honest, I think it's best to wait. University is not just about studying, it's also about socialising - especially the first year (in the UK, the first year doesn't count towards your final grade, you just have to pass (get 40% overall) to get into the second year). You don't want to be the only guy under 18 in your year. I strongly recommend you take it slow.
Fredbil30 wrote:
What age do I have to be to take University programming classes?
This might not be the answer you're after, but my best advice on this is, don't worry about it. Programming courses suck. Learn as you please on your own before you get to the age where you'll be going to Uni, then test out of classes you already have a good grasp on.
These days you really do need a degree to get a job in this field. I've heard of people with decades of experience not being picked because they didn't have a degree. Even if you get a job, not having a degree limits your prospects for promotions. You have to get one because it's an expectation now. Everyone has one. They're worthless, but the problem is, if you don't have one, prospective employers might think you aren't smart enough. You don't want to be the one guy in their list of applicants who doesn't have a degree.

Not true. Providing experience and a portfolio works too.

Most of my work history are positions that would normally require a degree, which I never needed and I've made just as much money if not more, then people with degrees. Same thing with my wife... actually more true with her, she's the general manager for a fire and safety company, without a degree and she makes more then the tech guys at her work (which all have degrees). Also, I have a couple close friends that work in IT fields without a degree (one of them develops phone apps, the other, all she did was a 3 week course and she does project management for a big IT firm). Of course past work experience helped for all of us and we all worked our way to what we do. But none of us did with degrees and whatnot.
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@ Zeroes

Seems like you didn't read my whole post and just the first few sentences. In the end of the day a degree in all honestly is useless. For majority of all fields. because in the end of the day even with a degree in THIS DAY and AGE you will not be hired because they want people with experience. A degree with zero experience is just useless waste of 4 years. because you can flaunt that paper all you want but it won't get you anymore. However a person who has distinguished himself in the community of programmers as I had written who was well known for his involvement and contribution be it both open source, charitable and commercial would be FARRRRRR more desirable to be hire even if he did not have a degree because he has demonstrated time and time again of his great ablilities. Ofc if you have both together then you would be the golden child for companies. But of course then they would want to hire you for next to nothing. And have you do all the work because you are so good, but that is a whole other story.

Secondly, Who said I was saying he had to work for someone I also wrote that he could create his own products and sell them to make money slowing build up his money and experience and eventually could even start his own team and begin his own company. He will already have more than 4 yours of experience by the time he is about to go to university. It seems like you all think instead of being ambitious and being a leader. you all rather just work for someone else.


@ chrisname

I've known far more people in this field and all field who could not get a job because they had no experience whatsoever. and end up working in mcdonalds or taco bell for the next 5 years. or end up working in a low end job for the rest of their lives. This was simply because they had no experience coming out of university. and intership isn't even any real experience by most companies standards since it is so short. Unless the company you inter at hires you.



Stormhawk wrote:
intership isn't even any real experience by most companies standards since it is so short

How long is normal internship? My course involves a one-year internship.
@ chrisname

There really isn't any normal length. Some can be less than a year some can be 1 year some can even be 2 years. the problem is that any kind of experience companies look for is always WAYYY more years than you would get with internship :(. For you example you are doing a 1 year internship but the companies you apply for will want people with 4+ years of experience. How would you even get that many years of experience if you never had a job. The sad thing is that it really makes no sense for people coming out of university. Think about it like this. they want experience but you don't have a lot. The only way to gain experience is by someone giving you the opportunity to actually learn and grow. That is what experience is all about, but most people that do the hiring don't want to give people these changes anymore which is the sad part. They want gold but aren't will to give in order to receive. So the only way for you now to gain experience is to do free labour, which doesn't put food on your table now does it?

You can ,however, be lucky and find a company starting out that will hire you with low amount of experience but they will may also pay you far less too or may not.
closed account (3qX21hU5)
Everyone has different opinions on the subject, but I was just stating my opinion on the matter. Which is why limit yourself and take the chances of not that dream job of yours because you don't have a degree when you can afford one and have the ability to get one. You can gain work experience while you in college you know... You don't have to not go to college to gain work experience which is what you make it sound like.

I agree with you that work experience is very important, but in my opinion so is a degree. I suggest if you work at a big company or even a medium company to go on over to the HR department or your boss and ask them what their policy on degree's and hiring is. My bet is that 75% of the time they will say a degree makes a big difference in the hiring process. Just my guess though.

I never said you couldn't make it into a good job without a degree (Hell I'm doing it right now) but you are limiting your chances.
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@Stormhawk
My internship will be paid, so it's not so bad. I'll just try to make a good impression so I get hired at the end :)
@Zereo
This is why I said you missed what I meant. I am not trying to be harsh or to say you opinion is wrong. The whole point of the topic was that the OP is learning C++ at a young age. He doesn't want to go through university to get a paper that says he can do something that he can already do. That in itself is a waste of 4 years of his life. No matter how you want to look at it. Had he only known a little bit before going than by all means go right ahead. But IF he learns everything he need to know or what they will teach him in the 4 year program in the 5 years he has before going to university then like I said it will be wasteful. Also everything I said was talking about before the OP even reaches 18 since he is 12 right now. So he has 5-6 years of learn programming and the like. in that time he can build a really good portfolio and get his name out there.

@chrisname

I honestly wish more people would be kind and be more giving then it wouldn't be like that :(. But I hope you get it too :D, and it is great that it is paid xD.
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closed account (3qX21hU5)
He doesn't want to go through university to get a paper that says he can do something that he can already do.


Actually I'm pretty sure he does because his question was "What age can I join a university at?"

Just because he can program doesn't mean he won't learn anything at the university, even if he doesn't learn anything he has that little piece of paper you think is worthless.

From your last couple of posts you seem to be talking about how companies are unwilling to give anyone a chance unless they have a high level of experience. And the only way to get them years of expereince is for a company to take a chance on you.

So basically it comes down to to this.

If you were going to hire a kid that had no experience in the field who would you rather hire.

1. A kid with a good portfolio, has his 4 year degree in CS, and no work experience.

2. A kid with a good portfolio (Same as number 1), with no degree, and no work experience.

Most likely it would be number 1. I realize this is generalizing it a lot and there is a lot more variables in play in actually real world situations, but this is just to try and prove my point.

Which is don't you think that the employer would be more willing to give the kid with a degree a chance then the other one? If you don't have a degree you don't have a way of making that first impression on your resume that you actually know what you need to do.

Anyways I just had this debate a week ago with other people and don't feel like repeating the same things again and again ;p. So I agree to agree that we disagree ;p
@ Zereo

xD you keep missing things I said. I Wrote contracted work, charitable work, and creating products too. all in my other post which is consider work experience. >_< you need to pay more attention. His portfolio is based on his work experience. Also I did say to build a reputation hence the open source and etc etc. Need to pay attention >_<. Also I never said they would not give you a change I said they are very hard on people with no experience if you read my last last few sentences it says that there are people that would do it, though it is sad that many don't.

If you where going to do a comparison it would be more like this;

1. a kid with small portfolio, has his 4 year degree in CS, no work experience, no reputation/fame

2. a kid with very good portfolio( since that would be 9 years include the would be university time of the other kid), has no degree, has A lot of work experience in all different forms, has gain some reputation among the open source community, among several companies through contract work, among several commercial companies for good work tools they use in their projects, and among none programming outlets that need programs done. If he had made products in that time and sold them. Then he would also have a customer base that would be looking out for his next releases.

( you can make the year to 5 if you want to instead I'll leave that one up to you)
I will let you choose which one is better. Remember kid one only has 4 years, while kid two has 9 years under his belt.


Which is don't you think that the employer would be more willing to give the kid with a degree a chance then the other one? If you don't have a degree you don't have a way of making that first impression on your resume that you actually know what you need to do.


A degree says you can do something. It does not say how well you can do it. don't forget that :). Like I said before I am not arguing with you. I am simply replying back to anything you have to say and trying to show you that the way you think it is suppose to be and I thought the same way too with how everyone always talked about university this and that. But sadly the truth was way off, you going university should just be enough, or getting a mentorship, etc etc. However, it isn't :(.
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If you were going to hire a kid that had no experience in the field who would you rather hire.

1. A kid with a good portfolio, has his 4 year degree in CS, and no work experience.

2. A kid with a good portfolio (Same as number 1), with no degree, and no work experience.

With identical portfolio, I would ignore the degree and interview both to see which one is more social and outspoken. That one would win. I say this because that is what I use to do and I had bad luck with people with degrees and no experience. Real bad luck, like it was obvious their parents paid for their schooling and never lift a finger in their life.

(I'm a bit bitter about this, because I've wasted a lot of time and money in the past in situations like so; Like I hire a chartered accountant that didn't know how to use a multi-switch phone and had the worst manners talking to people. cost me some customers, big ones. I fired him)
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Fredbill30 wrote:
What age do I have to be to take University programming classes?
It depends on the college/universities policy. If you want to take a class for credit you will most likely need to be admitted to the school, which is unlikely if you aren't at least a junior in high school. However, you may be able to audit the class, you will still have to pay which for my school is approximately $100 per credit but you wont be able to apply the course toward a degree in the future. Call the admissions department and ask, what could it hurt.
I've heard of people with decades of experience not being picked because they didn't have a degree.


And so is flawed U.S. society where you need a paper to flip burgers, but get $100,000,000.00 to look pretty in motion pictures.
closed account (3qX21hU5)
Storm I think you are missing a major point of mine.

If you where going to do a comparison it would be more like this;

1. a kid with small portfolio, has his 4 year degree in CS, no work experience, no reputation/fame

2. a kid with very good portfolio( since that would be 9 years include the would be university time of the other kid), has no degree, has A lot of work experience in all different forms, has gain some reputation among the open source community, among several companies through contract work, among several commercial companies for good work tools they use in their projects, and among none programming outlets that need programs done. If he had made products in that time and sold them. Then he would also have a customer base that would be looking out for his next releases.

Well ya that is realistic and a very fair comparison [/end sarcasm]

Why do you keep on insisting that if someone goes to college they will have no work experience, and have a crap portfolio? I really don't understand this logic of yours that if someone goes to college they don't work, they don't work on a portfolio, they don't do anything but go to college.

Do you assume that all college kids don't have jobs? Do you assume that all college programmers don't have a portfolio they are trying to build up? I really don't get how you get the impression that if someone goes to college they "lose" 4 years of their life they could be putting towards their portfolio and work experience. So I'm sorry since that is your main point behind your argument (From what I can see) I can't agree with you and your argument is flawed.

P.S I believe I can "Pay Attention" and "Read" just fine ;p. Anyways we agree to disagree once again and I need to stop being baited into responding lol.
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