14 hours ago, eddwo wrote
I'm sad. I have a degree, but it isn't great, as I was doing it part time and very slowly at 2 modules a year. I've been working since I was 19, so it's 15 years of experience, or sort of, I think I ought to be pretty hot stuff by now, but I've been kind of burned out for the last 5 years or so, so I'm not sure if that's really helped much.
I'm not applying for a job where anyone expects you to have X,Y,Z credentials and experience listed on LinkedIn etc. before they'll even talk to you. So many people claiming to be vastly more qualified than they actually are in so many things, when they mostly seem so clueless. I'd just want to talk to someone face to face, not get shuffled around in a pile of overly-inflated resumes.
The degree was useful, in terms of content anyway, more than in terms of showing anyone else that I had the right bit of paper. I think that's what is supposed to count, at least in more technical fields. I'd done basic sort algorithms and things in secondary school, starting in QBasic, then Pascal, but I'd only begun to scratch the surface of Delphi before being asked to do coursework in Java without having the OOP background. Anyway the modules covered more advanced algorithms, logic, compilers (useful for understanding the background of Linq Expression Tree building bits), operating systems, databases, XML, symbolic AI (yay Prolog!), neural networks (actually I somehow managed to end up doing neural networks modules 3 times, so yes I know about perceptrons and back-propagation, not that I think I'll ever use it) etc. so I have a lot of grounding in a wide range of theories, and some worked examples. (I managed to get a mini-lisp type language off the ground, using expression trees as the back end, including creating recursive function definitions on the fly with that famous y-combinator thingy, so I must have had my head somewhat in the game at one point).
I still get stuck doing mostly run of the mill C# Winforms bits nowadays.
I think years of experience with competent senior mentors would go an awful lot further than any number of bits of paper, or just getting to work on a moderately well factored existing codebase with a few old hands around to explain the design rationale. Other people seem to think I'm really knowledgeable, but compared to the more well-know developers I don't think I could code my way out of a wet paper bag if my life depended on it, to use a somewhat confusing metaphor.
People are saying I should get into management, so perhaps I'm officially past it, maybe the money would be better, but I didn't really want to be one of them PHBs, I sort of wanted to be a greybeard eventually..
I don't think I'm that old yet, or at least I don't feel it. I can't really keep up though, being expected to learn new technology stacks at the rate they seem to be being churned out nowadays (You now want me to pick up MVC, angular.js, CSS3, and HTML5 in the next two weeks? wha?), it seems insane, and the time just seems to fly by me so fast as well.
I still fondly remember the days when the only way to write pretty iPhone apps was with iui.js, and now we're onto Swift 3.0 and iOS10? I also seem to recall telling my mobile applications (Java MIDP era.) lecturer, just the other day, that there was going to be this exciting new mobile operating system from Google which was to be called Android, and we know how well that turned out. (Hmm, was that really all the way back in 2007?).