Coders starting out today have so much more freedom in terms of what is available, but there is also the perceived stricture that “oh, you didn’t take classes in <whatever>, you must not be very good.” When I was starting out in IT and programming in the 1980s, classes couldn’t keep up with the pace of innovation, certainly not at the universities. In the Navy, while trying to put a computer on the desk of everyone in our command (several thousand people), I had people working for me who started out as secretaries, ship workers, even one who had been a torpedo expert. All they needed was the ability to learn and the enthusiasm. My best coder was a petty officer who had been a yeoman (secretary) before she got to me; she was so good she got grabbed by the mainframe department (they still existed then). We taught classes, to people trying to figure out how to use a computer, but what we learned we had to figure out on our own.

I remember when I got out of the Navy, thinking about going back to college, and going through a list of a Computer Science curriculum: “Nobody cares about that… could teach that… could teach that… have taught that…” The good old days, in some ways.

Anyway, Surbhi Oberoi, keep doing what you’re doing and don’t give up. Believe the ones who tell you what you can do (what you have done) and ignore the ones who tell you what you can’t. You’ll be fine!

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Husband & retiree. Developer, tech writer, & IT geek. I fill what’s empty, empty what’s full, and scratch where it itches. Occasionally do weird & goofy things.

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