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#Actualnoisecrime

Posted 05 October 2012 - 12:01 AM

So the safe and the best way would be getting the best grades from my A levels as possible as many people have said before, but it's really disappointing being stuck for 2 years perfecting some letters on a sheet of paper, when I could be improving at programming, but if the grades are really important, then I can definitely put that effort and wait that time, but I have no idea which way is right Posted Image


Well to be honest its difficult to say, only because the route I went was pretty much the complete opposite of this, though it was 15 years ago and even then I had been employed in other fields for many years. It is from my experience that ones own ambition and drive is what will get you the 'good' jobs in life, not your grades and that further more it doesn't matter too much when you do it, 16 yrs, 18 yrs, 25 yrs etc, opportunities are never closed down assuming you can find the time to invest and learn.

However my experience is in the creative side of programming, multi-media, games etc. So apart from the fact that my own experience may not tie into todays requirements, it would definitely not tie into someone who wanted to get a more 'programming science' type of job (e.g something in banking where I would expect grades are the first thing looked at). I still suspect though in the 'creative' side of the industry an impressive portfolio and these days a strong internet presence showig off your skills will get you noticed far more than grades ever would.

It's not only about grades, that is for sure, but there are two ways to go: either with the system, or against it. Where with the system, means going to the best university and getting the best grades that would put me at the top of the list at a job interview, wouldn't it?


These days I suspect not as so many other people have the same grades. Which is where 'way2lazy2care' advice about asking your computer course teacher for going beyond the course is very good advice.

From my own experience I'd have to disagree too. I did Maths, Physics and Art A -levels, pretty much failed all three. Eventually went to Uni to do graphics and business, got 2:1 (I think was damn close to a first) but I felt it was quite an easy course, spent most of the last year skipping the courses and teaching myself programming & multi-media. Did some basic promotion, sending in a cgi video short I did for the course to 'Creative Review' magazine, to be featured on their first CD-Rom issue. Went to London got first job I walked into on the basis of that video and my own programming demo's and never looked back.

Again this is not to say its the best way to go about it, maybe i've just been very lucky and I know i've been very fortunate. I just wanted to illustrate that there are alternatives.

Ultimately you have to make the choice and yes it is difficult, but as I've pointed out its not the end of the world if you get it wrong now, you have still have decades to sort out what you want to do in life. My own issue with what you are saying is that if programming is as important to you as you say, if you have a burning desire that this is what you want to do, then I wouldn't necessarily think that getting all round good grades and dropping the fun, spare-time programming that you do now is the best thing.

I guess more succinctly my advise is follow your heart not your head ;)

That is not to say don't do A-levels, they are important, just you might be able to balance out formal education with personal education better than you think. Also use these two years as an opportunity to make contacts within the field you want to work, as well as networking with fellow students. Start self-promoting your skills, set up a youTube channel, create a business with other like minded students etc. You may think you don't have time for all this, but believe me, time is something that you'll find you have less and less of as the years go by. However ultimately it all depends on what your overall aim is. If its just to enter the corporate side of programming the, these things aren't as important as getting those tick box grades and University degrees. If you want to get into the creative side, perhaps set up your own business, discover new algorithms and present them at conferences etc, then these things are probably more important. - At least that's my 'opinion'.

Regardless of what you decide, just remember to try and have fun ;)

#2noisecrime

Posted 04 October 2012 - 11:53 PM

So the safe and the best way would be getting the best grades from my A levels as possible as many people have said before, but it's really disappointing being stuck for 2 years perfecting some letters on a sheet of paper, when I could be improving at programming, but if the grades are really important, then I can definitely put that effort and wait that time, but I have no idea which way is right Posted Image


Well to be honest its difficult to say, only because the route I went was pretty much the complete opposite of this, though it was 15 years ago and even then I had been employed in other fields for many years. It is from my experience that ones own ambition and drive is what will get you the 'good' jobs in life, not your grades and that further more it doesn't matter too much when you do it, 16 yrs, 18 yrs, 25 yrs etc, opportunities are never closed down assuming you can find the time to invest and learn.

However my experience is in the creative side of programming, multi-media, games etc. So apart from the fact that my own experience may not tie into todays requirements, it would definitely not tie into someone who wanted to get a more 'programming science' type of job (e.g something in banking where I would expect grades are the first thing looked at). I still suspect though in the 'creative' side of the industry an impressive portfolio and these days a strong internet presence showig off your skills will get you noticed far more than grades ever would.

Ultimately you have to make the choice and yes it is difficult, but as I've pointed out its not the end of the world if you get it wrong now, you have still have decades to sort out what you want to do in life. My own issue with what you are saying is that if programming is as important to you as you say, if you have a burning desire that this is what you want to do, then I wouldn't necessarily think that getting all round good grades and dropping the fun, spare-time programming that you do now is the best thing.

I guess more succinctly my advise is follow your heart not your head ;)

That is not to say don't do A-levels, they are important, just you might be able to balance out formal education with personal education better than you think. Also use these two years as an opportunity to make contacts within the field you want to work, as well as networking with fellow students. Start self-promoting your skills, set up a youTube channel, create a business with other like minded students etc. You may think you don't have time for all this, but believe me, time is something that you'll find you have less and less of as the years go by. However ultimately it all depends on what your overall aim is. If its just to enter the corporate side of programming the, these things aren't as important as getting those tick box grades and University degrees. If you want to get into the creative side, perhaps set up your own business, discover new algorithms and present them at conferences etc, then these things are probably more important. - At least that's my 'opinion'.

Regardless of what you decide, just remember to try and have fun ;)

#1noisecrime

Posted 04 October 2012 - 11:46 PM

So the safe and the best way would be getting the best grades from my A levels as possible as many people have said before, but it's really disappointing being stuck for 2 years perfecting some letters on a sheet of paper, when I could be improving at programming, but if the grades are really important, then I can definitely put that effort and wait that time, but I have no idea which way is right :(


Well to be honest its difficult to say, only because the route I went was pretty much the complete opposite of this, though it was 15 years ago and even then I had been employed in other fields for many years. It is from my experience that ones own ambition and drive is what will get you the 'good' jobs in life, not your grades and that further more it doesn't matter too much when you do it, 16 yrs, 18 yrs, 25 yrs etc, opportunities are never closed down assuming you can find the time to invest and learn.

However my experience is in the creative side of programming, multi-media, games etc. So apart from the fact that my own experience may not tie into todays requirements, it would definitely not tie into someone who wanted to get a more 'programming science' type of job (e.g something in banking where I would expect grades are the first thing looked at). I still suspect though in the 'creative' side of the industry an impressive portfolio and these days a strong internet presence showig off your skills will get you noticed far more than grades ever would.

Ultimately you have to make the choice and yes it is difficult, but as I've pointed out its not the end of the world if you get it wrong now, you have still have decades to sort out what you want to do in life. My own issue with what you are saying is that if programming is as important to you as you say, if you have a burning desire that this is what you want to do, then I wouldn't necessarily think that getting all round good grades and dropping the fun, spare-time programming that you do now is the best thing. I guess more succinctly my advise is follow your heart not your head ;)

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