Went to the local college today, to talk to one of the teachers about programming classes. And it was all vaguely reminiscent of some kind of bureaucratic nightmare. Not just dealing with the college itself, but to some degree the way she made it feel about getting a job. I'm not real sure that a teacher is the best person to talk to about work outside of a college, so I figured the best thing to do was to come here and ask you guys.
My question revolves around what all is really required to be paid to write code. Some certificate involving a lot of seemingly unnecessary classes? A computer science degree? My knowledge of this is pretty much zero. I'm confused by some of my old high school computer teachers, and to some degree some of my college professors. The computer science 101 teacher, a java programming teacher, and a couple of my high school computer class teachers have all said things which would lead you to believe (if you didn't know any better) that someone who is a good programmer, can simply go out and get a job. Just because they're skilled. I'm talking about someone who really can get the job done.
So these different people have sort of put this idea in my head, that I just need to be good at it. Fine, I can handle that. I actually consider myself "good" at getting good at stuff. I realize a ton of that is learned on the job, and I'm fine with that too. However I don't want to pay for some certificate that has 10 classes in it, if its not necessary to actually land a job. Is it? Seems you can test online for a python certificate:
I don't see those classes that the college wants me to take for their certificate, listed in that link. So I guess I'm just confused as to what I should be doing. Again it comes down to money, but also time. I already have student loans I'm paying on, and I don't really want to waste time either. If I can learn python and get the certificate online, then maybe I don't need to waste time and money at the college, taking the classes they want me to take and lining their pockets at the same time. So I'm hoping you guys can shed some light on the job scene for me, in terms of what it takes to just have a steady job programming. When I talked to the teacher today, she also mentioned "getting passed up" or "not ever getting a raise" because I didn't have something the employer wanted me to have. But is any of that even likely, and even if it is likely, should I even be concerned with it? I'm only looking to be a programmer, I'm not even close to being interested in... well anything else the company may have on offer. I just want to write code, I don't want to do other stuff. So how many promotions do I really need? How many raises would I ever really get? Sorry for the long winded post and all the questions, but I hope I'm able to convey my general state of confusion.