It’s not a secret that studying a certain carrier without attending any University it’s a hard work, we all know that, and as someone who’s currently studying programming and computer science by her own, I decided to write a post to share what I’ve experienced until now, what kind of obstacles you can encounter, and my personal advises of how to do it.
The reason why I decided to study on my own and what I’ve done until now:
Probably I already mention this before, however, after I finished high school in 2014, I didn’t had a clue of what I wanted to do. I deleted university from my To-Do list because, first of all, I knew I couldn’t afford it, and second of all, and more importantly, I didn’t have a clear idea of what kind of major I wanted to follow or how did I see myself in the future, so I didn’t wanted to try to attend a University and found out by trial and error what I really liked doing.
For a small period of time I tried looking for a job, but then one day I asked my brother, who’s a developer, to teach me how to program. I started studying Python with codecademy, which helped me get the basics of that programming language; then I started contributing in an OpenStack project, that allowed me to get accepted in the Outreachy intership later on, which really enhanced my knowledge and skills.
Now, I’m doing as much online courses as I can to learn more and more, and at the same time trying to get a job as a Software Developer that can allow me to learn even more.
What kind of obstacles you can encounter studying on your own:
- you take more time trying to clear doubts;
- You don’t know where to start studying and what to learn later on;
- it can be hard to follow a routine;
- it may be difficult to study without any socialization with people studying the same thing, at least not in person;
- no university certifications;
Personal advises of how to study by your own:
- There are plenty of good courses you can do online that are for free.These are my top three websites for online courses: Coursera, edX, Udemy.
- Take little breaks while you study: it’s very important to take little breaks when you begin to lose focus, so go eat a cookie, drink some coffee, or go watch panda videos on Youtube.
- The most important thing, in my opinion, is to be disciplined and follow a routine every day.
- If you have a doubt or you don’t understand something, don’t minimize the thing; it’s important to clear you doubts at the exact moment you have them. So ask on the internet, or just make a research to understand it better.
- Try going to conferences or meetings, there you can not only learn new things or understand better topics, but you can also meet people you can then contact to ask advises and questions.
- Do a lot of exercises. Do not stop at the theory and videos, it’s important to constantly make exercises to try, broke, analyze and fix things.
I won’t deny it, it’s not easy. You get frustrated a lot, you take more time trying to clear your doubts and understanding concepts, but it’s very important to understand that you’re making a lot more effort, it’s normal if you take time getting a concept and learning new topics, so every time you get frustrated, remember that you’re basically working harder than other students, you have to clear your doubts and learn everything on your own. Remember that the hard work brings to positive results, most of the time, so don’t give up and keep doing what you’re doing.