As A Young Developer Should I Keep My Job Or Keep My Studies

Lebogang95

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Jan 26, 2019
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After graduating Matric in 2017 I got discovered by a software development company through one of my personal projects I was working on, impressed they decided to extend an opportunity for me to work as Mobile Applications Developer in their Android team which I kindly accepted. My first year at the company (2018) I worked as an intern developing small in house apps and working on older projects, fixing and maintaining code. I then got moved to Flutter which I adopted really quickly such that I had to develop a fully functional production app for a client who's deadline was a month which I did without question. I got better & better at what I was doing. Fast Forward to 2019 I got moved back to Android again this time to work on a student banking app as a junior Android developer, our client is one of the biggest banks in South Africa. For legal reasons I cannot disclose the name of the bank and company I work for until the app is released. Anyway my head developer said that I have a lot of potential to become a good developer going on to say that I'm better than some of the seniors at the company. The problem is that this year (2019) I registered to study at UNISA, BSc in Computer Science. I told my head developer that if things ever got difficult I would leave the company to focus on my studies but he said I should consider the alternative which is to continue working with them and build my portfolio as a developer and get the experience. This really has me confused because I really love what I do but I also feel the need to complete my qualification which I believe will aid me. I don't have anyone I can ask for guidance but if anyone has any advice for me please do advise. Being 19 I feel like my options are plenty but that's part of the problem I'm facing. How do I make a decision that will impact positively on my future but also impact positively on my current interests and skills.
 

Hamster

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I'm not going to read that wall of text but can tell you this. I studied my three years and then started working with the idea of doing my fourth year (BTech) part time.

Work was more fun, studies didn't last six months and 11 years later I wish I finished my fourth year of studies.

So finish your studies if it's relevant to your career.
 

Steamy Tom

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You can do both, it might just take longer. But if you can't handle stress then decide on one and do that.

I did a degree in 4 years part time whilst working my way up to Dev team lead, getting married and having various other things going on, it is possible but it does drain you.
 

Johnatan56

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Does the degree help you get to where you want to go? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Personally, I chose studying. Work portfolio can be built over time and there will always be new tech, uni is there to teach you the way.

Software dev is interesting as you're ina supporting industry, you can go do work that needs near no knowledge/complex solutions, other work will require in-depth knowledge and can be substantially improved/only done with the principles of a CS degree.

The question is where you want to end up.
 

Magnum

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After graduating Matric in 2017 I got discovered by a software development company through one of my personal projects I was working on, impressed they decided to extend an opportunity for me to work as Mobile Applications Developer in their Android team which I kindly accepted. My first year at the company (2018) I worked as an intern developing small in house apps and working on older projects, fixing and maintaining code. I then got moved to Flutter which I adopted really quickly such that I had to develop a fully functional production app for a client who's deadline was a month which I did without question. I got better & better at what I was doing. Fast Forward to 2019 I got moved back to Android again this time to work on a student banking app as a junior Android developer, our client is one of the biggest banks in South Africa. For legal reasons I cannot disclose the name of the bank and company I work for until the app is released. Anyway my head developer said that I have a lot of potential to become a good developer going on to say that I'm better than some of the seniors at the company. The problem is that this year (2019) I registered to study at UNISA, BSc in Computer Science. I told my head developer that if things ever got difficult I would leave the company to focus on my studies but he said I should consider the alternative which is to continue working with them and build my portfolio as a developer and get the experience. This really has me confused because I really love what I do but I also feel the need to complete my qualification which I believe will aid me. I don't have anyone I can ask for guidance but if anyone has any advice for me please do advise. Being 19 I feel like my options are plenty but that's part of the problem I'm facing. How do I make a decision that will impact positively on my future but also impact positively on my current interests and skills.

Both work and studies will not help with this, I'm afraid.
 

Lebogang95

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Jan 26, 2019
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84
I'm not going to read that wall of text but can tell you this. I studied my three years and then started working with the idea of doing my fourth year (BTech) part time.

Work was more fun, studies didn't last six months and 11 years later I wish I finished my fourth year of studies.

So finish your studies if it's relevant to your career.
When you say you wish you had completed your fourth year, do you mean to say that it had a negative impact with regards to looking for and getting jobs ?
 

Lebogang95

Active Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2019
Messages
84
You can do both, it might just take longer. But if you can't handle stress then decide on one and do that.

I did a degree in 4 years part time whilst working my way up to Dev team lead, getting married and having various other things going on, it is possible but it does drain you.
But if you had to go back and pick which would you have preferred to keep as your main distraction and the other as a secondary ?
 

Lebogang95

Active Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2019
Messages
84
Does the degree help you get to where you want to go? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Personally, I chose studying. Work portfolio can be built over time and there will always be new tech, uni is there to teach you the way.

Software dev is interesting as you're ina supporting industry, you can go do work that needs near no knowledge/complex solutions, other work will require in-depth knowledge and can be substantially improved/only done with the principles of a CS degree.

The question is where you want to end up.
I really want to complete my studies but the influence of co workers, friends and family has got to me. "Keep your job it's difficult to find one in South Africa".
 

Johnatan56

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 23, 2013
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30,310
I really want to complete my studies but the influence of co workers, friends and family has got to me. "Keep your job it's difficult to find one in South Africa".
As a software developer while already having experience? Nope, don't worry about not having a job if you're in a major city, plus just be frank with the company you're at, which you did, if they think that upskilling yourself is a bad move, then they're not really a company you should care about.
 

Steamy Tom

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But if you had to go back and pick which would you have preferred to keep as your main distraction and the other as a secondary ?

If I could go back further than that I would have studied before I started working, I started working full time from 17 and part time from 14, but if I were in your position from the get go I would do what I did and work and study.
 

Messugga

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My input: there's nothing stopping you from doing both. I wouldn't personally give up a good thing right now. If you're enjoying your work and you are growing, I'd caution at stopping that ball from rolling, after this relatively little experience.
You may find that you run into issues further on into your career, without a degree. A degree also opens up some options overseas for you, provided you push through to honours level.
If I were you, I'd scale down and do the minimum modules at UNISA during the first year, while keeping the job. You'll manage. I did my honours through UNISA while working stupid hours during the week. It took me longer than the minimum time to complete it, but it got done. Currently I'm busy with my Master's degree via an international university, all while working fulltime at a relatively demanding job.
Again, I don't think you have to choose.
 

Lebogang95

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Messages
84
As a software developer while already having experience? Nope, don't worry about not having a job if you're in a major city, plus just be frank with the company you're at, which you did, if they think that upskilling yourself is a bad move, then they're not really a company you should care about.
To be fair the company actually supports the idea of upskilling and educating oneself. To give you an idea, they paid for my course fees in 2018 which was a software & game development course all the while paying for short courses which I requested for in sites like Udemy. If I asked they would likely pay for my varsity fees as well. I even get Fridays off and flexible hours to study as I already did talk to my director and manager about UNISA. I guess this is where the dilemma sort of stems from as well. They're supporting me in my studies whilst giving me a job. It really makes me want to stay with them.
 

Lebogang95

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Joined
Jan 26, 2019
Messages
84
My input: there's nothing stopping you from doing both. I wouldn't personally give up a good thing right now. If you're enjoying your work and you are growing, I'd caution at stopping that ball from rolling, after this relatively little experience.
You may find that you run into issues further on into your career, without a degree. A degree also opens up some options overseas for you, provided you push through to honours level.
If I were you, I'd scale down and do the minimum modules at UNISA during the first year, while keeping the job. You'll manage. I did my honours through UNISA while working stupid hours during the week. It took me longer than the minimum time to complete it, but it got done. Currently I'm busy with my Master's degree via an international university, all while working fulltime at a relatively demanding job.
Again, I don't think you have to choose.
I think this is one of the more considerate answers with regards to the fact that I've been basically given a free shot at a job and school. My mother who also studied at UNISA also suggsted reducing the number of modules which I think is great advice. I'll do that.
And goodluck with your studies, I hope you do well.
 

Johnatan56

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Joined
Aug 23, 2013
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30,310
To be fair the company actually supports the idea of upskilling and educating oneself. To give you an idea, they paid for my course fees in 2018 which was a software & game development course all the while paying for short courses which I requested for in sites like Udemy. If I asked they would likely pay for my varsity fees as well. I even get Fridays off and flexible hours to study as I already did talk to my director and manager about UNISA. I guess this is where the dilemma sort of stems from as well. They're supporting me in my studies whilst giving me a job. It really makes me want to stay with them.
Then I don't see the problem?
 

Magnum

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May you please elaborate on this.
The most basic of English applied language. Actually all commonly used international languages use the paragraph system to increase ease of reading.

Programming, Especially the more strongly typed syntaxed languages like "C" becomes a pain if you don't use proper professional coding ethics and disciplines.

In plain English, Your language foundation is completely messed up. Programming is just an expansion of spoken language into the realm of machine compatible communication.
 

Lebogang95

Active Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2019
Messages
84
The most basic of English applied language. Actually all commonly used international languages use the paragraph system to increase ease of reading.

Programming, Especially the more strongly typed syntaxed languages like "C" becomes a pain if you don't use proper professional coding ethics and disciplines.

In plain English, Your language foundation is completely messed up. Programming is just an expansion of spoken language into the realm of machine compatible communication.
Fair enough, my mistake.
 
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