When I started working as a private tutor, I imagined spending my time helping students to understand the math and physics courses in their final years of high school so that they could get into university and thrive there. For the most part, that has certainly been the case but the deeper I get into this profession the more I learn about the diversity of education situations that people find themselves in.
One thing that I find intriguing is the number of well-educated people, with good incomes, who are questioning the wisdom of sending their highly-motivated children to university. Looking at trends and doing the math, they are wondering if there is a way for their kids to spend four years that would make them more self-sufficient than they would be with a university degree and would have them starting their careers with little or no debt.
This article lays out one author’s suggestion for how a young person might go about starting a credible technology business in the time it typically takes to get a university degree. As someone who has spent the majority of his life as a software developer, I see the plan as entirely reasonable. The advice about selecting a “stack” of technologies to focus on is particularly good because I have worked with many very clever people who were held back by their own enthusiasm for learning about every new thing to come along without mastering enough of anything to get a major task done well. The only minor complaint I have about the article is that it places so much emphasis on coding without explaining how it relates to computer programming and to computer science, but anyone following the plan would learn the distinction along the way.
Although I have taken my share of formal computer science, computer programming, and coding courses over the years, I have absolutely no doubt that I learned the most by teaching myself but I must admit that having access to an expert for an hour or two each week for some guidance and technical expertise would have made my self-study efforts much more efficient.
In the years that I have been a tutor, the fraction of my students who are homeschooled has steadily risen. I wonder how long it will be before I get asked to mentor a young independent scholar?
From the article…
The best way to participate in the internet and mobile revolution is by learning to code. The future is written in software. You can write it or be programmed by it. As a proficient software developer, you can implement your own ideas, or you can help other people implement theirs.
And the best part is that you can learn coding for free.
You just need sustained effort.