July 2, 2017
That depends to some part what kind of developer you want to be, but the general answer is no, there is no need for a degree. There are so many great developers out there that did not learn it at the university. It is not a waste of time, but it is also not the best way to spend years of your life if you can do without. A lot of time is spent on formalities and general knowledge instead of spending your time on actually improving in a specific field. I am sure that everyone who gets their first programming job will realize that working will increase your skill set so much faster than sitting in class, or doing homework assignments. IMO if you can get a job without degree that is great, if not then as backup there is university until you can.
So do I regret going to the University?
I think it took a lot of my time that I could have spent more meaningfully, but in part it was necessary. Programming did not come naturally to me. Already in school I started to programming my own game. It was flash game written in ActionScript and I tried writing a website for our school. I made some progress on these, but the thing is that it takes a lot, a lot of grit to start from 0 and finish it. I don’t remember how long I kept working on it, but I gave up. I am sure I am not the only one. Nowadays it is of course a lot easier to build a website than 10 years ago, but I am sure there are different challenges now. This is where the university helped me. It guided me in what I need to know and at times forced me to learn the stuff and get it over with. And after I had the knowledge and confidence, it was so much easier to become a developer. Some people get a developer job straight out of high school, for me, I can’t imagine it that I could have done it. The studies and the part time coding jobs helped me build up the skills and confidence. Did I really need the whole 5 and a half years, probably not, in hindsight I should have left earlier, after receiving my Bsc.