Okay, so the question was how does having a CS degree help me? And also, can I tell the difference between someone who has a tech degree and someone who doesn't?
How has my degree helped me? I think that there is a huge bootstrapping problem with coding jobs, in that it's hard to get a experience without having experience in the first place. There's ways around this, of course, but a CS degree is a bootstrap for that sort of thing. People like to see it when you first get out of college. Tech companies tend to recruit interns straight out of CS programs.
There's also a lot of underlying theory behind programming, and learning that can be helpful when learning a whole raft of different languages at the same time.
The name of my alma mater has also helped me get my foot in the door for certain job opportunities.
Other than that? It's not that important. I do know a bunch of people who did other things for their undergrad degrees, and they're great. Most of them made lateral moves within the company. There's nothing that will teach you like programming like having a programming job. The experience is completely different from doing university coding in any capacity -- classes or research.
But to talk about my degree in the most cynical terms is to ignore why I even got it in the first place. The reason I got a CS degree wasn't because I wanted a piece of paper at the end of it. The reason I got a CS degree is because I loved programming going into it, and the CS classes themselves blew my mind. There's just so much out there, between graphics and systems and computational theory and programming languages and algorithms and machine learning and and and... I could have studied something else, sure, but the world of CS is so beautiful and so wide and so vast, I don't regret the chance to have played in a lot of different fields. I certainly don't get a chance to do a lot of that now.
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