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2116 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1774030 2-May-2017 09:15
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I went to uni for two years (97/98 I think) until they asked me not to come back anymore.


So I don't have a degree.  But what I learnt hacking in the computer lab (when I was supposed to be learning "Computer Science, C++") taught me almost everything I still use in my current job on a daily basis.  So having access to University Unix boxes and computers with the Internet did educate me, just not in the official courses that gave you a bit of paper.


To get my first real job (it was a traineeship) I rang up every day after my interview asking if I'd got it yet.  Eventually they said "Yes, you have, you did well in the interview and far out you rang us every damn day so we know you're keen"


I was very, very lucky though and I wouldn't recommend doing this!

903 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 1774045 2-May-2017 09:44
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Left RNZAF after 11yrs tech trade, joined a security company in Aussie where I ended up computerising there alarm receivers (mid 80's early Compaq machines), when the boss told me that's what he wanted me to do, I told him I do not even know how to play Pacman let alone anything to do with these things called computers. So had to learn on the job (buy the hardware and software) learn the software and teach the staff. Got retrenched after a buy-out. Mature aged student (35) to Uni got a BSc-Health in Melbourne. Was given an early Ollivetti computer for Uni. Bought my first MS PC OTC in '94, then looked inside and decided I could build these things myself so built my next two to my own spec's. Then around the time of WinXP saw the light and moved over to the temple of Steve Jobs. Now I am the unofficial family tech guy plus the very unofficial work MS windows/office guy for work. Plus I do a bit of free UI coding for a company in the USA who offers different UI's for their software.

iMac 27" (late 2013), Airport Time Capsule + Airport Express, iPhone7, iPad6, iPad Mini2


Panasonic Blu-ray PVR DMR-BWT835 + Panasonic Viera TH-L50E6Z, Chromecast Ultra, Yamaha AVR RX-V1085


1828 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1774094 2-May-2017 10:48
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Went to Uni to learn Engineering, didn't like it so did an architectural design degree, didn't like being the little fish in a big barrel so went and did my masters of architecture and still work in the field now. IT and all my computer knowledge was garnered in the early years of my engineering degree, but has meant i've been the IT/network architect for the offices I work for as well. It has also helped with developing inhouse BIM systems and parametric design components thanks to understanding basic code concepts, so i've been able to start getting into that side of my profession as well.



783 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 1774095 2-May-2017 10:48
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Skipped Uni and went straight to employment (banking / finance, credit related mostly), did me fine for the first 15-20 years or so, including heading credit dept for a significant MV financier in late 90s, early 2000s. Then left the workforce for a while to be self employed. Tried to get back into banking / finance, struggled to even get an interview without a "qualification" despite my prior practical experience.


Took on an admin/finance role in a medium sized business and began study soon after, now about 2/3s the way through Bachelor of Business (accounting) to get degree qualified.


The courses I have done so far do aid me in my day to day job. Don't think I ever will be an accountant (bugger going back to jnr wages), nor do I desire to go back to banking / finance given that most bankers couldn't lend their way out of a wet paper bag without a checkbox to tell them how, so am happy doing a quasi accountant / finance manager role for now, but know that at least in a year or 2 I will have more options.

3437 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1774097 2-May-2017 10:52
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went to university of auckland in 2001 - 2005.  Graduated with a BSc in computer science.  studied a bunch of other stuff (stuff i found interesting but knew wasnt going to be of much use, philosophy, film, info systems (this was useful), physics, maths etc).


Im a software developer now, so yeah, im using my degree :)

2913 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 1774101 2-May-2017 11:01
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Went to Uni and got a BSc(Hons) Computer Science, and have been doing IT type jobs ever since. I have always considered the degree as a foot-in-the-door thing. I learnt more in my first year working than in the 4 years at Uni, but I couldn't have been there or learnt that stuff without the grounding that Uni gave me.


"the half-life of software engineering ideas is likely not much more than 5 years." 


In 1960 the half-life of an engineering degree was about 10 years, in 1920 about 35 years.



1135 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1774132 2-May-2017 11:28
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UK educated, got decent GCSE grades and then dropped out of both 6th form and tech collage without completing any further formal education.


Started full time employment at 18 and over the last 22 years have worked my way from a Insurance clerk to a reasonably senior and well experienced IT professional/manager


Despite being a Gen X-er I seem to have had a fairly old-school Baby Boomer career arc!


Thinking now about doing a Masters to certify and build on the experience I already have and open up more options for the second half of my career, though I am not yet entirely convinced of the ROI!





1957 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 1774160 2-May-2017 11:43
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I've found the main benefit of qualifications is to open doors. The main benefit of what I learned is to teach me different ways to see the world and familiarity with different ways of solving problems.


I have university qualifications from schools of engineering, management and the arts. The only computer science paper I took, I dropped out of so I've picked up most IT expertise along the way.

2649 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1774178 2-May-2017 12:06
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Yes. I did computer systems engineering, started as a developer, moved up to being a solutions architect.



May I ask what you did in computer systems engineering? I've always wondered what the difference is between that and Info Systems.

2873 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1774181 2-May-2017 12:10
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my son got a  BSc(Hons) Computer Science and Chinese, did a TEFl course in a week and is now in Shenzen, China teaching english, so i suppose he is using one of his degrees(sort of) .

Common sense is not as common as you think.

855 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 1774706 2-May-2017 23:26
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Graduated from Cambridge in '80 with a degree in Computer Science.


Have used what I learned almost every day at work since then.


The degree opened many doors for me.

961 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 1774724 3-May-2017 06:55
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Have a B.Sc. (Maths) and a Masters in Finance. Learned to program a Commodore Vic 20 as a kid (first BASIC then assembly), did a couple of computer programming courses at varsity plus Excel financial modelling with VBA.

Whilst not education from a school, an invaluable education for me were the two years I spent as a Mormon missionary in the late 90s which vastly improved my people skills and dealing with life's ups and downs in an optimistic way.

Worked in business banking for a few years, loved dealing with the customers, but the missed doing creative things and wanted something more technically challenging. After a few years of self-employment, 3 months ago began working as a commercial analyst in the Telco industry with most of my time spent developing in SQL no finance yet. Absolutely love it. Get to mix commerce and IT.

Hacking a few routers with OpenWrt and reading GZ profusely have meant I can understand the technical requirements of management's commercial requests.

If I could do my time again, I would like to have finished my Engineering degree, as I quit that after the 1st pro year. I like dealing with people, business, technical things and making stuff. Finally doing all of them together.

2228 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1774769 3-May-2017 09:35
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Started a Bachelor of Information Technology at Otago Polytechnic, in 2001 moved to Uni with the intention of using cross credits from Poly to complete a Bachelor of Commerce (Info)
Learnt that I really couldn't program my way out of a paper bag and so using cross credits and another year of study I managed to get a Bachelor of Arts (Film and Media)


As a part time weekend job, I did work at Channel 9 (Dunedin local TV station) for a few years, but didn't really use the degree at all


In 2006/07 I completed a Certificate in IT Service and Support, which lead me to getting a job with the Polytechnic which lead me through another job to where I am today (Systems Administrator)


105 posts

Master Geek

  # 1774782 3-May-2017 09:55
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I graduated in Engineering, worked for ~2 years, went back to get a masters, then PhD (currently enrolled). I am still using 5th/6th form physics on a daily basis, let alone undergrad engineering. I think if breadth of knowledge is very important, and if you want in depth knowledge of some field, you need to know the basics really well.

2538 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1774800 3-May-2017 10:28
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BSc in Computer Science, and yes.

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