# To take off or not to take off

Would it be wise to take a semester off college in order to learn more programming languages and develop some desktop applications/iPhone apps? I have a gut feeling that I can do something useful.

Im also a dual enrolled student, so this seems as the ideal time to take a semester of college off.

cronxeh
Gold Member
Noo.

why not?

im only 3 classes away from transferring to university. Id like to be more experienced when i transfer.

cronxeh
Gold Member
why not?

im only 3 classes away from transferring to university. Id like to be more experienced when i transfer.

Right now you are a nobody and you dont know anything. Finish your bachelors and stop asking silly questions

Right now you are a nobody and you dont know anything. Finish your bachelors and stop asking silly questions

Interesting...

So what your saying is that a bachelors will make me into someone, that knows something.

cronxeh
Gold Member
Interesting...

So what your saying is that a bachelors will make me into someone, that knows something.

A bachelors is a good start. Taking time off trying to learn a fleeing language that could be done as a hobby on weekends is idiotic

A degree should be about the quality of your thinking (although, sadly, many are not). After your degree, an employer should give you any skills that they need you to have. One argument for self-directed self-education is that you will learn something in your own terms, even if it turns out to be not so useful.

It's sort of like the situation with the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz... sure, having a degree isn't the same as having a brain, but nevertheless many people confuse the two. And while it is possible to convince people that you *do* have a brain, your margin for error is much smaller without a degree...

Unless you have some fantastic idea for an app that would be very profitable very quickly, I'd go to school first.

gosh people.

I am by no means advocating quitting school to venture on a leap of faith of a bill gates type situation… altough it would be attractive.

I want to learn more and explore computers and programming. I think that there is no way schools can give you the intuition you can gain by teaching yourself programming or any other thing for that matter. Schools are merely there for guidance and prestige, quite a good business if you think about it. The networking factor is of course a whole different story.

A lot of people at my school severely lack intuition of concepts in many different subjects. I feel that if there is no stress of going to school or work, a lot of progress can be accomplished in a very short amount of time.

keep in mind i go to a community college.

keep in mind i go to a community college.

What is the significance of that?

What is the significance of that?

Less repercussions from taking time off.

You have to look at all factors and weigh the benefits and negatives out. Maybe you feel like you need a break anyways so you can get your mind in the right place and find the correct motivations- if this is the case then maybe it is a good idea to take some time off. If you want to pick up some programming and explore some hobbies go for it. But if you aren't second guessing anything about your education then I would personally just finish your degree first and spend some time on the side programming. I don't think any of us know enough about whats going on in your life to give the best possible advice.

Chronos
Gold Member
Do you have your BS yet? If not, I vote for getting degree. Once you have it, it's yours forever. You can ponder your next move afterwards. I quit college 'temporarily' after my third year. Ten years later I went back - with a wife and kid in tow. I spent the next ten years getting out of debt.

Do you have your BS yet? If not, I vote for getting degree. Once you have it, it's yours forever. You can ponder your next move afterwards. I quit college 'temporarily' after my third year. Ten years later I went back - with a wife and kid in tow. I spent the next ten years getting out of debt.

This is about what I was going to say...minus the kids parts.

I agree with everyone else, finish school cc or not. You can learn that stuff on the weekends/spare time. Most people I know that had honest intentions of taking no more than a year off either went back a lot later or never went back period.

I'm designing websites. Something I've learned on my free time.

Whether I would have dropped out for one term to learn this, I doubt it.

I think that there is no way schools can give you the intuition you can gain by teaching yourself programming or any other thing for that matter. Schools are merely there for guidance and prestige, quite a good business if you think about it.

This is completely wrong. And if you think it *is* true about the school you are attending, transfer immediately, because you are wasting your money.

Learn it in your freetime. Since you go to a community college it shouldn't be that hard, hell I learn languages in my freetime and I have a full courseload. You have tons of time, you just have to manage (unless you have a job, that's a different story).

Yes i was simply planning to explore programming, linux, read some science/economics books. I am 18, and if i keep on track I will be transfering next fall to Umich. But there is so much I want to explore that I just feel that I dont have time for. I quit my job and will stop working next week. For some reason I feel like time is just flying away at mach speed. I feel like im a dumba$$when I see these kids making iPhone apps and learning programming at such an early age; but I am a imigrant, and it took me some time for the reality of America to really seep in. I think these kids had a lot of time on their hands. Nonetheless, I was planning on learning some skills that interest me, and possibly start a small company while going to school. I think the root of my problem is that i Read too much about science/programming/etc. but dont actually DO stuff. I daydream religiously about these topics. I need to manage my time more wisely and stop reading so much on the internet, and do my homework =)). Thanks for the input. I feel like im a dumba$$ when I see these kids making iPhone apps and learning programming at such an early age; but I am a imigrant, and it took me some time for the reality of America to really seep in. I think these kids had a lot of time on their hands.

Some people are born into families which provide them/encourage them to tackle the sciences at an early age.

Some people (me) were born into families that don't care about these type of things at all.

It's not all bad. Just don't get caught into the "woulda, shoulda, coulda" started calculus at 9 years old, then I'd be a Phd for sure.

I mean maybe these Phds think "woulda, coulda, shoulda" started calculus at 5 years old, then I'd be the next Newton for sure.

I wish i was born in that type of family haha. Maybe in my next life, who knows.

I admire your thought process that led you into considering taking a term off,
Have you considered taking the summer off instead ?

that will be exactly what you need, a few months off to do what you want and in case it wasnt a good idea, then no harm done..

Assuming that your normal course load does not include summers, or at least you have less courses to do in summer !

PS: I can tell you from experience that it takes a lot more discipline & commitment to learn outside school because there are no courses you risk failing, no assignments, no exams...
Especially if you are starting from scratch, Ie with no previous programming knowledge.

Goodluck eitherway.

Don't take the semester off.

Last semester, due to personal reasons, I got *really* tired of academics and almost left school and went home in the middle of the semester. I wasn't going to drop out of college, but I was going to take the second half of last semester off. I really thought I needed time away from academia to re-evaluate the path I had chosen, and I suspected that I might return with a very different academic plan in mind.

But I toughed it out. In one of the classes which I thought I was destined to get a low B in, I ended up getting an A+. The teacher granted me the honor of delivering the class's final lecture myself. He invited me to study abroad with him this semester and offered to write any letters of recommendation I needed. I'm now studying abroad with him, and I think my academic path may be changed forever because of this.

Right now you are a nobody and you dont know anything. Finish your bachelors and stop asking silly questions

This seems to me to be questionable advice considering how many people have been successful in programming without a bachelors degree. I don't know how you could get a good prior for calculating the probability that he would be successful as an app developer in his country without a degree.

I also don't see how much of a negative effect doing this could have. He would take a semester longer to graduate, and he would have gained much experience trying to create his own useful programs and developing his own creative potential.

For an example: A friend of mine has a brother that became the head software engineer at the company he works at and has no degree. He got a job there and proved his knowledge and ability to them through the quality of his work. Of course, he was a highly skilled programmer and had been programming since he was very young.

To the OP again, do you have good ideas that you think you can flesh out well? Do you think you can make some scratch off of them? If so, you might as well give it a shot. Having put some apps on the market might be good for your resume. It is hard to imagine a software firm not being encouraged by that sort of initiative especially if you are somewhat successful. You might even get some ideas about how you might start your own firm or at least make a bit of money and get some experience.

To the OP again, do you have good ideas that you think you can flesh out well? Do you think you can make some scratch off of them? If so, you might as well give it a shot. Having put some apps on the market might be good for your resume. It is hard to imagine a software firm not being encouraged by that sort of initiative especially if you are somewhat successful. You might even get some ideas about how you might start your own firm or at least make a bit of money and get some experience.

Well the situation changed... but thank you for your advice and others'. Read the homeless thread on general discussions. Theres a good chance I will be homeless in 2 weeks.