Software Development School: Self-Study, University or Immersive Learning?

Right now there's an incalculable amount of self-taught coders who are wondering if they're ready to apply to a multi-week, immersive software development school. 

The large amount of educational paths they can take makes their next move difficult to navigate. There are online courses, universities and software career accelerators like Hack Reactor, along with the option of going solo and building your own portfolio of apps and websites. 

We've  gathered some questions below from Quora that examine the topic of what a self-taught coder should do next. This first one looks at the university option. 

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We've written about the cost of a computer science degree and its return on investment in past blog posts. We're strongly of the opinion that there's a better way to learn programming, and that's exactly why we built Hack Reactor. 

Ruan is a staff member at Hack Reactor, an alum and super computer builder. Take note of his advice to apply early so you can get an assessment of where you are in your coding experience. 

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How long it takes a person to become real software engineer ready depends on numerous variables, like their ability to learn quickly, their work productivity and prioritization, their learning environment and their dedication.

At Hack Reactor, we like to say we're a 20-80 course, not 0-60. This means that you need to do some self-study and coding before joining our software career accelerator. 

Attending a programming school provides you tons of benefits that will help you in the job market - benefits you won't have doing self-study.

Legitimate programs will have events like Hiring Day, and focused curriculum that allows you to build your code portfolio, meaning you'll have a body of work ready when you sit down for your tech interview. Hack Reactor provides some of the best tech interview training around, led by Larry Davis, a computer scientist from Adobe. 

Our alumni network provides an in for new graduates at solid tech companies, and also an enormous resource for technical interview advice, information, and first person interview stories. 

Also, simply being located in San Francisco puts you in a world-class tech environment where you can build a network of contacts and learn from other talented programmers.