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Old 06-18-2015, 11:46 PM   #451
ATrueCheesehead
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Hey GoBlue just read through the entire thing, thanks so much for posting. I'm a 2014 college grad that just got into programming. I've dabbled in Ruby on Rails and have really enjoyed it, and I think I'm ready for formal training. Thanks for your story, it's really cool to see how this played out over the course of 3 years.
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Old 11-20-2015, 07:29 PM   #452
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Hi - sorry to be yet another person registering here after finding this thread on Google!
It seems like there are quite a few people who are/were in Depaul's MSCS program here. I have a couple of questions for anyone who can answer them:

-Did anyone apply for a teaching assistantship after finishing the introductory courses? I'm wondering how competitive it is for people who did well in the intro sequence and have good recommendations from CDM faculty. Even getting the 10hr/wk partial award (one course waiver per quarter) would help me massively in making the program work financially. I have teaching experience (EFL to kids and a few adult classes) if that's at all beneficial. It seems like Depaul doesn't have a pure CS PHD program so that could make TAships a bit easier for MS students to get.

-Did anyone start taking classes online and move to Chicago to do the upper-division classes in person? Is there a big benefit to taking the classes on campus? My plan was to do this, but I would consider moving to Chicago earlier if getting a TAship is achievable.

-For people who moved to Chicago, what were your living expenses like?

-Were you happy with Depaul's career services and networking opportunities for jobs/internships?


If anyone has an opinion on any of these questions, I'd appreciate hearing it!
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Old 12-04-2015, 05:11 AM   #453
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

First off, glad to hear you are killing it Go_Blue. Your story has been especially inspiring to me because I am in a vey similar boat. I am on my third year of getting a B.A. in philosophy. After much deliberation, I've decided that computer science is for me. I am hoping that my school's emphasis on analytical philosophy will benefit my pursuit in computer science. Did you find the transition from philosophy to C.S. natural? Would you recommend any particular logic courses that you found directly beneficial to your programming? I am also taking Intro to C.S. next quarter. Which undergraduate C.S. or math courses do you think are most fundamental to what you are doing?
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Old 12-04-2015, 02:54 PM   #454
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Iff philosophy has honed your ability to think clearly and logically about a complex problem, you will find that it will be beneficial.
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Old 12-14-2015, 02:09 AM   #455
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

If anybody is doing the DePaul mscs I the systems II or database programming class, let me know. I'm taking them and will likely be in the library a fair amount on the weekends.
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Old 04-22-2016, 05:33 PM   #456
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Is this thing on? anybody still here? I just got my first job offer and I'm graduating in a couple months. Ty OP, Ty PJ, Ty Thread, Ty CS
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Old 04-22-2016, 07:05 PM   #457
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Nice! Congrats! What's the job entail? TR on the experience?
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Old 04-22-2016, 07:21 PM   #458
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

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Is this thing on? anybody still here? I just got my first job offer and I'm graduating in a couple months. Ty OP, Ty PJ, Ty Thread, Ty CS
Thats awesome! Man this thread is old, gives me them feels. Be prepared for lots of emails and calls asking for donations!
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Old 04-22-2016, 08:45 PM   #459
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

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Nice! Congrats! What's the job entail? TR on the experience?
Mobile development in Chicago. TR is basically I had no relevant work experience so was behind the 8 ball a bit from the get go (OP had quite good work experience IIRC). I got into android/ios development and have some good side projects in them, interviewed lots of places, google, blizzard and the NFL being the most notable. Internships were hard to come by, I don't have one. Worked really hard in school, particularly SE450 and SE456. I've never had a job where I made more than 9 dollars an hour (seriously), and I got a job offer today for 75k and another company already booked a flight for me to fly out to them for a final interview which I will now probably be turning down barring a miracle offer from them. There are days where I am being contacted by a whirlwind of recruiters and I'm overwhelmed, but other times I'd send out many applications and hear nothing. I guess that's my experience in a nutshell. If you build it they will come.
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Old 04-22-2016, 10:26 PM   #460
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Nice that's awesome. I also started a new job working on the systems of self-driving cars. I ended up dropping out of the Master's program. Was thinking of writing an overview of the past couple of years along with my views on some things in the industry. Prob will look to do that this month in case it'll help people debating whether to take a shot at this.
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Old 04-23-2016, 02:55 AM   #461
penguinpoker
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Awesome dude, congrats!
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Old 04-23-2016, 06:24 AM   #462
Loki
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Grats all around. Sounds like it's been a good last month for forumites
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Old 04-24-2016, 08:59 PM   #463
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

I want to hear about self driving cars
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Old 05-01-2016, 12:38 PM   #464
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Which program did you do? Masters in CS? Software development?
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Old 05-02-2016, 01:04 PM   #465
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Yeah. MSCS software and systems development track
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Old 06-16-2016, 03:38 PM   #466
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Since this thread is a little community of CS people, and OP is now working on self driving cars, I want to float the subject of automation. I think this is going to be a serious issue coming very soon. For example, transportation industry employs the most amount of people in the US. Many of those people are drivers (truck drivers, taxi drivers, limo drivers, etc). Many of these jobs are going to be eliminated with the arrival of self-driving cars. This is simply one link in the chain of the automation revolution that is about to occur in the next few decades. A lot of relatively simple tasks traditionally performed by humans are going to be done by machines. New jobs will be created through the automation revolution, but not nearly enough to replace the ones it is eliminating. As a result, I predict a lasting economic depression and widening economic disparity perhaps within 20 years.

I am not saying that automation is bad, but rather it is close to inevitable and there will be consequences. I think this is a really interesting topic especially in light of OP being on the vanguard of this. And hopefully a treat for those of you ITT who are sick of talking about DePaul.

Required viewing: Humans Need Not Apply
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Old 06-23-2016, 10:00 AM   #467
Go_Blue
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

I think you'd probably get more responses if you started that as a separate thread. One thing I'd like to reiterate is that Depaul is not an important ingredient in the good results I've had so far. I'm glad that people found that school to be a good option for them, but any form of education that provides a foundation in core CS stuff will work. The idea is to understand and practice under different areas so that you can go in a variety of directions in the future. You don't want to be the guy who is an expert in one thing for 10+ years. That guy isn't valuable, and I don't understand how he doesn't get bored.
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Old 06-23-2016, 11:10 AM   #468
Go_Blue
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Originally I had this idea to write a long post on a number of topics that could help people, and I think it just seemed like too much to write, so I never wrote it. Instead, I'm gonna write short posts based on my observations.

Topic: Top School vs Not Top School

The whole going to a top school thing is not an indication of how well someone is going to perform in a job setting. At my previous job, I had two Physics grads from the U of Chicago on my team, one of whom built a laser out of jello as a side project. From a pure intelligence level, they were waaay smarter than me. But, in terms of being good at the job, I was the one chosen to lead the team (which I had no interest in doing). I approach every job as a game that I want to get really good at, and luckily for me, none of the games have involved building lasers or solving extremely complicated math problems (although I once wrote an algorithm involving the slope of a line!). So, while a lot of my colleagues have intimidating backgrounds, very little of that background applies to what is actually being done at the job. This means that I have just as good of a chance as they do at getting really good at whatever our job involves.

Jobs are repetitive and not always that interesting. After a while, you might find that you reach a point where you're on auto-pilot mode no matter how advanced and detailed the job description. A guy from MIT on auto-pilot mode is pretty easy to beat--he doesn't really care about improving his skillz or coming up with interesting projects to work on; he literally just does what his boss asks him to do and nothing more. But, if you look around at the processes at a company, you might find that many of them make no sense and can be improved. So, you constantly come up with cool ways to automate them, and in the process learn new technologies. You also might find that people on auto-pilot mode just want to get something working and don't really care about learning the concepts behind the cause. An example of this could be a networking problem that your team runs into--many of your colleagues will just escalate the issue to the networking team and move on with their lives. But, after escalating the issue, if you spend a few hours googling around about errors you saw in the logs or nebulous terms the networking guys used, you may end up learning a lot about networks. Basically, I'm trying to show that there are a lot of opportunities throughout the day to build new skills that your colleagues in auto pilot mode are not building. So, you can get better than them despite their elite education.

Another thing to keep in mind is jobs involve dealing with a lot of different people, some of whom make blatantly self-interested decisions. That's something that no elite education can help you with. So, having the ability to adapt to different personalities and see the big picture even when you're frustrated is an important skill that can separate you from the MIT guy with no emotional maturity. In most cases I've seen, the guys who don't make good team members don't go as far.

Oh right, and one thing I forgot to bring up is a lot of my colleagues in the past say things like "I'm a C++ programmer, that's the best language." Or "I only like object-oriented programming." But there are always opportunities for projects in python or a shell language or all sorts of new technologies that none of your team members know about, and you'll have an advantage over them here if you keep an open-mind to learning things they don't want to learn.

Last edited by Go_Blue; 06-23-2016 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 06-24-2016, 12:16 PM   #469
just_grindin
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Illiteracy in the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. ~Alvin Toffler

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Old 06-28-2016, 05:41 PM   #470
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Hey Go_Blue,

I'm interested in applying to Depaul MSCS for the Fall quarter. I've already taken a few CS courses at a community college. I've been looking around for more info about this program and found your posts on this forum. It has been very informative reading through them but I have a few questions hopefully you'll be able to answer them.

1. I'm from the Bay Area and I'm planning to do the program completely online, do you think it'll be more challenging doing this program online?

2. The highest level math that I've completed is Trig/Pre-Calc, will this be enough for this program if I'm planning to specialize in the software and systems development track?

3. You'd mentioned that you had dropped out of the masters program, do you think that a degree is not as important once you have enough work experience? Are you planning to go back and complete it someday?

Thanks!
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Old 06-28-2016, 08:27 PM   #471
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

I can answer these.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cswannabe View Post
1. I'm from the Bay Area and I'm planning to do the program completely online, do you think it'll be more challenging doing this program online?
No.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cswannabe View Post
2. The highest level math that I've completed is Trig/Pre-Calc, will this be enough for this program if I'm planning to specialize in the software and systems development track?
Yes. It's not a math-y program. Mostly, the math you need to know is the not complicated kind for describing the efficiency of algorithms. (http://discrete.gr/complexity/)

You'll only encounter other math heavy courses if you go out of your way to take them because they interest you.
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Old 06-29-2016, 10:14 AM   #472
Go_Blue
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

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3. You'd mentioned that you had dropped out of the masters program, do you think that a degree is not as important once you have enough work experience? Are you planning to go back and complete it someday?
I do not think a degree is important, and I think often it can be distracting to pursue that instead of fun stuff that interests you. The problem with a degree is after a certain point, you may find that you are just taking the classes to graduate rather than trying to learn. You also may find that you retain more information from random articles and YouTube videos than an entire class on a subject. Moreover, your GPA and coursework may give you a false sense of confidence in yourself, and it's important to distance yourself from that feeling because everyone has a decent GPA and everyone completes difficult sounding coursework, and you need to feel driven to do more than that to compete with them.

Having said all of that, I have four courses left to graduate, which at this point in my education, can also be read as "I need to spend 17,000 dollars more to graduate". My wife really wants me to finish though, so maybe I will once our kids are out of daycare (which costs more than $17,000 per year ).
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Old 07-05-2016, 07:35 PM   #473
cswannabe
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Sorry for the late reply, was outta town.

Thanks Go_Blue and Fantaz for answering my questions. The program is quite pricey so I want to make sure that it's worth the huge investment.


Go_Blue/Fantaz - when both of you were applying for jobs/internships, did you apply for BSCS positions or did you also apply for MSCS positions? Also, since you didn't have a BSCS, did you feel like the interviewers saw you more as a BS candidate rather than an MS candidate?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-06-2016, 10:33 PM   #474
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

I applied to anything that wanted any computer science degree. I dont think very many people see a difference between BS and MS w/ an irrelevant undergrad degree.
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Old 07-11-2016, 10:38 PM   #475
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

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I applied to anything that wanted any computer science degree. I dont think very many people see a difference between BS and MS w/ an irrelevant undergrad degree.
The difference I see is usually the MS candidate is more mature. That has its pluses and its minuses, but if you're in business for the long term, it's a net plus imo. If you're a barely capitalized startup, you probably don't want employees you want founders.

Sometimes the MS/PhD guy is great at theory and can't code at all, though.
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