RhinoForex
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Hi there,

I am currently in Scotland and applying for computer science at 2019

I just want to know if it matters which university I go too

My choices are either Glasgow or Strathclyde :

https://www.strath.ac.uk/courses/und...reengineering/
https://www.gla.ac.uk/undergraduate/...putingscience/

(Side note: Strathclyde SE course is the exact same as the CS course in Strathclyde - the only difference is that the SE offers 12-month industrial placement, Glasgow University SE and CS course is different)

Strathclyde SE course offers 12-month paid industrial placement, and their course is half coursework and half exam (suits me) and apparently, you can do projects that are given by industries, Strathclyde 2019 CS course is within the 25 Unis In the UK (however this changes every year)

Glasgow CS course is purely based on the exam and offers no experience (which I find lacking) however they are highly ranked and a Russel group university (idk if that matters)

I prefer Strathclyde due to their 12 month PAID industrial placement and their high links to the industry. But Glasgow course is harder and reputation is better - I think

I feel like if I went to Glasgow, I will have to self-teach a lot of stuff before getting a job -

Ideally, I just want to become a software developer and then a software engineer in a decent company.

What do you think?
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winterscoming
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Employers aren't going to be looking at the university you went to when they're deciding to hire you, their decision to hire you will be based entirely on how well you perform in their interview and assessments - they'll mostly be looking for you to provide evidence of your analytical, technical and problem solving skills. They'll also want to know a bit about you as a person, including your communication skills, enthusiasm, willingness to learn, and how well you'd be able to work in a team or cope with difficult situations.

You can expect to be asked to talk about the kinds of projects you've worked on and the kind of experience that has given you, as well as how well you understand the various tools and technologies you've worked with. You'll probably be asked to explain your understanding of various skills/technologies on your CV. There may be a "whiteboard" problem solving session where you're asked to talk through a problem, and possibly a paper test or being asked to sit down with a laptop and complete a task then explain the solution.

a 12-month placement is a really good opportunity to build up a lot of those skills in a real-world environment during your degree - it's a shame that Glasgow doesn't offer this, since a relevant industrial placement can make a huge difference to your graduate employment prospects. A lot of people tend to find that they learn more from their placement than the rest of their degree put together. The placement effectively serves as your first year of experience, so it can often put you in a very strong position compared to graduates with no experience.

Lastly, whatever university you go to, your success is entirely down to you and how much you take advantage of the opportunity of being at university. Going to any university regardless of its prestige doesn't provide any guarantees about your future career; the only way to ensure that you're successful after leaving university is to really make the most of those 3 years. That includes taking advantage of the availability of the lecturers to talk to and ask for help, using the facilities at the university, chasing up any extra study the university suggests you take on, and making sure you always stay on top of your assignments/coursework, attend lectures, push to get the very best degree classification and to make sure you really understand all the material on the course.
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RhinoForex
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(Original post by winterscoming)
Employers aren't going to be looking at the university you went to when they're deciding to hire you, their decision to hire you will be based entirely on how well you perform in their interview and assessments - they'll mostly be looking for you to provide evidence of your analytical, technical and problem solving skills.

You can expect to be asked to talk about the kinds of projects you've worked on and the kind of experience that has given you, as well as how well you understand the various tools and technologies you've worked with. You'll probably be asked to explain your understanding of various skills/technologies on your CV. There may be a "whiteboard" problem solving session where you're asked to talk through a problem, and possibly a paper test or being asked to sit down with a laptop and complete a task then explain the solution.

a 12-month placement is a really good opportunity to build up a lot of those skills in a real-world environment during your degree - it's a shame that Glasgow doesn't offer this, since a relevant industrial placement can make a huge difference to your graduate employment prospects. A lot of people tend to find that they learn more from their placement than the rest of their degree put together. The placement effectively serves as your first year of experience, so it can often put you in a very strong position compared to graduates with no experience.

Lastly, whatever university you go to, your success is entirely down to you and how much you take advantage of the opportunity of being at university. Going to any university regardless of its prestige doesn't provide any guarantees about your future career; the only way to ensure that you're successful after leaving university is to really make the most of those 3 years. That includes taking advantage of the availability of the lecturers to talk to and ask for help, using the facilities at the university, chasing up any extra study the university suggests you take on, and making sure you always stay on top of your assignments/coursework, attend lectures, push to get the very best degree classification and to make sure you really understand all the material on the course.
Thanks for the response,

Even though Glasgow has a great reputation, I'm probably just going to end up doing the SE course In Strathclyde - really due to its 12-month industrial placement and plus Strathclyde is in the Glasgow city central whereas glasgow aint.

Another question,
Does it matter which grade you get for a CS degree to get a job in software development -is there a set limit you have to achieve?
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winterscoming
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(Original post by Suleman_Ak)
Thanks for the response,

Even though Glasgow has a great reputation, I'm probably just going to end up doing the SE course In Strathclyde - really due to its 12-month industrial placement.

Another question,
Does it matter which grade you get for a CS degree to get a job in software development?
Well, firstly your degree is mostly relevant to you in the first few years of your career, so when focused on that, it can determine the number of opportunities available to you (later on in your career once you've got 5+ years of solid, worthwhile experience and progression under your belt, it won't really matter).

Secondly, if you ended up with a 'weak' grade, then it would depend upon why you had a weak grade -- for example, if you graduated with a 3rd, the assumption would be that you didn't really understand a lot of the material on your course, that you struggled to grasp the concepts or complete the coursework, and that your 3rd was the best you could acheive -- if this is the case then there's trouble because it would probably show up in the technical interviews when you're asked to talk about topics like OO programming, or asked to show how you'd write code to solve a problem, etc

On the other hand, some people end up with a weak degree simply because they're bad at exams, or they struggle with studying and academia, but are otherwise bright, intelligent, capable and understand what they're doing -- in that case, a 3rd is much less of a problem if they really do understand the material and do possess the skills then most employers are likely to give the benefit of the doubt.

When it comes to finding your first graduate job, some graduate schemes will have a very competitive influx of applications from the best graduates, so a poor grade will make it almost impossible to get into those. That will definitely be true at the 'top' end of the graduate recruitment market (many large companies and many of the best-paid grad schemes). Realistically there are many thousands of companies out there who are happy to hire people into junior software engineering jobs as long as they are technically capable and can be trusted to do the job. They won't be the ones paying top money, but the experience you'll gain working in a small/medium company is equally as valuable really.

A 1st or 2:1 gives a good first-impression - it shows a student who has put a huge amount of work into learning, and taken their studies seriously, being well-organised to get coursework in on time, being well prepared enough for the exams and clearly able to understand everything on the course. It opens up more opportunities, but aside from that, the graduate market for technically-competent, capable and enthusiastic junior software engineers is pretty good.

The reality is that people can get into software engineering without a degree, and without having any kind of computer science background (it's worth pointing out that a lot of people get in via apprenticeships rather than degrees). A degree should be a solid, reliable, path where you'll learn a lot of important concepts and skills, which opens up a lot of opportunities. Besides, if you're going to do all the hard work of studying for 3 years, then surely you'd want to get a 1st or 2:1 to have something worthwhile to show for that time, and something you can be proud of.

The worst-case scenario for graduating with a weak degree would be needing to do extra work to "brush up" or re-learn the skills you should have picked up at university (depending how big the gap is), and probably find yourself with a salary right at the bottom-end of the graduate pay scale. The beginning of your career would probably start slowly, and you might need to suffer more rejections from the companies interviewing you, and be more open minded about looking for jobs in other parts of the country.
.
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RhinoForex
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(Original post by winterscoming)
Well, firstly your degree is mostly relevant to you in the first few years of your career, so when focused on that, it can determine the number of opportunities available to you (later on in your career once you've got 5+ years of solid, worthwhile experience and progression under your belt, it won't really matter).

Secondly, if you ended up with a 'weak' grade, then it would depend upon why you had a weak grade -- for example, if you graduated with a 3rd, the assumption would be that you didn't really understand a lot of the material on your course, that you struggled to grasp the concepts or complete the coursework, and that your 3rd was the best you could acheive -- if this is the case then there's trouble because it would probably show up in the technical interviews when you're asked to talk about topics like OO programming, or asked to show how you'd write code to solve a problem, etc

On the other hand, some people end up with a weak degree simply because they're bad at exams, or they struggle with studying and academia, but are otherwise bright, intelligent, capable and understand what they're doing -- in that case, a 3rd is much less of a problem if they really do understand the material and do possess the skills then most employers are likely to give the benefit of the doubt.

When it comes to finding your first graduate job, some graduate schemes will have a very competitive influx of applications from the best graduates, so a poor grade will make it almost impossible to get into those. That will definitely be true at the 'top' end of the graduate recruitment market (many large companies and many of the best-paid grad schemes). Realistically there are many thousands of companies out there who are happy to hire people into junior software engineering jobs as long as they are technically capable and can be trusted to do the job. They won't be the ones paying top money, but the experience you'll gain working in a small/medium company is equally as valuable really.

A 1st or 2:1 gives a good first-impression - it shows a student who has put a huge amount of work into learning, and taken their studies seriously, being well-organised to get coursework in on time, being well prepared enough for the exams and clearly able to understand everything on the course. It opens up more opportunities, but aside from that, the graduate market for technically-competent, capable and enthusiastic junior software engineers is pretty good.

The reality is that people can get into software engineering without a degree, and without having any kind of computer science background (it's worth pointing out that a lot of people get in via apprenticeships rather than degrees). A degree should be a solid, reliable, path where you'll learn a lot of important concepts and skills, which opens up a lot of opportunities. Besides, if you're going to do all the hard work of studying for 3 years, then surely you'd want to get a 1st or 2:1 to have something worthwhile to show for that time, and something you can be proud of.

The worst-case scenario for graduating with a weak degree would be needing to do extra work to "brush up" or re-learn the skills you should have picked up at university (depending how big the gap is), and probably find yourself with a salary right at the bottom-end of the graduate pay scale. The beginning of your career would probably start slowly, and you might need to suffer more rejections from the companies interviewing you, and be more open minded about looking for jobs in other parts of the country.
.
Thanks,

I feel like Strathclyde will get me prepared for the industry pretty well (their content seems challenging, and it said to be the 3rd hardest in Scotland)

What programming languages to software developers tend to learn. I know it depends on the field you are going for e.g. App developer you should know Swift.

Obviously, I can't learn every language - but generally, I want to get ahead to start, and start learning languages that most firms require

My list is so far:
Java
Python
JavaScript (I feel like this one is dying)
Maybe Ruby
C++ ??
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RhinoForex
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(Original post by ltsmith)
JavaScript is growing faster than the others you've listed. It's basically a monopoly language for frontend development. More and more companies are starting to use Node.js for backend development aswell.
Ah ok my mistake then

Thanks for the reply.
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RhinoForex
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(Original post by ltsmith)
imo it doesn't matter what programming languages you know before you begin your software career. pick one and focus on building a strong understanding of cs foundations so you can smash interviews for internships and graduate jobs. leetcode problems are good for practicing algorithms/data structure questions. FAANG (facebook, apple, amazon, netflix, google) interviews are based around the questions you'll find on leetcode.
Appreciate your reply,

When I ever look at Software Development jobs in indeed, they ask for essential languages before applying.

Maybe I'm looking at the wrong thing

Which language do you recommend learning first?
In terms of procedural, object-oriented etc.
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RhinoForex
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(Original post by ltsmith)
Probably because those are not intended for graduates. If you look at graduate jobs and graduate schemes in software engineering, there isn't a laundry list of lanauges.

E.g. from Google.
https://careers.google.com/jobs#!t=j...uk-3651420396&

[/list]

I would recommend either: Java, C++, Python.

Python if you're interested in machine learning and data science.
Java if you're interested in web and mobile applications development.
C++ if you're interested in game development.
Yeah, I was probably looking at experienced software developer jobs at indeed.

I am probably going to learn Java since I might want to get into the mobile industry.

Thanks.
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winterscoming
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(Original post by Suleman_Ak)
Thanks,

What programming languages to software developers tend to learn. I know it depends on the field you are going for e.g. App developer you should know Swift.

But generally, I want to get ahead to start, and start learning languages that most firms require

My list is so far:
Java
Python
JavaScript (I feel like this is one is dying)
That's a great list. I wouldn't recommend trying to pick up too many different languages at once; in fact, just one is good to start with. Focus on getting the depth of knowledge instead. The concepts are the most important; realistically if you can build up the concepts even from learning just one language, then other languages will be much easier.

Personally I'd suggest sticking to a back-end language (probably Java) to begin with and use that to build up a solid understanding of back-end technologies, as well as Object-Oriented programming, software design principles, data/list manipulation, multi-threading, network programming, error-handling, and most importantly make sure you're able to 'think' computationally and logically, and are able to use a programming language to solve challenging problems.

In the long-term, you should find that being confident with Java makes it much easier to learn a lot of other languages; in particular, someone with a couple of years of solid experience in Java and OO Programming shouldn't have much trouble jumping over to C# or Python. There's a lot that learning Java can teach you about programming in general - you could easily spend hundreds of hours just trying to learn the core language and all of its libraries, and many more hundreds of hours learning all the software development principles for writing large, non-trivial applications.


A note on JavaScript - this is a really long way from dying because it's the only language which is universally supported in web browsers, and most modern apps tend to take advantage of 'web' technologies. With that said, its strength is in front-end web/app development rather than back-end development. (people do use it for other things though)
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RhinoForex
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(Original post by winterscoming)
That's a great list. I wouldn't recommend trying to pick up too many different languages at once; in fact, just one is good to start with. Focus on getting the depth of knowledge instead. The concepts are the most important; realistically if you can build up the concepts even from learning just one language, then other languages will be much easier.

Personally I'd suggest sticking to a back-end language (probably Java) to begin with and use that to build up a solid understanding of back-end technologies, as well as Object-Oriented programming, software design principles, data/list manipulation, multi-threading, network programming, error-handling, and most importantly make sure you're able to 'think' computationally and logically, and are able to use a programming language to solve challenging problems.

In the long-term, you should find that being confident with Java makes it much easier to learn a lot of other languages; in particular, someone with a couple of years of solid experience in Java and OO Programming shouldn't have much trouble jumping over to C# or Python. There's a lot that learning Java can teach you about programming in general - you could easily spend hundreds of hours just trying to learn the core language and all of its libraries, and many more hundreds of hours learning all the software development principles for writing large, non-trivial applications.


A note on JavaScript - this is a really long way from dying because it's the only language which is universally supported in web browsers, and most modern apps tend to take advantage of 'web' technologies. With that said, its strength is in front-end web/app development rather than back-end development. (people do use it for other things though)
Do you think that you can get a strong depth of knowledge from a programming language such as Java from just doing a CS/SE degree - and if so would it be from a higher ranked uni or a lower ranked uni or will I have to do a lot of self-programming?

Because I feel like that the Higher University are too focused on the theory and mathematical areas, you don't really go in depth at the programming languages than the lower unis do.

Thanks.
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Nihilisticb*tch
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Honestly it depends. It is somewhat important but not as important as many people on TSR would have you believe.

The main reason it is important is because you will spend at least 3 years of your life there which is a long time if you don't like it there.

Its also important because you should make sure if the course is what you want and if it teaches you the skills that fit best to the career you want to go into.

More prestigious universities are generally nicer, they have nicer buildings/facilities and better lecturers (note: this is a generalisation and doesn't apply to every prestigious uni).

Some employers may be more likely to hire you if you went to a good university but I don't think this happens very often.
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winterscoming
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(Original post by Suleman_Ak)
Do you think that you can get a strong depth of knowledge from a programming language such as Java from just doing a CS/SE degree - and if so would it be from a higher ranked uni or a lower ranked uni or will I have to do a lot of self-programming?

Thanks.
Yes, you should be able to learn most of it from a degree, assuming you do all the assignments and keep up with the pace of the lectures and the course. I would point out that a lot of the course itself will be self-study through assignments and coursework, most universities only have 10-15 hours of 'contact' time every week, and they usually expect 10-20 hours of self-study outside of lectures/workshops where you'd be working on the assignments and coursework. (The ranking of the universities won't really change that)

You will probably find that a higher ranked university pushes you to complete more complex and challenging assignments - typically students at those universities have a much stronger mathematical background, so there'd likely be more assignments for building complex algorithms, a greater emphasis on logical reasoning and problem solving. There's also more likely to be cross-over into research areas like AI and Machine learning, and generally more focus on discrete maths.

With that said,even the lower ranked university should be expecting you to do a lot of work to learn all the tools, technologies and engineering principles; there'll probably be less maths and less algorithms/logic/reasoning, but the technical skills in Java, OO Programming and other skills ought to be much the same; you'd still be expected to read up on OO design and OO modelling, as well as complete large coursework assignments where you put all of it to use. You can usually expect things like networking/databases/threading to be much the same too.
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BFG9000
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The sandwich year is a win, you should also build some sort of a portfolio. It depends what you want to end up doing.
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RhinoForex
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(Original post by BFG9000)
The sandwich year is a win, you should also build some sort of a portfolio. It depends what you want to end up doing.
True, but I will be building my portfolio while studying at University (probably use treehouse or something to help with that ) and plus the 12-month work placement will probably be enough for a graduate position in Software Development.

Thanks.
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RhinoForex
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(Original post by winterscoming)
Yes, you should be able to learn most of it from a degree, assuming you do all the assignments and keep up with the pace of the lectures and the course. I would point out that a lot of the course itself will be self-study through assignments and coursework, most universities only have 10-15 hours of 'contact' time every week, and they usually expect 10-20 hours of self-study outside of lectures/workshops where you'd be working on the assignments and coursework. (The ranking of the universities won't really change that)

You will probably find that a higher ranked university pushes you to complete more complex and challenging assignments - typically students at those universities have a much stronger mathematical background, so there'd likely be more assignments for building complex algorithms, a greater emphasis on logical reasoning and problem solving. There's also more likely to be cross-over into research areas like AI and Machine learning, and generally more focus on discrete maths.

With that said,even the lower ranked university should be expecting you to do a lot of work to learn all the tools, technologies and engineering principles; there'll probably be less maths and less algorithms/logic/reasoning, but the technical skills in Java, OO Programming and other skills ought to be much the same; you'd still be expected to read up on OO design and OO modelling, as well as complete large coursework assignments where you put all of it to use. You can usually expect things like networking/databases/threading to be much the same too.
Just out of curiosity what university did you go too, and was there any reasoning why you picked that particular university?

Thanks
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BFG9000
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(Original post by Suleman_Ak)
True, but I will be building my portfolio while studying at University (probably use treehouse or something to help with that ) and plus the 12-month work placement will probably be enough for a graduate position in Software Development.

Thanks.
Also, learn SCRUM, Kanban, general Agile/Lean stuff, start using Git from the day 1, etc... there are lots of things you can do to make yourself more interesting to your potential employer.
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RhinoForex
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(Original post by BFG9000)
Also, learn SCRUM, Kanban, general Agile/Lean stuff, start using Git from the day 1, etc... there are lots of things you can do to make yourself more interesting to your potential employer.
Thanks for the advice,

I will definitely look into these things that you have mentioned

I am planning to do these tech degrees in Treehouse for stuff like Java (Not a real degree, more of an online certificate)
They can teach you advanced stuff from a programming language.
You do many projects that are marked by the treehouse officials and you are given a grade
It takes around a couple of months to complete (ill probably do one every year in uni)
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BFG9000
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(Original post by Suleman_Ak)
Thanks for the advice,

I will definitely look into these things that you have mentioned

I am planning to do these tech degrees in Treehouse for stuff like Java (Not a real degree, more of an online certificate)
They can teach you advanced stuff from a programming language.
You do many projects that are marked by the treehouse officials and you are given a grade
It takes around a couple of months to complete (ill probably do one every year in uni)
try edX, codeacademy, khanacademy especially stuff from MIT.
To keep your skills sharp try to compete in Code Wars, Hacker Rank and similar. Establish your presence on stack0verflow, employers dig that.
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RhinoForex
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(Original post by BFG9000)
try edX, codeacademy, khanacademy especially stuff from MIT.
To keep your skills sharp try to compete in Code Wars, Hacker Rank and similar. Establish your presence on stack0verflow, employers dig that.
Defiantly will look into them, appreciate the help.
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winterscoming
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(Original post by Suleman_Ak)
Just out of curiosity what university did you go too, and was there any reasoning why you picked that particular university?

Thanks
Personally I went to Staffordshire Uni to study Software Engineering. The main reasons I chose it were due to their connections with employers for the 12-month placement, as well as the fact that their degree included the chance to pick up certification from Cisco (CCNA) and Oracle (Java and SQL databases). I think there was a Microsoft certificate too, but I didn't choose the right module for that one.

From my point of view, I hadn't been too interested gaining a degree nor studying maths - I taught myself the C and C++ languages from around age 14 onwards, alongside a lot of the OO principles and other programming concepts, so having many years of doing that already, the goal for me of getting into university was to reach a point where i could succeed in software engineering job interviews -- actually the internship was more interesting and useful to me than the degree.

I didn't bother to return for the 3rd year though - I completed my 12-month placement and then accepted a permanent job as a junior software engineer there, building a career on top of that. That's not a very typical scenario really, but the opportunity was there at the time so I decided to take it. Otherwise, having several years of self-taught programming in C and C++ along with all the OOP stuff made a big difference in making all the programming modules (nearly half of the course) fairly "easy", and probably made up for the fact that I didn't return to finish my final year.


I did this before degree-apprenticeships were an option for software engineering too; in hindsight if I were that age again and had that option available I'd have probably applied for a software engineering apprenticeship on the Digital & Technology Solutions degree scheme.
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