Original question from Quora:

What flaws does school have if you want to become a programmer?

My Answer:

School is not about learning. At least, college isn’t. Not really.

Learning is not why you go to school because school is about the worst possible way to learn anything useful. The reason you believe school is a good way to learn things is because you spend years in school learning things…

…so of course school is where you learn things right?

WRONG!

The purpose of school is the “piece of paper” that says you did school. That is a necessary thing to make it easier for people to hire you as a programmer.

But school doesn’t make you a better programmer.

Programming makes you a better programmer.

If you want to be a better programmer…

Write code!

Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code.

That is how you get better.

In school, you will learn a lot of theory, but you won’t write much code.

The best programmers…

Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code.

And so if you want to to learn to be a programmer….

Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code. Write code.

And if you want to get a job….

School is a expensive, time consuming way to make it easier for people to trust your skills enough to hire you. And that can be a useful thing to have in many cases.

But school won’t teach you to program.

Only writing code will teach you that.

-Brian

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