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What schools are good for software developmen t

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Ariel’s Answer

I would recommend Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo (it is part of the CSU system). The school’s motto is Learn By Doing, and the computer science department does a great job at that.

The classes are small (~20 students) and interactive. The introductory classes are done incredibly well and they are meant to level up students with no programming experience and give them a good foundation. They specifically aim to keep the retention rate high, and many students in the College of Engineering (CENG) end up taking on computer science minors.

You’ll end up learning a great number of languages and tools, which will certainly prepare you for industry where you will constantly be expected to keep learning because the technology moves so quickly.

The school has a few local tech companies that employ students for coops, including iFixit, MindBody, and Amazon. Most students find internships during their second or third year through the dedicated computer science career fair. Recruiters from Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon hire in big batches from Cal Poly graduates.

As a recent Cal Poly alum, I am very grateful for my education there. I found it to be highly effective, personal, and a very positive experience. I would highly recommend checking it out.
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Mark’s Answer

I would recommend the traditional path or formal education, but I can't speak from experience on that because I went more of the trade school route. I earned an associates degree in network engineering, but my first opportunity out of school was a low level software test engineer job that paid more than any I.T help desk jobs at that time. I've been in the software/product development industry since 2010 and most of the developers and testers I work with do not have degrees...they are either self taught developers or learned via online courses (coursera, udemy). The great thing about this industry is it's ever growing with opportunity and there are multiple avenues you can take to get your foot in the door.
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Polina’s Answer

If you are looking for formal education, look for rankings of specific departments, not schools. It's worth making a cost-worth analysis for schools - "top" computer science departments might not necessarily set you up for a good start to your career in software development, and some less known schools might be a better fit. A lot of the time what you do in school - how much you study, get involved with projects/capstones, etc will have a bigger impact on your career than going to a top tier school.

Polina recommends the following next steps:

Good example of department to department comparison: https://www.niche.com/colleges/search/best-colleges-for-computer-science/
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Vijay’s Answer

I would break this into two aspects

  1. Experiential Learning
  2. Formal Education

For formal education, there are the top tier schools - UCs, SLO, and Stanford/USC (California) that are really good. I would also explore online courses. Massively Online programs offered by websites like coursera.org are good vehicles.

For experiential learning, explore interning at organizations like Cisco, amongst others.

Having a good balance between the two will give you the best experience.

Vijay recommends the following next steps:

Look up coursera.org
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Pete’s Answer

My experience is that several of the CSU colleges can also be very good; Chico State being one of them. Arizona State also has been very strong in this field and gets heavily recruited. Doing an internet search on top colleges for software development will result in several links to reviews which might be helpful to you!

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