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How being self-educated disadvantage me ?

D 15 février 2016     H 17:00     A Genma     C 3 messages   Flattr cet article Logo Tipee

TAGS : English Genma’s thoughts

This text is training for me in English. Story already told in French on these blog in old blog post I guess.

I’m self-educated. It means that everyday, I learn things. By things I mean computer science things. Everyday, I’m crawling the web, reading more and more how-to, docs, wiki and other FAQ and forum like StackOverflow. I check my RSS client, I check some specific hashtag on social networks. I spend many hours each to feed my brain. I need it.

I’m not an developer, I’m not an engineer. I’ve studied Biology in University and I have a Master degree in Bioinformatics. Ok, I’ve done six months of computer science. Let me tell you my story.

At the beginning of my studies in College & University, I wasn’t able to do a macro in Excel (it was an exercise we have to do the first year of my studies during the few hours in computer science we had). I wasn’t able to do a program for my calculator.

But at the end of my studies, I’ve learn how to learn computer science. I’ve done one year of upgrade in computer science, leading to a university degree. And it changes my life. Really.

I tell you the really short version. First hour of pratical lessons, I was put in front of a passive Unix terminal, needing to tape some command line. My teacher starts to explain us shell commands. And I’ve loved it. Really. It was KISS. Keep it simple, stupid. Each command has an English name, some options. It was powerful. You can chain command... Unix system starts with a root. Binary are in /bin. Configuration files in /etc. Modified files in /var, temporary file in /tmp. I’ve seen the light in the dark I was since 20 years. I was an Windows user since few years. I discovered Free Software and Opensource. I’ve started to use GNU/Linux via Debian on my PC at home... But above all, I’ve discovered that I’m a self-educated. I can learn by myself. computer science was for me. It was 12 years ago.

I’m a self-educated, but I’m not a developer. I can do few codes, I can write some program. But when I need. Not by passion. Not for the love of programming. I enjoy to take a look and to know a little on every new technology. But without a goal, I don’t go deeper in these technologies. I know it exists, I know the goal of it. But I’m not specialized. I can discuss with various developers of many domains, understanding what they do. I can talk with them. I use the same words and vocabulary as them. I can read their code, independently of the language (main programming language) and understand what it does. But in front of an IDE, in front of a white screen, I don’t know how to code. I need to ask StackOverflow, I do some code adaptations. I write my code from others developer code, not from scratch. It’s special, isn’t it ?

In this blog, in French, day by days, I talk (write is more appropriate I guess) about all the things I learn (in reality, I learn much more that I talk about). In various domain. Common point being FreeSoftware. I learn and talk about geeky things, like selfhosting. I learn, talk and share my knowledge about privacy, cryptographic tools...

Ok will you say, but what’s the point ?

I’m self-educated, I’m not a developer. And when I search for a new job, I face of the question "ok, what’s your favorite technology, framework or language". And my answer is "none". Enterprise need a devops, for backend or frontend, an admin-sys or anything else. Someone who is specialized. That’s my problem. I’m not specialized. I’m just special. I know a little about everything where company needs a person who knows many about a little thing...

This post is already so long that I’ll continue later in others posts.

Wanna help me ? Check my Linkedin profile, keeping this post in mind. If you can do something for me, if you’re searching someone special, if you want to work with me, contact me.

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Dans la même rubrique

15 février 2016 – How being self-educated disadvantage me ?

3 Messages

  • Ton point de vue me semble assez intéressant. Tu semble cependant surtout t’axer sur ton manque de connaissances techniques, de code, mais de ce que j’ai pu voir sur ce blog, tu es assez spécialiste sur d’autres choses (Tor, le fonctionnement du libre...).

    Puisque ton but est de progresser en anglais, je te propose une petite modification ;-) :
    " I’ve learn how to learn computer science" -> I’ve learned et non I’ve learn

  • If you know the shell, you probably can write some programs in shells.
    That counts as programming. You probably already know how to program in bash.

    You have the usual constructs found in programming languages such as :
    - The for loop. Example : for x in $(ls *.txt ; do cp -i $x /Documents/ ; done
    - Functions : Example :

    xrandr -o 3

    You can then call that function.

    Most shells are turing complete (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turing_completeness). It means that you can implement any algorythm with them.

    Maybe you already uses lots of programs written only in shell languages, such as keychain.
    $ file /usr/bin/keychain
    /usr/bin/keychain : POSIX shell script, ASCII text executable, with escape sequences

    The difficult thing in shell is to make your program portable accross different shells, and utilities.
    OpenBSD’s ls doesn’t have the same options than coreutils’s

  • > EN : We learn Informatics, We learn Internet
    Informatics probably doesn’t exist in English. Computer science does.

    > - Java/J2EE Developer
    > - .NET/C# Developer
    That sounds missleading, it looks like if you knew how to program in Java/J2EE/dotnet/C#.

    Note that a computer programmer that only know to program (very well) is a problem :
    As a programmer you need to know a lot of other things like :
    - How to speak mostly fluent English
    - Have good communication skills
    - Have a good legal background (Contracts, Licensing, Copyright, Trademarks)
    I guess the full list is really long.

    Work Ideas :
    - Community manager (Red Hat, Cannonical, etc...)
    - Work on campaigns in Associations like FSF, April and so on.
    - Management ? project management.

    If you take companies like Red Hat, they are growing each year.
    They have to hire many people, most of them for other tasks than programming.
    However they seem to have a hard time finding such people with a good background in free software.
    If its employees don’t, here’s what do happen : https://mjg59.dreamwidth.org/29511.html

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Date de mise à jour :

Le 17 janvier 2019