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Learn on someone else's dime (dandreamsofcoding.com)
41 points by bratfarrar 1815 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 7 comments

If Peter Thiel (or anyone else who will follow through on their promises) offers you $100K to drop out of college and work on something real, consider it strongly.

There are very few colleges who will tell you that they really don't want to see you again in a year, or two, or seven. At worst they'll make you re-apply. If they won't even go that far, you probably didn't want to go to that college.

Education is not limited to schools, college is not limited to 16-22 year olds.

Good points all around. People tend to have an idea that they are the next Gates/Zuckerberg/Jobs, but in reality these people had college educated colleagues that helped them build their dreams. College is about education, and just that: you are paying to be tutored by people who know their stuff. If you don't need to be tutored, and are willing to hustle yourself (Colleges tend to use their name to make the game easier for you), then by all means go for it, however without someone saying you have the skills you claim or you being able to prove you have them, then you aren't going to get very far. Life is a journey, don't front load it and don't be a rush to get to the finish line. You have tons of time to build your skill set, work for someone else, and then realize your dream when you are ready.

Going off the title (can't say I followed the argument in the actual article all that well), this is exactly why I have a hard time working on learning things (i.e. new frameworks, languages, etc...) in my free time. For the most part, at this stage in my career, everything I know I've learned on the job. In other words, I was receiving meaningful income while learning. Why would I want to learn for free? Also, I'll add, it's a much quicker process to learn while working with other people who are already skilled at what you're learning. I don't constantly have that feeling that I'm putting in a bunch of time doing things the wrong way and getting a false sense that I'm making any real progress. What's the saying? Practice doesn't make perfect; perfect practice makes perfect. My last job, I picked up Python (coming from Ruby, which helped a lot) and because of code review, I had a bunch of people every time I wrote code telling me what I was doing right and wrong. That made it incredibly easy to go from 0 to somewhere above average and I was paid to do it. Currently, I'm very interested in clojure and go for various reasons. I have a feeling it might be a bit harder to find a job where I can learn either of those, however.

Now, I'm curious how people will respond to this attitude here. I'm guessing I'll get accused of lacking passion because if I was passionate, I'd want to do all this stuff on my own. I can truly say I enjoy writing software and the act of creation that comes along with that; I just like to get paid when I do it.

Your attitude makes it harder to reinvent yourself [edit: in a major shift].

But if you are happy with doing things which more or less builds on previous experience, all through your career while the world/you change, congratulations.

I'm not entirely sure what the argument was here

seemed to be stay in school, work for a big company, save some money, and get to know as many people as you can, and you'll be better perpared to start a company after all that (say at 30) than you would be without all that (say at 20)

I mean I guess thats true

I didn't see a real convincing argument that that education would be any better than the education you'd get from starting your company at 20, and going through some fires

seems like at 30, that guy will be better educated for starting a company than our first guy

I don't see any real great argument for school and big companies providing for exclusive learning opportunities

I don't think it's a question of better or more exclusive learning opportunities. I think the op is arguing that you can gain the same skills and experience you would get starting a company at 20 by trial-and-error, but without the lost income, time, and career progress.

If you want flourishing employees, or want to flourish as an employee, then you need opportunity to learn and grow at work. Everyone needs a mentor, including the members of the executive staff. You can survive a little while running off experience, but that should not be an ingredient in a long-term culture.

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