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S1:E6 Disadvantages of being a programming apprentice

In the last episode I completely glorified all the benefits of being a programming apprentice, but don’t get me wrong! There are also many disadvantages of being the apprentice which others may or may not have experienced. In a later episode in this series i will be comparing all of the pros and cons of an apprenticeship and comparing them with university, so keep that in mind for a letter episode.

Lets start with the short and brief one as its pretty self explanatory and that is simply some employers will only consider an applicant who has a certain uni degree level. From an apprenticeship you won’t get this, but I say to those employers: “Would you rather employ someone who has a piece of paper in their folder, or someone who has real life coding experience?”.

Some may argue calling this a disadvantage but an apprenticeship is not that easy and it is quiet tough, you really need to assert your self to progress. In my case, as you are all now aware, I never had a senior developer to help guide or learn from so I really was a one man army “The apprentice and his resources” (sounds like a good film right?). Okay, so even for arguments sake you do have a senior to learn from, it is very likely they are incredibly busy already and the senior would not want to spoon feed you. In my opinion, everyone who is in an apprenticeship no matter what company, will have a difficult time and it is very easy to give up. Only the daring survive fighting off Null Reference Exceptions, to be met by a bunch of Out of range exceptions. (This really is starting to turn into a good film, who wants to fund it?)

In my scenario, I also found that the programming apprenticeship is also very draining and tiring. Imagine 3 days a week at college, 2 days a week at work, X amount of college assignments to do at home and also the drive to want to achieve in your apprenticeship so researching your current programming issues. Yep, it was draining just thinking about it, no doubt actually doing it again. Now, I have an easy live as I go to work 5 days a week and occasionally have to work over time. Really is a big difference but don’t get me wrong, I am NOT a senior developer so I am still learning everyday and do often have a read of one of my programming books before I go to sleep.

Finally, the last disadvantage that I experienced in my  programming apprenticeship is when you change something you should not have in code and messed up the whole system… and you don’t want to admit it, so you spend ages trying to revert in the repository which you forgot to commit too yesterday. Yes, this has happened to me before and to all the other developers reading this, I know you have done it in your career at some point to.

Until Next Time


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My name is Andrew, passion for anything technical and fast. I am a software developer from London quick background check I started as an apprentice desktop developer and 5 years later and 2 jobs later i am now a desktop, web and mobile app developer working for a company just outside of London.

My passions is obvious and i love to share and talk about it which is why i am starting developer diaries, a spin off from my popular world of programmers page with over 100,000 fans world wide.

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