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Online Learning & Maybe the End of Professionalism

Online learning has been around long enough that the effects on the workplace are starting to become clear. In computer science, anyone with patience and an internet connection can learn how to code. These forums can also quantify the skills of new coders. Now people can prove their worth without a degree. The trend benefits people looking to break into coding, either as a lateral move within a company or as completely self-taught individuals. For mid-career coders, there’s a danger in not keeping up; institutional memory can seem empty compared with objective skills. For employers, it’s tempting to build a team based completely on coding scores – self-taught savants cost less to hire than people with a more traditional background. Still, every team needs someone who knows how to make a presentation, who can look a client in the eye, and owns more than one business suit. This panel will examine the new balance between professionalism and raw talent in computer science.


  1. What does the online experience offer that the classroom doesn’t?
  2. What can't be taught online?
  3. What does a mid-career coder need to do to stay valuable?
  4. What is the value of professional experience in today's marketplace?
  5. How does a hiring manager balance raw talent and social skills?



Rebecca Aronauer, Consultant , Leap PR

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