I had finished a coding bootcamp last year (2020) and got a job in Korea. Here, there are a lot of Python/Django positions and I have been able to get by without knowing a single thing about Computer Science. Here, they stress out that you don't have to know much about the fundamentals of computer science like Algorithms and Data Structures as long as you can keep learning trendy frameworks and libraries and use them properly.

The problem here is that I would very much like to learn the fundamentals of Computer Science to know how things work but I am being pressured to keep learning things only on the surface level and my only free time is a couple of hours a day after work if I give up on some part of my sleep. (South Korea has longer hours of work on average)

Also, I am looking to move to America at the end of this year and I hear from others that you cannot get a junior back-end dev job with Python. Some guy I know, who just landed a job in the NYC area, told me he couldn't find a back-end python/Django job so he had to spend several months studying C#, which led him to his current job.

To tell you the truth, I do not feel satisfied with my current position because of several factors, one of which being 1600 dollars of monthly wage (my rent is 900 dollars a month for a tiny studio room), and the extremely strict hierchy at the current company where I get micro-managed to the granular matters.

Should I be worried about the experience gap? Or should I quit in order to spend time studying fundamentals and making personal projects on GitHub?

P.S.: I have enough money to survive for the next 10 months or so. Thus, the money won't be a problem.

  • Would resigning and finding a part time job be an option?
    – Mari-Lou A
    May 4, 2021 at 6:47
  • As of now, I can't find any part-time developer job in South Korea. I would have to go for one of the minimum wage gigs at restaurants and convenience stores. May 4, 2021 at 7:25
  • Have you managed to put aside some money? Because if you leave your job in order to study you still need to pay the rent and bills. Working FT in a busy restaurant can be exhausting, you might not feel like opening a book after work. How much time do you think you'd need to at least get a basic appreciation of computer science? Have you talked to anyone who graduated and can advise you where to start? I wish I could be of more help, good luck in whatever decision you make.
    – Mari-Lou A
    May 4, 2021 at 7:35
  • 4
    @NicholasAn , if you quit it is extremely unlikely you will get another job. "Nobody cares" that you read some comp sci. textbooks for a few months. It will add nothing to your career prospects unfortunately. Please find a way to enjoy your current job while you search for your second job!
    – Fattie
    May 4, 2021 at 13:19
  • 2
    Actually one does not need a college degree - but the OP needs to really brush up on algorithms and standard data structure, which - you know, outdated as it is - there are AMAZING books about. Like real books, with a table of content and planning, not youtube tutorials not going into depth.
    – TomTom
    Jul 4, 2021 at 20:16

4 Answers 4


Should I quit my job to brush up on more fundamentals?

No, almost certainly not. Quitting your job for this creates a gap in your CV which always looks odd, and despite the real reason, many employers will just assume you got laid off & couldn't find work in that time. Learning the fundamentals is a noble goal, but in practice won't really increase your chances of being hired.

An hour a day of self-study, perhaps a bit longer at the weekend, would be a much better alternative IMHO.

Also, I am looking to move to America at the end of this year and I hear from others that you cannot get a junior back-end dev job with Python

I find this extraordinarily difficult to believe - Python is an incredibly popular language. (If we were talking about something like Rust then sure, but not Python.) That being said, if you're after a junior position then many employers likely won't require that you even know the language well - if you're able to demonstrate a good background knowledge, skill up quickly & show competence in other similar languages, then there's no reason you wouldn't be considered for a junior C# position, for example.


Should I be worried about the experience gap? Or should I quit in order to spend time studying fundamentals and making personal projects on GitHub?

Do not quit without a clear plan on what to do and how that improves your chances.

There is two things that will improve your chances with employers: an education (for example a BSc/MSc or where I live an apprenticeship) and work experience.

Why? Because with those two things you have already been vetted by someone else (examiners or bosses) and have proven to be worth it. Personal Github projects, online courses, self-learning: all those provide opportunities for you to grow, but for me as an employer they provide zero proof that you actually did. They are good for you, but they do not really help you to get a job when there are enough candidates around that can show something that a relatively neutral third party vouched for.

That said, is there something you can do? Do you have the money (depending on education system) to get an education? Maybe there is a provider that can accommodate your needs? For example, around here we have multiple providers that accommodate people that have a job and work in another town by offering remote classes and very little actual presence, mostly only for exams, is required. Sure, it takes a lot longer to get a BSc than it would take if you did it full-time locally, but it is an option.

So don't quit your one source of employability (work experience) without gaining another, preferable better source (better work experience or better education).

Languages, frameworks, project management methods, that all will change over time. One employer may prefer python, another something else. Only a solid education and work experience is something that stays with you through the years.


The simple answer is NO,

read about that in your spare time while working.

Some facts,

  1. You are incredibly lucky to have scored a job, after a "bootcamp". Make the most of the job. Enjoy!

  2. You may be wildly overthinking "computer science". If you diligently read for 30 minutes, three times a week, for ten weeks, you'll be ahead of most programmers. Make that a goal and see how you feel in ten weeks.

  3. "personal projects on GitHub" achieve absolutely nothing. Nobody will even look at them. Completely set this idea aside.

  4. You are complaining about your boss. Fair enough! There are literally thousands of questions on here "My boss sucks because..." Simply do your work, take your money and go home. Enjoy!

  5. Pay is low. Everyone's pay is low in their first programming job. It's that simple. In just a few years you'll be sitting in your Porsche laughing about the early days. Note that going to college you make even less money. You're being paid to build experience. Enjoy!

  6. "looking to move to America at the end of this year" Unfortunately this could be a pipe dream. It is simply not possible to get a visa to live/work in the US. (For elite, very senior, 20 years of experience people, a visa can be possible, if and only if a company desperately wants them. There's not even a way for someone to apply for a visa as a junior, the concept doesn't exist.) Unless you have an unusual family connection (eg, you have a child who is a US citizen or such) this is not a thing.

  7. The comments from NY Friend are nonsensical.

  8. Regarding different computer languages. Programmers have to be able to work in all languages. You have to be able to come up to speed in a day or two. Languages will change constantly throughout your career. Programming is about algorithms and data structures. Language syntax is a non-issue.

Best of luck, congrats on your incredibly lucky situation! 1st job after "bootcamp" is one in a million.

It's like wanting to be a teen idol, going on a singing show, and actually getting a starter contract, indeed it's harder to achieve than that. Enjoy.

  • 1
    Wouldn't understanding the basics of computer science make the OP a better programmer? Is CS, in the world of developing software, irrelevant?
    – Mari-Lou A
    May 4, 2021 at 13:50
  • 1
    hi @Mari-LouA programming is a big field, and yes in many areas it is all-but irrelevant. (in many cases it's really more about being familiar with the milieu, the IDE at hand, more than anything) similarly, for example I use physics constantly in what I do, so I know a bit o' physics; for others it's irrelevant. also, the OP's scale is hugely wrong. it's great to know "some good comp sci" but OP is talking about academic-like comp sci. If OP addresses it at the scale I explain in point 2, OP is good to go. it would be ...
    – Fattie
    May 4, 2021 at 14:12
  • .. would be completely absurd, wildly wrong, bizarre, nuts, to "study comp sci for three solid months". an analogy sometimes made is, many (really if not most) of the most successful songwriters, singers, musicians, know nothing about "music theory". sure, Paul McCartney, Barbra Striesand or Joe Walsh might look in to reading sheet music a bit. But it would be whacky if they literally studied academic music theory for years, like a Quincy Jones does. Obviously it's just an analogy, but you get the point!
    – Fattie
    May 4, 2021 at 14:16
  • 2
    I've worked with self-taught programmers back in the old days, and other than one using a bubble-sort in production code, in general, experience counts for way more than education. That piece of paper is useful, but the experience is what they want. Show your knowledge by how well you work. May 4, 2021 at 15:43
  • 1
    "Programming is about algorithms and data structures" is a bit contradicting. Those things are usually considered computer science, the exact thing you're advocating against.
    – ojs
    May 4, 2021 at 17:08

Actually, a lot of Python jobs in America specifically in NYC exist, I have fellow developer friends there and tell me to move there since Python knowledge would be a big advantage for me to land a job in there.

If my statement still make you uncertain about things, here I provide a Stackoverflow 2020 Surveys statistic on how much Python is being used until now.

As in your case, I'd highly recommend you to work OR do a part-time while study for several month until you get a graps in computer science fundamentals you need, because you know pandemic hits us so hard therefore you need to be careful in any monetary-based movement in your life.

Alas, I know how's that feeling, you can check my previous post regarding almost the same thing as your case, but I still keep moving as I need this job and still looking for another job as I gain my experience here and increase my savings.

Here is some websites that might be useful for you to make extra bucks while progressing your stuff :



Is not enough to have good talent, the main thing is to apply it well

  • Rene Descartes

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .