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Diploma shizzle!

Last summer (summer of 2022), I felt compelled to try something new. It wasn't like I was done learning. I love learning about more programming stuff; it was just that I felt like I was ready to go on. So, what did I do, just like every other first-year university student? Yes, I applied at Amazon. SMART RIGHT???? That way, I could directly know if I was good enough to start working. If so, I would make a lot of money and have a good argument to stop studying. On the other hand, if I didn't get accepted, I would have a good argument to stay at the university and keep learning.

So I applied at Amazon. After about 2–3 hours of doing assessments, I was done! The assessments asked me a lot of questions, and there were a few coding challenges. Within a week, I received an email from an Amazon recruiter saying they wanted to do an online interview. YES?!?!?! I really thought I had done it. They asked me how much I expected as a salary and then asked me about my diploma which I didn't have. I responded back to the recruiter, explaining that I just finished my first year with a GPA of 3.7 and that I didn't have a diploma in software engineering yet. I received a reply back telling me that Amazon doesn't accept developers without a diploma..
WOOPS!     (A little disappointing ngl)

Why a Diploma though

I understand that Amazon has some kind of expectation from their developers, but I feel like I did prove myself in the assessments in the first place; otherwise, they wouldn't have been interested in an interview. A diploma obviously indicates that you have successfully completed a university study, but there are many good self-taught developers out there who outperform university graduates. And I've seen these cases myself; I'm currently in my second year of university. Previously, I thought highly of university, but the more I look around me (now in my second year), the less value I start giving to a diploma.

Case 1: Q

There is a girl in my class, now called Q, we have to maintain some kind of anonymity. In the second year, we couldn't choose our project groups and got put into groups depending on our personality test results. Q was in my group, and we started to work. We made our backlog (using Scrum methodology), and Q was assigned to make the login page make a request to our API to authenticate the user. Our university spent a bit more than half of the first school year explaining Javascript and requests, so it had to be doable. She made an HTML form, and after about a week she messaged me to see if I could look at her code as it didn't work. This is the monstrosity I found:

document.getElementById("loginButton").addEventListener("click", (event) => loginPost(event))
const api_url = "http://localhost:8081/v1";
var data;

fetch("http://localhost:8081/v1/login", {
    method: "POST",
    headers: {
        'Content-Type': 'application/json'
    body: JSON.stringify(data); 
}).then(response => console.log(response))

function loginPost(event) {
    let email = document.getElementById('email').value
    let password = document.getElementById('password').value

    data = { email, password };

I understand that we're at the university to learn. But how are you going to be almost at the end of the 2nd year (ALMOST OVER HALF OF THE STUDY) and still write code like this? I guess this blog post is becoming more of a rant, but Jesus Christ. Please.
A classmate and I reported to our study supervisor that Q REALLY DID THEIR BEST. I mean, Q spent hours and hours coming up with the code above. It isn't a lack of wanting to do it; it's just a lack of knowledge.

Case 2: P

P is a guy in my class with whom I also got into the same group. To be honest, I wouldn't mind working with P; he's a nice guy. But that's also all he is, as long as there is no work. Before we even started with the project, he came with a disclaimer that he didn't have much time for this project as he had to redo a lot of classes from the first year. So what happened is that he got 35 ECs out of the 60 ECs. Usually you need to get at least 50 ECs before you can go to the second year, but because of Corona, they removed that rule. meaning that P got to the 2nd year while failing almost half of all his classes in the 1st year.
As soon as he asked for less work, as he had to do the work of his first year, I stepped in. I don't want to be the lone voice, but I don't think it's fair for the rest of our project team to give him less work because he slacked in the first year. And he uses that argument to also slack off in the second year.

Eventually we got into some agreement that he would become a PO, which meant he had to manage the backlog (and some other tasks). He didn't even do that. When he had to do something in the backlog, he would call the developers to him and then ask the developers what to write. And then, when our study supervisor asked us why the backlog wasn't getting updated, he was really good at pointing at everyone else except himself. In addition, at our university, we have the option of studying one of two IT fields: software engineering or business IT management. He picked software engineering, but he tells everyone in the project that he doesn't know how to code, and that's why he needs to do a management role.
Also, of the 35 ECs he had, I'm pretty sure 35 of the 60 ECs were all group assignments. The other 25 ECs were either solo assignments or exams. meaning that we can assume that he fails everything except the subjects where a group can carry him to the finish line.


These are obviously not the only students in my class, and they don't represent the majority of the students. But still, how can a big company put so much value into a diploma and then see these kinds of cases? They don't even give you a chance when they find out you don't have a diploma.

I guess it just kind of saddens me.