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Thread: Programming in IT industry

  1. #1
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    Programming in IT industry

    Hi, i know this post may not be suitable for this forum, but I want to ask those people who got jobs as programmers in any country (preferably UK). This is becasue I am starting to learn C# and Java languages (since they are similar) but I am not sure what qualification I need to gain to get a job as a programmer. And another thing.......Is it really challenging sometimes to be a programmer in a job or is it like a "piece of cake"? Plz I really appreciate for your answers!!!!!
    Also is it beneficial for me if I get a small work experience in the IT industry? At the moment I dont have any
    "If you are in hell, keep going." Winston Churchil
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  2. #2

    Re: Programming in IT industry

    I think it's an appropriate question.

    I held a student worker position for a few years, which might not be exactly what you're looking for. It was in-house programming, which is something I'd suggest you look into -- in my experience people tend to forget that ordinary industries and businesses need programmers just as much as and sometimes more than the "software industry" (Microsoft, IBM, whatever). Afterwards I held a summer internship doing much the same thing.

    But to address qualifications, I like to think I landed the job because I had prior experience with Perl, Python and regular expressions, all things that are underrepresented in academic curricula. "Java" on a resume just says that you've had a CS class or two; "Perl" says that you've put some effort into learning on your own. (And "C++" says basically nothing.) Some things I learned from that position that might also be valuable to know include revision control and some basic database knowledge (enough to get me into trouble).

    Those are just the things that I think would be good to know for just about any programming job. (Especially revision control.) I learned other things, like how to use Perl's DBIx::Class, that served me well in that position but wouldn't really apply to the other programming work I've done.

    By profession I'm an electronic engineer, not a programmer, and that was my only foray into professional software development. The code I've written since has been more on the C/assembly/VHDL level, which I find much more fun (though I still do high-level stuff as a hobbyist). If you're interested in pursuing embedded development I could talk some more about those projects, but if you'd rather be doing Web or app development or pretty much anything other than embedded controls, perhaps some others in this forum could talk about their own specialty areas.

    Finally, if my jobhunt was anything like what yours will be, having prior experience will definitely help you score an interview as well as giving you plenty of material to talk about in one. Even if it's just a project you work on in your spare time -- pick something you'd like to do, set specific goals for yourself and document how you achieved them. For instance, buy an Arduino or a Raspberry Pi and make a voice activator for your light switch. When you go to an interview, bring some of your documentation (block diagram, photos or screenshots of the prototype, maybe some code printouts for a technical interview, Gantt chart and budget if you really want to impress a project manager) and talk about it when they ask about your experience. The project may be simple but being prepared to discuss it with visual aids is a sure shot at impressing an interviewer.

  3. #3
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    Re: Programming in IT industry

    @trent.josephsen
    Thank you very much for answering on my post, it's helpful. I am more interested in app development due to great experience I had when I was doing project management at school, coz I had to create a product (which was a school presentation) and at that time, I had some wild program ideas that I was ready to start bringing them into reality. Basically, for database knowledge, do I have to learn about methods and classes about the database functionality in languages or should I start learning a bit of SQL. Furthermore, what does embedded programming mean? Is it like doing programming for devices like dvd players or ATM machines?
    "If you are in hell, keep going." Winston Churchil
    ubuntucrazygeek.blogspot.com
    http://motivatedsuccess.tumblr.com/
    http://pavelexpertov.tumblr.com/

  4. #4

    Re: Programming in IT industry

    Quote Originally Posted by pavelexpertov View Post
    Basically, for database knowledge, do I have to learn about methods and classes about the database functionality in languages or should I start learning a bit of SQL.
    Both would be good. I'd say SQL is an essential skill when it comes to anything that interacts with a database; language bindings often (usually?) generate SQL in the backend and it's sometimes the only way to do what you want. But it's also important to be able to use language tools that interact with databases, so you can't rely wholly on one or the other. *shrugs*

    Furthermore, what does embedded programming mean? Is it like doing programming for devices like dvd players or ATM machines?
    Those are indeed examples of embedded programming. Other systems that make use of embedded systems might be industrial controls, household appliances, radios, engines, lab instruments and network hardware. It's a very broad designation, but in terms of general trends, you might find that embedded systems place more importance on absolute reliability and real-time performance. (Ever had your refrigerator crash?)

  5. #5
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    Re: Programming in IT industry

    Thank you!!!!!Atm I am trying to get into RAF to be an IT technician but I may start looking into programming career after few years of service. But thank you
    "If you are in hell, keep going." Winston Churchil
    ubuntucrazygeek.blogspot.com
    http://motivatedsuccess.tumblr.com/
    http://pavelexpertov.tumblr.com/

  6. #6
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    Re: Programming in IT industry

    In recent years I have been taking up an interest in how to hire good first-job or such programming people... here is how I feel about it.

    I'd say certifications and such are useless; I'd like to see some kind of appropriate formal education plus work experience (internships and such) in a good entry-level job candidate. Then there is just the general "aptitude" for the field that is hard to pin down; in particular, I really appreciate a general ability to think about problems in the abstract and also the ability to understand programming languages on a higher level and not just as separate, different collections of syntactic rules. But this sort of stuff comes from experience.

    Interestingly, in my own daily work, I find that the hardest part is actually correctly understanding what all the various stakeholders expect of the project and to make sure that everything keeps humming along; the project integrates lots of data from all kinds of sources and then makes it visible to the customer's various representatives. If the data is wrong, their business suffers from wrong decisions. So surprisingly little is programming; the genuinely hard part is the business domain model.
    LambdaGrok. | #ubuntu-programming on FreeNode

  7. #7
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    Re: Programming in IT industry

    Quote Originally Posted by CptPicard View Post
    In recent years I have been taking up an interest in how to hire good first-job or such programming people... here is how I feel about it.

    I'd say certifications and such are useless; I'd like to see some kind of appropriate formal education plus work experience (internships and such) in a good entry-level job candidate. Then there is just the general "aptitude" for the field that is hard to pin down; in particular, I really appreciate a general ability to think about problems in the abstract and also the ability to understand programming languages on a higher level and not just as separate, different collections of syntactic rules. But this sort of stuff comes from experience.

    Interestingly, in my own daily work, I find that the hardest part is actually correctly understanding what all the various stakeholders expect of the project and to make sure that everything keeps humming along; the project integrates lots of data from all kinds of sources and then makes it visible to the customer's various representatives. If the data is wrong, their business suffers from wrong decisions. So surprisingly little is programming; the genuinely hard part is the business domain model.
    Well, then I am at a crap position to be honest, because it is very hard for me to get apprenticeship(internship) and second I have no experience at all rather than project management experience . But for you as an employer, would you rather accept people with correct IT aptitude as well as experience with programming and creating projects at home. Or people with great work experience and good qualifications?
    "If you are in hell, keep going." Winston Churchil
    ubuntucrazygeek.blogspot.com
    http://motivatedsuccess.tumblr.com/
    http://pavelexpertov.tumblr.com/

  8. #8
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    Re: Programming in IT industry

    Quote Originally Posted by pavelexpertov View Post
    But for you as an employer, would you rather accept people with correct IT aptitude as well as experience with programming and creating projects at home. Or people with great work experience and good qualifications?
    This is a false dilemma. Of course if I have to choose between two candidates, the one with qualifications and experience wins every time.

    However, we must understand that talented people must begin their career somewhere. Getting the first job is always a challenge, but just because someone is just starting out is not a reason to reject them outright. It's just perhaps a bit harder to actually recognize the talent in the person that you can then nurture.

    In general I'd just look for general sharpness of thinking and some already developed insight about technologies (it's very good if you can have for example preferences that you can explain somehow -- there is not necessarily a correct answer but it demonstrates you have tried stuff out and even perhaps failed). Having personal projects is always a plus.
    LambdaGrok. | #ubuntu-programming on FreeNode

  9. #9
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    Re: Programming in IT industry

    CptPicard, suddenly i find it to be a nice thing that the work we do at my (education at my) university mainly consists of work in a 3-7 man group, where we will decide on a problem or vision we wish to work with, and then spend the semester trying to make that become reality. A good deal of the projects from third semester and on are done in cooperation with a business or public institution such as a school or a library, to develop anything from an computer vision based art system for a library, to a device that will help the 1 graders learn math or spelling. It can be everything and anything really.

    I guess getting a student job will be a good thing though.

    And "C++" says basically nothing
    why is that?
    I've tried Java, very little python, and a little C sharp, and then i've been learning C++, and i must say, of these C++ is by far my favourite. I guess the only thing thats really dislikeable about it (IMO) other than its not really cross platform, would be using new classes, because doing so means reading so much documentation and having to use time doing a few experiments to see exactly how the stuff practically works. but i guess i only dislike that out of laziness.

    cheers!
    Laptop: core i7-3517U 1.9 ghz - 3.4 | 10 Gb DDR3 RAM| 500 GB HD + 24 GB SSD| nvidia geforce GT 620m 1GB, optimus | Ubuntu 13.10 64 bit.
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  10. #10

    Re: Programming in IT industry

    I was trying to find the article I was thinking of when I wrote that, but I can't seem to. It's not a reflection on the language (although if you want my opinion on C++ it's only a forum search away). It's just that there's no metric for knowledge of C++. "I know C++" could mean anything from "I took CS101 and think that makes me an expert on the language" to "I have read lots of tutorials online because the interwebs told me C++ was the language I needed to write games for a living." And given the quality of the freely available C++ learning materials that last one could be worse than no knowledge at all.

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