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Heyo guys, and girls

Well, something to start with is that I'm lost...

I'm a computer science graduate for 5 years now, and since then, I never worked at programming, been bouncing from one job to the other and that wasted a huge amount of time for me.

So, lately I decided to get back on the track and persue my old dream, programming... and I chose Java for this.

Got the tutorials from Oracle, other sources, self studied and now I'm preparing for the OCAJP certification, but...

I don't know what to do next, I don't really like web development, but it seems like the biggest market there, software development isn't that fancy or required, and in either, I'm completely blind about where to go or what to do, seems like too many things to chose from and I'm so confused and totally noobish at the point.

So, would I be greedy if I asked you guys to help me out with this? feel free to ask me whatever makes it better for you to help

Thanks :)

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Last Post by chrishea
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It really depends on what you enjoy, but if you're just trying to get into programming as a career then it would be wise to take what you can get and use that to build up experience. Once you have a little more experience you can make educated choices as to what you want and also be in a a better position to make it happen.

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You seem to have some internal conflict on whether you want to program or not. First you say "...persue my old dream, programming..." and then later you say "...I don't really like web development...". Is programming the dream or is the dream to get a stable, well-paying job (ie a career). If you spent the last five years not programming, then I suspect that it isn't something that you love to do and never will be. If that is the case, then you'll probably never be really good at it and you'll end up wishing that you had done something else.

There are other computer-related careers besides programming. There are lots of people in Testing, Operations, Networks, Facilities and other related fields. It may be that one of those would appeal to you more than programming. If you really want to work in something that is computer-related, then you may want to investigate the other possibilities. Your first challenge (as mentioned in the previous response) is to get an entry point into a company. You might need to take a job as a computer operator or help desk person just to get in the door. That would probably give you the opportunity to get a closer look at the other jobs available and talk to people doing them. After putting in sufficient time at the "starting point" you could potentially apply internally for jobs in other areas that interest you.

Ideally, you want to do something that you love to do not just something that you have to do to make a buck. Many people never achieve that and thus spend their working lives doing things that they wouldn't do if they had a choice. The current job situation may make it even more difficult to find the right "fit". For you, it may be some other career in computers (besides programming) or it could even be something that isn't computer related. Many people get educated in one thing and end up in something else. Starting with a list of what you really like to do (and are good at) and what you really don't like to do (both at a fairly detailed level) may help you to evaluate programming and other types of jobs for their career potential. You may need to start with something that you don't really love but you want the potential to get there.

Best of luck.

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Thank you guys for your replies, really appreciate it :)
@deceptikon
That's what I'm trying to do, doing self study first, going for a certificate then looking for an open source project to work on, and we'll see how this goes :)
Thanks a lot

@chrishea
First of all thanks a lot for the time and effort you put in your answer, means a lot to me, but I think that programming doesn't mean only web development, it's just that this field isn't interesting enough for me, maybe because it's "too common".

About the reason I didn't get into programming so far, it was for many different reasons, one of them is that here in Egypt, whenever you find a job (whatever it is) you just grab it, and the fact that jobs here were all asking for experience, even for fresh grads (couldn't find a company that takes fresh grads) and when I found one, they fired me a while after because they couldn't afford to pay me.

I have an internal conflict indeed, but the biggest question that your words arouse is "is it too late for me to get back in?" I really don't know

I have a prospect job now as a technical writer, which is the closest I got to the field, maybe I will just follow your advice and get my feet wet first before going all in.

Thanks a lot for your words, they really helped :)

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You seem to have some internal conflict on whether you want to program or not. First you say "...persue my old dream, programming..." and then later you say "...I don't really like web development...".

ehm .. ChrisHea ... am I right in believing you imply here, that all development and programming is web development? well, it is not. there are thousands and thousands of programming positions that have nothing to do with web development. so, I don't really see the 'internal conflict' in his statement.

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I do windows desktop development as well as web development. At one time I worked on IBM mainframes. If you enjoy designing and programming then the essentials are the same no matter where you apply them. If you really enjoy programming then you'll probably be doing it on your own time not just when someone is paying you to do it. I'm sure that there are programmers out there who strictly do it as a job and once they go home they don't want anything to do with it. That probably works for a lot of people but those who really love to program don't draw that line.

Anyone who is interested in becoming a professional (paid) programmer has all kinds of opportunities to develop their skills on their own using all of the free resources available through the internet. You can do good work on some open source software (on your own or by joining a team) and that can go on your resume as well. If you don't want to do web development and you want to work on the desktop or on Android or iPhones or something else, it's all out there and the tools are generally available for free. You don't need to wait for someone to hire you to do it. If you have an immediate opportunity as a technical writer, then that could give you an entry point into a company and it puts food on the table. Good luck.

Edited by chrishea

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