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I'M 24 years old, a single parent in TN. I've been very interested in programming since I as probably 15, and I've been trying to learn since then. I started out with C++, didn't get far. I would start, give up, and start again. About a year ago I started C#, and now Python. I read somewhere that database programmers make good money and are always in demand. What I'M trying to figure out is, how do I get tech job? What's the fastest thing I could learn, or at least the best of both worlds. I work in a factory, no heat, no AC, where I've been for over 5 years. What's tacking me so long to learn what I need to learn to get the job? As I mentioned, I'M a single parent so going back to school isn't an option. Maybe something quick I could do online, but not something that's going to take as long as an actual degree. Please help.

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Last Post by Narue
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>What's [taking] me so long to learn what I need to learn to get the job?
At the risk of sounding harsh, I'd say the fact that you're not suited for the field is what's taking you so long. Why do I think this?

  1. You strike me as having unrealistic fantasies about what programming is. This is very common.
  2. You started and quit rather than sticking with it. This says you're not nearly as interested as you say when it comes down to actually doing something.
  3. You seem too focused on getting a job and making good money. That's not an interest in programming, it's an interest in the hype about a high paying field.

Honestly, you're not going to get a programming job in any field with so little experience. It's just not going to happen with employers freaking out about the economy. Even if things were going well and there weren't so much competition for jobs, you'd have to show massive amounts of natural talent and potential for an employer to take the risk.

My opinion is that you should take your time and learn a bit more before trying to get a job (though keep your ear to the ground in case you get lucky). Ideally start participating in open source projects so that you can get a feel for how things really work. Don't worry as much about a degree, because ours is a field of self-teachers. Many of the best programmers either have an unrelated degree, or not degree at all. That piece of paper isn't nearly as necessary as the job ads would have you believe.

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That piece of paper isn't nearly as necessary as the job ads would have you believe.

Yet how many people do you know who have a programming job who don't have some sort of degree or certification? I thought you were a manager of some sort - if so - would you actually consider someone for a job with no compelling experience (i.e. they have impressive projects to talk about) or a "piece of paper", or would you toss out that person's resume?

@Garrett - it doesn't matter what your motivation to learn programming is. Even if your motivation is to make a lot of money, you are still capable of learning. But regardless of what anyone says, it is much harder to learn without having somebody there to tell you what it is that you're supposed to be learning. I think joining some open source projects may be a good idea, but you should learn the basics first. Just hop on a good engineering college's class sites and start doing the projects to make sure you grasp the basics first. You can easily figure out what the basics that you're expected to know are by doing that. Then you can move onto harder stuff which would include Narue's suggestion.

Edited by BestJewSinceJC: n/a

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>Yet how many people do you know who have a programming
>job who don't have some sort of degree or certification?

I know quite a few without a degree, many more with less than a Bachelor's degree (that includes myself), and the ones with certifications got them while on the job (that also includes myself).

>would you actually consider someone for a job with no compelling
>experience (i.e. they have impressive projects to talk about) or a "piece of paper"

Would I consider someone with no experience and no proof of education? Yes. I've done it before and I'll probably do it again. Though such an applicant has to catch my attention somehow. In the past it's been a recommendation from trusted acquaintances.

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