I am interested in changing my major in college and also making a career switch, I would like some advice if anyone can provide it, I'm not super smart nor do i know too much about computers but i work with them as an AutoCAD Tech for an engineering firm in Naples, Florida. I was hoping someone could give me a rundown about the different types of skills i would have to learn in order to become a computer programmer so that i can start to make a switch in career paths. I have 4 years experience as a cad tech, and i am very interested in learning these programming languages and become a programmer, can someone please let me know where i can find tutorials and stuff, thanks everyone.

Hi there, welcome to DaniWeb! if you are interested in web development I would recommend this great tutorial site:

http://www.w3schools.com/default.asp

I would recommend you start with the HTML section.

If you are interested in software development I suggest you pick a language that appeals to you most (I like C# a lot and Java) and purchase a "head first" book for the chosen language. Its hard to say which is the easiest to learn as it varies from person to person but I found c# easiest to pick up myself.

http://www.oreilly.com/store/series/headfirst.csp

I have not looked at this particular book in the series before (so I cannot comment on it) but the HF series are all very good (the ones I have read) and this book may be a good place to start:

http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/9780596514181/

Hope this helps and good luck!

Coming from someone who deal a lot with computers but has never dealt with programming. If you find yourself wanting to go home and play with a language, then CS might be for you. But a lot of the CS programming deals with programming and if you don't find programming like a hobbie, then it won't be for you. I started out learning Python.

It's like a lot of things. Too many choices! Computer Science is such a rapidly evolving field with so many niches, you'll never learn it all and that's OK. Pick something that you are interested in and study that. For example, I have a friend who loves gaming and so he learns everything he can about everything graphic oriented. I'm not so interested in graphics, but I like working with all kinds of mathematical algorithms. That doesn't interest him at all, so if we do a project together like a game, generally I handle all the coding that calculates pixel locations and the physics of movement and he'll display it graphically. The point is that we're both happy with our parts and both parts are needed, so decide what interests you and specialize in that. There is something in the field for just about any interest.

With your CAD experience, you have the knowledge of what a user wants from a good CAD program. That will be extremely valuable if you decide to program a CAD program. On almost anything you do, you will likely be part of a team, so you could help the other people on the team understand what makes a good CAD program and float between groups of programmers doing different things. That could help you decide what part you enjoy and you can specialize in that. It's unlikely that any modern CAD program would have an entry level programmer who worked on all aspects of the project. Generally most people will devote their full attention to one or two aspects of the project.

If you like CAD and want to learn to program and are not sure where to begin, I would suggest giving Java a try. In particular, the Java Swing part of Java. It has a really nice way of drawing rectangles, lines, etc., that a beginner can pick up reasonably quickly. I would imagine the CAD programs you used were not written in Java, but it will give you a feel of what may have been going on behind the scenes in programs that you have used. It's a good way to learn how to program. Someone mentioned the O'Reilly books. they are an excellent source and the have a book called Java Swing that you may want to check out. They also have a subscription service called "O'Reilly Safari" that has a ton of books with downloadable samples, including the book I just mentioned.

Ok a couple things:

Just to clear up some misconceptions, cad tech is not engineering, and programming is not computer science. Engineering is the application of science to solve a physical problem, and a cad tech is simply a means to achieving that goal. Likewise , computer science is a very broad field, and programming is just a small piece of that which is used as a means to accomplish cs problems. Not trying to pick on you, but based on your terminology, it's like saying "Are there any good tutorials out there for becoming a surgeon?" If you are interested purely in programming, then great, and sure there are many resources and you can find plenty of opportunities with no degree. But a CS education/career involves much more than that. There is a major difference between the two, and depending how you word your questions will get very different responses from people. Just throwing that out there.

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