I graduated high school last year in '06 but unlike a lot of people I know what I want to do for a career move and not sure exactly how to pursue it. In my last 2 years of high school I was enrolled in Cisco Networking Academy I, II, III, and IV my last year. So basically I know my way around networking with hubs, switches, routers, you name it, but of course there's always more to learn.

Well I actually want to get into software engineering but not quite sure how to go about it. I reside in MO and planned on going to a community college for 2 years then transferring over to a good 4 year college.

But the first 2 years is gonna be me getting the basics out of the way, like English credits and stuff like that, so I'm asking what's the best way to get a head start in way I'm trying to do. I've already been teaching myself C++ with compilers and what not, but there's so much more I can be doing and I'm usually one of those guys your friend always asks about how to fix or do something on the computer so I'm not used to asking for help on this one lol.

So please anything else I can get or do, suggestions, goal careers and what I can do with it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks guys. And yes, I'm quite past "Hello World!" :]

I'd say to just keep writing code for now, when you get to the 4-year school they'll have plenty of resources. You might consider reading a couple books on algorithms or software development, and try applying those concepts on your own projects (algorithms would probably apply more, depending on what you're writing).

Also once in college you might be able to shorten your time there by taking bypass tests to get credit for the material you already know. No point in being bored in class listening to elementry stuff you have already studied.

From my personal experience, learn everything you think you can on your own before investing in a college that specializes in software development. I went to Fullsail in the Game Design/Development track. I graduated, but I wish I had known a thing or two about programming before I took the classes in it. Would've allowed me to keep up more in class and expand upon what I was being taught, rather than barely trying to keep up and only getting out of it the bare minimum.

(I studied on my own for 2 years after I graduated and now work for software company). Case in point, be prepared!

Self study and lots of self study. Experiential types of learning is the best. We both have similarities and I'm investing my time reading and asking help to experts here to things that I'm not sure of. And oh, I agree wtih mariocatch.

Yep, learning on my own for now. Seems like there's so many different kind of languages how do you know which one is going to be applied in what you do or how good the code will stay up?

I guess I mean I'm gonna start on c++, should I expand into other codes, or would it be irrelevent?

>how do you know which one is going to be applied in what you do or how good the code will stay up?
Experience.

>should I expand into other codes
Eventually, but learning too many languages at one time will just confuse you.

I started with C++, then learned some C. Then some Java. Then some C#, and now I'm 99% C#.

But when I was with each language, my output from that language was completely different. I was writting full fledged games that take months to create in C++, but in C# I've completed tons of applications/tools within a day or week each. Really it's dependant upon what you want to do, and what your employer needs. Once you know where the demand is, you should look into that and learn it front and back.

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