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Advice on programming RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have just started teaching myself C# and i am doing a 10 week introductory course to help me along.

    I am wondering if someone can help me as i am serious about becoming a programmer. Will i have to get a degree and if so, is there a trust worthy company which i can learn from home through or a course which i could look to do at a local college. I have checked aroung for C# courses but cant seem to find any. I live in glasgow and cant really travel any further. Any help will be much appreciated. Thanks

    Monday, May 3, 2010 6:43 PM

Answers

  • I was once in your shoes and now 15 years later I can tell you that it is possible to become a professional programmer without a degree. That doesn't mean it's easy -far from it- but it can be done. Most import to you will be finding a company that is willing to hire you as a junior programmer. That really is the most difficult step 'cause once you have a couple of years of experience under your belt, it will be easier to find another job if necessary.

    I would advise you to focus on microsoft certification. Try to get certfied both as a Forms and ASP.NET programmer, which will broaden the number of jobs you'd be qualified for. Try to get as much practical experience with the technology while working on private projects or collaborating on open-source projects. Try to become an active member of the programming community on the web, and use your real name => future employers will google you, count on it.

    It will be trying and require quit a bit of stamina, so if this is really what you want to be doing, keep at it, try not to get discouraged and eventually things will work out.

     

    Tuesday, May 4, 2010 1:46 PM
  • Hi

    I was in a similar position to you when I decided to change my career about 10 years ago, but I made a mistake that then took another 5 years to get over. I initially paid a training company (One of these distance learning companies) quite a bit of money for a course. The course ended up being a selection of books (Which I could have bought for a fraction of the cost) and 4 days on site training. It was a complete and utter waste of money.

    My turning point came when I decided to take the bull by the horns myself and bought my own books and software and just got my head down for a couple of years. I paid for my own exams, and managed to get a day a week on work experience with an IT company.

    I am now working full time as a Software consultant, and all without a degree.

    Think carefully what decisions you make, because sometimes they can be costly and time consuming.

    Hope that helps.

    Rob


    www.crmconsult.info www.chorusit.com Twitter:robertpeledie
    Tuesday, May 4, 2010 3:14 PM
  • I have worked with several developers that do not have a degree, or do not have a degree in Computer Science/Information Technology, so I know that it is possible to be successful without one.  But as others have mentioned it will take quite a bit of work.

    My first suggestion would be to get as much real world experience as possible.  This can include volunteering to help with open source projects and working with local community members - especially some non-profit type organizations that can use some help.  Certainly I would be looking for companies that would be willing to hire you into a technology position, even if it is not a development role - getting a start is very important!

    Along with any real world experience that you can gain I would suggest that you look closely at the various Microsoft certifications.  I would suggest that you look at a wide range of certification exams including client development (both Windows and Web), service development (for instance WCF and/or BizTalk) and database development (both core SQL Server and .NET data development).

    Finally, and very importantly, I would focus on connecting with your local development community.  Look for user groups that meet near you.  Watch for conferences, both paid and free (including Code Camps, SQL Saturdays, etc.)  Becoming an active member of your local professional community will give you great opportunity to meet people and to find out about open jobs in your area.

    Professional development can be hard work, but it is very rewarding (in my opinion)!  Work hard to prepare yourself to get a good start, and remember that it is a profession that requires constant learning and work - the steps you take to launch your career will be repeated many times over the coming years!

    Good luck!

    Wednesday, May 5, 2010 8:34 AM

All replies

  • I was once in your shoes and now 15 years later I can tell you that it is possible to become a professional programmer without a degree. That doesn't mean it's easy -far from it- but it can be done. Most import to you will be finding a company that is willing to hire you as a junior programmer. That really is the most difficult step 'cause once you have a couple of years of experience under your belt, it will be easier to find another job if necessary.

    I would advise you to focus on microsoft certification. Try to get certfied both as a Forms and ASP.NET programmer, which will broaden the number of jobs you'd be qualified for. Try to get as much practical experience with the technology while working on private projects or collaborating on open-source projects. Try to become an active member of the programming community on the web, and use your real name => future employers will google you, count on it.

    It will be trying and require quit a bit of stamina, so if this is really what you want to be doing, keep at it, try not to get discouraged and eventually things will work out.

     

    Tuesday, May 4, 2010 1:46 PM
  • Hi

    I was in a similar position to you when I decided to change my career about 10 years ago, but I made a mistake that then took another 5 years to get over. I initially paid a training company (One of these distance learning companies) quite a bit of money for a course. The course ended up being a selection of books (Which I could have bought for a fraction of the cost) and 4 days on site training. It was a complete and utter waste of money.

    My turning point came when I decided to take the bull by the horns myself and bought my own books and software and just got my head down for a couple of years. I paid for my own exams, and managed to get a day a week on work experience with an IT company.

    I am now working full time as a Software consultant, and all without a degree.

    Think carefully what decisions you make, because sometimes they can be costly and time consuming.

    Hope that helps.

    Rob


    www.crmconsult.info www.chorusit.com Twitter:robertpeledie
    Tuesday, May 4, 2010 3:14 PM
  • I have worked with several developers that do not have a degree, or do not have a degree in Computer Science/Information Technology, so I know that it is possible to be successful without one.  But as others have mentioned it will take quite a bit of work.

    My first suggestion would be to get as much real world experience as possible.  This can include volunteering to help with open source projects and working with local community members - especially some non-profit type organizations that can use some help.  Certainly I would be looking for companies that would be willing to hire you into a technology position, even if it is not a development role - getting a start is very important!

    Along with any real world experience that you can gain I would suggest that you look closely at the various Microsoft certifications.  I would suggest that you look at a wide range of certification exams including client development (both Windows and Web), service development (for instance WCF and/or BizTalk) and database development (both core SQL Server and .NET data development).

    Finally, and very importantly, I would focus on connecting with your local development community.  Look for user groups that meet near you.  Watch for conferences, both paid and free (including Code Camps, SQL Saturdays, etc.)  Becoming an active member of your local professional community will give you great opportunity to meet people and to find out about open jobs in your area.

    Professional development can be hard work, but it is very rewarding (in my opinion)!  Work hard to prepare yourself to get a good start, and remember that it is a profession that requires constant learning and work - the steps you take to launch your career will be repeated many times over the coming years!

    Good luck!

    Wednesday, May 5, 2010 8:34 AM