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The next steps for a graduate RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi guys,

    This past May, I completed my undergraduate Batchelor of Science Computing degree. The three years of study were primarily focussed on VB.NET for programming modules. Now completed, I was very fortunate to have been offered a job as a Software Developer for a highly repute company in my hometown. I have been working here now for almost three months. Given my motivation to use what I have learnt in university to the company's advantage, I suddenly feel rather stuck and under-achieving. I have been given two existing VB (and ASP) projects to modify and distribute. To this day, I'm stuck on both and cannot get them completed. The primary reason for this is the complexity of the code given. The complexity of the code programmed by far more experienced ex-employees has overwhelmed me at some points. At most days, I feel incompetent at meeting objectives and delivering the programs. The real world of software development and its advanced features has partially dropped my morale as I feel I have learnt nothing at all at university. I am still very keen to learn and to make a difference for the company though and I want to fight to make myself valued here and not lose my job in the long term. I'd appreciate advice from developers who may have gone through this period during their post-study career. Are there any exact steps I should take such as attempt the Microsoft certifications to gain more advanced understandings of VB and how I can tackle them?

    Many thanks for your time!

    Jared.   

    Tuesday, October 30, 2012 9:18 AM

Answers

  • Generally speaking, certifications exist to test a candidate’s ability in a technology, not to teach them a technology (hence the reason why most need 2-3yrs of experience to pass).  That said, studying for a certification is a great way to learn :-)

    I would suggest that you take a look at the MCPD certification tracks (http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/mcpd.aspx#tab2), specifically those for Web Developer 4 (for developers who build interactive, data-driven ASP.NET applications by using ASP.NET 4.0 for both intranet and Internet uses) or ASP.NET Developer 3.5 (for developers who build interactive, data-driven ASP.NET applications by using ASP.NET 3.5 for both intranet and Internet uses.).  There are newer certifications for Visual Studio 2012 (.Net 4.5) however from the information provided, I believe you may be using 3.5/4.0.

    For Web Developer 4.0, I’d concentrate on Exam 70-515 - TS: Web Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4

    For ASP.NET Developer 3.5, I’d concentrate on Exam 70-536 - TS: Microsoft .NET Framework – Application Development Foundation

    Actually, even if you decided to go down the Web Developer 4.0 path, I would still recommend doing 70-536 as it provides a good grounding in .Net development.


    When you see answers and helpful posts, please click Vote As Helpful, Propose As Answer, and/or Mark As Answer

    Jeff Wharton
    MSysDev (C.Sturt), MDbDsgnMgt (C.Sturt), MCT, MCPD, MCSD, MCITP, MCDBA
    Blog: Mr. Wharty's Ramblings
    Twitter: @Mr_Wharty
    MC ID: Microsoft Transcript

    Tuesday, October 30, 2012 9:40 PM
    Moderator
  • Hey Jared,

    Hang in there. You've got a degree in Computer Science, which is more than most developers can say.

    Working on legacy applications developed by someone else is no fun, especially if you're not familiar with the business rules and specifications, which usually change during the lifecycle of an application, causing the code to become a mess. And a lot of developers do not write self-explanatory code, which adds to the complexity of code maintenance.

    Most every developer has to start out at the bottom, doing the same type of stuff you're describing. Use it to your advantage and learn from what others have or haven't done correctly.

    Work hard and let your boss know that you would like the chance to work on a new project when it becomes available. If that doesn't happen, then at least you're getting the experience to move on and get a position at a higher level. Degree + Experience will open doors to better opportunities with higher pay.

    Good Luck!!
    -Duke


    -Duke

    • Marked as answer by jjb1989 Monday, November 12, 2012 9:01 AM
    Sunday, November 11, 2012 7:43 PM

All replies

  • Generally speaking, certifications exist to test a candidate’s ability in a technology, not to teach them a technology (hence the reason why most need 2-3yrs of experience to pass).  That said, studying for a certification is a great way to learn :-)

    I would suggest that you take a look at the MCPD certification tracks (http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/mcpd.aspx#tab2), specifically those for Web Developer 4 (for developers who build interactive, data-driven ASP.NET applications by using ASP.NET 4.0 for both intranet and Internet uses) or ASP.NET Developer 3.5 (for developers who build interactive, data-driven ASP.NET applications by using ASP.NET 3.5 for both intranet and Internet uses.).  There are newer certifications for Visual Studio 2012 (.Net 4.5) however from the information provided, I believe you may be using 3.5/4.0.

    For Web Developer 4.0, I’d concentrate on Exam 70-515 - TS: Web Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4

    For ASP.NET Developer 3.5, I’d concentrate on Exam 70-536 - TS: Microsoft .NET Framework – Application Development Foundation

    Actually, even if you decided to go down the Web Developer 4.0 path, I would still recommend doing 70-536 as it provides a good grounding in .Net development.


    When you see answers and helpful posts, please click Vote As Helpful, Propose As Answer, and/or Mark As Answer

    Jeff Wharton
    MSysDev (C.Sturt), MDbDsgnMgt (C.Sturt), MCT, MCPD, MCSD, MCITP, MCDBA
    Blog: Mr. Wharty's Ramblings
    Twitter: @Mr_Wharty
    MC ID: Microsoft Transcript

    Tuesday, October 30, 2012 9:40 PM
    Moderator
  • Hey Jared,

    Hang in there. You've got a degree in Computer Science, which is more than most developers can say.

    Working on legacy applications developed by someone else is no fun, especially if you're not familiar with the business rules and specifications, which usually change during the lifecycle of an application, causing the code to become a mess. And a lot of developers do not write self-explanatory code, which adds to the complexity of code maintenance.

    Most every developer has to start out at the bottom, doing the same type of stuff you're describing. Use it to your advantage and learn from what others have or haven't done correctly.

    Work hard and let your boss know that you would like the chance to work on a new project when it becomes available. If that doesn't happen, then at least you're getting the experience to move on and get a position at a higher level. Degree + Experience will open doors to better opportunities with higher pay.

    Good Luck!!
    -Duke


    -Duke

    • Marked as answer by jjb1989 Monday, November 12, 2012 9:01 AM
    Sunday, November 11, 2012 7:43 PM
  • Highly motivating response Duke, thank you so much! It's a relief to know most developers with the same level of experience go through this. Thanks again!

    Jared.

    Monday, November 12, 2012 9:01 AM