I'm in the UK, and learnt programming in college in the late 80's using BBC Basic and Pascal on a 086/286. Since then I went into sales and first line end user support and by today, work as an account manager selling hardware solutions to public sector bodies - but I miss the fun programming offered me.
The question is, I have recently applied to enrole on a HNC Computer Software Engineering course with the grand idea of learning how to program properly in C++ and get paid for it. (Im getting to the question!) .. so, is it a sensible thing to aim for?
I notice that most programmers tend to be quite young and become consultants and analysts by their 30's so would I be better aiming to go in this direction?
A big interest of mine is embeded technology - even though I don't currently have the programming skills to offer any employer - I also have a big interest in Linux - something I can do something with!
Could I have some feedback on what you think?
im guessing its engeneering technology and not actually engennering...
I'm a software engineer and I'm 45. Consultancy is only ever an option, not a demand. Many people don't like the uncertainties associated with consultancy, and unless you are working for a consultancy firm, the ever changing taxation and rules associated with individual consultantcy is a right pain.
Frankly, to me, programming/SE is just a job. It is what I do. I stopped getting a thrill out of it years ago.
I'm also a software engineer, in embedded technology. I'm 23, started just 2 years ago. Some programmers become consultants or architects or project managers etc. I think you should and can do the thing you like most, perhaps not at the company where you're working at the moment.
I like software engineering, it's nice, but I like to do some more designing. The company where I work is quite large, I'm talking a lot with other people with other jobs, just to understand what they are doing and to think about if I would like to do such a job.
Embedded technology is also a great field of engineering. It is the field where software and hardware engineering come together. Which means that you have to understand both software and hardware technology.
This is useful
Im glad my post didn't end up as an excuse to flame salespeople!
The course is covering software rather than the hardware - I did a hardware course years ago so understand the basics - I build a 4 bit computer as part of the course!
The enbedded side of things seem to me to be the way to go, - what are the usual requirements for entry into the field plus are the jobs mainly on the M4? - Im in the north West!
Sorry for asking so many questions, but I have found it difficult to find any information other than the usual hype of recruiters!
I'm not from the USA, so I don't know about job there and also your education system is different from ours.
Requirements for a starting embedded engineer are different for different companies. Both they all require education on HTS or TU level. HTS = higher technical school and TU is technical university. The TU is a level higher than HTS. Our TU is the same as what in other countries is also called technical university.
Usually the directions computer science, computer engineering, electrical engineering are fine to go into embedded. A study should have covered software development and hardware development.
Some basic requirements for starting embedded engineers:
Programming languages: C, C++ and Java would be nice, but it is not necessary.
Modelling language: UML is used most.
Used design/analysis methods: That differs very much, some are OMT, OOMD, OOSE and Booch.
And you need to have some basic knowledge of digital systems, which is computer architecture, the working of chips, digital electronics, and datacommunication, things like protocols (I2C, RS232 etc.). But that also differs very much. Some companies in embedded require only basic knowledge of electronics.
Perhaps you could take a look at what subjects they have on computer science and electrical engineering studies to get an impression of what current students learn. I think a company expects from you the same requirements as students who just left school.