C programming career advices

This is a discussion on C programming career advices within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; Arrogance can be good, it just depends who you are dealing with. If you can assertively confuse some grunt in ...

  1. #31
    Dr Dipshi++ mike_g's Avatar
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    Arrogance can be good, it just depends who you are dealing with. If you can assertively confuse some grunt in HR with long words you don't understand its all good. If youre talking to another programmer tho then that guaranteed to put your foot in it

  2. #32
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    Teamworking is where one programmer operates the keyboard and the other operates the mouse.

  3. #33
    Dr Dipshi++ mike_g's Avatar
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    it's your opinion that I have not said anything
    useful.
    Ok, in your own opinion do you believe that you ever say anything useful?

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by ting View Post
    Thank you all for reply. I find novacain & bithub's comments really really good. I am very grateful for your shared knowledge. What you said clarified a lot of things for us young undergraduates.
    No problem, I think Prelude phrases/describes it better.

    Quote Originally Posted by ting View Post
    um, mr. esbo, if you make fun of me, that's fine. but please don't make fun of my friends here.
    Never argue with fools, they just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

    Just ignore him, that is what annoys his type the most, no response to their taunts.
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  5. #35
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    Thank you (Prelude, Daved, Mario, CornedBee, abachler, mike_g, novacain-hope i didn't leave out anyone).

    What kind of entry-level work can I do with c/c++? in school we only learned to do academic exercises and never examined the pratical applications of c/c++. I don't know what I can do with the stuff I learned (c/c++/java syntax, pointer & oop, STL, data structure, search&sort, design pattern, project management, and some high-level stuff like gui & database & opengl).
    I just began learning about MFC & Win32, and learning slowly on my own after school & work.

    Why do companies hire people to program in c/c++? what do companies use c/c++ for mostly?
    I mean like do companies really use pure c/c++, the STL, the oop, the data structure? what are they good for?

    Why would any company be interested in hiring someone to program in win32 & MFC if we can quickly draw everything in visual studio and call it a day? if not, why not, why program in win32 at all? do i make some money by learning win32?

    --TING
    Last edited by ting; 03-06-2008 at 11:23 PM.

  6. #36
    l'Anziano DavidP's Avatar
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    >What kind of entry-level work can I do with c/c++?

    Contrary to what some might believe, you can do practically anything. There are some things that you probably will be less likely to receive, however.

    I will take Microsoft as an example. Microsoft does a lot of college hiring. They are at my university at least once a month holding information sessions and other activities, and they hold interviews 2 or 3 times a school year. The Microsoft Research and Development division, on the other hand, does extremely little college hiring (from what the recruiters tell me). They told me that that particular division likes to hire from within MS (according to the MS recruiters).

    So if you want a position doing web development, operating systems, desktop applications, games, embedded systems and applications, server side scripting and maintenance, teaching computer programming, or any other of the several hundred different things you can do as a programmer, then go for it. I myself am most interested in OS dev, desktop applications, and games.


    >I don't know what I can do with the stuff I learned (c/c++/java syntax, pointer & oop, STL, data structure, search&sort, design pattern, project management, and some high-level stuff like gui & database & opengl).

    Well it looks like you have some good stuff under your belt. Can you think of anything else they have taught you? Just out of curiousity, what school did you go to?

    I am just going to throw out some topics that you may or may not have learned about (depending on your choice of courses and what your school may have offered as well):

    Did you take any classes on discrete structures (graphs, finite state machines, predicate calculus and boolean logic), computational theory (turing machines, grammars, P and NP), algorithm analysis (difference equations, greedy algorithms, signal processing and the FFT, huffman encoding, dynamic programming, linear programming, simplex method), Operating Systems (processes, threads, scheduling, caches, virtual memory), [B]internet programming[B] (sockets, client/server model, HTTP protocol, the TCP/IP stack, p2p, php, python, ruby), computer languages (functional programming, grammars, interpreters). Some other options are computer graphics, artificial intelligence, neural networks, software design and testing, database modeling, computer security, and the list goes on and on.


    >Why do companies hire people to program in c/c++? what do companies use c/c++ for mostly?


    My answer to that is "why not?" and "see above"


    >do companies really use pure c/c++, the STL, the oop, the data structure? what are they good for?

    Sure they do. Not on every project though. Many projects use a mix of 2 or 3 languages. Other projects are all in one language. The STL is a useful library that is definitely used widely. OOP and data structures are essential.

    >do i make some money by learning win32?

    Win32 is good to know, but I would focus on learning many of the topics of programming before you go learning a specific API. Win32 won't be around forever. If you know good programming techniques, and how to code in general, then you can adapt to different APIs with relative ease.
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  7. #37
    C++ Witch laserlight's Avatar
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    Teamworking is where one programmer operates the keyboard and the other operates the mouse.
    Only if you really cannot afford the hardware, I suppose
    Noel Llopis' A Day in the Life article/blog entry describes his previous company's literal teamwork space:
    In addition to our own personal desk areas, we have pair-programming stations in the R&D lab, with two monitors, two keyboards, two mice, two chairs, and plenty of room for two people. All production code is written by pairs of programmers.
    I found the photo quite amusing when I first saw it, actually
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  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by ting View Post
    do i make some money by learning win32?
    Look at some job adds, see what companies want.

    Most people / companies use windows (right or wrong) and so companies write for windows (and hire windows coders). The more experience you get, more choices open up.

    I think I would look towards C# if I was starting now (but I wont change to that toy language.....yet).

    C/C++ / WIN32 (MFC later) is a good language to learn though. If you can write in C/C++ / WIN32, you should be able to adapt to most other languages / APIs.
    "Man alone suffers so excruciatingly in the world that he was compelled to invent laughter."
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  9. #39
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    Why do companies hire people to program in c/c++? what do companies use c/c++ for mostly?
    My company exclusively uses C++ right now (although there is talk of moving towards Java). C++ has its downsides, but when your code base is over 3 million lines it's really tough to move to something else.

    Why would any company be interested in hiring someone to program in win32 & MFC if we can quickly draw everything in visual studio and call it a day? if not, why not, why program in win32 at all? do i make some money by learning win32?
    This type of question is common to people that are new to the industry. "Why use technology A when technology B does the job better?". If a company spent 3 years and millions of dollars developing a product with technology A, then they aren't going to scrap it all just because some newer and (supposedly) better tech comes out. This is why people that can program in COBOL make the big bucks. Most new programmers that get hired will working on existing projects, not brand new ones.

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    Thanks to DavidP, laserlight, novacain, and bithub for your response. Especially DavidP's insightful comment.

    I go to University of BC in Vancouver,BC. I am in software engineering, but i am not in a co-op program; i gave up co-op because co-op coordinator was giving me a hard time, saying i won't get many job offers because of my average. i was a bit mad at her attitude, so i stopped begging her and was determined to find a job on my own. I realized now that was foolish, and i should have sign-up no matter what she said. i heard later on she was putting down other applicants too to avoid too much work.

    Incidently i heard from other students that she died of cancer 1 yr afterward. I was shocked; i was mad at her but not that mad at her. well, what can i say? life is fragile. i hope she is in a happier place where she doesn't have to work.

    o yeah I did os, it was in 3rd year when i was still quite naive about what a programming is really like. in that yr i really had a taste of system programming (almost drowned). I also learned about Reg. Expression and state-transition in a compiler theory course (all the glorious detail of the flex&bison parsing) and a vhdl course (i like this better because it is actually simpler, just lots of work). I took discrete mathematic and understand predicate logic quite well. i am doing computer grahics now and will have a demo game after 1 months.

    I am going to take network programming and lots of project courses in 4th yr. i can not take non-mandatory courses like algorithms because i am paying tutions myself.

    I am not the brilliant kind of programmer, but i tend to be proactive and systematic when i work, and i really work hard initially to make sure each integration and testing happens in each iteration and all members are effectively utilized and synchronized. at the end (with cooperative teammates) i usually get around 70% to 80% in project work.

    I also learned some white/blackbox testing, agile development, and so other softskills not directly related to programming. But i'm not strong in these area. I don't like to do estimates and planning because they are so boring, but i do it for the sake of clarity and goal-setting.

    I still have 3 questions:

    * What are the do's and the don't's in writing a c/c++/programming resume? I tried out 3 different professional help (or so they call themselves), and they all rewrote the format & content from what the last person suggested, and claimed that his/hers is the better version. Now I just want to write a simple one that has 1) goal 2) skill high light 3) education & courses taken 4) projects work 5) certificates earned, in 2 pages. how does this sound?

    * During an interview, what questions would i be asked? I know some posting has already post answers and I read through them all; i would like to hear more response from different people though so i can be better prepared for all kinds of weird questions that may pop up.

    * A head-hunter company approached me claiming that they can find me a better job than if i do it all by myself. The only catch is that i have to pay $4800 up-front to receive their training package (pcmg-premeire career management group something in vancouver), and they showed me an job offer of a past client who they claimed was not as a good product as i am, yet obtained a job offer of $50,000 from the olympic association after going through the training. The representative was constantly boasting about the client's success with the package, and told me straight into my face that, with the kind of resume i have and the interview skills i've got, i will never make it into their rank and be somebody. I disliked his attitude but still wondered whether there is any value in it; if it does, maybe i will sign up; but i really feel that the whole thing is just a big scam that will turn out to be a normal job offer. Why do you people think?

    --TING
    Last edited by ting; 03-07-2008 at 09:56 PM.

  11. #41
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    I've never heard someone say anything other than keep your resume to 1 page. I think you can do 1 - 5 in one page and let the interviewer ask you questions about specifics on your resume. The 1-5 sound good though.

    >> The only catch is that i have to pay $4800 up-front to receive their training package.
    I would never do something like this. How many jobs have you applied for? Unless you have tried and are unable to find work there's no way you should believe someone who's trying to get $4800 from you. Even if I looked for work for a year without success, I still wouldn't do that. My guess is either a complete scam or just not worth it, either way it doesn't sound good.

  12. #42
    l'Anziano DavidP's Avatar
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    I agree with Daved. Do not give your money to that man. It sounds pretty scam-like to me. Does your department have job listings anywhere? You should check them out and see what they have.

    Sorry, I make a lot of assumptions about what other universities are like based on my experiences at my university, so I don't know what your university might have available. Here at mine they have job fairs every once awhile where employers come from all around looking for people, and students go to give their resumes to the employers and schedule interviews. They have these job fairs for both non-technical and technical majors. The CS department here also has its own job board with job listings of local companies who are looking for people.

    See what your university has available in terms of this kind of stuff.

    Make sure to keep your resume to just 1 page. I only have a 1 page resume, and so do most other people. Employers don't want to keep track of 2 pages - they could lose one. Make your resume simple and easy to read, and make sure that the most important stuff is on there that will highlight your skill set the best, but remember to never lie about your skill set. The best resumes are not filled with "eye candy" that distract potential employers. The best resumes are simple and elegant, and allow an employer to easily get familiar with who you are.

    I have a bunch of interview questions I could post. Being a college student myself, I have been in a lot of interviews this year, because I too have been looking for a summer internship. I'll post a lot of the questions that I have been asked, so that you can get an idea of what questions other companies might ask.

    (I don't think it's a sin to post what questions you have been asked in interviews previously, do yall?)
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  13. #43
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    Make sure to keep your resume to just 1 page. I only have a 1 page resume, and so do most other people.
    Due to the frequency of people changing jobs in current times it is perfectly acceptable to have a 2 page resume. Very few people can get enough job history on 1 page. I would certainly never go over 2 pages or would put some type of note stating more history was available if it was needed. The 1 page rule is a bit outdated but some may still abide by it.

    And most companies will keep your resume in electronic format and print it if necessary. I seriously doubt if many companies keep hard copies of every one's resume. One of my former companies did not and one did so it really depends on the company.

  14. #44
    l'Anziano DavidP's Avatar
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    We are talking about college students, Bubba. As a college student, employers rarely want to see more than 1 page.

    Obviously if you have been in the industry for several years, you might need more than one page.

    Eventually after you have been in for awhile you can make a curriculum vitae which is several pages long.
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  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    Due to the frequency of people changing jobs in current times it is perfectly acceptable to have a 2 page resume. Very few people can get enough job history on 1 page. I would certainly never go over 2 pages or would put some type of note stating more history was available if it was needed. The 1 page rule is a bit outdated but some may still abide by it.

    And most companies will keep your resume in electronic format and print it if necessary. I seriously doubt if many companies keep hard copies of every one's resume. One of my former companies did not and one did so it really depends on the company.
    I had once my resume build on 2 pages. The result was - interviewer got only the first page from HR department when he got to interview me. Since then i always make only 1 page resumes...
    The first 90% of a project takes 90% of the time,
    the last 10% takes the other 90% of the time.

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