Question for experienced sofware engineers

This is a discussion on Question for experienced sofware engineers within the C++ Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; Say you are in a position to interview possible candidates for a job opening with the title "Jr. Sofware Engineer". ...

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    Question for experienced sofware engineers

    Say you are in a position to interview possible candidates for a job opening with the title "Jr. Sofware Engineer".
    What level of programming knowledge would you expect someone to have in this position before you would offer them a position?

    I ask this because:
    I am an electrical engineer with 5 years experience in test engineering (in circuit test). I have only started working with C/C++ in the last year. I have started formal training (working on prerequisite classes so I can enter the MS Sofware Engineering program).
    The work I do now is test sofware development, so I am getting quite a bit of exposure due to the "full emersion" learning environment.
    I just want to gauge what to expect, or to see what would be expected of me.

    Thanks in advance for your input.

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    The people I have interviewed for a Junior Software Engineer job have all been students about to graduate with a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field. We didn't expect any experience outside of that, although some people did have some.

    Good programming knowledge, on the other hand, was expected. Specifically, the ability to understand and explain concepts that people were expected to learn in college was what we were looking for.

    It will be more difficult for you since you do not have extensive training or experience in programming. Just because you haven't gone through that training, though, doesn't mean you won't get a look. If you show a good grasp of the things you do know, and show that you are a willing and capable learner, then you might get serious consideration.

    When I was originally hired it was as part time QA part time developer. I had to prove myself on certain programming projects before moving to software engineer full time. You might be able to do something like that if you find the right situation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daved View Post
    The people I have interviewed for a Junior Software Engineer job have all been students about to graduate with a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field. We didn't expect any experience outside of that, although some people did have some.

    Good programming knowledge, on the other hand, was expected. Specifically, the ability to understand and explain concepts that people were expected to learn in college was what we were looking for.

    It will be more difficult for you since you do not have extensive training or experience in programming. Just because you haven't gone through that training, though, doesn't mean you won't get a look. If you show a good grasp of the things you do know, and show that you are a willing and capable learner, then you might get serious consideration.

    When I was originally hired it was as part time QA part time developer. I had to prove myself on certain programming projects before moving to software engineer full time. You might be able to do something like that if you find the right situation.
    BTW, how long did it take for you Daved to learn that much?

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    Thanks for the info Daved.

    On top of my work on the job, I am also going through the C++ Primer, and the Deitel & Deitel books. And am impatiently awaiting Stroustrup's new C++ text to come out. I initially heard it would be out this summer, then again that it would be some time early next year.

    I am looking to pick up Meyer's books soon too. I had the pleasure of attending a workshop that he did where I work earlier this year. I do wish we could have him back now that I will understand more of the material he covered on templates.... I was a bit confused since I had not yet learned templates.

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    >> BTW, how long did it take for you Daved to learn that much?
    I learned programming in college, which spanned about 3-4 years of programming coursework. If you're asking how long it took to go from QA to full-time developer it was only a few months.

    I was given some small projects to work on in C++. I did them and they worked. My code wasn't that great. I copied a lot of the style from existing code that did similar things, and my design was not very elegant or extensible. The reason I was moved to full time programming was that I was able to figure out solutions to the problems that got the job done in a reasonable amount of time with a reasonably small amount of oversight by other developers.

    Seven or so years later, my code still isn't great, but reading books like those from Meyers and Sutter and help a lot. Keep reading and keep practicing on real projects. Work on making the code correct and also focus on using good design based on what you learn in those other books. C++ Primer, and Deitel & Deitel will teach syntax and stuff, but syntax is easy to look up. You want to focus on how to use different tools properly. C++ Coding Standards is excellent for this purpose, I'd recommend it over any other book for intermediate C++ programmers.

    If you do that practice and get good at it, then all it takes is somebody to take a chance on you despite the lack of a degree or extensive programming experience. You'll be able to show you belong and feel like you belong in no time.

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