Industry experience. How?

This is a discussion on Industry experience. How? within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; Hello, I'm looking for some advice on how to get established as a programmer, (I am particularly interested in developing ...

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    30

    Industry experience. How?

    Hello, I'm looking for some advice on how to get established as a programmer, (I am particularly interested in developing interactive, database-driven web sites).

    I am a computer-science student who has now taken courses in Java and C. Beyond that, my experience is very limited to just basic HTML and some related concepts like CSS and some basic PHP (which I am starting to getting rusty on as a result of studying hard in school (how ironic)).

    I just finished the semester and have a few weeks off. I'm looking forward to learning something new during this time off. What can I do to get myself better established during my time off? I have thought about:
    -Certificates (but not sure which ones to go for).
    -Getting involved in an open source project. (I'm not sure where/how I can help out with my limited experience).
    -Developing some on-line 'widgets' as a portfolio.
    -Or ???

    Regarding the certificates, I am taking classes next semester on assembly language, 'computer architecture' (whatever that means), machine instruction sets, memory management, , file systems, binary/hexidecimal arithmetic, etc. So, if there is a certificate that I can study for that also preps me for these courses, that could be a good strategy too.

    Any suggestion or advice appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Registered User jeffcobb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Henderson, NV
    Posts
    875

    Industry experience

    Not sure how much time you have but open source projects are easy to get into and there is a wide variety to choose from if you need variety. Another common way is doing an internship; at Sony we had summer interns and my step-son did internships at Intel, AMD and the EPA and gained excellent experience. He is now a senior engineer at AMD.

    The possibilities are endless but they all have one thing in common: WRITE LOTS OF CODE! The more (good) code you write the more you have to show an employer.
    C/C++ Environment: GNU CC/Emacs
    Make system: CMake
    Debuggers: Valgrind/GDB

  3. #3
    {Jaxom,Imriel,Liam}'s Dad Kennedy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    1,065
    Certificates? Who needs these? Personally, if I were a hiring manager and someone said to me "And I have the following certificates: <insert charlie brown's teacher here>" this person would not be my first pick -- HOWEVER, I am technical and have known quite a few certified people that were not qualified to turn on my computer. Certs look good to management if management knows NOTHING about computers. So, it is a two edged sword. If you get certs, people like me WILL group you into that "this person knows NOTHING" group and the other side of the coin would group you into that group if you don't have them. I have no certs currently and only have ever had Fujitsu Fusion Fiber Splicer certified training (took the test and became certified).

    Get experience (which is equal to) PLAY WITH THE COMPUTER. Rip apart your hardware and after you know all those inter-workings, start ripping apart a couple of OSs. I started with DOS, then Linux and FreeBSD, then moved along to Mac, then finally Windows.

    Learning i386 Assembly is a good thing, however, not much use for it anymore. Back in the day .com files required less resources to run. Today, that isn't that important. The thing you should come away with from that class is how the computer actually does what you are telling it to do. This can help you write good tight code, even when you are in a really high level language.

    My biggest suggestion (since you want to do web stuff) is to build yourself a Linux web server and play play play.

    $0.02

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3,167
    I suggest learning an OS other than Windows if you haven't already. Linux/BSD/Unix/Solaris... doesn't really matter, though I suggest Linux simply because it has a relatively large userbase (more support). Gives you a broader perspective.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    9,590
    Coding in your free time definitely looks good in the interview and you will probably be asked if you do or do not. Certs. don't really amount to much and quite honestly college on the resume just shows that you can learn and that you went. It really doesn't say how much you know. That will be found out later in the interview based on your responses and your white-board answers if the interviewers give you any white-board problems (which they should).

    You won't be able to get professional experience until you get a job which means that employers and interviewers already are well aware of this. If it is an entry level position or perhaps a next to entry level position they won't be asking or looking for tons of experience b/c that is just unrealistic.

    I agree with what has been said in the previous posts. Code, code, and code some more. The more the better and the experience you gain in both design and problem solving can be used on the job later. I find that the problems I deal with at work are more or less the same exact problems I dealt with here at home. The only major difference is you have to keep the 'other guy' in mind when you code professionally b/c you are not the only one looking at the code.
    But experience is experience no matter where or how you get it. Also it is very important to know how to find an answer rather than just know the answer. If you prove to an employer that you can find answers that almost means more than knowing an answer. It means that when you get assigned a task that is a bit beyond you, you will be able to find various answers and solutions with little help.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    30
    Kenedy/Cyberfish,
    I think I am going to try building a Linux server with an old computer over the break; I reformatted the drive recently with Umbuto. Regarding certificates, I was starting to get skeptical and y'all convinced me. I'm thinking of picking up my books today for next semester because one of them is on operating systems.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    Also it is very important to know how to find an answer rather than just know the answer. If you prove to an employer that you can find answers that almost means more than knowing an answer. It means that when you get assigned a task that is a bit beyond you, you will be able to find various answers and solutions with little help.
    Bubba, I went on my first job interview last summer (I was told I was under qualified). The interviewer basically asked me the same question: ~'when you get stuck, can you find solutions quickly'. That question has stuck in my mind ever since that interview and now you make that question a recurring theme. I wish I had a better answer at the time. After the interview I was thinking of some websites that I frequent, and I was wondering if an answer that included 'posting to forums' would be considered professional or not. I'm still not sure how to answer that question, and the honest truth is I often get stuck; hearing this question twice kinda makes me feel like I'm missing something.

    Thanks for the nice responses (and motivation) everyone.

  7. #7
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    3,189
    Never get a degree with hopes of getting started in that field after you graduate. Get a degree that will enhance your existing career path. I know a lot of people that get CS degrees because they want to program, when a CE degree would serve them better. CS students end up as network admins more often than not. CE/EE's end up programming and designing systems.

    My suggestion is to take some menial flash programming job, do that for about 5 years, then move on to something better. That's not the path I took as an EE, but hey if you want to work as an controls engineer for 10 years so that you can get into CAM and robotics, programming machine vision applications etc, then by all means go for it.
    Last edited by abachler; 12-17-2009 at 08:34 AM.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

  8. #8
    Crazy Fool Perspective's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    2,640
    >CS students end up as network admins more often than not. CE/EE's end up programming and designing systems.

    This couldn't be more wrong where I'm from. You have to look at your school, programs very quite a bit depending on where you're from.


    If you're interested in doing web design, than proving your abilities with some hobby projects would be a great asset.

Popular pages Recent additions subscribe to a feed

Similar Threads

  1. Need a new industry
    By FillYourBrain in forum A Brief History of Cprogramming.com
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 10-30-2008, 05:19 PM
  2. Programming opportunities! (Midway Games, Inc)
    By Midwayrecruiter in forum Projects and Job Recruitment
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-20-2008, 11:02 AM
  3. C++ Contractors Needed with Life Insurance Industry exp..
    By Bill Law in forum Projects and Job Recruitment
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-13-2007, 08:19 PM
  4. Are You An Experienced Programmer? Do You Like Football/soccer? (uk)
    By Mark Smulders in forum Projects and Job Recruitment
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-28-2007, 01:53 AM
  5. 32-bit ASM or COM :: Experience
    By kuphryn in forum Windows Programming
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10-04-2002, 12:39 PM

Tags for this Thread


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21