career change question -- not C++ specific

Discussion in 'C++' started by jmh, Jul 25, 2004.

  1. jmh

    jmh Guest

    First, for those that view this as an OT post, sorry. I'm
    not sure where to post (*.jobs?) but from reading there are
    a number of people in this NG whose opinions I would respect
    and welcome.

    I'd like to get some feedback from the group regarding what
    level of programming skills I should have before attempting
    to make a move from being an end user support person into
    programming and development.

    I've been through two language specific classes, C and C++
    (the latter is actually a first year CS course) I've done
    some amount of just hacking things together for either
    myself or to automate some trivail activity (say checking
    an input file format or creating daily reports from an
    ticketing system text export file) using VBScript, JScript
    some basic DOS batch files and even written a simply
    multivariate linear regression program in BASIC (MS, GW?).

    I'm currently planning on returning to college to get
    a MS in Information Security and Assurance and would like
    to focus on the development of secure applications rather
    than just the usual proxy/firewall/IDA things. Obviously,
    to be any good at that I'm going to need some pretty good
    progamming and development experience and practical
    knowledge.

    I can post the last C++ assignement--make two classes
    play well with one another and overload << and >> for
    input and output--if anyone thinks that might show
    my aptitue and skill level.

    My other question is about just what I might expect to
    get pay wise as a junior programmer and if the 7 years
    support experience is worth a premium or simply water
    under the bridge. I'm in the DC area if anyone wants
    to comment on some pay ranges.

    If anyone what't to commented off line
    will get to me.

    TIA, and again sorry to any I've offended with an OT
    post.

    jmh
     
    jmh, Jul 25, 2004
    #1
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  2. [OT] Re: career change question -- not C++ specific

    "jmh" <> wrote in message
    news:SMPMc.9239$_K2.5402@lakeread02...
    > First, for those that view this as an OT post, sorry. I'm
    > not sure where to post (*.jobs?) but from reading there are
    > a number of people in this NG whose opinions I would respect
    > and welcome.
    >
    > I'd like to get some feedback from the group regarding what
    > level of programming skills I should have before attempting
    > to make a move from being an end user support person into
    > programming and development.


    Know a couple of languages thoroughly.
    Like to solve puzzles, riddles, problems without an answer key.
    Like to work evenings, nights, and weekends.
    Sometimes enjoy travel on a moment's notice.
    Be able to look up almost anything in books, on-line, from guru friends,
    etc.
    Be able to work with managers and end users who don't know much about
    a) what they want,
    b) what you do,
    c) what is possible,
    d) how long things take.
    Have a sense of humor about the ridiculous.

    The specific languages, techniques, and theory you will need depends on the
    particular job.
    --
    Gary
     
    Gary Labowitz, Jul 25, 2004
    #2
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  3. jmh

    Phlip Guest

    jmh wrote:

    > First, for those that view this as an OT post, sorry. I'm
    > not sure where to post (*.jobs?) but from reading there are
    > a number of people in this NG whose opinions I would respect
    > and welcome.


    And me.

    (You could have tried news:comp.software-eng , but the C++ influence is
    noted.)

    > I'd like to get some feedback from the group regarding what
    > level of programming skills I should have before attempting
    > to make a move from being an end user support person into
    > programming and development.


    Download programs from http://sf.net , debug them, and add unit tests to
    them.

    > I've been through two language specific classes, C and C++
    > (the latter is actually a first year CS course) I've done
    > some amount of just hacking things together for either
    > myself or to automate some trivail activity (say checking
    > an input file format or creating daily reports from an
    > ticketing system text export file) using VBScript, JScript
    > some basic DOS batch files and even written a simply
    > multivariate linear regression program in BASIC (MS, GW?).


    Sounds good. Try Ruby, to get the MS and C++ taste out of your mouth. You
    will be amazed. Programming doesn't have to be hard.

    > I'm currently planning on returning to college to get
    > a MS in Information Security and Assurance and would like
    > to focus on the development of secure applications rather
    > than just the usual proxy/firewall/IDA things. Obviously,
    > to be any good at that I'm going to need some pretty good
    > progamming and development experience and practical
    > knowledge.


    That might be Computer Science. That's different from Software Engineering.

    > I can post the last C++ assignement--make two classes
    > play well with one another and overload << and >> for
    > input and output--if anyone thinks that might show
    > my aptitue and skill level.


    Learn Test-Driven Development. A bug rate way lower than the lowest industry
    averages will impress everyone.

    Right now, investors don't invest in programmers unless the reward margin is
    excessively high. That's because programmers have burned them so often will
    long budget overruns, high bug rates, missed deadlines, etc. Getting ahead
    of that curve will keep you very marketable.

    --
    Phlip
    http://industrialxp.org/community/bin/view/Main/TestFirstUserInterfaces
     
    Phlip, Jul 25, 2004
    #3
  4. jmh

    jeffc Guest

    Re: [OT] Re: career change question -- not C++ specific

    "Gary Labowitz" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Like to work evenings, nights, and weekends.


    This is true of almost any professional job (not to mention working at
    MacDonald's). Then again many programmers don't work those hours. Just a
    way for some programmers to feel overworked compared to others, I suppose.

    > Sometimes enjoy travel on a moment's notice.


    This is true of almost any professional job. Then again, there are many
    jobs, including programming jobs, where it isn't true. Wishful thinking
    about the alleged jet-set lifestyle of a programmer compared to other jobs,
    I suppose.
     
    jeffc, Jul 26, 2004
    #4
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