What next?


DevX Home    Today's Headlines   Articles Archive   Tip Bank   Forums   

Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: What next?

  1. #1
    Greg Guest

    What next?


    Hi,



    I have a question, but it comes after this list:

    Expert:
    Visual Basic
    HTML
    Access Database
    Windows
    Office

    Intermediate:
    VBScript
    Javascript
    API

    Beginner:
    COM


    Aside from upgrading my skills to expert in the intermediate and beginner
    categories, are there any other technologies I should start learning. I
    am 16 and have had some job offers, but have to graduate first, so I have
    2 years to learn a few new languages/technologies, any suggestions that would
    make me even more desirable? Thanks!

  2. #2
    simon Guest

    Re: What next?

    Greg,

    If you don't know much about COM., that means you don't know much about
    building distributed n-tier application with VB. If that is true, I don't
    think you can call yourself an "expert" in VB. And Access is not a "real"
    database.... what I meant is that Access is designed for personal or small
    business use only, and not for enterprise environment. Since you don't
    really have any database experience, I recommend you to learn SQL Server and
    Oracle, which are "real" databases. It is important for a developer to
    understand how the back-end (the data tier) works.

    I might be biased on this one, but no developer can call himself/herself a
    top-notch programmer if he/she does not know C++. Learning C++ will force
    you to really understand how the machine works. Also C++ does not do a lot
    of checking for you, like VB does, and therefore it forces you to be a
    better programmer (and not to be a sloppy programmer).

    Last but not least, since you are only 16 years old, I STRONGLY recommend
    you to concentrate on getting a college education first, with a computer
    science major or mathematics major for example. Money is not everything and
    you are way too young to chase after money. Believe me, after you finish
    college, the money will still be there. But without a college degree, it
    will come back and haunt you in the future. By then, you will be either too
    old or too tied up in life to go back to school.

    College is an important part of the grow up process. It is a process to
    shape your mind. It is also a commitment to better yourself, not just
    technologically but intellectually. Think about this, if you cannot make a
    commitment with the school for merely 4 short years, how can an employer
    believes that you can make any commitment to their company??!! I personally
    won't hire people like that, because I won't hire "job hoppers".

    You may not like to hear this now, but you will thank me later when you get
    older.

    simon.




    "Greg" <cdnelson9@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:3aac08e0$1@news.devx.com...
    >
    > Hi,
    >
    >
    >
    > I have a question, but it comes after this list:
    >
    > Expert:
    > Visual Basic
    > HTML
    > Access Database
    > Windows
    > Office
    >
    > Intermediate:
    > VBScript
    > Javascript
    > API
    >
    > Beginner:
    > COM
    >
    >
    > Aside from upgrading my skills to expert in the intermediate and beginner
    > categories, are there any other technologies I should start learning. I
    > am 16 and have had some job offers, but have to graduate first, so I have
    > 2 years to learn a few new languages/technologies, any suggestions that

    would
    > make me even more desirable? Thanks!




  3. #3
    Frustrated IT Worker Guest

    Re: What next?


    Get a college degree if possible. Doesn't mean squat really except that many
    HR types will not hire you without a bachelor's degree because company policy
    won't allow them to. I disagree with Simon's comment regarding college, however,
    my opinion doesn't count. Btw, I watched 20/20 on Friday where among other
    things they talked about how nobody gets less than a C unless you don't show
    up for class at all.

    ======== My experience =========

    I have an AA degree and one year of college experience. Back in 1991, I left
    my first employer of two years (a consulting firm) and sent out a very fancy
    smancy resume that included a multimedia diskette. Some of the companies
    that I interviewed with and really wanted to work for said they couldn't
    hire me because I didn't meet their minimum qualifications. Why did they
    interview me then? Apparently, they were impressed with my resume and just
    wanted to meet with me. Man was I ....

    I have found that a lack of a four year degree has severely hampered my career
    opportunities. Talent alone is not always enough in this industry.

  4. #4
    Elena Guest

    Re: What next?


    Please don't take this the wrong way, but you are not expert in any technology
    if you haven't built real-world full-sized applications using that technology.
    These are applications that have been looked at and used by several other
    people - - that's when you REALLY start to learn. And certainly no one could
    reasonably expect all this from a 16-year-old.

    You're also missing another key component here - that's business knowledge.
    In the real world, people don't map out all their needs so you can just
    type code all day. You have to have the verbal/written communication skills,
    general business background knowledge, and people skills to ferret out the
    true nature of the problem and determine the best type of technical solution.
    This is why so many companies require 4-year degrees - - not because it
    helps you polish your Java skills, but because you are required to develop
    a full range of skills (communication, business, technical) all of which
    are necessary to function in the business world.

    Don't short-change yourself rushing to get some little jobs that right now
    pay a lot more than hamburger-flipping. Invest in your career long-term
    and get a start building ALL the skills you'll need. You can always get internships
    or part-time jobs WHILE you're going to school.

    Elena

    "Greg" <cdnelson9@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >
    >Hi,
    >
    >
    >
    > I have a question, but it comes after this list:
    >
    >Expert:
    >Visual Basic
    >HTML
    >Access Database
    >Windows
    >Office
    >
    >Intermediate:
    >VBScript
    >Javascript
    >API
    >
    >Beginner:
    >COM
    >
    >
    >Aside from upgrading my skills to expert in the intermediate and beginner
    >categories, are there any other technologies I should start learning. I
    >am 16 and have had some job offers, but have to graduate first, so I have
    >2 years to learn a few new languages/technologies, any suggestions that

    would
    >make me even more desirable? Thanks!



  5. #5
    Patrick Troughton Guest

    Re: What next?


    I hope this doesn't come across as rude, but how can you consider yourself
    an expert in VB and a beginner in COM?

    /Pat

    "Greg" <cdnelson9@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >
    >Hi,
    >
    >
    >
    > I have a question, but it comes after this list:
    >
    >Expert:
    >Visual Basic
    >HTML
    >Access Database
    >Windows
    >Office
    >
    >Intermediate:
    >VBScript
    >Javascript
    >API
    >
    >Beginner:
    >COM
    >
    >
    >Aside from upgrading my skills to expert in the intermediate and beginner
    >categories, are there any other technologies I should start learning. I
    >am 16 and have had some job offers, but have to graduate first, so I have
    >2 years to learn a few new languages/technologies, any suggestions that

    would
    >make me even more desirable? Thanks!



  6. #6
    Patrick Troughton Guest

    Re: What next?


    "simon" <substring0@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >Greg,
    >
    >I might be biased on this one, but no developer can call himself/herself

    a
    >top-notch programmer if he/she does not know C++. Learning C++ will force
    >you to really understand how the machine works. Also C++ does not do a

    lot
    >of checking for you, like VB does, and therefore it forces you to be a
    >better programmer (and not to be a sloppy programmer).


    Why not assembler?

    BTW, VB.NET has option strict and a couple other features that help you write
    less 'sloppy' code.

    /Pat

  7. #7
    Patrick Troughton Guest

    Re: What next?


    "Frustrated IT Worker" <frustrated@nospam.com> wrote:
    >
    >I have an AA degree and one year of college experience. Back in 1991, I

    left
    >my first employer of two years (a consulting firm) and sent out a very fancy
    >smancy resume that included a multimedia diskette. Some of the companies
    >that I interviewed with and really wanted to work for said they couldn't
    >hire me because I didn't meet their minimum qualifications. Why did they
    >interview me then? Apparently, they were impressed with my resume and just
    >wanted to meet with me.


    Again, I don't mean to be rude, but perhaps you interview poorly, don't know
    as much as you think you do, have poor hygiene, etc.

    /Pat

  8. #8
    Patrick Troughton Guest

    Re: What next?


    Hi Greg,

    If you're self-taught, you may be a terrible programmer and not ever realize
    it. Most self-taught programmers I've worked with wrote some of the worst
    spaghetti code I've ever seen. How well do understand structured and object
    oriented programming? What percentage of your routines is more than a screen
    long? Do you use Goto (other than error handling. What about Gosub? Do you
    know what a Property Let/Get/Set is? How does VB implement polymorphism?
    What comes first, Class_Initialize or Form_Load? What is the difference between
    implementation inheritance and interface inheritance? Which does VB support
    and why?

    OK, here are some recommendations... until you get to college, read as much
    as you can. Try 'Practical Standards for Microsoft Visual Basic' by James
    Foxall for starters. After graduation, go to college. Get a four-year degree,
    not two. The better the school, the better.

    Also, Microsoft will be releasing .NET by the end of the year. Many of the
    MS technologies will be radically altered or even eliminated, such as COM
    and ADO. If you're going the MS route, focus on theory, programming technique
    and methodology.

    /Pat

    "Greg" <cdnelson9@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >
    >Hi,
    >
    >
    >
    > I have a question, but it comes after this list:
    >
    >Expert:
    >Visual Basic
    >HTML
    >Access Database
    >Windows
    >Office
    >
    >Intermediate:
    >VBScript
    >Javascript
    >API
    >
    >Beginner:
    >COM
    >
    >
    >Aside from upgrading my skills to expert in the intermediate and beginner
    >categories, are there any other technologies I should start learning. I
    >am 16 and have had some job offers, but have to graduate first, so I have
    >2 years to learn a few new languages/technologies, any suggestions that

    would
    >make me even more desirable? Thanks!



  9. #9
    Jon Guest

    Re: What next?


    Greg,

    The best thing you can do is concentrate on your highschool classes and get
    yourself into a good 4 year college. Once in college, find a curriculum
    that you will enjoy and keep you working hard so you can improve yourself.
    One of the best things college does is give you a base for everything else
    you will do later in life. The purpose of most classes is not only to inform,
    but to teach you how to learn and adapt to a wide range of things (not just
    technology).

    If you do decide on a technology curriculum, concentrate on theory and the
    fundamentals of what you are doing, not on the specific technologies. When
    I studied Computer Science most of the technology I'm using today, didn't
    exist. But the basis and theories I learned in school are still serving
    me well. They have given me the ability to be language independant. I can
    (with a bit of help from a good reference book) switch between languages
    (C++, VB, SQL, Java, etc.) not because I studied them in school, but becuase
    they are mearly different ways of expressing the same theories and methodologies
    in source code for the various compilers and interpreters to process. Buzz
    words like COM, ADO, CORBA, etc. will be long gone or vastly altered by the
    time you are ready to hit the job market in full force. Don't worry about
    these at this time, concentrate on learing and building your base that will
    lead you into bigger and better things as your carreer evolves over time.

    Hope this helps,
    Jon


    "Greg" <cdnelson9@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >
    >Hi,
    >
    >
    >
    > I have a question, but it comes after this list:
    >
    >Expert:
    >Visual Basic
    >HTML
    >Access Database
    >Windows
    >Office
    >
    >Intermediate:
    >VBScript
    >Javascript
    >API
    >
    >Beginner:
    >COM
    >
    >
    >Aside from upgrading my skills to expert in the intermediate and beginner
    >categories, are there any other technologies I should start learning. I
    >am 16 and have had some job offers, but have to graduate first, so I have
    >2 years to learn a few new languages/technologies, any suggestions that

    would
    >make me even more desirable? Thanks!



  10. #10
    David K. Guest

    Re: What next?


    Greg:

    I agree with the other posters. Don't worry about getting a job after H.S.
    You'll definitely want to go to college and get your B.S. You'll get a
    good foundation in software development, plus most software development jobs
    require a college degree.

    Definitely concentrate on your school work at this point, so you can get
    into the best college you can. Be sure to take the most challenging courses
    in your H.S - especially science, mathematics, and computers. If your school
    offers it, definitely take Advanced Placement Computer Science. The AP Computer
    curriculum covers C++, which is a good language to learn, plus it'll look
    very nice on your transcript when you are applying to colleges. I'm guessing
    that since you've already learned a lot about computers on your own, you'll
    be able to handle the work.

    Also, since you say you have job offers, line up something part time or for
    the summer if you can. That way, you can get some "real world" experience
    without interrupting your studies.

    College may not seem like a great idea when somebody is holding out a paycheck
    in front of you for after H.S., but in the long run it'll definitely pay
    off!

    "Greg" <cdnelson9@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >Aside from upgrading my skills to expert in the intermediate and beginner
    >categories, are there any other technologies I should start learning. I
    >am 16 and have had some job offers, but have to graduate first, so I have
    >2 years to learn a few new languages/technologies, any suggestions that

    would
    >make me even more desirable? Thanks!



  11. #11
    David K. Guest

    Re: What next?


    Frustrated:

    You're right to a certain extent. My experience is that you get out of college
    what you put into it. If you approach your studies with the attitude that
    you want to get as much knowledge out of the experience as you can, then
    it is an extremely worthwhile experience that you can't get anywhere else.
    However, if you approach it with the attitude that you are just after "the
    grade" and the "piece of paper at the end", then that's all you will get.
    I know people who went through the motions, did as little work as possible,
    and got their "gentleman's C" and their degree. I doubt college had a big
    affect on their lives, intellectually speaking.

    Personally speaking, I found that there was a big adjustment for me going
    from H.S. to college. From Kindergarten through H.S., it was the teacher's
    (and the school system's) responsibility to make sure that you learned the
    material. They made sure that you were learning what was being taught, to
    the point where the material seemed "spoon-fed". In college, the responsibility
    seemed to shift from the "system" to the individual. Professors didn't care
    if you "got" the matieral. They didn't take attendance. There were no detentions
    if you showed up late or didn't show up at all. They presented the material,
    and they assumed that the students were mature enough to take responsibility
    for learning it. If you weren't learning it, it was up to the student to
    seek out help.

    "Frustrated IT Worker" <frustrated@nospam.com> wrote:
    >
    >Get a college degree if possible. Doesn't mean squat really except that

    many
    >HR types will not hire you without a bachelor's degree because company policy
    >won't allow them to. I disagree with Simon's comment regarding college,

    however,
    >my opinion doesn't count. Btw, I watched 20/20 on Friday where among other
    >things they talked about how nobody gets less than a C unless you don't

    show
    >up for class at all.



  12. #12
    Frustrated IT Worker Guest

    Re: What next?


    >Personally speaking, I found that there was a big adjustment for me going
    >from H.S. to college. From Kindergarten through H.S., it was the >teacher's

    (and the school system's) responsibility to make sure that you >learned the
    >material. They made sure that you were learning what was being taught,

    to
    >the point where the material seemed "spoon-fed". In college, the >responsibility
    >seemed to shift from the "system" to the individual.


    Well, it has been a long time since I have attended college, however, I doubt
    that High Schools are any better at preparing students for college life.
    I know that when I graduated from High School many people (including myself)
    were ill prepared for college. Now having said that, I dropped out after
    my first year because I simply couldn't afford it at the time. Eventually
    I was able to attend a technical college and I earned an AA degree in business
    data processing. While I graduated debt free, I had to work two jobs (60
    hours a week) in order to do so. I suppose what I am trying to say is that
    I didn't find college to be all that fun or enlightening. For some professions,
    college is a necessicity. For others, it simply a right of passage that companies
    force you to go through.

    >You're right to a certain extent. My experience is that you get out of
    >college what you put into it.


    I suppose it depends on what type of degree you are seeking and what your
    career goals are. In other words, how closely the classes you wind up taking
    match up with your career after graduating. My brother graduated with a 3.7
    GPA in Philosohpy (wanted to be a lawyer) and is now making more money than
    I am as an independent truck driver. College really didn't do much for him
    in many ways.

    Personally, I liked the technical college that I attended a lot more than
    I did the four college (granted first two years are mostly BS courses so
    the comparison is a little unfair) because they didn't waste too much of
    my time teaching me about things that I could learn by reading National Geographic.
    Yeah I took courses such as macro and micro economics, but I found them worthless
    as well and a waste of my time. Economists don't know squat -- there are
    simply too many variables involved to be able to accurately predict anything
    of significance about the US econmony. Accounting is about the only class
    that I found useful. Even so, I forgot everything that I learned in class.
    So when the time came where I needed to use this stuff -- I really had to
    start from scratch so to speak.

    Unfortunately, Elena is correct about needing to know business concepts.
    I have found that most companies expect you to know their business processes
    as well if not better than they do. I have a real problem with this. The
    days of the IT corporate lifer working in one vertical market or for just
    one company are not dead but are definately getting rarer as time goes by.
    Everyone agrees that users (domain experts) need to be actively involved
    throughout almost any software development project. Does this happen in reality?
    Sure, but not as nearly as often as I think it should. Intellectual capital
    as some people like to call it should be kept in the computer and not in
    some IT worker's head. I have seen large corporations lay off almost their
    entire IT department (cheaper than retraining them?) and replace them with
    independent contractors and consulting firm employees. The problem with this
    outsourcing approach is that the IT workers take with them their extensive
    knowledge of how the company's IT business processes actually work. So, the
    reality is yes you need to know business concepts, however, I wish it didn't
    have to be this way.

    Writing and communication skills are VERY important, but do you really need
    to attend a four year college to acquire these skills?

    A couple of years ago, I spoke with a fellow consultant who came from India.
    He told me that college (for many) is different in their country than in
    ours. That is people who attend college in India generally do so with a specific
    purpose in mind. The courses they take are geared specifically to get them
    a job in engineering for example. That is how some people envision what the
    US education system will be like in the future. That is forget about graduating
    well-roundeded students and just make sure that they are prepared for the
    'real world' of business, engineering, etc.

  13. #13
    Elena Guest

    Re: What next?


    There's a pretty wide variety of experiences here. When I got my first Bachelor's,
    I was living in metro Detroit in the late seventies and the job market was
    AWFUL!!! The three biggest degrees on campus were business, computer science
    and engineering. Believe me, everyone in those programs was entirely focused
    on training for a job. And the computer science degree only allowed a very
    few courses that were not science/math/engineering-oriented.

    Then the economy got better and interest shifted back to other types of educational
    experiences. Personally, I see nothing wrong with majoring in medieval french
    literature as long as you understand this is not any kind of job preparation.


    Elena
    "Frustrated IT Worker" <frustrated@nospam.com> wrote:
    >>A couple of years ago, I spoke with a fellow consultant who came from India.

    He told me that college (for many) is different in their country than in
    ours. That is people who attend college in India generally do so with a specific
    purpose in mind. The courses they take are geared specifically to get them
    a job in engineering for example.

  14. #14
    David K. Guest

    Re: What next?


    Frustrated:


    "Frustrated IT Worker" <frustrated@nospam.com> wrote:
    >
    >Well, it has been a long time since I have attended college, however, I

    doubt
    >that High Schools are any better at preparing students for college life.
    >I know that when I graduated from High School many people (including myself)
    >were ill prepared for college.


    It sounds like I'm a "bit" younger than you (graduated H.S. in '89), but
    it hasn't changed much. College was a culture shock for me.

    >I suppose it depends on what type of degree you are seeking and what your
    >career goals are. In other words, how closely the classes you wind up taking
    >match up with your career after graduating. My brother graduated with a

    3.7
    >GPA in Philosohpy (wanted to be a lawyer) and is now making more money than
    >I am as an independent truck driver. College really didn't do much for him
    >in many ways.
    >


    Hmmmm, "PHI 305: Philosophy of 24-Hour Truck Stops"!


    >Personally, I liked the technical college that I attended a lot more than
    >I did the four college (granted first two years are mostly BS courses so
    >the comparison is a little unfair) because they didn't waste too much of
    >my time teaching me about things that I could learn by reading National

    Geographic.
    <...snip...>
    >A couple of years ago, I spoke with a fellow consultant who came from India.
    >He told me that college (for many) is different in their country than in
    >ours. That is people who attend college in India generally do so with a

    specific
    >purpose in mind. The courses they take are geared specifically to get them
    >a job in engineering for example. That is how some people envision what

    the
    >US education system will be like in the future. That is forget about graduating
    >well-roundeded students and just make sure that they are prepared for the
    >'real world' of business, engineering, etc.


    This is where I disagree with you. I am in favor of a broad educational
    experience in college. I think that there is a tendency for people to become
    over-specialized. Things change so much over the course of one's working
    life (especially in I.T.) that there is something to be said for getting
    a good foundation of knowledge.


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
HTML5 Development Center
 
 
FAQ
Latest Articles
Java
.NET
XML
Database
Enterprise
Questions? Contact us.
C++
Web Development
Wireless
Latest Tips
Open Source


   Development Centers

   -- Android Development Center
   -- Cloud Development Project Center
   -- HTML5 Development Center
   -- Windows Mobile Development Center