The next step


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Thread: The next step

  1. #1
    hciuts Guest

    The next step


    Hello, everyone,

    I'm a newbee to this forum, but the articals here are very attractive to
    me. Sooner or later, each of us will reach a crossroad in the career, at
    that point, some sensible advices are very helpfull, so I think the topics
    here are very valuable to most of people.

    Here I would like to post my ideas of computer career and like to talk over
    with anyone. The passion to computer science is the motivation for me to
    choose this major and job, after years of studying and working as computer
    engineer, I must say computer job is not an easy thing. Yes. the payment
    may be still fine, but the press of continued studying and career promotion
    are always existing to me. I'm 29yo now, even though I got both my bachelor
    and master degrees in computer science, I still feel the age is a problem
    to my future promotion.

    I would like to know the thought of anyone who's 30 yo around also, how do
    you plan your computer career next? Do you think age is a problem from the
    standpoint of an employer? So the next thing is what should we do to emphasize
    our importaince in this industry?

    I supposed that there are three ways exsists:

    1.Stay in technology region. Then continued study is a must. I think to get
    some certificates is a good way, but here in some papers other people said
    certificate is not so importaint. So the problem is do certificates really
    reflected our skill in computer? I think that basic certificate such as MCSE,SCJP..
    better to be considered as a startpoint for entering this career, but some
    higher degrees of certificates, for example SCJD(developer)/SCJA(enterprise
    architecturer), etc. should reflect the in-depth knowledges and skill, so
    to get such type of certificates should be valuable, am I right? Anyone can
    tell me, do these certificates promoted your position or salary in your company?

    2.Go to technology management. Then I think MBA or other management certificate
    such as PMP are importaint?

    3.Run your own business. To do these I think the help from other people are
    very importaint. Some others may help you manage business and some can help
    you contact with clients or finalcial support.

    I think continued study is really importaint to most of people, so the problem
    is after studying we must get some visible results to be shown, without certificate
    of diploma, what can we show to our employer?

    I would like to hear any comments from any people.

    Best regards
    Alex.

  2. #2
    Elena Guest

    Re: The next step


    >>I would like to know the thought of anyone who's 30 yo around also


    Oops, I'm over 40. I guess I'll answer anyway . . .

    First, regarding the education and certification issues . . . I'm wondering
    what type of work you do. An MS in Computer Science is not required for
    most business applications so I'm wondering if you are working in the area
    of operating systems or tools development. If you are, my advice may be
    a little off-base as I'm more familiar with the business application development
    market.

    I'm one of the people who thinks most certifications are a waste of time.
    I was an MCSD once-upon-a-time and it got me nothing. No raise. No promotions.
    No better assignments. In job interviews I was told things like "anyone
    can pass a test." I think there are situations where certs can be helpful
    - - sort of an extra plus on your side - - but I strongly recommend against
    spending a lot of cash on testing fees and books and training programs.
    Right now I'm in the process of purchasing software and hardware to add a
    "dot net box" to my computer lab at home. I'm a little nervous about the
    expense but I'd rather put the money into another workstation and software
    instead of blowing it on some fees for tests no one will recognize.

    Before you get all tied up with selecting your training mode, I think you
    should step back and think about what type of work you want to do. The "Technical
    vs. Management" decision is a big one. IT Management is VERY different from
    IT development. IT Management is about FACILITATING AND GUIDING the development
    process - - not performing the development process. That means meeting with
    the clients/users to understand their needs. Meeting with the infrastructure
    people (network, database admin) to understand the strengths/weaknesses of
    the current environment. Meeting with the developers to keep them on track.
    Meeting with top management to "sell" the project and obtain funding. More
    meetings with the users to explain what is being developed and to manage
    their expectations. Did I mention you go to a lot of meetings?

    IT management is challenging work and it is very important. But a lot of
    techies are shocked to find how little technical content there is in an IT
    management job. Do you like working with people? Do you like explaining
    to non-technical people why a project should be done or why money should
    be spent in this area or that? Do you have patience to explain it 10 or 20
    more times during the development cycle? Are you good at persuading people?
    Are you willing to keep track of departmental budgets and spending? Are
    you willing to deal with all the "people problems" that come up when you
    supervise others? (absenteeism, low performers, people complaining about
    their salaries, etc.)

    Before you pick out an MBA school, I think you want to sit down and ponder
    these questions.

    One other point regarding certifications - - my employer (a consulting company)
    does seem to have high regard for the PMP cert but that cert seems to entail
    a lot more than just passing a couple multiple choice exams. I haven't researched
    it but I think it's based more on your actual project work. Anyway, it seems
    to be a cut above things like MCSD/MCSE.

    The other huge issue you raise is whether to work for someone else or establish
    your own company. This is another topic requiring careful consideration.
    Being your own boss can be very rewarding both psychologically and financially.
    However it is vastly more challenging. And you cannot start out with a
    staff of people to help you. So you have to take on all the administrative
    stuff (taxes, bill-collecting, marketing, customer-relations) in addition
    to keeping current technical skills which we both agree is already pretty
    challenging.

    I won't get into the age issue at this point because that's another long
    discussion!

    I guess what I'm saying is THINK about these different types of jobs. Look
    at people you know who are doing these jobs. I'm sure an IT manager or Director
    or VP where you work would be happy to tell you what it's like to walk in
    his shoes. And there are some good books/websites dedicated to being an
    independent consultant. Once you know your own desires better, you can approach
    questions like college vs. certification.

    Elena

  3. #3
    hciuts Guest

    Re: The next step


    Elena,

    Thanks very much for your response. Mostly I agree with your viewpoints.
    But I still wonder why certificates are so unimportaint?

    I agree that certificate is not always importaint at any situation, but I
    think it is still valuable in many inconditions, and should be taken into
    account for a job.

    For example, if one has C++ programming experiences, then pass a SCJP exam
    will compensate his shortage in java coding, because c++ and java are all
    programming language, for coding they mostly have differences at syntax or
    API, and syntax or API is easily to be tested through a exam.

    Even for a higher level of responsibilities, such as system analyzer, consultancy
    and tech management, certificates at least reflects one's knowleges of the
    works. I don't mean the certificate reflects all the corresponding knowledges
    or skill of a particular work, it indicates one's skill in applying theory
    or knowledges.

    So what I want to say is, we'd better consider a certificate as a reflection
    of one's skill to applying knowledges on particular vendor's product, that's
    enough for a certificate. For a level of work,
    one must has experiences firstly ( use one vendor's product ), and then he
    can compensate his shortage of experience in a particular product through
    pass a certificate, because the genarally the theory at the same level are
    similiar, the difference are only product, am I right?

    Alex.

  4. #4
    mark Guest

    Re: The next step


    I think I would step back, look at what's going on with offshore and H-1B
    visas and ask yourself "IS there going to be any work for me to do" I think
    probably not.

    "Elena" <egermano@comcast.net> wrote:
    >
    >>>I would like to know the thought of anyone who's 30 yo around also

    >
    >Oops, I'm over 40. I guess I'll answer anyway . . .
    >
    >First, regarding the education and certification issues . . . I'm wondering
    >what type of work you do. An MS in Computer Science is not required for
    >most business applications so I'm wondering if you are working in the area
    >of operating systems or tools development. If you are, my advice may be
    >a little off-base as I'm more familiar with the business application development
    >market.
    >
    >I'm one of the people who thinks most certifications are a waste of time.
    > I was an MCSD once-upon-a-time and it got me nothing. No raise. No promotions.
    > No better assignments. In job interviews I was told things like "anyone
    >can pass a test." I think there are situations where certs can be helpful
    >- - sort of an extra plus on your side - - but I strongly recommend against
    >spending a lot of cash on testing fees and books and training programs.


    >Right now I'm in the process of purchasing software and hardware to add

    a
    >"dot net box" to my computer lab at home. I'm a little nervous about the
    >expense but I'd rather put the money into another workstation and software
    >instead of blowing it on some fees for tests no one will recognize.
    >
    >Before you get all tied up with selecting your training mode, I think you
    >should step back and think about what type of work you want to do. The

    "Technical
    >vs. Management" decision is a big one. IT Management is VERY different

    from
    >IT development. IT Management is about FACILITATING AND GUIDING the development
    >process - - not performing the development process. That means meeting

    with
    >the clients/users to understand their needs. Meeting with the infrastructure
    >people (network, database admin) to understand the strengths/weaknesses

    of
    >the current environment. Meeting with the developers to keep them on track.
    > Meeting with top management to "sell" the project and obtain funding. More
    >meetings with the users to explain what is being developed and to manage
    >their expectations. Did I mention you go to a lot of meetings?
    >
    >IT management is challenging work and it is very important. But a lot of
    >techies are shocked to find how little technical content there is in an

    IT
    >management job. Do you like working with people? Do you like explaining
    >to non-technical people why a project should be done or why money should
    >be spent in this area or that? Do you have patience to explain it 10 or

    20
    >more times during the development cycle? Are you good at persuading people?
    > Are you willing to keep track of departmental budgets and spending? Are
    >you willing to deal with all the "people problems" that come up when you
    >supervise others? (absenteeism, low performers, people complaining about
    >their salaries, etc.)
    >
    >Before you pick out an MBA school, I think you want to sit down and ponder
    >these questions.
    >
    >One other point regarding certifications - - my employer (a consulting company)
    >does seem to have high regard for the PMP cert but that cert seems to entail
    >a lot more than just passing a couple multiple choice exams. I haven't

    researched
    >it but I think it's based more on your actual project work. Anyway, it

    seems
    >to be a cut above things like MCSD/MCSE.
    >
    >The other huge issue you raise is whether to work for someone else or establish
    >your own company. This is another topic requiring careful consideration.
    > Being your own boss can be very rewarding both psychologically and financially.
    > However it is vastly more challenging. And you cannot start out with a
    >staff of people to help you. So you have to take on all the administrative
    >stuff (taxes, bill-collecting, marketing, customer-relations) in addition
    >to keeping current technical skills which we both agree is already pretty
    >challenging.
    >
    >I won't get into the age issue at this point because that's another long
    >discussion!
    >
    >I guess what I'm saying is THINK about these different types of jobs. Look
    >at people you know who are doing these jobs. I'm sure an IT manager or

    Director
    >or VP where you work would be happy to tell you what it's like to walk in
    >his shoes. And there are some good books/websites dedicated to being an
    >independent consultant. Once you know your own desires better, you can

    approach
    >questions like college vs. certification.
    >
    >Elena



  5. #5
    simon Guest

    Re: The next step

    Alex,

    I am around your age, but I never give much thoughts on the age problem.
    However, I noticed that the people who are involved in web development tend
    to be young. Perhaps younger people are more adaptive to changes and new
    technologies? (I hope I didn't start a flame war here, ha).

    As of how to plan my career, I like to do development and I am planning to
    stay that way..... at least for now. However, I also understand that one
    cannot program forever. If you think the same way, you should plan ahead.
    Get more involved into the software/system design or project management,
    which lead to different career tracks.... e.g. software/system architect or
    project manager. Project management might be a little less technical.
    However, IMHO, in order to be a good project manager, one must have good
    technical background, in addition to the "soft skill". As a matter of fact,
    good communication skill should not be limited to project management
    professional only. It should apply to developers also. I just cannot see
    how you can be a good developer if you have poor communication skill.

    Picking which career track is difficult, and nobody can help you on that.
    You have to do some "soul searching" and ask yourself: what do you want to
    do in your life?

    How can we emphasize our important in this industry? We cannot. Remember
    this: there is no one single person in any company that is so important the
    company cannot do without. Period. We, the developers, would like to think
    that we are important to the companies. But to the companies, we are
    expendable, just like anybody else.

    I am very big in education, and I always encourage people to get a master
    degree, especially if you want to move up. But I am not very big in
    certification. IMHO, certification is for personal feat, no more and no
    less. Yes, certification is important in some professional, especially in
    network and support. But it is entirely different in programming. I am
    Microsoft and Sun certified, but all I got was a pat on the back. No
    promotion or raise that is directly related to that. Quite frankly, I don't
    really care. I am happy of what I have and what I am doing.

    There is only one way to impress an employer: EXPERIENCE! If you want to
    have visible result of your study, apply what you learned at work. There is
    no other way.

    Hope this helps.

    simon.


    "hciuts" <hciuts@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:3c690130$1@10.1.10.29...
    >
    > Hello, everyone,
    >
    > I'm a newbee to this forum, but the articals here are very attractive to
    > me. Sooner or later, each of us will reach a crossroad in the career, at
    > that point, some sensible advices are very helpfull, so I think the topics
    > here are very valuable to most of people.
    >
    > Here I would like to post my ideas of computer career and like to talk

    over
    > with anyone. The passion to computer science is the motivation for me to
    > choose this major and job, after years of studying and working as computer
    > engineer, I must say computer job is not an easy thing. Yes. the payment
    > may be still fine, but the press of continued studying and career

    promotion
    > are always existing to me. I'm 29yo now, even though I got both my

    bachelor
    > and master degrees in computer science, I still feel the age is a problem
    > to my future promotion.
    >
    > I would like to know the thought of anyone who's 30 yo around also, how do
    > you plan your computer career next? Do you think age is a problem from the
    > standpoint of an employer? So the next thing is what should we do to

    emphasize
    > our importaince in this industry?
    >
    > I supposed that there are three ways exsists:
    >
    > 1.Stay in technology region. Then continued study is a must. I think to

    get
    > some certificates is a good way, but here in some papers other people said
    > certificate is not so importaint. So the problem is do certificates really
    > reflected our skill in computer? I think that basic certificate such as

    MCSE,SCJP..
    > better to be considered as a startpoint for entering this career, but some
    > higher degrees of certificates, for example

    SCJD(developer)/SCJA(enterprise
    > architecturer), etc. should reflect the in-depth knowledges and skill, so
    > to get such type of certificates should be valuable, am I right? Anyone

    can
    > tell me, do these certificates promoted your position or salary in your

    company?
    >
    > 2.Go to technology management. Then I think MBA or other management

    certificate
    > such as PMP are importaint?
    >
    > 3.Run your own business. To do these I think the help from other people

    are
    > very importaint. Some others may help you manage business and some can

    help
    > you contact with clients or finalcial support.
    >
    > I think continued study is really importaint to most of people, so the

    problem
    > is after studying we must get some visible results to be shown, without

    certificate
    > of diploma, what can we show to our employer?
    >
    > I would like to hear any comments from any people.
    >
    > Best regards
    > Alex.




  6. #6
    Michael Q. Gautier Guest

    Re: The next step


    Certification: Just one of several ways to exhibit your care for professionalism
    in the craft of software development using a vendor's product. Certification
    are not promotion applicable, but can allow you to operate on a more communicative
    level with your certified team members. Value added, not value defined.

    Age: Life's scrapes, conflicts and realities can make you hardened and certain.
    Youth do not have this in large measure because they think they can do anything.
    The few business managers that understand this hire these folks when trying
    to take advantage of an opportunity using new tech. Try to get a 15 year
    mainframe programmer to implement your interactive, B2C web system. Many
    times you get, "I don't understand that stuff" but they will inform the youth
    of the value of robustness while the youngans with say "We can do that in
    6 months or less". Both groups have value to contribute depending on the
    needs of business. H1-B makes the whole matter moot anyway.

    Career direction: Ask yourself, not where the market is going, because you
    can always get "some type of" job. Ask, "What is my passion" and become even
    more successful. If your passion is not practical, try the next passion in
    line or make a passion out of something close enough. People fail because
    they try to exist where they were never really meant to be and they don't
    have the stamina to remain in the wrong place.

    H1-B: Regardless of the issue remember, you are expendable and that some
    small business somewhere was looking for you during the dotcom craze and
    still wants you. They want you for 30 to 60% less, but it is better than
    doing a job for less pay that is much further removed from what you want
    to do.

    Continued study: Continued study isn't a problem as long as you have a personal
    technology vision you are trying to achieve and business want it. Think in
    terms of how a certain technology will allow you to do something better,
    not how much you can get paid for knowing it. Apply new technology to your
    professional capabilities and objectives, not the monetary reward. Besides,
    they are only going to pay so much so forget the gold and keep the goal.
    Sometimes continued study doesn't mean attainment of a deep understanding
    of the studied tech. Be well familiar with it enough to understand what are
    the benefits, general capabilities and possibilities for business application
    improvement.

    Business (MBA): If you want management early, seek it early. If you want
    to work past your forties, I would recommend attaining it around your mid
    to late thirties so you can build in som business "experience". Your tech
    experience will be important in your forties as a manager because you can
    really push projects through (get them done, but know how to do it without
    breaking the resources).

    What do I know, I am a 25 year old with 6 years of experience who happened
    to serve in the military and corporate america at one time and is now a consultant
    leading 2 cutting edge technical implementations at a mainframe based organization.



    "hciuts" <hciuts@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >
    >Hello, everyone,
    >
    >I'm a newbee to this forum, but the articals here are very attractive to
    >me. Sooner or later, each of us will reach a crossroad in the career, at
    >that point, some sensible advices are very helpfull, so I think the topics
    >here are very valuable to most of people.
    >
    >Here I would like to post my ideas of computer career and like to talk over
    >with anyone. The passion to computer science is the motivation for me to
    >choose this major and job, after years of studying and working as computer
    >engineer, I must say computer job is not an easy thing. Yes. the payment
    >may be still fine, but the press of continued studying and career promotion
    >are always existing to me. I'm 29yo now, even though I got both my bachelor
    >and master degrees in computer science, I still feel the age is a problem
    >to my future promotion.
    >
    >I would like to know the thought of anyone who's 30 yo around also, how

    do
    >you plan your computer career next? Do you think age is a problem from the
    >standpoint of an employer? So the next thing is what should we do to emphasize
    >our importaince in this industry?
    >
    >I supposed that there are three ways exsists:
    >
    >1.Stay in technology region. Then continued study is a must. I think to

    get
    >some certificates is a good way, but here in some papers other people said
    >certificate is not so importaint. So the problem is do certificates really
    >reflected our skill in computer? I think that basic certificate such as

    MCSE,SCJP..
    >better to be considered as a startpoint for entering this career, but some
    >higher degrees of certificates, for example SCJD(developer)/SCJA(enterprise
    >architecturer), etc. should reflect the in-depth knowledges and skill, so
    >to get such type of certificates should be valuable, am I right? Anyone

    can
    >tell me, do these certificates promoted your position or salary in your

    company?
    >
    >2.Go to technology management. Then I think MBA or other management certificate
    >such as PMP are importaint?
    >
    >3.Run your own business. To do these I think the help from other people

    are
    >very importaint. Some others may help you manage business and some can help
    >you contact with clients or finalcial support.
    >
    >I think continued study is really importaint to most of people, so the problem
    >is after studying we must get some visible results to be shown, without

    certificate
    >of diploma, what can we show to our employer?
    >
    >I would like to hear any comments from any people.
    >
    >Best regards
    >Alex.



  7. #7
    hciuts Guest

    Re: The next step


    Why I want to stress the usabilities of certificates is that, because at least
    two types of engineers want them, newbee and engineer who is not fully experienced
    in particular product. As we know, the process of development is geting more
    and more standardized and specialized, and development tools upgrade quickly,
    on the other hand, theory improves never so quickly( if not slow ). So generally
    I don't think one can't compensate his shortage of experiences at particular
    tools through quickly studying, theory are mostly the same, differences are
    only the products.

    What's more, we must say experiences don't indicate high skill always, at
    an interview, the manager will take many other characteristics into account,
    the skill of learning and applying knowledges sometime is more importaint
    than expreience only, especially for a new technology. But without a certificate,
    you may even have no chance to attend the interview.

    The key point is not whether the certificate itself is valuable, a certificate's
    value depends mostly on the numbers of people who have already got that certificate.
    If there are sufficient engineers with one type of certificate, then such
    certificate can't be a standard already, but otherwise certificate do much
    increases your chances to get a job, say nothing of a certificate can be
    a guide of studying also.

  8. #8
    Elena Guest

    Re: The next step


    I'm afraid you're missing the point. YOU think certs are valuable but employers
    DO NOT. As Simon and I have both pointed out, this was made quite clear
    to us when we achieved our certs.

    If you look at a cert as just a form of self-study, then fine. For example,
    if you say "self study is useful for newbies and for engineers that are not
    experienced in a particular product" then yes, of course, they are useful.
    It gives you some confidence that you have studied all the major subject
    areas and grasped the important concepts.

    But you keep trying to relate certifications with how EMPLOYERS evaluate
    their employees and job candidates and Simon and I are saying it really doesn't
    help much at all.

    So go ahead and earn the certs if you feel so strongly about it. Then try
    them out in the job market. Let us know how it works out.

    Elena




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