Newbie getting started in programming


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  1. #1
    Benno Guest

    Newbie getting started in programming


    Hello Everyone,
    I'm a newbie and would appreciate any advice anyone can
    give me on getting started with a career in programming. I
    know VB and Visual Studio and would like to learn
    VBScript. Is that the right direction to take? Should I focus
    on the entire .net family? Or something else like java (or something else
    entirely?) I am also interested in working as a contractor - are any of
    you contractors? If so, how do you go about finding people
    who want to hire you? A friend of mine is in IT and was
    laid off and is having a hard time finding a new job. Is
    this an industry wide slow-down that I should watch out
    for? Like I said, I'm a newbie and just need some direction.

    Thanks,
    Benno


  2. #2
    simon Guest

    Re: Newbie getting started in programming

    Benno,

    It is wonderful that you like to pursue a career in programming (a
    professional that I love dearly), but I just hope that your decision is
    based on your affection on programming and not because of the money.

    It is very important for you at this stage not to focus on the tools.
    Instead, you should be "building" the knowledge on logic, algorithm, problem
    solving, and object-oriented design concepts. Tools will change over time,
    but logic and algorithm will not. You will be a good programmer if you have
    good logic and good design. Without that, I don't care how well you know
    Visual Studio, you will still be writing bad application.

    By the way, VBScript is going away. So if you don't know it by now, don't
    waste time on it. As of whether to learn .NET or Java, I am always a strong
    advocate to learn as much as you can. So IMHO, I think you should learn
    both if you can. If you cannot, for whatever reason, you just have to
    decide which "camp" you want to join..... the Microsoft camp or the
    "anything but Microsoft" camp, then pick the tools accordingly. Either camp
    can provide you a long lasting career.

    IMHO, I think every programmer should learn C++ first. If you are good in
    C++, all these C#, Java, or whatever that comes along, will be "piece of
    cake". =)

    I don't do contract work. It is not my "cup of tea". So I cannot tell you
    much about it. But I think it might be tough for you to get any contract
    work if you don't have any "real life" working experience (it is my
    assumption based on your post, so correct me if I am wrong). Not too many
    places will hire "entry-level" contractors.

    For the past 5 years or so, the IT industry was way over-supplied with
    labors, thanks to the dotcom bubbles. Many people were attracted to the
    profession primarily because of the money. And thanks to all the great RAD
    tools that we have, there are many programmers out there that do not have
    solid programming foundation and cannot write a program without an IDE.

    The slow-down is pretty much a self-correction. It brings the IT profession
    back down to earth. Programmers will still be able to find jobs, but not at
    the previous outrageous rate. And if you are good, with solid experience,
    there are still jobs out there. Having said that, it will be very tough for
    "newbie" like you at this time. You just have to keep trying and have a lot
    of patience.

    Well, good luck and happy programming. =)

    simon.


    "Benno" <benno626@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:3c60025e$1@10.1.10.29...
    >
    > Hello Everyone,
    > I'm a newbie and would appreciate any advice anyone can
    > give me on getting started with a career in programming. I
    > know VB and Visual Studio and would like to learn
    > VBScript. Is that the right direction to take? Should I focus
    > on the entire .net family? Or something else like java (or something else
    > entirely?) I am also interested in working as a contractor - are any of
    > you contractors? If so, how do you go about finding people
    > who want to hire you? A friend of mine is in IT and was
    > laid off and is having a hard time finding a new job. Is
    > this an industry wide slow-down that I should watch out
    > for? Like I said, I'm a newbie and just need some direction.
    >
    > Thanks,
    > Benno
    >




  3. #3
    Elena Guest

    Re: Newbie getting started in programming


    Well, first thing, the U.S. economy is definitely in a downturn and there
    are many unemployed programmers at this time. We're hoping things will get
    better later this year but there are no guarantees.

    Next, working as a "contractor" usually requires that you already have solid
    experience in the field - - you need to have already proven yourself capable
    in the "real world". So typically entry-level people don't work as contractors
    unless they are working for one of the very large contracting firms like
    EDS which accepts and trains new people. These firms usually require at
    least a bachelor's degree - - although not necessarily in computer science.
    If you work for a consulting firm THEY find the clients, not you. Consultants
    that work independently (that is, have their own businesses) have to handle
    all the business aspects as well as the technical aspects. This includes
    marketing (to find those clients) business administration (to ensure the
    client actually pays you and your taxes are all in order) as well as keeping
    up their technical skills. To learn a little more about independent contracting,
    I suggest www.realrates.com - - both the website and the books sold by the
    website's owner.

    Finally, as for the eternal question "Which technology should I learn?" there
    are really several different ways to go. Some people will advocate one language
    or platform over the other, but a decent living can be made using many different
    technologies.

    So you've got a couple options:

    1. Go to college (if you haven't already) and get an IT degree. Upon graduation,
    you can work with the university's placement department or interview with
    companies on your own.

    2. Approach the smaller consulting firms in your area and ask them about
    their requirements for hiring (degrees? certifications? experience?) I
    can pretty much guarantee the large ones will insist on college degrees but
    the smaller companies might consider someone if they can present themselves
    REALLY well.

    3. You can try the independent route although it's not something I recommend
    for the inexperienced. There are just too many bases to cover and it's too
    easy to end up not being paid because the customer is unhappy for one reason
    or another.

    IT is not like selling real estate on the weekends. It's a full-fledged
    career and requires lengthy preparation and ongoing effort to remain current
    with the technology. The simpler coding jobs are often being outsourced
    overseas so going forward the jobs that remain in the US will require broad
    background in both business and technical areas.

    Best of Luck.
    Elena


  4. #4
    Benno Guest

    Re: Newbie getting started in programming


    Simon,
    Thank you for taking the time to respond. My interest in programming comes
    from an enjoyment of programming, not the money. I love feeling like I'm
    actually "creating" something.
    Thanks for the heads-up about VBScript. I won't pursue it further. I'll
    start checking out C++ now. Thanks also for the info on contracting. I had
    thought that I'd stand a better chance as a beginner contracting because
    they wouldn't have to spend money on benefits, etc. But I guess I'll rethink
    that now.

    Thanks again for your advice.

    Benno

    "simon" <substring0NOSPAM@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >Benno,
    >
    >It is wonderful that you like to pursue a career in programming (a
    >professional that I love dearly), but I just hope that your decision is
    >based on your affection on programming and not because of the money.
    >
    >It is very important for you at this stage not to focus on the tools.
    >Instead, you should be "building" the knowledge on logic, algorithm, problem
    >solving, and object-oriented design concepts. Tools will change over time,
    >but logic and algorithm will not. You will be a good programmer if you

    have
    >good logic and good design. Without that, I don't care how well you know
    >Visual Studio, you will still be writing bad application.
    >
    >By the way, VBScript is going away. So if you don't know it by now, don't
    >waste time on it. As of whether to learn .NET or Java, I am always a strong
    >advocate to learn as much as you can. So IMHO, I think you should learn
    >both if you can. If you cannot, for whatever reason, you just have to
    >decide which "camp" you want to join..... the Microsoft camp or the
    >"anything but Microsoft" camp, then pick the tools accordingly. Either

    camp
    >can provide you a long lasting career.
    >
    >IMHO, I think every programmer should learn C++ first. If you are good

    in
    >C++, all these C#, Java, or whatever that comes along, will be "piece of
    >cake". =)
    >
    >I don't do contract work. It is not my "cup of tea". So I cannot tell

    you
    >much about it. But I think it might be tough for you to get any contract
    >work if you don't have any "real life" working experience (it is my
    >assumption based on your post, so correct me if I am wrong). Not too many
    >places will hire "entry-level" contractors.
    >
    >For the past 5 years or so, the IT industry was way over-supplied with
    >labors, thanks to the dotcom bubbles. Many people were attracted to the
    >profession primarily because of the money. And thanks to all the great

    RAD
    >tools that we have, there are many programmers out there that do not have
    >solid programming foundation and cannot write a program without an IDE.
    >
    >The slow-down is pretty much a self-correction. It brings the IT profession
    >back down to earth. Programmers will still be able to find jobs, but not

    at
    >the previous outrageous rate. And if you are good, with solid experience,
    >there are still jobs out there. Having said that, it will be very tough

    for
    >"newbie" like you at this time. You just have to keep trying and have a

    lot
    >of patience.
    >
    >Well, good luck and happy programming. =)
    >
    >simon.



  5. #5
    AlSison Guest

    Re: Newbie getting started in programming


    "Elena" <egermano@home.com> wrote:
    >So typically entry-level people don't work as contractors
    >unless they are working for one of the very large contracting firms like
    >EDS which accepts and trains new people.


    Where is this EDS located?

  6. #6
    Betty Buhr Guest

    Re: Newbie getting started in programming

    On 6 Feb 2002 20:30:45 -0800, "AlSison" <alsison2001@yahoo.com> wrote:

    >
    >"Elena" <egermano@home.com> wrote:
    >>So typically entry-level people don't work as contractors
    >>unless they are working for one of the very large contracting firms like
    >>EDS which accepts and trains new people.

    >
    >Where is this EDS located?


    See http://eds.com/. There is a 'Careers' link in the upper right of
    the home page.


  7. #7
    Elena Guest

    Re: Newbie getting started in programming


    "AlSison" <alsison2001@yahoo.com> wrote:
    >
    >"Elena" <egermano@home.com> wrote:
    >>So typically entry-level people don't work as contractors
    >>unless they are working for one of the very large contracting firms like
    >>EDS which accepts and trains new people.

    >
    >Where is this EDS located?


    Electronic Data Systems has a global practice. Go to www.eds.com to see the
    list of countries, job openings, etc.



  8. #8
    mark Guest

    Re: Newbie getting started in programming


    You see? This is exactly what I'm talking about. Benno, I suggest you study
    somewhere in Asia, India would be an excellent choice. Change your citizenship
    to Indian and then apply for an H-1B visa to come back to the US to work.
    It might very well be the only way you will find a job.

    Mark

    PS - No offense to our current foreign workers is intended - they really
    are wonderful people. This sarcasm is directed at US businesses asking for
    more H-1B visas when we have talented American IT workers in the unemployment
    lines and working at the local Ace Hardware store or delivering for Dominoes
    Pizza.

    "Benno" <benno626@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >
    >Hello Everyone,
    > I'm a newbie and would appreciate any advice anyone can
    >give me on getting started with a career in programming. I
    >know VB and Visual Studio and would like to learn
    >VBScript. Is that the right direction to take? Should I focus
    >on the entire .net family? Or something else like java (or something else
    >entirely?) I am also interested in working as a contractor - are any of


    >you contractors? If so, how do you go about finding people
    >who want to hire you? A friend of mine is in IT and was
    >laid off and is having a hard time finding a new job. Is
    >this an industry wide slow-down that I should watch out
    >for? Like I said, I'm a newbie and just need some direction.
    >
    >Thanks,
    >Benno
    >



  9. #9
    Michael Gautier Guest

    Re: Newbie getting started in programming


    This is just a rumor folks, but I hear that most of the goods India produces
    are, not for the Indian people, but for export.

    If this is true, then you can see why this is a perfect symbiotic relationship
    between U.S. business need to derive more profit (forget about caring for
    America, just get the money) and a country that would supply labor in a manner
    that fulfills American human rights criteria, but at a low price.

    Even though, the Indian people may come here for a few years and get
    paid (compared to India), everyone longs for home. They will be back and
    eventually, either India will have the economic power or share it more jointly
    with America.




    "mark" <therealdesertrat@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >
    >You see? This is exactly what I'm talking about. Benno, I suggest you

    study
    >somewhere in Asia, India would be an excellent choice. Change your citizenship
    >to Indian and then apply for an H-1B visa to come back to the US to work.
    > It might very well be the only way you will find a job.
    >
    >Mark
    >
    >PS - No offense to our current foreign workers is intended - they really
    >are wonderful people. This sarcasm is directed at US businesses asking

    for
    >more H-1B visas when we have talented American IT workers in the unemployment
    >lines and working at the local Ace Hardware store or delivering for Dominoes
    >Pizza.
    >
    >"Benno" <benno626@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >>
    >>Hello Everyone,
    >> I'm a newbie and would appreciate any advice anyone can
    >>give me on getting started with a career in programming. I
    >>know VB and Visual Studio and would like to learn
    >>VBScript. Is that the right direction to take? Should I focus
    >>on the entire .net family? Or something else like java (or something else
    >>entirely?) I am also interested in working as a contractor - are any of

    >
    >>you contractors? If so, how do you go about finding people
    >>who want to hire you? A friend of mine is in IT and was
    >>laid off and is having a hard time finding a new job. Is
    >>this an industry wide slow-down that I should watch out
    >>for? Like I said, I'm a newbie and just need some direction.
    >>
    >>Thanks,
    >>Benno
    >>

    >



  10. #10
    mark Guest

    Re: Newbie getting started in programming


    Michael - I have no problem with offshore development, I have no problem with
    the existing H-1B visas. I have a problem with politicians who talk about
    stimulating the economy and then sign off to bring in even more cheap labor
    when, by some estimates, one million IT workers lost their job in the United
    States last year. I have a problem with a President who says he knows people
    are hurting and he wants to get them back to work, yet part of his platform
    was to increase H-1B visas dramatically (that's a fact). We have no union.
    All one can do is write their congressional delegation and that's what I
    was trying to encourage. I don't want anyone to go through what my colleagues
    and I went through last January. Very, very painful.

    Mark


    "Michael Gautier" <gautier_michael@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >
    > This is just a rumor folks, but I hear that most of the goods India

    produces
    >are, not for the Indian people, but for export.
    >


    > If this is true, then you can see why this is a perfect symbiotic relationship
    >between U.S. business need to derive more profit (forget about caring for
    >America, just get the money) and a country that would supply labor in a

    manner
    >that fulfills American human rights criteria, but at a low price.
    >


    > Even though, the Indian people may come here for a few years and get
    >paid (compared to India), everyone longs for home. They will be back and
    >eventually, either India will have the economic power or share it more jointly
    >with America.
    >


    >


    >


    >
    >"mark" <therealdesertrat@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >>
    >>You see? This is exactly what I'm talking about. Benno, I suggest you

    >study
    >>somewhere in Asia, India would be an excellent choice. Change your citizenship
    >>to Indian and then apply for an H-1B visa to come back to the US to work.
    >> It might very well be the only way you will find a job.
    >>
    >>Mark
    >>
    >>PS - No offense to our current foreign workers is intended - they really
    >>are wonderful people. This sarcasm is directed at US businesses asking

    >for
    >>more H-1B visas when we have talented American IT workers in the unemployment
    >>lines and working at the local Ace Hardware store or delivering for Dominoes
    >>Pizza.
    >>
    >>"Benno" <benno626@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>Hello Everyone,
    >>> I'm a newbie and would appreciate any advice anyone can
    >>>give me on getting started with a career in programming. I
    >>>know VB and Visual Studio and would like to learn
    >>>VBScript. Is that the right direction to take? Should I focus
    >>>on the entire .net family? Or something else like java (or something else
    >>>entirely?) I am also interested in working as a contractor - are any of

    >>
    >>>you contractors? If so, how do you go about finding people
    >>>who want to hire you? A friend of mine is in IT and was
    >>>laid off and is having a hard time finding a new job. Is
    >>>this an industry wide slow-down that I should watch out
    >>>for? Like I said, I'm a newbie and just need some direction.
    >>>
    >>>Thanks,
    >>>Benno
    >>>

    >>

    >



  11. #11
    netforcet2 Guest

    Re: Newbie getting started in programming

    Hi,

    having read your views and being a newbie programmar myself, i would like to
    know how to improve logic, problem solving
    regards
    raj

    "simon" <substring0NOSPAM@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:3c60153f$1@10.1.10.29...
    > Benno,
    >
    > It is wonderful that you like to pursue a career in programming (a
    > professional that I love dearly), but I just hope that your decision is
    > based on your affection on programming and not because of the money.
    >
    > It is very important for you at this stage not to focus on the tools.
    > Instead, you should be "building" the knowledge on logic, algorithm,

    problem
    > solving, and object-oriented design concepts. Tools will change over

    time,
    > but logic and algorithm will not. You will be a good programmer if you

    have
    > good logic and good design. Without that, I don't care how well you know
    > Visual Studio, you will still be writing bad application.
    >
    > By the way, VBScript is going away. So if you don't know it by now, don't
    > waste time on it. As of whether to learn .NET or Java, I am always a

    strong
    > advocate to learn as much as you can. So IMHO, I think you should learn
    > both if you can. If you cannot, for whatever reason, you just have to
    > decide which "camp" you want to join..... the Microsoft camp or the
    > "anything but Microsoft" camp, then pick the tools accordingly. Either

    camp
    > can provide you a long lasting career.
    >
    > IMHO, I think every programmer should learn C++ first. If you are good in
    > C++, all these C#, Java, or whatever that comes along, will be "piece of
    > cake". =)
    >
    > I don't do contract work. It is not my "cup of tea". So I cannot tell

    you
    > much about it. But I think it might be tough for you to get any contract
    > work if you don't have any "real life" working experience (it is my
    > assumption based on your post, so correct me if I am wrong). Not too many
    > places will hire "entry-level" contractors.
    >
    > For the past 5 years or so, the IT industry was way over-supplied with
    > labors, thanks to the dotcom bubbles. Many people were attracted to the
    > profession primarily because of the money. And thanks to all the great

    RAD
    > tools that we have, there are many programmers out there that do not have
    > solid programming foundation and cannot write a program without an IDE.
    >
    > The slow-down is pretty much a self-correction. It brings the IT

    profession
    > back down to earth. Programmers will still be able to find jobs, but not

    at
    > the previous outrageous rate. And if you are good, with solid experience,
    > there are still jobs out there. Having said that, it will be very tough

    for
    > "newbie" like you at this time. You just have to keep trying and have a

    lot
    > of patience.
    >
    > Well, good luck and happy programming. =)
    >
    > simon.
    >
    >
    > "Benno" <benno626@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    > news:3c60025e$1@10.1.10.29...
    > >
    > > Hello Everyone,
    > > I'm a newbie and would appreciate any advice anyone can
    > > give me on getting started with a career in programming. I
    > > know VB and Visual Studio and would like to learn
    > > VBScript. Is that the right direction to take? Should I focus
    > > on the entire .net family? Or something else like java (or something

    else
    > > entirely?) I am also interested in working as a contractor - are any of
    > > you contractors? If so, how do you go about finding people
    > > who want to hire you? A friend of mine is in IT and was
    > > laid off and is having a hard time finding a new job. Is
    > > this an industry wide slow-down that I should watch out
    > > for? Like I said, I'm a newbie and just need some direction.
    > >
    > > Thanks,
    > > Benno
    > >

    >
    >




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