Wants to learn . . .


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Thread: Wants to learn . . .

  1. #1
    Kel Guest

    Wants to learn . . .


    I want to learn Java and C++ to further my career as a freelancer. Currently,
    I work in advertising but would like to make a move to an IT profession.
    People with skills in theses programming languages are highly in demand,
    especially in New York City. Is it possible to learn these skills in 6 months
    and be at an average skill level? Has anyone freelanced as a programmer
    or consultant? Any information/ direction would be greatly appreciated .
    . . have a lovely day . . .Kel

  2. #2
    Patrick Lentz Guest

    Re: Wants to learn . . .


    I wanna start freelancing in two or three years myself. I just started Java
    two months ago and have previous Visual Basic experience.
    Here's what I think..as a freelancer you need more than average knowledge..if
    you work for a company it's okay to ask other programmers with more experience,
    but companies hire freelancers with the thought in mind to be hirng an ace
    that can work independantly and are prepared to pay accordingly ( as in real
    good money).

    To become average in any language depends on your skills in thinking logically
    and math skills to some extend. So the education you had before matters.
    I would say you could become average in Visual Basic in maybe 9 months or
    so,depending how fast you pick it up.It's the fastes language to learn and
    thus the pay will be the lowest (though still nice).
    You could be average in Jave in 1.5 years if you want to be able to work
    with databaseconnection and beans and such and again work pretty independant.
    C++ is like half a year longer..this is the hardest langauge to learn.
    If I were you..since you don't have any previous programming experience I
    would either begin with VB or Java..You can then either start faster with
    VB and make less or invest more time and take up Java and get more money.
    If you think you might get discouraged if you still can't do much after having
    invested a lot of weekends reading books and puzzling over exercises you
    might want to start with VB..it gives you the feeling of already being able
    to do a lot after a month of studying..You can already make database connection,red
    from it and write to it and make pretty nice user interfaces (the things
    you see on the screen,like buttons and textfields and such) From there you
    can always take up Java after having programmed in that for a while....and
    if you wait a bit..the new VB has some extra features that you will later
    find back in Java ( it becomes a bit more object oriented).
    Hope this doesnt discourage you...it's just good I think to be realistic..that
    way you set goals that are actually achievable and thus won't be disappointed
    by not reaching any of the set goals if you expect too much too fast.

    Good luck !

    "Kel" <kellyblush@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >
    >I want to learn Java and C++ to further my career as a freelancer. Currently,
    >I work in advertising but would like to make a move to an IT profession.
    > People with skills in theses programming languages are highly in demand,
    >especially in New York City. Is it possible to learn these skills in 6

    months
    >and be at an average skill level? Has anyone freelanced as a programmer
    >or consultant? Any information/ direction would be greatly appreciated


  3. #3
    Dan Nuttle Guest

    Re: Wants to learn . . .


    I don't entirely agree with the first response. First, I think you can pick
    up VB as fast as you want to. Nine months sounds like a reasonable, but
    still arbitrary figure to me. If you have any previous programming experience,
    and you are willing to spend all of your free time learning, it can be quite
    a bit less than nine months. On the other hand, if you have zero experience,
    and you want to spend maybe an hour every Saturday, then nine months probably
    isn't long enough. (Admittedly, to become an expert in any language takes
    years of experience. But you don't have to be an expert to get a job. TRUST
    ME. I've seen incompetent people get hired with ZERO experience and come
    to work the first day with a "Learn MS Access Visually" book in tow. DOH!!!)

    Second, personally I would recommend learning Active Server Pages before
    VB. For one thing, I think it's easier. For another, at least here in Chicago,
    there are plenty of jobs for it. More than for VB. (Of course, VB is also
    an excellent skill to have.) Besides, all you need to learn ASP is MS Personal
    Web Server, which is free. Nothing to buy (except a couple of books).

    And third, I don't know that companies always expect contract programmers
    to be "aces". What they actually expect is that you can get the job done.
    If getting the job done involves sometimes asking more experienced developers
    for a little help, and the company is amenable to that, then you don't have
    to be an ace. When I started contract programming, I had a fair amount of
    knowledge, but I certainly wasn't an ace. Yet, in every single contract
    assignment I had, I almost immediately became the "guru" that everyone else
    came to with their questions. I'm not bragging--my point is that a lot of
    the time, the other programmers you'll meet won't be all that advanced themselves,
    even the ones who have been doing it for three or four years. There's a
    tendency to learn a narrow set of skills, then ride that skill set for all
    it's worth and not pick up anything else. The moral: The path to rapid
    career success is using what you know, while CONSTANTLY, ALWAYS learning
    new things in your own time.

    But overall, I agree. I got into contract programming about 2 years ago,
    and now I'm a permanent employee of my most recent contract assignment.
    I had been programming off and on for a good 10 years, going way back to
    things like the Lotus 123 macro language, Clarion, and HyperPad, if anybody
    can remember those. I bought the first version of VB for Windows just as
    soon as it came out, and I've been playing around with VBA ever since Excel
    5.0, the first program that had it. So I had a lot of background experience
    before I dived into programming. But it still proves that you don't have
    to be a formally trained programmer to get a good job. The main thing is,
    do you love programming? Do you get a kick out of developing an application
    and seeing it work? Do you just get a kick out of building ANYthing, and
    then standing back and admiring your work? If so, and if you have an analytical
    mind (translation: a penchant for Boolean logic), then you have what it
    takes.

    Keep in mind that real-world programming, outside of games, also involves
    databases, so you need to get as much experience there as you can, too.
    First create some Access databases, and learn how to connect to and manipulate
    them. Whatever language you pick as your first, you'll need to learn about
    SQL too. Then try to find a way to get access to a database server, like
    SQL Server or Oracle. (There are desktop versions of both of these programs
    available.) Learn not only to read data from these databases, but how to
    create and manage tables. Combine some ASP skill with some HTML knowledge
    and the ability to manage data in at least one kind of database server, and
    I guarantee your phone will be ringing with job offers.

    All of that being said, one thing you and anyone else considering a career
    in IT should know, is that you'll be putting yourself on a treadmill that
    never stops. Be prepared to learn new skills from now until you retire,
    or the day you choose to get out of IT. The industry turns itself inside
    out every 3 years or so. And there are a whole gaggle of COBOL programmers
    who rode the Y2K wave and are now finding it harder to get work than those
    with Java, VB, COM, Oracle, and other, newer skills. That sounds cool, and
    exciting, but believe me, it's also tiring. There are times when the clouds
    clear, so to speak, and I realize that the mountain I've been climbing, and
    whose peak I reached last week, has grown another 12,000 feet overnight,
    and it can make me despair that I'll ever get to the top again. On the other
    hand, it beats standing on top of a molehill and thumping my chest and yelling,
    "I am the KING" for 25 years. Heh heh.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Val Guest

    Re: Wants to learn . . .


    Dun i am proficient in ASP , VB and other languages , including knowledge
    of databases. Have a position opened in your area ? Let me know i'll send
    you a resume.

  5. #5
    Ethan Allen Guest

    Re: Wants to learn . . .


    "Kel" <kellyblush@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >
    >I want to learn Java and C++ to further my career as a freelancer. Currently,
    >I work in advertising but would like to make a move to an IT profession.
    > People with skills in theses programming languages are highly in demand,
    >especially in New York City. Is it possible to learn these skills in 6

    months
    >and be at an average skill level? Has anyone freelanced as a programmer
    >or consultant? Any information/direction would be greatly appreciated .
    >. . have a lovely day . . .Kel



    Kelly:

    I'm a freelance consultant in the Midwest and I've been doing Java and C++
    for some years.
    These are my opinions, for what they are worth:

    You can reach a reasonable skill level with Java in 6 months, but it would
    require working at
    learning concepts and techniques many days a week. My belief about this
    is based on the
    classes I teach at a local technical school; several of my students have
    entered the IT market
    as Java developers, and two of them learned Java as their first programming
    language.

    Most people could not learn C++ in 6 months; in my experience it takes around
    a year to be
    productive with C++.

    The difficulty, as I am sure you know, will lie in convincing clients that
    you have mastered the
    new skills. It is possible to obtain certification as a Java programmer
    from Sun (this is possible
    in 6 months) which certainly has shown some value in salary surveys. I would
    certainly recommend
    obtaining this certification - it will give you confidence in your new skills
    as very few Java pros can
    pass this test. Around here you can ease into the business by subcontracting
    through an established
    consulting firm.

    Anyway I think that there is no reason you should not go full steam ahead
    and acquire these new
    skills ! Good luck !

    Hope this helps ...
    Ethan Allen
    Allen-Conrad LLC

  6. #6
    Sean Drucker Guest

    Re: Wants to learn . . .


    "Kel" <kellyblush@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >
    >I want to learn Java and C++ to further my career as a freelancer. Currently,
    >I work in advertising but would like to make a move to an IT profession.
    > People with skills in theses programming languages are highly in demand,
    >especially in New York City. Is it possible to learn these skills in 6

    months
    >and be at an average skill level? Has anyone freelanced as a programmer
    >or consultant? Any information/ direction would be greatly appreciated


  7. #7
    David Gagniere Guest

    Re: Wants to learn . . .


    "Kel" <kellyblush@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >
    >I want to learn Java and C++ to further my career as a freelancer. Currently,
    >I work in advertising but would like to make a move to an IT profession.
    > People with skills in theses programming languages are highly in demand,
    >especially in New York City. Is it possible to learn these skills in 6

    months
    >and be at an average skill level? Has anyone freelanced as a programmer
    >or consultant? Any information/ direction would be greatly appreciated


  8. #8
    Ben Leadholm Guest

    Re: Wants to learn . . .


    "Kel" <kellyblush@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >
    >I want to learn Java and C++ to further my career as a freelancer. ....

    Is it possible to learn these skills in 6 months
    >and be at an average skill level? Has anyone freelanced as a programmer
    >or consultant? Any information/ direction would be greatly appreciated


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