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Mar 15, 2012 01:31 PM|LINK
Spoiler alert: what i am going to write you will likely find extremely depressing.
imnsho, community colleges crank out more programming students than can be consumed by industry.
in the mid-1980's i taught Business Systems Analysis and advanced programming at a community college in Toronto.
it was c. 1984. i did not get to choose the text for the Business Systems Analysis course. i had to use Shelley and Cashman from 1975! yes, that's right, nine computer years out of date. i discovered the teachers prefer to reuse the out of date text
books because then they do not have to update their lesson plans.
for advanced mainframe assembler programmer, i discovered that close to 100% of my students had been passed into advanced assembler without understanding the basics ... most of them should have had to repeat the introductory course ... basically, i had to
help them learn the basics before we could move on the the advanced course material.
another scenario: years, later, i tutored two women from yet another community college (west of Toronto) ... when i began to explain approaches that they could take to the problem that i was helping them to solve, i was told that their instructor would
accept only one of the many possibilities ... the reason was obvious: regardless whether real learning occurred, their instructor would rather mark one solution 30 times than 30 equally decent but different solutions.
many years after teaching at the community college, i met one of my students on a Toronto street car ... he had been a street car driver before he took my courses and he was again a street car driver ... he was an excellent student and could have been a
programmer; according to him, most, if not all of my students, were not working in information technology.
about me: i've been out of work for a very long time and i've over 45 years of experience ... if you're interested, check out this:
about you: you've an advantage over me ... you're young ... the older you get, the more difficult it will be for you to find work has a programmer.
challenges that you will face:
(a) off-shore programmers: when searching via Google just now for wired magazine programmers in india, the first link is a sponsered advertisement for PHP Programmers at $15 per hour from "team in india".
$15 per hour is not going to help you pay off your student loan.
read this 2007 article:
and this 2004 issue:
(b) the experience catch 22 ... FWIW, it never stops ...
example: i've got banking experience but an agency did not bid me on
a recent job because the specific bank wanted someone with experience
at their bank in their banking sector.
(c) employers are looking for the person who can not possibly exist:
this ad is not as extreme as some:
posted march 12th:
Things you need to have:
• Within the first 3 months, design, prototype, implement and deploy one or more core platform services.
• Developing an early understanding of the product, documenting design and code details and participating in peer code reviews.
• Write maintainable code with extensive test coverage, working in a professional software engineering environment
• Collaborate across the company to define, design and build new features.
• Tackle complex problems in distributed computing, performance and more
• Highly motivated
• 5 years overall software development experience
• A Bachelors in Computer Science or Computer Engineering, or equivalent experience
• Proficient background in networking, operating systems, and security
• 1 - 3+ Years of engineering experience with Java
• Knowledge of unit and integration testing methodologies
• Good communication and organization skills
• Experience with traditional RDBMS databases
the above ad is from an agency.
(i) why do you not have a chance to get a co-op? my son goes to a community college and got two co-op assignments.
(ii) why do you not have a chance to get an unpaid internship? companies like staff they do not have to pay.
-- learn people skills
-- study business ... knowing c# is not enough ... read business books as well as computer books
-- doing your own website is a good idea BUT find a niche where you can impress potential employers
-- volunteer for charities (call the United Way and similar organizations that might be able to hook you up); you do not get paid but you can still put volunteer positions on your résumé.
-- network, network, network
-- use the "hidden job market"
"Most job openings are not advertised, creating what seems like a Hidden job market.
Information about available work is circulated through manager's network of co-workers,
business associates, friends and acquaintances."
-- if you really want to be a programmer, never stop learning ... do your best
to keep current, for example, i seldom see advertisements for PL/I or COBOL
cdf, you've big challenges ahead of you; best wishes for your success