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am i ready to start a programming job?

By steven.balderrama ·

I have been doing networking for atleast 6 years now, but the funny thing is, my Associates degree says it was for programming, i sadly went to ITT-Tech, dont get me wrong i did learn some stuff, but later got my first job at best buy then worked my way to the networking field. Now i want to persue my dream as a software developer/programmer. I have learned most of C# already, including LINQ to sql, using dataset/dataadaptor for SQL, xml to C#, using a little bit of asp.net, and started to learn WPF because i heard it will create a better rich GUI for the user. My question or discussion is, should start applying for an entry level programming job (which i am fine with)? do i have what it takes to atleast land a job and hope to keep it with my skills? I have created several programs such as an Human resources program (basic but can easily expand it), A data entry form that is using LINQ and/or Dataset, a drawing program to draw lines save them in xml and upload it to the form to re-create lines, and created several simple games like blackjack and rock paper scissors.

I was thinking of waiting to apply until I learn C# networking, learning more on WPF to create a nice interface to show off, and make a nice video player that can do several things to the videos.

But what do you all think, should I try, but if i do... can I make it in the field, or should I wait to master those skills?


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by RookieTech In reply to am i ready to start a pro ...

so you went to ITT-tech for networking and you have a good grasp on that i would probably say to continue with networking but on the side get training for programming because programing is a whole other beast but you should get more training for it cuz programmers make a **** of a lot of cash :)

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Go for it.

by sabreeblackmon In reply to am i ready to start a pro ...

I say get your resume together and apply for some positions you are interested in. Nothing will more clearly tell you what skills need improving on, than a job interview. If your interviews aren't going well, that's a clear indicator you may want to spend more time on your own.

Some suggestions:
- Learn C#, and I mean really learn the language internals and how it works as a .NET language. Once you do, learning a new framework becomes a cakewalk. A lot of interviewers *will* ask you very technical C# language specific questions.
- ASP.NET is more marketable if you just want an entry level job. If you want to stay in desktop programming realm, then WPF isn't a bad bet, but don't forget WinForms. Just know that desktop programming jobs requiring only C# are harder to find and are usually more mid-level positions.

Honestly, if you can find your way around documentation and API references online, you should have no problem in an entry level dev position. You're obviously fairly technical and have to the ability to learn things when you need them. You'll learn more on the job and gain experience at the same time. If you're still unsure, contribute to an open source C# project like those on Sourceforge.net It's a good way to gauge your ability to quickly integrate into a team and start being productive.

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The main thing that tells me you are at least ready to

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to am i ready to start a pro ...

apply is you've done the above off your own bat. Programmers program, they do it because they find it interesting and challenging.
Never trust anyone who calls themselves a programmer, who doesn't do it as a hobby as as well.

Course before you get to impress someone like me with your attitude, you've got to jump through some hoops.

Agencies, may be HR, and then a basic technical quiz as a minimum.

Some sanity check questions you'd have to be able to answer .net wise.

Starter for ten.

What's the difference between equality and equivalence?

How would you implement IDispose, when and why?

And my current favourite.
In what ways is the MS statement, "In .Net you no longer have to manage memory" complete rubbish?

I'd expect a good go at two out of three, for you to make the first technical cut.

Best way to find out is to try.

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more interview questions

by steven.balderrama In reply to The main thing that tells ...

Ok thanks everyone, so i all in all.... keep practicing right? darn, i was hoping to finally be ready to start applying for some programming jobs. and Cool, I did answer 2 of the 3 questions you asked Tony, makes me feel a little proud of myself, but I am a perfectionist, so I only settle for 3 of 3. So again i will continue practicing and maybe apply for jobs early next year... but... can anyone give me a good list of programming interview questions so i can practice on... and answers you would say... of course i would research the answer myself and put it in my own words, but its great to atleast get what would someone say as an example?

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Too many variables

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to more interview questions

and programming job covers a multitude of sins.

If you answered the first two, you are light years ahead of most of the 'qualified' gorfs I've had to bin.

Keep practicing, do some template applications, simple CRUD app, then do it over the web, then have a go at offline with say SQL CE Compact.

The two key things to real world programming, are can you read your code now, can you still read iot after 3 months of working on something else, can you change it easily, and above all there's no time in business programming for perfection, even if things were stable enough to consider achieveing it.

Rule one, change is a given.

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RE: Too many variables

by steven.balderrama In reply to Too many variables

Hello Tony,

thanks, but i have made several CRUD apps, such as my HR form, it can create users, delete, update, and export user list to an xml file, also same with my data entry web app and wpf/winform, it can insert, delete, update data information, which i took it a step farther, and made a find button by either user firstname or last name. but all in all, again sorry to ask everyone and anyone, i know i should wait and learn more on C#, like the CLI, more on WPF, C# networking, C# gui and events, learn and understand more on C# definitions etc. but is there anything else i should learn?

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No sure you should wait for that

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to RE: Too many variables

There are still shed loads of people using win32, even in really old stuff like VB6. I still get calls for Fortran for instance.
I mean there's been three releases of WPF/Silver light in what two years? Now the v4s are coming out. On that basis there will always be another thing coming down the track. Generally any stablished business is seriously off the pace. Our place for instance is still on .net 2.0, and still have some 1.1 stuff, along with Delphi win32...

Get yourself out there, you'll never have to stop learning anyway. The bit you need now experience in the real world, particularly working in a team, which is a way bigger challenge than some mere techy guff from MS or whoever.

If you can writea basic CRUD app, do a bit of SQL, understand things like transactionality etc, get yourself in the market.

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I wouldn't worry too much about language skills in a specific language

by Slayer_ In reply to am i ready to start a pro ...

Since the chances that the job you get, uses that language, are slim. Most programmers are required to maintain code, often legacy code. Very few programmers are tasked with making modern projects. Unless of course you work for a company that sells out your labour.

Being a good programmer is less about knowing a language, and more about knowing how the languages work. This way you can program in any language fairly easily. As for the complex stuff, there is always google if you do not know how to do it in the companies language.

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Five tips for starting a programming career

by MaryWeilage Editor In reply to am i ready to start a pro ...

Hi Steven,
TechRepublic's Programming and Development Host Justin James wrote a column based on your question in which he offers tips on starting a career in programming. This is the URL:

I hope you find his advice useful.

Best Regards,
Mary Weilage

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