Career help....



  • Hi all...

     i have a dilemma (sp) that i'm trying to figure out.  First of all, i've been out of college for 4 years now (Comp Sci degree) working as a systems analyst for a company that develops a web inventory mgmt software  (orders, replenishing, stock tracking, etc).  I've been 'promoted' several times and given much more responsiblity each time (which is ok)....but it seems that now i'm more or less a technical writer, researching applications and how to change them and its not something i really want to continue doing.  I miss the actual programming that i used to be able to do.

     Our company is fairly 'low-tech'.  All of our coding is done in pl/sql with an oracle 9i backend. So while i'm fairly proficient in pl/sql now (and along with that, html/css), i feel like my technological know-how is suffering and i'm kind of stumped as to the best way to build it back up.

     From what i've seen on the various job sites, it seems that .NET is where most of the programming jobs seem to fall, so i thought that i should focus my energy on that (i learned on c++ in college, so i'm fairly comfortable with the OOP design).

     My question to you all is, how should i approach tryign to find a job back in the programming side of the field when i know that the programming (what little it is) i do now isn't in high demand anywhere.  Would working towards a .net ms certification be a valid path?  Any ideas?  I'm wiiiiiide open and willing to learn.

     Thanks

    Chris 



  • @chris32680 said:

    Would working towards a .net ms certification be a valid path?
     

    I wouldn't bother with a certification, but learning .NET (I would guess C# would get the best results) would be a good thing to expand your possibilities for employment.

    Pickup a few books on the .NET language of your choice (again, I recommend C#) and start learning. You should have no problem setting up some sites as examples to learn on, and possibly to use later if an employer wants to see what you can do.

     

    Oh, and good luck.



  • Thanks for the advice!

    I'll look into that.  Never really looked at C#, but i don't doubt that i could pick it up.

    The only reason i was thinking a certification would be worth it is due to the fact that i have no professional experience whatsoever with the language and maybe that would help a potential employer not simply disregard my resume immediately. 

     



  • @chris32680 said:

    Never really looked at C#, but i don't doubt that i could pick it up.
     

    Yeah that's the general sentiment here now so our new report portal is my baby now ... baptism by fire ;-)

    Once you've been with a company long enough practical experience  tends to become less important than proven adaptability.



  • @chris32680 said:

    Thanks for the advice!

    I'll look into that.  Never really looked at C#, but i don't doubt that i could pick it up.

    The only reason i was thinking a certification would be worth it is due to the fact that i have no professional experience whatsoever with the language and maybe that would help a potential employer not simply disregard my resume immediately.  

    C# definitely seems the way to go, especially if you are planning on staying within the MS ecosystem.  As MPS said, there is no shortage of resources online and in bookstores.  I would be cautious about which books to buy, though.  In my experience, a lot of books on programming languages suck.  O'Reilly puts out consistently great stuff, but that doesn't help you.  Another very good source is textbooks -- they tend to cost more than the "Learn X in Y days" or "X for Retards" type books, but also tend to be higher-quality.  I would read some C#/.NET blogs and online sources first to get a good feel for the best books to buy.  Then just jump in and start building stuff in your spare time.

     

    I've interviewed many people for programming positions before and although I know I don't necessarily represent the majority here, I tend to look for skills and adaptability before anything else.  A degree is also good, but not nearly as important as experience with a few different languages, which you seem to have partially covered as it is.  Not many things are as beneficial as good, practical work experience, but I also feel not many things are as damaging as bad work experience.  So if I were interviewing you, your lack of experience would count against you a bit, but more than anything I'm going to probe and see how you think and what kind of employee you would be.  There was another thread on this but I will state again that one of the things I love to see are code samples and "portfolio" web apps.  There are few things that give me more insight into a person's experience with a technology and thinking process than stepping through their code.  Many employers may not look at that, but those are more likely to be the "3 years professional experience required" kinds of places.  If you're looking to break in, sometimes it's best to go for the smaller companies that are willing to take more chances and assess potential employees more critically.

     

    Also, good luck!  :-) 



  • @chris32680 said:

    i learned on c++ in college, so i'm fairly comfortable with the OOP design

    I'd agree with the comments above and say go with C# - given your experience of C++ (and what little I know of C++) it should be a breeze once you get the hang of the framework.  I've got experience of C# and I'm learning Java; the biggest hurdle is figuring out what's in the framework (is it called that in Java?) and where.  Before C# I was working in VB6 but I'd say don't bother with VB.NET, there seems little demand for it and now I've got used to C-style syntax it looks fugly.

    Good luck!

     



  • I like the Professional series by Wrox. It always has a good array of subject matter so you can apply the language in various areas (graphics, web, database). Professional C# is up to at least the 3rd Edition, and I think its a good read.



  •  thanks all so much for the advice.  I really appreciate it.

     maybe i'll luck up and find a company that's looking to make an 'investment' in someone ;) that would be ok with giving me maybe a little more time than they would someone else.



  • @upsidedowncreature said:

     I've got experience of C# and I'm learning Java; the biggest hurdle is figuring out what's in the framework (is it called that in Java?) and where.

     

    Nope, what you mean are (most likely) just the standard libraries. Frameworks in general do not "contain" things.


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