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Advice needed on getting into programming

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by Frontier, Jan 12, 2008.

  1. Frontier

    Frontier Byte Poster

    Hello everyone. I have not been online for a while, sorry about that and its great to be back. I have been considering persueing a computer programming career for some time and in feb 2007 I started a computer programming course with a firm called Digitech Training Ltd. I paid for the course all my myself. They provided me with all course matierials and 24-7 support if required to help me pass. The course consists of intro modules, MCAD .NET and MCSD .NET.
    There is also an exam on Java too. Now my course and support is due to expire next month and due to surrounding circumstances I have been able to complete much of the course. I asked if they could extend the course and support without having to pay but seems I would have to spend another 2 grand again! So I have decided to download all the course modules to my computer and study at my own pace and by myself without the training provider and support. This may be hard not having a helping hand when I need it but I think if I put my mind to it I should do it. I cant be bothered wasting more money on a training firm if its possible to learn on my own.

    I have some questions:

    1. Do you think I am being wise deciding to take this course alone considering I am new to programming? I think I have the aptitude to do programming and its something I enjoy but im not very experienced.
    2. Do you think that with the certification and if I was to work on my own project, for example, build a website in .NET that would help me get a programming job? If I really work hard at this and take commit alot of my time can it really work?
    3. I do not have a degree. Do you think this will stop me getting a programming job even if I pass the certs and work on my own projects, showing I can do the job?
    4. I am considering downloading all the course material and re taking the whole course from May. Do you think I would better buying additional books/manuals that are more up todate? will the MCAD and MCSD exams expire by the time ive completed the course?
    5. Do employers take the certification seriousley for someone like me who has no experience?

    I appreciate any advice you can give.
  2. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

    Hi, the following are just my opinions and not to be taken as rock solid fact.

    If the course you're doing is only the offical MCAD/MCSD, then I afraid no. There more to being a programmer than just knowing the MS programming languages. Depending on what the course actually covers, you may find that you are missing alot of the basics (as well as mid-range and advance skills) that you will need in the future as you are new to programming.

    I would have recommended doing something like the C&G's programming course or the BTEC Certificate/Diploma in .Net programming first of all.

    It can only help, however it would be better to build a web-based application, instead of just a website build with .Net. By building web-based and standard applications will help you gain more knowledge, skills & confidence with the programming language.

    It may or not, but this does depend on the company you apply to. Programmers now a days just don't sit and program, you may find that you're also doing system's analysis and design, testing, HCI, the whole process within a team.

    This is where the HNC's/HND's/degree do help as they cover those subjects. But don't take that as stone, I got thru to the 3rd stage of interviews with a small software development company with my NVQ2 in Software Creation.

    Yes to getting more materials. And no they don't expire :)

    Depends on the company. Professional certs should go hand in hand with your job role & responsibilities.

    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  3. Indo77

    Indo77 Nibble Poster


    These certs I believe require an understanding of C# or VB.Net. I have never did them but from what I understand, they don't simply teach you the ground work concerning programming techniques. You might be best taking a short college course about the fundamentals of these languages. The current MCAD cert uses the outdated .NET 1.1 technology and many trainers still insist on teaching it. As a web developer I can't stress enough the differences between 1.1 and versions 2.0 or above. You should possibly consider the MCTS: .NET Framework 2.0 Web Applications as opposed to this cert.
    Certifications: BSc (Hons) HNC
  4. Mathematix

    Mathematix Megabyte Poster

    If you don't know if you have an aptitude, what makes you think you will be successful at study? Go off and code whilst investigating your options! :)
    Certifications: BSc(Hons) Comp Sci, BCS Award of Merit
    WIP: Not doing certs. Computer geek.

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