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Experience for programming - advice please

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by Frontier, Dec 22, 2006.

  1. Frontier

    Frontier Byte Poster

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    I will be studying for some programming qualifications in the new year as I wish to persue a career in computer programming. I already have some basic knowledge of vb6 and have played around with it from stuff I have learn from a book I had - although it was very basic. So I am sure it is something I want to get into and enjoy having had a feel for it. I realise that just having qualifications alone will not help me get a job as a programmer though and I was wondering if anyone could give me a bit of advice. I realise that alot of sites ask for 'x' number of yrs of experience on programming job adverts The current job I have is not strictly a programmer job but it does involve alot of use of computers. I was just wondering what ways I could gain experience and if there is anything in my current job that would be classed as experience for a programming job. Let me tell you a bit about my job role. I work as a data processer in a database marketing department, processing marketing campaigns. Basicalley a client will provide us with specifications of certain screening they would like us to do on their customers for the campaigns. We use a mainframe and a server product to process the data. The mainframe is quite techincal in the sense that you have to use alot of commands to things rather than just click on things like on the server based software. I have to edit bits of program code that are already set up, though I am just changing odd words and values in the code for each job, I was wondering if little things like this would count as some form of programming experience, and sometimes I have to re-run and set up certain parts of the code - its not much though, most of the time its just editing the code and changing it to match the campaigns for the current month. We have a library on the mainframe of skeleton jobs that are already set up for the campaigns we do. I have to understand some parts of the code im working with I have to work very closely in a team and im never working alone and communication with account execs has to be excellent. So could I count any of this as experience do you think? Many thanks
     
  2. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Difficult to say. One major point against - you didn't mention *what* language this code was written in. If it is SQL then that might be a bonus, more so if it is PL/SQL or similar.

    Nobody will be impressed with the description as given, but if you can say (for example) "I was creating bespoke PL/SQL scripts for a big Oracle database running on Sun servers" then that makes a big difference.

    Harry.
     
    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  3. Frontier

    Frontier Byte Poster

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    Unfortunaltely the language used in our department is not SQL. We use JCL but the code is already set up for the jobs we run. We just need to make sure we understand the code and understand which parts we need to change when we run each job. There is alot of commands used and there are occasions when we need to solve problems if something goes wrong in the code and a job fails to run. Its important that I can spot errors in the code and correct them and have a good understanding of data. I was wondering if this would all count as programming experience regardless of the language used as there is alot of problem solving involved, the ability to understand and use the programming code for each job is important and then there is the setting up of odd bits of code and use of a range of commands we need to know to be able to use the mainframe for every day use.
     
  4. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Wow - I haven't seen that acronym for *ages*. :biggrin

    If you have good experience in JCL then IBM houses will be interested, but almost nobody else will! :ohmy

    The main problem is that it is such an old system that it doesn't conform to the current 'fads' of programming. Yes - experience in problem solving is good, but that isn't the only thing employers are looking for.

    Harry (who has a book on JCL somewhere in this stack...)
     
    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+

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