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I think I might have stumbled on the perfect place...

Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by Mark_D, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. Mark_D

    Mark_D Bit Poster

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    Hello everyone!

    My name is Mark, I'm 33 years old and for the last 5-6 months I've been looking at various routes into the IT industry.
    I started by looking at Train to Game - my little brother is with them on the art course and recommended them. I was leaning toward the 3year C++ developer course, but started having 2nd thoughts when I picked up a book (Accelerated C++ Practical Programming by Example) and started to self-teach while I waited for someone from the company to get in touch with me.
    I started to realise the sort of task I was trying to get myself involved with and having no background in any programming languages (I don't count the 6 months Visual Basic I did at college before dropping out as any sort of experiance) I started to question if this was even achievable.

    Answers were not exactly forecoming from the students on the forum either - though 1 helpful person did privately contact me to tell me he wasn't happy that the course was giving him enough to get by in the real world.

    So I binned Train to Game had a search around and found Computeach. The C# course sparked my interest as I have heard that C# is slightly easier to learn and use than C++. The course awarded a MCPD cert, cost a fraction of the C++ course and only took 12-14 months to complete... perfect I thought.

    Not wanting to get suckered in I did a google search for how Computeach was viewed and exactly what the cert meant etc.. that's when I found this website.

    After reading various posts I now know what level I need to aim at to be realistic and I have decided to study for the CompTIA A+ exam. Computeach do this course, but reading some posts here I see that it is also possible to do away completly with the training companies and go it alone. I'd like to get more feedback on this please as I'm really not feeling confident about that - though it would be nice to make such a big saving - the course fee is £1700 for a year.

    How "easy" is it to go alone as opposed to having the cushion of tutor support etc? And how important is the "career support" they offer as part of the fee?

    Cheers guys, I really am glad I found this website before I signed up to anything - the amount of good info here is amazing.
     
  2. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Welcome to Certforums ! :D
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  3. AuRoR

    AuRoR Bit Poster

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    Welcome and I'm glad you found the site in the knick of time!

    The courses you were looking at are programming but A+ is an entry level hardware cert which wont really benefit you in terms of programming. Have you had a change of heart?

    Once again welcome to the forums :D
     
    Certifications: GNVQ ICT, Nat Diploma IT Practitioners
    WIP: Head above water
  4. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Hi welcome

    I actually think the A+ is a great place to start as it will give a basic foundation in how hardware and software work together and will help you understand how code is to be produced when you are actually coding.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  5. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    Welcome to CertForums. The above poster is correct, an A+ is more aimed at someone who wants to break into support work i.e. 1st and 2nd line Service Desk/Desktop Support. Its a cracking cert to have but if you want to be a developer its not going to be much use IMHO. I'm certainly no expert in the development field but just being a good coder used to be enough, certs don't seem to matter as much, a computer science degree is more valued I think. In the absence of this I'd just get some books and get cracking because no doubt in an interview they will put your knowledge to the test. DMarsh above is better placed to answer this one sorry.

    One thing I can tell you with confidence is that you don't need a training provider to get certified. With the right books and CBT's you can reach your certification goals. And additional resources like Certforums of course :)
    Jim
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV
  6. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    They are basically SkillsTrain/Scheidegger. Not necessarily bad, but certainly not all you need to get started in gaming.
    OOPs!!!
    Well, the tutor support will amount to nothing, and the career support doesn't exist. You don't NEED tutor support to study for something like A+. 'Career support' goes back to this 'we'll find you a job' business - no, they won't. They may offer to jiggle your CV, but they can't make jobs happen.
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  7. Mark_D

    Mark_D Bit Poster

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    Thanks everyone :)
    Sorry, I wasn't really very clear on the reason for the change of mind. To be totally honest I didn't know there was such a thing as the A+. Ans as it is some-what more affordable to achieve than a full on programming course it seems to me that this should be where I aim to start myself off.
    The other reason is alot of posts on here suggest that just having a piece of paper to say you know a programming language isn't enough - you have to have actually used programming languages over an extended period of time and become adept at using them - through modding and self-teaching etc, as well as formal education.
     
  8. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Ah, just to clarify...

    A+ and Network+ are great entry level certs, but they are hardware/networking based.
    Often they get recommended by people who don't read the OP properly.

    If you want to get into programming or web design, these have nothing for you.

    If programming is your thing, there are choices in terms of languages and applications. Not all easy...
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  9. Mark_D

    Mark_D Bit Poster

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    hmm that's interesting - as someone with very little programming knowledge (I can do "Hello World!" in c++ hehe) where would I start? I had sort of given up on the idea as I thought I would not be able to acheive an "employable" level of knowledge before I reach 40 - my aim is to be retrained and employed by this time.
    Full time education is unfortunatly not doable and the local college doesn't do anything relevent as an evening course.
    My thinking so far is that the A+ will atleast give me a foot in the IT industry and I can get a better idea what direction I want to go in then. It also doesn't take very long to achieve and it seems that people with this cert are very employable in the 1st line helpdesk role - and to be frank, just getting that would be a massive boost for me in both pay and confidence.
     
  10. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    There are various different ways at looking at things, hardware and networking knowledge is certainly useful as a programmer but certification in them is generally unnecessary.

    With current high level languages you are shielded from many of the specifics of hardware, architecture, infrastructure, OS, etc.

    Learning the core syntax of a computer language is certainly possible in under a year.

    However you will then need to learn various other frameworks, libraries, tools, methodologies, best practice, etc.

    To be productive and produce quality code you will typically need at least a couple of years experience.

    Getting an entry level position as a programmer therefore pretty tough. Firstly there aren't many entry level positions, and secondly you will have a lot of good competition that may have been hobbyist coders for years.
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  11. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    There are, as always, some great books out there. Easy steps is a good place to start, as are the 'learn C# in a weekend' sort of things. They obviously won't give you anything like the depth of skills that you need, but they will give you an overview of what you're up against.

    I did M206 at the OU which was an excellent module in object orientated programming. OK, so I haven't come across Smalltalk since, but the principles were sound.

    I think the place to start is to try and decide where you would like to end up. Embedded systems, games design, software development are all likely to require different skills and different languages. Try and find out which ones are dominant in your niche and work towards that. No point in spending two years learning C++ and then finding out that traffic lights are still using Fortran.
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD

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