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Programming route?

Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by Lozler, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. Lozler

    Lozler Bit Poster

    Hi everyone,

    I'm new here and would just like some advice really!

    The only IT related background I have is of web deisgn for a couple of years 2007-2009 using HTML, and CSS but If you asked me now to build a webpage, I probably wouldn't be able to do it well.

    I've got my A+ exams booked on July the 1st, and I've used a self study method using Testout software and a book from Mike Meyers. I've also booked the Network+ exam for August, again using Testout, and a Mike Meyers book.

    Originally I wanted to gain all these certificates like MCSE, MCITP etc etc, and thought wow I would be so knowledagble / employable with these, but i've read that you should really do your MCSA etc when you're in an IT job, so I thought okay...I'll get my A+, Network+, and maybe one Microsoft certificate in Windows 7 and then go into programming.

    In terms of languages, I've only started with Java, just following some online tutorials on how to write the code, and I've got the book 'Head First Java'. I'm trying to find a place that teaches Java or C++, like class room based, and wanted to get a SCJP certificate, but I can't find any based in the London area really. I've seen the firebrand training but that's far too expensive for me and there are split reviews on their training here.

    A lot of waffle there, but I am quite new to IT, and definately new to all the certificates.

    I am undecided on the route I want to go down which is why I'm taking the A+, N+ and a MS exam to have the foundations before i go into anything specific.

    For programming, what route would you suggest, and whats a good place / resource to learn from?

    Should I just continue on my other pass, maybe go for my MCSA without experience? When do I start looking for a IT job, after A+ and N+?

    I'm also thinking about doing Computer Science in University in September, as you get to learn java and a few other languages.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

  2. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

    To be honest, I would contact your local colleges first to see if they do something along the lines of C&G's or Btec or NVQ in programming and forget about professional certifications for now until you gain experience.

    Back many years ago, before I did my degree. I did the C&G's in Computer Programming (this was in Visual Basic 2 and 3), then I did my NVQ 2 in Software Creation (this time in VB 5 and 6)

    Certifications: CITP, PGDip, 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: MSc in Tech Management
  3. JK2447
    Highly Decorated Member Award 500 Likes Award

    JK2447 Petabyte Poster Administrator

    Hi, I think you need to decide what interests you the most. A programmer would certainly benefit from understanding how AD works but he wouldn't be expected to support it so that level of knowledge can be gained from buying a book on the subject. So spending a few quid putting yourself through an MCSE is going to be a lot of waste for a developer. If you do decide you like the look of support work its important that you realise certifications in that line of work are supposed to validate the few years experience you've gained in a support role.

    A computer science degree carries a lot of weight for a developer as you can focus heavily on languages depending on the syllabus of your courses. Certification-wise programmers aren't as fussed although anyone at the top of their game shows willing I'd imagine and gets something like the MCITP or SCJP.

    Have a search on here for similar threads, I know there are more than a few. If you have any questions about programming look up dmarsh, he's very knowledgeable. Read his posts before just messaging him obviously!

    Good luck,
    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, VSP, VTSP
    WIP: AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate
  4. Lozler

    Lozler Bit Poster

    Thanks for all the information!

    There's an interesting course on JustIT.com (or something similar who are a training / recruitment team), where it's quite a hefty fee but you either go down the networking route or programming route, you do a few certifications, they organise a work placement for you, you do a few more certifications, then you apply for jobs with them at the end of it. Sounds brilliant, but it would mean I would have to skip university.

    It's definately harder to get my first proper job in IT than I expected, there's been a lot of agency callers, but just haven't got anything. I've seen on here that there are some people with A LOT of qualifications which absolutlely brilliant, so this is aimed at them: Do you do these qualifications whilst in an IT role or did you take some time out to do these certs etc?

    Cheers guys! 8)
  5. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    Well read around about TP's I'd advise extreme caution with both fulltime university and TP's like JustIT.com at this point, both could be very costly mistakes without due dilligence, whatever you decide you need to make sure it delivers what you want.

    Many TP's make promises they can't deliver so look into what you really get and if its any good.

    Recruiters will beat a path to your door if you have anything to offer, they need fresh talent and you will be cheap. Therefore job applications and CV editing can be pretty overrated. There are many CV templates and advice sites online.

    Most programmers have zero certs, its not a requirement but can help, most certs designed for people with experience. I did mine while in IT.
  6. Lozler

    Lozler Bit Poster

    I know this is going to sound like a dumb question but how do you get a job as say a junior developer without any certs? Graduate job or something? Also I'm not really that knowledgable yet of programming within IT, but it seems like most employers look for C++ developors? I've seen this a lot 'C# .NET developor'. There doesn't seem to be that many java developrs which is the main language you study in Computer Science i think :S

    I think with the Just IT training program, you can get Microsoft certs in C# .Net. Sometimes it's a bit demotivating not knowing what languages to go and learn, where to learn, and even if you self study you wont have the experience to get a job.

    I know a lot of the work is sourced out to India aswell, which might be annoying. That's one of the reasons i thought maybe the networking route might be the better one, getting A+,N+, CCNA and maybe a MS cert in Windows 7 or something.

    A lot of tough decisions, which is why I am here, because you guys probably know a lot more than I do! If i go ahead with this programming course with Just IT and get some MS certs in C# .NET, they organise a placement for you during the course but i have no idea if i'll even find a job after that =O
  7. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    I got a job as a graduate after completing a HND and an honours degree. I had developed basic-intermediate coding skills in C and C++ by that point so could take a Junior Windows C\C++ developer role.

    C++ is still a very popular language but is in slight decline since the rise of newer higher level languages like Java, Python, Ruby and C#.
    Java is now owned by Oracle, having been previously been owned by Sun, its development seems to have stalled slightly in comparison to C#, however it is still a very full featured stable platform.
    C# is probably the most popular mainstream language in use today.

    People study many languages in Computer Science, I also learnt things like COBOL, Fortran, Ada, Smalltalk and Assembler at college, didn't hurt one bit, all of them gave me useful insights.

    I think tech colleges offer some excellent training, why not go see what they have to offer ? Have you looked at BTEC diplomas and foundation degrees ?

    You can follow the market to save time and learn C#. However its not really that important what your first computer language is, just that you learn one and keep learning.

    There has never been any guarantee of a job and never will be, the best you can do is be passionate and excel at what you do.

    Many jobs could be outsourced in theory and are in practice, networking is not immune. If you are so unsure about programming at this point you probably lack the required commitment. Many young programmers do all night coding sessions just for fun.

    Its your time and your money. Ultimately you need to learn to program to be a programmer so that is step one, how you do it is up to you.

    Getting certs may help you get interviews in the job market. Having completed projects and source code however will make you stand out far more.

    I cannot in good faith recommend training programs that put beginners through cert programs designed for experienced professionals.
  8. Lozler

    Lozler Bit Poster

    Thank's for your advice! What do you do now in your job? do you enjoy it?

    You must be an employers dream with all the certs / experience you have. You've got a well balanced selection of certs, is there a reason why you've done both the programming / networking / specialised certificates? Did you just wanna be all rounded?

    How did you find the network+, security+ and SCJP exams? Where do you like to get your training from?

    MAybe you're right about the commitment thing, I guess I've never really focused on one thing, i'm always looking for different things which is bad. I think I just really want to get into the IT Industry, and I look at people like you with a lot of certifications, well rounded, good experience, and think there's no way I'll ever make it there haha, then I change my mind about what I want to do =/
  9. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    Between jobs at the moment, nobodies perfect ! :wink:

    You're only as good as your last movie !

    Yes I had been a specialist and wanted to get better all round knowledge.

    Generally I like to read books, I self studied for all those exams. SCJP was my first cert, I studied for about 6 months for that one exam. I found network+ and security+ very easy, under a month each, also both from books.

    Maybe little harsh of me about commitment, sorry. Just I was very single heartedly into programming, guess takes all sorts, just bear in mind your competition.

    baby steps, we all struggle in different ways...
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2011

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