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Thread: Personal development

  1. #1

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    Personal development

    Hi all,

    I am currently studying Software Engineering at University and I'm currently in my 2nd year.
    What I have studied up until this point, I have found reasonably easy. We have covered modules on Java, C, C++ and currently looking at C#.
    So far I feel as though we have been kinda kept in the dark, I don't feel as though they have exposed us enough to some of the more advanced areas in programming. At the end of this year (8 weeks away), I have the option to leave and pursue a career in programming (even though I plan on staying on and topping up to degree level).
    My question is, did anybody else feel this way when leaving higher education? I just don't feel as though I could leave University tomorrow, walk in to a job and feel at all confident about what they would expect of me.

    Thanks
    Last edited by knighty; Feb 6th, 2012 at 08:38 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Personal development

    Universities do not "train" people as programmers, their purpose is education - something entirely different in most ways. A "Software Engineering" program shouldn't really be about programming much as such anyway. "Software Engineering" is a discredited philosophy around treating programmers as if they were working on a construction site or assembly line. It's about watching and measuring other peoples' effort.

    http://www2.computer.org/cms/Compute...Viewpoints.pdf

  3. #3
    Loquacious User Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: Personal development

    There is no shortcut for experience. You have it or you don't. If you don't then you will encounter any number of situations for which your lack of experience doesn't adequately prepare you. That's life. The only way to get experience is through doing things. Most companies would expect that somebody fresh out of school won't have much practical experience, but you can always gain some through coding on the side.
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  4. #4
    Frenzied Member NeedSomeAnswers's Avatar
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    Re: Personal development

    Dont worry yourself to much about it, i know when i left my degree i still felt i had a lot to learn, but i soon found that when i got work i was able to add value to the companies i worked for.

    I did have the added bonus of during my degree spending a year in industry and i have to say it really helped. i would recommend it if you have the option.
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  5. #5

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    Re: Personal development

    Thanks for the replies.

    Coding on the side is something I have already looked in to (should have mentioned this in the first post), and something I plan on getting some experience with when I have more time (once this year is done at Uni).
    I say I should have mentioned it because - I've looked around on freelancing sites at jobs people have posted and they all seem way beyond my depths, which I think has added to my worries. I would even offer to develop some projects for free so I could build a portfolio but don't feel capable of this.
    Take this for example, this is one that stuck in my mind.. I saw a job posted on a website a few weeks ago requesting a VB app which merged 2 video files with an image inbetween the video files, combined them all and output them as 1 video file. Anything beyond developping the GUI for that would be beyond me. Where do you develop those kind of...skills/experience? Is that something you would research when agreeing to complete the project? Or is this type of project something you would only agree to doing if you already have past experience with the area?

    Thanks

  6. #6
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    Re: Personal development

    That's actually a bad example, but people do post ridiculous requests on those Rent-A-Slave sites... and even more try to take on these jobs.

    The most you would do for that in VB6 might be to automate some video editing tool. It would be silly to try to reinvent that wheel in VB6.

  7. #7
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    Re: Personal development

    I wouldn't worry about it... they're called "Entry Level" positions for a reason. The expectation for those kinds of positions is that you have little to no knowledge, going to require a lot of training and a lot of management/supervisory overview. There's nothing wrong with that, it's all part of the process. The only time they should expect you to hit the ground running (from a technology view) is for Jr or Sr level positions. Here's that all we hire is Jr & Sr level developers. It typically takes someone anywhere from 2-3 months to about 6 months to get fully acclimated and up to speed on the internal processes and how our application platform works.

    Look for internships, even non-paid ones... volunteer to do some work for a volunteer service organization... or even at your university... basically some kind of practical experience that you can put down.

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