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Thread: So you want to be a professional programmer...

  1. #1

    Thread Starter
    PowerPoster techgnome's Avatar
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    May 2002

    So you want to be a professional programmer...

    I've seen a number of posts over the last couple of weeks about how to get a job programming or other advice. I thought it might be a decent idea to start a general advice thread on that subject. So this is a chance to share your thoughts, advice, and experiences on landing a job. What went right? Just as good, what went wrong?

    First thing I have is taken from Earth's entry in THHGTTG: Don't Panic!
    Seriously... I've been in that spot - twice, one day I'm gainfully employed, the next day I'm carrying home a box of stuff from my desk.

    The second piece of advice I'd offer - Don't give up. It may take some time. Both times I was laid off, I went 6-8 weeks between jobs. That's an eternity when you've got nothing else to do.

    Don't flat out lie on your resume/CV - Yes everyone lies on theirs, but if you don't have experience with something, don't put it on there. If you do have experience with something, even if it was basic training, or exposure, DO put it... but make sure it's low on the list. Corollary - if you find yourself getting the wrong offers/interviews, don't be afraid to take somethingt off or adjust your CV. Back in the day, I had BizTalk on my list of things, because I had had some small training in it and used it as an endpoint for a project... When I then found myself getting all kinds of requests from companies looking for a BizTalk programmer, I had to take it off. Now it's only mentioned in the project summary section of my CV.

    Be honest. You may be able to BS your way past the HR round... but at some point you're likely to run up against the guy you have to work with or for.

    Degrees and certs are great but experience is king. I recently interviewed someone that, despite having a recent degree, he learned more in code camps and some of the volunteer things he'd been doing in the summer and off-campus. He's been with us nearly 6 months and is working out fine.


    What other advice do others have?

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  2. #2
    Superbly Moderated NeedSomeAnswers's Avatar
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    Jun 2002
    Manchester uk

    Re: So you want to be a professional programmer...

    Personally i went the more standard route to get into Software Development.

    I went to University and got a sandwich degree (which means i spent 1 year of the degree doing paid work experience for a company).

    Despite this getting my first proper job after university took me 3 months. I was there for 10 months and then they let me go without offering me a full contract.

    The next job again took around 3 - 3 1/2 months to get, i stayed there for 5 years and i have never had any problem getting a job since.

    I suppose what i am trying to say is whether you had a degree or not getting your first software job is not always easy, its a grind you have to put your CV out a lot, trawl through the jobs boards, call people up, basically do whatever you can to get some interviews and get in front of people.

    You need to dedicate proper time to it to be successful, but if you do then you can get a good career out of it.

    Also dont rule jobs out because its not the exact job you want as long as its in the same ballpark as the work you want to do then apply for it.

    Experience is key once you get some everything is easier in the jobs market.
    Please Mark your Thread "Resolved", if the query is solved & Rate those who have helped you

  3. #3
    Fanatic Member 2kaud's Avatar
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    May 2014

    Re: So you want to be a professional programmer...

    It's 'well known' that a lot of great programmers aren't brilliant at interviews - especially the 'non-techy' parts - and selling themselves. IMO consider signing up with a recruitment agency that specialises in the IT industry (and programming jobs if possible) that would 'polish' your CV and give you interview training.

    For your own specific programming language(s), there will probably be various books available with typical interview questions. Even for a programming expert, I would recommend you have a look at a couple of these and become familiar with this type of question - in the interview you won't have a compiler available to tell you about silly syntax issues etc!
    All advice is offered in good faith only. You are ultimately responsible for the effects of your programs and the integrity of the machines they run on. Anything I post, code snippets, advice, etc is licensed as Public Domain

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  4. #4
    Super Moderator FunkyDexter's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
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    Re: So you want to be a professional programmer...

    You could try this approach. If I was hiring, this girl would definitely be top of my list.
    Last edited by FunkyDexter; Feb 17th, 2017 at 04:24 AM.
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