View Full Version : How's this for an approach to a career in programming?

11-13-2008, 11:42 PM
I'm trying to break back into programming after 12 years away. I was a programmer for only about 4 years but I was good at it. I coded mostly in C and Pascal.

I have no degree in computer science but I have a 20 year old four-year engineering degree. People have suggested I go back to school. I'm middle aged and I don't have time for a four- or even two-year degree.

Some have suggested an accelerated one-year associates degree. I've looked into that at both colleges and tech schools, but the programs seem to be surprisingly low level with a lot of non-computer courses even at the tech schools.

The Microsoft certifications seem much more to the point, but I'm told there's not much to them and they're not taken very seriously by employers.

And of course I have no recent work experience in the industry.

But maybe my old engineering degree (and maybe even my old work experience) mean SOMETHING to employers, and if I study hard for 6 to 12 months and can get some ADVANCED Microsoft certifications, maybe I can get a lousy, entry-level job for 6 to 12 months, do well, and in a year or two actually get a decent job for, I don't know, 60K?

For what it's worth, what I'm leaning towards pursuing is .NET / C# / C++ / ASP / SQL / Javascript (web, both server- and client-side, as well as desktop).

What do you think?

11-14-2008, 12:50 AM
Amazingly there is a forum for career advice :)

I think your plan could very well work; of course it depends on the kind of job you do once you get your first job.

And getting the first job could be tricky; it's all about the resume to get an interview and then it's all about the interview to get the job. I recommend the book "Ace the IT Interview" for learning how to convince interviewers and headhunters that you are the man for the job.

Also if you can find or come up with some business oriented project that you can do on your own that is something you can point to and say "see, I can code, look at this", that goes a long way.