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Anyone a computer programmer?

Protoype Avatar
2y, 3w agoPosted 2 years, 3 weeks ago
Not sure if this is the right section to ask it but what the hell.. Wanted to know if anyone here is a professional programmer by career as I am after some advice.

My aim is to get into a programming job and want advice on a career path. I have no A levels worth mentioning (D and E Business Studies) as I went into full time work. So I'm looking at starting at ground level and where to go. I've self taught myself Delphi and a bit of C++.

So my question is someone with no A Levels what is the best way career path to start on in order to get into a programming job?

Thank you.
Protoype Avatar
2y, 3w agoPosted 2 years, 3 weeks ago
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#1
To be employed by any reputable organisation you'd be expected to be a graduate. Bedroom/hobbyist/self-taught programmers tend to have a lot of bad habits & a poor grasp of fundamentals. Sorry to be harsh. I'd advise that you look at applying as a mature student to do Computer Science and then try & pick up a summer placement.
#2
IamMT
To be employed by any reputable organisation you'd be expected to be a graduate. Bedroom/hobbyist/self-taught programmers tend to have a lot of bad habits & a poor grasp of fundamentals. Sorry to be harsh. I'd advise that you look at applying as a mature student to do Computer Science and then try & pick up a summer placement.

Thank you for your reply, as I said I'm looking at starting at rock bottom level as this is something I want to persue what ever it takes. I know it will be a slow road and will take a few years so looking for pointers. :-)

regards
#3
Protoype
IamMT
To be employed by any reputable organisation you'd be expected to be a graduate. Bedroom/hobbyist/self-taught programmers tend to have a lot of bad habits & a poor grasp of fundamentals. Sorry to be harsh. I'd advise that you look at applying as a mature student to do Computer Science and then try & pick up a summer placement.

Thank you for your reply, as I said I'm looking at starting at rock bottom level as this is something I want to persue what ever it takes. I know it will be a slow road and will take a few years so looking for pointers. :-)

regards
It's worthwhile building up a reputation by contributing to open source projects. Good luck! (And I get the pointers joke ;)
#4
I'm a software developer and I've worked with a lot of people who aren't graduates in some large firms. What they have done is worked their way up (often from helpdesk/desktop support) and been professionally taught on the job instead. It takes a long time, you need a company willing to take a chance on you, and patient coworkers who have the time and the inclination to help.

That is correct about self taught programmers picking up bad habits though. Learning by yourself doesn't teach you things like collaborative coding, or dealing with code reviews. It's good as a foundation, or if you already know one language, but I doubt many places will take a chance on someone they don't know with no formal experience or background.

In your shoes, I'd get a github account and write and publish as many functional, useful things as you can, and help out with other peoples projects. You can use sites like Code Academy and Treehouse to learn by yourself, but I'd also check out local colleges to perhaps do a HND or similar formal course. If you can end up with a moderately used open source program, it gives you more credibility.
#5
You could try starting at a software development company as a tester who tests other peoples code, or tests complete programs or web sites, or a person who writes or reviews the help text or manuals.

Then gradually do some programming (or help out the programmers) and if you show enough aptitude they will gradually let you do more and more programming.

Edited By: guilbert53 on Dec 26, 2014 18:46
#6
Visit a few job boards and look carefully at the types of vacancies you will be applying for in future. Make a note of the types of experience, the languages and working knowledge expected - you'll get a feel of the requirement expected of you one day. Craft your own CV so that you become a credible candidate for hire.

Some programmers are great because they've mastered a range of languages and knowledge - others because they have specialised in just one or two. In common however, they have the enthusiasm and passion to stare down hundreds of lines of code in the wee hours when everyone else is asleep - and win :)
#7
Evy
I'm a software developer and I've worked with a lot of people who aren't graduates in some large firms. What they have done is worked their way up (often from helpdesk/desktop support) and been professionally taught on the job instead. It takes a long time, you need a company willing to take a chance on you, and patient coworkers who have the time and the inclination to help.

That is correct about self taught programmers picking up bad habits though. Learning by yourself doesn't teach you things like collaborative coding, or dealing with code reviews. It's good as a foundation, or if you already know one language, but I doubt many places will take a chance on someone they don't know with no formal experience or background.

In your shoes, I'd get a github account and write and publish as many functional, useful things as you can, and help out with other peoples projects. You can use sites like Code Academy and Treehouse to learn by yourself, but I'd also check out local colleges to perhaps do a HND or similar formal course. If you can end up with a moderately used open source program, it gives you more credibility.

Would you recommend doing a course like so:
http://www.open.ac.uk/courses/qualifications/w36

I would have to do this part time as I am currently in full time work.
#8
it is difficult to get your foot in the door without qualifications. competition is very tough so when you are up against graduates with experience it is very difficult to get in.
#9
mutley1
it is difficult to get your foot in the door without qualifications. competition is very tough so when you are up against graduates with experience it is very difficult to get in.

I get that so I am looking at a career path to develop ;-) my CV. Which give it a few years will allow me to change careers.
#10
Protoype
mutley1
it is difficult to get your foot in the door without qualifications. competition is very tough so when you are up against graduates with experience it is very difficult to get in.

I get that so I am looking at a career path to develop ;-) my CV. Which give it a few years will allow me to change careers.

i think you will struggle to go down this route unless you are lucky to find a company that is willing to take you on even at the most floor mopping level. you are better off getting back into education to get some backing.
#11
How about gaining some experience by doing free work experience
Or even do an apprenticeship
Learn, work and get paid :)
#12
Bugz
How about gaining some experience by doing free work experience
Or even do an apprenticeship
Learn, work and get paid :)

even free work is competitive in this industry. graduates themselves are competing for internships where they get no pay. there are so many graduates out there looking for jobs now, the competition is pretty tough.
#13
I'm looking at doing courses but its confusing to which ones would be benifical for such job. Are most employers after computer science degrees?
#14
Protoype
I'm looking at doing courses but its confusing to which ones would be benifical for such job. Are most employers after computer science degrees?

some people go into IT through other routes. I did with a maths degree and through a finance profession.
however i would suggest that the easiest direct route would be with a computer science degree. that way you at least find out if this is the career for you.

the IT industry tend to be filled with very bright people so be prepared to sit several IQ tests when you apply for jobs. good luck in getting there but give it a go. :3

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