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  #1 (permalink)  
Old May 30th, 2002
Posts: n/a
Default OT: Programming Jobs

Since most of you guys are developers, I figure I could ask you a question. I am in 11th grade right now and next year I want to get an MCSD cert before I get out of high school. Could I get a programming job with just a cert or before I got one, I have pretty good skills in VB(not great yet) and this summer I can concentrate all my attention to it.

Will companies hire young people for IT/programming work with just a cert or right before they get it. I could provide source code and the like to potential employers to prove my skills.

I dont want to get trapped in a " well we are looking for experience" type scenario. Every one wanting experince and no one letting you actually get it.

Any advice you guys have would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks in advanced guys.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old May 31st, 2002
Posts: n/a

One of my first jobs was programming. My dad asked me to write some statistic programs for him for something he was doing, I had no clue what that was about, but I wrote what he wanted.
It was in BASIC, and simple, but I printed it and took it to a place that was looking for programmers, and they wanted 2 years this and that, but I went anyway and got the job.
I told the guy to let me come in one day and play with his system and see what I can do, and then hire me if it looked like I could do it, but they just hired me right away after I was interviewed. Probably because I was good at programming, sort of a natural I suppose.
The job was programming BASIC anyway, so I fit right in. It was very boooring!
The only problem is I quit after a short time because I just felt like it, I was young and didn't really care about the money (living with parents does that). So this poor guy was depending on me and I let him down by quiting.
That is the only drawback to hiring a young kid living at home.
So forget all those requirements for a BS this and two years that, and go for it, Find a job that you can stand for the long haul, that won't be too booring. Or be honest with the guy and say its only for summer etc...
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old May 31st, 2002
Gnutella Veteran
Join Date: March 24th, 2002
Location: Virginia
Posts: 101
tshdos is flying high

It really depends on the company. Most of them say they require a BS and/or experience. You could call the time you have spent learning VB experience and probably be ok ( as long as you can really do it ). As unregistered said, just be honest with the interviewer. Tell them up front what you can and have done. An example of your work might help but most companies will not accept source code for legal reasons.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old May 31st, 2002
Join Date: August 9th, 2001
Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA
Posts: 358
cultiv8r is flying high

Employers don't care very much about what is on paper. Got an MCSE? Great! But can you actually put it to practical use? A lot fail right there, frankly.

But mostly, it depends on your abilities to solve issues using your intuition. For example, how would you answer this question if your potential employer asked this:

"How many gas stations are there in the United States?"

If you'd answer "Thousands" then you're automatically scrapped. Why? Because you guessed... You're not supposed to guess, but to put more thought to it, collect more data and try to solve it with better accuracy. That will make you a more dependable employee.

So you'd answer that question with a counter question, like "What kind of gas stations?" (more though, collect more data) and/or an indefinite answer like "I would have to look that up" (solve with accuracy).

Your experience in the field will help you answering such silly questions.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old May 31st, 2002
Posts: n/a

So basically certs are nice but skill is obviously better. I can understand that they dont want "paper tigers", they look good on paper but look stupid on front of a machine. I wouldnt even go for an interview if I felt my skills werent up to par because then I'm wasting both of our time.

I hear from people that agencies(employment) can help you get your foot in the door because I know a few of them actually test you when you come in to see what your skill set is. Has anyone tried to get a job through a placement firm?
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old June 24th, 2002
Join Date: January 18th, 2002
Posts: 22
James Connolly is flying high

First of all, if you can afford college I would definitely go to college. Expensive colleges often have financial aid, scholarships and loans. Apply and see what they say afterwards with financial aid. State and city colleges are cheaper, and some are good. If you have to work a part-time job, get one.

Furthermore, you should know that the IT profession is having a lot of problems, and unless something changes, will continue having problems. While workloads increase, and hours lengthen, salaries have been frozen or even cut, which inflation compounds. Informationweek salary survey

Some people say "It's just the economy". This makes no sense to me. I can understand it if a flood happens and people say "it's just the weather". But when the WTC fell down people didn't say "it's just the terrorists" and shrug their shoulders. Tornados, tsunamis, volcano explosions and floods are natural disasters, wars and economic difficulties are man-made disasters. In the 19th century, the railroads told it's workers that their wages were being cut and the workers seized control of the railroad and the army had to be called out, destroying much of the railroad's property in the process. I'd say things have gotten bad enough that people should start getting upset about what's going on, I know I am, and I'm lucky enough to be employed. How many of your friends are out of work? Has your pay been cut or frozen? Are they laying off people - meaning more work for you (or are they going to lay you off the second they aren't making a profit from your presence there)? Are you working 9-5 without a pager and weekends free with nice vacation time? Are you working in a profession where by the time someone reaches 40 no one wants to hire them and their RSI-crippled hands? Hell, someone posted a job ad to Usenet from Monster where the company said only college students need apply. That's who they want all jobs to go to - college students, H1-Bs and so forth.

If I was you, I would read newsgroups like and I would check out web sites like Washtech, the Programmers Guild and so forth. I would read up on RSI, H1-Bs, section 1706, NDA's and non-competes where the company owns anything you do in your spare time, about how older programmers are unemployable, about how many hours people work, how they carry a pager 24/7 and so forth. If you look at the Informationweek article, you see things have gotten worse - the laws keep getting worse, pushed by the ITAA, hundreds of thousands of H1-B come into the country as jobs get shipped to India, Romania etc.

Also, remember that working on command is not as enjoyable as programming. It's fun to program on your own, what you want to program. When someone is directing you what to do, telling you to do it their way and so forth, it becomes less fun than when you're making your own decisions of how and what to program.

The bottom line is things are getting worse. If I was in the 11th grade, I would not go into IT. If I wanted to make nice money, I would go on a track to work in a financial company, or be a manager, and that means college - a good college. If I had no interest in money I'd become an artist or something fun like that, and if I liked programming I'd do it in my spare time. I already have years of experience so it's not worth it for me to start over again. If you do become a programmer, you should be cognizant of all of this (which goes for admins as well), and should join the Programmers Guild so as to fight against this.
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old June 25th, 2002
Posts: n/a

Learn on your own!
Don't bother with college unless you need that "paper" because they will make you a "well rounded person" meaning they will waste your time teaching you things you will never use.
Figure out where you are going and head there. You get ahead of everyone else because they still don't know what they want to do, even into their 70's.
Most of the great inventors never made it past 8th grade or WORSE!
So start programming everything, get Linux now and start compiling like a mad man, spend all your spare time with girls, no wait, I mean jpg's of girls and learn everything you can about networking because there are few people who know anything about programming in C and networks and hardware all together.
Learn electronics every way you can, go read at the library and make some projects yourself. Lots of stuff on the net, all the docs and more on everything.
Do not let anyone hold you back, if you can't afford it, make it.
Some people need to be forced to learn, with a lesson plan, others that succeed big in life learn quickly and on their own and motivate themselves.
You can pick up most stuff in a day or two if you are good at staying away from TV and beer.

Oh, and don't accept those $3 a hour jobs people will try to throw at you, go for some big bucks and do those things that people seem to think is hard to do (even if it's easy for you).
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