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A New direction

A New direction

A New direction

I've been in the IT field since 98', I started off doing dial up phone supprt for 6 months, a year as a pc tech, 4 years as a Sys Admin for an Oracle consulting firm, 2 1/2 years as a Sr Sys Admin (Unix Admin) for EDS, 9 months as a Tech Director at a school district, and I am currently a "i-5 analyst" (sys admin) for another school district. I've worked on about everything networks, phone systems, firewalls, pc's, servers, even a little DB work, etc.

When I was at EDS I had some time to get into Unix scripting and found that to be a lot of fun. In my current position, I get to do a lot of VB scripting and programming in IBM CL. I honestly have fun and rather enjoy coding.

I'm currently attending UoP (yes I know, and lets not start the degree is worthless flame war) to get my BS in IT. I plan on getting my Masters, I just haven't decided in what. I thought I wanted to be in mgmt but after my stint as a Tech Director, I'm not so excited about that idea.

Anyway, I've been giving a lot of thought of getting into more of a programming role. I'm burned out on being an Admin...it's not what it use to be. So I'm wondering, how does one go about getting a position as a programmer/developer? Would any IT experince carry over or am I going to start all over again from a Salary perspective? Has anyone else made this leap?


RE: A New direction

I'm not the best one to reply since I've been programming since I've worked in IT.  However, if you're in a situation with limited ability to get real experience working on development projects, then you might want to look for a position which can utilize your existing skills with the opportunity to contribute and build up your programming skills.  This might be easier at a smaller company where the individuals in IT are responsible for a wider variety of duties.  You could talk to a recruiter or two to see if there is anything out there in your area.

If you are interested in business programming, then your experience at the Oracle firm could be beneficial as business programmers develop heavily with databases.  The scripting experience can't hurt either--web development jobs  for example could require a lot of scripting.  However the way you write programs in a 3GL language will probably be a lot different than VBScript.  The way some things are done in VBScript could be considered poor practice in VB.Net for example.    

RE: A New direction

Ya I've been warned aboout the poor practices in VBScripting. Thanks for the insight. I'm planning on specailizing my degree in Software Engineering. I guess my next question is, are there language certifications and do they carry any weight?  

RE: A New direction

I believe there are some language certifications, however, I have never known anyone who has any, or at least known if they did.  I do .Net programming and database/data warehousing development.  Of all the job interviews I've been on, I've never been asked if I had a programming cert.  DBA certs are another story (I don't have one of those either, but have been asked about it).   

RE: A New direction

I made that jump several years ago ipeca. I originally started out programming, but then went down the network admin path for many years. When I came back to development, I had to start over as far as salary is concerned...but, I was able to make up for it fairly quickly.

The state of college degrees for programming is pretty sad at the moment (in my opinion). The problem is that the industry moves so fast, that by the time they get a good curriculum set up, it's obsolete. I'm not saying don't get a degree...just don't expect to learn a lot of the latest technologies there :).

What I would recommend is grabbing a book or two and learn the basics of programming. I'm not going to recommend a specific language because that will start a language war...but you'll be able to SEE what the better choice is once you start :) hehehehe.

Once you have the basics down, find an entry level position. If you get REAL lucky, you'll find a company that is interested in your admin background as much as your development potential. If that happens, then the salary difference might disappear.

My last suggestion would be to follow your heart. If you're not happy, you won't stick with it. Do some research...find the language you like and move forward.

im in ur stakz, overflowin ur heapz!

RE: A New direction

ipeca - I'm working on a degree in Software Engineering at the moment, and I find that it is much more heavily focused on theory and project management than actual programming.  You probably won't learn ANY technologies there (although I have had to learn a lot about java, simply to understand the various open source projects I've had to study).  But you will learn how to get the most out of a lot of the languages that are out there.

The important thing to remember is, a language is just a language.  The hard part is making it do what you want.  If you learn to program reasonably well, you will have less trouble moving across different languages.

I'm having problems right now with my resume, I keep hearing "we think you're more of a database developer".  I can't help it that the majority of my major accomplishments have been in that area!  Expect a lot of that type of stuff, but don't get discouraged.  Just keep looking for ways to apply and expand on your programming knowledge, and you'll find something eventually.

Good Luck,


----signature below----
Majority rule don't work in mental institutions

My Crummy Web Page

RE: A New direction

Well after much soul searching, deep thought, and discussions with some friends......I've decided to switch my major from general IT to software engineering.

Thanks for the advice!!!

RE: A New direction

I have a degree in software engineering, and have always worked in PC, Server and Network environments.  I have not coded in anger since leaving Uni in '96.

Having a degree in Software Engineering will not necessarily limit your choice of jobs.  Having a general IT degree will stop you from being elegable for S.E. jobs.

I got to the edge of sanity....then i fell off

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