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#1 Webbie05  Icon User is offline

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Topics to Explore

Posted 21 May 2012 - 10:14 PM

I'm a programming student that's still learning the basics; However, I'm looking for some guidance on where to focus my attention. As an entry level programmer in a company, what are some concepts that an individual should have a strong grasp on? What are some other things that are an added bonus? I'd also like to add that I'm pursuing a career in game development and currently using C++ with Direct X. This is the perfect place to ask because there's individuals here that have been where I am or currently have their own companies and know what they like to look for in a potential employee. Having that insight is invaluable to me. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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#2 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Topics to Explore

Posted 21 May 2012 - 10:59 PM

Have you checked out our 'q and a with the experts' threads?

http://www.dreaminco...th-the-experts/
http://www.dreaminco...826-qa-answers/
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#3 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: Topics to Explore

Posted 22 May 2012 - 06:08 AM

View PostWebbie05, on 21 May 2012 - 11:14 PM, said:

As an entry level programmer in a company, what are some concepts that an individual should have a strong grasp on?


The ones that pertain to your product line. The ones that the senior people in your company need to know so you can make more money.

It really doesn't make a lot of sense to learn ASP if your product line doesn't use it - Unless you are looking to change employers.

Look at what the tier above you is working on. What skills is your employer hiring for, paying more for, having trouble finding, have niches to fill?
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#4 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Topics to Explore

Posted 22 May 2012 - 08:14 AM

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The ones that pertain to your product line. The ones that the senior people in your company need to know so you can make more money.


There's some good sense there. I'd also say, however, that you should look at the ones that interest you. The ones that make you want to stay up until all hours playing with them, the ones that you dive into and want to go all the way down to the bottom, the ones that draw good ideas out of you. No matter what you use at your day job, those one will make you better at what you do, and if they lead to a change in employers, well, that happens a lot in this field.

Obviously, the correct course is somewhere down the middle. Try to find things you love in the technology you use and try to find ways to use the things you love in the place where you work.
I've brought perl and python into a pure windows/salesforce/metastorm shop, and people grumbled, but since it works, they don't complain.
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#5 Webbie05  Icon User is offline

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Re: Topics to Explore

Posted 22 May 2012 - 10:52 AM

View Postmodi123_1, on 21 May 2012 - 10:59 PM, said:

Have you checked out our 'q and a with the experts' threads?


I did check out the Q&A with the experts thread. It was interesting, but it wasn't quite what I was looking for.



View PosttlhIn`toq, on 22 May 2012 - 06:08 AM, said:

Look at what the tier above you is working on. What skills is your employer hiring for, paying more for, having trouble finding, have niches to fill?


I understand what jon.kiparsky and you are trying to say, but I think there may have been a bit of confusion in my post. As I had mentioned, I'm still a student and haven't yet entered the software engineering workforce. At this time, I'm simply looking to the future for when I find an internship or an entry level position. Your comment about looking to see what the tier above me is working on, but since I currently don't work for any company this forum is really my source of information. I'm still learning the basics, but I know some concepts I should focus on include object oriented programming when working with C++ or inheritance. I guess that these are the kind of things I was asking about.

However, you did make an excellent point about where I could start looking. If I start checking the job requirements
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#6 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Topics to Explore

Posted 22 May 2012 - 10:53 AM

In that case, your only choice is to work on stuff that turns your crank. Poor you! :)

Really, the technology used at a particular shop is impossible for us to predict. The best bet is to build a broad base of experience with different models of programming, and to get a lot of practice in writing programs and in learning languages and frameworks. Be nimble (different from Agile™)and don't get too attached to any one idea.

The way to do this is to try lots of stuff, and learn to appreciate what each language or framework has to offer, rather than the usual approach which is to learn how to disparage each of them.

This post has been edited by jon.kiparsky: 22 May 2012 - 11:01 AM

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#7 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: Topics to Explore

Posted 22 May 2012 - 11:25 AM

View PostWebbie05, on 21 May 2012 - 11:14 PM, said:

As an entry level programmer in a company, what are some concepts that an individual should have a strong grasp on?


I'm sure this is what through us all off. I for one assumed you were still a student WHILE being an entry level programmer.

So what you're saying really is:

"I'm a student and I hope to one day get hired as a programmer. What should I study?"


As Jon already said: Its impossible for us to tell you what to study considering "programming" ranges from computers in cars to computers on the Space-X falcon. Finance to Weather models. CGI for the movie industry. Seismic sensors for drilling. Computer and therefore software are in every facet of every industry. You might as well be saying "I want a job: What do I do?"

This post has been edited by tlhIn`toq: 22 May 2012 - 11:25 AM

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#8 cfoley  Icon User is offline

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Re: Topics to Explore

Posted 22 May 2012 - 03:11 PM

If you are able to cope with your course's concepts, something you could try is to look ahead to future years. See what's in the syllabus and ignore it. Everyone in your course will learn it all and people in other CS courses will learn most of the same stuff too.

One way to make yourself stand out is to go and learn something else. Maybe you can spot a gap in the curriculum or maybe you could pick up some maths, science, business or art that could augment your skills. Programming is a field where skills and knowledge in different domains is incredibly valuable!
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