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#1 travisb2014  Icon User is offline

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Changing IT career focus from end user support to Programming

Posted 04 June 2014 - 06:37 AM

Hello!

a brief bio about me:

I had a few questions in regards to changing my career focus from end user support (Help Desk, Desktop Support) to programming. Prior to working in IT I served on active duty in the Army and wasn't in a technical/IT role. Since getting out of the Army I've been working in IT in various roles including PC Tech, Technical Support, and RF Analyst/Help Desk (wireless) for three years. I started back to school this month at Thomas Edison State College and have two semesters (8 technical classes, gen ed is done) left on an Associates degree (then have four semesters left on a BA in liberal studies). Currently taking a VB programming class (my first programming class) and expect to take C programming and C++ programming next semester.

enough rambling, on to my question(s) :)

-I did a bit of reading and in particular "How to Become a Programmer" by Rob Walling caught my eye with this
"Following that logic and the opinion of many people in the software industry (including me),
desktop application development is dying. Itís not dead yet, but for the most part, web
languages are the direction to head for future growth. Web programming is a growth industry,
and itís going to be around for a long time. (pg 13)

my question is, do you think this is accurate? would it be a wise idea to focus on web app development?


-What would you say is the most in demand language/frame work in today's industry in regards to web app development? <citing Walling's book above .net/C# seems to be what he recommended, just wanted to get some clarity>


-My plan of action is to learn C, C++ and then move to .net/C#. I understand C++ and C# are derivatives of C, I wanted to make sure this seems like a sound plan and is in the logical order that most of you would take to really grasp the ideas?


-What material would you use to go from nothing to entry level programmer? I'm taking VB, C, and C++ College classes and am going to be using the C++ Institute as well as the Beginning ASP.NET 4.5.1: in C# and VB (Wrox Programmer to Programmer)book to understand C#. Besides those resources, anything else that can be recommended <free and paid>


-How much Math is involved? I had intentionally not enrolled into a Computer Science degree because of the math requirements (calculus and discreet mathematics) Math has always been a weak point for me and i'm just not great at it, even at the algebra level. That being said i'm obviously open to learning new formulas and attempting to pick up algebra skills. Do you think this would make programming extremely hard or be a 'deal breaker' in regards to career success (or landing a entry level job)


*Just to elaborate on my reasoning of changing focus in IT if anyone was curious. Programming/Development seems to always be in demand with jobs being abundant in Central Florida (where i live). I like the idea of making something out of nothing. Obviously my goal is to become as technical as possible (end user support roles can be/become technical roles as well, not saying they can't) but all things considered i think my earning potential would be greater as a developer.

Thank you <for reading my small novel :)>! I appreciate your time and feedback!

-Travis
Orlando, FL

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Replies To: Changing IT career focus from end user support to Programming

#2 astonecipher  Icon User is offline

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Re: Changing IT career focus from end user support to Programming

Posted 04 June 2014 - 07:12 AM

Welcome to DIC. I am not far from you and have a similar background.


I agree with the movement away from desktop applications. That is not to say it will be fast or complete. There will always be legacy code in any system (unless a new company). Web applications are just easier to distribute among a company.

As far as what is in demand, it's a crap shoot. You can search area's you are interested in and find someone hiring for most languages. PHP, Ruby, C# ASP.NET, Java, most major languages can be found in any cursory job search.

Depending on what you do depends on how much math is needed. More than anything else it is a thought process, (I suck at math, but getting better) usually formula's are provided if they are needed.

With a background in the technical IT fields you should have an easier than most time transferring to a programmer position. If you can stay in the same company and just move departments you already have a track record... If you want to stay there.
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#3 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Changing IT career focus from end user support to Programming

Posted 04 June 2014 - 07:50 AM

Quote

desktop application development is dying.
...
my question is, do you think this is accurate? would it be a wise idea to focus on web app development?

As much as some folks would like it to be dead already I doubt it will be a quick, nor total, death.



Quote

What would you say is the most in demand language/frame work in today's industry in regards to web app development? <citing Walling's book above .net/C# seems to be what he recommended, just wanted to get some clarity>


It is a roll of the dice. Look at your local job boards.. see what folks are looking for. .NET is great.. java as well.. php/javascript is another set.




Quote

-What material would you use to go from nothing to entry level programmer? I'm taking VB, C, and C++ College classes and am going to be using the C++ Institute as well as the Beginning ASP.NET 4.5.1: in C# and VB (Wrox Programmer to Programmer)book to understand C#. Besides those resources, anything else that can be recommended <free and paid>


Books are great... from there just apply, apply, apply what you are using. Have small projects to full exercise your language and cement the use. I knew a guy who had two or three core projects that he would write up in any language he as learning. Something that he knew well, what to expect, and could link transitions form language to another mentally.



Quote

-How much Math is involved? I had intentionally not enrolled into a Computer Science degree because of the math requirements (calculus and discreet mathematics)


Some jobs more than others. Basic math is fine, but thinking with variables (algebra) and boolean logic help.
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