4 Replies - 628 Views - Last Post: 07 August 2016 - 04:39 PM

#1 Zoshenkov  Icon User is offline

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Need Career Advice:From Embedded to backend

Posted 07 August 2016 - 07:39 AM

Hello again (as in for the 2nd time). I know I'm getting a bit potty but that's who I am, I tend to be as prepared as possible so I'm here starting another career related thread seeking seasoned & insightful opinions.

A little background about me:It's very likely that I will be working in the US in the future, and I'm trying to A. enrich my skill set and B. Trying to manage as much as possible so I'll have more options when I finally get to America. :dangole:

What I am now: Currently I'm an Electrical Engineer with programming experience (4 years) mostly in C. Most projects were IoT related.

What I hope to become: A skilled C++ programmer developing for internet-oriented/based applications.


My questions/quandaries:

I have a lot of questions but I managed to reduce them to just 4, so here they are, feel free to answer all, or some of them, but please try to leave the sequential numbers i.e. #1, #2, #3... there.

#1 Am I way in over my head, in the sense that the relevant jobs will be much, much more difficult and my previous C experiences will not help at all? Allow me to elaborate a bit, I've done my homework and a few keywords stood out: Linux & C++ (duh) Mysql, socket programming, TCP/IP protocol, multi-threading, etc. I'll be honest, I've reviewed all the coding examples and so far I found none of them intimidating, but learning all of them to be qualified as "entry level" could take 5? months or longer. So what do you think? Is it dumb to try to pick them up... at all ?

#2 If #1 is too much, what would be the most realistic skill set to harness? By that I mean what should I learn besides C++ (which I must master, will explain later)? It's proverbial knowledge that we no longer live in the 80s when you can master one language and you are good to go. Today it's always C++ & OpenGL, C++ & Qt, etc. As of now I'm thinking about this combination: C++, MySQL, Multi-Threading & Socket programming. That's already a lot, and I'll leave Linux core, bash scripts etc. for later.

#3 Relatively simple: what kind of project can I use to showcase my skills? A mock dating site? Any good projects on Github?

#4 Will this make me more competitive since I'm "BOSS" enough to work in 2 not so closely related fields, were I to successfully find such a job prior to my landing on American soil, or to the opposite effect, compromise my career profile because it makes me look indecisive? To put it using a more everyday vocabulary, will a Team Lead/Tech Director look at my resume and go "Wow, this guy's pretty good" or "What's wrong with him? Make up your mind already!"? There was this kind user of DiC who suggested that in America different = standing out = advantageous, but I still want to be sure.

Last but not least, I think I owe everyone who managed to read so far some explanation since my decision seems well, a bit unorthodox:

I'm not trying to justify anything, but if I want to advance my career any further, I just have to learn C++ & Linux. Every high-paying EE job (at least here in my country) demands that. So I sorta can't get around it. While I'm at it, I think it's reasonable to go a little bit above and beyond. Unless I have sufficient reason, I will most likely learn those things using my spare time instead of quitting my day job. And since I'm working on IoT stuff, my company already has some experienced programmers who knows a lot about databases and SQL, so I think that's some "resource" you don't wanna let slip away unexploited.

Last but not least, my goal isn't to "get a great job" but to "get a job at all", so I think a little upgrade of my knowledge base clearly won't hurt. Anyway... what do you guys think? Gimme some input and hit me hard! Don't be afraid to go Negative Nancy/Ned on me! I could always use a level-headed advice! Have a great day everyone!

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Replies To: Need Career Advice:From Embedded to backend

#2 astonecipher  Icon User is offline

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Re: Need Career Advice:From Embedded to backend

Posted 07 August 2016 - 08:27 AM

First, you need to figure out what kind of job you will want and stop trying to encompass everything. Target a specific type of position and research the desired knowledge base, keep in mind the HR typically writes the requirements and usually lists everything under the name of the position. So, check for similarities in several.


Focus on those technologies with some* familiarity in surrounding tech. C++ is not commonly used in web, but is you want embedded it is something to learn.
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#3 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Need Career Advice:From Embedded to backend

Posted 07 August 2016 - 08:42 AM

Isn't this just your previous topic, rehashed?

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#1 Am I way in over my head,

Honestly, who knows. You are seven posts deep.. no one knows you or your abilities. If you shoot for jobs that are 'advanced' or 'senior' level - asking for skills you don't have - yeah.. If you shoot for something you have relevant experience with (time and skillset) then.. maybe no?

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#2 If #1 is too much, what would be the most realistic skill set to harness? By that I mean what should I learn besides C++

Look at job boards. Compare skills needed in the EE area.

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#3 Relatively simple: what kind of project can I use to showcase my skills?

Try and exercise your creativity and find something that interests you. That or be a little more lame and look at our project lists:
Project Ideas
Martyr2 Mega Project List

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#4 Will this make me more competitive since I'm "BOSS" enough to work in 2 not so closely related fields,

Huh? Which 'not closely related fields' are you talking about?

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but if I want to advance my career any further, I just have to learn C++ & Linux. Every high-paying EE job (at least here in my country) demands that.

Okay, then do it. Why mire yourself in this non forward movement activity of trying to think you can "know all the angles and make some algorithm of getting a job" instead of, you know, actually doing the learning for your assumed required skills?

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Unless I have sufficient reason, I will most likely learn those things using my spare time instead of quitting my day job.

I would certainly hope you would be doing both.
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#4 cfoley  Icon User is offline

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Re: Need Career Advice:From Embedded to backend

Posted 07 August 2016 - 11:41 AM

#1 Am I way in over my head

We all are. Nobody ever knows it all. There's never enough time to learn everything. We're all just getting by.

#2 If #1 is too much, what would be the most realistic skill set to harness?

Can you write a computer program from start to finish that does something useful? If "yes" then you are ahead of much of the competition.

Taking 2 months to "learning MySQL" might be unneccessary. If you can download an learn just enough to get a database working in your application then that's enough to be useful. If you ever use it enough to become an expert, that's when you'll become an expert.

#3 Relatively simple: what kind of project can I use to showcase my skills?

Anything that you have already completed. The language, frameworks, whatever don't matter. With 4 years of experience, you can demonstrate that you are a programmer. Either with code examples or by talking knowledgeably and authoritatively about the projects.

Me

I was a chemist with a few years programming experience and I managed to land a programming job. All the big projects I had done were confidential so no code to show. What I was able to demonstrate in the interview was knowledge of the technical challenges I overcame in those projects. They told me I would have a technical test on C# MVC. I had never done more than a few lines of c# and had never used MVC before. I had a week to prepare so I got familiar with both and passed their test. Afterwards I told them about my lack of experience with the technologies (just to be open and honest about my skillset). They offered me a job which I accepted.

So, here's the thing. You have skills. Apply for jobs. I had literally less than 1/4 of the advertised job requirements but I applied anyway. I showed them that I knew how to program and was able to learn technologies. I explained to them that the fact my knowledge and skills partially overlapped theirs meant I would be valuable and explained that my "different" background meant I would expand their company with alternative ideas and skills.

Nobody is perfect. You have to sell yourself. Most importantly, you have to apply for a damn job!
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#5 Zoshenkov  Icon User is offline

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Re: Need Career Advice:From Embedded to backend

Posted 07 August 2016 - 04:39 PM

View Postastonecipher, on 07 August 2016 - 08:27 AM, said:

First, you need to figure out what kind of job you will want and stop trying to encompass everything. Target a specific type of position and research the desired knowledge base, keep in mind the HR typically writes the requirements and usually lists everything under the name of the position. So, check for similarities in several.


Done that, as I've noted in my op, it appears that mysql and socket programming etc. is are must-haves.

View Postastonecipher, on 07 August 2016 - 08:27 AM, said:

Focus on those technologies with some* familiarity in surrounding tech. C++ is not commonly used in web, but is you want embedded it is something to learn.


You are right, it is not, java and .net family very much are, but backend-wise, C++ is also used, however I'd very much like you to share with me more information on that since I'm totally green. All my research came from google, and it tells me there are C++ & SQL jobs out there and there isn't nearly as much programmers as say JAVA + SQL programmers.
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