3 Replies - 1573 Views - Last Post: 06 December 2010 - 06:57 AM

#1 Guest_Chris*


Local Dev Meetings ( i'm scared )

Posted 05 December 2010 - 06:37 PM

Hi guys! My name is Chris and I'll preface this post by saying the following:
1. I never finished college
2. I don't have a developer job
3. I work as a stocker/puller in a warehouse

But i've been teaching myself all about computer programming/computer science for 3 almost 4 years now. And I feel confident in my skills as a developer but I don't know how i measure up to other developers who have gone through traditional schooling.

So here's the deal. My friend told me about a local developer meeting being held tomorrow that I am really wanting to go to. The topic of the first meeting is "IT Hiring and Compensation Trends" and also there's another talk right after thats about some TDD stuff. I'm very interested in both meetings.

My problem is that I know that at meetings dev's get together and talk about work related things to each other and I'll have nothing work related to talk about because I don't have an IT job. When I talk to my friend about developer stuff I feel very knowledgeable and comfortable. My friend finished college and has a nice developer job paying 6 figures. I guess what I want to know is do you guys think I should go to the meetings or not?

I feel like in my current situation I will be looked down upon until i get a degree in CS or a job in the IT field. Am I crazy for thinking all of this? What should I do?

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Replies To: Local Dev Meetings ( i'm scared )

#2 macosxnerd101   User is offline

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Re: Local Dev Meetings ( i'm scared )

Posted 05 December 2010 - 06:45 PM

I would hardly think so. In this economy, a lot of people who used to have nice jobs now either have lower-paying jobs or more blue-collar jobs, or don't have jobs at all, including IT people. Plus, the fact that you're taking the initiative to learn programming says a lot about you and your desire to get into the industry. Also keep in mind there are also a lot of developers who are hobbyists, students, and professionals.

My suggestion would be to go to the meeting. Learn what you can, meet and socialize with other people in the industry, and make connections. That's how you get interviews and jobs. :)

Also, participating in a forum (like Dream.in.Code) is a great way to get a feel for the industry, including your language-specific niche, and learn more about the technology as well as good design patterns. This helped me a lot personally.
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#3 alias120   User is offline

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Re: Local Dev Meetings ( i'm scared )

Posted 06 December 2010 - 04:19 AM

Yeah you should definitely go. As macosxnerd101 said, you can make some great connections with your fellow peers. Just because you don't currently hold a job involving programming, doesn't make you any less of a programmer. I've been to a couple .NET user groups in our area, and I am hardly familiar with .NET at all. Being around programmers, and learning about new technologies is always beneficial though. Honestly if anyone looked down upon you just because you do not hold a job programming, they weren't deserving of your time anyways. Good luck and let us know how the meeting goes.

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#4 Guest_Chris*


Re: Local Dev Meetings ( i'm scared )

Posted 06 December 2010 - 06:57 AM

Thanks guys for your encouraging words! I'll let you know how it turns out.
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