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#1 EduardBirkaya   User is offline

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Computer Science question.

Posted 10 February 2011 - 12:09 PM

Hello forum.
I'm new here as far as you see and I hope to spend quite a lot of time around this forum in the very near future.
I moved to the U.S.A about 1 year ago and I'm now planning on going this June to college and study CS (Computer Science).
Well not really CS but some Certificate courses that will count as Credits towards a CS degree.
I currently have no knowledge about CS besides of the fact that it's mostly programming.
So before actually going to college I ordered a book called "Beginning Programming All-In-One Desk Reference For Dummies" to hopefully fully read and understand before starting college to give me a slight boost.
Now if I may ask a few questions.
1. Which job possibilities can I find?
2. Should I learn more then one programming language?
3. Did I make a wise decision ordering the book?
4. I have three options of certificates to study for:
A. Application Programming Cert.
B. Internet Programming Cert.
C. Object-Oriented Programming Cert.
Which one should I get first?
Note* I'm planning on getting all 3 but which one should I start with in order to have more chances of finding a job?

That's all I have to ask right now.
Sorry for being a newbie and I do realize that you probably heard those questions a million of times but please try to bear with me.
Thanks.

This post has been edited by EduardBirkaya: 10 February 2011 - 12:10 PM


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Replies To: Computer Science question.

#2 eker676   User is offline

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Re: Computer Science question.

Posted 10 February 2011 - 02:04 PM

Here's the way I look at it.

CS Degree vs. A few certifications

CS Degree gets the job unless certs has some serious experience.

Go for a degree and forget about the certifications. Certifications had a lot more weight a few years back then they do now. Now most of them are just sheets of paper no one cares about. A few still do... but a degree shows commitment and hopefully proficiency. This is my opinion but it is based on what I've seen and heard over the last few years.

If you have never programmed and you are just starting then don't be worrying about a job because you're not going to get one any time soon. Learning to be a good programmer takes time and talent. Not everyone can program. Not everyone has great problem solving skills. A good coder doesn't learn overnight, it takes years.

Do you have the time and energy it's going to take to learn how to program?

Q. Should I learn more than one programming language?
A. Not until you feel comfortable with at least one other language. Do not try to learn three different languages simultaneously. You'll end up mixing syntax and creating more hassle than it's worth.

Q. Did I make a wise decision ordering the book?
A. In my opinion, no. Get a beginners book that is geared towards one language. [Insert Language Here] for Dummies.
Popular first languages include Java, C++, and Python. I would go with Java or C++. Once you're comfortable programming with the language you've selected, picking up another should be no problem.

As for which cert you should get, if you still going to get a cert. Go with the object-oriented certification first.

This post has been edited by eker676: 10 February 2011 - 02:05 PM

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#3 Mallstrop   User is offline

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Re: Computer Science question.

Posted 10 February 2011 - 03:54 PM

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2. Should I learn more then one programming language?

I'd suggest learning a single language to start with. Most CS courses over here in the UK teach Java as it's quite simple to learn and the compiler catches a lot of the mistakes that are often made in languages like C. Once you've learnt one language and the concepts of procedural programming, it's quite simple to pick up a lot of other languages.

Quote

3. Did I make a wise decision ordering the book?

It looks like it could be a useful overview for a beginner but it tries to cover far too many topics. It's probably still worth reading and learning but you're best looking deeper into single subjects. Once you know the basics, practise is by far the best way to learn.

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4. I have three options of certificates to study for:
A. Application Programming Cert.
B. Internet Programming Cert.
C. Object-Oriented Programming Cert.
Which one should I get first?

I'd go with Object Oriented Programming every time, the principals you learn will be relevant to (almost) all programming you ever do.

I never liked internet programming (might be through my own ignorance) but there are plenty of jobs available in that area.

Pick an area you enjoy and concentrate your efforts towards it, CS is too big an area to focus on all of it.

This post has been edited by Mallstrop: 10 February 2011 - 03:55 PM

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#4 EduardBirkaya   User is offline

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Re: Computer Science question.

Posted 11 February 2011 - 05:51 AM

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Go for a degree and forget about the certifications. Certifications had a lot more weight a few years back then they do now. Now most of them are just sheets of paper no one cares about. A few still do... but a degree shows commitment and hopefully proficiency. This is my opinion but it is based on what I've seen and heard over the last few years.

I would gladly go towards a degree if I could.
I've been in U.S.A for one year now with 3 dependents and a temporary job (full time), so taking a full 2 - 4 year degree is impossible for me.
However, all 3 of this Certificates are part of the "Computer Science" degree so after finishing them the credits will be deducted from the degree, So I really don't lose anything and gain a higher chance to find a good job.

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Do you have the time and energy it's going to take to learn how to program?

I sure do, I spent between 50 - 80% of my time on computers, and dedicating my time for a greater cause in this field would only make me happy.

Quote

As for which cert you should get, if you still going to get a cert. Go with the object-oriented certification first.

Would I have higher chances finding a job with a different certificate?
I'm planning to get 2 of them or all 3 eventually and move to "Computer Science" from there.
As I said those Certificates contain the credits and classes that are required for "Computer Science".

eker676:
Thanks those tips were helpful, also regarding the book I want to first grab some basic overall knowledge and decide on which language to go on from there, I've some very low knowledge about C++ (I programmed a Celsius to Fahrenheit converter like 1 year ago and stopped there).

Quote

It looks like it could be a useful overview for a beginner but it tries to cover far too many topics. It's probably still worth reading and learning but you're best looking deeper into single subjects. Once you know the basics, practice is by far the best way to learn.

I will once I find out about the basics of them but gaining knowledge from that book will only be helpful.

Mallstrop
Thanks for the tips I found them really helpful

Thanks for replying to my post although I expected to see more comments but that's all I needed.
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#5 SpeedisaVirus   User is offline

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Re: Computer Science question.

Posted 11 February 2011 - 08:50 AM

You are going to be hard pressed to find any programming job with just a certificate in the US unless you have something to prove your ability (ie: experience or some project to demonstrate skill).

PS: CS isn't mostly programming. It's mostly theory and mathematics. Programming is just a means and most probable career after completing the coursework.
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#6 EduardBirkaya   User is offline

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Re: Computer Science question.

Posted 12 February 2011 - 05:24 AM

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PS: CS isn't mostly programming. It's mostly theory and mathematics. Programming is just a means and most probable career after completing the coursework.


That's excellent to know thanks.
I was originally intended to study physics and math but didn't start because of the lack of jobs in those fields.
I'm glad to know that I could study those in the future..
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