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#1 thatnewdreamer   User is offline

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Should I get a certification alongside a portfolio?

Posted 05 January 2014 - 09:59 PM

I graduated with a Bachelors in Computer Information Systems just over 2 years ago. I had a job as a junior programmer for a printing company which lasted just under a year and a half until last August when I and others were laid off due to corporate restructuring.

The biggest problem with the layoff is that I came out of that company with just as many relevant skills to employers today as I did when I went in. I learned an obscure language called Foxpro, and did a couple of big projects in that aside from data manipulation. However, I did next to no .Net work, and couldn't hang with the big projects they had there anyway.

Since the layoff, I've been applying to companies. However, I wasn't making too much progress. I decided at trying to shake all the rust off myself in order to get a portfolio going. Aside from trying to brush up on old languages I tout on my resume, I've been trying to learn C# and Java. Still, I feel I'm nowhere near the level of making a portfolio I can show off. There's a lot of stuff I didn't learn in college, and more I forgot due to being lazy and not keeping up on things (just being honest).

The thing is, I've been focusing solely on learning in order to put something out on the portfolio. However, I was contacted by a company I submitted my resume to. Within a few minutes of the recruiter guy asking about my experience, it became clear I didn't have the level they needed. However, he gave me some solid advice when I told him about my endeavors: if I wanted to develop something noteworthy in C#, one thing to try building is the classic arcade game in Head First C# (I didn't get that book yet; I'm finishing up another). Allegedly, they don't tell you everything, so you have to build a significant portion yourself. Another thing is to get the Microsoft C# certification. Link here:


The guy said that if I got both the game and the certification ASAP, that would help a lot in the search period (not just with their company). I had written off certifications, since I never really had the time (when employed) or money (when unemployed) for one. But I have money saved up to live off even after unemployment ends. Maybe I can try this one if I'm learning C#. What do you guys think? Should I go for it alongside building the portfolio? Should I do the cert first? The portfolio first? All I know is that I still don't have good ideas on what I can do to impress someone with this thing. I've just been learning.

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Replies To: Should I get a certification alongside a portfolio?

#2 AfterBurner66   User is offline

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Re: Should I get a certification alongside a portfolio?

Posted 19 January 2014 - 07:18 PM

The competition is tough all over the planet. The sure thing is that you must keep up with development trends, try to build a solid base of knowledge and I think certifications is a good thing to do, if you can spare the money and time it takes. You can join an open source project, so to gain some experience and hopefully some credits if you can make it and some project of your own on git wouldn't be a bad idea. As to what to do first, ok, all these are needed, so try to acquire as much as you can.
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