5 Replies - 797 Views - Last Post: 30 December 2014 - 07:18 PM

#1 relja001   User is offline

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I've been learning programming for a while,what now?

Posted 30 December 2014 - 05:45 PM

Okay guys, so here's my story. I'm 18 years old student from Serbia.Currently I'm in finish year in High School of Electronics.
I'm going on a 4 years college next September.In my school I've been
thought the most about maths, discreet maths,electricity and electric circuits for 4 years now.
I'm interested in programming and I've been learning it for almost 10 months(with 3 months pause) now by myself at home..
At first It looked so hard to understand why is everything in the way it is,but after some time i got it ,and now it all looks simple and with logic.
First i started with Java and it was very hard to understand it.then i switched to html/css/js(jq)/ it was really easy,
I was playing with it for a while,then i added some php into it.
And then i realised i dont find myself in making web sites because it didn't look like programming at all, creating divs,applying css styles, js ..
then i went back to java and after a while when i was ready,i switched to android.
By the way i learned about web services,data bases. Soo after 10months i can finally say that
I can make a good looking responsive website,with some basic cms,can work with bootstrap as well. I can create web services.
I can make a simple functional android app with couple activities.Here comes my question.. What should i do now?Should I wait to get a degree on collge or do something for money by the way.. I really want to get some kind of job, to get experience and possibly make money, or stil spend all my free time making sites/programms/apps just for practicing .Im not saying im done with learning,i know theres a lot out there,but i think i know enough to start making something that is going to be used and learn even more that way

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Replies To: I've been learning programming for a while,what now?

#2 jon.kiparsky   User is online

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Re: I've been learning programming for a while,what now?

Posted 30 December 2014 - 06:05 PM

Moved this to Student Campus for better coverage.

For what it's worth, it sounds to me like you've done a lot of "practical" stuff - meaning stuff that gives you immediate results - but not so much of the computer science part, which is the stuff that really makes a difference for doing interesting work. So at this point, if you can make websites that look good and are reasonably responsive, you can probably work for people and do okay, and learn things and get along just fine. Or, if you want to put in the work, you can put in the work and get the math and the engineering part of it down, and maybe work on more interesting problems. It's up to you, really. A CS degree will certainly open doors for you in the long run, and there's a lot of fun stuff to learn there, so if you're at all interested, and if it's at all a possibility, you should give it serious thought. It's probably a good investment.
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#3 Martyr2   User is offline

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Re: I've been learning programming for a while,what now?

Posted 30 December 2014 - 06:46 PM

Don't fall under the illusion that 10 months is anywhere close to knowing all the programming you need to know. I have noticed a lot of learners come on here and try to fit some kind of timeline to their progress and say "Yes I know it". Guess what? I have, conservatively, 80K hours under my belt and I can tell you I STILL don't know everything about some of the languages I know. Programming and learning to program is a life long endeavor.

So I think we can say that a CS degree for sure is still going to teach you things you may not know. I have no problem telling people that hey, take a CS program and do work on the side to help learn and pay for it. I have worked through both of my degrees and was learning by day at school and building sites / programs for people in the evenings. It can be done. Just do what you feel fits your lifestyle and give it a try. If you are unsure, do a few free sites for people and build experience. Clients will be more forgiving if they are not paying you and you can make mistakes without fear of being cracked down on from clients.

:)

This post has been edited by Martyr2: 30 December 2014 - 06:51 PM

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#4 relja001   User is offline

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Re: I've been learning programming for a while,what now?

Posted 30 December 2014 - 07:01 PM

Would be nice if you could tell me some ways how to actually get a first 'job'. Of course I will do first few web sites for free. Adding them to my portfolio is not a small thing at this moment.
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#5 macosxnerd101   User is offline

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Re: I've been learning programming for a while,what now?

Posted 30 December 2014 - 07:07 PM

I'd go for an internship at a company. That's solid work experience, and they're hiring you knowing that it's a learning experience for you. I'd suggest getting another solid year under your belt first, though. CS curricula do add structure, which is a good thing. Can you get through an Intro to Programming class in your language of choice? Try and do some projects posted on a course website somewhere. Next, try and work through a first semester data structures class. The projects are bigger and more abstract, so it's a good hurdle. The second semester data structures class pushes software engineering more, as well as more involved data structures. It's really a hurdle class and a good way to test your abilities.
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#6 jon.kiparsky   User is online

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Re: I've been learning programming for a while,what now?

Posted 30 December 2014 - 07:18 PM

View PostMartyr2, on 30 December 2014 - 08:46 PM, said:

If you are unsure, do a few free sites for people and build experience. Clients will be more forgiving if they are not paying you and you can make mistakes without fear of being cracked down on from clients.


I'm a little leery of this one. Beginning programmers are notoriously bad at estimating delivery times, and the errors are almost always way on the optimistic end. Even if you're not charging someone, it's still sort of awkward when you promise them something by a certain time, and blow that time budget. People get a little cranky, it gets awkward, knives come out at weddings... it's all a little sticky.

As a rule, you should not promise to make a thing for someone unless you have a pretty good reason to think you can tell them how long it's going to take, to within 20% error. (that sounds like a lot? For a beginner, overshooting a two-month project by only an extra month is an absolute miracle) That means, at this stage, that you should only do things for people if you've already done something very much like it at least once, and you know how it all goes together. Otherwise, build one to throw away first, and then make one for actual use.

Time budgeting, incidentally, is one of the topics usually covered in a course on software engineering that you might take in your undergrad CS degree. Just sayin'.
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