How to become a system developer

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#1 proeng   User is offline

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How to become a system developer

Posted 11 March 2015 - 03:35 AM

Hello i need some help, i have been interested in programming for 6 years, i'm now 24 but with no guidence i have gotten nowhere.
I know c,c++,c#,java,python and some other language, my favorite is java. I want to become a professional programmer / developer but have no idea how. Going back to university is not an option at this time, i have tried to get into opensource but failed.
To sum up any ideas how to hone my skills to get hired, maybe opensource would be the best way? If so any recomendations on how to get started. I know programming i want to learn system developing, and begin to work as if i am already employed.
Right now i'm 24, and really fustraded that the years are ticking by, so i really need some pointers.
Thanks for all your help
Ps: If this is off topic please move it to appropriate location.

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#2 tlhIn`toq   User is offline

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Re: How to become a system developer

Posted 11 March 2015 - 03:53 AM

I say this a lot: Look around you as you carry out your day. You should be able to see 10 places a week where you could sell someone a piece of software. A small bakery that needs a better order tracker/delivery boy manager... a barber that needs a better appointment book with on-line component... I seem to hear people bitch all the time that their current software is crap or apoloogize because "the program needs 10 screens for this, its like the programmer was clueless about how we do our job". Pick any of these situations and write a piece of software to sell them. When you have it done go back with it on your laptop and pitch it to them.

If you can't write something you can sell them, you have just learned where your weakness(es) lie and where you need to study and practice.

It really is that direct: Write more software until you are able to write it from start to end and create something workable and sellable.

And do plenty of research... There are at least 50 more threads here where people are asking "How can I become a paid programmer?" There's a lot of good advice in all of those and if you're not bother to search and read them, then you're shorting yourself of good advice that is already available.
For example this one is barely a week old and still has current activity on it:
http://www.dreaminco...0&#entry2129989
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#3 modi123_1   User is online

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Re: How to become a system developer

Posted 11 March 2015 - 07:02 AM

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i'm now 24 but with no guidence i have gotten nowhere. I know c,c++,c#,java,python and some other language, my favorite is java.

The basics - you say you know it, but can you apply any of it? Are you able to look at the project lists we have and start in on a topic? Are you able to go to the major free lancing sites and see a small project and know enough to complete it? Are you able to head to an opensource library, snag it, and fix a bug?
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#4 proeng   User is offline

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Re: How to become a system developer

Posted 11 March 2015 - 07:57 AM

Do you mean project euler? Anyway the tip on finding a small project and finishing it was gold thanks for that, do you know any good freelanching sites which has such code. Also i tried going into opensource but couldnt figure it out. My problem was to understand and work with a code base that took many hours to compile, the biggest problem was debugging. How do you learn to work with really big projects. i mean hundreds or even thousands of files.
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#5 tlhIn`toq   User is offline

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Re: How to become a system developer

Posted 11 March 2015 - 08:24 AM

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, do you know any good freelanching sites which has such code
Freelancing sites won't have code. They will have contracts open for bidding by developers to write the code for the program needed by the client. Freelancing sites are where you find work for pay, not where you get a free education. By your statements of just how much you don't know or can't figure out including debugging, you aren't ready to be bidding on contracts.


Quote

Also i tried going into opensource but couldnt figure it out
Well... That sounds like a good place to start. Keep working on that, keep researching, keep reading until you do figure it out. There are thousands of other people accessing those open-source projects so its fairly well documented and meant to be usable by many people.


Quote

the biggest problem was debugging
We have lots of tutorials on debugging. There are thousands more on the internet including videos if they work better for you than tutorials.

You say you have 6 years in learning, but honestly it doesn't sound like you got very far.
Sorry for how this sounds but: You can't say "I know these languages" and follow that with "I can't figure out this, or this, or this, or this... and I don't know how to debug." Those statements contradict each other. If you can't figure out those very basic things you mentioned and you can't debug then you really don't *know* the languages or their underlying principals very well. You probably know a few bits of syntax for each inside a console application, but you don't really know who much you don't really know.

I think you probably need to pick one language and one area and work on that. Maybe C# Windows desktop applications. That will get you some basics for C#, WPF, debugging and so on. From there you can add in internet service interaction such as getting the weather for your zip code. From there try moving your application to Windows Phone or to a Web app. There are many "Learn C# in 30 days" books. Pick one up and work it start to finish.
Tutorials I recommend:





Here are some FAQ's that include a lot of tutorial links including for debugging. If you consider the FAQ's as a list of common problems you could think of it as a check-list of things to learn. Since these are common problems it stands to reason they are a list of hurdles to overcome.


See FAQ # 2 "How do I debug my program?"

TOP most asked:
What does this error message mean?
FAQ 2: How do I debug
FAQ 6: How do I make Class1/Form1 talk to Class2/Form2


FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions - Updated February 2015
Spoiler

This post has been edited by tlhIn`toq: 11 March 2015 - 08:26 AM

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#6 astonecipher   User is offline

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Re: How to become a system developer

Posted 11 March 2015 - 08:41 AM

A big component of programming is research. I am clueless as to why you would go to a freelance site to get any?

You said you tried and failed at open source? How so? You can join an open source project and contribute as much or as little as you want/ your skills allow for. The big thing starting out (even at 6 years it sounds like you are starting out) is pick something that is interesting to you... When you start working professionally, you will have more than enough projects that you will likely not find that interesting.

I also advocate picking a single language to start with. Listing several on a resume may sound like a good idea, but when you get called on it and can't answer, then what? You are now not reliable in the skills you say you have. So, pick a language and run it through the gauntlet until you handle most common things without much thought. Then, you can judge if you can move to another.
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#7 proeng   User is offline

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Re: How to become a system developer

Posted 11 March 2015 - 09:08 AM

i said frelancing cause of i misread this coment "Are you able to go to the major free lancing sites and see a small project and know "
Also i know how to debug small projects but not how to debug really big projects, ie if the projects is to big to be debugged and you haveto debug part of code. To sum of i know how to program projects on my own, but no clue how to work on bigger projects like ex openoffice (this is where i failed).

The reason i have not progressed is that i have not had any continous projects, cause of lack of ideas. So for most of the time i have worked through sites like coursera and udacity. Learning lots of theory but not real projects.

My biggest problem is not knowing what to program. After you do the usual notepad, checker, chess, tic-tac-toe it gets pretty dry of ideas.
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#8 modi123_1   User is online

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Re: How to become a system developer

Posted 11 March 2015 - 09:16 AM

Again - are you able to go to browse a 'freelance' site, see a basic project, and understand how you would code that so you can put a bid on it?

Example if someone says:

Quote

I'm looking for a person who has a little knowledge in parallel processing and is good with java. I'm expected to do a project where I give you a data file, which is actually a matrix of 17 columns and couple of thousand rows. The program is suppose to read the data file, store it in an array. now we have to fine the euclidean distance for every row in the whole data file.


Are you stymied with the major hurdle of "where do I start?"?.


Project lists:

Project Ideas

Martyr2 Mega Project List
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#9 proeng   User is offline

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Re: How to become a system developer

Posted 11 March 2015 - 09:26 AM

View Postastonecipher, on 11 March 2015 - 08:41 AM, said:

I also advocate picking a single language to start with. Listing several on a resume may sound like a good idea, but when you get called on it and can't answer, then what?


C++ was my first language and i know it fairly well, sat down with c++ primer plus for about six months and did almost all the exercices. (this was in highschool/gymnasium) then i university i built a mips processor from fpga in xilin and used c to write a mini os, it was alot easier to write for a piplined processor using c. I have spent most of my recent time in java and some c#.
So dont get me wrong a know quite alot theory and such, but my problem is doing projects that potential employers want to see, also in these 6 years, ofcourse it have been of and on again. Thats why now i'm asking for advice so that i can start program every day, and hone my skill. My problem is not to read books, but rather do something with the knowledge and build real projects not little pet projects.
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#10 astonecipher   User is offline

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Re: How to become a system developer

Posted 11 March 2015 - 09:29 AM

Okay, you list OOP modular languages. Start small pet projects. Then, keep adding on to the smaller project until it is a larger one. That is how large projects actually start, one class at a time.

Martyrs project list would probably be a good start for you as well, as he has a ton of projects from simple to advanced.
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#11 tlhIn`toq   User is offline

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Re: How to become a system developer

Posted 11 March 2015 - 09:30 AM

If you can code, but not think of things to code then we are back at looking for contracts. Let someone else come up with the idea and you be the code monkey. Nothing wrong with that if it puts food on the table.

Start by looking at contract for hire sites. DO NOT BID. Just see how many seem like something you can do. Then build one keeping track of your time. Then do another. Once you learn how long it takes you to do a project you will see how much you have to charge so you aren't earning less than Taco Bell.

Again - If you can't find any contracts that are simple enough for you to build, then you need to shift gears back to learning.

Quote

After you do the usual notepad, checker, chess, tic-tac-toe it gets pretty dry of ideas.


Then open your eyes. You don't have to create something new to see if you can create it. I learned graphics arts software by recreating every newspaper and magazine ad, working against a stopwatch in order to get fast. (I was recovering from a motorcycle accident so it killed time and gave me a new skillset). If you walk into Home Depot you can see the floor people using smartphones to check inventory levels and place special orders for customers. So write that: An inventory program. Then add bar coding reading. Then add shelf tracking. Then add... then add...

And if you can't create it then admit that to yourself and work on learning. Either you can or you can. Figure out where you are and go with plan a or plan b.

I'm going to unsubscribe to this thread now. I can see the direction its going. You're stuck on "I can't", "I don't know", "Oh poor me" while everyone else is doing your thinking for you to come up with ideas. Either jump in and apply yourself and make an effort and take people's advice, or don't: There isn't a lot of middle ground. But quit whining about how you can't think of anything, you can't figure out xyz, you can debug but you really can't do it in the real world, etc. Way to much "can't" in your writings. Nobody likes whining.

I already gave you this advice once. Look around the world. I guess it didn't stick.

View PosttlhIn`toq, on 11 March 2015 - 04:53 AM, said:

I say this a lot: Look around you as you carry out your day. You should be able to see 10 places a week where you could sell someone a piece of software. A small bakery that needs a better order tracker/delivery boy manager... a barber that needs a better appointment book with on-line component... I seem to hear people bitch all the time that their current software is crap or apoloogize because "the program needs 10 screens for this, its like the programmer was clueless about how we do our job". Pick any of these situations and write a piece of software to sell them. When you have it done go back with it on your laptop and pitch it to them.

If you can't write something you can sell them, you have just learned where your weakness(es) lie and where you need to study and practice.

It really is that direct: Write more software until you are able to write it from start to end and create something workable and sellable.

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#12 proeng   User is offline

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Re: How to become a system developer

Posted 11 March 2015 - 09:44 AM

Quote

Are you stymied with the major hurdle of "where do I start?"?.

I would write a method, mayby something like this

double euclidDist(int [] A) {
double distance = 0;
for(int e : A) {
distance += e*e
}
return sqrt(distance);
}

And then iterate it through every row.
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#13 modi123_1   User is online

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Re: How to become a system developer

Posted 11 March 2015 - 09:48 AM

*sigh* No, I was not asking for some sort of actual answer but to prod you to start thinking in terms of projects and actually applying what you have learned.

Side note - and 'euclidDist method' is only a sub section of the entire project I quoted... so yeah.. *shrug*
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#14 proeng   User is offline

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Re: How to become a system developer

Posted 11 March 2015 - 09:53 AM

[quote name='tlhIn`toq' date='11 March 2015 - 09:30 AM' timestamp='1426091410' post='2130178']

I'm going to unsubscribe to this thread now. I can see the direction its going. You're stuck on "I can't", "I don't know", "Oh poor me" while everyone else is doing your thinking for you to come up with ideas.

[quote]
I'm starting to get some inspiration if that help, i'm not trying to be negative only to get over this hurdle.
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#15 tlhIn`toq   User is offline

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Re: How to become a system developer

Posted 11 March 2015 - 10:14 AM

Let me throw out one more thing...

Most developers I know don't have an issue with ideas, its time they lack. They have LOTS of projects they wish they had time for. Everyone has hobbies and developers usually have no problem seeing how their programming could benefit their hobbies. I wish I had time for photography applications, home weather station control, home automation, a viewer for a dozen IP cams around my property, better versions of several programs I like but are flakey... A workout tracker and running monitor... A program that gets the TV guide listings of all your favorite shows and programs your network aware DVR... Gee whiz, its nearly impossible to not trip over a bunch of ideas, assuming you still have a pulse and are breathing - There's another idea, a program to track your pulse and respiration: Apple sure put a lot into that with their new Healthkit for Apple watch.

You might consider that if you can't come up with anything to code, and you can't stay on task ("off and on" in your words) then maybe you're not as interested in development as you claim. Maybe your parents are pushing you in a direction other than you want. Maybe you were told its easy and clean indoor work so that seemed enough. But if after 6 years of half-hearted effort, and finally having to come to others for ideas and motivation... maybe you should re-examine if this is really where your interest lies.

This post has been edited by tlhIn`toq: 11 March 2015 - 10:14 AM

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