Prospecting Student/Active Duty Air Force

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19 Replies - 1303 Views - Last Post: 02 March 2018 - 04:23 PM

Poll: Prospecting Student/Active Duty Air Force (1 member(s) have cast votes)

Which would you recommend?

  1. Bootcamp (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  2. Software Engineering Degree (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  3. Software Developer Degree (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  4. Computer Science Degree (1 votes [100.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 100.00%

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#1 Tvcker   User is offline

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Prospecting Student/Active Duty Air Force

Posted 01 March 2018 - 10:37 AM

Hey guys! New guy here :P So currently I am active duty Air Force, so attending a brick and mortar school ins't really an option for me. I was looking into different online universities and also different boot-camps. Does anyone have any schools they would recommend? Any boot-camps? Should I even bother with attending a boot-camp? Do you think Boot-camps are worth my time (if I should decide to go that route) or should I just self teach? Which road do you guys think would be best for me? I have 2 1/2 years left on my contract and want to be prepared when I get out. Thank you in advance for all of your inputs and suggestions! It means a lot!

Very respectfully,
~Tucker

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Replies To: Prospecting Student/Active Duty Air Force

#2 Martyr2   User is online

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Re: Prospecting Student/Active Duty Air Force

Posted 01 March 2018 - 10:57 AM

Well we can start with asking what exactly are you wanting to learn? Desktop? Mobile? Web? Sass? AWS? Cloud technologies? Networking?

It makes all the difference to know what types of programs are available to you and which would be worthwhile. Personally I think the concept of boot-camps is flawed in that they don't do enough to let attendees know that just taking a 6 week or 3 month course to write code doesn't necessarily make you an industry ready developer. Like anything it takes practice and experience to be successful. However, they do teach you the basics quickly and can give you a "jumpstart".

You might also want to take courses that are in line with your job in the Air Force. If you can marry what you are doing now with the civilian sector job market, you will find the transition easier. It is nice to walk into a software company and say "Oh you need a desktop app dev? Well in the military I developed software for a satellite that is watching us right now. Then last year I was part of a missile guidance system that increased its accuracy from 100 yard to 50 feet. So can I join?"

:)
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#3 NeoTifa   User is offline

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Re: Prospecting Student/Active Duty Air Force

Posted 01 March 2018 - 11:06 AM

I'm pretty sure you can get courses through AFIT. Ask your flight commander or whomever. The AF loves nerds and the like, they'll spend the money to train you.
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#4 astonecipher   User is offline

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Re: Prospecting Student/Active Duty Air Force

Posted 01 March 2018 - 11:15 AM

Correspondence courses are your best bet. Personally, I would shy away from bootcamps, there are a lot of subpar corporations more than happy to take money from service members and VABenefit payouts. If you want to do the school thing, wait until you are out and go the GIBill route where you can more easily focus, at a regionally accredited school. In the mean time, grab some books that pique your interest.
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#5 Tvcker   User is offline

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Re: Prospecting Student/Active Duty Air Force

Posted 01 March 2018 - 01:59 PM

View PostMartyr2, on 01 March 2018 - 10:57 AM, said:

Well we can start with asking what exactly are you wanting to learn? Desktop? Mobile? Web? Sass? AWS? Cloud technologies? Networking?

It makes all the difference to know what types of programs are available to you and which would be worthwhile. Personally I think the concept of boot-camps is flawed in that they don't do enough to let attendees know that just taking a 6 week or 3 month course to write code doesn't necessarily make you an industry ready developer. Like anything it takes practice and experience to be successful. However, they do teach you the basics quickly and can give you a "jumpstart".

You might also want to take courses that are in line with your job in the Air Force. If you can marry what you are doing now with the civilian sector job market, you will find the transition easier. It is nice to walk into a software company and say "Oh you need a desktop app dev? Well in the military I developed software for a satellite that is watching us right now. Then last year I was part of a missile guidance system that increased its accuracy from 100 yard to 50 feet. So can I join?"

:)/>

It is so hard to know exactly what I want to do, because I have never done any of it before. I am just very interested in developing software. Now, whether that be desktop, mobile, web, etc. I have no idea. how would I go about getting a good idea of what I would want to do the most? How did you figure it out? As far as my job in the military, I will never touch a line of code haha. I am in nuclear C2 and im not allowed to fool around with any of it, it is all contracted out. So basically all i have been doing, or all I know to do is to dabble around in CodeSchool and stuff like that. Thank you for your reply :)

View PostNeoTifa, on 01 March 2018 - 11:06 AM, said:

I'm pretty sure you can get courses through AFIT. Ask your flight commander or whomever. The AF loves nerds and the like, they'll spend the money to train you.

I think AFIT is only a graduate school. But no one in my chain seems to know anything about software and arent interested so it is hard to get them to talk about it haha.

View Postastonecipher, on 01 March 2018 - 11:15 AM, said:

Correspondence courses are your best bet. Personally, I would shy away from bootcamps, there are a lot of subpar corporations more than happy to take money from service members and VABenefit payouts. If you want to do the school thing, wait until you are out and go the GIBill route where you can more easily focus, at a regionally accredited school. In the mean time, grab some books that pique your interest.

Im not sure what "Correspondence courses" are, can you elaborate on that?:) and thanks for the advice on the GI Bill. I just want to be able to leave the air force job ready you know? Do you have any books that you would recommend?:)



Thank you all for your replies!
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#6 jon.kiparsky   User is offline

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Re: Prospecting Student/Active Duty Air Force

Posted 01 March 2018 - 02:31 PM

I also have suspicions about bootcamps. They can stuff a lot of stuff in your head, but you can't make a programmer in three months - there's just too much to know.

Quote

I just want to be able to leave the air force job ready you know?


If you have access to good educational benefits, a full-on CS program at a brick-and-mortar school would not be a bad idea. There's a lot that you can learn in that setting that you won't get from a bootcamp or from self-teaching, especially if you get good profs like I had. If it's an option, it's worth considering.

Quote

Do you have any books that you would recommend?


If you want to start learning a language, you could just get a copy of Python the Hard Way and start working through it. By the end of it, I would expect you'd at least have a solid grounding in the language - from there, you have a long way to go, but at least you'll have a start. You can also get Allen Downey's Think Python, which will cover some of the same material but is more about thinking like a programmer, so it's probably worth going through that as well.
As you're working through those, you'll probably have questions. Feel free to ask them here. People here are sometimes cranky if they they think you're not pushing yourself, but usually helpful if they think you're trying.


Of course, I suggest python because it's really a good starting place these days, but there are other languages to consider. If you want to do front-end web dev, you'd probably be looking at javascript, for example. Which leads to the real question: what sort of software do you want to work on? There's a lot of work in web development, obviously, but people do all sorts of stuff. This is one good reason to get a solid foundation before you try to decide what you really want to do, I guess.
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#7 Tvcker   User is offline

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Re: Prospecting Student/Active Duty Air Force

Posted 01 March 2018 - 07:20 PM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 01 March 2018 - 02:31 PM, said:

I also have suspicions about bootcamps. They can stuff a lot of stuff in your head, but you can't make a programmer in three months - there's just too much to know.

Quote

I just want to be able to leave the air force job ready you know?


If you have access to good educational benefits, a full-on CS program at a brick-and-mortar school would not be a bad idea. There's a lot that you can learn in that setting that you won't get from a bootcamp or from self-teaching, especially if you get good profs like I had. If it's an option, it's worth considering.

Quote

Do you have any books that you would recommend?


If you want to start learning a language, you could just get a copy of Python the Hard Way and start working through it. By the end of it, I would expect you'd at least have a solid grounding in the language - from there, you have a long way to go, but at least you'll have a start. You can also get Allen Downey's Think Python, which will cover some of the same material but is more about thinking like a programmer, so it's probably worth going through that as well.
As you're working through those, you'll probably have questions. Feel free to ask them here. People here are sometimes cranky if they they think you're not pushing yourself, but usually helpful if they think you're trying.


Of course, I suggest python because it's really a good starting place these days, but there are other languages to consider. If you want to do front-end web dev, you'd probably be looking at javascript, for example. Which leads to the real question: what sort of software do you want to work on? There's a lot of work in web development, obviously, but people do all sorts of stuff. This is one good reason to get a solid foundation before you try to decide what you really want to do, I guess.


Thank you so much for your help! I have never played around with python, so i will go ahead and order those books :) With my current job i cand go to a brick and mortar but would love to! Ill be sure to post on here if i have any questions!
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#8 jon.kiparsky   User is offline

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Re: Prospecting Student/Active Duty Air Force

Posted 01 March 2018 - 07:38 PM

Glad I could help! BTW, Think Python, like all of Downey's books, is available as a free pdf version direct from the author: http://greenteapress...hink-python-2e/
You can of course buy it as a paper copy from O'Reilly as well.

I've had the pleasure of meeting Allen a few times, and he's a great guy. I hope you like his book.
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#9 Tvcker   User is offline

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Re: Prospecting Student/Active Duty Air Force

Posted 01 March 2018 - 07:43 PM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 01 March 2018 - 07:38 PM, said:

Glad I could help! BTW, Think Python, like all of Downey's books, is available as a free pdf version direct from the author: http://greenteapress...hink-python-2e/
You can of course buy it as a paper copy from O'Reilly as well.

I've had the pleasure of meeting Allen a few times, and he's a great guy. I hope you like his book.


I just went ahead and bought both books on amazon! Do you recommend that I start with Python the Hard Way, or with Think Python? :)
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#10 astonecipher   User is offline

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Re: Prospecting Student/Active Duty Air Force

Posted 01 March 2018 - 07:47 PM

Make sure to get Python the Hard way 3...
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#11 jon.kiparsky   User is offline

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Re: Prospecting Student/Active Duty Air Force

Posted 01 March 2018 - 08:52 PM

I would suggest the hard way first. Shaw really takes you through the language in some detail, so it's a good starting place. Just to reinforce this point, even though you don't need it: do all the exercises and make sure you're clear what you've done at each step before you proceed. It's also a good idea, not just with Shaw but with any book or tutorial, to examine all of the example code and make sure you understand what's happening in it, and try changing pieces to see what happens. One of the nice things about code is that experimenting is easy and cheap.
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#12 Tvcker   User is offline

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Re: Prospecting Student/Active Duty Air Force

Posted 02 March 2018 - 06:53 AM

View Postastonecipher, on 01 March 2018 - 07:47 PM, said:

Make sure to get Python the Hard way 3...


Oh I did :) Thank you!

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 01 March 2018 - 08:52 PM, said:

I would suggest the hard way first. Shaw really takes you through the language in some detail, so it's a good starting place. Just to reinforce this point, even though you don't need it: do all the exercises and make sure you're clear what you've done at each step before you proceed. It's also a good idea, not just with Shaw but with any book or tutorial, to examine all of the example code and make sure you understand what's happening in it, and try changing pieces to see what happens. One of the nice things about code is that experimenting is easy and cheap.


Thank you so much for all of your help man, I really appreciate it, i will make sure to be very thorough!
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#13 NeoTifa   User is offline

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Re: Prospecting Student/Active Duty Air Force

Posted 02 March 2018 - 08:23 AM

I would suggest not Python. It's the language Satan uses to program his torture software. Cool kids use Ruby or Java.
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#14 jon.kiparsky   User is offline

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Re: Prospecting Student/Active Duty Air Force

Posted 02 March 2018 - 09:13 AM

Ruby's cool, but in the real world it means rails, and you don't necessarily want to limit yourself to web dev work. Python is much more widely applicable, including wide application in data science and analysis.
I'd agree that Java is a good beginner's language, but for a self-learner in 2018, python is really the best bet. Better learning materials, much better community support, and the inherent confusion level is much lower. Java's advantages really come to the fore when you have a classroom setting and profs/TAs to help with the inevitable WTF-ery that the language brings.

Also, I didn't know Satan had settled on Python. One more job prospect for me!
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#15 Tvcker   User is offline

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Re: Prospecting Student/Active Duty Air Force

Posted 02 March 2018 - 09:15 AM

View PostNeoTifa, on 02 March 2018 - 08:23 AM, said:

I would suggest not Python. It's the language Satan uses to program his torture software. Cool kids use Ruby or Java.



View Postjon.kiparsky, on 02 March 2018 - 09:13 AM, said:

Ruby's cool, but in the real world it means rails, and you don't necessarily want to limit yourself to web dev work. Python is much more widely applicable, including wide application in data science and analysis.
I'd agree that Java is a good beginner's language, but for a self-learner in 2018, python is really the best bet. Better learning materials, much better community support, and the inherent confusion level is much lower. Java's advantages really come to the fore when you have a classroom setting and profs/TAs to help with the inevitable WTF-ery that the language brings.

Also, I didn't know Satan had settled on Python. One more job prospect for me!


Do either of you have any books you would recommend for Javascript? Im not really interested in Java haha
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