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be a programmer?

 
 
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      02-02-2004
What do I do? Any ideas?
I went back to school after many years and finished my bachelors degree and
studied programming at a local tech school. I have no great talent to return
to (mainframe operator, telemarketer, painter...) and haven't had a chance
to shine in programming yet (newbie, recession, tech bubble, jobs going
overseas....). I got so frustrated that I launched my own recruiting
business but that didn't fly. I do like programming and think I could be
good. I have either trained in/or used: Java, HTML, Perl, PHP, ASP, C, C++,
SQL, Javascript. I need to do something as I am going to have to care for
myself (age 45) and my mother(77, works pt) since she will have to quit
working in 2-3 years. Since the recession is still pretty much on in
Houston, TX, I'm thinking of taking a crappy little job and study nights and
weekends and get a programming job in a year or two. Thanks for your advice.


 
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Phlip
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      02-02-2004
[Cross-posted to a less incorrect newsgroup]

http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) wrote:

> I went back to school after many years and finished my bachelors degree

and
> studied programming at a local tech school. I have no great talent to

return
> to (mainframe operator, telemarketer, painter...) and haven't had a chance
> to shine in programming yet (newbie, recession, tech bubble, jobs going
> overseas....). I got so frustrated that I launched my own recruiting
> business but that didn't fly. I do like programming and think I could be
> good. I have either trained in/or used: Java, HTML, Perl, PHP, ASP, C,

C++,
> SQL, Javascript. I need to do something as I am going to have to care for
> myself (age 45) and my mother(77, works pt) since she will have to quit
> working in 2-3 years. Since the recession is still pretty much on in
> Houston, TX, I'm thinking of taking a crappy little job and study nights

and
> weekends and get a programming job in a year or two. Thanks for your

advice.

Attend/worship/pester your local users groups for the following topics:

- design patterns
- Linux (GNU, etc.)
- Extreme Programming (Agile development, test driven development, etc.)

Your acronym list may impress HR screeners, but not colleagues. What we need
are folks who have experienced object models that don't suck, operating
systems that don't suck, and project lifecycles that don't suck. We
frequently get colleagues with no exposure to anything except crap, and
re-educating them causes friction.

--
Phlip
http://www.xpsd.org/cgi-bin/wiki?Tes...UserInterfaces


 
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Bret Pehrson
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      02-02-2004
> Your acronym list may impress HR screeners, but not colleagues. What we need
> are folks who have experienced object models that don't suck, operating
> systems that don't suck, and project lifecycles that don't suck.


Even before that, do this:

Understand how to estimate, and then KEEP TO THAT ESTIMATE.

The number 1 problem w/ development is the inability to estimate and deliver
software on time, regardless of the design methodology.

Read the "Mythical Man Month"

Read the NASA SEL documentation.


Phlip wrote:
>
> [Cross-posted to a less incorrect newsgroup]
>
> (E-Mail Removed) wrote:
>
> > I went back to school after many years and finished my bachelors degree

> and
> > studied programming at a local tech school. I have no great talent to

> return
> > to (mainframe operator, telemarketer, painter...) and haven't had a chance
> > to shine in programming yet (newbie, recession, tech bubble, jobs going
> > overseas....). I got so frustrated that I launched my own recruiting
> > business but that didn't fly. I do like programming and think I could be
> > good. I have either trained in/or used: Java, HTML, Perl, PHP, ASP, C,

> C++,
> > SQL, Javascript. I need to do something as I am going to have to care for
> > myself (age 45) and my mother(77, works pt) since she will have to quit
> > working in 2-3 years. Since the recession is still pretty much on in
> > Houston, TX, I'm thinking of taking a crappy little job and study nights

> and
> > weekends and get a programming job in a year or two. Thanks for your

> advice.
>
> Attend/worship/pester your local users groups for the following topics:
>
> - design patterns
> - Linux (GNU, etc.)
> - Extreme Programming (Agile development, test driven development, etc.)
>
> Your acronym list may impress HR screeners, but not colleagues. What we need
> are folks who have experienced object models that don't suck, operating
> systems that don't suck, and project lifecycles that don't suck. We
> frequently get colleagues with no exposure to anything except crap, and
> re-educating them causes friction.
>
> --
> Phlip
> http://www.xpsd.org/cgi-bin/wiki?Tes...UserInterfaces


--
Bret Pehrson
(E-Mail Removed)
NOSPAM - Include this key in all e-mail correspondence <<38952rglkwdsl>>
 
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Mike Wahler
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      02-02-2004

<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:ZzkTb.14670$(E-Mail Removed) om...
> What do I do? Any ideas?
> I went back to school after many years and finished my bachelors degree

and
> studied programming at a local tech school. I have no great talent to

return
> to (mainframe operator, telemarketer, painter...) and haven't had a chance
> to shine in programming yet (newbie, recession, tech bubble, jobs going
> overseas....). I got so frustrated that I launched my own recruiting
> business but that didn't fly. I do like programming and think I could be
> good. I have either trained in/or used: Java, HTML, Perl, PHP, ASP, C,

C++,
> SQL, Javascript. I need to do something as I am going to have to care for
> myself (age 45) and my mother(77, works pt) since she will have to quit
> working in 2-3 years. Since the recession is still pretty much on in
> Houston, TX,



> I'm thinking of taking a crappy little job and study nights and
> weekends and get a programming job in a year or two. Thanks for your

advice.

IMO in that last paragraph you've already given yourself the best advice:
Do what you must to support yourself while you learn to do what you like
until you can do it instead. It's what I did, and still do when software
work slows down.

Oh, and no matter the amount, put away some money every week.

-Mike


 
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Phlip
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      02-02-2004
Bret Pehrson wrote:

> > Your acronym list may impress HR screeners, but not colleagues. What we

need
> > are folks who have experienced object models that don't suck, operating
> > systems that don't suck, and project lifecycles that don't suck.

>
> Even before that, do this:
>
> Understand how to estimate, and then KEEP TO THAT ESTIMATE.
>
> The number 1 problem w/ development is the inability to estimate and

deliver
> software on time, regardless of the design methodology.
>
> Read the "Mythical Man Month"
>
> Read the NASA SEL documentation.


Estimate using "points of complexity", not "ideal days".

Then average the points over time. The number of complexity points you can
do in a week will even out. That makes estimation easy, fearless, useful,
and NO NEED TO KEEP TO ANY ESTIMATE. No all-nighters or other brainless
bullshit.

--
Phlip
http://www.xpsd.org/cgi-bin/wiki?Tes...UserInterfaces


 
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lilburne
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      02-02-2004


Bret Pehrson wrote:
>>Your acronym list may impress HR screeners, but not colleagues. What we need
>>are folks who have experienced object models that don't suck, operating
>>systems that don't suck, and project lifecycles that don't suck.

>
>
> Even before that, do this:
>
> Understand how to estimate, and then KEEP TO THAT ESTIMATE.
>
> The number 1 problem w/ development is the inability to estimate and deliver
> software on time, regardless of the design methodology.
>
> Read the "Mythical Man Month"
>
> Read the NASA SEL documentation.
>


Whilst doing my degree course we were often told to do estimates, and
given various methodologies to use in the exercise. At one point a
lecturer put up a comparison of an estimate he'd done using one of the
methods and the actual result obtain.

Q: So how come you ended up 1 year late and 50% over budget.
A: Well how the hell was I to know how long the UI would take.

now I suppose if you your project is online store version X, or satelite
tacking system Y, then you'll have a good base for estimation. If
however, a part of your project is something that you don't have prior
experience of then all you have is guestimate.

 
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Attila Feher
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      02-02-2004
lilburne wrote:
[SNIP]
> now I suppose if you your project is online store version X, or
> satelite tacking system Y, then you'll have a good base for
> estimation. If however, a part of your project is something that you
> don't have prior experience of then all you have is guestimate.


Or buy/get the expertise you need. I guess that from 10% from the budget he
could have got a consultant to help nad probably the project would not have
been late a year...

--
Attila aka WW


 
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Phlip
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      02-02-2004
lilburne wrote:

> A: Well how the hell was I to know how long the UI would take.


By not putting it off until the last f***ing minute.

By doing it a little at a time, with the code it represented, so its effect
on velocity would not be masked.

Imagine if the industry routinely put off writing the DB until the last
f***ing minute. Excuses like "Well how the hell was I to know how long the
DB would take?" would be routine and standard. Yuck!

--
Phlip
http://www.xpsd.org/cgi-bin/wiki?Tes...UserInterfaces


 
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Richard Harter
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      02-02-2004
On Mon, 2 Feb 2004 15:57:34 +0200, "Attila Feher"
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>lilburne wrote:
>[SNIP]
>> now I suppose if you your project is online store version X, or
>> satelite tacking system Y, then you'll have a good base for
>> estimation. If however, a part of your project is something that you
>> don't have prior experience of then all you have is guestimate.

>
>Or buy/get the expertise you need. I guess that from 10% from the budget he
>could have got a consultant to help nad probably the project would not have
>been late a year...


Indeed. Instead it would have been late a year and a half.


Richard Harter, (E-Mail Removed)
http://home.tiac.net/~cri, http://www.varinoma.com
A man with money is always charming - pomposity is just
an eccentricity, forgivable in the rich.


 
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David Rubin
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      02-02-2004
Mike Wahler wrote:

> Oh, and no matter the amount, put away some money every week.
>
> -Mike


Yes, I found I can reasonably put away $10-$30 per week...in beer

/david

--
Andre, a simple peasant, had only one thing on his mind as he crept
along the East wall: 'Andre, creep... Andre, creep... Andre, creep.'
-- unknown
 
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