Showing posts from July, 2015

You Got the Programmer Job, Now What?

You made it. You went to school or got the training by other means. You interviewed, and maybe got turned down a few times. If you were lucky, you got some rejection letters along the way. But now you finally made it, you finally got the job. That's great and all, but you really need to boost your career and the faster the better.

As you know by now, there is a big difference in pay from junior developer to senior developer.  Entry level positions can start from as low as $35k/year compared to senior developers making $100k+/year .  If you want to get there from here, there are some things you will have to do in order to get there.  Time is your friend in this process, but time alone will not guarantee that you get there.  You must take the time to invest  in acquiring the knowledge and skills that will get you there.

Here are a few things you can do help you get to the senior position first.

Learning Starts Here

Software development is a profession. Like any profession the learni…

Don't Play Piñata With Your Code

Mexicans have a long standing tradition of playing a game that involves piñatas during celebrations.  Many of you are familiar with piñatas. For those of you that are not, let me explain. A piñata is an object traditionally made of cardboard or and made to resemble some cartoon character or a real life object.  They range in size from a regular soccer ball all the way to the size of young child. They are decorated with paper mache on the outside and have an empty pocket on the inside that can be filled with candy.  The piñata is then hung by a rope and usually controlled by a human while blind folded kids take turns, one at a time, taking swings at it with a stick. It is fun for the kids and funny for those watching because most swings hit nothing but air. Eventually a kid will hit it and bust it open. Then all the kids swarm to get the candy that has poured out of the piñata.

At this point you may wonder what on earth this has to do with software engineering.  I was trying to think of…

How to Become a Programmer Without College Degree for $300

I went to college to become a programmer and graduated in 2001 with a BS in Computer Science.   I knew then that there was a bright future in information technology (IT).  I've been in this career for 15 years now and it has opened many doors for me and provided me with a good source of income.  I am thankful that I am a veteran and I had the GI Bill available for me which means that I didn't pay any money out of pocket for my degree.  I went to a local university and I'd be lying if I said the amount that it actually cost to get my degree. The truth is that I don't even remember but if I had to guess it was likely around $5000/year.

If you have been keeping up with college costs you know that college is quite expensive.  According to the college board, one year of tuition runs around $9,000 per year for 2014-2015 (in-state public University).  When you add that and the fact that college tuition goes up every year you are looking at around $40,000 dollars for a bache…

Sharing Knowledge is Beneficial

I am what most would consider a non-traditional programmer.  What I mean by that, is that I wasn't a computer wiz, math wiz or anything like that when I was in high school. In fact I graduated at the bottom of my class. I was something like 273 out of around 300 students in my graduating class.  The few things that I was really good at school were things like shop, drafting and specially art.  I got quite a bit of recognition for those things but not for any academics.  I wasn't really into things like English and Economics.

In fact I failed a class called current events. Many say that was the easiest class. All you had to do was watch the news during class everyday and then take a test every so often. The truth is that most of the academic classes bored me.

When graduation time came around and many friends were applying for college, I decided to enlist in the Army instead, with the hopes that it would make it easier for me to attend college one day.  I never imagined that I…