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Professional Developers or Coders here??

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by NJL, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    I'm thinking of going back to school..

    Jive gave me excellent advice and it was totally applicable to the real world..

    How many of you guys write code as a profession here?? I'm curious..
  2. I don't, but I have several friends that do and they make good money. They all do web design and coding.

  3. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    I don't, but I work with the geeks who do quite a bit.

    Let me know if you get serious. We have some openings where I work. A couple of them are remote positions.

  4. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    thanks, mike :)

    but it's going to be a looooooong time until i'm marketable :(
  5. B.C.


    Jun 28, 2005
    I have a little experience here. Computer Science is one of the best fields you can go into today. Not one of my buddies who studied this is out of a job and they are making great money. The thing is, its not easy. Be prepared to work on a lot of fun but difficult programs, but it is absolutely worth it.

    I used to be a double major in Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering, but dropped the Comp E because I realized I'm more of a hardware guy. However, I loved my programming classes.

    Man, I think you should go for it :)
  6. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    They pay me, I guess that makes me a pro :D

    I work for Pika. I currently mainly write device drivers for Linux and Windows.
  7. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    I worked as a web/Flash developer for 6 years. If I could go back and do it all over again, I would become a certified DBA (database administrator).
  8. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Masks, people, masks!
    Song Surgeon slow downer.
    If you like spending time by yourself (to the exclusion of many other things), coding is great.
    The best coder I've known was my best friend until he passed on. He was a lot older than me but even in his retirement, he was a coder to the bone. He once told me that he couldn't be married and do his job well.
  9. I've been slinging code for 14 years now. Gone through Clipper, C, C++, Pascal and now C#. I manage a dev team now, so I don't code as much as I used to. But it is a good profession to get into. Above, someone said something about being comfortable working alone...a lot of shops now are leaning more towards collaborative development, so it is becoming a much more social profession. My team works that way and we are way more productive than we would be locked in a closet somewhere.

    Just a head's up, some people just aren't meant to write code. I went to school with some people that just didn't get it. I don't know what they are doing now. They would alway blame the programming language, but their problem was the underlying logic. I've worked in many different languages over the years and could switch to a new one tomorrow. It still comes down to being able to translate what the customer wants into instructions for the computer.
  10. Long hours, forgot about long hours. A riding buddy of mine has just pulled 6 straight weeks of 100 hour weeks. He get to take all that overtime as time off, but still, I would never want to work weeks like that.

  11. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    It's a great profession in terms of being marketable and earning a good living, and in terms of being able to balance your lifestyle (although you may work long hours, you have a better-than-average chance of being able to work from home, or to work offset hours).

    One word of advice - don't learn *a* (coding) language. Learn how to learn languages. The language you learn today (e.g., Java, C, Python, etc etc) will not be the language you need to know in a few years - virtually guaranteed. But once you learn to think and write in one coding or scripting language, it's pretty easy to switch.
  12. Absentia


    Feb 25, 2009
    I didn't coding for a while if you like starring at lines of code for hours on end in a cubical go for it me I hate coding so I started working in IT as the jack of all trades type of guy (networks, project management, user support, web design you name it life is different everyday 60-80 hours a week love it).
    I still code from time to time but it's usually just for scripting which I don't mind.

    The only thing worse than coding is databases.... god I hate databases.
  13. L-A


    Jul 17, 2008
    This is really good advice.

    Go try some simple programming on your own before you decide you want to study it. Most people interested in it will have the proper reasoning, but it's better to be sure.

    I'm a graphic designer interested who can code a little, and I have an unfortunate friend who studied programming for two years, and doesn't understand what I do. He'll stare at my lines for hours and won't see how optimization or recursivity works. :atoz:
  14. banre


    Dec 15, 2008
    Mobile, AL
    Word, totally right. Learning to program is the priority. You learn a language a a result of having to prove you know how to program. Languages change all the time, but if you understand the logic behind it, a new language is like picking up a different kind of hammer to drive in a nail.
  15. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Very good advice. One thing I tell people who consider the field is that you're generally hired for being able to think a certain way. Understanding logic and syntax is key to longevity in the field moreso than a specific language. The ability to read thick manuals helps too.

    I've been coding for a while, and I've used Visual Basic, C#, Java, Javascript, Perl, SQL and PHP for various purposes and varying degrees of expertise. For me, I learn a language as it is needed. For the record, I do not have a Comp Sci degree and never completed one formal course in any computer language. But, I understand how to program and use that understanding regardless of language.

    A great programmer is like a great musician. A great musician can use their knowledge of music theory and dexterity and apply it to any instrument. The music is the same, but the way they make notes and chords are different. Say some egotistical trumpet player decides he wants to play bass. He already know the trumpet in and out, so he applies what he knows about music and then applies it to bass. He's not learning music all over again, he's just learning how to use the bass to create music. Mainly getting fingers and feel down. Music is the logic, technique is the syntax.
    jmattbassplaya likes this.
  16. Absentia


    Feb 25, 2009
    I see it all the time, I saw it in school and now I see in countless interviews and resumes.
    Yes you have a BS in CS but you really don't know how to code.

    He should grab a python, C++, Java or perl book (o'reilly prints the best) and go to town see if he can get a grasp on it first.

    It would also help him to load an old PC with linux and start dinking around with the shell and scripting.

    I would also suggest getting involved with an open source project and start contributing to it, for resume and learning purposes.

    granted of course he can understand it, it was really hard for me to get out of the "sure I know the language... but what the heck do I do with it now?" just like music theory.
  17. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    I dabble in web coding... but make my living in the operations center for a major VoIP provider. I've been torn for years between systems and network... I find both interesting and have a knack for each.

    As of late, I've been getting more and more into our Oracle and MySQL databases and think that is where I'm going to focus my future learning. My DB team could benefit from my network and systems knowledge... and I could benefit from the DB team pay scale ;)
  18. UncleFluffy


    Mar 8, 2009
    Head Tinkerer, The Flufflab
    Been coding for $ since I was 16, and do pretty much 50/50 hardware and software work. It's a solid career, though it has its ups and downs like any other business.

    Although it's possible to break in without a degree, it's hard and you'll need a lot of experience working on some very impressive projects. BS in CS from a good school is pretty much a minimum. Double-major CS/EE is worth a lot more - being able to understand both fields and bridge the gap is a much in demand skill. You'll also need a couple of years production experience - contributing to open source projects and interning will get you there quicker, but it's unpaid. Your call.

    Working from home is often available, especially after you've spent a couple of years paying your dues in a cube farm. Once you have that, you can spend the regular 2-3 minute breaks while the machine is compiling ("baking your code") doing quick scales or RH exercises. I keep a beater bass in the home office just for that.

    Down sides are:

    -long hours of unpaid overtime are standard and expected at most places during "crunch time" (which happens anything from once every 3 months to once a year)

    -frequent lower back problems (take up tai chi or yoga *before* things start to go wrong)

    Although the money is good, it's not so good once you consider it as an hourly rate. I'd recommend that you only consider it as a career if you find you actually enjoy it. As with any creative pursuit (which it is), if you hate what you're doing you'll be only a tenth as productive as someone who loves it.
  19. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I talk in code.



  20. fitbass3p


    Oct 7, 2006
    Madison, WI
    I feel really, really bad for all the people that accept that as a necessity. I had to work a little bit harder on the front end to get to where I am, and I get paid a little bit "less" in salary than some of my friends and acquaintances at different companies, but getting paid overtime MORE than makes up for the difference, especially in 100 hr/week crunch times.

    As far as the topic at hand, I agree completely with the idea that programming is completely independent of language. If you learn how to think the way that you need to, then the languages will come easily, and you'll be a much better programmer for it.

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