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Posted on 1998-03-10
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 Hi

 I am a mechanical engineer.
 My goal is to get to programming. C++.
 I have a chance to switch to system administration in unix at my place of work.
 I can take it or keep my position.
 Getting to system administration would be more related to programming but it will take more time and energy.
 If i stay in the position I have, I have more energy left at home to keep studying programming.

 What shall I do ?

 
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Question by:simi
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busuka earned 50 total points
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Going for sysadm position: you right, it'll take much energy from
you, much time, but it'll not bring you your goal: learn C++. I
see these guys always busy by network maintenance, workstations
maintenance ... maximum they write scripts on C-shell, Korn-shell
and Bourne-shell, but not C++ programs (except very rare occasions).
You need to switch to more programmer-related profession, not
maintenance. Of course, position of system adm will give you great
experience in hardware, software and troubleshooting, but this is
not programming.
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by:sico
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Unix = money. money=what we all work for. Go for it experience in Unix admin will give you a large foothold!
Lets face it you wont get an engineering job where they will train you on C++, but you may get a Unix job and get trained on C++! And if you cant then you will have enough money to train yourself...
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by:busuka
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Ahhh, so money is main issue here ? (it ALWAYS main issue, isn't it ? ;)
Anyway, I work in big communication company, and I know that programmers earn more
than system ppl. And they work not easier. Anyway, working as programmer I sometimes
(2-3 times a year) receive courses on company money to advance myself as programmer
Usually I have choice from several different themes (like network protocols, or Unix for
users, or Unix for advanced, languages). I don't know how its going in your company, so
final decision is up to you.
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by:simi
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Well that is the issue. I want to become a programmer analyst.
I am a mechanical engineer, but my interes in the last one and a half year was only computer related. I got involved in the implementations of software(PDM), I am working with an advanced CAD system(Pro Engineer) and I know more then only use it.
I took courses of C and now I am taking a C++ course.
My problem is how to switch to programming. With a BC in Mechanical Engineering here in Canada and some programming courses I do not how and at what point to try to get a programmer job. The courses I am taking are college courses and eventually I am ready to pursuade thoruth all the college courses and get a college diploma for programmer analyst. But I would like to get there faster. I think that switching to sys adm would sound better on a resume for a company where I could get a programmer job, they are more related. Or maightbe not ? As I said, now I am confortable with my work so I can come early home and study progarmming, like a sys adm , as I have to learn a lot of new things I might not be so. This is my concern.
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by:busuka
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Definitely, you don't need to pass a college to get programmer's job. And, yes, you right
having UNIX adm job in past will show to employer that you not from milk farm :) Just
don't forget to apply C course diploma/certificate. Anyway, what is really matters on
interview is your level of knowledge. Not only language, but common concepts, algorhytms,
ability to learn. Maybe these things trivial for you, but whadda heck ? :)))

Wish you luck in getting new job!
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by:simi
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Thank you.
I will talk to the people workint on the MIS and see what plans are for me if I get there. Meanwhile I will continue with C++ and after that I don't know, shall I get some Java, or VB and then try to apply for a programmer job, or shall I just try somehow to emprove my C / C++ skills. And if so is Internet enough ?
Would it be a good ideea to look for a company that is ready to give me some part time programmer job in weekends or so. Is that happening often ?
Thanks anyway.
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by:busuka
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If you direct yourself to Internet and its applications, better get Java course (and object-
oriented Perl) instead of C++. Language is just mean for specific task. Different languages
are for different tasks. If I'm going to write simple program, I use C. I'm working with
communication. To my surprise, all my knowledge (VB, C, etc.) was almost useless.
They use some strange custom language (it doesn't have loop operator like FOR in C).
But ability to learn new language, and more important, new concepts was more useful
than my previous experience luggage ;)
Now, another example from personal experience: learn new language with someone, that
also novice in this. This giving some competition and BEST results. It's much better than
learn alone with books.
If you decided to work on weekends, OK.
Just don't forget call friends, at least sometimes :)))

Best wishes.
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by:simi
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Thanks
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