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What goes after graduating ?

Posted on 2001-06-07
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I am going to graduate in 2-3 months with a Computer Science degree.
But i feel i am not that good, I know c++, Java, javscript, HTML and a little VB.
I love database programming and 3D programming, but have not had time yet to put my head into these stuff and be an expert at.
I want to know what should a CS student know after graduating, what are the most wanted languages and what should I study on my own.
I have lots of books about VC++, VB (database using VB), Java, ASP, Direct3D...
I dont know what is most wanted and what I really should know as a base.
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Question by:Samer Kharsa
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by:payperpage
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This is kind of similar to how my route was:

1.  Take a year off to travel, have fun on a budget, and consider my options.  Spend some time playing with your c++, java, vb, and html in that order, and maybe do some volunteer work programming for a charity.  Have a go with either Oracle of MS SQL Server if you can.  Learn how to enjoy life and manage yourself as an independent being, free from the constraints of an organisation.  Discover what your real strengths and weaknesses are.

2.  Get a job for 2 years with a local government service - salaries are lower than private sector, which makes it a lot easier to get in on the ground floor, and also gives you that feelgood factor of giving public service.  Identify opportunities to trade up your job, as soon as colleagues move on, from programmer to analyst-programmer to team leader - aim for a trade-up every year at first, if you can.  Be hungry for extra responsibility, and get a reputation for clear communication about what you can and can't take responsibility for.

3.  Get a job with a private company, take a slight drop in status, back down to analyst programmer maybe, but on a higher salary.  Work on the same trade-ups, and 'appearance management' strategy.

4.  Change companies every 18 months - all the companies I've ever worked for give higher salaries to new starters than they do to existing employees, so it is a much better way to boost your earnings than staying in the same place.  This is pretty standard behaviour in the IT industry, but beware of periods of less than a year in one company, as that is not really approved of in the early years of your career.

5.  After maybe 5 years in the private sector, leave permanent employment and start your own company doing what you like best.

I am in year 2 of stage 5. at the moment, and enjoying it very much!  Definitely consider taking the year off before starting - once you get on that carrer ladder it is pretty much impossible to convince yourself to take a year off later - I have never had more than a couple weeks off in the last 15 years.

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by:CJ_S
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Like you said you love database programming (also database design?) and 3D programming. In my opinion the best way to go is to do what you like best. If I were you I would try to get involved in those areas some more. Try to do some more advanced things with them, create some programs. Try learning new things about both subjects. A true expert is someone who knows his subjects really well.... it will get you a job in your expertise, and since you like it the subjects you will also like working itself.

regards,
CJ
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by:schwertner
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Hi,
Congratulations!!!
I graduated in 1971, now I am Assoc. Professor in CS, PhD, but mainly work as Oracle Developer. My wife is also Oracle developer, my son studies CS.

I support CJ_J who advised you to do what you love best. Ocasionally I also love best database programming, applications, design and administration. So I have for you bad news and good news.

The bad news is that all what we learn at the University (except Data Structures and Algorithms, Mathematics, Basics of DB and DBMS) changes totaly every 5 years. So be prepared to read permanently, to buy books, to read books, to read magazines and articles to keep your knowledge up to date. Try to select the winning tendency in the IT industry. Many new things there are dead born, but some of them continue to live. Catch them, this is an issue.

The good news is that there are many books in your favorite area. Orient yourself to Oracle - it is the biggest and the best corporate DB and (may be)IDE. Begin from "Oracle 8i - the complete reference", "Oracle 8i - DBA Handbook". Try to get DBA skills and also application developer skills. Figure out what you want to be - DBA or developer (or both). After that enlarge your knowledge.

After 30 years find a young CS graduate and send him the fixed and updated version of my thoughts. I am wishing you with this joke a long and succesful career in IT!

Good Luck!
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by:SunBow
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<heh> before graduating, get offer from Co like Cisco, Monter, accept, let them lay you off with substantial severance pay the day before you graduate, and have another position, other resumes in the works... ie join the crowd, experience before you finish 1st day on job.  But beware of signing too much away (in which 'competitors' you pre-agree to never work for)
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by:SunBow
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oh, Congrats, and "Welcome"
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by:Samer Kharsa
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Ok guys, thanks a lot
I wish I could give you all the 100 points.
Ehh All your answers were great and encouraging.
Who wants the points?


P.S. I am sorry for not posting a reply earlier, my power supply died and I was trying to fix it, until I realized I had to replace it.
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by:CJ_S
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Of course I do would like the points, but that's not what I would like you to do...just ask and give points to the one who wants them.

Please pick out the comment that was most useful to you, in which you found the best information.

Regards,
CJ
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by:CJ_S
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>> just ask and give
points to the one who wants them.

disregard that line :-/
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by:Samer Kharsa
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By the way guys, if I take 3 more courses in business I can end-up with two majors.
Is this a good thing to do ?
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by:CJ_S
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by:MobileOakAI
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"What goes after graduating ? "

Getting it on more tightly with another one:
- house payment
- car payment
- insurance payment
- family doctor bills
- laundry piles
- fewer concerts to go out to
- less dining (more brown bagging it)
- phone parents more (than visit)

* you may expect now either free coffee or free cola
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by:MobileOakAI
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> my power supply died and I was trying

Try EE's Hardware Topic Area (brace yourself 1st)
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by:SunBow
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> if I take 3 more courses in business
> I love database programming and 3D programming, but have not had time yet to put my head into these stuff and be an expert at.

Not quite ready to leave school yet, huh? Two majors can be a good thing. While business degree can help salary issue, it'll likely detract from programming - developing yourself as the technology and techniques keep changing, evolving, and becoming more fun.

Heed payperpage #1. You are at stage or beyond of one who should do a time-out. Goof off. Grab hand of your current favorite, or if playing the field, try for a common group of 4-6 with similar interests and go see the world. Or another country or state. A couple months of that should help clear the head so you can reassess what is your heart's desire, before investing too much time in a company/job.

Also, doing real work for a living - non-career, can help if you have not yet tried.

I think you need/want more schooling, but will likely want to have it more appropriate to your future directions. I also like that recommend on charity work. Help out at your local church or library or somewhere that you can provide need, but also develop further questions on your own for what it takes to support a business. Maybe tutoring or something with kids, but so many now have educated administrators, that may not be best shot.

With only a couple classes for the other degree, maybe wrap that into a package first, to get it done with.

Consider Master's degree or just night school, some classes of real interest that may not be part of degree. Shop for company that approves of continuing educaiton. Hopefully, they pay, but what is important is that they let you attend classes that may require more flexible workhours.

Now, advise given me, not taken well:  Have a plan to move from company to company every couple years. Each may have its own philosphy re: development or project mgmt or what it takes to roll out an application.  This can round out not only experience but character, making you employee of higher value.

Then, you might be ready to stick with one company where in time, you can really make a difference. And the business background (degree) just might be the edge you'll appreciate.
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by:MobileOakAI
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" two majors.  Is this a good thing to do ?"

Yes. Not yet. I agree with those above who side with value of your own personal interests.

"I dont know what is most wanted "

btw: XML is now 'official' (do you sql?)
btw: Following thought of what someone else wants will lead to future unhappiness (outside of family issues, of course)
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by:MobileOakAI
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Try on your own homepage, eMail peers (network, consider beginning with fellow classmates of similar interests), consider site like angelfire.lycos.com to play around with your own ideas -- and develop yourSelf. How does your 3D effot then compare to that of others?
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by:MobileOakAI
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> "Is this a good thing to do ?"

<heh> you have to ask?  Of course! (except since you ask it, this leads to doubt). Perhaps, you may yet find special someone in the classroom. It is not real world, but often in couples, they are not always in same discipline, but complementary. Like one works for Novell, other for Microsoft. One is manager, other is coder. They complement, and... may compare notes (see also: networking).

I like payperpage perspective on enjoying the work - year 'round: Take the vacation first. <heh> ask if there's opening their, with that as a perk.

> 'appearance management' strategy

I dunno what's this. If it is the likes of EDS, stiff-necked 'suits', ties and 'collars', rules & rules, all chiefs and few indians - hey, steer clear. Or, sign nothing but give them a little time so's you can learn their way (of what not to do, if productivity and satisfaction are on list of desirables), so when you get to be BigShot yourself, you'll be better prepared for what not to do.
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by:Samer Kharsa
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Guess what guys ?
First I want to thank everyone who is contributing in shaping my thoughts and helping me to decide.
The thing is that I have changed my graduation project to ASP simply because it is easier (I am taking 7 courses this semester) and it would sound better on my CV, because when they hear about DirectX and Direct3D they all ask me "so you play lots of games then?"

I this a good choice ?
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by:CJ_S
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I suggest you re-read what has been written above, see for yourself what information you have received and which information sounds valuable to yourself. We cannot decide what a good thing is for you.

ASP is really simple and focusses on the internet.

DirectX / Direct3D / DirectDraw / DirectInput etc. are way harder to create, and good understanding of math is necessary. People who create games are not hired because they play lots of games and know what a good game is. No they are hired for their knowledge (same for ASP), but the knowledge needed for DirectX is much more than for ASP. And it's focus is on game development.

Comparing game development and internet is a hard one.

Again, which one would you like to do? Internet programming or game programming. That's the ultimate question here...

If you decide that you are going for ASP just because it is easier, then that is your choice, and only shows (to me) that you are not a game developer in your heart. A game isn't THAT hard to create as long as you know your math and some programming (VB and C++ are 2 famous languages to use the DirectX libraries with). If you, next to that, know how to use the MSDN libraries and the documentation that comes with the DirectX SDK then you are going a very good road.

I suggest that you should think about your own future instead of asking us to.

Regards,
CJ
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by:Samer Kharsa
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thanks CJ_S
What you said is right, so I decided to do my graduation project in ASP just to get a good job. But in the main time I will focus on Visual C++ at my own pace at home.
You see I studied Matrices when I was 14 at that age, I also studied Assembly (after studying Basic as my first language).
So first I want to graduate, then improve my knowledge so that I do something nice in Direct3d later.

thank you all guys
I really appreciate your help

(CJ_S let me give you the points)
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CJ_S earned 100 total points
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Thank you! Glad to be of service!

regards,
CJ
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