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hey guys, I have to do a project for a class and it would be an INCREDIBLE help if you guys could take a few minutes to fill this out for me. *This Questionnaire should only be completed by computer programmers who currently hold a job or have held a job in the programming industry* 1) Have you attended college or a similar institute? Yes / No ( If no, skip to question #4 ) 2) Which college did you attend? 3) What was your major? 4) What level of degree did you attain in this major? Also list any certifications you currently hold, regardless of whether they were attained in college or not. 5) What is your salary range? $0 - $50,000 $50,001 - $80,000 $80,001 - $120,000 $120,001 - $200,000 $200,000 + (Would prefer not to answer) 6) What do you think matters the most to employers when they are hiring? 7) Are there any things you have found harder or more cumbersome than you expected? If so, what are they? 8) What are the parts of your job that you find the most rewarding? 9) Additional comments / information Thanks alot guys, I REALLY appreciate it!

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1) Yes

2) State University of New York at Stony Brook

3) Double major: Computer Science and Applied Mathematics

4) Bachelor's of Science

5) $50,001 - $80,000

6) Are you capable of performing the tasks the job requires in a reasonable amount of time?

7) I'm working on something that requires it run on more than one platform. So rather than really working on one platform and pushing it to its limits, I'm trying to find ways to hit a somewhat-lowest-common-denominator without throwing too much out (ie, things that can't easily be reconciled between the platforms). Trying to make different systems perform similarly is proving to be not impossible, but more difficult than expected.

8) Seeing the fruits of my labor.

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1. Yes
2. Fort Lewis College
3. Computer Science (Thought about the Math minor but bought a TI-89 instead!)
4. Bachelor of Science
5. 50,001 - 80,000
6. That you can back up everything you put on your resume in the interview process. It is the first time we meet you and if we catch you in a white lie. A person who can make themselves sound interesting and tell the truth on their resumes are usually good hires. Though it is hard to generalize what matters most as there are a lot of things...but this is just one example.
7. School does not prepare you for what real development is like. The deadlines are ridiculously easy to meet in school. That caught me by surprise.
8. Being able to say, "I did that!".

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1) Yes

2) RMIT University (Melbourne Australia)

3) I did a Computer Science degree ... we don't really have majors here, but I think this is what your after.

4) I finished a Bachelors degree of Computer Science.

5) $0 - $50,000

6) I got both my jobs because of my folio. Having some work you can show employers and talk about helped me out greatly. Most interviews would end up with me explaining my work to people. This shows up everything an employer is looking for: programming knowledge, communication skills, ethusiams and a good work ethic. I've sat in on some interviews and seen some of the demo's sent in and getting people to explain their own work is quite illuminating.

7) Working 9-5 (or more like 9:30 to 6:30 usually) every day is pretty tiring when you start out. The first month is death, and is very different from uni or school. You get used to it, but the lack of holidays (4 weeks a year) and the long hours are a big shift from uni when you get months at a time off and can usually fit all your classes on to only a few days if your smart :P Everyone I know has felt the pain of starting full time work - its just such a shift.

8) Getting stuff to work. Thats always the bit I liked about programming. Writing code is fun, but for me the real enjoyment comes when that code works. (Also being able to show your friends a game with your name in the credits owns!)

9) I worked for a year as an applications programmer writing buisness software (cash register and wharehouse stuff), and now I'm working as a programmer for a games dev company.

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1) Yes
2) National University of Ireland, Galway
3) Computer Science/Physics
4) Bachelors Degree
5) NZ$100,000
6) That you fit what they're looking for, technically, professionally and personally. Different employers place different emphasis on these aspects.
7) You will frequently find that your ideal technical solution is not acceptable due to any of the following constraints: budget, time, deployment platform, other arbitrary restrictions
8) Finding that elegant solution that you know is there. When your instinct tells you what you've done is good and right (in a software construction sense!)
9) From my experience (and the experience of my girlfriend, who is a tech recruiter) most peoples interview skills are below par. No matter how good your resume or skills are, if you can't show this in an interview, you won't get hired.

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1. No. [None completed - I have studied a fair amount at the college level. See below.]

2. N/A

3. N/A

4. None.

5. < $50,000/year, although to be fair I work for two small companies, so I'm a statistical anomaly as far as salary goes. Expect more from a large, established company if you go to work for one.

6. Ability to accomplish the job within the unique restrictions of the project. Maybe you can write the 350,000 line invoicing and accounting system, but can you do it in three weeks? Extreme example, but every job has some unique requirements and limitations that you have to be ready to handle.

7. Not really, although I'm a cynical bastard so everything's pretty much just as bad as I expected [wink] Be prepared to give up a lot of your life unless you're content punching the clock for the man.

8. Creation. Nothing (and I mean nothing) is as powerful as looking at something that affects thousands (or millions) of people, and knowing that you had a hand in making it happen. They'll probably never know, but it's still the most incredible feeling in the world. It's even better if people love what you've made.

9. You can spend eight years in a formal institution and get a degree in information technology/computer science/buzzword of choice, and come out knowing jack all about the real world of programming. Unless you absolutely cannot survive in the world without a degree to hang on your wall, forget the formal education and spend the time exploring your own projects, internships, and maybe some open-source projects. What you learn about real life is going to be infinitely more useful to you than learning to recite the drivel that your professors want to hear from you.

Going to college to learn how to program is like going to Wal-Mart to buy stocks and bonds. You may encounter some similar words (mostly little articles like "the") in both places, but it's quite simply a whole different world.

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1) Yes
2) Nottingham Trent University
3) BA (Hons) Business Information Systems
4) 2:1
5) $0 - $50,000 [sad]
6) Adaptability. The world isn't as clear-cut as it seems in University
7) Finding a job as a graduate that actually utilises my degree and other knowledge; yes I'm still looking
8) There are none
9) When leaving University, you think you are set to work in the real world. You have all this 'knowledge' that you've spent years accumulating and you realise that it's worth very little, especially in my field of study. The reality of the situation is that you need experience to get the jobs they tempt you with at Uni, but you can't get the experience without starting in roles that will do very little to push you. Whilst you may accelerate through these lower-end roles, it feels disheartening as it seems that the effort you expended to put your through Univeristy goes unrewarded. Also, it's probably best if your job and your hobby are distinctively different, otherwise you may lose enthusiasm for your own projects. Oh, and I don't work in the software industry.

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1) Yes

2) Kansas State University

3) Computer Science

4) BS

5) $50,001 - $80,000

6) Depends on the employer, but one of the most important things is finding someone who can keep up on the latest technologies and know how to apply them to solve problems.

7) One of the greatest challenges I often face is trying to get the client commit to what they want. Often times, clients have not really thought through what they want their application to do, and cannot provide detailed explainations for certain features. It is important, however, that these issues be worked out, because otherwise you'll end up rewriting code when you don't do it the way that the client wanted it.

8) I enjoy solving problems and seeing my programs making other people's jobs easier. I once wrote a program that sped up the response time of a system from one week to five minutes. When we put it online, we got a phone call because someone thought the system had broken since it had responded so fast. It was working just fine, of course, but it was good to know that they were so "impressed" that they thought it had to be broken.

9) Hope this helps with your assignment.

PS- Just wanted to add my two cents about the whole college thing. Many in the computer science field think that college is worthless, but frankly they are wrong. Some schools are better than others, granted, and college isn't everything. College is just one peice that will form the foundation of your career. There are many things in a real work environment that you will need to know that college can't teach you. But, college can expose you to a whole body of ideas and ways of thinking that will serve you well in your job. I was pleny smart enough to get a Computer Science job straight out of high school. In fact my boss on several occasions begged me to quite school and come to work for him full time. But, I went to college while working part time as a software developer. I now have my degree and I'm not the least bit sorry I took the time to go to college. I learned lots of things that I never would have known otherwise. Many of the things I learned aren't directly related to programming, but enable me to look at things from a much broader perspective. The work experience I got at my job was also invaluable. The important thing to remember is that while you get along with just one or the other, having both a formal education and plenty of real-world experience is the best possible scenario, in my opinion.

[Edited by - nimrand on March 15, 2005 8:16:07 AM]

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1) No

4) A+ certification

5) $0 - $50,000 (Pretty standard in my region)

6) Ability to complete projects and communication

7) No

8) Doing what I always wanted to do

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Quote:
Original post by nimrand
PS- Just wanted to add my two cents about the whole college thing. Many in the computer science field think that college is worthless, but frankly they are wrong. Some schools are better than others, granted, and college isn't everything. College is just one peice that will form the foundation of your career. There are many things in a real work environment that you will need to know that college can't teach you. But, college can expose you to a whole body of ideas and ways of thinking that will serve you well in your job. I was pleny smart enough to get a Computer Science job straight out of high school. In fact my boss on several occasions begged me to quite school and come to work for him full time. But, I went to college while working part time as a software developer. I now have my degree and I'm not the least bit sorry I took the time to go to college. I learned lots of things that I never would have known otherwise. Many of the things I learned aren't directly related to programming, but enable me to look at things from a much broader perspective. The work experience I got at my job was also invaluable. The important thing to remember is that while you get along with just one or the other, having both a formal education and plenty of real-world experience is the best possible scenario, in my opinion.



My ten cents on the matter: college is not worthless. There's a lot of good life experience to be had there. Education is a critical part of becoming a working (both in the sense of properly functioning and in the sense of having employment) member of society. However, college does not good programmers make. I have yet to meet anyone who has finished a CS/IT degree program knowing anything about real life programming that they did not learn on their own through outside projects and non-coursework experience.

I've been through the crap that is passed off for programming education in this country. That is worthless. Save your time, money, and sanity - get a degree in a peripheral interest: mathematics, writing, art, anything. Don't burn your college years studying for a degree that isn't worth the paper and ink it costs to print your diploma.

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