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Advice on getting work/internships in software without going to school/college?
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Silent Night Offline
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Advice on getting work/internships in software without going to school/college?
I'm at a stage of my life where I want to start earning money/getting a career. I've been depressed so doing things is very hard- but I've been told I'd be really good at programming, and it seems like a decent source of money especially compared to how difficult it is. I wouldn't say I enjoy it as much I would any of my hobbies, although since I don't dislike it, it seems like my best shot.

I've dabbled in quite a lot of things- Unity, a bit of C#(I don't know how much of it I actually know- but I have made a Pong/Breakout clone). That was when I was really into gamedev/game design. I then realised with a bit of research that gamedev was really horrible working conditions wise- long hours, low pay, "crunch" overtime, and the work is actually harder than a comparable software gig not in gaming. (This was before Gamergate and all- that put the final nail in the coffin for me)

Not doing gamedev anymore made me not want to do C#, so I've been continuing on common advice- HTML, CSS and JavaScript. I've also learned a bit of JQuery and AngularJS.

Some recommendations I had was to use my programming knowledge to build projects- but I wouldn't know what to do or even how to begin once I do know. It all seems vast and overwhelming. Anyone in the field know what I should do next? I feel like I need training but I don't know how I can convince anyone that, you know, I'm good enough to receive that training.

PS The reason I said without school/college is because I dropped out in my 2nd/last year. I would have to do the equivalent of 5-6 years of work to do that route again- but I've seen many university courses and I've already learned the equivalent of around half of a 2nd year college student. So fuck that.
07-06-2015 03:06 PM
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carolinasmash Offline
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RE: Advice on getting work/internships in software without going to school/college?
I too am a college drop out programmer, if you're not in the start your own business mindset, I spent my early to late 20's working for medium to large corporations (last corporate gig I was a senior level engineer managing a team of about 40 engineers) it's not hard to get a job in this field without a degree, but you'll need to prove yourself to be good to get with a good company.

First you need to build up a small portfolio of sample code, algorithms ect... ect... I also recommend you start learning Python, Perl, JAVA, C# C++ ect... ect... rule of thumb is an excellent programmer can learn a new language in about 2 weeks - 1 month once you know a core language it gets easier (Note: you do not dabble in these languages you work very hard to master them) from what it sounds like you're leaning more towards front end work, but I can tell you I rarely hired front end guys that could not show proficiency in several core languages. From there you need to build a profile on stake exchange and github and start sharing your work. Usually when a guy applied for a job they would send me not only their CV but their github and stake exchange info so I could get an idea of what they know.

Another thing to get some experience is also to start contributing to the open source community

If you feel comfortable apply to some junior level developer jobs, internships at least in my experience are reserved for kids at the local colleges. If you really want to start that far at the bottom then maybe enroll in a few classes at your local community college and apply for some internships. If your worth your salt once your in the company crush it as hard as you can and maybe they will hire you and you can quit school and rise up the ranks. Also note if you're a mid grade programmer not good at adapting and learning languages quickly you will learn fast you're not going to go very far without a degree. I have a few friends without degrees working at Microsoft, Amazon and Google but I can tell you these guys could crack Fort Knox if they wanted.

Another tip (what I did starting out) was I looked at companies liked software and then built some sample feature and or add on or made a bug fix suggestion and would submit it to the VP of engineering and prayed they would like it enough to hire me to build it. That is the way a lot of guys break into this field with or without degree's.

One other way (not recommended) is if you have the balls and know how (based on what you said you know I would say not yet at least) is you crack some large companies servers and reach the source code of their software then submit your process, findings and recommended patches to the CIO, CISO and VP of Engineering. Note this is illegal but I've known a few people to do this successfully. Again not recommended
(This post was last modified: 07-06-2015 04:30 PM by carolinasmash.)
07-06-2015 04:15 PM
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Silent Night Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Advice on getting work/internships in software without going to school/college?
Thanks for the advice.

What sort of sample code should I include in my portfolio?

I only learned front end stuff because I had heard from others it's the easiest/most effective way in. Perhaps I shall try the back end stuff more.
07-06-2015 04:29 PM
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carolinasmash Offline
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RE: Advice on getting work/internships in software without going to school/college?
(07-06-2015 04:29 PM)Silent Night Wrote:  Thanks for the advice.

What sort of sample code should I include in my portfolio?

I only learned front end stuff because I had heard from others it's the easiest/most effective way in. Perhaps I shall try the back end stuff more.

Anything and everything you know, if you want to build websites build a few sample sites and some landing pages. It really depends on what you want to do.

Against what some programmers my suggest if you're going to learn some core languages I recommend starting out with C++ and C# it'll lay a fantastic foundation for you to compete for top positions and makes learning any other language much much easier.

I would hire a drop out engineer that has a great grasp of C++ and C# over a guy with a Masters in CS or Electrical engineering from MIT with a moderate grasp.
07-06-2015 04:52 PM
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Silent Night Offline
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RE: Advice on getting work/internships in software without going to school/college?
Any particular resources which are helpful for learning? I've done Codecademy a bit and apparently Treehouse seems good. Python also seems like it would be easy, although since I've done a decent amount of C# I could roll with that. I think C++ would be too difficult for me.
07-06-2015 11:41 PM
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Travesty Offline
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RE: Advice on getting work/internships in software without going to school/college?
1) Get a Lynda.com subscription

2) Dabble in a few language tutorials

3) Pick the one you like best and start to master it

4) Build a portfolio on Github

5) Contribute to other projects

6) Go to local software development meet ups and professional events, have a business card and a personal website that shows off your projects

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07-06-2015 11:57 PM
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Travesty Offline
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RE: Advice on getting work/internships in software without going to school/college?
I am guessing you could reasonably expect a job offer for a junior dev position in about 4-6 months if you gave it your all.

Also don't be afraid to connect with tech recruiting firms they could sell you as a bargain test drive candidate on a temporary probation position for a local tech company. You may get offered $20hr or something ridiculously low, that first 9mths-1yr of xp is all that matters then you can raise your price and jump ship.

They are really big these days I got 6 interviews lined up over a few days and flew out to the city in question all lined up by one recruiting firm without me doing any legwork other than showing up.

The first replier is what alot code dudes will tell you they make it like you need to be a robot to succeed. You don't. The industry is half filled with code elitists half more normal people. You can choose to be either.

SENS Foundation - help stop age-related diseases

(05-19-2016 12:01 PM)Giovonny Wrote:  If I talk to 100 19 year old girls, at least one of them is getting fucked!

WestIndianArchie Wrote:Am I reacting to her? No pussy, all problems
Or
Is she reacting to me? All pussy, no problems
(This post was last modified: 07-07-2015 12:04 AM by Travesty.)
07-07-2015 12:00 AM
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Silent Night Offline
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RE: Advice on getting work/internships in software without going to school/college?
Thanks Travesty.

I did a cursory look up on tech recruiting firms where I am(NZ), they seemed to either be about general tech(Construction, Industry, Manufacturing etc), or the one in IT seemed to be pretty limited. Would you happen to know about any? Do you think a general recruiting firm could work just as well?

Yeah, at this point in time I will take almost anything(that isn't *too* hard work/long hours).

I plan to look more into Lynda and learn a bit more there.
07-07-2015 12:11 AM
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carolinasmash Offline
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RE: Advice on getting work/internships in software without going to school/college?
(07-06-2015 11:41 PM)Silent Night Wrote:  Any particular resources which are helpful for learning? I've done Codecademy a bit and apparently Treehouse seems good. Python also seems like it would be easy, although since I've done a decent amount of C# I could roll with that. I think C++ would be too difficult for me.

Travesty444 gave you some solid advice which I would say is more up to date compared to what I'm about to give you.

I started over 2 decades ago when I was in my preteens. Please take this only as content for thought not as to where to get started. You can get started and be successful at any age if you reprogram your brain quickly and are not set one way of thinking.

When I started there were not any online resources or even books like available today. I read articles about hackers and stuff and thought that sounds cool I want to do that. I started off taking apart and rebuilding an old computer my parents had, from there I started playing in dos (No idea or guidance as what I was doing). Eventually I joined IRC's (Internet Relay Channels) and got into blackhat (unethical hacking or cracking) type stuff. I slowly started picking up and understanding of languages by listening to the older dudes and mimicking things they were doing. Hemingway once claimed he learned to write by copying the words of his favorite authors until it became natural then he later created something called the Ice burg principle which was totally against the more common neo-victorian styles of writing if you get the hint.

First thing you most definitely need to do is stop asking questions and start seeking answers. Good programmers are resourceful at getting information through methodical, pragmatic and systematic actions. i.e. learn to be a Hunter gatherer. A Hunter can't ask a deer what time they'll be at the other end of the field ready for their slaying. You have to learn behaviors, follow patterns, track or attract and kill. Computers/Machines are stupid by design, Therefore with the right mindset and know how you can learn how to make them give you what you want or do what you want. Simple as that.

I say this not to sound philosophical but to inform you that is how a good programmer thinks. It's all logic and reason and not all math and memorizing although it's a small to medium size component. I always took the approach to learning a skill set like code that if I was committed to taking the harder way in it would make my life a lot easier on the way out. Kinda the way I look at women. I only go after the ones I find the most attractive first because if I can withstand that pain of possible rejection my skills and confidence get better and better as my hogging days are over.

Hope this helps. Also I dug this up for you... Eric Raymond wrote this and I thought it was excellent. He also wrote the Cathedral and the Bizarre which is a pretty good book you should pick up. http://www.catb.org/esr/faqs/hacker-howto.html
(This post was last modified: 07-07-2015 12:54 AM by carolinasmash.)
07-07-2015 12:40 AM
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Silent Night Offline
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RE: Advice on getting work/internships in software without going to school/college?
Just set up a preview account on Lynda. Holy fuck the videos are awesome- I'm watching Ruby Essential Training atm and there are transcriptions on the bottom, all beautifully written, something no other site(Youtube on exception?) has done.

The downside is it's seemingly a little hard to sort through all the recommendations it gave me. Let's see how Ruby goes.

Oh, and thanks for the additional advice carolina. I will keep that in mind.
07-07-2015 12:59 AM
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carolinasmash Offline
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RE: Advice on getting work/internships in software without going to school/college?
Ruby is a shit language and not scalable long term unless you want to get into many idiotic bootstrapped startups. If you want to take the easy way and start with an object oriented compatible language learn Python.
(This post was last modified: 07-07-2015 01:09 AM by carolinasmash.)
07-07-2015 01:07 AM
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TheMaleBrain Offline
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RE: Advice on getting work/internships in software without going to school/college?
From my experience, you got very good advice.
The most important one - build a portfolio.

If you build some apps, in various areas - you will have something to show.
Another is to start being on LinkedIN. That is a great place for business intelligence and networking- seeing which person is on which company and approaching them.
Also go to meetups and free conventions (I sometimes go). There are a lot of those with respect to coding.

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07-07-2015 04:18 AM
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Architekt Offline
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RE: Advice on getting work/internships in software without going to school/college?
This is more or less what I'm aiming to set up over the next couple of months. I love game dev, since it's such an all encompassing field which makes it incredibly challenging and fun. The possibilities are unlimited in terms of creative problem solving, but working on other projects isn't necessarily out of the question.

For me, programming isn't hard or confusing or anything like that, it's a fun way to be creative and make tools or test my problem solving abilities. That's where game dev excites me - I don't really even care for playing games I just like making them. That's more fun to me

I've had extensive experience with java, and enough with C# to build pretty much anything. I've played around, writing small apps and scripts with python, ruby, Delphi, JavaScript, PHP, Google's go language and a few others, but not so much the bigger projects like I've undertaken in java and C#

Currently seriously studying C++ for the sheer power and limitless possibilities, alongside familiarising myself properly with the linux kernel and the inner workings of lower level systems

I'm going to be that dropout engineer with no formal training who seriously upsets all the cs and it majors that worked themselves to the bone for their apparently worthless degrees

It's about time I started building a git library. Too bad a majority of my code no longer even exists
07-07-2015 05:05 AM
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frenchcorporation Offline
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RE: Advice on getting work/internships in software without going to school/college?
learn a language + framework
make stuff with that framework
host online/on github
put on cv & apply to jobs/ start freelancing
07-07-2015 08:04 AM
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carolinasmash Offline
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RE: Advice on getting work/internships in software without going to school/college?
I'll add one other unconventional way you can get experience one of my close friends pulled off. Granted he was a musician by trade and had a brain wired to be a programmer plus he is a great bull shit artist. He basically was broke and out of work so he lied and said he knew JAVA and just learned it right on the job teaching himself. He did several contracts like this which eventually landed him a cushy job.

One thing I've noticed over the years is there is no shortage of incompetent managers and tech leads so half of the time they don't even know what their doing or even have the foresight into who they are hiring nor even ask for samples. It's not an uncommon thing to see. I once walked into a consulting job with a fortune 500 company to help with a project that was going south.

Upon my arrival I asked to meet with the team so I could get an idea of each members bag of skills. One guy really stood out so I started asking basic questions. For example what is the "average" depth of a binary tree? he looked at me like I was speaking french. upon further investigation into his work and files I started see random Urdu in his code (he was American) needless to say this guy had been collecting a six figure salary and off-shoring his work. When I confronted him and started asking additional super basic questions he all of a sudden was not feeling well and requested to go home. He never returned as he knew he had been caught.

I've heard countless stories similar to this from friends in the industry over the years. In my incident the guy had flown under the radar for almost 1 year and I don't think he even knew HTML. Pretty amazing.
07-07-2015 08:31 AM
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Silent Night Offline
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RE: Advice on getting work/internships in software without going to school/college?
Alright, I think for now I won't be using Lynda. I don't have a credit card atm and the free preview account has missing videos at key moments. I will try learning Python and other languages with LPTHW or Codecademy or Treehouse or something similar.
07-08-2015 01:54 AM
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Silent Night Offline
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RE: Advice on getting work/internships in software without going to school/college?
Progress: I'm halfway through Python on Codecademy. It seems basic, like what I've already learned in C#. But I prefer the syntax of Python, it's soo short! I do think it feels weird how little syntax you need. The other weird thing is not being able to do variable++.

I don't exactly know how to build a portfolio on Github, but I plan to give it my best shot.
07-11-2015 05:49 AM
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