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Thread: Career Development

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    3

    Lightbulb Career Development

    Hi All,

    I was wrestling with this idea in my mind, did some searching online and thought I should hear some ideas from you masters too Can really use your experience...

    I have been a software developer for the last two years. (on to the third year now) I have been developing in C, C++ mainly on device driver level. I have been purely a developer not much experience on designing...
    Recently I have been feeling that I need to do some further studying/get some certification. Guess you know what I mean. I have a Bachelor's degree on Electrical Engineering. (Studied C/C++/Java but not much on Software Architecture and stuff)
    I want to call myself a Software Engineer and I feel I need to learn a lot to get there. I would like to hear your ideas about a suitable course/degree to follow.
    My first thoughts were
    - follow a Masters in Software Engineering. (I have no intension in going to full time studying. So a distance learning degree ? ?)
    - Start from a certification like CSDA and continue to add qualifications on C\C++ ? ?

    Please, any advise is deeply appreciated

    Thanks
    webhoundx

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    DeLand, FL
    Posts
    40

    Re: Career Development

    Quote Originally Posted by webhoundx View Post
    Hi All,

    I was wrestling with this idea in my mind, did some searching online and thought I should hear some ideas from you masters too Can really use your experience...

    I have been a software developer for the last two years. (on to the third year now) I have been developing in C, C++ mainly on device driver level. I have been purely a developer not much experience on designing...
    Recently I have been feeling that I need to do some further studying/get some certification. Guess you know what I mean. I have a Bachelor's degree on Electrical Engineering. (Studied C/C++/Java but not much on Software Architecture and stuff)
    I want to call myself a Software Engineer and I feel I need to learn a lot to get there. I would like to hear your ideas about a suitable course/degree to follow.
    My first thoughts were
    - follow a Masters in Software Engineering. (I have no intension in going to full time studying. So a distance learning degree ? ?)
    - Start from a certification like CSDA and continue to add qualifications on C\C++ ? ?

    Please, any advise is deeply appreciated

    Thanks
    webhoundx
    Whichever course you choose to take, focus on learning the material and not just earning the "Certification". While Certs might get you in the door (or bubble your resume up a list a bit) the certs themselves are nothing more than evidence than you can pass a test.

    One thing I do to stay current with the technology is to continually have a professional book (or 2 or 3 or 4) going. I order these all as PDF files now so I can have them handy on my development laptop at all times. If I'm bogged-down in a project or just need to "stretch my head" a bit I can always pull one of the books out and read up on a new technique. I abandoned the "formal study" method about 25 years ago as it's hard to tailor formal classwork to suit what I needed to know to complete a project. Kind-of a "pay-as-you-go" approach to learning, if you know what I mean.

    HTH,

    -Max

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    3

    Re: Career Development

    Quote Originally Posted by Max Peck View Post
    Whichever course you choose to take, focus on learning the material and not just earning the "Certification". While Certs might get you in the door (or bubble your resume up a list a bit) the certs themselves are nothing more than evidence than you can pass a test.

    One thing I do to stay current with the technology is to continually have a professional book (or 2 or 3 or 4) going. I order these all as PDF files now so I can have them handy on my development laptop at all times. If I'm bogged-down in a project or just need to "stretch my head" a bit I can always pull one of the books out and read up on a new technique. I abandoned the "formal study" method about 25 years ago as it's hard to tailor formal classwork to suit what I needed to know to complete a project. Kind-of a "pay-as-you-go" approach to learning, if you know what I mean.

    HTH,

    -Max
    Hi Max. Thanks a lot for the reply. Actually I'm not just interested in just the certification. Since I did not get much knowledge in my Bachelor's about Software Architecture, Life cycle, Maintenance and etc... I would like to follow something thats more concentrated on those areas. While I learn it's always better to earn a paper that says I know the stuff I learned, right After all I have met a lot of people who just measure me with the letters I have added at the end of my name

    Thanks
    webhoundx

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    1,006

    Re: Career Development

    Quote Originally Posted by webhoundx View Post
    I have been a software developer for the last two years. (on to the third year now) I have been developing in C, C++ mainly on device driver level. I have been purely a developer not much experience on designing ... I have a Bachelor's degree on Electrical Engineering.
    As Master Yoda says: "No more training do you require. Already know you, that which you need."

    Just pick a project and write some code. If you want to write in a new language, they're easy to pick up once you have mastered (most) any programming language. Just read a tutorial and write some software to get a feel for it.

    Software design is realistically very similar to EE design. If you want to get better at it, choose a topic that interests you, decide the subcomponents required to produce it and code them up. You'll get better through experience. All the same principles apply: use modularity, it's easier to make changes at design time than it is at implementation (or testing!), etc...

    I would shy away from additional training to call yourself a 'software engineer'. You already are one. If you want to learn about it, just google the topics you were interested in (e.g. life cycle). I am sure you will find plenty of resources that you can use to enrich yourself w/o paying someone to get a certification that few will truly care about. (Indeed, in evaluating other programmers I would essentially ignore certifications and focus on projects a person has done, their general level of inquisitiveness and how much experience they have; certs tell none of those things).
    Best Regards,

    BioPhysEngr
    http://blog.biophysengr.net
    --
    All advice is offered in good faith only. You are ultimately responsible for effects of your programs and the integrity of the machines they run on.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    3

    Re: Career Development

    Hi BioPhysEngr,

    Thanks for the valuable advice. I truly believe what you said. I'm one of person who believe in the ability to get something done than in certifications. But last few years I have been in the industry I realized that having some papers to tell others that I know something, does not hurt.
    Also where I'm based one needs some papers to go up the corporate ladder...
    That's why I started searching...

    webhoundx
    Last edited by webhoundx; February 13th, 2011 at 03:26 AM.

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