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How to get hired as an entry-level programmer?

Anonymous Coward writes | about 6 years ago

Programming 3

An anonymous reader writes "I received a state university degree in Computer Science. After graduation, I immediately took jobs in QA to pay the bills while waiting for other opportunities, which of course turned out to be as naive as it sounds. I've been working QA for several years now and my CV does not show the right kind of work experience for programming. For all intents I'm probably no better as a a candidate than any CS graduate fresh out of college. But all of the job postings out in the real world are looking for people with 2-5 years of programming work experience. How do you build up those first 2 years of experience? What kinds of companies hire programmers with no prior experience?"

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What? (1)

nawcom (941663) | about 6 years ago | (#25349953)

Who said you need a paying job in order to have prior experience? Steve Balmer? I started my "work experience" at 16 by learning GTK+ and C++ and creating my own apps which people use. In other words, it's your job to create the experience history - not some monthly check. If you love to program, I would expect you to have done some work in your free time - something that shows that you have experience in XYZ, and that it drives you to continually improve. Plus the fact that you made it available for free and people love using it is what will show your experience - much more than a diploma. Especially with what some people with new CS diplomas still have in their heads when they leave college, basic Java - and that's if they still have a reference book in hand. (of course not everyone, but the amount seems to increase as years go by)

Write database driven apps for people (1)

Chaduke (1181285) | about 6 years ago | (#25365687)

I started doing this about 15 years ago using Microsoft Access. Today you can do it on the web using PHP/MySQL for almost no investment other than your time. Learn SQL, learn how relational databases work, learn some basic interface design and then apply it to some projects. Almost everyone in some sort of business could use an application to make their job easier. I wrote my first apps for people for free, the experience and good name you get from it is well worth it. All my good paying jobs afterward, both contract and salaried came from those first few projects.

He's right...tis a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25378035)

He's right. The jobs often say something like "at least 2-3 years full time commercial experience". They are not talking about hobby work done in your own time. Best way to get around this is to look for employers with graduate programs.
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