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2 posts

Wannabe Geek


Topic # 65885 8-Aug-2010 15:14
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TLDR down bottom.

Hey everyone,

My name's James. I'm finishing my last year of high-school (NCEA L3) and I'm trying to get into programming and computer/network security. Eventually I'd like to be making my own software and selling it for a bazillion dollars to some big-ass company and retiring by the age of 25, but we'll aim a little lower.

So, for starters I'd like to know what you guys think would be the best course of action from high school? I hear getting a CompSci degree at UoA or AUT is nice to show on your resume, but it only introduces you to programming - and I haven't heard anything about the security-aspect of the degree.

So next I'm thinking perhaps AMES or another "not quite a university" place?

At the moment I've learned the basics of programming, writing applications in (try not to cringe, I started at 12 so it was easier) Basic and VB.NET. I'm most likely going to get a book to learn perhaps C++ or C# (C# looks to be the "way to go" but it'd be nice to learn a lower-leveled programming language that's more portable and powerful).

I've also learned PHP, and know my way around SQL. In terms of security, again I know my way around SQL so I also know injection and such, so the more "basic" side of computer security.

So what can you guys give me in terms of advice? I'd like to get out of Uni or a course with enough knowledge to get a decent job and be able to start making my own things. I know this is what I want to do as I've been slowly getting into it over the past.. Well since I was keylogged when I was 12, haha!

Unfortunately I don't know anyone "in the industry", so I can't ask them! Maybe I'll write to some companies or something..

Cheers,
James.

tl;dr I need advice on what to do after finishing high-school. I'd like to get into programming and network/computer security, after already gotten into the basics on my own. CompSci looks to be a waste of time other than a flashy thing to put on my CV. So, what's next?

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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 367777 15-Aug-2010 11:38
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No suggestions? Anyone? :(

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  Reply # 367858 15-Aug-2010 15:34
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I'm not in the programming industry per se, but here's my advice.

You won't be able to land any kind of senior/intermediate position right out of uni.
One of the key things is to work on programming projects outside of uni and things you're interested in. ie, things you can bring up in an interview.. So you can so "i've worked done on websites that i've setup/helped setup."

Also look at learning some scripting languages like perl/python/ruby. People are looking for those skills as well :)

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  Reply # 367895 15-Aug-2010 16:55
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There's no right way it depends on the person.

I have friends who went straight out of school into a lower level position in a company eg: helpdesk/support type stuff and worked their way up and into what they preferred to do.

There is a huge variety of jobs in IT even in programming/development.

I myself did the degree route, I did a 3 year BComm at Auckland major'd in Information systems.. took all the programming, development and data comms papers.

I did the 1 year practical project paper where you go and work for a real company on a real problem for a year in a team or 3.

I think it was worthwhile because it's sometimes hard to self learn some of the database design concepts (normalisation, referential integrity etc etc) and proper principles of programming. Languages are easy to learn and you don't go to uni to learn specific languages.

You also get to be a uni student for 3 years which was fun!

Anyway I came out with a degree, good knowledge or principles and 1 year practical exp and went straight into a development role paying $50k (this was ~6-8 years ago fyi).

Worked for me, onwards and upwards from there.

If you do decide to do a degree make sure it has a practical project like the Auckland Uni BSci and BComm did back when I did it.

I'd probably consider doing a 4 year conjoint of BSci/BComm, I think there are enough valuable papers in both degrees (do as many papers in summer school as you can) so you can do less papers in your last year and focus on a practical project paper.


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