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lopchopstop
Nov 24, 2007, 06:51 AM
Hello All,

I fear this question may be something of a "how long is a piece of string" type of question but...

I have started a course in Interactive Media. Basically it involves programming and scripting for 'multimedia'. So far we have done courses in HTML/Javascript/PHP, Actionscript 3, VRML (I know!), and digital audio and video.

I have no programming experience before this and am really enjoying the challenge of learning all this new stuff. We have to do an project for the end of the year. However I would like to start it as soon as possible and am trying to figure out what area i should start looking at. So finally my question...

What areas of programming have the most opportunities for employment? Is their any areas that people think stand out in terms of job prospects? So far I have enjoyed learning Actionscript (Flash is pretty cool!) and HTML/JavaScript/etc but am totally open to new things.

Any feedback is very much appreciated!



AlmostThere
Nov 24, 2007, 04:34 PM
You're right, there is no answer. If you have no programming experience, then I guess you are probably looking at about 5 years minimum until you are into something resembling a career.

If I knew for sure what to learn now and would be really big in five years time, I would be doing it rather than letting anyone else in on the secret! ;)

As a programmer, you will probably end up programming with a number of languages and in a number of different areas. From the position you are in, get a good grounding in the basics and try not to form too many preconceptions. You are starting from a web centric perspective, but if you are interested you will learn the important concepts from C similar languages. There are plenty of jobs using stuff like PHP (at least that I know of), especially in small to medium business where a lot can be done very quickly.

If you can keep in mind at every step how the stuff you are learning can be applied to business problems and increase profit and you should find yourself very employable, whatever your technical skills.

psingh01
Nov 24, 2007, 08:27 PM
If you are in college it would be "easier" to get an internship at a company, then once there get hired full time. Best bet is to see what kind of places you'd like to work in, then browse some of those company's job listings (usually found on their website) and see what skills they want. Focus on those skills. Only other tip is to make sure you enjoy what you are doing, because if you don't you will be miserable at your job.

lopchopstop
Nov 26, 2007, 04:07 PM
Thanks for the replies!

I kinda knew my question had no definite answer but I thought discussing it would give me a better idea of what is happening in the 'programming world'.

notjustjay
Nov 26, 2007, 04:59 PM
I kinda knew my question had no definite answer but I thought discussing it would give me a better idea of what is happening in the 'programming world'.

I think as long as you're learning the concepts of programming (sequential versus object-oriented, functions, variables, etc.) then you'll be putting yourself in a position to more readily learn whatever is the latest-and-greatest. Yes, employers will be looking for specific keywords on your resume, but the good ones realize that the skills transfer very easily. If you're a good C++ coder, for example, you'll have very little difficulty picking up Java. If you know PHP, it wouldn't be difficult to pick up ASP or ColdFusion. Stuff like that. Generally, the technology you'll be working on 10 years from now will have little relevance to what you learned today. But the concepts probably still apply.

It also helps your knowledge to know a bit about the next "layer" below what you are doing. For example, if you're training to drive an 18-wheeler, you'll pick it up much better if you're familiar with how to drive a regular car. Understanding how a car engine works gives you some base knowledge to deal with driving situations. Understanding how a transmission works gives you insight into what the engine is doing. Understanding gears and ratios .... You get the picture :)