Changing direction; beginning to walk the IT path

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by jbg123, Sep 4, 2014.

  1. jbg123 macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2014
    Hey everyone,
    I used to work in Gov. contracting and still do, but now on the healthcare side doing software testing. I know a little bit but I want to get opinions on a direection to focus on and get longevity and stability long term from my choices. I have an opportunity to learn some eggPlant testing tools, and think that mobile application development might be a good option, but I currently know no programming langauges at all. Also, I've got a few VMware courses under my belt now and wanted to ask about an Apple certifications vs. CompTIA + certs; which is the better route to take knowing a minimal amount and wanting to go a new direction from a different field. Thanks for reading.
  2. VI™ macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2010
    Shepherdsturd, WV
    What I've learned:

    CompTIA certs are becoming a must for even entry level positions. I had a recruiter tell me that they would be hard pressed getting me in to pretty much any entry level government job without a Security+ certification.

    Net+ & Sec+ are needed, but they don't go very far. They'll get your foot in the door but you'll need either some type of degree or an advanced certification to go anywhere and make more than entry level $18+/- an hour (depending on your location. I'm considered the DC area for pay scale).

    Specialize! I'm getting my Net+ & Sec+, but I'm going to school to end up with several Cisco certs.

    Programming is boring. Sitting in front of a computer screen all day starting of lines of code does nothing for me. I hate it and find no pleasure in it.

    I don't have any personal experience with Apple certifications but unless you want to work in a place where you know is very heavy on Apple, I can't see them being very useful for getting most jobs.

    Coding, Networking, & Security are your friend. All three fields will be around for a while. At least until computers are wiped out.

    Learning programming languages is like learning any second language: once you learn your first language, the theory and basics of how to put "sentences" together, it will make learning additional languages easy. Words may be different and sentence structure may be different, but you'll find similarities across all the languages you learn.
  3. jbg123 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2014
    Hey thanks for the reply. Great info as well. I'm in the NoVa area as well and have exp. in varying fields of gov. contracting already and the rest that goes with it. I'm thinking of working towards mobile app development and virtualization, as it relates to the cloud infrastructure that's becoming so popular and standard almost it seems. Apple certifications seem logical but I'm not sure how marketable they would be, Gov stuff rules in this area, hence the Windows world is sure to go hand in hand there, but specializing there and being all inclusive with cloud technologies and virtualization (VMware) is what I'm thinking~ thoughts?
  4. D.T. macrumors G3


    Sep 15, 2011
    Vilano Beach, FL
    I actually find the opposite true: from my perspective, IT/infrastructure has a finite scope, there’s only so much variation in it, even with new tech, it’s still more of the same, the resulting “output” doesn’t change much between industries.

    Unlike coding where you’re creating something, that has influence and uniqueness based on the industry, platform, market, etc. If you wind up in a small shop, you could even be contributing to the UI, UX and design. With development, you might be working on any combination of backend/DB, services, front end via mobile or web.

    Interestingly, a small shop might also have you doing some IT-ish type of work, i.e., server setup, deployment, management and whatnot - larger shops tend to have more departmentalized teams/tasks.

    I’ve done both, been certified (MCSE, CCNA), but quickly migrated (a long time ago...) into development which I find way more satisfying.

    I’ve mostly owned my own businesses (exclusively for the last 20 years), and in the last 10 years or so, only done complete end-to-end development which does create a little bias since I get to touch most parts of the project (vs. just the “good” or “bad” parts).

    Just my $0.02 :cool:
  5. calderone macrumors 68040


    Aug 28, 2009
    Take a good look at DevOps. That is a nice balance between programming and systems. It is growing very quickly and offers a lot of unique opportunities.

    In my experience certifications get you jobs at boring places.

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