TheHartmann Software Group

We recently received a call from a gentleman that wanted to take a course in SQL or Tableau and get a “certificate” so that he can break into the IT industry. He is currently employed full-time (non IT related) and wanted to know how long it would take to really get a grip of the concepts to be “hirable” in the industry. 

 

We had a rather lengthy conversation because I was trying to understand his career goals in order to provide some type of guidance. Because this is a completely new field that he is looking to explore, he is at a loss as to where to begin. Here are my recommendations based on years of similar questions from people trying to transition into the information technology field. 

 

First, learn the general concepts of object-oriented programming. This will give you an idea of how quickly you can pick up on the concepts and be able to put them to use. The “certificate” unless it’s for Project Management or Cyber Security, are meaningless to most IT hiring managers. What interviewers are looking for in a programmer/developer are problem-solving skills. As in any other language that you opt to learn, be it Spanish or French, or etc., the time and effort you put into the nuances will account for a fluid transition or a butchering of the language. Similarly, learning the bones of the industry will at the very least tick-off some yes or no boxes for your own capabilities and preferences. 

 

So where to begin? If you are interested in front-end development, (creating websites), you can explore a free website, i.e., W3Schools or low-cost self-paced courses at Udemy for classes such as HTML, Javascript, and CSS. These sites will provide enough of a conceptual overview to get you familiar with coding possibilities.  As most self-taught developers will tell you, practice makes perfect. Expect to burn the midnight oil to get comfortable with programming principles. 

 

If you are not certain what to focus on first, do a search for “must-know interview questions” for the type of job you are interested in. This list is your guide in terms of what topics to master in your chosen field. Typically, a search for the actual job position on a job site such as Indeed will result in invaluable information in terms of what the company expectations of entry-level or seasoned programmers are. At the very least, after three months of just doing it, meaning you are practicing to code and are participating in forums, getting guidance from professionals in the field, and working on projects, you will be conversant enough to ask the right questions and optimize your learning curve from there. 

The real power of interactive technologies is that they let us learn in ways that aren’t otherwise possible or practical. - David Lassner

Jun 22, 2020

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