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Author Topic: Aspiring software developer in central Texas looking for direction and .....  (Read 1324 times)
NR5P
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Posts: 160




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« on: February 02, 2018, 07:33:53 AM »

A while back I a home automation project I wanted to do, among many other projects where I ran into a wall when I really needed software to do a job. I decided to learn Python with a home automation job I wanted to do. I learned that I love it. I want to do this for a career. I'm in the beginning stages of going back to school via an online degree however am only taking basics right now. I would love to get in the field sooner. I will work for free just to gain experience on Mondays or weekends when I'm not working my full time job if that's possible. Or maybe just a day tour to see what it's like. If anytime is in Temple/Austin area that could give me such an opportunity? Figured I'd give it a shot as I don't really know anyone in the business. Thanks
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AA6YQ
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Posts: 2744


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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2018, 01:34:11 AM »

A while back I a home automation project I wanted to do, among many other projects where I ran into a wall when I really needed software to do a job. I decided to learn Python with a home automation job I wanted to do. I learned that I love it. I want to do this for a career. I'm in the beginning stages of going back to school via an online degree however am only taking basics right now. I would love to get in the field sooner. I will work for free just to gain experience on Mondays or weekends when I'm not working my full time job if that's possible. Or maybe just a day tour to see what it's like. If anytime is in Temple/Austin area that could give me such an opportunity? Figured I'd give it a shot as I don't really know anyone in the business. Thanks

I suggest that you cruise SourceForge for an interesting open source project, and read its source code. When you fully understand it, pick another project, and repeat the process. Keep going until you encounter a project that could use some help, and to which you are now capable of contributing. Work on this project until you attain Committer status.

This approach will expose you to many different techniques and tools. It will also connect you with active developers who can eventually serve as references.

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N9LOX
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Posts: 1




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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2018, 08:59:37 AM »

That's great advice except for the Sourceforge part.  All the interesting activity and momentum is on GitHub these days.  Sourceforge is sort of struggling to remain relevant and isn't home to very many active projects.

A history of contributions to open source projects -- however minor they may be -- is excellent for improving your hiring prospects as well.
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W4KYR
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Posts: 1680




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« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2018, 04:47:08 AM »

Maybe off topic, but the ham radio community could use a low cost host packet radio cross platform program. W4PC used to sell ROC packet radio software that would work with older and new TNC's on current Windows operating systems. But it is no longer available.

https://web.archive.org/web/20110708212421/http://www.cssincorp.com/Radio_Operations_Center_Software.html

While we could always use a terminal program to access most TNC's.  KISS only TNC's (like the MFJ/Coastal Works TNC-X  and Kenwood TH-D74A) require a Packet host program to work properly.


W4PC Packet Radio software thread

http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php?topic=104032.0
« Last Edit: February 07, 2018, 04:51:32 AM by W4KYR » Logged

The internet and cellphone networks are great until they go down, what then? Find out here. 
https://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php/topic,111948.0.html

Using Windows 98 For Packet...
AE5GT
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Posts: 122




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« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2018, 02:29:05 PM »

My advice would be to learn C/C++ , While python is still active , it can be a bit of a backwater ...the library's tend to be several generations behind , the bright side is the bugs never change but they dont leave either  Undecided. Most projects are done in C/C++ .

I found this to be a pretty good listing of ham radio open source projects https://radio.linux.org.au/ most are mature , but you may find something you like and decide to fork for you own interest and you'll be able to see how other people work . Take a little time to familiarize yourself with GNU Public License . I find its much more motivating to work on my own stuff for free,than someone else's...you can work on theirs anytime , especially when you just need to get some seat time on a particular language.

If you really want to work on someone else's Ham project  I would suggest looking at GNU RADIO ,Hamlib , or for python Quisk , or TinyPython Adapter.  

Oh yeah , theres a Bazillion packet ware on there too.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2018, 02:33:29 PM by AE5GT » Logged
KE4OH
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Posts: 153




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« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2018, 06:43:28 AM »

My advice would be to learn C/C++ , While python is still active , it can be a bit of a backwater ...the library's tend to be several generations behind , the bright side is the bugs never change but they dont leave either  Undecided. Most projects are done in C/C++ .

Sorry, but I must disagree, rather strongly. C/C++ was king about 15 years ago. They ceded the throne a while back. The predominant languages for application development are Java and .NET C#, depending on what kind of shop you are working in. Java predominates in government, academic, and start-up operations because these shops use so much open source (free) stuff. .NET and C# in particular is what a lot of bigger commercial shops use.

Good to have Python. Better to have relational database knowledge including any flavor of SQL.
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73 de Steve KE4OH
AA6YQ
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Posts: 2744


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« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2018, 07:08:41 AM »

My advice would be to learn C/C++ , While python is still active , it can be a bit of a backwater ...the library's tend to be several generations behind , the bright side is the bugs never change but they dont leave either  Undecided. Most projects are done in C/C++ .

Sorry, but I must disagree, rather strongly. C/C++ was king about 15 years ago. They ceded the throne a while back. The predominant languages for application development are Java and .NET C#, depending on what kind of shop you are working in. Java predominates in government, academic, and start-up operations because these shops use so much open source (free) stuff. .NET and C# in particular is what a lot of bigger commercial shops use.

Good to have Python. Better to have relational database knowledge including any flavor of SQL.

Understanding the syntax and semantics of a programming language represents about 3% of what the modern software engineer requires to be successful, and in this day and age, the population of single-language developers is declining. Abstraction, patterns, frameworks, platforms, stacks, APIs, operating systems, containers, tools, security, test-driven development, continuous integration, DevOps --  these are the techniques that one must also understand and master.

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KE4OH
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Posts: 153




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« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2018, 07:49:10 AM »

Understanding the syntax and semantics of a programming language represents about 3% of what the modern software engineer requires to be successful, and in this day and age, the population of single-language developers is declining. Abstraction, patterns, frameworks, platforms, stacks, APIs, operating systems, containers, tools, security, test-driven development, continuous integration, DevOps --  these are the techniques that one must also understand and master.

I don't agree with the 3% figure, but I do agree with the rest of your statement.

I've made my living in this field for 37 years now. Currently working for a large healthcare company and as a hiring manager. Most of those skills you list are highly desirable and sought after by the vast majority of employers.

However, the reality is this: We are in an age of specialization. If the position calls for knowledge of a specific technology or language, and most do, you better have it or your chances of getting an interview drop like a stone. And the less experience you have, the more important it is to have those two or three most sought after technologies in your pocket.

Now if a newbie is aiming for developing operating systems and that sort of computer science position, I can't help. But to work on applications, there are three main hard technical skills that are invaluable to have: C#, Java, SQL.  

Try this: Go on Dice or one of the other tech-centric career sites. Pick a city. Now query up all the jobs. See which technologies pop up again and again. (Hint: SQL and .NET/C# or Java.)

Everything else just makes you more marketable. Stuff like Python, HTML5, Hadoop, Windows Powershell, Unix/Linux shell scripting, IIS, Apache, XML, PL/SQL, T-SQL, SOAP and Rest Web Services, Javascript not to mention methodologies like Lean Software Development, Scrum, Agile, etc.

You can't know it all and you won't be expected to know it all. But the more of these you have, the better.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2018, 07:56:46 AM by KE4OH » Logged

73 de Steve KE4OH
KG5AHC
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Posts: 99




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« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2018, 07:21:03 PM »

While teaching yourself some programming skills, get out and meet people.... I am sure that there are many groups in Austin that are catering to the software engineering community... 

I think there is a Microsoft VSLive event in Austin April 30-May 4 2018.

"Galvanize"  https://www.galvanize.com/austin  might be interesting.

By the way... BlockChain is a hot topic in business 2 business process engineering these days. and I don't mean BitCoin.

In the end... learning how to leverage fundamental software components and concepts (that apply to all languages) to solve problems is a very valuable skill.

best regards,
Jeff KG5AHC


 
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