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Experiences for entry-level Java programmer

Sol Otto
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 15, 2011
Posts: 5
Hello Java Lovers! ;-p

I have been reading a couple of threads until my brain hurts lol...what I understood from Java "experts" is that the most important factor to get you an entry-level programmer job is by experiences. So, my question is, if you have no experience to begin with and working your way toward to an entry-level programmer:
1. What are good ways to build your experiences?
2. What are proper methods to add experiences to resume or portfolio that are verifiable?
3. I understand that it depends on what employers are seeking, but what kind of minimum/base experiences that almost all employers are seeking for?

I am located in California, USA if that makes a differences.

Thanks for reading my thread!
Jeanne Boyarsky
internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 30537
    
150

Sol,
Welcome to CodeRanch!

The best ways to gain experience are through an internship or a volunteer project. (for example, know a non-profit that needs something done?) Or contribute soemthing to an open source project. The idea is to do something to differentiate yourself from everyone who just went to school.


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Sol Otto
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 15, 2011
Posts: 5
Welcome to CodeRanch!

Thanks Jeanne!!!

The best ways to gain experience are through an internship or a volunteer project.

Are there good sources to find an internship especially for non-student?
Jeanne Boyarsky
internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 30537
    
150

Are you a college graduate? If so, try that school's career office. Or approach companies directly.

If not, you have a problem. Most employers want to see a degree rather than someone who is self taught. I agree with this. If I can't see corporate experience, I want to see the person at least has the right background and proved he/she could work in school. And given the economy is still shaky, I have plenty of candidates with a degree and internship - why I should I take a risk? Same for internships. I have candidates working on their degree. I suppose my advice here would be to seek out small companies (who are less likely to require the degree) and maybe do a certification to show you know Java.
Sol Otto
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 15, 2011
Posts: 5
I would love to earn a BS degree however I don't have a luxury with time and money to attend an university. I had completed most of general education courses (first two years) . I wonder if an associate degree with experience (volunteer work) and plenty of self study would be enough to get an entry-level programmer job? If not, add java certificate on top of it?
Jeanne Boyarsky
internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 30537
    
150

I hate to tell you this, but it's going to be tough to get a programming job without a degree. You might try asking about it at the school you got your associate's degree.

Volunteer experience and certifications might help, but they might not. I recommend trying smaller companies that are less likely to care about the degree.
Sol Otto
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 15, 2011
Posts: 5
Thanks for your honest insights. Very much appreciated!
Sol Otto
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 15, 2011
Posts: 5
On top of programming experiences, would Bachelor degree in Math be a good choice? I know BS in Computer Science is obvious choice but I wonder if Math degree is good as well?
Sumit Bisht
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 02, 2008
Posts: 329

Hi Sol !
Definitely, programming paradigms like functional programming are coming up big time and experience in Maths would definitively help you. Also, I've seen people having experience in maths do good in Algorithms too.
Computer Science & applications are quite large enough to accommodate disciples from Maths to Business Studies.
Good Luck!
 
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