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Need help in proper software development procedure

 
Greenhorn
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Hi guys!
I really wanted to shift career to software development and one major decision I made was when I resigned with my previous job (repairs computer and maintains a local area network) to enroll in a fast track java course and pursue java certification. Fortunately I was able to get certified last Nov. 2002. Then I started looking for a programmer position but with no luck all the employers are looking for at least one year work experience and usually looking for knowledge with jsp/servlets/j2ee that during that time I'm not yet familiar. So again I said to myself I have to learn this stuff but I can't afford another training anymore so I just downloaded free online books on the web (one of them Core Servlets and JSP by Marty Hall great book) and did self study. When I am a little confident with the technology I approach my previous employer because I know they are planning to replace their payroll system and asked them if I could develop it for them. I said making it web based will eliminate their major problem of decentralized payroll (program based on foxpro one program installed in every location). Maybe because they know how badly I wanted to shift to programming they agreed but pays me only until I finish the project. They only give me working allowance. I'm near to finishing the project and I started looking for a job again. This time I got a call and scheduled me for a technical interview. It was good at first when the interviewer testing my knowledge in java but I think I messed out when he started asking about the software development process, about the documentation and testing procedures. I must admit that I'm really poor on documentation but I am aware that it is as important as coding itself. Any idea or suggestion on how I can improve? I also wanted to participate in open source projects to experience working in a team. Your help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you all.
 
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A good way to get started on learning about processes is to ask questions in the Process Forum.
Because you asked other career development questions, I'll leave this post here, but the process discussion should be done in the other forum. I suggest you post there asking specifically about processes (after first doing a search to see the responses received by the many other people who asked the same question).
--Mark
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