How to Land a Job Interview in Programming

You've graduated college and now you are looking for a job in the IT field, preferably, one in programming. Programming is not double clicking buttons in a WYSIWG editor and typing a few lines of code. If when you graduate, all you can code is basic, you will have a hard time. Hopefully, you did not goof off in your classes and forget all the coding experience you learned in your four year journey. You actually want to put those skills to good use.

If you want to get a good job, here is some advice. Become good at public speaking. Learn how to interview and be interviewed. Know your stuff. Take a career development class of some kind. You don't have to be the best programmer, but having a lot of charisma can be the deciding factor in getting your job. Mumbling your words and staring at your shoes during an interview isn't going to help you. Don't make the mistake of only relying on your charisma to weasel your way in, though. You won't be able to keep your job before your style wears thin and your lack of talent becomes apparent. As long as you know your stuff, and have experience, then the interview will be in the bag. After all most interviews are, mostly, just about seeing how well you can talk about the subject. If you can do that, then your chances of getting the job are high, whether you have the skills or not.

Good engineers are not typically good with communicating. I highly recommend communication classes as well, provided you have some good engineering skills to go with them. Otherwise my advice is look for a government job.

Some employers once gave me these very important pieces of information. If someone was awkward or nervous and didn't make eye contact, but did well with the technical parts of the interview, then the employer would hire them. If someone was great with being eloquent, smooth, and charismatic, but failed the technical subjects, then the employer would have no interest in hiring them. Being smooth does overcome technical incompetence, or at least largely so. Being poor at interpersonal communications wont help. Knowing your stuff is certainly important, but there are indeed other aspects. Being able to learn, thinking about customers, working on teams, knowing when to change approaches, generating ideas and weighing them, and so on.

People in general are more inclined to hire the mostly charismatic over the total nervous wreck. It applies to all jobs in general. Just how well can a nervous wreck fully explain he knows his stuff as well as work well with his co-workers on a team or interact with customers on a team?

It's not as easy as wishing the interviewer would just hand out a test and say "here you go, code this," and whoever got the highest grade would get the job. Most of the time, the interviewer hires people they think they will like, and … Read the rest

Computer Programming Tips : Fixing Infinite Do and While Loops

One of the most common errors in computer programming is running into an infinite Do or While loops. These are parts of the source code that is usually meant to loop for a certain number of times until the condition of the loop is met. These loops are utilized for specific purposes in the logic of a source code/program. However, there may be times when you encounter a loop that goes on and on unintentionally. In rare occasions, infinite loops are utilized to keep a program running forever for whatever purpose it may be and again, let me reiterate, it’s quite rare.

If you happen to have an infinite loop in your code and want to fix it, there are some steps can you can do to try and debug or fix it so that the Do or While loop will end. Let’s say you want to run the loop 10 times but when you run the program, it continues to run the loop continuously instead of stopping after 10 times.

Before you move on, it’s always good to do some real-time debugging for Do and While loops. Place a command that will show you the value of the index. It depends on what programming language you are using but for the sake of our example, you can use print, writeln, msgbox, etc. to display the value of the index. This way, you’ll know how many times the loop has run or what values the index acquires after each loop. If it goes way over the number of intended times it’s supposed to run, you may possibly have an infinite loop. The index is the variable that we usually assign to count the number of the times the loop has run.

Let’s use a While Wend loop as an example (for the BASIC programming language).

X=0
While X = 0
Print “Hello”
Wend

In this case, the loop will run while the value of X = 0. Let’s call X as the index of the loop. If the value of X changes, the loop will terminate. In this While loop, it will print the word Hello infinitely because the value of X is 0 and it does not change. To verify this, add Print X below the Print “Hello” statement. The program will display the value of X (which is 0) after it displays Hello. You’ll know immediately that the loop will run forever since the value of X will always be 0. But if you place X = X + 1 before Wend, after the first execution of the loop, the loop will end because the value of X is now 1. So when your conditions are met within the loop you’re trying to make, make sure you change the value of the index.

For Do Until loops, it’s the other way around. It will continue to run until the index is equal to the value in the Until statement. For the For Next loop, you don’t have to … Read the rest

Computer Programming Language Comparison

A wide variety of computer programming languages exist, with varying levels of sophistication, compatibility, and learning difficulty. Read on for a comparison of some of the major languages and the benefits or drawbacks which apply to them…

“C”/”C++”: C and C++ (an improved version) are in widespread use for creating applications and operating systems. According to wikipedia.org, this programming language can be used to make executable programs for multiple operating systems. It has sophisticated capabilities, but is considered more difficult to learn in comparison to QBASIC or Turbo Pascal.

TURBO PASCAL: A significant benefit of this programming language in comparison to most others is that some versions are legally available for free. Wikipedia.org indicates that TP versions 1, 3.02, and 5.5 have been freely released. It also states that this language is still taught in some universities, and (like QuickBASIC 4.5) has a convenient all-in-one programming interface with a built-in program compiler (for creating executables). Screenshot

BASIC: Many different versions of this programming language exist (GWBASIC, DEC, MSX, etc.), each with similar syntax but somewhat different capabilities. BASIC is one of the easier languages to learn, but has fewer capabilities in comparison with “C” or QBASIC; many versions cannot create executables, so users of the programs must have the same version of BASIC to use them.

QBASIC: QuickBASIC/QBASIC offers more commands and a better programming interface than BASIC. QuickBASIC 4.5 can create executable programs which can be used on operating systems ranging from DOS 2.11 to Windows XP, although graphical programs won’t work in XP. Although there are more commands, the improved interface and help feature make it potentially easier to learn than regular BASIC. Another advanced version of BASIC is TrueBASIC, which has a website at truebasic.com. Screenshot

VBASIC: The Visual BASIC language makes it easier to code window-based programs, not that this isn’t possible in other programming languages. Early versions of VB created DOS programs, whereas the latest versions generate programs which will run in Windows but not DOS. It is in more widespread use than Turbo Pascal or QBASIC at present, and some colleges offer programming courses for it. Screenshot

COBOL: This is among the oldest programming languages still being used in business and government, according to wikipedia.org. The COBOL language is relatively easy to learn (probably easier in comparison to “C”), partially thanks to its syntax which allows commands to be entered using entire English words in a sentence-like format. It enables creation of programs for multiple operating systems and has more sophisticated capabilities in comparison to QuickBASIC.

Other noteworthy programming languages include Fortran, Python, and FORTH, as well as online/web languages like HTML and PHP.… Read the rest

Online Computer Programming Degree: Learn How You Can Further Your Education

Almost every business now relies on computers and internet for their operations. As a result Computer Programming is poised to be one of the fastest growing technical professions.

Scope of computer programming

In today’s economy, computer programmers are needed in almost every business in every region of the world. There will always be a need for computer programmers making the job market very strong for those with the right skills. Computer programmers tend to work in comfortable office environments and receive competitive pay.

The Benefits of A Degree

Over 50% of computer programmers today have at least a college degree, with nearly 20% holding a graduate degree. Most employers will be looking for programmers with who are fluent in a number of programming languages and tools and have experience developing and implementing applications. With a computer programming degree you greatly increase your value to employers and chances of securing competitive jobs.

What you will gain

Whether you are a professional trying to change directions or you are ready to gain the education and recognition to get a rewarding job a degree in computer programming can help. Online colleges and universities offer associate, bachelor, and master degree programs in computer programming that will allow you to develop the skills you need. Whether you want to continue your education over a longer period by taking a few classes at a time, or you want to aggressively complete a degree there are online courses ready to fit your needs.

Students in these programs will learn a variety of skills from programming, systems analysis, and design. They will most likely learn C++ and VisualBasic as well as a number of additional programming languages that will help them designed, implement, and manage systems. The coursework will help students develop and practice the necessarily skill sets to succeed in a variety of roles that exist in the workplace. With a computer programming degree you will have to foundation to continue to expand your knowledge in skills in the ever developing field of computer technologies.… Read the rest

Dish Network's Satellite Programming Better Than I Expected it to Be

I had a satellite dish installed in my home for the first time five years ago and I haven't looked back since. Before we set up an account with Dish Network, good old fashioned rabbit ears were the only sort of tuning device we had; yes we did use metal coat hangers and aluminum foil once in a while to get a clearer picture. My family had taken turns balancing the coat hangers and foil, standing on one foot and holding their noses to their knees for nearly three years and we finally felt it was time to reward ourselves with real TV. So we decided to go with Dish Network Satellite service.

At first our real big worry was the signal. Several friends had remarked that once the wind started kicking up in the winter time we would lose our signal. One of my husband's co-workers informed him if we had trees in our yard that we'd also lose the signal that way. We were so worried about having a headache in our house that we almost changed our minds. Once you go to rabbit ears the kids pretty much stop squabbling over the TV because there's nothing on it according to them and life tends to become quiet and peaceful.

On the day the service technician from Dish Network came to install the satellite the first question we asked him was, how often would we be likely to lose the signal? Our nice and friendly technician put our fears to rest and assured us that under most normal circumstances, including some pretty big wind gusts, our signal would continue to reach our dish without very many interruptions. I am happy to announce that he was right. We have had a few outages but they are extremely rare and when they do happen the signal is picked right back up again while at the same time showing us a ticking counter of its activity.

One of the coolest things about having Dish Network satellite TV is that you gain the ability to pause shows, movies, commercials or whatever you happen to be watching. I must warn you though; this becomes a rather addicting behavior. Once you become accustomed to pausing your television you will find yourself trying to pause real life situations. Dish Network gives you the ability to pause up to two hours when watching normal TV but if you are watching a pre-recorded movie on the DVR, or digital video recorder, then you will have unlimited pausing control.

Recording shows to watch later are another addicting feature. When the technician installs your receiver box he will explain all of this to you. With Dish Network you are allowed to record 100 hours of broadcasting. Sounds like a lot doesn't it? Trust me when I say it's not. With a satellite dish that gets tons of channels it is very easy to use up those hours with shows that you plan to watch at another time. It's also … Read the rest

The Best Approach to Learning Computer Programming

Are you interested in computer programming and you do not know how to go about it? Are you in another industry and your interest is to acquire the basic skills of computer programming? You should not despair for there are is a simple and cheap method of understanding the fundamentals of computer programming. This method is in three parts and consists of:

i). Acquiring a computer language compile.

ii). Acquiring the computer language programming tutorial

iii). Learning other languages.

The first step on learning a computer program cheaply is to acquire a computer language compiler. The language maybe Pascal, C++, Java script, C, Visual Basics (VB), or SQL. For starters, I would recommend to either acquire latest versions of Pascal (Pascal 5 and above) or VB. This is because the two languages are very simple to understand and master. They therefore suit those who are new in the computer programming industry.

A compiler is a computer program that has been designed to interpret the human language into computer language. Computer language consists of byte characters in the form of 0s and 1s (that is off or on switches and circuits).

Instead of mastering the combinations of 0s and 1s that will form an instruction, computer programs have been developed to ease the interaction between the human programmer and the computer itself. Most of these compilers come as software that is installable from standard discs for CD-ROM and others.

After you have acquired a suitable compiler, then you have to get a guide tutorial through which you will learn how to program using the particular computer programming language. The reason why I said that I would prefer the Pascal and Visual Basics is that not only is it easy to acquire their compilers, but also finding online tutorials for them is quite simple. Just type in the words ‘Free Pascal tutorials’ or ‘Free VB tutorials’ on any search engines preferably Google and you will get many websites dedicated to providing these free online tutorials.

After getting the compiler and online guides, you can then easily dedicate a period of time to slowly and logically follow the tutorials. Try to follow the examples given. Learning computer programming language requires someone who will be interactive with the compiler, not just following the guide without actively participating in writing the codes. Most of the tutorials have been divided into lessons and it is my advice that you go through each lesson per day instead of accumulating several lessons in one day that might end up confusing you.

An expert computer programmer must learn several computer programming languages. This will mean that one language is learnt after the other. Being up to date with the current computer programming languages will help you be a good computer program developer. It is worth to note that computer programming is a continuous field of study and any dedicated computer programmer will not relax and sit back if excellence is to be achieved.… Read the rest

Tips for Learning Computer Programming on Your Own

Several college majors and classes provide you with the learning tools for computer programming. With a website being one of the most important tools for business marketing, small businesses need some basic programming skills to work with a dynamic web application. You can upload a site, but this gives you no option for setting up a shopping cart, dynamic content, password protected areas, or user interaction on your website. Here are some tips for learning basic computer programming without signing up for computer programming classes at your local college.

Grab a Simple Beginner Programmer Book

Books are one of the main ways to learn computer programming at your own pace and without the stress of grades and assignments. Most programming books have some practice code for you to enter into your programming editor, so you can follow along. If you are an intermediate coder, this gives you the option to read through the easier sections without doing the practice code. Work quickly through these sections until you get to the harder code where you can practice more advanced programming concepts.

Time Each Learning Module

Part of the process to learn computer programming is practice. If you decide to learn a specific programming language, keep up with the modules and don’t let too much time lapse. If you learn one module and wait a month to learn the next, you may need to re-learn the previous section. Take time each day or every other day to read a little bit of the modules. Perhaps read a module and do the practice code on the following day.

Check Local High Schools for After-Hours Classes

Check local high schools for adult learning classes. These are not as demanding as a college class, and you only need to attend once or twice a week. These are beneficial for people who don’t learn material as well from books as they do from an instructor. Most of the teachers work in the industry, so you learn from someone who has hands-on experience and works as a professional coder. The classes only last for a few weeks, and they are an affordable option if you do not have the money for expensive training.

Keep Practicing

Since computer programming is all about learning a new language, keep practicing to ensure you don’t forget. This goes for any language such as C#, VB.NET, PHP, SQL or even simple HTML. The more you practice, the more advanced your skill set becomes and you can create, edit and manage any website or desktop application.… Read the rest