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Junior Programmer Skill Set?

 
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Are there a standard set of abilities that a Junior Programmer, focusing on Java/ XML/ HTML, should have? I would appreciate some target skills to focus on, rather than being told to know the "fundamentals" inside and out. That does'nt really tell me very much. Are'nt the "fundamentals" merely a means to an end?
Paul
[This message has been edited by Paul Puodziukas (edited November 14, 2001).]
 
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Not to dodge your question, but I think for an entry level developer, one of the most important things to do is to get a compelling story to tell. For example, when I interview college students, the ones who have an interesting story to tell about a problem they solved through their programming are much more interesting candidates than folks who have only programmed in the context of a schoolwork.
That said, once your foot is in the door, I'd focus on trying to get good habits. Working in a place with code reviews is great because you get good feedback on the decisions you make in your code. If your group doesn't have reviews, seek out criticism of what you write. (This is not unlike the process of learning to write human languages.)
Good luck!
Dave
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David Kane
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Dave,
I am not sure what you meant by the following statement:
"the ones who have an interesting story to tell about a problem they solved through their programming are much more interesting candidates than folks who have only programmed in the context of a schoolwork...."
thanks,
Thomas
 
Paul Puodziukas
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Dave,
You'll have to forgive me as I am still very much the neophyte. Are code reviews considered standard practice in working situations? Are they usually geared towards lower-level programmers who are still in the process of conforming to their company's style and approach to software development?
Also, "Getting your foot in the door," is a phrase that I see over and over again. I've heard that creating websites for non-profits is one avenue, but that's leaning more EXCLUSIVELY towards html and scripting languages. There must be other things that new aspiring developers commonly do to get into working situations. In this definition of "working situations," I not only mean to include full-time salaried positions, but also internships, apprenticeships, contract work, and any kind of software testing.
Paul
[This message has been edited by Paul Puodziukas (edited November 14, 2001).]
 
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Are code reviews considered standard practice in working situations?


Nothing is standard, every group in every company will have their own way of doing things. In some places the code review is part of the whole devleopment process and in others the code goes from your editor into production.
 
William Barnes
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Also, "Getting your foot in the door," is a phrase that I see over and over again. I've heard that creating websites for non-profits is one avenue, but that's leaning more EXCLUSIVELY towards html and scripting languages.


I think that idea is to have some type of sudo real world experience. So creating a web site for a non-profit may not be the exact type of work you are interested in, but it shows you did something.
The most common example is doing an intership somewhere. As an intern you may spend 50% of your time doing stuff you can't put on your resume (make copies maybe) but you get the sudo real world experience.
 
William Barnes
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Are there a standard set of abilities...


Not really. Every job you apply for is going to want you to have exactly the set of skills they are looking for - so you can't really do much about that.
I would be included to say something like:
1] a high level language, like Java or C++,
2] basic OO knowledge,
3] a general scripting language like Perl,
4] basic XML knowledge
(everyone is going to have different opinions for this)
 
William Barnes
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I am not sure what you meant by the following statement:
"the ones who have an interesting story to tell about a problem they solved through their programming are much more interesting candidates than folks who have only programmed in the context of a schoolwork...."


You need to be able to talk about yourself and programming. If all you can talk about in the context of programming are class assignments what does that give you? Everyone knows you wrote the code for class to get a grade. Can you talk about programming outside of that context? Do you have any non-school experiences with programming?
 
Paul Puodziukas
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Thank You Christopher. I kind of had some off-the-wall questions, and you've confirmed a number of things I was suspecting. It seems like the only way to get career advise sometimes is to directly ask other programmers. :-)
 
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