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careers advice needed from uk programmers

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Hi there
i m trying to launch my career in software developpement,as i have no experience whatsoever , i found it hard to get a job , i've passed SCJP and plan to take a shot at the developper one soon, but i like to know if this is the right approach ,alternatively there are some companies that provide some programming courses at exorbitant prices but guarantee you job in the end of it , what do you guys think ?

i'd appreciated
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I'm in pretty much the same position, I've got a degree but the grade is going to be rubbish (I was doing resits, so I know my overall grade will be 48% - as long as I haven't failed them again(which I'm pretty sure I haven't)). I'm about to submit my developers assignment, but with no industry experience and a poor degree, will anyone want to hire me?

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Well what you need is to get your foot in the door, so look for any jobs that could give you experience in IT even if it isn't programming to begin with. Those courses that guarentee you a job are scams, stay away from them. Computeach are also crud. The certs your getting a more valuable to you than the crappy courses you see advertised by these people. Work on getting a portfolio produced, something that shows off a couple of the projects you've worked on. Even if they aren't great, employers will be looking for proof that you can do something. Target your applications carefully, don't just spam applications to hundreds of jobs. Pick that ones the don't have required experience and spend the time writting a proper application, make sure its personalised to them and include how you meet their specification. Register on the job sites. Join the BCS. Keep up to date with the IT news. Buy computer weekly magazine, both for the job listings, articles and the job advertisements. Get the guardian on thursday. Contact any local companys in IT/Software, find out if theres any chance of doing shortterm or unpaid work experience with them, find out what they are looking for, ask them what they think you should do.

Good Luck
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