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I want to work from home.

 
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Hi, I have some basic experience of the principles of object oriented programming and programmed a text rpg a few years ago in C++. I don't remember a thing. I have a few questions. Any advice GREATLY appreciated.

1- I want to work from home programming in java, is this possible? and where do I find work please? Odesk.com?

2- Should I learn C++ before java. Where should I start and are there any good books to read, like the best, for both. I have a college degree in art, I can't go back right now to school, can I still get hired?

3-Is there a specific area of Java programming that is most in demand so that I have a good chance of receiving a liveable income from programming (not rich just liveable, out of poverty). And how long do you think it would take to become good enough to get a job with programming in java please.

Thank you very much in advance for any help! Derek
 
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Hm... difficult.
1) Yes, you can work from home. But freelancing is not that easy.
2) No need to learn C++ before Java. Regarding good books: Code Complete by Steve McConnell and Effecitve Java by Joshua Bloch. But both books require a bit of experience.
3) I wouldn't say that there is a specific area. Android development is en vogue at the moment. But you won't get around touching other areas as well. How long it will take? I know you won't like the answer but I would say: five years. (I also wrote a small article about this topic here)
 
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Sorry to be the party pooper here, but I feel what you want is practically impossible.

Consider:
  • You have no experience.
  • You have no technical education.
  • You want to work at home.


  • You're going to have a hard enough time finding entry-level work given the first two items. But no one is going to hire someone so inexperienced to work in an unsupervised environment.

    If you give up on the "work from home" aspect, and work really hard, you might be able to find an entry-level or intern position.
     
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    I agree with Bear I'd also add to the list that you don't know Java. I wouldn't even hire a self taught Java programmer with no experience or tech degree. It's a bigger risk for the company. And there are so many candidates who have a degree and internship looking for a job. This is all for an onsite.

    One question I have for you: why Java? It is a very specific goal. When I was in college, I wanted to be a developer and I fell in the Java track via an internship. It could easily have been .net.

    Have you considered other tech jobs? The pool of iphone or android developers is smaller and there is less to learn before becoming proficient in small applications. Similarly for Ruby on Rails.

    Another option is to try to become a graphics or user interface or usability/user experience expert. In those spaces, the art degree helps.

    Joachim: excellent article!

     
    Joachim Rohde
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    Bear said it as clear as I wanted to say it originally. But I couldn't find the right words without sounding too arrogant and/or insulting.

    @Jeanne: Thanks for the compliment.
     
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    I agree. The work environment at home is definitely not good for the inexperienced. The two big drawbacks are (1) the lack of a safety net. With no colleagues directly accessible, there can be little to no mentoring; furthermore the ramping up period can be really slow to impossible for the same reason, as asking quick questions is not that quick. And (2) there are a ridiculous amount of distractions at home. Heck, it took me months to be not be distracted by "Judge Judy" while working at home....

    Henry
     
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    What if I write a set of programs that show what I can do? Would it help?
    Or maybe if I participate in some open source project to gain experience...
     
    Jeanne Boyarsky
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    Federico,
    A set of toy programs isn't going to be enough. On open source, it depends on what you do. One could work on an open source project for years with complexity which is real experience. But it's not a catch all. It takes time to gain experience.
     
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    Little off topic... Joachim Rohde that's a very good article.
     
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