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To Matthew: what should I do to get into IT

 
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Hey Matt! I have a question that I suppose would fall under "broader objectives". What should I do if I wanted to get into an IT field, but I'm a pretty late starter (I'm 24, but graduated with a degree in a non-engineering field)? What I'm doing now is working through some books, doing problem solving (project euler and things like that) and I'm going to attempt my first bigger project soon. Obviously, I'm going to keep working at what I'm doing. Yet, I know I'm still a long way off from "competent"... what should I do?
 
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BTW, this post has been split from the book promotion welcome topic...

https://coderanch.com/t/608131/Jobs/careers/Matthew-Morran

Henry
 
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Welcome to the Ranch

Many people are posting in the hope of winning a book; posts in the “welcome” are ineligible for the book prize. That is why your post has been moved.
 
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Colin,

I guess my first response would be to question whether you are a late starter at 25. :-D

You are plenty young.

If your goal is development (and I've touched on this topic elsewhere), find (or create) an internship. I point people back to small businesses that need the help. They don't have a budget per se - perhaps they are a startup. Maybe it is someone you know. Develop their solution at no cost but make it clear how much time each week you can spend. Also, that you want a job reference down the road. You learn more solving an actual business problem then any theoretical programming can give you.
 
Colin Annetti
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Campbell and Henry,

Thanks for the responses and moving me out of the welcome thread! I was worried that what I posted wasn't in the right place for it after it got moved, but it seems that it was moved in my best interest, so thanks very much.

Matt,

Thanks for the encouraging post and your time. Talking to small businesses about their needs sounds like a great place to start (and a good idea), and thankfully I know a ton of them (although I want to get a solid foundation before rushing into a project and messing everything up). Got to get my body of work up to show future employers!

Fond Regards to all three of you,
Colin
 
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