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What level is need to get a graduate/entry level job in programming?

 
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I've just completed a maths degree and have been looking for jobs in London in data analyst, consultancy, mainly, but not because I am passionate about these area, but because I think I will have a good chance at getting these jobs.

However, I have just been teaching myself Java over the past couple of weeks and absolutely love it. When I was at school I taught myself HTML, javascript and visual basic and enjoyed making things from these, but since then I have completely forgotten about programming. Over these past two weeks I have done online video courses on programming fundamentals, OOP, Java, and now learning about design patterns.

I have realised that I think I would really like a job in programming. I have a naturally analystical mind, love understanding how things work and creating new things, love problems solving, love puzzles etc.

My question is, realistically what level do I need to be at to get a job in programming? And, if possible, is it realistic to get to this level in say two months if I spend 6-8 hours per day learning?

To give you an idea of the speed I learn at, in two weeks I have covered and understood the syllabus of the Oracle Level 1 Java SE exam from scratch, along with programming fundamentals and OOP courses I mentioned above. I have been watching all videos at about double speed, and following along by creating my own code using what I have been learning. I have also been writing down any questions I have had along the way which I look up in my own time.

I personally feel that in one or two months at this rate of learning I could complete the Oracle level 2 Java SE exam, however I understand that there is a vast difference between having the technical knowledge to pass an exam, and having the technical intuition and isight that only comes with experience.
 
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john shanahan wrote:
I personally feel that in one or two months at this rate of learning I could complete the Oracle level 2 Java SE exam, however I understand that there is a vast difference between having the technical knowledge to pass an exam, and having the technical intuition and isight that only comes with experience.



I'll go one step further... there is a big difference between getting the knowledge and retaining it. And quite frankly, the quicker you get the knowledge, the quicker you can forget it. It is experience that develop the "muscle memory". It is experience that gets to true understanding versus "understanding" (by rote memorization). etc.

So... after (and during) you get the certification, I recommend you get "experience". It could be as simple as working on a project that you are interested in.

Henry
 
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