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Need advice after passing OCP8, what next?  RSS feed

 
Dóra Takács
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Dear Ranchers,

The title says it all, but giving a little context might be useful, so here I go!

I started out learning programming as a hobby, with my goal being "I want to make a visual-novel, like a book with pictures and music!" kind of thing. Although I am still determined to do that, learning and messing with programming has grown to become something way more than just a goal-tool for me.
My first step was OCA8 last year, passed with 90%, made many small programs from a simple calculator to a buggy sudoku solver to snake game. It took me 2 months to study, I was enthusiastic and the studying materials were really well created (Thanks Jeanne Boyarsky and Scott Selikoff!). OCP8 went a tad bit slower as I had to work and attend college at the same time, but I passed OCP8 this monday (oh gosh it was hard!).

I have had a "what if" in mind for a while, to turn to programming more professionally. My current job would also appreciates that incentive. It seems like it wouldn't be hard either anyways, because ever since I uploaded my certs to LinkedIn, I have been swarmed with recruiters and offers, and to be honest, I also really enjoy programming. I also want to finish my hobby goals.

So the thing is, I feel like I want to learn more, possibly linux and server related thing (back-end?) and also ways to put my visual-novel on the web (front-end?). Are there any certifications around that would help me do that? Exams like the OCA and OCP were with awesome study materials?
I have also started reading the Effective Java book, and I just cant put these things down. I dont know what came to my mind! 

I'm also considering a degree in Computer Science.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
Dóri
 
Campbell Ritchie
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I think this discussion would fit better in the Jobs Discussion forum.

What are you doing about a job at the present? I am not sure, and we cannot tell you what to do, but a computer sciences degree might well be a good idea. It depends on things like age and how you are going to pay your expenses during the course; remember you may be able to study part‑time.
 
Dóra Takács
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My present job has been from starting out as an office worker at a software company, to manual program and service testing (basically something like, sitting on a chair all day, clicking buttons, and trying to break programs). But as I have been taking more and more interest in going deeper, the company and my boss welcomed it, and I recently I have helped a junior programmer out a lot.

As of age, I'm nearing my mid twenties quite closely, and yes, I have (first subconsciously) already picked a part-time bachelor programme in town.

And I agree with you on the Job discussion forum part, I have just been more accustomed to Java beginners, thanks for noticing and fixing!
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Would your current employer support/pay you to do a BSc? If so, were I approaching my mid‑twenties, I would look on that as an opportunity to be grasped. But we can only suggest what we would do; we cannot tell you what to do.

Testing is important; the ability to break somebody else's code is a valuable skill.
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Congrats on passing the exam. I think your new step should be learning HTML/JavaScript/CSS. That would give you the skills you need in order to build webpages - aka your visual novel. It would also give you the skills you need to demonstrate your portfolio online if you want to pursue a job in this space.
 
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