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Mike Sasin

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since Aug 31, 2001
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Recent posts by Mike Sasin

Originally posted by Patricia Anderson:
In my experience three things are important: a solid university degree (and it helps if you graduated from a reputable university), work experience(and it helps to work for a good company), and certification.
Patricia - Do you think that the university degree must be in CS? I am one of those career changers with a degree (a few in fact) from solid schools, but not in CS. I got my computer training at a "lowly" local tech school. A friend of mine with a Masters in EE said this would not matter in my case. Since I have already
proven myself both academically and professionally in another field, the fact that I went to a tech school makes no difference; all that matters is that I have skills. Any thoughts?
When I had the first two, I scoffed at the third. In reality I was bitter, angry, and afraid. Bitter because a colleague was chosen for promotion instead of me -- and all things equal the guy with certification got the promotion. Angry because I spent a lot of money, a lot of real hard school work for five years; and guys at work with certification seemed to get more recognition. Afraid -- to take the certification exam (university reputation at stake).
Today I am certified. I am so proud to have all three: a university degree, experience, and certification. But now, I love the pin the most.
Peace.


18 years ago
I'm glad Tim is not the only one with an advanced degree in another field interested becoming a programmer. I myself went to law school, got tired of practicing law, fell in love with programming (especially Java) and am starting my career over. Having passed the bar and practiced law, I hope I can shed some light on this whole "mastering" a skill controversy. Passing the bar exam does not teach you a thing about the day-to-day practical aspects of practicing law. Just because someone passed the bar doesn't mean they'll be a good lawyer, and I don't believe it tests overall "mastery". So why do it? Two reasons: uniform standards for basic knowledge and what I call a "right of passage." Let's face it, different schools and different intructors have their own way of teaching things. So, two people from two different law schools may have been taught the same subject two different ways! In order to ensure a BASIC uniform competence (note I stress basic) and to try to protect the public from incompetent lawyers (notice I say "try" to protect), the state makes everyone take the bar exam. The right of passage thing tests mental toughness - how bad do you want to do this? I knew people in law school who had relatives who were lawyers and showed them all the tricks of acing exams. Others had to work. The bar exam says okay, now you need to study this stuff for however many months and sit for a comprehensive two-day exam, 8 hours a day. If you really want to practice law, you'll go through this ordeal.
A cynic would say that both of these reasons appeal to employers - an employer knows they'll get someone with a basic knowledge of the subject and they'll get a stooge willing to work their butt off for something. An idealist would say this is a factor of internal resolve. The answer is probably somewhere in the middle.
18 years ago
Now you are on the right track Dave! Having a broad base of knowledge does in fact increase decision-making ability. I know that having come right out of college, it is tempting to believe that education is a good thing. It is, but... Look, I'm not knocking formal education; it is important and I have gone through much formal education myself. However, getting a particular degree will not automatically enable you to make sound business decisions that are fast and good. That takes common sense, which is gained partly through experience, partly through a broad base of knowledge. I've met lots of different people, and I like "techies" the most - they tend to be logical thinkers and have a quirky sense of humor. I.e. - they got common sense. So don't sell yourself short. Those questions you asked you can probably answer with some common sense and a bit of thinking. And if you can program, you can certainly think logically! Unfortunately, many people can't, so they're sent back for more education hoping some of it will stick. My advice - relax, enjoy your twenties, find a job, enjoy the feeling of earning some money. If you have the desire, read stuff on your own, browse Web sites that offer info on economics and finance, or enroll in an economics course at a community college - the tuition tends to be real cheap and the workload not so bad. Doing this will give you that broad base of knowledge that leads to common sense. Then, as your career moves forward, you will better know what educational path to take.
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18 years ago
I hate to sound like some old guy (I'm 33; when I was 22, 33 seemed kinda old) but get the experience first. Then, your employer might pay for an M.B.A. or other education. I also agree with the others - if your goal is to be an IT manager, go for the M.B.A., not another Bachelors. Some MBA programs offer a "general" MBA and some allow you to concentrate in a field such as accounting, marketing, etc. If you decide to do a concentration and your goal is to be a manager, I recommend the accounting concentration even if you have no desire to be an accountant! Reason is that accounting is considered a rigorous field and the fundamental discipline underlying business practices. A close second is finance - definitely more fun than accounting. Economics, sadly, is considered impractical, unless you want to get a Ph.D and serve on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve. Don't get me wrong - I like economics, but it is just not considered practical. Also, consider why you love finance. If you love investing your money, there are plenty of good "teach yourself" books that are far less expensive than a traditional degree and you will gain lots more practical knowledge. As for going into law, here is my story: I just spent about $10,000 and the last 6 months of my life going to night classes at a tech school to learn computer programming. Know what I did before that? I practiced law - and was miserable. The law itself, I grant you, can be interesting. The actual practice is another thing. And if you think the job market is tight for programmers, you should see how tight the law market is! Wait a few months, and the job market for programmers will turn around. Law, I believe, will continue to stagnate. And don't get me started on salaries! After practicing for five years, I am making about what a second year programmer makes.
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18 years ago
Your story would be very good news for me if not for the slow economy. I also did the unrelated degree + tech school = (hopefully) something equivalent to a B.S. in CS. I have been trying to sell the "other" skills gained in my former profession; no luck yet.

Originally posted by ersin eser:
well just don't give up.
I have a technical school degree in IT field + college degree from unrelated field . I got a job at my very first interview and it is Java related . And the company is kind enough to send me ( entry level ) to J2ME training
Just don't wait, go for it.



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18 years ago
Patricia gave a good account of Sun's fundamentals - obviously a lover of finance like myself! I currently own Sun stock so I felt the hurt of the latest bad news. But Sun will be a survivor.
As for the broader economic picture, most economists have described this as a business-led economic slowdown. That means that businesses have cut back on capital spending, most noticeably in the manufacturing sector. Obviously, this spreads to the tech sector b/c the brick-and-mortar manufacturers are spending less on tech equipment. This has hurt names like Sun and Cisco; both companies have high levels of inventory. However, Cisco recently reported that its inventories have been decreasing, suggesting that some companies are beginning to buy new equipment. Keep in mind that we are technically not in a recession, thanks mainly to consumer spending. Retail companies have been posting better than expected earnings while techs have reported losses.
The bottom line: Economists believe that the economy should begin turning around beginning of next year. Even Mr. Greenspan thinks so. For techies, the jobs right now are in IT departments of retail sales establishments. However, the recruiters I have talked with have seen a slight increase in jobs already.
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18 years ago