derek smythe

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since Apr 18, 2011
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Recent posts by derek smythe

Thank you for that. This link I found is older but it is positive. I was wondering if you think it is accurate or correct. Please look the links over that it links to. Thank you.

link about the future of IT
12 years ago
thank you. Yes even the government in the US is confused I believe. Here is a link that calls programmers software engineers. I think software engineers are just senior coders who do less or no programming anymore. But here is the link.

software engineering link

I think the more you know, the less likely you are to be replaced by an outsourced person.
12 years ago
Hi, I was wondering if anyone could tell me the difference between programmers and "software engineers". Because at this link, the jobs in the USA for computer programmers is supposed to decline, while the jobs for "software engineers" is supposed to rise rapidly in the next 7 years. Here is the study.

computer programming career

note this has been posted here as well. here
12 years ago
Ok, other than this 5 page code example previously in my book which I just ignored rather than messing with it, this was the hardest code to understand in my book, and it is page 360 only out of 715 pages. LOL. After stretching my brain , and painfully forging new pathways, I have included my comments to explain the code which "I think" are correct, if anyone was curious. Thank you again!

Here it is!

I hope this is correct, I don't want to confuse anyone. thanks. Derek
13 years ago
Thank you Jasper, I am checking out the code again now.
13 years ago
Hi, I am having trouble understanding part of this code below. I explain my problem below the code. Any help greatly appreciated. I have previously posted this post here. other post But still have questions. The problem code snippet is in bold.

I don't understand what this line is for

it looks like it points to the lets say E-A position which would be 4, then ++ that which is 5, but I don't know what it is for? please.
I guess bold doesn't work in code mode.

I also don't understand how this outputs the number of letters for each index

System.out.println (": " + lower[letter]);
13 years ago
Ok that just expanded my brain size by a few millimeters and I feel insane, but I understand the ReverseNumber app. Here is the wacky solution.

On the first iteration of the do while loop, lastDigit=4, then reverse=4, number = 123, then you output to screen reverse, which is 4.
Second iteration: lastDigit=3, reverse = 3, number= 12, and output of reverse is 3. Keep doing this until your first input of "1234", is output as "4321" Bing bang boom. Ta da! thank you to all my fans.
13 years ago
Thank you Norm!! I will check out the answer. here is my explanation of the star code. It took me Forever to figure it out. GOD.

Each entry into the inner for loop resets "star" to one. So that on the 3rd outer loop, then inner, star is reset to 1, and "row' is set to 3, so then the inner loop runs three times, and prints out 3 stars on line 3. Then for the 4th outer loop, row is set to 4, go to inner star loop which is set to 1 again, and loop 4 times on that line. and so on. SWEET MAMA!
13 years ago

for the star app. When it gets to line 3, row is 3 and star gets set back to 1, I don't understand how that happens. any help greatly appreciated. For the reverse digit app, I have tried both of these on paper and pencil , and I can't figure out how it works.

This post was previously posted on , java forum, but got no answer really..
13 years ago

Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:Derek,
Sorry to be negative, Given a choice between someone who knows Java and has a background in computer science and someone who studied art and got a certificate, I'm going with the former. The first person has the background to pick things up faster and more thoroughly.

You are right that is extremely negative. I have a background of 10+ years in computers. And I knew more than my teachers for art in college, I was better than them, because I was self taught. Many famous programmers were self taught, and in my experience, the best ones on the net that I have spoken to and hired for lessons were self taught. You are right about the volunteering, I will have to do that to show that I have experience. But I probably am not going back to college, unless it seems impossible for me to get a job. I know a computer science graduate who knows like nothing after 4 years of school. I know more than him. Also the 2004 article wasn't about the time it was written, it is timeless, it was principle.

Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:
The first person has the background to pick things up faster and more thoroughly.

Da Vinci and Einstein were also self taught. The fact that someone went to college can "pick things up quicker and more thoroughly" is a wrong idea.
13 years ago
Hi Jimmy, please give me your opinion on this article? I found a lot of negativity on the net, but this one is positive. I was wondering what you think about the conclusions there?

outsourcing article

and this one

this one also
13 years ago
Thank you. I will have to look into it more. I am not fearing my ability to learn programming, I think I could be a great programmer. I am fearing that once I learn it after years, the jobs will be scarce due to outsourcing. I will have to look into it more. Thank you.
13 years ago
Thank you for that. Also, is outsourcing so bad that it is dangerous to stake my future on computer programming as a career? People are telling me that it is dangerous. Mainly I am trying to find out if it is safe to pursue a computer programming career. I don't want to invest years learning it and find out that everything years from now is done in India, just like America makes clothes in china now. Any more advice greatly appreciated. thanks. Derek
13 years ago
In the computer programming industry, experience is King.

Real world, hands on, practical programming experience is valued more than computer programming certifications, software development diplomas or even programming job titles.

What you know is much more important than how you obtained the knowledge!

The next time you read a computer programming job description and you feel overwhelmed by the list of degrees or certifications required, just remember that the job market for computer programmers is not really that formal.
How To Get Computer Programming Job Experience

Now, you know that raw, hands on computer programming experience is valued above programming degrees, job titles or programming certifications, here are tips on how to increase your programming experience.

Open Source Projects

there are various open source projects that you can join and contribute code to. Before you join an open source project, take some time to learn the code, use the application, get to know the team members and become familiar with the code review or code commit processes.
Non Profits

you may get programming experience by helping a non-profit organization that needs with building a database, a website or a software application.

Be sure to let the non-profit organization know that you are doing the job to get more programming experience.

You need to be truthful and upfront about your level of expertise or you may run into problems by taking on more than you can handle.

When you committee to working for a non-profit organization, you may be required to work at the pace of other senior, more experienced team members.

Also, the non-profit may be racing towards meeting some important deadlines.

So, even if you are offering free help, the non-profit organization needs to understand that you may introduce additional delays to the timetable.

If this is not acceptable then you and the non-profit organization are not a good match.
Personal Use Software Applications

You may get computer programming experience by building a software application that provides some services or benefit to you.

For example, an employee I managed built a price watching software applications in his spare time.

The application was a web crawler that would go to specific websites and monitor the bids and prices of products he was interested in.

You can get some really cool programming experience that way because you are your own customer, you are not going to stress yourself over deadlines and you understand the needs you are trying to meet.

The downside is that software development managers do not rank this type of programming experience as high as that gained by working for non-profit organizations or open source projects
Professional Computer Programming Experience

You may get computer programming experience from a professional software development organization.

This involves having a software development company assign programming projects to you, review your code and mentor, coach or train you on your weak spots.

This method is preferred because hiring managers value programming experience derived from professional mentors above those from self study or non profits or other sources of programming experience.

The reason is that a professional software developer can critique your code or database design while you or a non-profit may not review or critique your own code.
13 years ago
Hi, I have a programming career advice question. I have a college degree in art. I do not want to pursue that as a career, I would like to pursue a career in programming, mainly in Java. There are a few questions I have if anyone can help please.

I keep hearing people telling me about outsourcing and that I shouldn't be a programmer. I am getting sick of hearing that and would like to know if outsourcing in the USA is a real threat or just an exaggeration from negative people.

I might be able to go back to college for computer science and programming, but I wanted to learn on my own, and was told that if I become certified as a java programmer, that is enough. Or is it mandatory that I get a degree to get a job in an office locally (New Jersey USA).

I was wondering, all the ads for java jobs on craigslist in my area ask for a few years experience, but I do not have this, and won't, for "a few years". LOL. So I was wondering, if you need experience to get a job, and a job to get experience, that is my dilemma.

I guess that sums it up, basically, the outsourcing fear, the unqualified fear (no degree) , and the experience necessary problem. Any help greatly appreciated. Thank you. I won't be able to reply for a while as I am going to sleep now. Thank you.

this post was originally posted, but no answers.

13 years ago