In my last article I discussed that it is important for programmers to have more than just code writing skills. Among other skills, a programmer these days also needs to have industry experience. In this tough job market a candidate with relevant industry experience will almost always win out over a candidate without this experience. So, one question that may be asked by those starting out in their careers is, “How do I get relevant industry experience?”
Back in the old days, probably 20 – 30 years ago, a programmer was someone who sat in a back room and wrote code. Someone would bring him a set of instructions and he would translate it into a program and turn the results back over to the business. The programs were usually used to complete one task or get one piece of information out of the system. As the systems evolved, the business started making greater and greater demands on the programmers. The days of just writing code quickly faded into memory and programmers needed to develop new skills.
It’s that time of year again when parents across the country rejoice and many children moan… It’s the back to school season. In my home there is a mixture of emotions. My high school sophomore is excited about the new school year because she is taking some really challenging classes like Honors English, Chinese and two math classes! On the other hand my 3rd grader seems terrified. She is very shy and spent the first week sitting by herself and not speaking with or playing with any of the other children in her class. This week however, she says she has found a friend and is playing with her every day now. However, the children in my home are not the only ones returning back to school… Today is my first day of class at Webster University!
The other day I was at Midas getting my brakes fixed. I saw that they had a poster on their wall that showed the progression of damage that can occur if your tires are out of alignment. In the first picture it showed a little bit of uneven wear on the outsides of the tires. The next three pictures showed that this wear, increased and that the axle was starting to be affected. In the fifth picture the axle was bent and in the sixth picture the axle was snapped. Many of us take care of our cars and get our alignment checked frequently, but this poster demonstrated how neglecting the alignment could have dire consequences. The same is true for data quality.
In a previous article I noted that one of the possible career paths in an IT career could lead to management. To be a good manager, a person needs to be a good leader. However, leaders don’t become leaders overnight, they have to grow into leadership positions.