Being a Software Engineer
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Being a Software Engineer
My husband is a software engineer who has been out of the
workforce for the past 2 yrs. He has been taking care of the
kids and I have been working. Since I am being laid off from my
job with a severence package, we are taking this opportunity to
finally switch roles. However, my husband has been out of work
for so long (he has done small contract jobs) that he needs to
get some training to make himself more marketable and bring
himself up to date. In the past, he has worked as a programmer
in C and C+, some Java, and has done programming for the web and
for software. His goal is to get back into programming (of some
kind) and maybe eventually become an architect.
The dilemma is that he does not know which certification or
training to take. He is thinking of doing a MCAD or MCSC
bootcamp to get Microsoft certified, but we want to make sure
this will help him get a job. Also these bootcamps are quite
pricey, and I am not sure if it would be worth it. Could he just
take some online courses in Java and .NET, etc. instead and
still be ''marketable?''
I was wondering if any software engineers or web programmers out
there have some advice. Which certification do you think is more
practical? Or are there specific languages/architecture he
should be learning such as C++, etc.?
Thanks in advance
My husband is an engineer and gives this advice: your husband
should get out there and interview. In my husband's experience,
certificates won't count for a lot, especially in Silicon Valley,
because these certifications help someone become a technician,
not an engineer--which is not what your husband is looking for,
by the sounds of it. Better would be to spend some time writing
an innovative piece of software--this would be much more
impressive to a prospective enployer than a certification. Good
luck to him!
I'm a software engineer myself, with a background that sounds
similar to your husband's. Two years ago, I was in a similar
position. I'd only been out of work for 5 months, but for the
3 or so years before t! hat, I'd been doing a lot of WEB
development. Then, the bottom dropped out and there were no
contracts available. I not only had to find a *real* job, but
I discovered that there were more interviews available for C++
jobs than anything else and I hadn't done any C++ programming
in almost 5 years.
I don't know how much C or C++ programming experience your
husband has. If it's in the 5 to 10 year range, though, I
wouldn't bother with any sort of certification. I don't think
many software companies are interested in certification. They
may give him a test of their own, though, even an ad-hoc oral
one. What I believe got me the great job I've got now was
reading from cover to cover a book called Effective C++. It's
pretty much the industry bible these days and I hadn't read
it. I absolutely crammed before interviewing, basically trying
to memorize that book. It paid off.
Your husband might want to try taking a couple of interviews
that he doesn't care too much about and get his feet wet
again. It's really not too bad out there right now. There ARE
programming jobs. Things are looking better than they did a
couple of years ago.
In my opinion mcsc certification will not be helpful if he has
not worked as a network engineer before.
Looks like he is not sure what kind of job he wants. To help
with that , I suggest he starts looking at job adds in the
newspaper and online. that will gve him an idea what are the
most indemand skills right now. Pick something that is in
demand and he already has experience in( no one is willing t
train right now. they want u to hit the ground running).
Buy a few books on that topic, and spend some time seriously
studing(take your laptop and go to barnes and noble or the
practice the sample programs.
Take a class if need be. Post your resumes on all the online
sites and call up old friends in the industry. Go to
interviews. Talk to recruters. Join job hunting support groups
(the are very good for networking, ideas and moral support)
It will take time and constant effort. dont get discouraged and
you will get there.
this page was last updated: Jul 31, 2005
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