IT/Software career thread: Invert binary trees for dollars.

Arden

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Math is never a wast of time. Learning how to properly formulate your logic is something that transcends fields of study, and directly elevates your mental abilities and capacity.
Yes, of course. Learning anything, especially something as universally applicable as math, is almost never a waste of time in the philosophical sense. I'd love to spend the rest of my life in school learning all kinds of things that elevate my mental abilities and capacity, no doubt. Being a lifetime student would be wonderful.

Unfortunately, I don't even know if I have the time and money and living circumstances to allow me an additional 2 years of school, much less a lifetime of study. If I go back to school, it has to be with the understanding that what I'm going back for is going to directly and almost immediately translates to facilitating a career transition that is both profitable and fulfilling.
 

Rezz

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The real pain is that it isn't Trig where most CS degrees stop. At least in California, you're looking at least getting to Multivariable Calc, and most want you to have every non-theory math class completed. The Math reqs for physics and computer science are largely the same, with vastly different levels of applicability between them. Some machine learning and logic coding might take some calc, but the overwhelming majority will not. That's always been my primary complaint with the math requirements for most CS degrees. More math is always better, but outside of some very specific instances the requirements don't translate to what the job generally requires.

Kind of like how a lot of IT/CIS tracks have you take a bunch of law related classes, when you are rarely if ever going to run into that unless you are part of a legal team, which would sort of fall to someone who focuses on law and not IT/CIS.
 

Arden

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The real pain is that it isn't Trig where most CS degrees stop. At least in California, you're looking at least getting to Multivariable Calc, and most want you to have every non-theory math class completed. The Math reqs for physics and computer science are largely the same, with vastly different levels of applicability between them. Some machine learning and logic coding might take some calc, but the overwhelming majority will not. That's always been my primary complaint with the math requirements for most CS degrees. More math is always better, but outside of some very specific instances the requirements don't translate to what the job generally requires.

Kind of like how a lot of IT/CIS tracks have you take a bunch of law related classes, when you are rarely if ever going to run into that unless you are part of a legal team, which would sort of fall to someone who focuses on law and not IT/CIS.
Thus my issue with how degree programs are set up in general. They need to be far more targeted and only address the stuff you need for your specific desired career course. You end up paying for/learning so much shit you never use. Plus, despite what some of you guys are saying, I know for a fact it would be very difficult for me to get through high level math stuff. I'm sure it would be... rewarding in the end, but that's not really what I'm looking for.
 

moonarchia

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Thus my issue with how degree programs are set up in general. They need to be far more targeted and only address the stuff you need for your specific desired career course. You end up paying for/learning so much shit you never use. Plus, despite what some of you guys are saying, I know for a fact it would be very difficult for me to get through high level math stuff. I'm sure it would be... rewarding in the end, but that's not really what I'm looking for.
Look closely at reqs. most will specifically state "or equivalent experience". Get your certs. If you have 2+ years in a related field that will be enough to get you in for interviews.
 

wormie

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The fear of math is hilarious and is very, very silly.
 

Arden

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Don't get me wrong, I have profound respect for math. I also don't fear 'math' so much as I fear wasting time and money attempting couses I know I'll struggle passing. Like I said, given enough time and effort I'm sure I can make it happen, but it doesn't take advanced math for me to figure out the equation that the time/effort/expense it would cost me isn't worth the end reward. It's a value judgement.

Some people take easily to math like some people take easily to learning new languages. I learn languages easily but struggle with advanced math. If math comes easily to you, it's probably difficult to grasp why it would be difficult for someone else. Just like when I go overseas and my friend is clueless what people are saying, I have to remind myself that he is tone deaf to languages.
 

wormie

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You are saying that you want to do something as complex as switching careers but that you dont want to do the hard work that such a thing requires. Dont you think thats a bit silly? As far as math goes, it doesnt come easy for anyone, some people just put more effort into it than others. Also the biggest hurdle for most people seems to be the language of math and not the content itself (at least during the low level courses that one does in their first two years in an average college) so math should be easier for a polyglot. People dont realize how easy stuff like non proof based calculus is and just get scared by the word "math" and shut down.

Also, why not look for graduate software engineering degrees instead of CS degrees? Such degrees require next to no math and a lot of them are designed for career switchers.
 

ShakyJake

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Should I even bother pursuing anything in the CS field? I love designing/building things, but math beyond the basic stuff just isn't my strong suit (and by "not my strong suit" I mean I'm fucking terrible at it). At my age, I don't want to start a career path just to find out halfway through I have a low ceiling because I'm math stupid.
I suppose it depends on what kind of software you're looking to build, but I have yet to use any real math in my projects. Most everything complicated has been abstracted away into libraries so who cares. For instance, I am not writing on my binary tree sorting algorithm.

I often sit on interview panels for my company. I'm biased since I don't have one, but I don't give a shit about degrees. If an individual came in and 1) appears to know what they're talking about, 2) has enthusiasm, and 3) and actually demos some stuff they've created with the dev tools and libraries we're focused on? Then they're good to be hired. We've had plenty of applicants who have their BS degrees in computer science but come off as individuals who know nothing beyond what they were taught in class.
 

ShakyJake

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Also is there logic at the db? Why would the validate hit the database?
Imagine you have to update a Person record in the database. But the update being applied is only valid for females. So you need to check the person record in the db to confirm that yes they are female in order for the update to be applied. If not, a validation error is returned. Stuff like that.

The problem for us is that there can be potentially numerous checks: are they female? Do they have long hair? Are they blond? Are they under 5'5"? Each of these checks is performing a round-trip call to the database. Obviously, this is a silly example but conceptually this is what's going on.

Anyway, I demonstrated a solution where we can batch EF queries like this so the problem is solved for the most part.
 

Arden

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Also, why not look for graduate software engineering degrees instead of CS degrees? Such degrees require next to no math and a lot of them are designed for career switchers.
Sounds like I had a misunderstanding of what software engineering entailed. I assumed based on the "engineering" thing that it would be math heavy.
 

alavaz

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Just start learning how to code. Once you think you are decent enough, put some stuff on github. Then apply to jobs and put your github on your resume. I know a lot of managers that will hire based on a good interview and the content of your github. At some point you should probably also learn a little bit of intro CS stuff like sorting algorithms, data structures, binary searches, etc. Mainly so you can answer them when they inevitably get asked in an interview.
 

Deathwing

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How many people here, or just programmers in general, maintain stuff on github? I ain't got time for that shit.
 

alavaz

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How many people here, or just programmers in general, maintain stuff on github? I ain't got time for that shit.
I put stuff on there as a form of cloud storage. I don't have any public repos. If I was looking to break into the field though, I'd keep a few projects going on there for my resume.
 

Noodleface

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How many people here, or just programmers in general, maintain stuff on github? I ain't got time for that shit.
It's good advice for someone who is new who essentially isn't bringing much to a resume. Whereas I, or you, or anyone who's been in the industry wouldn't need such a portfolio
 

Big_w_powah

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So, some developmental duties have finally fallen on me.

I need to write a website or web based application that will query a database every X minutes, dynamically update corresponding data on a website, and re-order based on Y conditions.

I'm thinking PHP is going to be my go-to language for this.

Am I on the right track?
 

Lendarios

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What language do you know of?

If you don't know any language, then what server architecture is it gonna be hosted ?
there are several templates on C# that you can use for this
 

suineg

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So, some developmental duties have finally fallen on me.

I need to write a website or web based application that will query a database every X minutes, dynamically update corresponding data on a website, and re-order based on Y conditions.

I'm thinking PHP is going to be my go-to language for this.

Am I on the right track?
F5466868-0928-46A2-A8B6-5F4AEE0F75BC.jpeg
 

Big_w_powah

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Big_w_powah Big_w_powah
What language do you know of?

If you don't know any language, then what server architecture is it gonna be hosted ?
there are several templates on C# that you can use for this
I know ZERO languages, this is going to be my first dev project.

It has to be serviced to a website. Going to be hosted on Server 2012r2 most likely, website published via IIS

Let me detail out the project a bit, maybe you guys can help me on the languages I need to work with?

We get a number of alerts emails from clients, those are being parsed and placed into a database.

I want to build a dashboard that displays the most recent/urgent alerts.

For example, we get backup alerts from each monitored client. I want to display the status of the last alert, and if it was a failure I want it highlighted in red and to go to the top. This is one of many types of alerts, but the same basic principle works for each. The page needs to dynamically update itself, and provide refreshed data.

Eventually, I want to expand this to serve up publically, where I can tie a login to a client ID and let each client get a snapshot of their alerts/status by logging in.
 

wilkxus

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Sounds like I had a misunderstanding of what software engineering entailed. I assumed based on the "engineering" thing that it would be math heavy.
Math and the workload is the least of your worries IMO.

First, age is a huge factor here. If you intend to switch careers you should probably plan to leverage old work experience (20 years?) into roles suited for your age. You do not want to blindly switch without a clear picture and motivation where you want to end up in the industry after graduatation. Be aware there is a strong bias in tech towards the young (over the older you) and it might be very difficult to land a position competing against other people your age with 25 years experience. Do some research into career paths for software developers and age related challenges for coders, see what you are contemplating getting into. Be aware it is far from all rosy.

Second, honestly, I would not recommend making a career switch into computer science without your own in-depth research and self determination to see if you like the course material and willing to commit to the workload. Look around, you might find better options (1-2 year programs). But if youre keen on a 4 year degree, get your toes wet checking out 1st year comp sci lectures online. Many universities post their material freely for 1st and 2nd year.

If that exploration sparks some true passion or interest that drives you forward towards roles you might like, make an appointment at a university to look over your degree transcript. Get advice and guidance on what programs they can offer to help you.
 

ShakyJake

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I know ZERO languages, this is going to be my first dev project.

It has to be serviced to a website. Going to be hosted on Server 2012r2 most likely, website published via IIS.
And you know zero programming languages? What you're describing isn't particularly trivial and the fact you're coming in knowing nothing will make this exponentially more difficult.

Given that you're mentioning Microsoft technologies (IIS, SQL Server 2012), I would strongly advise learning the Microsoft .NET framework and either C# or VB. And since you're needing to write a website you may want to consider going with .NET WebForms. It's old and antiquated, but it's very mature and super easy to get something up and running. Here's a good book on the subject: Pro ASP.NET 4.5 in C#