How To Become A Programmer / Developer Analyst

Career In Programming

So you've decided to explore becoming a programmer/developer. Good for you! This is a much needed occupation, it's highly rewarding, it pays well, and it's fun! The benefits go on and on.

Don't Do It For The Money

I'd tell you not to read further if you've gone into programming just for the money, but instead I will tell you that if you don't love this type of work from the beginning, you will burn out quickly. It's tough sitting in front of a computer typing away all day with very little human interaction (unless that's something that appeals to you). For me, it's not really even work; I do it as a hobby! Where can you get a job that's in an air conditioned/heated office or from your own home, get paid well, get respect from coworkers, and do what you love doing?

Average Programmer Salary in 2009 and 2010

Programmers and Developers have been hit along with every other occupation recently. Sometimes more so, because of the meteoric rise in pay programmers and developers have always enjoyed.

In the United States, a junior programmer salary average starts at around the mid $30,000 range. A junior game programmer salary can expect slightly more at around high 30s or low 40s per year. A mid-level computer programmer salary in 2009 could expect high 40's to low 50's. A mid-level game programmer salary in 2009 could expect to be in the mid 50's.

A senior-level computer progrmmer salary in 2010 is in the $60-70,000 range. A senior-level game programmer salary in 2010 can command around $80,000 or more.

It used to be that game companies paid their programmers in stock options, especially in the dot-com era, but we haven't heard too much of that going on recently. It never hurts to ask during interview negotiations!

Career Path

No matter how much you love programming, you're probably not going to want to do it in your later years. You're probably going to want to gain responsibilities, authority, challenging projects, etc. The next steps beyond a developer are project managers, IT managers, MIS directors, and even CIOs/CTOs!

You Said Something About Fun?

As a programmer, you have the opportunity to make a device do something just by writing a few lines of words! Now, the words have to follow a certain a syntax, and spelling those words correctly is a must, but, hey, if it were easy, everyone would be doing it! How would you like to make your iPhone ring a specific ringtone if it detects a certain phrase or email address in an incoming email? I don't know if you can actually do this, but wouldn't it be fun if you were the first to write something like this (or, if it's already been done, to do it yourself anyway)?

Is Programming Difficult?

Actually, my fear as an aspiring programmer in the 1990s, especially when the "Visual" programming languages came out, was that they would make programming languages so simple, that there would be a diminishing need for programmers. Hah! Bill Gates and co. knew how to keep us in demand, because although they're making programming languages easier and easier, they keep adding more and more neat things you can do, making it just as complex (or more so) than it was in the earlier days. Also, a lot of people just don't like programming, and others just don't have the logical thinking that programming requires. If you possess these traits, that's what will make you a great programmer!

Getting started

Universities, colleges, or technical schools are the number one best places to start. Programmers typically need a bachelor's degree, or at least an associates, although I know a few programmers who've made it with just a high school diploma. Don't set your sights low, however. If you want almost guaranteed employment and higher salaries and opportunities for advancement, you need those pieces of paper you get from attending and participating in these establishments. You might actually learn a thing or two about yourself.


I won't go into the myriad of books available. There's so much information available on the Internet, that it almost makes books obsolete. Still, don't underestimate the power that books have to offer. I've had a Windows API book from the late 90's that I still refer to every once in a while.

Startup Costs

You can typically download the compilers and IDEs (Integrated Development Environment) for free! Microsoft offers Express (free!) editions of Visual Basic.NET, C#.NET, C++, Web, and SQL Server (for database development), or everything in one huge download, i.e. Visual Studio Express! Sun Microsystems offers Java, and other tools.

Why download the programming language IDE? Because you NEED to start programming. Now! Right now! Get a <insert programming language of your choice here> for Dummies book, and read through it. Then, read through it again. Do the exercises it has in the book, and start thinking about things you've always wanted your computer or handheld device to do. Write your own word processing program, or your own word search program. See if you can find an interesting and free program that has source code that you can download, and go through it, line by line, until you understand what it's doing. is one place you can go to download free and useful programs AND download the source code for them! Make changes to the code, compile it, and see what it does. Did it do what you expected it to do? Either way, you'll learn something from the experience.

Continue doing these small projects, compiling them, and making installation packages for them. Make them visually appealing, and give them the best graphics you can muster. This will give you good experience for when you have to do this at a company. Also, you'll probably want/need to show off your work to your interviewers, so your efforts will become the perfect marketing opportunity for yourself.

How To Start Programming

The search engines are now a great resource for examples of how to do any particular thing. Microsoft used to be known for their great help files which included code examples, but MSDN has become almost too cumbersome and it's easier just to open a browser and search for exactly what you're trying to do (include the word "example" and your chosen programming language in your search to get a working code example).

Get A Technical Job Or Work For a Large Company

In the meantime, try to get a technical job or work for a large company with an IT department. These are great launching pads into the development world. At a large company, pay your dues at whatever you're currently qualified to do, then try touting your technical knowledge and work your way into a position that's closer to your ultimate goal. I don't need to tell you to dress for the job you want, but, ironically, programmers are typically the worst dressed people as far as professions are concerned. Try writing programs for the things you do every day to make your job easier, but be careful not to violate their computer usage policies!

Rent Yourself Out

I, personally, haven't been too successful in this area, but you can also try,,,, and other sites like it. The competition is fierce, however, and jobs are typically bid very, VERY low. But, if you're trying to gain experience, think of it as a great place to build your portfolio. Don't bid on jobs that you don't think you can do, however. It looks bad for your reputation at these sites, and people won't choose you for their jobs.

Social Networking

Of course, try networking yourself by joining local groups that cater to your chosen programming language. You can look for your local group by doing a Google search, putting in your language of choice, the word "group", and your city and state. For .NET programming, You can search for local user groups at INETA. The more passion you display at these meetings about your interest in programming, the more likely someone will try to help you at whatever you're trying to do.

Now, programmers aren't typically the most extroverted of the human race (programmers use a different part of their brain than the majority of the population), so, like the stereotype, I never did social networking, and my career and programming abilities probably suffered as a result.

Personal Experiences

If you're interested in my own personal experiences, back in my youth (not that I'm that old, but probably older than you), I never thought I could get a programming job by only knowing the BASIC programming language (I had done quite a bit of stuff on my Commodore 64 as a teenager); it seemed like a dead language or only for beginners. I knew the hard core programmers were using C and C++. I never even pursued trying to get a job in programming/development, even though it would have been my dream job. However, after I had landed a job at a large company that allowed me move around from department to department (starting at the lowliest job and then applying for positions that I thought I could get and seemed interesting within the company), they allowed me to write a few simple programs for one of these departments (in one of the Visual languages). Actually, I didn't really ask permission. Some of the processes I had to do were woefully inefficient and still paper based, so I wrote a couple of "simple" programs that they still used several years after I left! I loved that job, but wanted better pay and to have the title "programmer" or "developer", so I pursued my associate's degree and put these simple programs I had authored into my portfolio. I contacted a few recruiters and then landed my first programming job. Woohoo!

I now manage the IT department of a multi-million dollar business unit, and have several employees under me. And, I still get to program and do what I love! This from a guy who flipped burgers until they were in their 20's.


So get out there and start doing it. If you just read the books and just do the exercises, it's not enough. Look at the source code of other programs, import it into your IDE, and step through it and understand what it's doing. Seek out simple projects you can do for your family and friends if you can't think of one on your own. Add these projects to your resume/portfolio, and when you get that first job interview, explain, with passion and pride, what you've accomplished!

Self Promotion

If you think you're interested in VB.NET programming, I want to help!

For a nominal hourly fee, I can set up a web meeting for you, in the evening or weekends, to show you the basics and/or the interface. We can go into more advanced topics as your interest and schedule allows.

You can contact us at the following web site:

I will personally talk to you and conduct the meeting, and it can last anywhere from a half-hour, to as many hours as you want.

IDE (Programming Languages and Interfaces)

Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Programming IDE
Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Programming IDE

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Comments 106 comments

Ramsey Hafser 8 years ago

What recruiter did you use to get your first programming job?

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pcubergeek 8 years ago from Tampa Author

I think it was "MGA Gray". Not sure if they're still in business. I barely had any kind of contact with them, as they merely set up the interview, and collected their commission. I don't even remember how they found out I was looking for a job. It was a long time ago. I'm forever grateful to them, though! Without them, I might still be working at a low paying non-programming job.

Chefseanmd 8 years ago

This is awesome info!!! Thank you very much!

GD 8 years ago

Thank you for all the wonderful information. I have been interested in programming for a long while and have never had the time to pursue any kind of career or any courses in the field, however, with the downturn in my current industry (property), I would dearly love to pursue this avenue. You say things so clearly in your post that even I can understand. I remember writing my first program on a com64 (I think), it came with a tape recorder and contained instructions on how to make a ball bounce across the TV screen, how old is that huh? Anyway, thanks a Mill. PS. Do you personally think that there is still money in it for beginner programmers nowadays?

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pcubergeek 8 years ago from Tampa Author

Hi, GD!

Hah! I was just 14 or 15 when I got my first C64, and it didn't come with a monitor, disk drive, or tape drive even! I had to copy everything I got from magazines into the computer to get it to do anything, and then, when I went to sleep for the night, it was erased once it was shut off! I finally saved enough money to buy a tape drive, but it was frickin' slow, and I could only afford one game! (Or was it given to me? Telenguard was it?) I'd play the heck out of the game, and if you stopped the tape during the middle of it loading, you could actually get into, and modify, the source code! (Enhancing it, or "Cheating".) When I finally got a disk drive (where did I get all this money? Disk drives were at least a hundred or two hundred bucks back then!), the dern thing always had some alignment problem. I wasted the rest of my youth playing the Ultima (as in Ultima Online, but before the Internet was invented by Al Gore) series of games.

Anyways, yes, there's still money to be had. We're hiring a "kid" that only has a few years of experience for quite a bit of coin! He happens to possess the exact type of knowledge, personality, and temperment that we were looking for (and we have worked with him in the past over the phone for tech support), but, yes, there's decent money to be made still. Check out my How to Become a Database Programmer post. That's where the real money is, unless you go into game programming (which is a bit above my level of knowledge and temperment).

Thanks for the comment, GD! Best of luck, and please let me know how things work out for you, or if you have any other questions!

Vikas Sinha 8 years ago

Please guide me I have completed .NET, PHP etc but I have't any project for working in this plateform. What should I do

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pcubergeek 8 years ago from Tampa Author

Hi, Vikas!

Have you taken any competancy tests, or have you attained any certifications? What level of education do you have? Have you talked to any recruiters? If so, what have they suggested you do to increase your chances of becoming hired? Oftentimes, you'll find that recruiters are free with their opinions on what you should do because it's in their best interest to get you hired, as they often earn a substantial commission if you become employed.

What country are you from? I'm not familiar with the hiring process of other countries, but they probably want to see your portfolio of projects, your education level (and transcripts), and certifications you've attained or test scores for well publicised testing centers (online or physical).

In the United States, recruiters are the way to go, although social networking can help you as well.

Don't forget to find projects you can easily do (have the training or experience for) on,, and This is a good place to start as well. I've mentioned that I haven't had much luck in this area, but bid really low on some jobs, and complete them on time! Explain the work you've done to a recruiter or employer, and you're almost guarnteed employment if you have certifications and a good education.

I hope this helps, and thanks for the comment/question!

Charles 8 years ago

Hi im just 15 but i love my computer and programming so i was wandering if you can help me out and give me some advice. im a very rational and logical thinker and without sounding to big headed im very academic. i no pretty much all there is to know about html, and im currentely learning javascript and im getting pretty good. also i know the basics of c++, ptython, pascal, batch scripting and im planning on learning css and html. im planning on doing A level computing and then doing computer science at university but in the mean time what language should i specialize in? im not that interested in web programming but anything sles i love, thanks in advance any help appreciated

Charles 8 years ago

sorry im planning on learning xhtml i already know html

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pcubergeek 8 years ago from Tampa Author

Hi, Charles!

Sorry for the delayed reply.

C#, C++, and Java are the hottest languages right now. Just check your local newspaper's classifieds section to find out what the most "in-demand" languages are, especially in your area. I prefer C# for you (I actually program in VB.NET), but I'd hate to lead you down the wrong path. Our organization has standardized on C#, and I know a number of others who have done the same, so it's probably the safest bet. And, hey, once you learn C#, it's not that difficult to switch to something else, since the concepts are basically the same. C# has the benefits of RAD with most (if not all) of the power of C++. C++ is just too complicated for my taste, and RAD is almost impossible. Also, it (C#) has the backing of Microsoft, whereas Java is supported by Sun. Who is winning the war (either past or present?) As a final note, C# has most of the same syntax of C and C++, so the transition may be easier if you decide C++ is the tool you need for something or another.

Please let me know how it turns out for you!

charles 8 years ago

thanks for all the help, but can you recommend any good books/online tutorials on c#? thanks in advance

huong 8 years ago

Thank you for your good job!

is the age matters in starting to learn programming?

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pcubergeek 8 years ago from Tampa Author

Hi, Charles! As I don't read books (too many "facts"), I'm sorry, but I can not recommend any books. I'm only partly kidding. The only books I've ever read or used (for programming) have been for reference only.

huong, thank you! No, age does not seem to matter. A colleague of mine started in construction, and found his way into programming. Not sure how he made the jump, but it's definitely possible. It's better if you possess an inherent love of computers, love the idea of making them do something, and have programmed or thought logically as a teenager, however.

Estian 8 years ago

I have wanted to go into programming for sooooo long now! I'm only 15 and hope it's not too late to start. I always love seeing what people do with computers and I wanted to know if it would help me to take A-level and IGCSE ICT so as to help me follow this career path? Also I wanted to know what you think is the best way to actually get started programming?Thank you soo much with this!

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pcubergeek 8 years ago from Tampa Author

Hi, Estian!

I'm sorry to say that I don't know what A-Level and IGCSE ICT are, aside from an International General Certificate of Secondary Education, centered on Information Communication Technology? Either way, the more education you get, the better off you're going to be on the pay-scale. You may start out at ground level, but there won't be any proverbial educational glass ceilings to worry about.

Anyways, yes, the more education the better. If you're "only" 15, that's probably the PERFECT age for beginning to program! Your brain should be developed enough to begin to understandstand key logical and conceptual concepts.

As mentioned earlier in the article, the best way to start programming is to download a programming language (of your choice) and just start doing it. If you live with your parent(s)/guardian(s), ask them for ideas on what you can write to help around the house, like computerized shopping lists, reminders, alarm clocks, or other useful utilities. Make a word search program, crossword puzzle, or checkers game. It doesn't have to be elaborate or professional looking at this point in time. Heck, I'd be hard pressed to make something look professional. <grin> You can jazz it up later, and make it part of your portfolio you show to potential employers.

Let me know if there's something I can do to help you on your path! And, a sincere Good Luck!

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learnprogramming 7 years ago

The best to become a really programmer is to learn by yourself and above all practice.

ana 7 years ago

I want to become a programmer regardless of my sex :) are there any good women programmers in the world? :)

ana 7 years ago

I want to become a programmer regardless of my sex :) are there any good women programmers in the world? :)

ana 7 years ago

but I still hesitate because I have weak eyes:(

ana 7 years ago

but I still hesitate because I have weak eyes:(

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pcubergeek 7 years ago from Tampa Author

Of course there are GREAT women programmers! Women tend to not pursue or stay in the field, however, because of the "guy" dominated aspect, and the "guys" that women tend to have to work with are sometimes stereotypically "geeks". However, if you're a geek yourself, you'll probably fit right in.

The programmers I work with are amongst the most normal people I know, but that's coming from Mr. "pcubergeek" himself, so take it for what it's worth.

I feel the field would benefit from more women, so, please join us! It's a blast if you like making machines do stuff by writing a bunch of words in a logical and syntactically correct way.

Not sure what to tell you about the eyesight issue. I've always wondered what I would do if I began to have severe vision problems. However, I'm sure many optically challenged people find programming as rewarding as any other job through the technologies they have now. It just might be a bit more challenging.

Read the books, find tutorials, find example programs you can write yourself, starting with simple and graduating to more difficult, get your degree and/or certifications (but a degree is very important), and please check back with us to let us know your progress!

Albert 7 years ago

i was wondering what's all the programming language you know?, and how long did it take you to master all of them? And what computer class did you took in College? And how much do programmer actually get pay? (different type programmer if you know), if i double or triple post sry something went wrong doing posting

and thank you very much for such great guide, also for Database Programmer guide.

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pcubergeek 7 years ago from Tampa Author

Hi, Albert!

My apologies for not getting back with you sooner.

I know only two languages, really. VB and T-SQL. College didn't really offer computer programming languages at the time (unless you include COBOL--akk!), so it was mostly self-taught (first with BASIC, then VBA, then VB 3.0 and 4.0, etc.) However, knowing VB and T-SQL results in VB.NET, ASP.NET, ASP, HTML, light to intermediate JavaScript, light C#, light C++, XML, etc. Once you've mastered C# (which I recommend instead of VB) and T-SQL, you can do just about anything. In my college years, they did one thing for me that set the stage--they offered me Visual Studio 4.0 for $100 (easily affordable to me back then for what it has done for me since then). It came with C++ and VB 4.0 (and probably something else, can't remember).

I also played with PowerBuilder to learn databases (also around $100 at the time at the college bookstore), and C++ and C++ Builder. C++ Builder was by far the most powerful and easy to use programming language--ever! But, I would steer you away from it, because I don't believe you will see any jobs that use it. Please correct me if I'm wrong! There are C++ jobs galore (probably), but not too many C++ Builder. Maybe they're interchangeable--I don't know.

Since I know VB.NET, I can read C# code and follow it. However, when I go to look for jobs to compare salaries or just to see what's out there, all you see are C# jobs! Very discouraging. VB.NET is just as powerful as C#, but C# looks like it's going to be the "standard" for years to come.

It has taken me 20 years to get to where I am today, but someone smarter than me (and with more education) can probably get there in 2-3 years. I am jack of all, master of none, but the kind of jobs I do for the company are extremely diverse, and makes it fun and hardly considered "work". I have a programmer that wants my job, but he's been at it for at least 5 years now. I'm telling him to get his Master's degree so he can transition easily anywhere he goes.

I can not comment on job salaries in case someone from where I work finds this hub, but it's very easy to live on the types of salaries programmers make.

You can even have your significant other stay home with the kids, the salaries are usually that good (especially if you bought a home 5 years before or some time after the recent housing bubble). And, if a baby is on the way, you can usually find part-time/after-hours jobs to help pay for the upcoming expenses, and possibly even upgrade your home so that your older kids have their own rooms.

If you're single, you can have a great pad with enough room to have your fellow computer geeks come over, eat all of your food and drinks, and play on the numerous game systems you've acquired over the years, and still have enough money to tip generously at bars and other establishments.

Imagine if you married another programmer, and neither of you wanted kids? If money is what you want, and early retirement is in your game plan, programming is the way to go!

However, keep in mind that the minimum requirement for a programmer is their love for programming! If you don't enjoy it, you WILL burn out quickly. However, if you've learned how to program and you burn out, you can become an IT Manager, and make even more money! You need a good degree (or be lucky) to do that, however.

Jake 7 years ago

Hi, im Jake, im ten, and i really want to learn how to program computers.

I am wondering whar programming language i should start learning.

Vicky 7 years ago

I'm 30 can i learn programming now. I work as a software tester.

nikos 7 years ago

If I have a non engineering/math/physics college degree from a top 50 school (ie competitive admissions relative to community college or online) could I still get into programming without a degree in computer science?

I currently know how to use VBA and some Python. I like the nature of having little victories as you trudge through the coding process. The "self-teaching/learn by doing" also really appeals to me.

Should I shoot for a masters CS degree or can I simply learn enough on my own to get into the industry? I also wonder how hard it would be to get into a masters program without any formal CS undergrad classes (especially being in California, with all of the intense competition from sillicon valley).

Any thoughts?

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pcubergeek 7 years ago from Tampa Author

I could have sworn that I submitted responses to these last few questions. My deepest apologies that they didn't make it! Please repost any questions you may have, as I thought for sure I responded to each of these...

Very sorry!

i want to be a space man when i grow up  6 years ago

hello i have a school project and would like to know what university subjects i would have to take to be come a programmer? i have been looking at the paths of either a beta tester or programmer as i love games and anything to do with computers/consols. i wouldnot choose a specific job just for the pay but i love the idear of both jobs but a programmer would get paid more any pros and cons that might help make the choice a bit easier ?

i want to be a space man when i grow up 6 years ago

oh yeah could you plz email this answere to me as i might not have time in the next few weeks to check back on this . . . x_wind-walker_x[at]hotmail[dot]com

Mukunth 6 years ago

Thanks for your wonderful piece of advice.Sir,I am from India and i got a job recently in a software firm ,but really i dont know programming,although i love programming but didn't get enough time to learn how to program.I did my UG in electronics and communication engineering,but got a job as software engineer,am waiting for my joining date.Can you suggest me whether 'C' language is a nice thing to start with and whether i get paid well after mastering this language.

Konrad T 6 years ago

I would like help in becoming a programmer, i'm 16 and i got into a class just cause a friend said i should join, but i'm pretty good at it and was thinking of becoming a programmer.

Also i'm great at programming in flash to, (probably helped a little in computer programming class) so if you can help me in any way it would be awesome, also if theres a way i can get the most up to date visual basics program that would be useful to, i can only program during school. Also what school courses would i need to be accepted in a university? Thank you if your able to help!!

I have low expenses that can be made, i only work at McDonald's at the moment.

Email me please, i may not be able to check this webpage, my email is

Rick 6 years ago

I am a 44 year old and disabled but want to work as a programmer. 10 years ago I was a network admin/technician and was always interested in programming, but wasn't sure I could do it. Well I did do some Access and Excel programming back then. I also learned PHP and MYSQL while creating a website a few years back. But now I am learning visual What do you think the chances are for a a 44 year old guy to break into the programming field. I have an AA degree and am half a bachelors degree.

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pcubergeek 6 years ago from Tampa Author

Hi, Rick!

Your prior network/admin experience is invaluable. I also like the fact that you have an Associates degree, and are working towards your Bachelor's. If you enjoy programming, you should be able to find an entry level position AFTER completing your Bachelor's, especially if you have certifications, and have a portfolio of programming projects you've completed. You need to get past the HR rep, so your Bachelor's, Certs, and previous computer experience should help you to do that. This is a tough market right now, so maybe by the time you're finished school, things will pick up. Get any type of computer job that enables you to do at least light programming until you find your dream job.

Good luck, and let me know how it goes!

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pcubergeek 6 years ago from Tampa Author

Hi, Konrad!

Regarding your question about becoming a programmer:

To download the latest version (actually in Beta right now), try the following link:

Don't worry about being accepted to any particular school. An ivy league school is preferred, of course, but any accredited college computer science degree should do you fine. While you're going to college, try to get your certifications in programming, do some programming projects on your own or for your family, friends, neighbors, and try to get a tech job somewhere, even if it's just cleaning keyboards.

I worked at McDonalds before my first programming job, and it was a great experience. It delayed my entry into the programming world, however, so try as hard as you can to get a techie job!

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pcubergeek 6 years ago from Tampa Author

Hi, Mukunth.

C is a great language, but not too sure how much it's used anymore. If you like "C", try C#. It's in great demand, is easier to become proficient, and it's fun! Although, if you have your heart set on C, then go for it! There's usually someone out there who can use your services. Besides, if you learn the ins and outs of C, you should be able to transition to C# without too large of a learning curve if there's no jobs that are looking for your talents.

Good luck, and please let me know how it goes!

Charlie 6 years ago

I've completed courses in both Java and C#, and haven't yet decided which to devote more time and energy in and hopefully master. You seem to be in favor of C# over Java, could you tell me why that is?

The more I learn about programming, the more I discover how much I actually don't know. It's exciting and yet depressing at the same time. I wish I could find an internship or something, anything. I'd go unpaid if it got my foot in the door and allowed me to work with and learn from more experienced programmers (like yourself).

Anyways, thanks for the informative article. I'll suggest to your other readers that if you have any interest in C#, Microsoft XNA Game Studio is free, uses C#, and you can do some very fun/cool game-type projects with far less complexity than you would expect. I recommend learning with games because, well, for me, they're the only type of project that can keep me programming until the sun comes up without even realizing it was past midnight. :)

Seuncool 6 years ago

Sir, though i wish i could be a programmer or a white hacker which i possed all qualities to become one. But Sir, i am confused because i don't know where to start because i'm financially disabled. Sir, kindly help me out what can i do?

Seuncool 6 years ago

Sir, though i wish i could be a programmer or a white hacker which i possed all qualities to become one. But Sir, i am confused because i don't know where to start because i'm financially disabled. Sir, kindly help me out what can i do?

Rasa 6 years ago

I have read your article and thoroughly enjoyed it!. What impresses me the most is how you have replied to almost every single question given to you.People usually ignore the comments section but your answers have been very detailed and polite.This shows your love and dedication to this field. That is awesome! Keep it up :)

Stan 6 years ago


Thank you for all the informations provided. You are one of the best. My question for you is: I have read both of your articles. "How to become a programmer" and "how to become a database programmer". I am interested in becoming a programmer like writing codes and stuff even though I am kinda old 38. Do you think it's easier to learn a new language like JAVA or C or C++ and become proficient at it than to learn about databases. Also is knowing SQL enough to land a job in databases? Your answer will be greatky appreciated.

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pcubergeek 6 years ago from Tampa Author

Hi, Charlie! Well, you've found that the more you learn, the more you find that you don't know. That's me in regards to the Java language. I just don't know enough to make an informed opinion about it. I can give you my opinion, but, alas, it would be uninformed!

And, Charlie, I agree. Learning to program games was my beginning into the foray! I got a "free" (pirated copy) version of a game from a friend (when I was a kid, mind you), and tore that game apart, reading through each of the 65,000 lines of code to find out what it did and how I could "cheat" and get more gold coins, greater strength and powers, and more experience points. It was fun, and I learned a lot about programming doing it. It was as if I had a fun tutor with me the whole time.

Seuncool, well, even the financially disabled can download the free compilers. I recommend trying to get grants or scholarships for educational facilities. There's usually some kind of school you can go to for basically "free". I know I'm probably not answering your questions, but I never spent a lot of money learning to program. It did take a lot longer for me to do it, than if your parents paid for five years of college getting you your BA in Computer Science at a respectable school (is the recommended course of action).

Thank you very much for your comment, Rasa! I really and sincerely do appreciate it!

Stan, programming came "easy" for me, but probably because I started at an "early" age (teenager). However, 38 is NOT old! (or I hope not, at least)

It's easier to learn Visual Basic. SQL *MAY* be easier to learn, but then there's T-SQL, and then it becomes rather tricky again. I suggest, if you have your reservations, to learn Visual Basic, because, BASIC, afterall, is for beginners (i.e. Beginners All-pupose Symbolic Instruction Code). However, C# is the "BASIC" language of the day, and will get you further in your career than Visual Basic probably will (employers and developers respect a C# programmer above a lowly Visual Basic programmer like me, even though they can basically do just about the same things and have as efficient code nowadays, because of the compiler).

I teach the new MCITP classes, and just got my MCITP: SQL Server 2008 Developer certification. It was relatively easy compared to trying to get any Visual Basic certifications! Not sure if all that answers your question, but T-SQL and SQL Server development is a niche that probably needs more programmers than Visual Basic or C# programmers.

Thank you for reading and commenting on my article(s)!

mks2.1 6 years ago

hi i am mukesh and really new to this programming world .but so long it has excited me a lot and looking forword to it very seriously.i want your view on how can i improve my skills over c++.i am really liking a lot and IS it going to be useful in my future carrier aspect,and after c++ what should be my next destination.

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pcubergeek 6 years ago from Tampa Author

Hi, mukesh!

I'm excited to see your excitement towards programming!

C++ is a great programming language to learn, because it teaches you the fundamentals of programming. Once you have mastered C++, you can program, proficiently, in any programming language (once you learn the syntax differences, of course). You have my ultimate respect for learning such a difficult language. (It's all Greek or German to me).

Have you tried looking at SourceForge.Net? Do a search for C++ projects, find one that you like or that looks interesting, download the source code, manipulate it, and see if it does what you want it to do! Here's a link to the site searching for C++ type projects:

The "%2B" equals the "+" symbol in HTML encoding.

Definitely get your Bachelor's degree in computer science at an accredited/respectable/well known college or university and/or lots of developer type certifications. Get your name out there on,,, etc. They're always looking for C++ type individuals.

I hope this helps! Please let me know your progress?

Good luck! I wish you the best!

akki 6 years ago

hi good morning.\this is akki.

i completed B.E. but i dnt have that much Knowledge to become a programmer...but i am really interested abt programming..because of economical problems i am unable to do any programming courses and can u please guide me what and all works i have to do to become programmer by following books,websites,guidence,works and all.pls help me out.

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pcubergeek 6 years ago from Tampa Author

Hi, akki!

Well, having your B.E. is a great start! Congratulations!

What I've done in the past is just to start programming. I just got done downloading Visual Studio Express 2010, and started using it tonight. I'm using the Web Developer Express 2010 IDE to update some of my sites. What's great about it is that it's free!

Start monkeying around with your favorite language of choice (cough, cough, CSharp, cough, cough), and make some simple programs. There's plenty of beginner's examples on the web that can start you out.

For example, if you type "beginner c# tutorial" in Google, the first site that pops up is a winner.

Not sure if that's the answer you were looking for. You need programming experience to get a job as a programmer, so, if nothing else, start programming! Also, try to get a job in the tech department at a decently large company, and you may be able to move right in after you've developed a few programs of your own. Getting certified is a relatively cheap way to demonstrate your skills as well.

Good luck, and please let me know how it works out for you. Check back in anytime, especially if I haven't answered your question.

akki 6 years ago

thank u very much for ur sajestion sir..ok i will try it out n tell u the result

yasir 6 years ago

hello,sir congrat's for all your oppertunities..

i likw to ask u that i am a science) student i have studied languages as C,Data structure using c and DBMS,SQL..Now i confused about in which field do i start my specilization..i'm totally confused after completing my BtECH HOW TO GET AJOB OR PLZ SUGGEST ME ANY PATH TO MOVE..

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pcubergeek 6 years ago from Tampa Author

Great, akki! Please do!

Hi, yasir! It sounds like database theory is your thing, no? There are plenty of jobs in database administration and database programming, and, as a bonus, it looks like you can program in C as well. Good for you! It sounds like you're on the right path. If databases interest you (as they do me), it's a great field to get into. I've never gotten bored with databases, and am always finding new things to do with them (as boring a subject as it may sound to outsiders). {grin}

Please let me know if that does or doesn't answer your question!

Thank you for your comments!

toks 6 years ago

thanks for the idea. I'm too passionate to be one.

LOKESH 6 years ago


vinod kumar 6 years ago

is good marks are important to get a job as a programmer.

i am from india. a have completed my degree with 58%. can i become a good programmer.i know c, c++ and a little of which language i should go further.

Thanksssssssssss in advance for any help.

sourav 6 years ago

Hi, this was a great read, I like the way you described things from your personal experiences. I have learned Java programming as for hobby almost eight years ago, although my major field was social sciences. I never pursued any Job for programming, but right now I feel more interested about having a job as a programmer. I have done some Database programming courses at my university years. So, I want to know what is your advise for me to keep focus on, and how to approach in programming job despite my social science background ? Does it big deal that I'm from different background than IT major? Still I feel like I'm not good enough in Java programming, so how can I become really master in Java programming?

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pcubergeek 6 years ago from Tampa Author

vinod kumar, C++ is a great language to be specialized. However, C# seems to be the business programmer's tool of choice. It depends on what kind of programming you like doing. If it's making game engines, C++ is the way to go. If it's writing front-ends for business users, C# is where it's at. I think you'll do great no matter what path you take.

sourav, your database programming courses intrigue me, as that's a great field to get into. I do not know much about Java, and it's a very competetive area, so I'm not sure it'll be as rewarding as you might have hoped. Check the local newspapers in the wanted ad sections, and make sure people are hiring for Java programmers, and for what pay-rate or salary.

Thank you for your comments! I hope I've answered the way you were hoping I would.

kinsman 6 years ago

first of all, i'd like to thank yu for this great post. i actually started as a graphic designer and is still one, then my boss asked me to build him an app ( sports, teams, players, insert edit delete, stuffs like that). so i built him this app using .net c# sql linq2sql , project done. i just got so serious with the project that now made me want to learn more.

recently i got a freelance job that requires programming, it is a football contest where users need to sign up and only then they can join the contest, pick teams of their choice out of 5 matches in one game. i have this project done last week, charged them $700 (not yet paid though). ok, this is now my question. am i undercharging them for that kind of job? and to what level do you think i am now at? scale 1-10. 1 is lowest.

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pcubergeek 6 years ago from Tampa Author

Hi, kinsman!

Without looking at your code (to do a traditional code review), I can't make a determination. However, I think you're well on your way to becoming a great programmer, especially if you enjoy what you're doing. Things to ask yourself, however, are: What language did you write it in? How clean and innovative is the GUI? How quickly does it perform, and how much memory, disk space, and processing power does it consume? Do you get a lot of positive feedback from it's design and function? The answers to these questions should allow you to rate yourself.

When I first started my first real full-time programming job, they gave me a program that had many, many forms and many different controls. I had NEVER seen that much code (and as many forms) before in my life. When I printed it out, it went through a ream or two of paper. I was still working at my former job (they overlapped for my two week's noice), and, with the ream of paper in one hand, and my head on the other, asked myself what I was getting myself into! The point is, until you've seen someone else's code, you don't really know where you stand.

I think $700 is a fair price, only because there's A LOT of competition out there right now. People from all over the world with varying levels of standards of living and dollar conversion rates are competing for your programming job. The only way to get jobs nowadays is to market yourself as a clean, English speaking, professional, competent, and business rule savvy developer, who will work late hours to get a project done on time and under budget.

I wish you the very best, and hope you drop by every once in a while to keep us up to date on your progress!

Thank you for your comment!!!

kinsman 6 years ago

I love this post so much, and thanks a lot for your response. You inspire me dude! Anyway, I will cut this short I still got some coding to do. Happy coding to all!

steffen 6 years ago

as the guy above me sed, you inspire.

i just finished my first year at the osu, but now i'm back in my home country to serve my military duties for the next 2 years.

not that i don't have enough time to think about my future, but i have one question that needs answering:

does a computer-related degree matter much to get a job within the programming field?

because if at all possible i'd like to major in japanese; use my years in college structurally studying the language. and THEN, i'd like to minor in Computer and Information Science, which is i think an osu-exclusive major.

i've researched again and again and i firmly believe that majoring in japanese and minoring in computers would really get me to do exactly what i'd like to do in the future. a programmer who can work in japan (making games, preferrably).

i see that you've kindly answered to other posts for many months and i was hoping that you'd do for at least once more lol

thank you kindly

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pcubergeek 6 years ago from Tampa Author

Hi, steffen!

Thank you very much for your kind words!

Yes, a computer related degree is very important for your résumé and a career in programming. However, no one said that you couldn't minor in Computer and Information Science. That degree actually sounds like the very degree you'll need to get your foot in the door. Make sure whatever degree you get focuses on a gaming computer language (or languages), i.e. C++ or Java. (Or, at least, take as many electives as you can that focus on gaming type languages.) You may want to explore databases as well, if you can, because you never know when you might need those skills. C# is very similar (more forgiving and easy to use, as far as I'm concerned), so if you master C++ and/or Java, you should be able to fall right into C# as well.

If you really want to be a hard-core programmer, take a look at Assembly. If you can master that language, you're a better person (more intelligent) than me!

Your plan has all the makings of success, because not only are you trying to get a dream job, but you're also trying to focus on a niche, which will make you stand out for jobs that open up for that niche.

One question for you, however. I thought Japan was a mostly closed society, and it's very hard for foreigners to get a job there? My ignorance is probably showing on this, but you may want to make sure that when it's all said and done, they'd hire you!

Thank you for your post! I look forward to hearing from you!

Steffen 6 years ago

Yes, surely Japan is full of capable game programmers and at the very least they don't need foreign programmers who are culturally different. I plan to learn the language while I'm in the U.S. and take a few trips to Japan during my college years and several years into the workforce to abridge the cultural gap.

When I feel like I have sufficient experience in the work and the Japanese culture and language from the trips I'll have taken, I plan to make the jump -- or stay in the U.S. or even move back to my home country, South Korea lol

Your answer confuses me a little, however.

I'm worried that a computer minor, rather than a major, would not be enough for me to compete for (game) programmer jobs.

I'm ready to get set and go on my plan if i'm sure about it--that assurance coming from an experienced expert, such as yourself.

Not trying to put the pressure of deciding my future on you lol but it's a rather delicate plan that paves my college AnD professional lives.

i'd like to think that i'd known the answer already, but as long as you master a language necessary for your profession (in my case mainly C++) the level of the degree (major or minor) wouldn't matter much? as far as your resume goes?

i hate to bug you multiple times and/but you've been so helpful already. thank you

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pcubergeek 6 years ago from Tampa Author

Steffen, I hear what you're saying. Why not minor in Japanese, and major in Computer Science? You're absolutely right, a game programmer takes someone of a certain caliber; someone who knows all the intricacies of pointers, memory addresses, CPU cycles, math and algorythms, 3D geometry, physics, etc. Can you get all of that if you minor? I think so, but maybe companies won't be as impressed.

I'm conflicted in my advice to you, because both disciplines take an enormous amount of time and energy to master. However, if you've grown up in an Asian language environment, then it may be easier for you to learn the Japanese language and culture than it would be for someone who has grown up in a Western, English environment.

If the Japanese market is where you want to live, I would seriously research which is more important to employers there, and which is more important to you. By telling me that you want to major in Japanese and minor in computer science, I took it that living and working in Japan was more important than working, specifically, as a game programmer. And, if *I* thought that way, then game development companies' hiring managers may think the same way! {grin}

If you were to walk into my shop with a major in Japanese, and a minor in computer science, I would hire you if I had a position open for your skillset, and if you've demonstrated proficiency in the area of expertise I was looking for. I would have commended you for your dual proficiencies. However, I do not run a game development shop, and I am not Japanese living in Japan, so my basis for hiring you would be skewed. I also don't have a need for Japanese speaking game developers. {grin}

Get a major in the thing that is most important to you. If being a game developer is the most important thing, then, you're absolutely right, getting a major in computer science (expecially focused on game development) is the way to go. My apologies for saying otherwise, but your goals have to be crystal clear. I can't think of a single game development job that having a major in Japanese would fill or help (except, possibly, in Japan?) Don't forget, you'd be competing with other game developers who have their major in computer science.

It would be important for you, however, to have a minor in Japanese, so that you know what kind of games and temperments that the Japanese have. Every culture has their own types of games they like to play.

The only way you would stand out in Japan if you had a major in Japanese, however, is if you knew more about the Japanese language and culture than a typical native born Japanese game developer. Do you think you can achieve that?

Does that help?

Steffen 6 years ago


Totally cleared my head and my plans.

Wouldn't be an understatement to say you just saved my life.

I can contact you when I have further questions, yes??

Thank you so much

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pcubergeek 6 years ago from Tampa Author

So much pressure! {grin} I'd hate to be the only person you consult on this matter, so please speak to other people, especially if you can find some currently employed game developers (especially in Japan if possible--hey, the Internet is a wonderful thing for communication!), and ask them their opinion as well. I think you know what the answer is, however.

Yes, please feel free to ask me questions! I'd be honored! Take care, and please check back in with us!

mani 6 years ago

I have completed my graduation with the course BCA i got 70% marks.programming is my interesting subject i have knowledge about c,c++,SQl,VB 6.0, and some little knowledge about java.I want to become good programmer and as career can i go with it,what is the next step for me plz guide me

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pcubergeek 6 years ago from Tampa Author

Hi, mani!

Programming is one of the most rewarding jobs you can find, as you're always learning something new and making machines do the things you want them to do. Start building your résumé by writing your own programs with GUI interfaces, get a job as a technician in a company that may need programming help, and rent yourself out in the Rent-A-Coder type web sites. The more you can put on your résumé, the better off you'll be. Try to find a job that is 90-100% programming work if at all possible, because that's one of the questions they ask.

Communication skills are also important, so make sure you talk to people through email in a professional manner, and have people critique your replies.

I hope this helps, and thanks for your comment! 6 years ago from bear, de, 19701

Thanks, you inspire me to start programming and develop application. one thing I want to ask. How to develop under pressure?

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pcubergeek 6 years ago from Tampa Author


Fortunately, because of the environment and position I'm in, programming under pressure has never really been a problem. I either didn't feel the pressure, or the pressure was not applied in any meaningful way. In the past, instead of demanding something get done by a certain date, they would incentivise the project. Since I'm a money hungry individual {grin}, I would do everything in my power to make sure the date was achieved. Just this Thursday, a client called, out of the blue, and asked if I was on target for the Friday deadline. I had no idea whether I'd be able to complete it on time, but told them that I was on target for that date, if only because I knew I'd do everything I could to make sure that the deadline was met (pushing other projects aside, staying late into the early morning hours, Googling solutions, etc.) Fortunately for everyone involved, the last few steps were MUCH easier than I had anticipated, and was able to get it done within an hour after the phone call (with a few minor adjustments the next day after testing revealed a couple of small issues). I think I work better under pressure, but my job is so stress free (except for some office politics), that it's hard to tell. I guess it depends on the type of pressure being applied as well.

When you get to be my age (again, not that I'm that old as far as I'm concerned), you try to put yourself in a comfortable position so that there are no surprises. If that means putting in time for planning, giving accurate or extra generous lead times, or whatever it takes to make sure you can get your projects done on time, that's what is done ahead of time. Staying late into the evening and early morning hours is typically how I handle any surprises along the way, but, again, it hasn't been necessary to do that lately.

Thank you for your comment!

Daniel 6 years ago

Thank you for your wonderful advice on programming. I always have interest in programming and I believe that I will be a professional in programming. Am Dan from Kenya. Thanks again.

sundar 6 years ago

I want to become a programer but i Didn't know any basics of programing.Can u tell me what are the courses covered in programing,and step by step i should learn from the basics. Is it possible?

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pcubergeek 6 years ago from Tampa Author

Hi, Daniel (Dan)! Allow me to welcome you, and wish you well in your endeavors. If you love programming, and you can think logically, I don't think there's anything standing in your way of becoming a great programmer. Please keep us up-to-date with how things go for you! Seriously, we'd all be interested to hear from you again!

sundar, hello! I can only speak from my experience, but usually the courses covered in the typical college are outdated and possibly irrelevant to the real-world (they taught COBOL when I went to college, which did absolutely nothing for me except frustrate me, for example.) {grin}

However, I find that college courses now-a-days are a bit more up-to-date, but make sure you find a respectable, well-known, accredited college that offers the latest programming languages (or, at least, the programming languages that interest you) if you can. If you can't, or can't afford the ones that do, don't worry about it. You can learn on your own very easily! Especially if you have the logical thinking programming requires.

If you pursue a Computer Science degree, and you choose the programming languages that interest you as electives, they should teach you, at minimum, the basics you'll need to succeed. At most, if you choose a great college, they'll teach you the things you need to know to become the best junior programmer in your city (with a little experience).

If you don't know what programming language you want to learn, look in the classified section (or Craig's List) in the area that you want to work, see what programming jobs are being posted, and try to ascertain the pay level of those jobs. Choose the most abundant, yet highest paying, programming language(s) employers are looking for. Or, choose a niche market (which usually pays higher), where maybe there's not a lot of demand (or supply), but they'll pay handsomely when a job does come along. Make sure that programming language isn't dying or dead, however. You don't want to have to start all over when the company that hires you finally changes to a different programming language.

Whatever you do, make sure you become comfortable with your chosen programming language, and pursue it with a high level of passion that doesn't fade away.

I hope this helps, good luck, let me know if there's anything else I can help you with, and please let us know how it goes!!!

Jen Hendrix 6 years ago

Hello, my name is Jen and I am a student at the University of Toledo. I am in Computer Science after changing my major a few times. I LOVE programming. I do it in my free time and now I'm working on it in classes to make it my career. I would like to know if you recommend any specific development practices? And also your thoughts on testing? Do you use the agile or waterfall methods when developing? Do you use unit tests? Thanks for any help.

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pcubergeek 6 years ago from Tampa Author

Hi, Jen!

Congrats on your decision to pursue programming!

I do not have any specific development practices I recommend, however, requirements gathering and testing are critical functions that users don't seem to take seriously. You don't want to have to burden the developers with the task of coming up with a test plan, but oftentimes, you can't leave it up to the users, especially if they're unsophisticated, because they don't always understand or appreciate why it's so important or worth the time that it involves. Even the best laid testing plans are not sufficiently thought out, and you're left with re-development, re-testing, and re-implementation. However, a good testing plan will yield mostly satisfactory results so that any future enhancements or bug fixes are normally minor in scope.

We are a small shop, so we employ the agile method, but sometimes they degenerate into cowboy coding when things go bad and deadlines loom. {grin}

Unit tests are created, and it helps us further define the requirements before beginning the development process.

Coding is usually a small fraction of the overall development process. It's usually easy to slap a few lines of code together and make it do some amazing things nowadays. Make sure you spend the time on the frontend before you write a line of code.

Now, to contradict myself, since we have such a small shop, if we're asked if we can do a certain thing, sometimes we go to our IDEs and start coding as proof of concept. By the time we're done proving we can do it, most of the project has already been written! However, it's still good practice to frontload the effort before your team starts writing anything (unless they're writing documentation).

I hope that helps! Please check back, and let us know your progress!

Varun 6 years ago

Hi,i am B.E student in 3rd year.i m really interested in programming.pls suggest me how to do it.

books,internet websites,?..nd how to start.

varun tripathi,india

DTHunter123 6 years ago

I'm 29 years old and have loved video game all my life. I have tried to learn c++ and basic on my own but my problem is that I feel to old to learn and it seems very hard on my own. I'm not looking to start work as a programmer or anything like that but would love to do this as a hobby. Am I too old no to learn the coding now and should I just give up on my dream of knowing how to code?

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pcubergeek 6 years ago from Tampa Author

DTHunter123, you are not too old to start programming. Yes, it is hard, I agree, but it's VERY rewarding, and extremely fun, especially when you're first starting out. There's going to be good days where everything clicks, and bad days, where you just can't figure out the problem you're coding for.

I'm not going to say that you're never too old, but, 29 is definitely NOT too old.

C++ is a very hard programming language to learn. Can you try C# or Visual BASIC first?

Thanks for your comment!

jamal mire 6 years ago

i love programing specially c++ and java vey fantastic

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pcubergeek 6 years ago from Tampa Author

I bet you do, jamal mire! If you know how to program in C++ and/or java, it's probably even more fun than C# or VB, as you can write unmanaged code, and be very dangerous. {grin}

Thanks for your comment!

Luke 5 years ago

One word, India.

Take it from someone who owes @ $40,000 in student loans. By Jan 2012, my job will be transferred to India. I cannot describe the feeling; I have 2 or 3 phone conferences a day w/ the person I'm training (in India) to do my job.

I cannot find new employment. I'm not the only programmer soon to be w/o a job. Most likely I'll probably lose my house when is said and done...

Don't take my work for it; go research the IT outsourcing statistics yourself.

If you want job security, consider the medical profession, truck driving, or law enforcement. All 3 are almost impossible to outsource.

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pcubergeek 5 years ago from Tampa Author

I'm very sorry to hear that, Luke.

It is true that the programming field is diminishing, and not as sturdy as it once was. However, once the job market picks back up, there should be more programming jobs. You're right, though, programming isn't the hot field it once was.

I do feel, though, that if India's economy turns red hot, the jobs will come back to the US, because their standard of living will push their prices back up to where they're no longer competitive. How long that takes is another story.

Thank you for your comments, Luke. And I am truly sorry for your situation. I hope everything works out for you soon.

Varun tripathi 5 years ago

Luke,u should not envy india.u should rather work on ur skills rather.india is destined to be great and we will achieve that.


i guess u ignored my question and focused on economy rather.


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pcubergeek 5 years ago from Tampa Author

My deepest apologies, Varun tripathi! It was not my intention to ignore your question.

If you possibly can, try to build your own websites and small programs that do useful things. Rent-A-Coder is a good place to volunteer your time and build a portfolio. I say "volunteer", because you usually have to bid low for the jobs they offer, and you'll have to put a lot of time into it researching, designing, and coding for the projects you win from these sites.

However, if you build a following, you may land a regular gig with one of the Rent-A-Coder employers, and they will pay more as your skills improve.

There's a good site for VB.NET programming here:

"David I. Schneider" is a decent author, and the "Sams" series of books also are usually pretty good as well.

Thank you for your comment, Varun tripathi, and I sincerely hope I haven't offended you.

SPD 5 years ago

This is very interesting. I have 20 + yrs of service and will be retiring soon. I have started to read about C# and T-SQL. I noted a definite language and Concatenating row values could be a problem fix in my future. I like the idea of completing a task that is difficult however, the most enjoyment must come from the gratitude of knowing what works and what doesn't. I dont have a degree in anything and fear I wont except you hit the nail on the head. If you love to do something you will be real good at it. I guess thats why i stayed in for 20. So here's the question. Show me the starting line for instance; do I open my lap top up and go where to begin. This is good! Thanks.

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pcubergeek 5 years ago from Tampa Author

SPD, first off, thanks for your comment!

Secondly, where to begin? For me it was a game called Telengard. I was able to stop the game while it was loading and before it started running, and view the extensive amounts of code. I would change the code to try to gain an advantage in the game. By that time, the game was no longer as interesting as it first was, so "cheating" by changing the code was just to make it more interesting and to make the game last that much longer.

For you, however, you may want to download Visual Studio Express, which contains C# and a bunch of other tools (for free!), and download SQL Server Express 2008 R2 (again, for free!) You can being by making simple programs and databases, then move to the more complex. I suggest trying to take some classes and possibly some tutoring to get you through the tough spots. SourceForge also has a lot of excellent (free!) working programs that also contains the source code as a separate download, a lot of which is written in C#.

Please let us know how this approach works, and keep us up-to-date on your progress!

Good luck!

Aaron Van Curen 5 years ago

Okay I'm 14 going on 15, I really want to learn language codes and everything there is to programing but I have no clue where to start at all. I need some help please and if you are pretty good and can tell me where to go to find some good stuff that can actually teach me maybe by a video or something that would be great. If you could just add me Facebook(same name as I'm posting this)and help me understand this much better. Thank you.

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pcubergeek 5 years ago from Tampa Author

Thanks for writing, Aaron Van Curen!

I'd like to help. Email me, and I'll give you my Skype. I assume you downloaded the IDE.

We used to have to type in all the games from magazines that had (pages and pages of) source code in it. After typing it in and playing the game a few times, once you turned off the PC, the program that you spent all afternoon typing was erased! If you wanted to play that game again, you had to type it all in again (do I sound like an old fart?). One of the games I remember typing in from scratch was "Hammurabi". This guy rewrote it in C#:

Let me know if you need help setting this up, and I'll see what I can do.

I wish you the best!

Ben 5 years ago

Here you can have my job I've been doing it for 10 years and it ain't fun under modern managements, and its a burn out. Good luck with it.

Ian 5 years ago

If you want to study programming use this link

for C#


pcubergeek profile image

pcubergeek 5 years ago from Tampa Author

Looks great. Thanks, Ian!

Liam 5 years ago

Seeker-ess 5 years ago

Hey. Found a lot of encouragement in this post. But just want to ask: Can women be good programmers?

And what if they're in their late 20s, and then they realize they need to start learning? Is it too late?

pcubergeek profile image

pcubergeek 5 years ago from Tampa Author

Yes, of course, women can be good programmers, but guys typically have the mindset that programmers need. They're not smarter by any means, but the ones who make it big in programming (I'm not one of them {grin}) just seem to possess the brain wiring that's required.

The only thing I can say is take the left-brain/right-brain quiz. If you lean heavily on the left-brain side, pure programming is probably your bag. If, however, you're right-brained, then graphic design is probably more your speed. I think most guys are left-brained (analytical, logical, objective, linear, sequential). Most women are right-brained (creative, visual, intuitive). I have absolutely no facts to back that up, and major studies may dispute it, but the IT departments I've been to have been dominated (and I mean absolutely dominated) by guys. However, the accounting departments I've witnessed have been somewhat dominated by women. You would think accountants and programmers have a lot of the same attributes.

Either way, the world needs more right-brained graphic designers, and more women programmers. If you can do both, you'll make a killing!

Thank you for your comment!

dimmer 5 years ago

wowow this is awesome post

dimmer 5 years ago


1. Apologize for length (shortened initial 1000 words)

2. Been searching online on getting into programming - for the money :).

3. [background:- I'm academically disinclined, really poor performance with respect to math (probly passed due to luck)]. Love making PC do things to extent that in the end time and effort put in would have been perhaps well spent in getting my objective done in another more efficient manner, but i crave learning experience, and satisfaction (if i succeed) and i'm stubborn :). Think that assembly could most likely get me where i want.

Not total PC newbie; i browse, chat, use pdfs, word documents, do audio editing, et cetera using proprietary and other software. However, am total hopeful-but-not-as-yet-newbie when it comes to the programming of programs that i do use.

Usually use programs made by others, but wonder if i can customize program to suit my needs by myself or create similar or maybe use its parts. Learned using linux a bit (GUI only no CLI - interested in learning CLI too).

Institutionalized education gives degree, but not necessarily equips with what you actually need, but if no degree, no company hires you. Programming job might overcome that. I am willing to learn, but can't learn programming in institution due to lack of cash as well as time (i'd rather take on my learning curve using internet and other resources than get into institution and try getting degree that by time i get out of institution will have likely become obsolete and my money, energy and time wasted to but i also think systematic learning format at institution could actually give me a more solid base -- in short both has pros and cons)

You mentioned that you do diverse stuff, that's cool dude (sorry if i offended you by calling you "dude"), that's also something i am wanting to do, but first things first, i guess :)]


4. A pal told me, no need to be math wiz for programming, but you need "logic," same as you’re saying.

5. But what is this "LOGIC", please point me to where i can see this logic for myself and/or maybe test myself if indeed i have got this logic. After that i would think and maybe act with more seriousness on what i should do with respect to programming.

6. Want to make software and/or hardware and/or software &/or hardware customizations on my pc or others' that will make my life easier using any programming abilities that i perhaps can master or be a jack of and make money in the process. But I also would like to make programs for the sheer fun of it too sometimes, for example i have made small macros for word documents that did certains things upon typing certain stuff

7. PC tinkering, using Linux, however, I'm just end-user, i would like to instead become a power-user and feel that learning programming will help, but do i have the "LOGIC" for it?

Thank you for your time.

pcubergeek profile image

pcubergeek 5 years ago from Tampa Author

Hi, Dimmer!

You made nothing but valid points in your post, so you seem to already be "logically inclined". Congratulations! {grin}

Wikipedia defines logic as, "the formal systematic study of the principles of valid inference and correct reasoning". It goes on to say that it's broken down into two parts, "inductive reasoning and deductive reasoning". If you enjoy arguing with your friends, family, neighbors, and/or collegues, and they admit that the points you make are valid, then that's also an indication that you employ logical reasoning.

To know for sure whether you have what it takes, is to just start programming. It would be VERY good for you to start developing simple scripts in Linux that automate tasks. The more scripting you do, the easier it will be for you to learn the core languages (Assembly, C, C++, C#, VB.NET, Java, PHP, etc.)

You'll have to decide which language appeals to you the most, but I recommend C#, as everyone seems to be looking for those types of programmers in today's market. PHP and Java are good to know also. VB.NET seems to be (finally) dying, but I thought it would have died a long time ago. I just had a recruiter call me looking for VB.NET people, so it's not dead yet!

The money is good as well, although offshoring has really killed the momentum it once enjoyed. To do it only for the money is not a worthwhile goal, however, as you WILL get burned out. But, I don't see that in you. I think you will enjoy it for the reasons you mentioned.

You typically need a degree, especially if you have no experience, but if you can get your foot in the door (or at least try to obtain your A.A. degree), then you're well on your way to a fulfilling career!

Good luck to you, and please check back in with us to report your progress, or if there's anything we can do to guide you along the way!

Happy Thanksgiving!

dimmer 5 years ago

Hi again,

1. "To know for sure whether you have what it takes, is to just start programming." -- (Not being sarcastic), I thank you for confirming an obvious truth - I needed confirmation).

2. Googled, and conclusion - Assembly level language - good to be aware of at least always towards quality of programs to be made, but varies with architecture, except maybe for some like GAS (newbie overkill?).

3. Saw here ( that to be good at programming it can take one close to 10 years or 10,000 hours

4. Checked some forums to find out language beneficial for beginner (In my case, this i guess, would be one which introduces me to general programming syntax (if there is such a thing), and other programming basics (don't "exactly" know what at this point in time), but also very much usable/applicable currently and in near future and must not hamper my future programming skillsets as well -- read that starting on BASIC can undo me when moving onto more complex languages due to habits picked up while on comparatively easier BASIC making me complacent (i guess) and prone-to-habit, hampering my foray and/or growth in another language (maybe C#, C++, C et al - again, newbie overkill?).

5. Saw recommended for beginners - VB and VB.NET (your specialty), Java, C#, C++, C, PHP, Ruby, Python, and Euphoria (first i'd heard of it).

6. I however started on html (no i'm not necessarily looking for web-oriented programming, but i was thinking maybe it might help me learn about the syntax stuff, et cetera -- I read that in Python even white space has importance.) and html, per experts is not programming language.

7. I am thinking of dabbling/experimenting in html, automated scripts on linux (as per your advise) then css, java on linux, php, Python, visual basic and/or, c#,c++, C, LISP, PERL, Assembly language, game programming language (last on the list due to the fact that my math sucks) in that order (ordered as per real/perceived difficulty to learn/continue learning, but not necessarily combination of learning, i mean i am thinking of learning html and automated scripts stuff more or less simultaneously and not sitting on each of them for a long time - dabble is the word i guess) hoping that in time I might become well-rounded by a hands-on approach combined with hard work.

8. "It would be VERY good for you to start developing simple scripts in Linux that automate tasks." -- Did you mean the results that come up with this - "simple scripts on linux" query in google or something else?

9."but I recommend C#, as everyone seems to be looking for those types of programmers in today's market" -- hmm, today's market, that's a bit of a ... -- well, i mean, yes, I want to make money, no doubt :D and no, im not saying your C# recommendation is bad, but i was thinking like, market can change and i guess, there might be no single language that can ensure a job all the time, what's hot now will be not hot later and maybe vice versa. Been hearing for some time that Java is on way out and hearing the same about C for even a much longer time, but they're both, along with others, going strong.

10. I apologize for the length and if i was ranting, i am mostly a misinformed person and i guess i just read a lot into a bit of news without analyzing (or analyzing too much) or gathering more corroborating and/or credible data on it.

Thank you for your time.

P.S. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving :)

pcubergeek profile image

pcubergeek 5 years ago from Tampa Author

Hi, again, dimmer!

Yes, I know I might be giving you conflicting information, but I would not start out with VB for the reasons you mentioned. It teaches you bad habits, and doesn't teach you the core programming techniques (memory allocation, inheritance, multi-threading, etc.) Some of that is done automatically, and is managed, with VB. C# evolved from C++, which evolved from C, which eveolved from assembly, which evolved from binary. I'm just saying that C# stays on the tree, whereas the other deviated at some point, or are very similar to it. BASIC was never meant to be taken seriously, just to teach. It evolved into a programming language that simpletons like me could understand, use, and apply to make something do something. C# will probably be here for a while, and is VERY similar to C and C++. If you have the brains for it, C++ is still the preferred programming language for optimized performance based applications. However, you have to be REALLY smart for that.

I don't think learning HTML is going to help you, except to make websites. {grin}

Yes, it has taken me decades to become a mediocre programmer. However, most people are smarter than me, and can apparently do it in two (or right out of college).

"I am thinking of dabbling/experimenting in html, automated scripts on linux (as per your advise) then css, java on linux, php, Python, visual basic and/or, c#,c++, C, LISP, PERL, Assembly language, game programming language"--that all sounds fine and good, but once you find one that interests you, which may be the hardest part of this whole process, stick with it, and don't let other programming languages distract you. Become specialized and an expert. Then you can branch out. Trying to learn too many languages at a time will delay or stop your education.

I don't know if I've adressed all of your concerns, but I've gotta hit the "Submit" button and hit the hay.

Let me know if I haven't answered all your questions!

dimmer 5 years ago

"I don't know if I've adressed all of your concerns, but I've gotta hit the "Submit" button and hit the hay." - I apologize if i was a bother

"Let me know if I haven't answered all your questions!" - just this one

"It would be VERY good for you to start developing simple scripts in Linux that automate tasks." -- Did you mean the results that come up with this -

"simple scripts on linux" query in google or something else?

Thank you for your time

pcubergeek profile image

pcubergeek 5 years ago from Tampa Author

You are no bother!! If I implied that, it was definitely not my intention. I want to help as much as possible!

How about this tutorial?

But, yes, if you can do shell scripting, and you're good with Linux, I see a bright future for you.

Kiran 5 years ago name is kiran.thanks for this great i want to say i m computer science student.and i have knowledge about the c and c++ programming language but not perfect knowledge for become computer how can i get the perfect knowledge for every programming language?and what is requried to get perfect knowledge about the programming language?and how to become perfect programmer/developer like the great steve jobs,great bill gates,and any other computer geeks?and which is the perfect path to become programmer?and how many marks are required in computer science?

Bob 5 years ago


I greatly appreciate your hubpage here. I've been considering changing careers; been in sales going on 15 years, but have never felt like it was my calling.

I've always been interested in programming since college where I learned visual basic and really enjoyed it. I often still code some fairly complex stuff using VB in excel. However, since I have a family and a higher income, I'm wondering if there are specific positions that would allow me to interact with people (customers) but also allow me to be in the programming environment? That way I don't have to spend years learning before I could be employed. The drop in income is expected either way.

Thanks in advance for your time!

Francis Ndung'u 4 years ago

Thanks for the good article I would also request readers to read about "Definition of Programming and How to Start Learning Programming As A Beginner?" in my article that I have written by visiting:-

shaunrogers10 4 years ago

The first step for anyone keen on becoming a computer programmer is finding the right college degree. You may find many programmers who claim to have been self-taught, but believe me nothing can compare to a formal education in the field. No amount of certs or online tutorials can match up to the grounding a computer science or computer programming degree will provide you. That’s definitely the right start to a career in programming/software development. 4 years ago

Hello,Thanks for the wonderful information you shared with us,I appreciate that and I just want to ask you that I am 19 years old and I am a commerce student but to be very honest I dont know anything about programming but as I am working for in a firm where the peoples are passionate about programming,so it gives me a feeling to do programming,so suggest me that can commerce students can do that and if yes,how to move on ?


Aveel SlamiC

Hal 4 years ago

Hi I'm Hal and I found your post at a very difficult part of my life, not that any other part has been any better. I went to school and got a certificate in unix C/C++ programming with a promise from a friend that I would get a job as a programmer which went bust as she had lost her job and I ended up a casualty of the dot com crash. Yeah, it crashed right on top of my dreams! I love to program and have hacked away at C and C++ making stupid things, nothing that I kept around though afterwards. My fear is that this dream is lost and at my age I will never become a programmer. 45 might as well be a hundred as my experience in programming is more bravado than actual skill. still, I hope to glean some hope from your post which made me smile even on a stupid day like today.

ndungusoft profile image

ndungusoft 4 years ago from Thika, Central Kenya

Programming is really good, if you have an experience in Visual Basic 6.0, one can definitely make a good living by selling and making tailor made small business apps. E-mail me for any vb 6.0 learning support :

Sapna Hitech profile image

Sapna Hitech 4 years ago


I have taken the baby step for "MAKING OF A PROGRAMMER" tutorials. I have started with VB.NET, and slowly will be progressing to other technologies as well. Great source of inspiration. Learn Programming with easy way using,



penetamaal 4 years ago

Better to start web programming from HTML. Because HTML is the basic level programming language in Web development. provides a simple and easy HTML programming step by step. After study html you can change to interactive web programming languages like Java and PHP.


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