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Computer Programming. Where to go, what to do?

Hi! My name is Darren. I want to pursue a career in computer programming but I don't know where to start. What are the first few steps I should take? I know that a first computer language is needed but I don't know which would be the most effective or the easiest. (Java, C++, ect...) What opportunities would be available to a 11th grader in high school living in SF? Are there places or websites that I could visit to learn more? What college choice would be best close to SF? I hope you get back to me on these questions. Thank you. #programming #computer-hardware #java #developer #operating-systems #website-creation #application-developer

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Sanket’s Answer

To become good computer programmer you definitely need to learn a programming language but apart from that you should also be good at Computer science fundamentals. This can happen if you take Computer science for Undergrad. There are lot of colleges in US and you can google for "US news ranking for CS undergrad". Luckily some of the best and topmost colleges are in bay area like Stanford & Berkeley.
As far as learning programming language is concerned, I think its important to learn one language really well & understanding it deeply. For eg. if you go with learning Java which is a very good language to start with, you should read book named "Java: A Beginner’s Guide" written by “Herbert Schildt”. Once you know one language well, it would be very easy to pickup new programming languages whenever its required by the project you are working on.

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Frank’s Answer

I fully agree with Sanket's advice. There's a lot of people who can program, but not nearly as many who understand how to design a program so that it provides features effectively, efficiently, and in an extensible fashion. That's the difference between "Art" and "Rote" - so understanding and applying C.S. principles will make you stand out on the "Art" side. And, if Software Dev doesn't work out, all's not lost! You may be the best darn tester the Devs have ever seen - and QA is a great field, too! Many QAs code as well as test, so it's definitely a C.S. career path, too :-) And if you want to learn a programming language, I'd recommend checking a local community college for a class to get started. It's lower cost and low risk to getting your toes in the water - essentially how I got introduced to programming myself.

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Abhishek’s Answer

While there are many exciting careers in information technology, one that has been consistently popular over the years is computer programming. Computer programmers make up approximately 8 percent of the computer systems design industry, which, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is growing rapidly - there's a projected 72 percent employment growth between 2010 and 2020. Because there is constantly a demand for the latest and greatest software, computer programming can lead to a successful career in information technology.

Computer programmers use their skills to write code and create software programs that tell computers to accomplish certain tasks like retrieving data. They may also rewrite, debug, maintain and test these programs. Computer programmers use specific codes or computer languages, like Java and C++, to transform the program designs created by software developers and engineers into instructions that the computer can follow. They often reference code libraries to simplify their writing, and may build or use computer-assisted software engineering tools to automate the writing of some of the codes they use.
Competency Based Education

If you want to become a computer programmer, it's a good idea to earn an IT degree. While most employers require a bachelor's degree, some will hire experienced individuals with an associate's degree or certificate. If you plan on applying your programming skills to a specific field, such as health care, it's a good idea to take some classes that will expand your knowledge of that industry. While you are not required to be certified to become a computer programmer, earning certifications for specific programming languages may be helpful.

It's always a good idea to have prior experience, particularly in a specialized field like computer programming. There's a good chance for upward mobility if you cultivate your knowledge of computer systems and learn to collaborate. The computer systems design industry is changing rapidly, so being a computer programmer also means you need to be willing to constantly learn.

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John’s Answer

Hey Darren,

Before I continue on, I encourage you to see the past responses that are very similar to what you wrote.

First and foremost, you live in a beautiful hub of San Francisco with tons of software engineering opportunities. Try to see if your school can ask recruiters from companies to come in and talk with you.

In regards to languages, there's a lot you can learn but if you want to do something quick and on your web browser, try out Javascript ... there's a need for solid Javascript developers. There's also PHP, Python, C++, and Java. If you really want to challenge yourself and make yourself ahead of the game, learn how to code mobile apps so you can make one yourself!

For a college choice close to San Francisco, there's always Stanford, UC Berkeley, or Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. I'm biased on Cal Poly because I went there and found a job readily available after graduation at a FRACTION of the cost of many other schools. However, check out: http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-science-schools/computer-science-rankings.


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Gouthamraj’s Answer

Hey Darren, You should have a look at this story.