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Aeolienne



Joined: 03 Apr 2008
Posts: 1488
Location: Leamington Spa, Warks
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 09 7:23 pm    Post subject: Programming languages  Reply with quote    

I'm wondering how easy or practical it would be to learn any of the following: PLC, SCADA, SQL Server, VB and Java. I've been advised that my experience in Fortran will help. Trouble is, where am I going to find a class? The local FE college and WEA aren't teaching anything more advanced than basic keyboard + mouse skills. Does anyone know of any reputable online tutorials?

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44319
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 09 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Why, is I guess the main question I'd ask.

vegplot



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 21298
Location: Ynys Môn
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 09 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Programming languages? Welcome to Hotel California

Aeolienne



Joined: 03 Apr 2008
Posts: 1488
Location: Leamington Spa, Warks
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 09 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I used to work in a certain branch of the scientific civil service until they fired me in May. So I have to look for a new job while I attempt to sue them for unfair dismissal.

The list of programming languages come from the website of an operational research consultancy to whom I thought it might be worthwhile submitting a speculative application (as OR is supposed to be a good match to my skills set and interests profile, according to Prospects.ac.uk). Apart from that I've had one interview to date at which I was asked "How have you kept up your technical skills since leaving your previous employer?". So it's killing two birds with one stone really.

joanne



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 7095
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 09 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Make sure with VB that you look at alongside .Net or C# - Same set of skills but much more employable

SQL Server is just Microsoft's idea of SQL - so whilst it's a little different anyone with any SQL experience should be able to pick it up

This is probably the best place to start:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/default.aspx

Java - Where to start - It's a massive language and has got multiple different flavours - Best place to start is the Java Ranch site http://www.javaranch.com/ - Loads of stuff on there for learning the basics

As for PLC - Can't help there - Haven't gone near one since Uni and tbh - no desire to either - maybe someone else could help

marigold



Joined: 02 Sep 2005
Posts: 12458
Location: West Sussex
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 09 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I suggest you take an aptitude test before trying to learn a programming language, otherwise you're likely to be wasting your time/money on the training.

Northern_Lad



Joined: 13 Dec 2004
Posts: 14210
Location: Somewhere
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 09 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

marigold wrote:
I suggest you take an aptitude test before trying to learn a programming language, otherwise you're likely to be wasting your time/money on the training.


If you can do Fortran then I'm fairly confident that the rest won't be a problem.

marigold



Joined: 02 Sep 2005
Posts: 12458
Location: West Sussex
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 09 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Northern_Lad wrote:
marigold wrote:
I suggest you take an aptitude test before trying to learn a programming language, otherwise you're likely to be wasting your time/money on the training.


If you can do Fortran then I'm fairly confident that the rest won't be a problem.


Missed that, sorry, but I believe my advice is still good - there are enough programmers with poor aptitude for it around already.

Aeolienne



Joined: 03 Apr 2008
Posts: 1488
Location: Leamington Spa, Warks
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 09 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

marigold wrote:
I suggest you take an aptitude test before trying to learn a programming language, otherwise you're likely to be wasting your time/money on the training.

Where can I find one?

marigold



Joined: 02 Sep 2005
Posts: 12458
Location: West Sussex
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 09 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Aeolienne wrote:
marigold wrote:
I suggest you take an aptitude test before trying to learn a programming language, otherwise you're likely to be wasting your time/money on the training.

Where can I find one?


Google "programming aptitude test" - sorry I can't recommend anything specific as it's nearly 30 years since I was tested! Most will probably be trying to sell you something or will cost a few quid - just use your instinct about what sounds good. I'll ask a friend who may have some suggestions, but she's away working at the moment, so I'm not sure if/when she is picking up emails.

The local Further Ed college here does a HNC in Computing, but it's part-time over two years and not very specific about what students will learn, so that's probably not much use to you. Have you asked your Jobcentre about courses?

Sorry to hear about your unfair dismissal problems - hope you reach a positive solution soon.

Aeolienne



Joined: 03 Apr 2008
Posts: 1488
Location: Leamington Spa, Warks
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 09 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

marigold wrote:
Aeolienne wrote:
marigold wrote:
I suggest you take an aptitude test before trying to learn a programming language, otherwise you're likely to be wasting your time/money on the training.

Where can I find one?


Google "programming aptitude test" - sorry I can't recommend anything specific as it's nearly 30 years since I was tested! Most will probably be trying to sell you something or will cost a few quid - just use your instinct about what sounds good.

Eek, instinct - I have Asperger's so not sure if I can trust my judgment.

marigold wrote:
Have you asked your Jobcentre about courses?

The only courses I've ever heard mentioned at the Jobcentre have been numeracy, literacy and basic computing skills - certainly nothing pitched at the level of a maths graduate. I could ask the advisers about this list of languages but considering how not a soul there understands the work I used to do I'm not getting my hopes up.

marigold wrote:
Sorry to hear about your unfair dismissal problems - hope you reach a positive solution soon.

It won't be "soon". The hearing at the civil service appeals board will be held some time between 25 January and 19 Match next year. Until then I'll have to explain to every potential employer why I left my last job.

Last edited by Aeolienne on Tue Aug 25, 09 12:31 pm; edited 1 time in total

Northern_Lad



Joined: 13 Dec 2004
Posts: 14210
Location: Somewhere
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 09 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Aeolienne wrote:
Eek, instinct - I have Asperger's so not sure if I can trust my judgment.


Ah, well that may actually be a good think for programming - you need to just see facts and logic and not just the things that you want to.

Barefoot Andrew
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 21 Mar 2007
Posts: 22780
Location: In the 17th century
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 09 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

This tutorial might be useful for getting started with Java. It's useful, but a teeny bit thin on the ground in places. Still, there are Java folk here who can help.

To get going with Java you'll obviously need some software tools, and the 'development kit' and you can get everything you need as a 'bundle' in a single download. The two main choices in this regard are NetBeans (which I use) and Eclipse (which Jo uses). These may deem intimidating at first but they're not really. To get NetBeans, visit www.netbeans.org and click the 'download IDE' button - you'll get everything you need software-wise to make a start.

I agree with NL: if you've done Fortran you'll likely be practised in thinking logically and a test of your programming aptitude probably isn't necessary.

A.

jema
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 26661
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 09 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Agreed if you have programmed before then you should know more about your aptitude for it than a test will tell you.

oldish chris



Joined: 14 Jun 2006
Posts: 4148
Location: Comfortably Wet Southport
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 09 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

marigold wrote:
Northern_Lad wrote:
marigold wrote:
I suggest you take an aptitude test before trying to learn a programming language, otherwise you're likely to be wasting your time/money on the training.


If you can do Fortran then I'm fairly confident that the rest won't be a problem.


Missed that, sorry, but I believe my advice is still good - there are enough programmers with poor aptitude for it around already.


During my 35 years of IT, I came across scores of poor programmers - most of whom had taken an aptitude test!

It was my experience that programming could be taught, being methodical helps, which in turn can be helped by learning a programming method, e.g JSP, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackson_Structured_Programming or OOP http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Object-orientated_programming. From what I can make out this sort of stuff is unfashionable.

I understand that there are some good tutorials on You Tube.

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