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Old 11-27-2017, 11:51 AM
5,092 posts, read 4,357,785 times
Reputation: 4337


Originally Posted by Augie6 View Post
Let me rephrase... ( as I should of expected the pretentious remarks)

1. What area's should I focus my learning ..
2. What vehicle of education - a psychical technical school, specific online classes, IT Degree . etc.
(1) No on can tell you where you should focus your learning...no one knows your aptitudes and tolerances for becoming successful in the incredibly wide field you are perusing.

(2) I suggested virtual academies to get your feet wet. IMO, the best way to get into computer science/computer engineering starts with a four year degree from a reputable college or university. But if you want to write iOS apps or Android apps for tablets and phones, then college is probably the worst way to proceed.

This is your path. You need to walk it yourself. People will help you, but they won't spoon feed you. Your first step starts with proactively searching for where you want to fit in - and no one can tell you that but yourself.
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Old 11-27-2017, 11:58 AM
Location: Prepperland
13,115 posts, read 9,199,435 times
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If you wanted to work in programming applications for ANDROID ("smart phones", tablets, etc), you might look into the Android SDK.
The Android software development kit (SDK) includes a comprehensive set of development tools. These include a debugger, libraries, a handset emulator based on QEMU, documentation, sample code, and tutorials. Currently supported development platforms include computers running Linux (any modern desktop Linux distribution), Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later, and Windows 7 or later.
. . .
. .
As a once famous author said, when asked how one becomes a good writer, "Practice, practice, practice..."
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Old 11-27-2017, 12:07 PM
Location: Prepperland
13,115 posts, read 9,199,435 times
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WARNING - whatever you do, do NOT study APL.
APL (named after the book A Programming Language) is a programming language developed in the 1960s by Kenneth E. Iverson. Its central datatype is the multidimensional array. It uses a large range of special graphic symbols to represent most functions and operators, leading to very concise code. It has been an important influence on the development of concept modeling, spreadsheets, functional programming, and computer math packages. It has also inspired several other programming languages. It is still used today for certain applications.

It was and still is popular in financial, pre-modeling applications, and insurance applications, in simulations, and in mathematical applications.
. . .
APL is a premier algorithm DESIGN language - that's nerd talk for creating new ways to make those tiny electronic gates "do useful stuff." And it is used in the lucrative BANKING and INSURANCE industry. (APL bigots - those who can "think" in APL - can whip up complex algorithms in a flash)

I made the mistake of learning APL first. I was ruined. Once you know APL, you wonder why anyone would program in anything else (LOL).
In one CompSci class, I wrote a top down parser in 7 lines of APL. The instructor demanded it in PASCAL. It took 450 lines of PASCAL code to do the same thing.

Once you become adept, you can do ridiculously complex things.
An example of a "one liner" in APL - the computer "Game of Life":
life← ↑1 ⍵∨.∧3 4=+/,1 0 1∘.⊖1 0 1∘.⌽⊂⍵

Last edited by jetgraphics; 11-27-2017 at 12:20 PM..
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Old 11-27-2017, 01:35 PM
Location: Prepperland
13,115 posts, read 9,199,435 times
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If you want a "job" (hired as an employee), you will probably need academic credentials, especially if the position is salaried instead of hourly.
If you want to "work" (as a contractor / company owner), you don't need credentials, but some means to demonstrate your capabilities.
If you want to be like "Bill Gates", drop out of college, and write something that "fills a need" that you can sell to millions and millions.
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Old 11-27-2017, 03:36 PM
490 posts, read 195,486 times
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Originally Posted by Augie6 View Post
Yes, I know ... Completely vague....

I always loved working with computers, in the early 90's ( while young) was really into computer, building , coding ( to a point) .. But life can into play and was removed .. However, I am not at a point with my life & career that I want to really learn ..

What are my options... If I wanted to start learning computers , what do you do ? ( as in Hacking, coding, trouble shooting etc, are they all separate expertise or all encompassing )

I completely understand this post is not very helpful, just looking for some clarity .
I think you need to talk to people in the industry and learn about the different areas of Information Technology, so you can get an idea of what you might want to do.

Do some self-assessment and figure out what you like and what your strengths are? For example, do you like working with your hands? Then possibly you might want to work with computer hardware or get involved in networking. I think networking is good for someone who likes to figure out how things fit together,

Are you more of a thinking guy who likes logic and puzzles or that type of thing. In other words, do you like to use your brain? In that case, maybe you are more suited for programming.

Keep in mind, just because someone works with computers, doesn't mean they know everything about them or works with everything related to computers.

The main thing is, do some research in the various areas. Also, when you are doing this self-assessment, ask yourself how patient you are with yourself and others. IT requires ALOT of patience, and commitment!

Good luck.
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Old 11-27-2017, 04:06 PM
Location: Hopewell New Jersey
1,393 posts, read 6,905,878 times
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Now that we've gotten beyond the smart a$$ comments.....much of what Jetgraphics...is saying is spot on.

I got started in the very early days of "home computers"...I mean actually wire wrapping a 64K memory board etc.

If you're not familiar with micro controllers....take a quick learn
They are imbedded in everything now a days....and I mean EVERYTHING !!

Many small companies don't need a full time software crew....but are building a product that would be so much less expensive, reliable etc....as opposed to discrete circuity. As such one can learn how to effectively use these amazing bits of silicon on your own time. The chip manufactures have full development tools which are easy to use....and they provide full documentation and the local sales reps are more than eager to help...after all their end game is to help you be successful and therefor the sales of their chips goes up!!

yes the profit motive (grin)

I ended up with a small development lab in my basement...as an independent consultant.....take the afternoon off if a kid is home from school ill....and sometimes work till three in the morning when the solution to a problem suddenly lights up in your head... Retired now...not super rich but I started saving etc early on and me and family are VERY well off....only did the 9 to 5 grind for a few years before "going for it"

Short list of micro controller manufactures

Zilog , Intel , Motorola, Microchip, TI etc.

Hope this also helps a bit.

Last edited by JBrown; 11-27-2017 at 04:29 PM..
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Old 11-27-2017, 05:20 PM
Location: annandale, va & slidell, la
6,376 posts, read 2,581,128 times
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Originally Posted by jetgraphics View Post
If you said you wished to work "in cars," what options can you think of?
[] Design [] Manufacture [] Repair [] Operation [] Sales [] Salvage come to mind.

They can also apply to computers.
If you wish to DESIGN computers, an education in electronics engineering is useful.
If you wish to MANUFACTURE computers, learning Mandarin is helpful.
If you wish to REPAIR computers, studying electronics technology /and/or/ apprenticeship may be sufficient.
If you wish to OPERATE (as a programmer), then you have a vast choice depending on what specialty you wish to focus on : _ _ Internet (browsers, networks, servers, hardware, etc) _ _ Industrial (robotics, manufacturing, numerical controlled machines, etc) _ _ Education (training others) _ _ Entertainment (animation, game engines, audio - video production).

Though advanced degrees are necessary for certain regulated jobs, when it comes to software engineering / applications programming, adepts can work "in computers" with no academic credentials. All it takes is skill. Acquiring that skill is the BIG question.

One "frugal" option is to install a LINUX distribution, and become proficient in any one of the many existing computer languages currently in use, thanks to the freeware software developer kits (SDK).

Since LINUX is based on UNIX, and UNIX was developed on C, learning C is a good start - and C++, etc. But there are many many popular languages in use : python, perl, PHP, ruby, etc. Again, the choice of the language is based on the market. 40 years ago, programming IBM mainframe computers, one might need to be proficient in COBOL, FORTRAN, PL/1, DB2, SCRIPT, CADAM, APL, and VM370.

If you wished to work on / in SERVERS, most are running LINUX. You might look into APACHE.
*Written in C, XML

LAMP is an acronym of the names of its original four open-source components: the Linux operating system, the Apache HTTP Server, the MySQL relational database management system (RDBMS), and the PHP programming language.

One option is to install a LINUX distribution, then install a SERVER that uses LAMP, and learn programming on it and the various other programs used by it (SQL, PHP, Perl, Python, etc).

A software development kit (SDK or devkit) is typically a set of software development tools that allows the creation of applications for a certain software package, software framework, hardware platform, computer system, video game console, operating system, or similar development platform. To enrich applications with advanced functionalities, advertisements, push notifications and more, most app developers implement specific software development kits. Some SDKs are critical for developing a platform-specific app. For example, the development of an Android app on Java platform requires a Java Development Kit, for iOS apps the iOS SDK, and for Universal Windows Platform the .NET Framework SDK. There are also SDKs that are installed in apps to provide analytics and data about activity. Prominent examples include Google, InMobi and Facebook.

Even if you do not own a target system, you can probably emulate it for software design.
For example, writing games for unreleased consoles.

Hope this helps.
Well that ought to scare the OP off!
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