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A good Career

Hi all,
I'm about to choose what  to study at the university.
I'm really interested in programming and in electronic
also, but I think that electronic is what i like best.
I have heard that Java was a language that will
universalize programming on machines (see the use
of java on cells phones), so there is a path between
electronics and programming.
I hope that by saying electronics I'm using the right
term, you know I don't know much in that field.
Maybe you can help me, precising what I think I know
and I don't know.

I have a friend, who is leaving for france, for a preparatory
class, to learn mechanics then will enter a school of engineer. His dream is to work for General Motors.
I really envy him, cause I don't know precisely what I want to do.
I lack of documentations and google returns lot of thing I don't understand well.
Also do you thing it's a good choice, will I abandon programming?
Thanks in advance for your help.
A last thing, forgive my bad english. :)

victor noagbodji
Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Why not choose a degree that combines computer science WITH electronics?  That way you broaden your options for a future career.

Chris Peacock
Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Go into medicine, or if you haven't the smarts for it, become an electrician.  There's no compelling reason to be a software developer anymore.  Not in the current culture.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Muppet, you are Bella's long lost love child.

Simon Lucy
Wednesday, August 11, 2004

"There's no compelling reason to be a software developer anymore. "

Why are you still doing it for a living?  Perhaps you like the job?

Jon Lindbo
Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Muppet may be referring to what it would be like for someone new to the industry - it's hard work to get the chops, and even then you're likely to be treated like a disposable low-level cog for quite a few years, if you're lucky. If someone is a smart, motivated individual it simply may be a better investment to enter other fields than software development.

This doesn't mean that the grizzled veterans don't have pretty good jobs, though.

Dennis Forbes
Wednesday, August 11, 2004

I have similar interests and I would go into something in the field of biomedical engineering if I were starting out.  Opportunities are available from trade jobs like repair tech (difficult to export) to bleeding edge research.  Challenging software and hardware problems abound.

The greatest drawback in my opinion would be the difficultly of being an independent entrepreneur in the field due to regulatory requirements.  Many of the skills would likely be portable to less rigorously regulated areas if that is or became important to you.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

I think the best advice on careers is to do what you love to do. If you like electronics more than programming, do that. If you love them both equally, get some experience (classes) with both and see if you still feel the same.

Its a tough decision to make, but you are in the enviable position of having two alternatives that appeal to you, both of which can provide satisfying and lucrative careers.

Good luck!

Jeff Kotula
Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Dennis -

More or less, yes.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Do an engineering degree.

Major in Electronics/Electrical. Minor in Software Engineering.

Keep your options open (ie choose lots of subjects common between the two majors, which you would want to do anyway if you are interested in both). While studying them you will get alot better understanding what you want to do. If you change your mind, you can switch them around

Also while studying find/beg some real firms (ie software development firms, and electronics, and mechatronics firms) to take you on for a day, a week, a month of work experience. Get a real taste for what they do. That is how you will know.

Trust me once you actually start university you will be even more confused about what you want to do (ie your horizons broaden).

Aussie chick
Wednesday, August 11, 2004

"Why not choose a degree that combines computer science WITH electronics?  That way you broaden your options for a future career.


Yes, how about embedded operating systems. I.e., programming microcontrollers, etc.  I know very little about this except for one project that was GOING to move from a hardware-logic to a programmable microprocessor.

I don't know if Java is used one for programmable microprocessors (or is that microcontrollers?).

But that seems like the intersection of programming and hardware.  It's the interesection of your passion and a needed (I think) skill.  You'd be unique, employable, and enjoy yourself.


Mr.Analogy (ISV owner)
Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Why yes, there are two platforms that combine a micro-processor form factor with Java.

One is the Javelin, from Parallax.  It limits Java so it will fit in 32 KBytes of eeprom.  Single tasking, no garbage collection -- but it IS Java syntax, and it definitely does objects.  They have a really nice debugger on this, too.

The other is the Java Stamp -- I'm not sure who it is from (systronix?).  Google on Java Stamp and it should come up.

However, I agree with other posters who say to find something you like to do.  In a way, this is hard, since you can't really know what it is to do something until you do it.

Why not buy a 'SumoBot', try it out, and see what aspect of programming/mechanics/electronics you like best?  I highly recommend the Parallax sumobot as being a really adaptable mix of hardware and software.

I don't work for Parallax, by the way.  I just realized this post looks like an advertisement.  I just really like their products and support.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Arrrgh!  Study what you enjoy, not what these people tell you.

The goal is to be happy, not to make money.

Dutch Boyd
Wednesday, August 11, 2004

thanks for replying

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Complementing muppet's and Dennis's sentiments:

Find some way to work in the field while you're in school.  Intern, or get a part-time paid gig doing entry-level stuff, which may mean testing or technical writing.

The skills you gain and especially the people you meet in the course of doing this will be at least as valuable as any degree.

There's an awful lot of fresh grads looking for work as a developer out there.  You're far more likely to land good work and start building experience if you make some industry contacts before graduation.  The best jobs are attained by word of mouth, not an anonymous resume.

Ian Olsen
Thursday, August 12, 2004

I have to wonder  whether or not the O.P. has already made up his mind before he posted his question here: i.e. there are some folks disgruntled with the whole software industry (no names please), so the O.P. knew, even before he posted, that he would get people to say "Don't go into software", thereby reinforcing his own decision.

anonymous financial IT guy
Thursday, August 12, 2004

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