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Thread: What set of skills are most marketable these days??

  1. #1
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    What set of skills are most marketable these days??

    I am have PHP, html, dreamweaver, photoshop, plus some other skills but what else should I have under belt so that I can find a high paying job? I'm in Sacramento, ca, not too far from the Silicon Valley..

    How much would I be starting off at, pay wise?

  2. #2
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    I would add javascript and CSS to that list

  3. #3
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    Whatever you listed tells me (and whoever might be reading this) nothing about your skills.

    To get a high paying job, you need to know a lot more than just HTML and PHP. You need to know beyond a mere programming language and website-building. It's good to know frameworks (such as Zend and Codeigniter and Kohana), it is good to know about mobile platforms and API-specific web services, security, validations, database optimizations, AJAX, HTML5 and so on.

    Also, it's good to know how good you are. If you find yourself asking questions like the one you posted here in the forums, then I simply fear you're not good enough yet. Get involved, take part of startup projects, do some open-source work and write code even during free time. You'll get there if you're motivated enough.

  4. #4
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    From a PHP perspective (since you posted this in the PHP forum ), PhotoShop will mean nothing, and DreamWeaver might be a negative. (If you depend on it to write PHP code for you, anyway.) A significant hole in your skills list is database experience and SQL skills. This all assumes you are interested in the programming side of things and especially the server-side aspect?

    As far as salary scales, I believe it's still against the policy of this site to discuss what specific companies are paying, but there are plenty of sites/articles on the web that discuss this, including regional differences. But you can reasonably try to determine here whether you would be looking at entry-level, mid-level, or senior-level positions in particular job markets and positions.
    "Please give us a simple answer, so that we don't have to think, because if we think, we might find answers that don't fit the way we want the world to be."
    ~ Terry Pratchett in Nation

    eBookworm.us

  5. #5
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    Wow thanks, so JavaScript, Ajax, HTML5, CSS, JAVA, would be good? What forums should I go on to find out how much I can make? or can someone PM me and tell how much??

  6. #6
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    It's not enough to know a bit about all these topics, and in most cases people have a few specialties.

    Designers
    * Photoshop / Illustrator
    * HTML(5)
    * CSS(3)
    * Javascript (Ajax)
    * Flash (Which is dead technology so I wouldn't suggest you spend time learning that)

    Serverside programmers
    * PHP / Asp.NET
    * Javascript (Ajax)
    * MySQL

    But in the end it all comes down to how well you manage the topics you're mainly focusing on, not how many types of languages you know a little bit about.

    You must also prove that you are able to get poorly written code with bugs, analyze it, and fix it. Often it has maybe a single line comment every now and then, that really isn't usefull at all since only the original writer of the code understands what it means.

    Personally I've spent countless hours on my free time, since I wrote my first Hello World in PHP in 2000, reading and analyzing code, studying best practices, coding standards, finding "hidden" functions, etc... Dedication is the key. I see a lot of people who wan't to learn programming because they think that as soon as you can do some basic stuff, you can get top notch jobs which couldn't be further from the truth! You get payed for skills and dedication

  7. #7
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    I know the design stuff, but I've had those skills for years and can't seem to get a job.

    So I am assuming the programming is the way to go.. So as a serverside programmer how much training and experience will I need to be marketable? Also, is that the highest demand programmer these days?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnny916 View Post
    Wow thanks, so JavaScript, Ajax, HTML5, CSS, JAVA, would be good? What forums should I go on to find out how much I can make? or can someone PM me and tell how much??
    Java is used more for web applications versus websites if that makes any sense. Java can be used for desktop and mobile devices as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnny916 View Post
    I know the design stuff, but I've had those skills for years and can't seem to get a job.

    So I am assuming the programming is the way to go.. So as a serverside programmer how much training and experience will I need to be marketable? Also, is that the highest demand programmer these days?
    Lack of work means poor networking. I would look at a book called "Crush it" by Gary Vaynerchuk as it covers about being a brand and gives various resources for how to build one.

    If I was trying to decide which type of programming to go into, I would look at anything that programs for mobile devices. There is huge growth in this area. More of those were bought last year than PCs. I would say $50k-$60k should be easily in range working for a company. About a decade ago I was making just under $50k and that wasn't even as a Sr. Programmer. IMO, you won't see that kind of money in building web sites unless you are like a project manager as part of a team. Web site building these day is more for something to do on the side if you want.

    In terms of languages, go Java or .NET. You'll likely need a computer information, or computer science degree unless a company is willing to teach you the stuff, but from what I have seen you still need a degree of some sort to even get those jobs. Getting certified might help, but I had one IT manager flat out tell me I wasn't getting hired without a 4 year degree and I had four years of experience programming the language in question. I only have an Associates.

    The best you could do without a degree would be paid internships as you go back and finish your degree. You can on occasion find sweet deals in terms of getting employment, but you have to go out and network to find them. Case in point, if all goes well, I start school in August with my tuition and book paid and a paid internship is the waiting.

    You can of course do it as an entrepreneur, but you have to do everything in terms of thinking of the applications to build, coding, marketing, etc. The plus side is your potential for income become virtually limitless. The bad side is that your app goes vastly unnoticed and sells merely a couple units at best.
    Last edited by spufi; 02-22-2012 at 11:35 AM.

  9. #9
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    I am in the same position as you!! I have an Associates degree in Management Information Science and looks like employers want B.S. degrees but the problem is I have tons of math classes that I need to take to get a B.S. degree! That's why I never pursued it and am still in limbo about what I want to do with my life.

  10. #10
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    Ok forget about making Web sites for a living I am going all mobile apps now! So with that being said, what else besides Java will I need to learn?

  11. #11
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    For mobile web apps:

    HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript

    You'll also need to know a database and server-side language like PHP/MySQL.
    I'm always up for networking with fellow web professionals. Connect with me on LinkedIn if you like!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnny916 View Post
    I am in the same position as you!! I have an Associates degree in Management Information Science and looks like employers want B.S. degrees but the problem is I have tons of math classes that I need to take to get a B.S. degree! That's why I never pursued it and am still in limbo about what I want to do with my life.
    If getting a B.S. in your current degree is a no go, see what can be transferred to a degree that you do want. Note, you need at least some math for a degree in computers and may include Calc. The good thing about getting the associates out of the way is that it means much of your credits should transfer over. Research and pick your new major and go forth. Once you get pretty much any programming language class done, you can start looking at internships. Network, network, network. It's likely the most important untaught skill.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnny916 View Post
    Ok forget about making Web sites for a living I am going all mobile apps now! So with that being said, what else besides Java will I need to learn?
    XML will get used with Java. JDBC is the database Java uses. Outside of the language, it will be helpful to learn various concepts, data modeling, design patterns, etc.

    Here's an article covering various types of programming just so I'm not making it "You must pick Java."

    http://lifehacker.com/5401954/progra...lf-how-to-code

    Here's a tool to walk through the steps of programming to get a feel for it.

    http://www.codecademy.com/#!/exercises/0

    To further get your feet wet, Sun puts out its own Core books that cover the basics. Murach puts out good books that cover the fundamentals and makes it much more application driven so it's easier to work through. For a more complete walk through, go with the Core books. It's up to you for what you want to do. "A Programmer's Guide to Java SCJP Certification" is a book that will help you get certified in Java if you wish to do that. Some reviews said the cert part of the book was slightly tougher than the actual cert.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbVision View Post
    For mobile web apps:

    HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript

    You'll also need to know a database and server-side language like PHP/MySQL.
    Forgot to quote this part. Some of which he already knows. Once he gets familiar with an OOP language, picking up the PHP/MySQL aspect will be easy.

  14. #14
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    Got this from elsewhere. Stanford has a free class via iTunes but here's the homepage for the lectures. The Youtube comments point out the first video is vastly for students who were actually going to Stanford and can be skipped to the near end or just go to the second video.

    http://see.stanford.edu/see/lecturel...a-866adcae1111

  15. #15
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    Well I like the prospect of not working with your hands and feet. I am also an auto mechanic and programming sure beats that! I see mechanics in their 60's still broke both monetary wise and bodily.

    HOWEVER, I know of a few Java programmers that have years of experience and are only getting paid $65-$70k!? So if that's approx. what I am going to max out as then should I not choose a profession in either the medical field or bio science? I hear all the time of nurses make upwards of $80/hr!

    If you guys could do it all over again and choose a new career path what would it be?

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