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Thread: Web Development field barrier-to-entry is really high. Did I make a mistake?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    6

    Web Development field barrier-to-entry is really high. Did I make a mistake?

    I wasn't a computer science major, but I did complete a handful of computer science courses in college, and easily aced them all. Then I graduated from college, realized that being a math high school teacher was as close as I ever was going to get to having a job where I got paid to do math (that was my major), and decided instead to pursue a career in programming, which isn't necessary math related, but programming in my opinion is the best next thing.

    I did odd IT jobs here and there. I did some multimedia work on a temporary basis. Then got a job working with proprietary technology. Then realized that getting good at proprietary technology wasn't going to take me anywhere, and spent over 6 months attending an IT learning center where I learned ASP.NET development. I applied for web development jobs while taking the course, but I didn't get any job offers, and almost no interviews. The one person who interviewed me sarcastically asked me if I even knew what a type is.

    But the truth is that while I have understood very well what a type is since I was a freshman in college, the more time I spend working on personal web-development projects, the more I think I understand the wariness and sarcasm of people in charge of hiring web developers. I now understand that while I "learned" ASP.NET in school, I merely learned the basics; and while I also learned some SQL, the truth is that my knowledge of SQL doesn't go beyond writing queries to manipulate and retrieve data except for working knowledge of stored procedures. And there is no need to mention Javascript, which was mentioned within the context of the kind of code that ASP.NET can generate, but was never explained in any detail other than "it is client-side code".

    So it seems that the barrier-to-entry to the field of web-development is really high. Even for an entry-level position you pretty much need to be fluent in SQL, Javascript, some server-side language, standard technologies such as HTML, XML, CSS, jQuery, and then some other technologies.

    And even if you master all those technologies (which unless you are a savant is going take some time, since some of them are very deep), your work will still be judged on its artistic value (I have little artistic talent), or perhaps on how well you integrate theoretical knowledge of computer science into your projects (I am not a computer science major). And that's if you can persuade the people in charge of hiring to take a look at your work, since, if you are a like me, you probably have no professional experience as a web developer.

    At times I wonder if I made a mistake trying to get into this field. As of right now, by the way, I work at an IT company, where I don't get paid to write code but to review code written by other people. If this job is ever going to take me anywhere, I don't know, but it's all I could find.

    I wish I could just go to school, complete x number of courses, and be competitive for a web development position. But it's not that easy. Or is it?
    Last edited by true_false; 05-13-2012 at 10:11 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Northern UK :((
    Posts
    667
    What you may find easier is having a portfolio. If you're unsure but have the foundations of a script knowledge, that's what resources like this are for.

    If you show a prospective employer what you can do, they will be less inclined to be asses. However you always get one or two, I wouldnt worry about it.

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