I don't have the skills for an entry level position as a .Net programmer. I am trying to learn what I need but there is too much to learn and too little time. What can I do?
About two months ago, I went to a job interview for an entry level C# .Net programming/consultant position in NYC. When I heard back from them, they told me that the knowledge gap between what I knew and what they needed me to know was too big and I might have been a better fit if I had 6 months of experience. This was the first interview that I went on since graduating college. before the interview, I read a book on visual C#. Turns out it wasn't a very good book and I was missing a lot of key areas of knowledge such as
- SQL (I had learned some LINQ)
- A little bit about how memory is handled
- Multiple threaded programming, etc.
Because the book wasn't very good, the stuff I did know, I didn't know very well.
I felt crushed. I've applied for jobs to gain experience but when recruiters hear that I have no experience they lose interest. I figured that I can at least work on my knowledge. Since then, I read "SQL Essentials" to cover the SQL bit and I found a pretty awesome book that is good enough to clear up what's hazy in my mind and covers almost all of the extra topics. The book is "C# 4.0: The Complete Reference" by Herbert Schildt. I'm even learning a lot about the topics I was familiar with. For a month now I've been working my way through this beast of a book.
However, gaining the knowledge I need is taking too long. I can't hold off not having a full-time job much longer. I'm not stupid and I'm studying constantly pouring through the book, asking questions on stackoverflow, referencing the C# specification, etc. I have made great progress but there is just too much ground to cover. I'm on chapter 12 which is about a 3rd through the book. To get an idea of what I know vs don't know, the table of contents is on amazon: http://www.amazon.com/C-4-0-The-Complete-Reference/dp/007174116X
How on earth can someone know enough to function as a programmer in the real world?
Can I try for a job in academia? Will I have time to finish learning the rest of the C# language or am I just un-hireable?