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I am an Engineering Graduate in Telecommunication Engineering. I got into a server support job soon after finishing college. I have a total of 2 years experience in Windows server support. However, I want to move into software development and away from server administration.

What courses or certifications can I take to move into a software development role?

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closed as off topic by MichaelT, Walter, Yusubov, World Engineer May 7 '13 at 22:45

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4 Answers

The first step is to decide if you really want to become a programmer! You might have an even harder time programming than the time you have right now beeing an admin. So ensure you want to start professional programming!

If you have choisen to become a programmer, you should pick your religion and focus on it. In other words: decide what you want to do; java, c++, .net, php, etc. You can't master them all, but you should pick one to start with.

Depending on your choise you can do a certification. If you pick Java you go for some Sun certs related to Java. If you pick .net you should do the microsoft certs, etc. Those certs aren't that easy to get, but once you have them you will avoid a lot of questsions about you beeing able to code - while not having any professional experience neither a educational background matching a programmer.

Also you could try to focus on some development tasks in your given company and apply to new positions with that experience.

Last but not least, you could go for a trainee job - but this actually sucks ;)

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You might want to try trolling for an interesting open source project where you could make a contribution. Looks good on a resume AND will get you some practice developing software -- which is useful when you're trying to get a job, you know, developing software. :-)

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Or you could do some puzzles and waste even more time with nosence ;) –  Jaster Mar 16 '11 at 16:45
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I think interest and passion for developing is important. Have you ever written any kind of program, or macro or script? Scripting can be very useful in server administration, and Microsoft has a great platform for this - PowerShell.

You could start to learn to use powershell on your own with online resources and/or a good book, then try to find ways to apply it in your current job. (For example, you can write a powershell script to email entries from the server's event log to you on a daily basis.)

Once you've developed a few useful tools and determined that you like developing at this level, you can pursue further education in the programming language of your choice, and learn about methodologies, best practices, etc.

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"Profile" is a strange word for "career" or "profession".

What do you need to do to become a software developer?

Develop software.

Keep in mind that a title is just a title. As long as you're able to develop software, no one will stop you from calling yourself a software developer.

What courses or certifications do you need to do to start developing software?

This ranges from 'none' to a full-blown Undergraduate degree in Computer Science. If you're able to grasp and apply the fundamental software engineering concepts (and prove to a prospective employer you're employable), then you may deem no reason to do any formal education.

Other options include:

  • An online programming course
  • A local weekly programming course
  • Undergraduate computing degree

Since I'm unsure of your location, these are general, location-independent suggestions.

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