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I am a graduate in electronics, and I worked in the analog electronics field for around 4 years, but now I have a gap of about 7 years in my career. What are my options to restart my career? Can anyone suggest some refresher courses to enter the software field?

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What are you interested in doing? Embedded DSP, firmware, something totally different like web apps? –  Travis Christian Mar 30 '11 at 14:58
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If you like embedded systems you should certainly look into Arduino and mbed. It's a nice way to combine your electronics knowledge with programming and creating funny projects that will motivate you. –  faif Feb 1 '12 at 19:36

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Develop apps for iPhone or Android. Great way to get current on mobile technologies. Then look for jobs in those areas or at least use them to impress prospective employers. Or better yet, just keep making apps and money and work for yourself.

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its not so easy ... –  Kemoda Jan 25 '12 at 15:41

Only look at courses if you are looking for the paperwork to bolster your CV - however you will likely get much more value in just picking up what you are interested in a playing - and in most cases once you get past the HR filter the paperwork will be of little interest or value.

The lack of experience might be hard one - but if that is the case you have 2 solutions that I can see:

  1. Create or work on an open source project in your field, and get a patch or two accepted.
  2. Accept that this is a career change an get an entry level job and pay your dues and work up some experience.
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The first question every potential employer is going to ask you is "What were you doing for those seven years?" Your answer to that question is going to determine whether the interview continues productively.

The second question is going to be "Why do you want to switch out of electronics?" You can partially avoid this question by aiming at a branch of embedded software development where your analog electronics chops work in your favor. Device costs and parameter requirements are starting to get to the point where the industry is seeing baby microcontrollers replacing even the lowly 555 timer IC, and software developers who know what oscilloscopes are for and how to use them effectively are not that common.

The real question is "What do you want to do?" Answer this one first, then talk to your local colleges and see how their offerings match your answers.

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+1 for suggesting software for embedded systems to an electronics graduate. While what I'm about to say is very wrong on many levels, I have a feeling an electronics graduate might have the same opinion of web development as me (which is; people do web development when they've failed to become a real programmer and have to settle for gluing other people's libraries together in scripting languages, where the biggest challenge is deciding what font to use). Heh - only joking (but not really). –  Brendan Feb 1 '12 at 12:56
    
@Brenda-I plead the 5th on my opinion of web development, but by the same token much of embedded development gets pretty tedious after a few years. Write to this register, read from that one. –  Dunk Feb 1 '12 at 15:37

I would suggest that you start with creating a web application. Create anything... think of something you need, something you will use yourself, and then make it.

Here is a nice blog post of someone who learned Django in 1 month to make a web app.

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Actually a mobile app: Android or iOS would be better because then they might make some $ off of it, not to mention doing cool stuff. –  Fraggle Feb 1 '12 at 18:28

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