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Programming job

  1. Aug 15, 2006 #1
    I will be study engineering in the university next semester. I would like to double major in engineering, and physics. I would like the 'option' of working as a programmer after i graducated from college. Can i do this with out a b.s degree in computer science? at present i know c, c++, c data structure, and java. I recalled reading something here about creating a record of projects i had coded.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 15, 2006 #2


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    You will perhaps be 'qualified' to work as a programmer with a decent knowledge of object-oriented programming, operating systems, data structures, and algorithms. Unfortunately, you may find it difficult to get interviews -- in front of you in line will be many other people who have BSCS degrees and are therefore more 'likely' to fit a given position.

    - Warren
  4. Aug 16, 2006 #3
    indeed, this is my first thought. That is why i am asking what i 'could do' about it. I might still be a under dog, but i still want to try.
  5. Aug 16, 2006 #4
    You definitely can. I'm a physics graduate and I'm currently employed as a programmer. Most of the things you need to know as a programmer is out there on the net. I think you just need to back it up with a portfolio of your projects.

    I'm working my way back to a career in physics though.
  6. Aug 17, 2006 #5
    "I think you just need to back it up with a portfolio of your projects."

    Do you mean a compilation of programming projects i had done? How many project should i do?
  7. Aug 22, 2006 #6
    Yes, a list of projects you've worked on (with or without a group) and your roles in the projects as well.

    I can't really say the quantity of projects. What's more important is the scope and degree of difficulty of the project and of course what you've learned and the experience you've gained.

  8. Aug 26, 2006 #7
    Physics majors or EEs are the prefered people to hire for many types of programming. This is especially true of any programming that is closely tied to the hardware. I know that I would hire an EE or Physics major first even if they don't have any programming experience.
  9. Aug 27, 2006 #8


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    *rolls eyes* I believe you've said this before...
    If you want to be a specialist in EE related programming, then study EE. If you want to work in a more computer-science related area, such as for google, CS is the requirement. If the programming does not demand specialist knowledge in CS, EE, or anything else, then a CS degree is an advantage but you can learn it on your own.
  10. Aug 27, 2006 #9
    You may want to give some thought to how you structure your resume.

    The traditional Chronological Work History may not be the best tactic. Consider a Functional Resume, where your focus is on your skills and achievements.

    Better yet may be a combination of the two concepts, with your skills and expertise the highlight of your resume, and you work history given in very brief form (ie, no details about your duties - that information is now contained in your functional section).
  11. Aug 27, 2006 #10


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    This is very true and I am living proof of this. I am an electronics engineering graduate, but I was offered a programming job despite the fact that my programming skills do not match up to those of a BSCS graduate.

    Why? As interested_learner said, because electrical and electronic engineering nowadays involves ALOT of programming. In fact, you cannot possibly call yourself an engineer in this age without knowing how to program. Some examples of this include: embedded systems programming (programming for electronic devices), or semiconductor test module programming (making programs that automate the testing of ICs). These are areas where knowledge of the hardware and chip architecture is much more important than being a coding/algorithm guru.

    However, if you would like to be above the rest during an interview, it is important that you try to get as much experience as possible in C and assembly programming, and have proof of this through references to project work or courses. While your prospective employer may not expect you to be a coding expert, he will expect you to know how to program.
  12. Aug 27, 2006 #11
    Btw, what type of software would you like to develop?
  13. Aug 27, 2006 #12


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    Clearly, it depends on the type of programming. I can think of a large number of programming jobs in which physics won't give you the slightest advantage. Programming experience is probably the most desirable trait in a programmer. You want someone who knows what strategies work and which don't, rather than someone who is learning as they go.
  14. Aug 27, 2006 #13


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    All true, but I would like to note that a CS degree isn't aimed at getting programming experience--it's not a software engineering degree. Most CS courses involve some programming but the focus is usually theory.
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