Originally Posted by Scrapper_511
Thank you all for the feedback!
I'd like to get a headstart in buildling my resume' and portfolio. Are internships in this field common? What skills should I focus on as a programmer? How do I make myself "talented" in this regard?
Thanks in advance...!
I can toss in my thoughts. I design hardware and software for embedded systems, meaning the circuit boards and black boxes found on almost all consumer products these days. I used to be in construction equipment, now avionics. In this field, it is about making things do something through the fusion of hardware and software. I find it very fun.
For getting into the software field, I recommend several things:
1. Learn from pros. Find a company that is known for good software and try to join them. Take your lessons wherever you can.
2. Writing code is just a small part of the skill. Also learn about the methods and madness behind software management, like version control, build control, requirements control, code language and style standards, and some of the team developer techniques like agile. Your ability to write great code is all well and good, but useless if you can't plug into a larger effort.
3. Do code projects for fun, especially if you are trying to break into a new language. I wrote a series of encryption/decryption tools in order to learn Perl.
Generally, when I've interviewed developers, I can find people who I have no doubt can write very intelligent code. However, those who are useful in a team setting - that is more rare. So if the person shows they can work in a structured environment that includes version control, build control, and work in an agile setting, that gets my attention.
Also, don't listen to anybody who says all the jobs are going overseas. There will always be software jobs available where you are, and so long as you stay flexible and provide value to your employer, you'll have no worries.