Dear Career Adviser,
I am a 25-year-old in a systems engineer role looking to change my career direction to software development. My background includes a NZCE in Electronic and Computer Technology which included practical C, Pascal and assembler programming (unfortunately these skills have not been used for some time).
I have just completed my MCSE and have three years’ experience in a support role. I am considering doing an intensive one year diploma of e-commerce. The course is very hands-on and gives experience in VB Script, Java Script, Cold Fusion, HTML and XML. I am also interested in learning Java and/or C++. Do you think that this course is a good option — will it provide me with needed skills?
Pinnacle Recruitment replies: Your experience and MCSE leaves you in a very good position. The course will help to move your career in a new direction, but you will still need to get some "business experience" in programming.
ColdFusion, Java, C++, HTML and XML are obviously in hot demand. If you like to cut code, these languages are a good choice. Other options for you if you decide that you would rather have a more customer-facing role could be completing a few more advanced technical support courses like the MCP and work as a technical consultant or pre-sales consultant.
Readers with career questions can have them answered in this column by IT recruitment specialists. Send questions via Computerworld journalist, Darren Greenwood, with "Dear Adviser" in the subject line.