How do I break into Java programming

Expert advice for readers' career problems

The question: How do I break into Java programming?

I graduated in computer science a few years ago and have good basic knowledge of programming. I am interested in Java programming and I am willing to retrain. What would be the best route to getting a programming role, and is there a list of companies who take on people wanting to gain experience?

The solution: Use the web to help target fast-track firms

A simple search on Google of “the milk round” will highlight many companies with fast-track recruitment policies. You will also get a good idea of companies that recruit heavily, and so will take on new starters outside of the traditional graduate uptake.

The Computer Users Year Book will list companies that are local to you and give you an idea of the hardware and software they use. This will enable you to make a direct approach in a targeted way.

Also look at the Times Top 100 employers. There will only be a few for any given location but they are always interested in hearing from self-motivated individuals.

You mention graduating in computer science a few years ago but not what you do currently. Most employers would be impressed to see that any training you have undertaken was self-funded and driven by a genuine passion to get more involved in the IT industry.

I would recommend going to the Sun website and see what Java training is on offer. That way you are being trained by the authors, and I am sure they would have some sort of referral scheme set up for those who go through their courses.

Solution by Tracey Abbott, business manager at Wreay Group and Atsco board member

The panel: Hudson, Reed Technology, Zarak Technology, No Limits Coaching, The Training Camp, Wreay Group

Need advice on your IT career? E-mail your questions to: computer.weekly@rbi.co.uk

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This was last published in September 2006

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Sun offers a good Java course. I took the intro course a few years ago. The only thing I can say is you need to keep using it in my opinion to retain the knowledge. My company sent me to take the course, then never had me code anything in Java. That was about 5 years ago, and my Java understanding is fading. I'm trying to get back into it by designing my own apps, along with C# to add to by VB .NET.. It never hurts to know more than one language today.

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