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Career Path Help *Desperate*

Discussion in 'HTML, Graphics & Programming' started by chimaera, 15 May 2006.

  1. chimaera

    Mobster

    Joined: 17 Aug 2004

    Posts: 3,511

    Location: Houston, TX

    Ok basically i'd like some help deciding what to do with my career, i'd like to get into programming but am unsure about where to start, i have a rough idea but could do with a few professional opinions.

    Background.

    Basically i work in GIS (Geographical Information Systems) which is geographical analysis using specialist software, most people think its just CAD with nicer pictures but its actually a lot more in depth and requires knowledge of databases and data management.

    What i would like to do is get some programming knowledge within this field. The software i use is called ArcGIS, which is build on an object orientated system called ArcObjects, it has a built in VBA editor which i am currently learning how to use.

    Now although VBA is fine for basic GUI changes, its not a career path, and so i'd like to move into some proper programming from the ground up. I notice from another thread a lot of people recommend C# as a good base, but i was wondering if this would be good for me, as my field is quite specialist. I know a lot of GIS programmers use perl and python, but they seem quite complex for someone who's sole experience is VBA and HTML.

    Any good book recommendations would also be very helpful, as my employer is happy for me to be a data monkey for the rest of my life, its up to me to do something about it.

    Help me people :(
     
  2. earlyflash

    Gangster

    Joined: 17 Aug 2004

    Posts: 287

    Not my field at all, but you might find it worthwhile looking at the database options for GIS systems as well, I know that Oracle and SQL Server have mapping related functions, and there is a fair living to be made out of database knowledge.

    As I said though, I'm no GIS expert. Try asking around the programmers that you know and see what skill sets they have. Also try looking for job vacancies on JobServe et al for GIS specific jobs - this will give you a clue what people are looking for.
     
  3. chimaera

    Mobster

    Joined: 17 Aug 2004

    Posts: 3,511

    Location: Houston, TX

    I've thought about the database side of things, its definitely something i'd like to learn at some point. The main problem with that is how i get experience, as my IT manager at work will never let me have access to play with even a test setup, and no new employer wants anyone without experience.

    If its possible to learn SQL and Oracle by setting up some kind of pseudo server on a workstation then i'd be interested.
     
  4. Buttons

    Hitman

    Joined: 24 Oct 2002

    Posts: 980

    Location: Manchester

    There are free version of both SQL Server and Oracle that you can download and install.

    SQL Server Express is a good place to start.
     
  5. JustinW

    Associate

    Joined: 27 Dec 2005

    Posts: 97

    What you need to do is learn to programme in an Object-Oriented way.

    With this ability you can transfer what you know to any language.

    Of course each different languages have different ways of doing things but you will learn these as you come accross them.

    I'd learn a C like language such as Java or C# (since you are not an absolute beginner).

    Justin