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programming or networking
g-mi
#1 Posted : Saturday, July 09, 2011 8:16:41 PM
Rank: New-farer


Joined: 1/10/2011
Posts: 29
Location: nyahururu
i'm a programmer ,decided to take CCNA and i'v fallen in love with networking but before i invest in other networking certifications, i'd like to know what's better in terms of:pay,job security,growth,job satisfaction.
The opposite of love is not hate but apathy. So too, the opposite of courage is not fear but mediocrity
onmywaytowealth
#2 Posted : Saturday, July 09, 2011 10:35:44 PM
Rank: New-farer


Joined: 7/4/2011
Posts: 24
If you are really good in programming, I would advise that you take this route. Though programming is effort and time-intensive but it is worth. I was interested in programming but I lost track of it on the way. My former boss was a programmer but he was pouched by a university because of his skills. He was really good in Java and all associated technologies. Though he is working in the university, he became a consultant in our company by default because of the programs he developed. Go for programming and learn mobile programming and you will go far
wanyo
#3 Posted : Sunday, July 10, 2011 6:10:58 AM
Rank: Member


Joined: 9/28/2006
Posts: 102
Both are really good worlds.
Yor are a programmer, why not aim to become a software developer or the likes rather than start with networking. this you will be optimising your efforts - more money can be made easily here.
but if this urge of netwoking really kills you - go for it coz you wont sleep. its really interesting!
i too
Gordon Gekko
#4 Posted : Sunday, July 10, 2011 1:50:02 PM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 5/27/2008
Posts: 3,760
How old are you? Networks are getting more and more automated, plug and play etc so it is slowly becoming just another job. To be a good programmer you need a brilliant business analyst behind you - no point writing great programs that don't address any need. If you don't know the intricacies of the business (whatever business - corporate world, gaming, etc) you are going nowhere. Most of all, programming requires passion and creativity - do you have them or are you looking to put food on the table?
savant
#5 Posted : Sunday, July 10, 2011 11:48:23 PM
Rank: Member


Joined: 4/1/2008
Posts: 104
Location: Nairobi
@onmywaytowealth Couldn't agree with you more. There's HUGE growth potential when it comes to mobile apps.
The market for local/regional targeted mobile programmes and content remains untapped!
Généralement, les gens qui savant peu parlent becoup, et les gens qui savant beaucoup parlent peu.
- Rousseau.
bird_man
#6 Posted : Monday, July 11, 2011 11:04:05 AM
Rank: Veteran


Joined: 11/2/2006
Posts: 1,204
Location: Nairobi
Do what you enjoy brother.That will motivate you to be creative and more open minded.
There are programmers making tonnes of money....there are also network specialists making equal or more amounts.Just visit Ericsson,Nokia-Seimens & the likes.

Do what you have a passion for.
Formally employed people often live their employers' dream & forget about their own.
eboomerang
#7 Posted : Wednesday, July 13, 2011 3:29:56 PM
Rank: Member


Joined: 6/27/2011
Posts: 295
Location: Nairobi
g-mi wrote:
i'm a programmer ,decided to take CCNA and i'v fallen in love with networking but before i invest in other networking certifications, i'd like to know what's better in terms of:pay,job security,growth,job satisfaction.

Well, I guess you are pretty early in your career development hence the question. Let me try to explain the fundamentals.

Each of these two domains are different based on which abstraction level you are looking at. Worth noting though is that the skills of a software engineer (possibly what you are calling a programmer) are needed across various domains. These could be embedded systems(such as those used by Cisco), banking solutions, internet services etc.

What you learn in CCNA is basically configuring the Cisco equipment -there are other manufacturers out there but Cisco gives you a good basis. On the other hand what you learn in computer science and more so when you take the embedded systems path is how to develop software systems such as those used by Cisco and others.

From a general global trend, software engineers are on higher demand than networking engineers. Take a look at the states where the technology industry is quite mature.

However, you need to look at things from the local industry level. In Kenya we don't have a solid industry in either of the two areas you are interested in but the software area is growing pretty decently.

If you went with networking, your destiny would be in one of the 3-4 major operators or one of the 2 dominant equipment vendors. With software you might have a larger landing base including self employment at some point.

Being a programmer is the first step to becoming a software engineer and later on an architect if that path is desired. The journey between the two or three points can be long and tough(this is where most loose it). It requires a lot of investment on time for practice. Those who endure reap the benefits big time, they are indispensable in the global industry. The world over is full of examples of such individuals.

Compared to networks self development in application development is fairly cheap since all you need is a PC at home and you can download the freely available SDKs(Software Development Kit).

I should also mention that Software engineering is much more than languages(Java, C, Python etc)and writing "for loops" but sure enough one needs to start somewhere. Languages are just part of the tools, one language could be suitable to solve a problem that another is not suited to solve.

Software engineering is about designing systems based on given problems.

Once you reach the point in your career where you are able to study a given problem and produce a software design that solves it, then implementing the solution(programming it) becomes less of an issue.

All in all, it's not easy to help you choose between the two especially based on the criteria you have given but certainly I would say its better to start with software.

This was a long answer and can be broken down further if you need :) but seriously I hope you find it useful.
chalan
#8 Posted : Wednesday, July 13, 2011 4:52:14 PM
Rank: New-farer


Joined: 4/1/2010
Posts: 86
Location: Kenya
eboomerang wrote:
g-mi wrote:
i'm a programmer ,decided to take CCNA and i'v fallen in love with networking but before i invest in other networking certifications, i'd like to know what's better in terms of:pay,job security,growth,job satisfaction.

Well, I guess you are pretty early in your career development hence the question. Let me try to explain the fundamentals.

Each of these two domains are different based on which abstraction level you are looking at. Worth noting though is that the skills of a software engineer (possibly what you are calling a programmer) are needed across various domains. These could be embedded systems(such as those used by Cisco), banking solutions, internet services etc.

What you learn in CCNA is basically configuring the Cisco equipment -there are other manufacturers out there but Cisco gives you a good basis. On the other hand what you learn in computer science and more so when you take the embedded systems path is how to develop software systems such as those used by Cisco and others.

From a general global trend, software engineers are on higher demand than networking engineers. Take a look at the states where the technology industry is quite mature.

However, you need to look at things from the local industry level. In Kenya we don't have a solid industry in either of the two areas you are interested in but the software area is growing pretty decently.

If you went with networking, your destiny would be in one of the 3-4 major operators or one of the 2 dominant equipment vendors. With software you might have a larger landing base including self employment at some point.

Being a programmer is the first step to becoming a software engineer and later on an architect if that path is desired. The journey between the two or three points can be long and tough(this is where most loose it). It requires a lot of investment on time for practice. Those who endure reap the benefits big time, they are indispensable in the global industry. The world over is full of examples of such individuals.

Compared to networks self development in application development is fairly cheap since all you need is a PC at home and you can download the freely available SDKs(Software Development Kit).

I should also mention that Software engineering is much more than languages(Java, C, Python etc)and writing "for loops" but sure enough one needs to start somewhere. Languages are just part of the tools, one language could be suitable to solve a problem that another is not suited to solve.

Software engineering is about designing systems based on given problems.

Once you reach the point in your career where you are able to study a given problem and produce a software design that solves it, then implementing the solution(programming it) becomes less of an issue.

All in all, it's not easy to help you choose between the two especially based on the criteria you have given but certainly I would say its better to start with software.

This was a long answer and can be broken down further if you need :) but seriously I hope you find it useful.



I think, this is the best thing I have read today. You can be a motivational speaker. I just switched jobs to test my skills in development and am yet to prove that I can code, but it is too early blow my trumpet.
eboomerang
#9 Posted : Wednesday, July 13, 2011 6:11:30 PM
Rank: Member


Joined: 6/27/2011
Posts: 295
Location: Nairobi
chalan wrote:

I think, this is the best thing I have read today. You can be a motivational speaker. I just switched jobs to test my skills in development and am yet to prove that I can code, but it is too early blow my trumpet.

Thank you, appreciated!

Keep working on your skills.
onmywaytowealth
#10 Posted : Wednesday, July 13, 2011 7:38:01 PM
Rank: New-farer


Joined: 7/4/2011
Posts: 24
eboomerang wrote:
g-mi wrote:
i'm a programmer ,decided to take CCNA and i'v fallen in love with networking but before i invest in other networking certifications, i'd like to know what's better in terms of:pay,job security,growth,job satisfaction.

Well, I guess you are pretty early in your career development hence the question. Let me try to explain the fundamentals.

Each of these two domains are different based on which abstraction level you are looking at. Worth noting though is that the skills of a software engineer (possibly what you are calling a programmer) are needed across various domains. These could be embedded systems(such as those used by Cisco), banking solutions, internet services etc.

What you learn in CCNA is basically configuring the Cisco equipment -there are other manufacturers out there but Cisco gives you a good basis. On the other hand what you learn in computer science and more so when you take the embedded systems path is how to develop software systems such as those used by Cisco and others.

From a general global trend, software engineers are on higher demand than networking engineers. Take a look at the states where the technology industry is quite mature.

However, you need to look at things from the local industry level. In Kenya we don't have a solid industry in either of the two areas you are interested in but the software area is growing pretty decently.

If you went with networking, your destiny would be in one of the 3-4 major operators or one of the 2 dominant equipment vendors. With software you might have a larger landing base including self employment at some point.

Being a programmer is the first step to becoming a software engineer and later on an architect if that path is desired. The journey between the two or three points can be long and tough(this is where most loose it). It requires a lot of investment on time for practice. Those who endure reap the benefits big time, they are indispensable in the global industry. The world over is full of examples of such individuals.

Compared to networks self development in application development is fairly cheap since all you need is a PC at home and you can download the freely available SDKs(Software Development Kit).

I should also mention that Software engineering is much more than languages(Java, C, Python etc)and writing "for loops" but sure enough one needs to start somewhere. Languages are just part of the tools, one language could be suitable to solve a problem that another is not suited to solve.

Software engineering is about designing systems based on given problems.

Once you reach the point in your career where you are able to study a given problem and produce a software design that solves it, then implementing the solution(programming it) becomes less of an issue.

All in all, it's not easy to help you choose between the two especially based on the criteria you have given but certainly I would say its better to start with software.

This was a long answer and can be broken down further if you need :) but seriously I hope you find it useful.

Thanks for this answer. I am among those who lost it. I liked programming but I lost vision on teh way. What can you advise? I still want to program but I feel I should just do PGD in project management coz at 29, I am not so sure if I will make it. On the other hand. What is your take on an IT professional taking MBA? Again, thanks for the reply, you enlightened us. Thanks
eboomerang
#11 Posted : Thursday, July 14, 2011 1:43:12 PM
Rank: Member


Joined: 6/27/2011
Posts: 295
Location: Nairobi
onmywaytowealth wrote:

Thanks for this answer. I am among those who lost it. I liked programming but I lost vision on teh way. What can you advise? I still want to program but I feel I should just do PGD in project management coz at 29, I am not so sure if I will make it. On the other hand. What is your take on an IT professional taking MBA? Again, thanks for the reply, you enlightened us. Thanks

On loosing the vision, I think its part of career development. Sometimes it's a stage before you can nail what you really want to pursue. Some get it early some later, as long as you have the passion don't relent till you get there. In addition, the local industry/market seems to play a part too in the sense that you may not be getting as much exposure as you may need to grow or visualize the path.

Project management is a good skill to have since it is generic and the skills can be applied on diverse projects.

When it comes to MBAs and management programs, these topics are highly debatable with people expressing various schools of thought. In my opinion you need to check your motives when trying to move into that direction.

That does not mean its wrong to have ambition either. Can one achieve a sense of greatness, recognition, satisfaction and money without necessarily being in management? Yes you can. However if you are employed, this largely depends on your company and an available growth path for experts or professionals.

Caveat: Majority of the people in Kenya equate attaining an MBA to earning a lot of money, this is not necessarily true.

My view is that the MBA programs are actually overrated and nowadays to get into a decent school to pursue the program you need to part with a decent amount of money.

For any company to run and compete successfully it needs more experts and professionals than it needs managers. Training to be a manager does not cover up for one's lack of skill and depth of experience.

I can point a few examples of people who we can all agree have achieved remarkable success in their careers.

Former CEO of Safaricom was not an MBA grad, in fact he has one technical degree and a golden entrepreneurial heart. His passion to create new markets and products could not be gained in any B-School.

James Mwangi CEO of Equity, built a bank out of an almost philanthropic ideology. From what I have seen, he totally believes in home grown solutions with the citizens at heart.

Jimnah Mbaru former CEO of NSE. He was an investor from the days he was a university student. His MBA well complemented his passion.

Mike Lazaridis CEO and founder of the company RIM that creates and manufactures BlackBerry. Started the company while a student, to design embedded systems for various competitions.

The list is non exhaustive, bottom line is that we need to find our passion and pursue it.

In practical terms I know it's one thing to earn a living and another to pursue what you think you want to do -been there too or is still there :)

All the same, in this case, programming can be done at home if you have another day job, since as i explained you just need a PC/Laptop and download the SDKs which are typically well documented.
KidorioL
#12 Posted : Tuesday, September 10, 2019 12:05:27 PM
Rank: Hello


Joined: 8/15/2019
Posts: 5
I felt in love with technology since I saw the first computer, 30 years ago. I was so curious about how it works, what's inside it, that I broke my first computer. A few years later, I discovered that I'm passioned about programming - when I compiled my first piece of code. After that, I studied a lot, a was reading every book that had something in common with software development. Now I'm over 50 years old and I like coding as much as I loved it 20 years ago. I'm not doing it for money, I do it for fun. If you like this domain - do it, just do it. There is a lot to discover, a lot to learn, that you'll never get bored. Now I'm working on a piece of software that will work similar to www.docsie.io, but for the offline software.
NewMoney
#13 Posted : Tuesday, September 10, 2019 1:44:50 PM
Rank: New-farer


Joined: 3/1/2019
Posts: 88
Location: Nairobi
KidorioL wrote:
I felt in love with technology since I saw the first computer, 30 years ago. I was so curious about how it works, what's inside it, that I broke my first computer. A few years later, I discovered that I'm passioned about programming - when I compiled my first piece of code. After that, I studied a lot, a was reading every book that had something in common with software development. Now I'm over 50 years old and I like coding as much as I loved it 20 years ago. I'm not doing it for money, I do it for fun. If you like this domain - do it, just do it. There is a lot to discover, a lot to learn, that you'll never get bored. Now I'm working on a piece of software that will work similar to www.docsie.io, but for the offline software.



Great to hear your story.

I see you do it for fun and I still have a few suggestions. why focus on building something offline/standalone when everything is going online/browser-based? and why build an editor when you can build a more useful solution to help locals, we don't have enough localised solutions in Africa (assuming you are in Africa) mainly because there is no money in it but now that you do it for fun, you could solve a problem or 2 and have fun while doing it
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