[Nelug] Few points

Brian Ronald brian at ppcis.org
Thu Sep 6 17:49:19 UTC 2007

On Thu, 2007-09-06 at 17:16 +0100, James E Grabham wrote:
> 1) The forum seems a bit dead these days.

It was never what I'd call lively.

> 3) Anybody know what's the best way to get an MCSE.

Just hand over the cash and get one.  The exam itself never changes -
they think it's secure to simply keep the contents secret.  Just try
getting a past paper.  Basically, it's not a real qualification in the
academic sense.  It proves only that you have some money (or access to
it) and can cram for a test.

> Im 15, so just started the last year of school - you may know this,
> but I want to work in IT, so need some decent qualifications, and dont
> particularly want to go down the Sixth form > Uni route.  Any Ideas
> much appreciated - also anybody who wants to help me learn stuff -
> much appreciated - I think Clarks planning on teaching me some stuff -
> dont know if hes mentioned this to any of you.

If you don't want to go through the university route, go through the
college vocational course route instead.  Don't go for vendor
qualifications until you have some actual qualifications.  A good
college course will throw some real-world problems your way (if it's a
decent college) and teach you things that actually turn out to be

In any case, if you ask many of the people who work in IT, most of their
skills were learnt through informal self study, with a bit of the
traditional stuff to back it up.  I taught myself to program from books
from when I was ten, and I completed a BTEC diploma in computer studies
at 19.  Later I dropped out of university.  At the time (1996) I had a
network of second (and third) hand computers which I used to teach
myself the fundamentals of networking, entirely with free software.
Eventually I was comfortable enough with my knowledge that I began to
apply for work with local companies and computer shops, entirely
speculatively.  One of them took me on (on a very, very low wage), and
that was the start of my career path.

It requires a fair bit of time to get yourself to the point where you'd
be comfortable offering what you have to an employer.  It requires an
awful lot of either dedication or enthusiasm, depending on how much fun
it seems to be to you.  Fun or not, it's not easy, and it's not quick.

Whether you teach yourself or decide to go the academic route, do enjoy
yourself.  Not everybody is self taught, and there are many other ways
to get in.  It all depends on what you want out of a career in IT.  It's
a big field.

Brian Ronald
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