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Career in Web Development with 2 Year Degree


Rossini
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Hello, I just need some advice on what to do or things to look into.Here is my situation. I am about to get my 2 year degree in Internet Technologies and have a basic knowledge of HTML, JavaScript, PHP, Databases, and Visual Basic. I do not have high level knowledge, but plan to work my butt off to get into the higher levels. Currently I am working at Apple in a low level position as a back of house specialist. I figured this could be my foot in the door, and that I could potentially get a job at Apple corporate as a web developer as I see they are in need of them. The problem is they seem to want a 4 year degree, although some of the positions seem to just be for students out of college. Do you think this is feasible since I already work at Apple? I was thinking I could pull a couple strings with management, they can get me a letter of recommendation as well as my college teachers who I am also in talks with.Thank you for the help in advanced. I really want to try making something of myself with a career and will take all the help I can get. Also for any of the professionals...how much knowledge should I have when starting out in the field? Where should I be when I do end up applying?

Edited by Rossini
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In 2010, degrees matter. They didn't use to, but now they do. They certify basic understanding, whether you have it or not, and employers care about that. After that, your portfolio matters more. It's what separates you from the other 100 applicants. In 2010, a BS is the serious degree. An AS won't get you far unless you apply to a very open-minded company (they do still exist) and (no surprise) your portfolio is awesome. Write a bunch of awesome sites. They can be fake. I mean, mock sites for fake companies. But they have to rock.Where should you be? You absolutely must be able to write a standards-compliant (strict DTD) page, right out of your head, without Dreamweaver (etc.) to help you. And you should not sweat about differences between IE and everyone else. You should be able to write a document that looks the same in all browsers. You should have mastered CSS. This is minimum if design is your thing.Even better if you rock at JavaScript. Better still if you can do PHP and SQL. A lot of businesses want you to use frameworks like jQuery, which extends JavaScript. It's not a requirement generally, but it cannot hurt, and may be the difference between a job and no job.Other technologies like Ruby are great, but they should supplement everything I write about above, not replace it. A developer who knows Ruby without knowing PHP is only fit for a very niche job. I wouldn't risk it.The Microsoft technologies like ASP.net are very specialized. Some shops do that stuff exclusively. Knowing it won't ever hurt. But I'd start with the Unix-based technologies like PHP first. Then go to ASP if time allows.

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As far as how much you need to know, I feel like you need to have a solid understanding of MVC, OOP, PHP (or another server-side language) and SQL if you are looking for a development job, and most likely also have a good background in Javascript and Ajax as well. I have been going through several interviews recently and I am noticing that I am being asked the same questions over and over again. Here are a few:1. What is MVC? Have you used an MVC framework?2. What are the different type of joins?3. What is a primary key and what is a foreign key?4. What is polymorphism?5. What is the object used to make an ajax call without a JS library?6. What is ORM?Those are just a few. And of course, I have been asked to write out some code on a whiteboard.

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