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A question from my dp,techy people !

(32 Posts)
Beauregard Tue 17-Apr-07 23:01:08

Dp is interested in a career change and would like to do an Aplus certification in IT,does anyone know where he could do this?
Not available at college/local uni as far as we know.
Is the qualification a good one for accessing jobs in the industry?

Beauregard Tue 17-Apr-07 23:09:22

A Goodnight bump.

MrsApron Tue 17-Apr-07 23:36:46

Dh says yep a good certification to have. Is there a local it training place - where are you about?
one of these guys perhaps


DominiConnor Wed 18-Apr-07 08:37:25

Not a great investment of time or money, the industry looks either at degrees and experience.
Some look at MCSE, but this has lost most of it's original credibility.

I used to be an IT director, now do recruitment, and if you look at etc A+ is not exactly a demand skill.

I now do bit of training myself, and unless it is in the right "context" then certification will often be a depressing waste of time and money.

But the bottom line is that the value of training is largely a function of where you are in terms of career history and education, and where you want to be.

Beauregard Wed 18-Apr-07 11:46:05

Thanks for the link MrsApron will take a look.

DominiConnor- Thanks for the info.
In your opinion What is the most direct route of breaking into I.T?first rung on the ladder and all that?
Dp has no I.I qualifications but knows a fair bit,can build computers,fix faults etc.He has a real interest and enthusiasm for computing.
Is it possible to train and work in full time employment in a different field?
Sorry to bombard you with questions but he needs to know if it is a viable option and finding the relevant info is proving difficult.

MrsApron Wed 18-Apr-07 13:23:54

would have thought it helpdesk first line would be a good starter for 10. \There are relevant microsoft quals for that.

Volunteer work would be good/schools charities erc build up a bit of experience.

DominiConnor Wed 18-Apr-07 13:44:04

From what I see, the money in the corporate PC fixing end of the business isn't hot that "breaking into" it sounds so great.
There is help desk work, and local government is always short of remotely competent people.

Obviously I can't really gauge DH's ability at this distance, but I have an outline business idea.
Most people have home PCs, internet connections, wireless routers. They need upgrading, de-virusing, and fixing etc. Data recovery for little local businesses might work out well as a sideline.

Advertise in newsagents etc for a few quid, see if locals want stuff done.
Nice thing about this being that people actually want to be served outside normal working hours, so DH can keep his day job.

One work of advice. Before any upgrade, he should make them turn it on in front of him, else they may claim "it worked before".

My standard bit of advice for anyone thinking of entry level work in IT is to learn Excel. Decent money, if software is the sort of thing you can do.

MrsApron Wed 18-Apr-07 15:19:52

dc can I email you re pimping out my DH?

Kevlarhead Wed 18-Apr-07 22:40:17

'scuse the hijacking but;

"My standard bit of advice for anyone thinking of entry level work in IT is to learn Excel."

Why do you say that? Just curious as I'm on Excel all day every day right now and I'm getting good at it...

Beauregard Thu 19-Apr-07 11:08:22

Dominiconnor-Thanks so much for the advice
Dp now has a starting point,his plan is to enroll on an Excel course and take it from there.
Thanks also MrsApron.

DominiConnor Thu 19-Apr-07 20:03:55

MrsApron, feel free to email me I'm Dominic at' PaulDominic dot com.
IT is on the edge of what we do, which is specialist banking stuff, but you never know.

Kevlarhead, there does seem to be a shortage of good Excel people. I found this out last hear when a large bank rang me and said "Dominic, we're your largest client..." Such conversations rarely end well, and anyway they're now 3rd...

They'd been interviewing Excel people or "chimps" as they called them. They wanted good Excel skills, as in paying 450 per day which was part of the problem, real programmers are far more expensive.
They interviewed 37 people before they called us, and we only did it because I owed the director of this area a favour.

God it was bad.
50% of them didn't know what And did.
70% couldn't tell what this declared:
Dim a,b as integer

None understood DDE properly, one flatly refused to believe that it could work, and more than one opined it was a new feature (it came out in 1986).
None even knew what RTD stood for, though that wasn't a critical item.
Some used integers for cell references, yes really.
My test was to sit them down with my laptop which has absolutely every single piece of Microsoft documentation including things I had to sign a confidentiality agreement for, and ask them to make it do stuff. All failed.

In the end I found three that didn't actively embarrass me. One got lost, and one got hired.

When I told an IT director of a household name bank I reckoned there were 10 competent Excel developers he laughed, reckoned it was 4 now that I've retired.

Kevlarhead Thu 19-Apr-07 22:24:18

I've never come across DDE, so don't know about it. Knew every other one of your examples. Currently getting hacked off that the admin guy scanning incoming stock into my system gets paid more than me, so looking around at the jobs market to see what I can get.

DominiConnor Fri 20-Apr-07 00:29:07

You know RTD ?
That earns some respect.

DDE (dynamic data exchange) isn't hard, the trick is to realise that the reason it makes so little sense is not that it's hard, but that it's stupid and wrong. Not only doesn't it work, one can prove that it can't be fixed, MS has been quietly hiding the documentation so that one day they can "lose" it.
A scary % of the world's financial markets rely upon DDE.

You can pick up DDE in a couple of days.

If you can do RTD and VBA then you certainly can get rather more than the scanning guy. However RTD is of course a City-only technology.

We don't do a lot of Excel people, but if you have a CV I might be able to send it to someone who can help.

Kevlarhead Fri 20-Apr-07 19:19:46

Clarification; I know what RTD stands for. Never been in a situation where I've had to use it.

I'm self-taught, so I'm not familar with what might be best for a particular situation, just what I know and what works. Right now the system I've got uses ADO with SQL so multiple (well... a few) users can write to and query a single large spreadsheet; (management are too tight to pay out for a database). There may be a better way of doing it, and there probably is, but ADO works for me just now.

I'm not London-based (up a major rail route tho) but I'll bung you a CV sometime. Every little helps when finding a job...

DominiConnor Fri 20-Apr-07 20:11:36

Learning a bit of SQL wouldn't hurt, there is a free MS SQL you can practice upon.

How are you will Vlookup etc ?

Kevlarhead Fri 20-Apr-07 20:41:59

I'm good with Vlookup, Hlookup, Index & Match(match) etc. Use them daily at work.

I'm picking up SQL as I go, but I've got a uni course on the subject in the next half of the year, so I'm trying to prepare for that too.

DominiConnor Sun 22-Apr-07 09:35:45

That lot certainly puts you in the top end of Excel people.
Which DB are you using ?

DominiConnor Sun 22-Apr-07 09:58:40

There exists an MicroSoft scheme by which you can get a free copy of everything by MS, and some training etc., if you're willing to be a poster child for MS...

Kevlarhead Mon 23-Apr-07 01:17:21

Currently trying to learn PostgreSQL . It's free, open source, and was recomended by this clever-sounding chap . Only installed it recently, and will shortly try and find some data to put in it, as databases tend to be a bit uninteresting otherwise.

And I (may) have managed to get my hands on a copy of Office 07 without spending too much or without selling out to the Beast. No offence, just not poster child material...

DominiConnor Mon 23-Apr-07 09:25:25

I write as someone who at various points has been paid good money to piss off Microsoft. Was once physically assaulted by Bill Gates own PR woman
I have no love for MS, and there are many great open source packages. But I am concerned whenever I read choices or advice based upon some idea of hurting the Beast of Redmond.

Postgres is a mature SQL, and can be a good choice for many projects, not least web stuff.

But it's not that friendly. The best learning environment for SQL is Microsoft by a mile.

Also, speaking as a pimp, you don't just look at the quality of the tools you are using, but at what companies ask for, and how many people have those skills.
Many so-called Computer "Science" courses teach only open source. That means few new graduates know commercial packages. Simple game theory tell us that going in the opposite direction to your competitors is optimal in this context.
What is deeply sad is that although many CS courses "teach" open source they don't teach how they work, and if you don't speak C++, they might as well be closed source from MS or Oracle.

Kevlarhead Mon 23-Apr-07 23:59:37

"choices or advice based upon some idea of hurting the Beast of Redmond"

Okay, slight conflation of ideas in my last post. I went for Postgres because it was free, and I reckoned that experience with a DB known to have a steep learning curve would look good. That and I need to use it (or MySql) for the aforementioned DB course. I wasn't actually aware of SQL server express but I'll be looking into that shortly.

I'll be a poster boy for MS if it means I can avoid paying full whack for Office. As long as there's some chance I may be able to get hold of a copy on the cheap, I'll hold out. It's less an anti-MS thing than an anti-spending money thing...

Kevlarhead Tue 24-Apr-07 00:10:52

Ps. Bwahahahahaha!! @ angry PR

DominiConnor Tue 24-Apr-07 00:36:37

OK, I follow your logic on picking a hard product, but in my experience employers look for a buzzword, then your ability in it, and only look at the path by which you got there after the firs two filters have been passed.

MySQL until very recently didn't have stored procedures, which has always devalued it in my eyes.

alipiggie Tue 24-Apr-07 02:37:27

Pelvicfloornomore a recommendation for your DH. Tell him to look into Agile Development/Scrum Master. This is where there is huge money to be made. This is methodology which is becoming huge all over the world. My h is one of the leaders in this field. Courses are run on a regular basis throughout Europe and the UK. Ken Schwaber runs courses all over the world and started this all off. There's a huge meeting in London in the Fall. Scrum Information

Kaloo20 Tue 24-Apr-07 20:59:38

PRINCE2 and ITIL are the buzz words in my end of the industry

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