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AuthorTopic: Learning coding (for a new career) on MorphOS  (Read 7155 times)

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Offline dandelion

Learning coding (for a new career) on MorphOS
« on: September 27, 2014, 02:28:03 PM »
Hi all,

I'm a long time geek, long time minority operating enthusiast, and recent convert to the idea that maybe working in the IT industry might be a good option. I mean, I love computers, I love to learn, I love to keep learning, and the money's good! That's my logic!

I've been dabbling in Python and R - have written some machine learning script stuff via a data science course for some massive datasets. Sort of excited about this, but really like the idea of developing deep mastery of applications/OS programming.

As an Amiga/minority OS geek - would MorphOS/AmigaOS provide a useful platform to hone my development skills? Is C++ still worth learning? Would I spend most of my time mastering the MorphOS API instead of learning industry-relevant Linux/Windows APIs? Or is the API issue small fry compared to understanding how C++ works?

You see, I'm thinking this might provide a nice additional motivation boost to learn to code. On the other hand, the thought of spending lots of time learning the MUI API might be a bit de-motivating, knowing it won't be directly benefiting my CV (probably even something to keep quiet about!)

Any thoughts, advice greatly appreciated!  

ps. In the very short term, I need to get paid. What's the best way to start earning money with a very slender IT-specific CV? (I have a biochem PhD, teaching qualifications - but my relevant IT stuff is at best 6 months old, and most employers are slightly dubious). Software testing? But even here experience is required! Aghh!
MorphOS on MacMini
RISC OS on RPi
Dreaming of owning another classic.
 

Offline Thorham

Re: Learning coding (for a new career) on MorphOS
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2014, 03:08:44 PM »
Quote from: dandelion;774020
really like the idea of developing deep mastery of applications/OS programming.
When you've only just started programming, then you're looking at several years to master it. There's way around this.

Quote from: dandelion;774020
Is C++ still worth learning?
You have to start somewhere, and learning C++ is certainly useful.

Quote from: dandelion;774020
Would I spend most of my time mastering the MorphOS API instead of learning industry-relevant Linux/Windows APIs? Or is the API issue small fry compared to understanding how C++ works?
Mastery of the language and programming itself are the most important. Once you've taken care of that, using any well documented API isn't a problem.

Quote from: dandelion;774020
On the other hand, the thought of spending lots of time learning the MUI API might be a bit de-motivating, knowing it won't be directly benefiting my CV
Of course, but the key is mastering programming itself. Learning how to use an API is part of that.

I don't really see a problem with learning how to program on an AmigaOS related platform, but there are good options for Windows as well, such as Visual Studio (express editions are free, requires a Microsoft account, also free). Because you want relevant skills, just stay away from 680x0 assembly language :lol:
 

Offline cunnpole

Re: Learning coding (for a new career) on MorphOS
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2014, 03:21:29 PM »
You are probably asking a biased community :)

From personal experience (I run a software company) I'd say software testing is generally a dead end (coding wise), unless you want to stay in that area writing test scripts.

It's really important that you find out what types of industries you have locally and what type of language is prevalent there. Each language has it's own nuances that can take many years to master so you are best to go straight for the language that you want to learn and will get the most out of.  Employers will look for keen people with some experience in the requisite languages. There are many junior developers out there so anything that puts you in a better position is worth doing.

As for anything Amiga related: only do this if it is in line with your goal. Working on a 'dead' OS will be viewed by many as a pointless exercise (and a distraction for your potential job). By all means do it as a hobby, just not as a means to make yourself stand out. You'll have to invest a lot of time to learn Morph OS as you suspected.

Finally, read books, learn the terminology and best practices and experiment with them and you'll get on your way. If you struggle to get interviews you should get some college courses on your CV and make the most of their careers advisers who will be able to put you in touch with employers.
 

Offline Thorham

Re: Learning coding (for a new career) on MorphOS
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2014, 03:31:18 PM »
Quote from: cunnpole;774022
As for anything Amiga related: only do this if it is in line with your goal. Working on a 'dead' OS will be viewed by many as a pointless exercise (and a distraction for your potential job).
The OS is not relevant, mastering programming is. Once you've mastered programming, adapting to other APIs and languages isn't very difficult.
 

Offline cunnpole

Re: Learning coding (for a new career) on MorphOS
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2014, 04:05:23 PM »
Quote from: Thorham;774024
The OS is not relevant, mastering programming is. Once you've mastered programming, adapting to other APIs and languages isn't very difficult.

While usually true, attempting to master anything is a big investment/risk if it isn't in line with the opportunities in your area. For me, it's such an important time to be going off on tangents. There are huge differences between disciplines so you might as well get on the right track as early as possible, THEN play!
 

Offline dandelion

Re: Learning coding (for a new career) on MorphOS
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2014, 04:33:57 PM »
Thank you for those replies.

I've spend a lot of years using RISC OS as my main operating system at home. It's been a lot of fun, but I've started to think how nice it would have been to have spent that time really getting to know Linux - again, career wise.

I'm in London. A little search of jobs by language in London gives:

C++ - 197
Java - 560
C# - 467
Asp.net - 271
Objective C - 53
Python - 191
Javascript - 609
PHP - 238
SQL - 851
HTML5 - 577
LAMP - 65

The local industry is very finance orientated, with a fairly healthy amount of start up activity.

This seems to point the way most clearly to web stuff (javascript, HTML5 numbers) and also Java or C#. Perhaps these stats make the MorphOS/C++ question redundant.

I've been  learning programming concepts through Python, which has been an enjoyable start. I've heard good things about C#, less good things about Java. Is it time I dropped my anti-Microsoft stance??
MorphOS on MacMini
RISC OS on RPi
Dreaming of owning another classic.
 

Offline dandelion

Re: Learning coding (for a new career) on MorphOS
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2014, 04:36:07 PM »
Quote from: cunnpole;774026
While usually true, attempting to master anything is a big investment/risk if it isn't in line with the opportunities in your area. For me, it's such an important time to be going off on tangents. There are huge differences between disciplines so you might as well get on the right track as early as possible, THEN play!


This sounds like a sensible philosophy...especially for me on career shift/life catch-up!
MorphOS on MacMini
RISC OS on RPi
Dreaming of owning another classic.
 

Offline itix

Re: Learning coding (for a new career) on MorphOS
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2014, 05:05:15 PM »
Quote from: dandelion;774028
Thank you for those replies.

I've spend a lot of years using RISC OS as my main operating system at home. It's been a lot of fun, but I've started to think how nice it would have been to have spent that time really getting to know Linux - again, career wise.

I'm in London. A little search of jobs by language in London gives:

C++ - 197
Java - 560
C# - 467
Asp.net - 271
Objective C - 53
Python - 191
Javascript - 609
PHP - 238
SQL - 851
HTML5 - 577
LAMP - 65

The local industry is very finance orientated, with a fairly healthy amount of start up activity.

This seems to point the way most clearly to web stuff (javascript, HTML5 numbers) and also Java or C#. Perhaps these stats make the MorphOS/C++ question redundant.

I've been  learning programming concepts through Python, which has been an enjoyable start. I've heard good things about C#, less good things about Java. Is it time I dropped my anti-Microsoft stance??

If you master C++ you can master C# and Java, too. They are different but syntax is similar and are object oriented -- learning another language is quite easy. But it should work other way too, if you learn Java or C# first you probably can learn C++ quite easily if necessary.

C# is very good and I quite love it. And it does not hurt if you learn some SQL too.

MorphOS is rather C oriented than C++ and C++ experience is not so much use there. It is better reserved for small fun projects. Knowing some C can also help to get a job but consider C as a side skill. It is important in the embedded industry and sometimes important on Linux related projects.

When I started my career on SW industry it was embedded related C coding using an obscure operating system I never heard before. Later on my work shifted to C# with SQL, however, sometimes I have to look at Java, PHP or HTML code or even obscure Pascal code. I even converted some piece of VHDL code to C# without having any knowledge about VHDL per se.

Btw when I applied for my first job in 2007 I mentioned some of my MorphOS projects in my CV. They were looking for an experienced C developer and investing time to an obscure OS called MorphOS was useful.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2014, 05:12:25 PM by itix »
My Amigas: A500, Mac Mini and PowerBook
 

guest11527

  • Guest
Re: Learning coding (for a new career) on MorphOS
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2014, 05:15:10 PM »
Quote from: Thorham;774024
The OS is not relevant, mastering programming is. Once you've mastered programming, adapting to other APIs and languages isn't very difficult.

True enough, but if you want to find employment in the area, it probably more useful to point at a couple of open source projects you have contributed to - or even better - helped to establish. That leaves a good impression. Having written some unknown applications for a dead Os is probably less impressive. It gives you probably the title of a hobbyist with a touch for old-timers, but not a flexible modern software engineer that can master whatever project there will be.
 

Offline Thorham

Re: Learning coding (for a new career) on MorphOS
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2014, 05:33:49 PM »
Quote from: Thomas Richter;774033
True enough, but if you want to find employment in the area, it probably more useful to point at a couple of open source projects you have contributed to - or even better - helped to establish. That leaves a good impression. Having written some unknown applications for a dead Os is probably less impressive. It gives you probably the title of a hobbyist with a touch for old-timers, but not a flexible modern software engineer that can master whatever project there will be.
Obviously, but when you still have to learn how to program, then this is entirely irrelevant. When you want a job as a programmer, then you have to master programming itself first. Once you've mastered that, you can start working on software for relevant platforms. No one wants beginner code in their open source projects, and you don't stick your learner projects on a CV anyway.

You can't be a flexible, modern software engineer without mastering programming, and because that's a process that takes several years, I wouldn't worry about what platform you use to learn it. What you should do is try to master programming using languages that allow you to do everything properly, so that you don't get into bad habits and learn nothing useful.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2014, 05:37:41 PM by Thorham »
 

Offline Duce

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Re: Learning coding (for a new career) on MorphOS
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2014, 05:59:00 PM »
Nothing wrong with learning and honing your skills on these platforms, but MOS/OS4/Alternative OS on a CV won't buy you much.

C is C, coding is coding, however.  You'll either have a mind for coding as a whole, or you won't.  Regardless of platform.
 

Offline jj

Re: Learning coding (for a new career) on MorphOS
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2014, 07:57:34 PM »
I think a lot of people have an issue with Java based on the early days. It's a strong language and the job opportunities are everywhere for Java.
“We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” - George Bernard Shaw

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Offline cunnpole

Re: Learning coding (for a new career) on MorphOS
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2014, 08:53:17 PM »
Being in London makes it easier in terms of number of jobs, but harder in terms  of number of applicants (it's very easy to get lots in a pile). The quickest way in is probably C++, however the fast track way to good money is something like C# MVC (which needs javascript, HTML5 and CSS3). Once you have a couple of years experience then consider your options. Jumping from one language to another (C++ <-> C# <-> Java) is not as painless as people make out as there are considerable differences once you get deep into it. It's certainly not hard, just time consuming.

As you'll soon figure out there is a fair bit of luck involved in landing the right job, so don't take any advice rigidly and go with the flow.
 

Offline takemehomegrandma

Re: Learning coding (for a new career) on MorphOS
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2014, 09:28:08 PM »
@dandelion

If you are new to programming and want to learn for a new career, then let me suggest Java (on a different platform obviously). It's very user friendly and suitable for beginners, and you can actually build a career on that one alone. And then C++ and C# etc is very similar so you could "easily" migrate to those.

:)
« Last Edit: September 27, 2014, 09:38:30 PM by takemehomegrandma »
MorphOS is Amiga done right! :)
 

Offline zylesea

Re: Learning coding (for a new career) on MorphOS
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2014, 09:36:54 PM »
Quote from: dandelion;774020
Hi all,

I'm a long time geek, long time minority operating enthusiast, and recent convert to the idea that maybe working in the IT industry might be a good option. I mean, I love computers, I love to learn, I love to keep learning, and the money's good! That's my logic!

I've been dabbling in Python and R - have written some machine learning script stuff via a data science course for some massive datasets. Sort of excited about this, but really like the idea of developing deep mastery of applications/OS programming.

As an Amiga/minority OS geek - would MorphOS/AmigaOS provide a useful platform to hone my development skills? Is C++ still worth learning? Would I spend most of my time mastering the MorphOS API instead of learning industry-relevant Linux/Windows APIs? Or is the API issue small fry compared to understanding how C++ works?

You see, I'm thinking this might provide a nice additional motivation boost to learn to code. On the other hand, the thought of spending lots of time learning the MUI API might be a bit de-motivating, knowing it won't be directly benefiting my CV (probably even something to keep quiet about!)

Any thoughts, advice greatly appreciated!  

ps. In the very short term, I need to get paid. What's the best way to start earning money with a very slender IT-specific CV? (I have a biochem PhD, teaching qualifications - but my relevant IT stuff is at best 6 months old, and most employers are slightly dubious). Software testing? But even here experience is required! Aghh!


Sorry to say and as much as I like to promote MorphOS - but when your goal is to get paid, start straight away on Windows or Apple. C++ in general is not too hard to understand IMHO, but knowing all the API stuff is quite a bit to learn. Plus, the programming tools and internet resources are much richer for Windows and OS X. Also I must say that the only program by Microsoft I was really hooked by was Visual Studio. The project manager just loads some effort off from you, the editor does what it should do, the debugger works as intended and the help and online resources are massive. In brief: While I have trouble to do a proper MorphOS program using C++ I hadn't those issues with Windows.

For a hello world program of course it doesn't matter what OS to use, but from my experience with C++ so far I rather spent more time with API stuff that with the inner logic of the programs. That said I must emphasize that my C++ skills are rather limited and hemce I am not the best &.

Best C++ book I had: John R. Hubbard: Programming with C++
This book covers plain C++ without assuming to know C before and without a lot of "old" things. Learning C++ that way probably helps when switching to Java or C#.