Looking for some programming/career advice--Would you hire me?
Bit of background: I have a good paying, reasonably secure job in printing right now, but Iâ€™m looking to make a career change. I took some programming courses a few years ago and found that I had a knack for it, and found it intellectually stimulating, but stuck with my current job that is mostly unrelated to programming. Iâ€™m now looking to make a change into a field that has more possibilities. (If anyone knows about the printing industry you will know that it is not going anywhere and wages are falling.)
So here is where I am:
1. I enjoy using Linux and the open source community and want to help out.
2. After studying C++ and VB I find myself liking Java and wish to learn it.
3. Eventually Iâ€™d like to make a career change into programming with a focus on GUI and ease of use. I am good very good at communication, documentation and end user ease of use.
The problem is getting experience. My thought is to get involved in open source, Java development from sourceforge.net, java.net and javaforge.com. My company isnâ€™t opposed to me writing some small Java apps if I can justify them.
My big question is: Is this enough? I have an associateâ€™s degree related to printing/graphic arts.
If you are looking to hire a Java developer would you hire someone that has helped out on Â½ a dozen open source projects with success, has a good understanding of the language, written one or two small applications for his current company, has a strong desire to be a great developer, and focuses on end user experience?