I have a higher diploma, with an excellent grade, and am in the final year of a BSc in Software Development. I am searching for a job, preferably in software development, for any salary, since I do not have experience, other than personal projects.

I applied to some job agencies, but the interviews I've been called for are for non development jobs, for example "people admin", or 100% network jobs, which I have no idea about (although they offered training). I went to an interview for a network job, but to be honest didn't like it, and my hope is to become a software engineer. If I accept, I will not get any leaves for a year, so there would be no point in applying for software developer jobs during that time, and at the end of it I will still not have any development experience.

Will the experience of a "non software development" job, either a management position or the networking job, help me find a "non trainee" software engineering job? Is pursuing my dream of becoming a software engineer wrong?

  • at least tell me whether you have ever faced this kind of a situation, the decision you got, and the result of it – Lemon Juice Jun 10 '12 at 4:55
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    Hi Sepala, and welcome to The Workplace SE! Your question has been closed for the time being because it is very specific to your own situation, and in your comment you are really asking for a poll. If you focus your question to a specific question with an answer that could be useful to a broad audience, the community and moderators would vote to reopen it. Feel free to discuss how to do this in The Workplace Meta or The Workplace Chat. – jcmeloni Jun 10 '12 at 20:19
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    I think "will experience in non-software jobs help with getting a software job later" is a perfectly answerable and useful question - it's just the "pursuing my dream" bit and the request for anecdotes that's an issue. I think you got some good answers already - please do try to edit the question to fit the site better, I think it's interesting. – weronika Jun 10 '12 at 22:31
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    Agreed, I think this could be fixed up for a proper question, please do edit! – Rarity Jun 11 '12 at 3:27

Unless either job includes programming experience, they are unlikely to help you get hired as developer with another employer. The networking job might include systems programming, the pure admin job is unlikely to offer an opportunity to program.

I am assuming that by "non-trainee" you mean paid, as without experience as a dev, you can only expect to get an entry level position.

If I was you, I would keep looking for an entry level position, with a new degree you should at least get some interviews.

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  • I don't think there will be programming. They might put me to some programming projects if they have, but that would be something like "free time work". But, that is "MIGHT" – Lemon Juice Jun 10 '12 at 19:33
  • @Sepala: Pretty much what I figure, which is why I would not recommend taking the job if your dream is to be a developer. Long term, who know, but short term, non-development jobs won't give you the experience that you need to advance your career (get hired). – jmoreno Jun 10 '12 at 20:04

I think it probably depends on your money.

Follow your dream is obviously choice#1. Your options really depends on if you have the money to wait up to a year for a programming job? Do you either have a 'pay-the-bills' job or some cash or a loan or family (either parents, spouse or even children) that can support you while you are looking for your a job in your dream career (I'm calling it dream career, 'cos Dream job implies something else!)

Your biggest assets right now that you probably don't consider is that fact that you are

  • More amenable to change and less opinionated
  • More likely to be open to learning and adapting to how any given 'shop' does their thing.
  • Less reliant on bad habits.

At the end of the day, either a low paid crappy job or waiting for the right job can both be assets, it all depends on how you present them. One example:

"I worked at Blahbucks for 6 months for the cash but the job just sucked" -> Not Hired
"I worked at Blahbucks for 6 months. It was a tough job and it took me a little while to be disciplined enough every day for a low-paid job but I soon got it down and in the end actually learned quite a lot about both interacting with my co-workers - yes tattoo's were pretty common! - and also with the customers, some of who were pretty demanding"
Wow! This person had just demonstrated: humility, perseverance, ability to learn, ability to change, professionalism, working with others, customer service and omg, a programmer with a sense of humor ! -> Hired

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  • I can still stay up to few months seeking a job to be honest. And I am already called for a very good SD interview, waiting for the result. And I have no bills to pay too. And, it's not a long time I have completed the diploma, just 2 months. I can accept any job if I have no dream to follow. The only thing I am afraid is, if I get any other, my dream will be delayed by minimum 1 year or more. In other side, who knows whether I EVER get a software job! :o.O . My mind is rolling here and there because of this, and this is the first time I couldn't take a straight decision. Please help. – Lemon Juice Jun 10 '12 at 19:30
  • And tell me how this "non-developer" jobs gonna help me to my ACTUAL career. – Lemon Juice Jun 10 '12 at 19:31
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    @Sepala - he already told you how the other jobs might help you with a software career, in his interview example. – weronika Jun 10 '12 at 22:44

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