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I graduated with a bachelors degree in computer science, learning mostly Java and functional programming.

My internship lead to a job, but I got thrown into a different position than expected.

My title is "Software Engineer Associate", but I'm on the IT support team. I maintain applications, fix bugs, script, and create internal tools with HTML, CSS, Javascript, Jquery, Php, Mysql. I also use Powershell and BASH a lot to automate my job... we (IT support) are also the guys who reset passwords, clear cache, manage AD, fix user problems etc.

I don't use Java, C / C++ in my daily job... many devs around me seem to look down on me because I don't have that experience.

I consider myself a developer, but I fear others may not based on me being part of IT - the untrue stereotype is that IT are just guys who install applications and image your computer, they don't code etc. Note that i disagree with this.

Would this inhibit my ability to become a developer?

I'd like to not have to start as a entry level again, but move straight into the upper entry-level developer position... and eventually work remote :)

  • Intermediate developers usually have about 5-7 years of professional experience as a developer. – Herb Wolfe Mar 10 '17 at 22:34
  • @HerbWolfe Good Point. I'll edit that. Level 2 is still entry level I believe – Kolob Canyon Mar 10 '17 at 22:37
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    "Level 2" is an arbitrary label that some organisations use - and they use it differently from each other. – HorusKol Mar 10 '17 at 22:39
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    You are a developer. Do not list your experience as "IT Support" as that will hinder your job search. There was a Hacker News thread about this but I can't find it. – jcm Mar 12 '17 at 6:02
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I maintain applications, fix bugs, script, and create internal tools with HTML, CSS, Javascript, Jquery, Php, Mysql.

That sounds like development work to me.

Smaller organisations may not have a solid separation between IT administration and development - I've been in the same position before, myself, since we didn't have anyone with Ubuntu administration experience. Even now, I still help out sometimes, whenever the two IT admins are busy or on leave.

However, if the majority of your time is doing development work, then you are a developer. And it sounds to me like you are a PHP developer with what you write.

I don't use Java, C / C++ in my daily job... many devs around me seem to look down on me because I don't have that experience.

Unfortunately, there are some Java and C/C++ programmers who look down on web application developers who use PHP. There's a few reasons for this, some of them reasonably valid - but there are plenty of serious PHP developers who are extremely good at what they do, and it is used in a lot of large-scale sites.

I consider myself a developer, but I fear others may not based on me being part of IT - the untrue stereotype is that IT are just guys who install applications and image your computer, they don't code etc. Note that i disagree with this.

Would this inhibit my ability to become a developer?

Not really - when you apply for a new position, highlight the relevant experience - what you have done as a developer, what problems you have solved, what tools/frameworks you have used.

But don't completely neglect your IT experience - a developer with some IT admin skills (having a developer who knows how to run up an Ubuntu LAMP stack is invaluable in some teams) and customer interaction experience can be more valued than a developer who has only ever cut code. Just write it in a way so that you don't make your work as a developer appear subordinate to the IT side.

I'd like to not have to start as a entry level again, but move straight into the upper entry-level developer position... and eventually work remote :)

If you stick to looking for a job in the same toolset of PHP, MySQL, CSS, JavaScript, then you could probably look for a lower mid-level job after 2-3 years as an entry/junior developer. What will help is if you get yourself working on personal projects at home, or even get involved in an open-source project or two. There are plenty of small open-source projects on GitHub that are creating modules for the major frameworks (and experience in a framework like Laravel, Symfony, Zend, etc, is always a bonus).

If you want to jump over to Java or C/C++ - you may have to find a junior position somewhere sooner rather than later. You will also have to start learning that in your spare time.

  • Yep, sounds like developer work to me as well – Kilisi Mar 11 '17 at 2:12
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If you're doing 'development' work - In any development language, count it as development experience.

Don't hesitate later on about applying for a job that requires X amount of development experience because of a slight title difference in a position that clearly contains development work.

Titles aren't as relevant as skills and experience.

If you think there's something weird about your title or department, I wouldn't worry about it. Any questions future employers have about it should be easily overcome during the interview process.

I'd just say, in your resume, when you describe your activities in this job, make sure you include some notes on what development work you may have done at this position.

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Everyone in the industry has to start somewhere doing something. Based on what you've described, I wouldn't try to wear the "Developer" hat just yet. You have a degree and an internship that turned into a job. Congratulations for that, but you still have quite a distance to travel—at least in the corporate arena. I have over 30 years in, but I didn't start calling myself a "developer" until I actually developed something. You don't have to rush...computers aren't going anywhere, and entry-level salaries are still higher than most industries.

You need to focus on learning as much as you can about as many things as you can, because that's where you begin to gain the ability to fully diagnose and solve real problems. Don't concern yourself about how others perceive and react to you as long as you are doing what's expected of you. Do as much as you can, do it well, learn as much as you can, learn it well, and never forget those people you think are looking down at you went through the same thing you're going through today. A lot of that negative judgment and criticism is coming only from you. You'll get there.

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