Volunteer work can often be a good way to build your skill set on real
world problems without having to quit your day job. Since they aren't
paying gigs they usually are happy with entry level programmers. I've
used idealist.org in the past to find work.
On 05/06/2011 03:07 PM, Ceci Land wrote:
> Hello everyone. The recent thread asking people what they would like to learn if they had the time brought another question to my mind. If you were looking to get into "this side" of the profession, what would you recommend focusing on?
> IOW, suppose you were a current MLIS graduate student (that's me) who has a techy sort of inclination. But also assume that your current job as paraprofessional staff involves minimal computer skills, no programming or scripting and this situation will not ever change. Imagine that you've taken every programming and database class you can fit into your schedule, but you realize that course work will only take you slightly beyond a beginner level even if you make A's. (in an IS based program, not CS. I would have preferred the CS route, but work could not accommodate the class/lab time during the days)
> How would you choose to develop your skills from "baby" level to something useful to the profession? Will developing projects on your personal time and hosting them yourself be enough to get noticed when they day comes that you graduate with your shiny new diploma? What core skills would you choose to focus on? Would you give up a secure job with benefits to find an internship that could really challenge your programming, web development etc. skills?
> I see many people on this list with very strong skills, but in the job world, I don't see many 2nd string/entry level jobs that would allow someone to hone their skills to the level I often see here. I've been thinking that I should focus on further developing my abilities in: HTML/CSS of course, XML, XSLT, PHP, and MySQL (because they're all readily available for someone to play with despite not being employed in a systems department). It seems that anything I can learn about metadata transformations/crosswalks and RDF would be useful too. I also find some classification theories very compelling (ok, I admit that colon classification really got my attention in my first MLIS class) and found myself drawn to potentially being interested in taxonomies and controlled vocabulary. I know nothing about Drupal, but I wonder if I should include in my smorgasbord. How much is too much and where you y'all recommend I put my energy?
> Any advice is greatly appreciated. The more specific the better. :)