Next Career Move Advice - Developer


New member
Feb 8, 2012
Programming Experience

I've decided that for the remaining 20 or so years of my career I want to build on my experience and become a professional developer.
And am looking for advice/support/guidance and help as to how I can make this a reality.
  • Been in and around using and developing Databases and applications for 16 years.
Primarily my "programming/developer experience" is designing / developing deploying Access databases but also experience in using applications and systems based on SQL Server.
  • I attained Prince 2 Practitioner and very comfortable and confident in my ability to help users to define and "agree" their requirements and then translating that into reliable applications for them. (Really love seeing their reactions when I've saved them time or made things much better for them)
  • Been responsible for the management/validation and quality control of data for some large projects (eg £32m pa Government funded service).
But am now bored with the end user /"beginner developer" status and get a real buzz about the prospect of becoming a proper developer!

I purchased a training package that teaches/guides towards attaining MCPD - VB/ .... VERY HARD GOING and I just don't get enough exposure or support at work to help me get where I want to be fast enough! (currently an ANALYST/REPORTING OFFICER in a College)

So my question is:

Does anyone know of any kind of "Technical Skills/ experience checklist" against which I could benchmark myself as to how far off I am?

I don't mind and expect that at this stage I'd be right at the bottom of the scale.

Its just that I dont know how much of what I do know counts in the real world of developers!

eg I can build a SQL Server databse, can connect to it from Visual Studio and build a functioning user friendly application, but limited experience with Stored procedures and heard of Triggers but havent a clue what they are!! .so so sooo willing to learn though!

I'm very keen to approach software development companies and fully appreciate I'd be a Junior!!! but dont want to look a total fool, nor do I want to underestimate what I do know.

When I got advice regarding which training package to buy, I was advised that although I'm not an IT graduate, the soft skills/business/systems analyst experience I've got is also very relevant to becoming a good developer.

Any advice or suggestions or signposting would be very gratefully received. There is alot more that I've done, but like I say, I dont know how to list it or how it compares or what counts.

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