Getting Started in Information Technology

Getting started in Information Technology

Recently I have given advice to individuals who have indicated to me that they would like to make a career change into the field of Information Technology. The question they posed was, where to start?
Notwithstanding my reservations about urging a career in IT upon someone who has not shown enough initiative to search for the topic on Google, I understand that it can be an overwhelming and daunting task to enter the field of IT. There are some products and technologies I do believe provide a basis for a marketable career right now.
Useful resources and links to technologies, chosen for their relevance and current usage in IT, and availability (every item selected is available for FREE, either as a fully functional product, or with only nominal limitations on their utilization). There is extensive documentation of these technologies via their websites – every one has tutorials and install guides – as well as via third party sites and community message boards and user groups. This is by no means a comprehensive or complete list. It is biased towards my experience and what I have been working on lately and what I have worked on in the past, and my own interests. However, I have endeavored to put together a list that is first and foremost accessible in terms of the product being available to a novice to obtain and install, and availability of tutorials and/or learning resources.

The below are my recommendations. In a few of them I indicate where I believe open source products are ideal for engaging a technology and getting one’s feet wet, whereas there might otherwise be a preference for a commercial product in the marketplace.

A database: mySQL (for learning, Oracle for employment)
A programming language: Java
An Integrated Development Environment (IDE): Eclipse
A scripting language: Ruby
An HTTP server: Apache
A WebServer: Glassfish (for learning, WebLogic for employment)

If I were to suggest learning one single technology as being most relevant and able to help you land a job in Information Technology the shortest time possible, it would be: Oracle.

  1. chrisj2
    December 29, 2007 at 1:03 pm

    Having the name “Chris” I can feel some of the pain you have endured with your name – though I have met more Christophers than Christines in my time. However, I did have to put up with taunts of “Chrissy Kissy” as a child (Oh!, the agony!). But I did overcome and it made me a stronger human being. Actually it was usually a younger brother who would make that mistake and he would get whooped on for it.

    Anyway, I wanted to let you know your site has earned a bookmark on my browser. I’ve recently been wondering how I might get started in IT and the experience you’ve shared looks like it could be very helpful. I earned a BSCIS back in 2005 but haven’t really used it. Most of my working years have been spent as an electronics tech and all the job interviews I’ve had have been for tech positions. However, it looks like the tech work I’m doing now may dry up and I’m thinking I ought to take a serious look at IT. I guess what has held me back is the IT bust I saw a few years ago and watching a neighbor in IT spend a loooong time out of work. But I’m hoping all that is behind us now.

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