Developing a developer

Still some way to completing my degree part-time (at the end of this academic year I’m half way). I’m not soliciting my services – just looking for advice from the community and if anyone has a few minutes it’d be very much appreciated.

I enjoy mathematics and programming, my degree modules have revolved around the two, covering Java and VB.Net (its a very Windows centric place the Open University but it’s getting better). I’m in the UK and would like to go back to Edinburgh for family reasons when I leave the services in a couple of years time. Looking at the job boards, there’s a lot of Java contracts in the area.

Has anyone got a job with only open source experience? Does anyone know of any open source projects that are Java based and would be a good starting point to build on the fundamentals? Are there other qualifications or courses that you recommend? What are employers looking for? Does anyone work in a specific field that utilises both maths and programming? Is there a language that is in particular demand or do you find that good experience is more value? What’s a realistic starting salary?

SSAFA, awards and royalty…

Lisa's Award
Lisa's Award

Just got back from London from the SSAFA Forces Help annual general meeting, where my wife Lisa won “Service Volunteer of the Year 2008/09”.

SSAFA is a charity that helps serving and former servicemen and women, their families and dependents.  Dealing with a wide range of issues, from bereavement to housing and even adoption.

Lisa has been an in-service volunteer for a couple of years and has recently been appointed as volunteer coordinator in Wattisham, as the previous co-ordinator’s husband has been posted.  She has been very heavily involved in fund-raising over the last year, giving up her time at the Wattisham Triathlon (which she is now training to take part in), open days and every event I can think of in the area over the last few years.  Running monthly bingo nights and having taken part in several courses, she is very enthusiastic and I’ve hardly seen her this year!  Lets not forget that we have three children between seven and twelve, how she does charity work, cycles every night and keeps an immaculately clean house I will never know.  Certainly don’t know how she fits this around a Foundation Degree in Youth Justice

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