[thelist] Teach Old Programmer New Tricks

erik mattheis gozz at gozz.com
Sat Jan 29 01:10:06 CST 2011

There's nothing wrong with being honest.

Make it a joke, ie, "You're an old dog wanting to learn new tricks, it's
probably going to be hard so maybe set your goal on doing just one very
specific thing and doing it very well."

The suggestion to learn how to make Droid or iApps is a good one - it's a
big market and app development is spendy - if he's OK with turning around an
app in two months for $10K it would be a win for both parties.

On Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 9:23 PM, Garth Hagerman <hagerman at mcn.org> wrote:

>  (sorry if this appears twice; I didn't change the subject line the first
> time)
>> I have a friend ... who
>> used to be a programmer and ... Cobol,
>> his other "career" has fizzled out. I told him I could advise him
>> regarding web work, but my advise would probably be to forget about
>> it.
> I found myself in a similar position a few years back. I'd studied Computer
> Science back in'79 and '80, learning FORTRAN and PASCAL. I never did much
> with that background. Then, in '98, I took a basic HTML class at my local
> community college. Many bright, artistically inclined students got one whiff
> of code and almost literally ran away screaming. But, courtesy of those CS
> classes long ago, I took to it like a fish to water.
> I built a simple photography site for myself.
> I built a more complicated site as a volunteer for a local theatre group.
> I started to take on some small scale paying clients.
> Then, I took the plunge into server side scripting and databases. I figured
> it'd take me a month or two to get a handle on PHP and MySQL. A year later,
> after much frustration, I could sorta-kinda use them a little.
> Now, I keep busy as a small town web generalist. It's a tough way to make a
> living, but most of the bills get paid most of the time.
> Your friend needs to take a hard look at his skills, goals, and the depth
> of his desire. It's unlikely he'll be making the big bucks soon, but if he
> works hard at learning HTML/CSS/PHP and some basic graphics stuff, he could
> get a decent supplemental income out of it.
> I hope this helps,
>  Garth
>                           * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
>                               my online portfolio
>                          http://garthhagerman.com/
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Erik Mattheis


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