January 30th, 2013, 12:17 AM
Need advise to be programmer
I'm a physics student actually but recently I've been interested in programming. It seems C and Python really interest me. (I had most knowledge in scientific computing, eg monte carlo). I was wondering if it is possible for me to use my programming skill for work. If you all would know, physics student doesnt' really have a job (well some became an engineer, some as general staff, some as programmer). Well, I have about 6 more months to graduate. Would like to brush up my programming skill enough for some job, or at least part time/late night job.
What you guys think about my situation? What part of programming I should learn? I am more interested in database than webdev. Any other fields that you guys can suggest?
January 30th, 2013, 03:13 AM
Not quite sure about the world of Physics but as a general rule I would say as long as you have the skill and you are able to prove that you can pull it off well, then you are very much qualified to do the job.
Why don't you try getting some part time jobs regarding programming right now? It would certainly help you hone your skills.
January 30th, 2013, 08:06 AM
I would say pursue OpenSource PostgreSQL 9.2, because it is alot like Oracle Standard edition database.
As for other skills and languages, you might expand your Python knowledge from 2.0 to 3.0. I would also look at Perl, and consider Korn and Bash shell scripting knowledge as well too.
As to OS I would pursue Linux (Suse, Red Hat, Oracle Linux), learn the command line more that the gui. Also start learning about Virtualization (VMware 5.1, KVM, OVM) to name a few...the more you learn and understand the better off you will be in the MIS/IT job world.
January 30th, 2013, 06:12 PM
For the record, some of the best programmers I've worked with were Physics majors. I currently work with one right now as well. He mainly works in C, java and lua with a bit of perl thrown in.
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January 31st, 2013, 07:17 PM
A lot of scientific programming is still done in Fortran. And its no longer the terrible language that it was in the 60s.
For science, I'd never start in C, that smells too much of premature optimization. I think you want to deal with high level concepts, so pick a language that naturally supports the things you care about. For example EEs and some physicists deal a lot with complex numbers so you want a language that can express them cleanly. And in reality, a lot of high level physics is really group theory, so you gotta be able to deal cleanly with sets, isomorphisms, etc.