I understand they are rather silly certifications, but if they get you work, they are not silly.
Yeah, the three years dead thing is an issue. I've continued to code, on my own. I have the latest (but one) of
.NET; keep up with C# and Java (to a lesser extent). As for professional contacts, I've maintained them; I have great references, but with a dead economy for the rest of 2009 and a lot of 2010, I had to do other things.
I was 100% self taught. I studied asm going to work on the subway. I've had a few little courses, all totally a waste of time
Sad, right? But that doesn't change the facts, unfortunately. Things are what they are.
Many people have wrote about A+ and I'm really glad I got the chance to ask about it. Do not want to waste time. For me, hair dye looks like hair dye. I've been white since I was 40 and I once tried it and it actually looked purple in certain lighting. Extremely embarrassing. But doing little jobs for people so I can check that "working" box is also a great idea.
First off, I would love to teach. I'm pretty sure I have a knack for it but...well...in the NYC area, I'm not so sure. With the downturn, there are a zillion ex-programmers already teaching. When I was let go, I think I spent like a year in a state of shock. I should have started looking at soon as they told me (they gave me a month; I had to train my replacement, from India, who sat next to me. That was enjoyable.) Government jobs are also a great idea. I will definite check that out.
Your points are well taken and I've seen that where I worked. My mistake (maybe) was not going that route. I always thought having hard skills made me more unreplaceable, but of course it was just the opposite. I've managed teams for years at that company; my last position there was, official, a Systems Analyst (which I loathed).
The consensus here on A+ is very helpful. I don't want to waste more time on that for sure. iPhone or Android programming is certainly something to consider (my phone is an Android). I started looking at it just out of curiosity. As for HFT, my assumption regarding such work is that they very much want someone who's done it before. And I thought it was mostly C++.
I have. I approached the school where I got my paralegal certificate and suggested a couple of programming courses, one that would take a total novice to writing an app that front ends a SQL database in a year. They *may* still be interested. I'm in NYC and teaching in public schools is totally out of the question; even private schools are difficult to get into. I've thought about freelance or just advertising on the web.
I know next to nothing about A+ or Network+. I just thought, was it worth it? I'm not afraid to do hard, dirty work. I have a big ego but I don't mind being at the bottom either. I know a lot more than recent grads, of course. I've learned good coding practices the hard way, by screwing up a lot, but I also know how much client count on us to do it right and also do it in a way that can be updated or modified later on.
My expectations: Kind of funny. My first job with Ashton-Tate in 1987 paid me $60/hour and I was told don't bill for more than 24 hours in a day. If I pulled in $40/hour now I'd be overjoyed and grateful.
I could totally survive a clearance check. Even my DMV abstract (driving record) is completely blank. I will look into consulting.
I've written a couple of encryption applications (C#, trying to move them to C++); that's the kind of thing I like. One encrypts a file and stores it in many bitmaps. I also think I've written an unbreakable encryption application but doesn't everyone think that?
Actually, my insurance premium is $0. I cover it all. That should mean something (but it probably doesn't.)