An anonymous reader writes "Does anyone have any advice for breaking into the C++ programming field? I graduated college with a bachelors in CS in 2002, but after being unemployed for a year I took whatever job I could get (SQL Server/Some VB.NET). About a year ago I changed jobs at last, but the only people who looked at me seriously were for SQL Server skills, no one looked at me as a developer at all. Now, deciding that DBA is not really what I want to do, I am unable to even get the time of day for anyone recruiting for Software Engineering jobs.
To be honest, I agree that there is a certain skillset I am missing and that is the skills of working on a gigantic project in one of these procedural languages. At my current job database work and development is completely separate, so I can't even touch any source code (mostly in C# anyway). In my previous job there were some web front ends coded in .NET but it was a start up and emphasis was on getting the job done...not proper software engineering. Also, all the .NET code was relatively small. Unfortunately, I cannot find a company to let me start doing real development where I can be introduced to a gigantic project in an imperative (C/C++/Java/C#) language. I would really like to do C++, but even just learning C++ is not enough. Most of the C++ jobs I see also require Java or Java Web Services, or Oracle. As much as I would like to learn all these things, I can't go around learning everything I see in job ads just to get a job, because by the time I do, the next job ad might have something different. Also, at home I just don't have a need for much power, even C++ is usually overkill for the typical home project.
I just want to know how I can break into the programming field and without taking a huge paycut (since I have to support a family). Even in my current job as a DBA I am exposed to the software development process, and stored procedures are similar to developing for a procedural language (loops, variables, etc.). So surely somehow my experience must translate into real programming? C++ is my favorite language because of its raw power, but most jobs I see with C++ require 5+ years of work experience with "C/C++", which unfortunately I will never get since no one will hire me to do either."