Ask IT Career Coach

Dear Mr Tagbo,
I\'m a master in Applied Mathematics. I\'m familiar and have academic experience in several programming languages like; VBA, C, Matlab, R, Python, database development and SQL.
I want a job as a developer in algorithms and computation. Recently i\'ve been interviewed for one such position.
It didn\'t go OK because the interviewers were from Computation and the questions asked were about data structures, database design and related like hash tables, functions and indexes, or more on the matters of data storing and the physical part of computer programming, which I\'m not fully aware.
Also, they didn\'t consider my academic experience in programming, to be that much relevant.
I know the algorithms but from a theoretical standpoint. When it comes to understand what a computer is capable of handling with terabytes of information, I\'m somewhat "green".
I would like to ask how can I improve on these subjects?
Also, how can I prepare for a technical interview for a position such as this one?
Thank you very much.

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How To Become A Developer of Software Using Mathematics and Algorithms

Assunção Senra it sounds like you have a strong theoretical foundation but weak practical application. If that is the case, this is what I recommend that you do:

#1: Study Master a Specific Programming Language

Don\'t try and become a jack of all trades and a master of none. Take a programming language and master everything that comes alongside it. Take a look at the .NET family of languages (C#, Visual Basic.NET, SQL Server, ASP.NET, .NET Framework) or the PHP Version (PHP & Mysql) and fist of all learn everything that you can about building applications especially web applications with either of these.

#2: Practice Writing Web Applications

Now, put all that you have learnt into practice by building web applications. It is not enough to learn a language, you must spend a lot of time solving the practical problems that come from building applications using that programming language. That is how you develop practical experience. You must acquire this practical experience outside the confines of a job in other words, don\'t wait to get a job before you start building web applications.

#3: Take a lot of Quizzes

Another challenge that you are facing is that you are not used to answering questions at a job interviews. The technical job interview requires that you learn how to answer questions correctly, comprehensively and promptly. This is not something that you can learn overnight but over a few weeks or months of constantly taking practice tests. Through this you will be able to learn, anticipate or become familiar with most of the questions that you are asked at the job interview and how to answer them.
go here to read more about how taking lots of practice tests will help you ace your job interviews

#4 - Build A Community

I will strongly advice you to join an online community where members post or answer questions on computational algorithms and mathematics or better still build one yourself.
I actually did that about ten years ago and ended up building a community of more than 70,000 members myself.
The benefit of that it will help you sharpen your skills by forcing you to solve the different sorts of problems facing people that work in your industry. after a while you will get used to answering those problems and understand what it will take to answer or ace those in a job interview.
I hope that you find my answers helpful ... i wish you success with your next job interview :-)