Application Services Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does application services offer training/documentation for the software you produce?
Another benefit to in-house software development is the level of support that application services is able to provide after the software has been implemented. Application services offers training and various forms of documentation, depending on what the user and user consultant determine is necessary.
I have an idea for a software solution that would be helpful in my department. With whom should I talk?
What are the benefits to in-house software development as opposed to buying third-party solutions?
Cost is a great consideration when implementing software solutions. Because application services is in-house, cost is not an issue for the college. Also, in-house development means that the user will have the opportunity to participate in the development of the software, including design and testing, if they so choose. Typically, with third-party solutions the user has a very small role in the development process.
What kind of advice can application services offer a student pursuing a career in software development? Database management? Software testing?
Match your degrees and certificates with an equal amount of coding to gain real-world experience. Write a game or build a Web site. Be willing to intern for experience. Be part of a team if you can. Use education to expand your skills in new computer languages and technologies. For example, if you are going to develop business application software (instead of games or jet fighter computer code), you should take business classes. If you intend to write device drivers, take engineering classes.
Develop a portfolio of projects with real-world problems that you have solved and software projects, however small, that people use every day. A person that can automate solutions for real world problems that remove pain and tedium from people lives will never lack for interesting, fulfilling and financially rewarding work.
For someone seeking a career in database management, the following resources are suggested:
- Windows Server 2003
- Microsoft SQL Server
- Books on database design
- Classes on database theory
Oracle certification is VERY important and directly affects the salary you can expect to earn. Oracle can run on the LINUX and Windows platforms, while SQL Server is Windows only.
Working with programmers is the most difficult aspect of software testing. Programmers are detailed oriented and are typically very smart people. Often, the tester has to be able to communicate well with users and programmers, acting as a liaison between two parties that may otherwise be unable to communicate effectively with each other. Also, the tester must be able to identify with user needs in order to test efficiently, and must understand the program he/she is testing to effectively review the code. Put candidly, programmers speak an entirely different language from the users. The tester must be a good interpreter.
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