What can I do with my tech interest?

braverhydra

Prominent
Dec 29, 2017
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Hi, I am 13 years old and have a tech interest, and am looking further to see what I can do with it at this age. My school has declined me to work in the IT department, and I would prefer ideas that cost under $150. I am mainly interested in desktop and laptop hardware, and also tablets, phones and consoles. Thanks!
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator


Collect broken systems, fix them up to running condition, donate to people who would otherwise not have a system.
 

The Paladin

Glorious
Herald
a lot of shelters or "help to community centers" or even places like salvation army, or even churches end up with old computer often in need of a little love to make them works I.e.: take 2 to make one functional, etc. you could look for a community center near you that may need some volunteering and you could help with your knowledge and skills, and it does look lovely on a resume later on down the line, at "13 volunteered in community center, repairing computers and tablets"

Of course my solution doesn't provide income, but it does provide insight and experience, and only costs you time and energy. and gain pride in return.
 

gondo

Distinguished
There are 2 sides to the industry. Hardware and software. Even if you get into software it's nice to know hardware, so maybe learn hardware.

Depending on your current knowledge maybe pick up the book "Upgrading and Repairing PCs" or borrow it from a local library. The ebook is available for $35. Once you know the hardware you could even study and pass the simple A+ certification before high school graduation. This will learn you the basics at a young age. In the future you could get into the Server side of things and IT side with routers etc.... Get into the Cisco programming end of hardware for networking. But at the very least you want a master knowledge of PC repair and be able to build custom open loop liquid cooling, overclock systems, etc.... Just know your PC inside out. It's not difficult. Even if you don't work with hardware, it's nice to know it for your own use if you work in other areas such as programming.

Next you have software. Programming. At the very least you want to know windows pretty good. So picking up a book to learn Windows 10 inside out is a good idea. You may even want to start learning Linux since a lot of the web runs off linux, apache, PHP, MySQL, etc.... Just get used to these 2 operating systems beyond a basic user level. The next step if you choose as a career would be to learn the server side of Windows and Linux to become an IT administrator. You could then Study Windows Server and write your MCSA certification.

Now figure out what you want to do if anything at a software level. Do you want to become a programmer and start making apps, databases, websites? Go to University and study computer science? Become a gaming programmer? It would be good to learn websites and get into HTML and wordpress and Adobe. An extension of basic HTML websites is to get into database programming and interface databases with websites. There is much opportunity if you can master this and make functional websites and databases. Databases would be learning Oracle, SQL (Microsoft/Windows), and MySQL (Open Source/Linux). This can lead you into learning PHP and other programming languages. The ultimate step would be to get your degree in Computer Science after graduation.

So to summarize.
- Learn the PC hardware and have fun. Maybe upgrade your own computer at home. Build a custom open loop liquid cooler with rigid pipes. A fancy case, etc.... Have fun with it. If you are serious about it, study for the simple A+ certification and write that. It's a pretty basic and stupid cert, but hey why not.

- Next learn Windows 10 inside out. Get a book and go through it.

- If you want to get into programming apps, websites, databases, etc... I'd try to learn Linux. You can install Linux for free on your computer and start learning it. Pick up a book on Linux and start learning it.

- If you want to do websites pick up an up to date 2017/2018 book on HTML website programming and start making websites. Knowing linux will help you with the server end of the website business and apache. Most websites are made with wordpress so learn this. It's free and fun. Make a personal website, maybe even volunteer and make a website for some local business or non-profits around town. This would be sites you can add to your resume.

- An extension of website programming is databases and interfacing it with websites. That mean SQL and MySQL. I'd start with MySQL which is more popular and free. If you can master this you can go to college and study database programming and make it a career. Knowing databases allows you to make very useful websites for business and the website authoring can become a career. Maybe do database professionally and websites on the side as a business hobby.

- One step further is getting into apps. Mobile apps, and extensions for websites. Pearl, PHP, Python, etc... Programming languages like these. Add this to your website, database repertoire and you are starting to become a master. If you can master all 3 you can become self employed making websites, apps, mobile apps and websites, and databases for businesses.

- Another totally different path of the software side is your traditional programming. Languages like C++ for example. This is where you go to University to study computer science and get into traditional programming.

But as mentioned before. Learn the PC hardware and maybe turn old systems into functional ones and donate them to local charities, etc... Maybe turn old systems into a freeNAS machine and learn that. On the software side learn HTML and get into website programming. As you get better learn database programming and maybe offer to do a free website for a business or 2 or a non-profit to build a resume and experience. Take it from there with 3 possible routes. IT administration (Windows Server, Cisco router programming), Website/database programming (MySQL, Python, PHP, etc...), Computer Science programmer (C++).

The only other area untouch is making the actual hardware which would be electronics/computer engineering at university.


 

braverhydra

Prominent
Dec 29, 2017
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Thanks for the reply, one question though, if I was to do this, where would I get the old systems, for cheap I mean. Apart from that I like the idea. Thanks!
 

braverhydra

Prominent
Dec 29, 2017
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Thanks for the suggestion, I have just started looking into the raspberry pi and it's uses, and will definitely study it more. Thank you for suggesting this, it sounds interesting.
 

braverhydra

Prominent
Dec 29, 2017
11
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510
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Thanks for the suggestion, that is actually a good idea, get experience, help the community and similar organizations. I really am just looking to build my reputation for now, so it sounds like something I will definitely consider. Thanks!

 

braverhydra

Prominent
Dec 29, 2017
11
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510
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I quite like the idea of programming, and if I get the time I will look into getting one of those books from a library, and I am assuming programming requires more intellect (given the complexity of it) than the hardware side of things, so if I get a good grasp of programming I should be able to pick up the skills of computing more easily, so it sounds like something I will definitely take into consideration. Thanks again!
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator


I've found them free, out on the curb on trash day.
Craigslist.
Advertise yourself - "Have old computer junk you don't want? HydraRefurb will come pick it up for free!"


Another option is to intern at a local small computer shop. Make friends with the owners, maybe they'll let you work on Saturdays.
 

gondo

Distinguished
Good programming requires an interest in math and logic. Most people who enjoy programming are good at math and logic.

As far as hardware goes. It's pretty dumbed down today compared to 25 years ago and I will say pretty difficult for you to get into. For example how do you upgrade a video card? Get it, plug it in, turn the computer on. Anyone can do it. Install windows? Put CD into drive, turn computer on. Very simple. Things like USB, plug and play, etc... have made things so easy. But you still need to learn it. But lets say you get an old computer. How do you know if the CPU is faulty? Unless you have a spare CPU to test it's impossible. So this requires a vast storage of old parts you can use to swap and test computers. People who fix computers don't really know anything, they just swap parts till they find the piece that was bad. It requires an inventory of old parts so usually a computer store, or a pawn shop or used PC place that had been collecting parts for years.

There is also no money to be made in PC repair as a tech. You basically just want to know it for yourself. You want to be able to build your own awesome gaming/programming system at home. If you ware working for a company as a programmer you want to be able to tear down their systems and upgrade/repair them. If you work with servers you want to know the hardware. But to do it strictly as a job, that's working a t a pawn shop building working PCs out of 3 old junk ones. And computers depreciate so fast there is no profit in it. Any kid can take an old video card plug it into a computer and find out if the monitor turns on. If you really want to master the hardware beyond the simple layman, that's when you get into electronics engineering. There really is no in between or self education in this area.

That's when you get into software. There are many paths and self education is a must. School can only teach you so much. You either get into netorking or software. Networking requires programming routers to build networks. That's the Cisco certification route. Or you program windows or linux server which is the IT administration route. Both of these are usually the college education route and not stuff you want to learn on your own at home. What fun would be learning how to program a cisco router at your age in your bedroom or learning windows server? It's pretty pointless unless you go to college and learn it to try and get a job.

That's why you get into websites. Simple HTML programming at it's most basic form. It's fun, and you can make your own websites at home. If you get into it big time progress further by learning database programming. Master that and progress by getting into language programming. Pearl, PHP, Python are used for websites and apps. If you really love it and decide this is your career, go to university and study computer science. If you don't want to study computer science then go to college and learn database programming and use that as a career.

But at the very least learn the PC hardware repair and learn windows 10. Get a book on each and start there. For fun get into website programming and start to learn wordpress. That will get you into learning Adobe Photoshop to edit graphics for your websites. If you can master these by the time your in grade 12 you should have a feel for what you want to do later on. Making websites is something that is free to do, and you can donate your time to make a website for a local charity/non profit, even for your school. If you get really good at it you can do it for profit. After high school either master the website/database side of it, or move on to Computer Science and learn how to program WIndows 10, office, games, anti viruses, etc...

 

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