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From my experience in a growing small system integration company.
1. start from very small project, not quite high tech
2. Try to find hardware sales people, ask what they sell and do they need any help on programming the system he is selling.
3. I am programming automated data collection system using Visual Basic. You might laugh at the idea of programming using VB, but tell you the truth, right now almost 100% of our $210K/month business is done in VB. Because it's easy to use, and it's easy to find people and VB is a fantastic RAD tool and it gets the job done perfectly.
4.I have tried using VC++ to do the job, but the development process is too painfully slow and crash-prone, and while my customer is on the phone with me about certain crash or bugs, the only thing I can use is VB.
I have been to customer site and done quick fix. In C++? Don't even try that.
A lot of Americans are sales people. They don't like programming, but they love to sell high tech hardware, like barcode scanners, POS systems but those systems need to be programmed to the customers specification, very lucrative business.
OK, let the search begin.
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