aspose file tools*
The moose likes Jobs Discussion and the fly likes How to Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Careers » Jobs Discussion
Bookmark "How to "get my foot in the door"" Watch "How to "get my foot in the door"" New topic
Author

How to "get my foot in the door"

Keith Rosenfield
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 25, 2003
Posts: 277
Thanks Stefan,
That's good advice. I will try it.


Keith Rosenfield<br />SCJP<br />SCWCD<br />SCBCD
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Keith Rosenfield:

Well you did make a false assumption. This seems to be coming from a "better than thou" attitude. With all due respect, for someone who claims to be "at the top of the spectrum", you writing has an abundance of typos and grammatical errors. The following statement that you made earlier makes no grammatical sense.

I disagree, but I'm not going to get into a pissing match here.
Yes, I make lots of typos. I get by.

Originally posted by Keith Rosenfield:

All big leaguers started in the little league and I would guess that they were all at the top. What I'm saying is that in every technical 'league' that I've been a part of, I've been at the top.
...
I really don't see why you keep focusing on where I stand.

My take (which you are free to ignore) is that you're trying to jump from little league into the big league without going through the minors. Some people can do it. Maybe you can. For most people (including the many others in addition to you who will take advice from this posting), they need to work their way up and pay their dues.
I've put plenty of long hours in coding as a junior developer before I began moving up the ladder. Yes, I know you're looking for entry level not up the ladder, but most people go in the door by suffering through four years of a difficult CS program.
I point out where you are, because I think it's further from where you want to be than you think. If you don't find my posts useful, you are more than welcome to ignore them.
--Mark
Keith Rosenfield
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 25, 2003
Posts: 277
I've put plenty of long hours in coding as a junior developer before I began moving up the ladder. Yes, I know you're looking for entry level not up the ladder, but most people go in the door by suffering through four years of a difficult CS program.

I have paid my dues as well. I went(suffered) through a difficult Information Systems program which took me 6 years to complete. I have been a jack of all trades since graduating. I then sweated it out in an 8 month web development course followed by a 3 month java boot camp. I also countless hours in preparation for the 2 certifications that I have attained. I'm actually not crazy about the word suffered, because mostly it has been a pleasure. I love programming and the learning process.
All I'm asking for is a modest entry level position. I don't want to jump to the middle of the ladder. I willing to pay my dues just like every one else. I'm just having difficulty finding the ladder.

I point out where you are, because I think it's further from where you want to be than you think. If you don't find my posts useful, you are more than welcome to ignore them.

I really have a good sense of where I am. For now I just want to is to "get my foot in the door". I never asked for much more than that. If you review my posts this will be evident. I'm not sure how you formulated the idea that I wanted more than that.
I welcome and value every post that you and every else contributes to this discussion even if I don't agree with them.
Thanks again,
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Keith Rosenfield:

I really have a good sense of where I am.
...
I have paid my dues as well. I went(suffered) through a difficult Information Systems program which took me 6 years to complete. I have been a jack of all trades since graduating. I then sweated it out in an 8 month web development course followed by a 3 month java boot camp. I also countless hours in preparation for the 2 certifications that I have attained.

Once again, those don't count. The only thing of any value is your college degree in IS, and that's somewhat off-the-mark.
--Mark
Keith Rosenfield
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 25, 2003
Posts: 277
Mark:
I beg to differ. All my achievments have value. They have contributed to my technical abiltity as well as my confidence. My skill set has grown leaps and bounds through my post college schooling. I didn't just hang out in these courses but put 110% into them. I wanted to learn and to grow as much as possible in a short time. If an employer is too blind to see the value in my achievments they need to re-assess how they measure value.
I had enough of hearing what's "wrong" with me. There is a lot right with me. I want to use my good qualities to move myself forward in this career. I want guidence on how to do that not reasons why I won't be able to do it. Looking back at your posts Mark, I have to say that you haven't given a single suggestion of how I can succeed. Why do you even bother posting if you have no intention of helping me? It's seems to me that you have taken it upon yourself to fill me in on the brutal reality of my situation.
[ January 07, 2004: Message edited by: Keith Rosenfield ]
Sonny Gill
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 02, 2002
Posts: 1211

Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:

Once again, those don't count. The only thing of any value is your college degree in IS, and that's somewhat off-the-mark.
--Mark

Keith, What Mark probabely (definately?) means is that these don't count for the employers, and are not of value to prospective employers.
This has been true in my experience too...I managed to work my way around those limitations, I am sure you could too.


The future is here. It's just not evenly distributed yet. - William Gibson
Consultant @ Xebia. Sonny Gill Tweets
Tony Collins
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 03, 2003
Posts: 435
The thing is that technologies are only a part of working as a software engineer. Far more important are the soft skills gained only from experience and the ability to work in teams on large pieces of software. This is the experience you lack Keith. Course projects and certs will never prime you with these skills. I've seen graduates start in companies thinking they new the lot, it didn't take them long to realise they didn't.
Tony
Jon McDonald
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 02, 2001
Posts: 167
It seems to me that most of the entry level programmer/developer positions in the US are offered primarly to soon-to-be and recent college graduates through their career center and career fairs on campus. This is why you rarely, if ever, see them advertised.
Two options come to mind. First, check out your alma mater's career center. my university provides full service to students and those who have graduated in the past 3 years, as well as more limited service to all alumni. At the very least, you will be informed when the next career fair is. It may see strange going to a career fair with a bunch of 20-22 year olds, but that is your competition.
Second, I know you said you do not want to do anymore schooling now, but I will say this again, taking a class at a local university or junior college can be quite beneficial. In addition to the points I made in my first post, you (usually) get access to their career center, and info on job fairs, not to mention an inside track on positions being offered at the school. In my city, it cost about $150 to take a junoir college class, $350 to take one at the state university, and $1,000 to take one at one of the elite universities (top 10 nationally).
Have you talked to Chubb? Are all of the other students in your class there fairing the same?


SCJP<br/>
"I study politics and war that my sons may have the liberty to study mathematics and philosophy in order to give their children a right to study painting poetry and music."<br />--John Adams
Sam Tilley
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 05, 2001
Posts: 160
Originally posted by Keith Rosenfield:
Mark:
I beg to differ. All my achievments have value. They have contributed to my technical abiltity as well as my confidence. My skill set has grown leaps and bounds through my post college schooling. I didn't just hang out in these courses but put 110% into them. I wanted to learn and to grow as much as possible in a short time. If an employer is too blind to see the value in my achievments they need to re-assess how they measure value.

Hi Keith,
Unfortunately you aren't in a position to question how an employer measures value. Its a tough game but you have to play by their rules, so if they see a potential employee as to having to do A,B,C & D for them to give you a job if you don't them they won't employ you. If an employer is recruiting for an entry level programming position you have to look at it from their point of view in that they don't want to employ someone who may be excellent but wants to climb the ladder too quickly. They often expect programmers to slug it out at the bottom for a while, so talking about your excellent results (and i hate to say it but knowing about your age) will often work against you. This is a fact of life, so other people saying this and talking about humility is all good advice, and is from people with real world experience.
Anyway i know you hate hearing that stuff so my constructive comments are as follows.
As mentioned before try and get some open source experience as mentioned by others. This improves your ability to work in a team and by project guidelines. Projects as part of a course don't cut the mustard although they do show ability. Getting great scores is great but as mentioned before it doesn't mean so much in the real world. Hell i have better scores and more certs than my project leader, but i can't touch him in actual real world programming skills.
Design a good website showing off some of your skills, including applets, J2EE. Think of some good ideas that you would like to design, build them and then put them up to show them off. When you go for interviews you can show people your work and it also has the effect that if people go to your site your name gets known more in the community.
Offer to develop small applets or applications for free for small companies that will help them. You can do this by just talking to any mates who work for a company and see if there is anything you could design that would help them. Look at their websites and offer for free anything you think will help them.
If this works set up a small company providing this service. Its cheap to set up and if you are as good as you say you are once you have done a few free ones and have experience and made a name for yourself you can charge for a few. It all shows commitment and a willingness to succeed, and it looks like you have enough courses to be going on with so you should have the spare time to do it.
Post applets you have designed up onto places like Jars.com.
Hire a good CV (resume) writing service or get a couple friends in recruitment to look over it. If you can't go in the front door then you will have to look at ways of going around the back. As you already know your main problem is getting experience, so by fair means or foul this what you need to focus on, getting business experience that helps people on a day to day basis. Any of the above options should help you.
Hope this is of help
Cheers and good luck


Sam Tilley SCJP, SCWCD
Keith Rosenfield
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 25, 2003
Posts: 277
Thanks Tony, Jon and Sam for your input.
Design a good website showing off some of your skills, including applets, J2EE. Think of some good ideas that you would like to design, build them and then put them up to show them off. When you go for interviews you can show people your work and it also has the effect that if people go to your site your name gets known more in the community.

I've been meaning to create an online portfolio, but that has been pushed to the back-burner while I persue my certifications. I have several school projects that I could incorporate to show off my abilities. The one problem I have is that all the projects I have done have been spect(spelling) out for me and therefore I haven't had much practice coming up with my own ideas and implementing them.
I will explore the open source project possibility further. What is the best way to find and contribute to open source projects? I don't have a problem working for no pay if it helps me promote myself. I thing is that I need to earn a living and I can't keep doing that long term.
Sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed. You guys have provided lots of great ideas and appreciate it. Now I have to decide which ideas to persue, how to implement them. I have this irational fear that I will expend my time, energy and money on following a path that leads nowhere.
I plan on taking and passing the SCBCD within the next couple weeks. Afterwards, I will start implementing some of these ideas.
I guess one of main things I need at this point is encouragement. I need the support of those who have been in my shoes. I know the odds are against me but I am determined to overcome these odds. Your support in my journey is invaluable.
Thanks again to all that have contributed.
[ January 08, 2004: Message edited by: Keith Rosenfield ]
Tony Collins
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 03, 2003
Posts: 435
Have you thought of teaching Computing ? It's certainly a route I'm looking at. It will keep you in touch with technology and age is a real advantage in it. Additionally alot of colleges take on little commercial projects that you could get involved in.
I know it sound ridiculous, age being a problem in your mid-thirties, but 5 years experience is termed as mid-career in this trade.
I went straight into a graduate program at a blue-chip company after college, throughout my time there I new I would have to find a new career at some point(or move into management). I percieved this to be around the 40 age bracket, it could be lower. Whilst working at a company going through a massive redundancy program( Marconi ) I realised none of the over 40's where getting work( alot of the under 40's were not either). These weren't idiots they were bright engineers.
Tony
Keith Rosenfield
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 25, 2003
Posts: 277
Hey Tony:
Originally posted by Tony Collins:
Have you thought of teaching Computing ? It's certainly a route I'm looking at. It will keep you in touch with technology and age is a real advantage in it. Additionally alot of colleges take on little commercial projects that you could get involved in.

I am quite proficient at instructing. I worked as an instructors aid for a year and I have been private tutuoring. Not only have I considered teaching computing, but have actively persued it. I have submitted my resume to every technical school in my area without much luck. The schools are laying off good instructors. Have you been actively persuing teaching as well? If so, what have you done?
Tony Collins
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 03, 2003
Posts: 435
Well my first choice is to get back into engineering, but if that fails I have considered taking a PGCE( British teacher training qualification). I would quite like to teach the 11-18 range but you can take PGCE's in post-compulsory education( teaching in colleges of further education).
I would imagine if you could teach kids you could teach software engineers. Alot of coporate teachers come from the education system.
Tony
[ January 08, 2004: Message edited by: Tony Collins ]
Kevin Thompson
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 04, 2001
Posts: 237
Keith,
Here is my advice on these topics:
Getting more education/degrees:
Do not get involved in this. Contrary to other people's opinions here, I can tell you that the vast vast majority of java developers do NOT have a degree in CS. If you get more than a bachelor's degree in anything, you will have to hide it from the HR department, because you will be over-educated.
Working for free:
There is really no such thing. IT companies simply do not participate in this. THere are a number of huge legal issues involved here - and this does not occur in the real world. However, donation of your personal time to a small non-profit org is possible(by this I mean a bunch of people who know nothing about IT and don't know how to even send e-mail attachments) There are thousands of outfits like this out there.
Networking:
This is mostly physically and emotionally exhausting.
Portfolio:
I have a perfect portfolio that is better than any other developer I have ever seen. (No I am not exagerating.) This has got me nowhere. It has been a real frustration - because I have spent huge amounts of time on my portfolio.
Certs:
You have enough certs. Getting more is not a useful use of time.
"Paying your Dues"
This is bogus. There is no such thing. This is some sort of religious thought process as in - if I suffer enough(go to school long enough, get more certs) - I will then be good enough to enter the gates of heaven(find a job).
What does yield job search results?
Be pretty. Be thin. Be happy. Be perky. Have a "perfect" resume that shows real world experience(even if you have to be very clever and creative to come up with it). Answer all the technical interview questions perfectly. That is how you get a job.
Kevin
Rufus BugleWeed
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 22, 2002
Posts: 1551
I almost forgot.
I'm going to make the brash assumption that you are a US citizen.
IMO you will find the competition much easier on jobs where US citizenship is a requirement of the job.
Jamin Williams
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 16, 2003
Posts: 44
Kevin Thompson posted:
What does yield job search results?
Be pretty. Be thin. Be happy. Be perky. Have a "perfect" resume that shows real world experience(even if you have to be very clever and creative to come up with it). Answer all the technical interview questions perfectly. That is how you get a job.

You better listen to this man...
I have to agree that looks and attitude go a long way. Many hiring managers have told me that the most important things they want in a new hire is that they will be a good fit for thier team. More then half I have talked to go as far to say 90% for fit, 10% for skills, "The missing skill we can train you for..."

Jamin


Jamin Williams<br />SCJP, SCWCD
Bela Bardak
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 02, 2004
Posts: 179
Originally posted by Kevin Thompson:

Getting more education/degrees:
Do not get involved in this. Contrary to other people's opinions here, I can tell you that the vast vast majority of java developers do NOT have a degree in CS. If you get more than a bachelor's degree in anything, you will have to hide it from the HR department, because you will be over-educated.

It's true. The way to land a job is to convince someone that you can contribute a lot more than you cost, period. I'm not sure that a MSCS or MSE will actually hurt you but it won't be worth the cost in time and money unless you are very very fortunate.
Originally posted by Kevin Thompson:
Working for free:
There is really no such thing. IT companies simply do not participate in this. THere are a number of huge legal issues involved here - and this does not occur in the real world. However, donation of your personal time to a small non-profit org is possible(by this I mean a bunch of people who know nothing about IT and don't know how to even send e-mail attachments) There are thousands of outfits like this out there.

Yes and no. I doubt that any private business will take you on as an unpaid employee. But I landed my first job by asking for a small project to do to establish my bona fides. And the occasional very small business might be willing to take you on an unpaid internship. I did this once in specialized circumstances.
Originally posted by Kevin Thompson:
Networking:
This is mostly physically and emotionally exhausting.

Depends on how you do it. When I was young I joined DPMA and attended their monthly rubber-chicken dinners, night classes, etc. Pretty much a waste of time for a young C/Unix hacker in the middle of a bunch of management/mainframe types.
Lately I do one or two JUG (Java User Group) meetings a month. Usually over a few beers somewhere central in London. These are filled with good chaps and really a lot of fun. I probably landed my current position partly through my main JUG (a couple of guys in the JUG are also in my company). But this is a first for me.
Apart from that I've been known to cultivate a savvy recruiter or two. When I can find one that is.

Originally posted by Kevin Thompson:
Portfolio:
I have a perfect portfolio that is better than any other developer I have ever seen. (No I am not exagerating.) This has got me nowhere. It has been a real frustration - because I have spent huge amounts of time on my portfolio.

Do you push it in marketing yourself? The portfolio should be hosted somewhere and link(s) prominently inserted in your CV. If I had such a thing I would load it on to my laptop and take it to all job interviews. Use it as a prop. Here is how I handled something like that....
Tell stories. In this case stories with graphic illustrations. Sometimes it will backfire but more often you'll impress the hell out of them.
Originally posted by Kevin Thompson:
What does yield job search results?
Be pretty. Be thin. Be happy. Be perky. Have a "perfect" resume that shows real world experience(even if you have to be very clever and creative to come up with it). Answer all the technical interview questions perfectly. That is how you get a job.

All that and more. Or less. Getting a job in this kind of economy is a black art. Persistence is the most important thing. You cannot afford deep bouts of depression. You need skin a foot deep. You have to find the opportunities then figure how to stand out from the crowd.
It's damn difficult but not impossible.Dale Carnegie can be a big help as can Norman Vincent Peale
[ January 08, 2004: Message edited by: Bela Bardak ]
Keith Rosenfield
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 25, 2003
Posts: 277
Hey Kevin:
I'm not sure how to react to your post. Laugh or cry?
Everything you said is the exact opposite as to what everyone else so far. I like you straight forward honesty. It is refreshing.
What does yield job search results?
Be pretty. Be thin. Be happy. Be perky. Have a "perfect" resume that shows real world experience(even if you have to be very clever and creative to come up with it). Answer all the technical interview questions perfectly. That is how you get a job.

LMAO. I don't know about pretty and thin, but I am happy and relatively perky. I don't know about perfect but my resume has a lot to offer.
What I think what will pay off is persistance, persistance, persistance. If I keep knocking on doors, making calls, submitting my resume it will eventually lead to something. That something will lead to something better. And so on.
Rufus said:
I'm going to make the brash assumption that you are a US citizen.

I am American, born and raised.
Thanks for your input,
Keith Rosenfield
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 25, 2003
Posts: 277
Hey Jamin:
Originally posted by Jamin Williams:
I have to agree that looks and attitude go a long way. Many hiring managers have told me that the most important things they want in a new hire is that they will be a good fit for thier team. More then half I have talked to go as far to say 90% for fit, 10% for skills, "The missing skill we can train you for.."

What does fit encompass? Does it mean the right look? The right clothes? The right nationality? The right attitude? Do these companies look for people that fit a particular mold? How do you determine what that mold is?
Why would a company put such a small emphasis on skills? Aren't they hiring employee to get a job done? Wouldn't those employee with a better skill set be more beneficial? Why would anyone bother learning anything if skills hold such little weight?
Bela Bardak
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 02, 2004
Posts: 179
Originally posted by Keith Rosenfield:
[QB
What does fit encompass? Does it mean the right look? The right clothes? The right nationality? The right attitude? Do these companies look for people that fit a particular mold? How do you determine what that mold is?
Why would a company put such a small emphasis on skills? Aren't they hiring employee to get a job done? Wouldn't those employee with a better skill set be more beneficial? Why would anyone bother learning anything if skills hold such little weight?[/QB]

I don't think image matters that much. The right attitude is damn important. Willing to fit is important. How did I do it? It's a little hard to say because some of it is instinct by this time. I did some research and knew some people at the company. Told them why I wanted to work for them (basically because I wanted to do what they do and because the chaps I knew said good things about them). The skills test was a filter I had to pass (aced it I think) but where I really landed the job was on the soft factors.
Jamin Williams
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 16, 2003
Posts: 44


What does fit encompass? Does it mean the right look? The right clothes? The right nationality? The right attitude? Do these companies look for people that fit a particular mold? How do you determine what that mold is?


Yes to all those things and more. Illegal or not. Think about that next time you put on your most professional looking suit, fix up you hair, shine your shoes, and do all the other things to make yourself look pretty prior to your interview. Like it or not, it is the reality in which we exist...


Why would a company put such a small emphasis on skills? Aren't they hiring employee to get a job done? Wouldn't those employee with a better skill set be more beneficial? Why would anyone bother learning anything if skills hold such little weight?


I said some hiring managers. Make no mistake, skills are still very important. I would guess it would depend on the duration of the position. The longer the duration the more important being a good fit will become. Over time a bad fit can disrupt the team harmony that the manager works so hard to maintain. All the skills in the world won't save you if all the members on your team hate your guts. (maybe a slight exadegration but I think you get my point.)
Jamin
Tony Collins
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 03, 2003
Posts: 435
Originally posted by Keith Rosenfield:
Hey Jamin:

Why would a company put such a small emphasis on skills? Aren't they hiring employee to get a job done? Wouldn't those employee with a better skill set be more beneficial? Why would anyone bother learning anything if skills hold such little weight?

Because they don't want someone that will rock the apple cart. One person can make a whole department unhappy. I think recruitment is less mechanical than you may think. They want someone that they can work with, is bright but not brighter than themselves and most importantly they like and will fit into the team. Pure technical ability may not get you the job.
Reflecting on my own interview failures, I think I may make the crucial mistake of losing my personality in an interview. It's very hard to be yourself in a pressure situation.
I agree with Kevin on some points but I think you're having trouble getting to the interview stage. So really looking bright, passing the test etc, doesn't help you. His advice holds for someone with experience you haven't any.
Tony
[ January 08, 2004: Message edited by: Tony Collins ]
Jon McDonald
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 02, 2001
Posts: 167
Hey,
I thought I would give my own suggestions regarding the topics Kevin mentioned
Getting more education/degrees:
Depends a lot on what industry you are entering. The industries I have worked in (IT Consulting, Banking, Education) seemed to place a premium on education. In fact, I have seen much more instances of organizations asking for much higher education credentials than is necessary for the job (e.g. a B.S. in CS to do tech support or help desk).
personally, I would think that as long as you are not doing hardcore software engineering, and are focusing more on web development type things, your IS degree should be sufficient.
Working for Free:
depends on what you mean by that. What Kevin said about that was pretty much accurate. I personally don't even like the idea of working for free unless it is Open-Source or Charity. What I DO like is hooking up with small businesses (sometimes as small as a guy with an idea) and doing work for them. I have taken royalties, equity in companies, or sometimes a few hundred dollars, as long as I recieve SOME form of payment. It gives me good experience, and builds up my portfolio and list of references.
Networking:
This is, in my opinion, the most important part of landing a job. For me, it is also the most fun. Networking isn't just a bunch of people getting together exchanging business cards. It is more about building relationships of trust with other people. When somebody recomends you for a position somewhere, they are putting part of their reputation on the line. Every job in IT I have gotten has involved networking.
Portfolio:
Always a good idea. Having some working applications to show the non-Technical people, and the code to show the technical people only enhances your standing. It also gives people more confidence in your abilities, and thus more comfort in hiring/recomending you. Most people have met those that can take tests well, but don't have a lot of competency in the subject matter.
certs:
certs are nice. right now I am looking at taking on certs other than Java, because my job involves more than java. I like to think of certs as jewelry or artwork in your home. Having some enhances the appearance, but too much can make a negative impression. The trick is finding the balance.
paying your dues:
seems like a fairly abstract concept. I would like to think of it as building your credentials. not just certs, but experience, education, and a host of other things. paying your dues really just describes the process from going from nothing to your goal. The things I think Mark was was refering to when he talked about paying your dues (getting the CS degree, getting the junior developer job, etc) aren't recomended just so you have to suffer the way those that went before you did. They are recomended because they are ways to build both your proficency and your marketability. While you are "paying your dues" you are building your network, creating a portfolio of work, gaining experience, etc.
What does work?
Well, lets see... I am definitely not thin. The last time someone called me pretty was when I was an infant (I've seen pictures, I was an extremely pretty baby ) happy? perky? yes on both. perfect resume? never seen one. Answer tech questions perfectly? helps, but not mandatory.
Here's the thing, If you are already at the interview stage with the Employeer (NOT THE RECRUITER!!!) my best advice is to be really likable and competent enough. You have to get people to really look forward to working with you! If you do this, in many cases they will try to find ways to hire you for the position, even if you do not meet ALL of the criteria. Now, of course, you have to convince them you can do the job. You have to get them to like you, or at least think they will like you when you work there. This involves things as minor as eye contact, smiling, voice tone, body language.
Hope this helps,
Jon
Keith Rosenfield
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 25, 2003
Posts: 277
Jon, thanks for putting your own slant on the points the Kevin presented. Aren't all babies pretty?
I just want to clear something up. I am not without work experience. I have had many jobs to date. I have paid dues to get to where I am. What I'm lacking is on the job programming experience.
Much of the advice that has been generously provided relates to what to do on the interview. It's all sound advice but I'm having difficulty getting to the interview stage. I had one interview several months ago which I blew. I did well on the technical but I bombed the second interview. I was somewhat anxious which was very evident to the interveiwer. I would have done better if I was armed with the advice provided here.
One question..How can a hiring manager determine what kind of fit you will be from a short interview? Some people get married after knowing their mate for years just to find out that person is not the person they thought they were? I truly believe that the equation should be closer to 50% skills, 50% fit. The thing about fit is that it's easy to mis-judge a person from your first impression. A putz can put his best foot forward for an interview and get the job, later to be seen as the putz that he/she is. As easily, a well-qualified individual can slip up at the interview and not get the job. It would be a good thing if hiring managers kept in mind that imperfection is the human condition. I can dream can't I.
I realize that I have to play by the rules even though I may not agree with them. You guys have done an impressive job of stating the rules.
Thanks to all that have contributed.
[ January 08, 2004: Message edited by: Keith Rosenfield ]
Jon McDonald
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 02, 2001
Posts: 167
Hey Keith,
Here is some of the best, yet most counter-intuitive advice that I received about getting that first interview. Send out fewer resumes.
If you are like most IT job seekers you are probably shooting of tons of resumes to jobs advertised on monster, careerbuilder, hotjobs, etc. I did this, and other than the occassional recruiter I got zip. Rather than doing that, look for a few jobs that you feel you would be perfect for (preferably advertised directly through the company, not the recruiter). Now by perfect, I do not mean jobs that you know you could do even though you don't have the qualifications. By perfect, I mean jobs that when you read the description you realize that you could customize your resume in such a way (while still remaining honest) that it would be a perfect (or near perfect) fit to the position.
Once you have done that, customize your resume and cover letter to that particular position and submit it. If it is allowed, and you want to, hand deliver it on quality stationary. Surprisingly enough, this makes a difference. You will be surprised at the increase in success in landing interviews you will gain from doing this.
Can I assume that your experience is in an IT (but non-programming) position? If so, than perhaps you want to focus on positions that include some of the things you did before AND some programming. From there you could move on to a more programming intensive position if you like. I see a lot of positions like this advertised, but more so on company webpages than on job sites like monster.
Jon
Bela Bardak
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 02, 2004
Posts: 179
One question..How can a hiring manager determine what kind of fit you will be from a short interview?
I truly believe that the equation should be closer to 50% skills, 50% fit. The thing about fit is that it's easy to mis-judge a person from your first impression. A putz can put his best foot forward for an interview and get the job, later to be seen as the putz that he/she is. As easily, a well-qualified individual can slip up at the interview and not get the job.

Sorry dude, it's a heavily subjective judgement at best. How could it be otherwise? There is no rigorous science of hiring.
I suggest you work on some of the 'people-skills'. That need not be as intimidating as it sounds. Go to the public library and check out Dale Carnegie's 'How to Win friends and Influence People' and Norman Vincent Peale's 'Power of Positive Thinking'. read them and then the night before an interview read a chapter just to get yourself into the correct mindset.
I find what works for me is to go into an interview thinking of them and I as 'we'. 'We' can solve our problems. It may sound a little fakey but actually that is exactly how I see things. There is a potential team here and I behave as a member of it while I'm there. This can work amazingly well. Hell, I've successfully used it over the phone.
And believe it or not the soft skills are as important as the programming skills. Mark H would say more important, I think! By behaving as a temporaty member of their team you can get them to visualize you in that role. It's a lot harder for them to let you go then.
Jamin Williams
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 16, 2003
Posts: 44
Get the book called Knock 'Em Dead 2004: Great Answers to over 200 Tough Interview Questions, Plus the Latest Job Search Strategies (Knock 'Em Dead, 2004)'
It will tell you what the hiring managers and HR people are really looking for when they ask those tough questions.
I owe all my interviewing success to this book.
Jamin
[ January 08, 2004: Message edited by: Jamin Williams ]
Eddy Chang
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 05, 2001
Posts: 27
I also recommend reading Knock 'Em Dead 2004 by Martin Yate and How to Win friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Other books to consider taking a look at are Resumes That Knock 'Em Dead and Cover Letters That Knock 'Em Dead.
If you are not sure about buying these books, take them out from your library and give them a test drive.
Are you willing to post your resume online so that we can take a look at it and give you feedback?
Sam Tilley
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 05, 2001
Posts: 160
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Kevin Thompson:
Getting more education/degrees:
Do not get involved in this. Contrary to other people's opinions here, I can tell you that the vast vast majority of java developers do NOT have a degree in CS. If you get more than a bachelor's degree in anything, you will have to hide it from the HR department, because you will be over-educated.
Originally posted by Bela Bardark
It's true. The way to land a job is to convince someone that you can contribute a lot more than you cost, period. I'm not sure that a MSCS or MSE will actually hurt you but it won't be worth the cost in time and money unless you are very very fortunate.

I hope the latter is more true than the former, i am just halfway into a Masters degree in IT!! In London in particular they do ask for a degree of some sort, preferably in IT and from a red-brick university.

Lately I do one or two JUG (Java User Group) meetings a month. Usually over a few beers somewhere central in London. These are filled with good chaps and really a lot of fun. I probably landed my current position partly through my main JUG (a couple of guys in the JUG are also in my company). But this is a first for me.

Bela i am in London and am quite interested in going along to a JUG. Do you have a link that you can send me and details of when and where they are?
I found this one JUGs in London, is this what you use?
Networking is something that i haven't been able to do much of in the industry but something i would like to improve, and if its over a nice pint i it will mix my two favourite hobbies together.
The tuition aspect is a good idea for Keith, if you can't get a college job do some private tuition, perhaps aimed at helping them pass the SCJP, and create a tutor plan. Then when this is refined you can go to a college with it and prove you have the experience and plan. It seems like it can be quite a lucrative evening job.
This thread is throwing up all sorts of great tips, the best books to read recommendations interest me (sorry to hijack the thread a litle), so far i have
-Guerilla Tactics
-Knock em dead - great answers for over 200 tough interview questions
-How to win friends and influence people
-Power of positive thinking
Any more good recommendations. For my part i would recommend Brilliant CV by Jim Bright and Joanna Earl and Natural Born Winners by Robin Sieger.
I have also been told image is important. I recently recruited someone and one of my main points was their personality (it wasn't a programming job so skills were less important). I have to work closely with them so i had to get on with them, but you need a balance. One candidate was a great guy, but was 27 and had done nothing since university, which gave me the kind of impression that he was a little lazy and would spend too much time down the pub. I was always told that because i have a posh accent and am fairly fit (rugby type) it would prove an advantage for me in getting jobs. However my failure has been not having a good enough CV in the first place to get in the door, hence the Masters in IT. So its all about balance.
Thanks
Mark Ju
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 20, 2003
Posts: 117
Keith,
I got my job through my university's career services center. I know most of my friends got theirs through the same way. However, I did have several internships and research projects while in school. I was also Java certified. This set me apart from the other candidates.
However, I'd be careful about thinking yourself as the best coder out there -- you have A LOT of competition. Even if you are the Lebron James of programming, there are plenty of veterans out there who will take you to school every night (figuratively). That being said, pure programmng prowess is not the only determining factor (in fact, it's probably not even a huge factor - as long as you can learn it).
I'd say attitude, aptitude and experience matter most.
I'm not a manager, but if I were, I'd look for these qualities in an applicant:
Attitude - positive, yet humble. Open to change and criticism, but still helpful to others. Do not take things personally, but maintains a passion for the BUSINESS (not technology).
Aptitude - high curiosity and a willingness to do things hands on.
Experience - quality over quantity. Show increasing level of responsibility over time.
That's all I can think of...I could be wrong as I'm still early in my career...but most people on the fast track that I've seen possess those characteristics.
Keith Rosenfield
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 25, 2003
Posts: 277
Hi All:
I just want take a moment to express my appreciation for all those who answered my call. This thread seems to have taken on a life of its own. I know that this exchange will not only be beneficial to me but those in my shoes. Tommorrow I'm heading to Barnes and Noble to peruse some of the books that have been recommended in this thread. For the last couple days I have been called local consulting companies looking for employment opportunities. Nothing has panned out yet, but I will keep calling until I've exhausted this avenue. One very important point that I have come away with is that soft skills are as important or in some cases more important than technical skills. These are the skills that I need to and WILL work on.

Thanks again.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Now that I have a little more time I want to jump back in. Thanks Sonny and Sam, that's what I've been getting at.
In terms of having a portfolio, I always recommend that. The developer who can come in with a laptop, or point me to a web site and show me a working application, and then give me code samples is, from my experience, about 1 in 100, maybe less. This makes you stand out. I'm always impressed by them. If nothing else it shows the ability to define, start, and complete a project, which is a very valuable skill. (Just make sure you have the right projects; JSP web apps ain't gonna get you a GUI job.)
If you haven't spec'ed out a project, that's a serious issue. This is the type of skill that isn't taught in schools, but is critical in the work place. You don't want to be a code monkey, because there's always a cheaper monkey.
I generally get a sense of a candidate's personality within 5 minutes. I'd say this is tue for about 80% of the candidates I see. But don't just take my word for it, ask managers you know how long it takes them. You'd be surprised. On that note, most resumes are only seen for 15-45 seconds before a decision is made (I don't have the source of that number, but a simple search will turn up plenty of sites with similar numbers, like this one).
Is it fair? Who cares? Not the employer. The employer has to be fair with regard to color, race, religion, sex, etc. If you're the type of person that needs 15-30 minutes to warm up in an interview, or is brilliant but doesn't write a good resume, that will work against you, and frankly, it's usually not worth it to the employer to waste their time in the minority cases (minoriyt meaning small percentage, not race). I discuss this concept here (feel free to continue that discussion in that thread).
Networking isn't inherently tiring. Like most tasks, if you're not good at it or don't like it, chances are it feels more tiring. There are people who love it and wouldn't be happy without it (they often go into sales). But whether you like it or not, it helps.
With respect to Kevin's overall comments, take them as you will. I advise people to find mentors. If you think Kevin is the type of person you want to be like and you want a career similar to his, then you'd do well to take his advice.
--Mark
Sonny Gill
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 02, 2002
Posts: 1211

Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
Now that I have a little more time I want to jump back in. Thanks Sonny and Sam, that's what I've been getting at.
In terms of having a portfolio, I always recommend that. The developer who can come in with a laptop, or point me to a web site and show me a working application, and then give me code samples ...

No worries Mark.
That reminds me...
I also lack a degree in CS, so I try to proactively lead the interviewer towards my skills, aptitude, attitude, and other positive things about me.
When I went for the interview for my current job. I took along some code-samples (in C), on paper, since I dont have a lap-top, and then I asked them if they would like to have a look at some java code I have online. I downloaded it using their computer, and tried to discreetly point out to them how the code was written in a way that was easy to read, was well comments, and showed good separation between interface and implementation etc. etc.
I dont know how much role this played in my getting the job...I'd try to find out when I get an opportunity.
Matt Cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
Hi,
It is not CS degree factor, you need to show them any degree proven a lot concentration in math, logic, deductive reasoning, concept to reality transferring. Other than that, you are seem on the dot.

BTW I think it is too late for many of you, when you study please stay away from self-study because you give people hard time for verification. If you do not possess one of the three major factors that Chris G L mentioned try to locate the school that have employment assistant after graduation. It is the competitive edge for technical school.
Some of you try to apply for teaching post even you have all the ingediences of a professor, I would said because you probably do not fresh contacts or you yourself is unemployed. Those technical schools do not have grant or any form of assistances from the government; therefore, they operate very much like a sale operation. You are playing a role of a salesperson. You need to have "live contacts" because they help to build school weight. The school will persuave those "live contacts" accept school alumni.
Regards,
MCao
Keith Rosenfield
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 25, 2003
Posts: 277
I was researching the book knock 'em dead 2004 on Amazon and came across this customer review:
If You Are Searching For A Job You Love, Skip This Book, September 19, 2003 Reviewer: A reader from Wheat Ridge, Colorado
If you are not of the corporate cloth, or one who feels that you MUST shoehorn yourself into a job that you will have to contort yourself into doing day after day after day, I would not recommend this book.
This book's method of sending out countless resumes, looking at newspaper want ads and telephone book listings is a pointless waste of time. It is a method that is a surefire way to have your countless resumes you sent out to be thrown right into the trash and land you a job you can have at best, a cordial hatred of doing.
I really disliked the author's overall tone in that if you were looking for a job, or god forbid, didn't have one, then you were a miserable expletive that only deserved a job if you pulled yourself up by your own bootstraps. At one point in this book, the author suggests that if you went to the library to get information in searching for a job, then you didn't even deserve to drive your car to the library, and that you should consider walking.
I think that this book is a degrading waste of time to read, and has a much better use as fuel for a fire in a fireplace. Once you've used it this way, you'll never have to look at this book ever again

I am always amused by reviews like this and question the reviewer's motives. Most of the other reviews were positive. Jamin, since you recommended this book, what is your take on this review.
John Coxey
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 503
WHEN THE STUDENT IS READY - THE MASTER SHALL APPEAR ...

Keith Rosenfield & Others:
- The following dissertation/comments relate to the U.S. job market.
- Allow me to indulge you with a little history about myself. I've been in the game now for 10yrs. Been through 4 layoffs in the past 3 years (most of it documented on this site - do a search on my name). So I know what I am talking about, as opposed to some high-school guidance counselor who's main accomplishment in life was parking his mini-van between the lines in the faculty parking lot that morning.
=====
- First, age has nothing to do with you getting hired. Being 30-40 yrs of age will actually help you in today's game. It's getting a little old seeing this fallacy repeated over and over on this board. Like a bunch of crying schoolgirls. Hell, this keeps up, we're going to need to put a box of tissues next to the moose.
- That being said, I'd like to address (specifically to Keith) as to what is keeping you from getting employed?
1. The IT job market. Plain and simple - this was the worst hit sector of the current recession. So lots of competition. When you see 1099 Contractor rates at US$30/HR ($60,000/yr) - then you know the market for Java job seekers is bad. Especially when you conside the requirements being posted for said positions.
2. Your skills: - And I said this back in 1998-1999 when the market was strong (and yes you can read my old posts on this board):
American Business DEMANDS!!! that you have a 4yr college degree to be in this field. Are there exceptions - yes!!! But 90-95% of the IT staff, will have a college degree. The one's who don't are relegated to being employed with the same company, and often must accept less pay.
An 8 month Chubb Institute Degree doesn't mean crap in today's market. Neither does the 3 month SetFocus program. Sorry, that was reality back in 1999 and it's certainly reality today. Yes, they may be skill-builders, but it's the college degree that makes the door swing.
Most American Corporations will not even look at you, unless you have the degree. The exceptions that I know of, started working in data entry, or were a friend of a freind in the company, and moved their way up in the ranks. The one' I know of, have been at the same company for 5-10 yrs, just to get into a Java seat.
Why? It's the way American Business operates. No one cares if you, I, and everyone else on this board disagrees. It's the way it is.
3. Regarding your attitude towards education. You are just getting started. The guys that are succeeding in this game (myself included), put in around 2 hours extra (outside of work) studying per day. Surprisingly!!! A lot of it is non-Java related. Right now, I am hitting books up on American General Finance's - Branch Credit System. Figuring out the potential user requirements needed to centralize 1800+ branches via an Internet based solution. I haven't even started on the technical details yet - just trying to get a grasp of this side of the business and how it works.
4. Your technical skills.
- Core Java - is NOT what makes you money at this game. It's the use of Servlets, JSPs, and possibly (EJBs) and how to deploy them in a distributed environment on a web-application server (IBM-WAS or WebLogic usually).
- It's being able to integrate these technologies together to make a system work.
- You need to know how to make calls to the database and how to make calls to the Mainframe (MQ-Series).
- You need to know how to handle the returned data, and also how to handle error processing from these above calls. Not only do you need to handle errors due to system problems, but also errors due to business rules being violated that were detected on the mainframe systems. And you need to differentiate between the two.
- Additional technical skills:
- Despite the hype concerning separation of presentation from data. You will need to know HTML, DHTML, and Cascading Style Sheets. In addition to the final solution/project - you will be doing mockups of proposed solutions/ideas and you will have to present these mockups for review by management.
- If you don't know the skill, guess what? You are staying late that night...happens to all of us.
- Additional non-technical skills: (long story)...
- Example: We just did a revolving credit (ie: credit card type purchases) application for high-end merchants (i.e. US$10K-US$50K credit lines).
Well, after gathering the inital requirements, I had to create a mockup. Fine, but then out team had to present the mockup to senior management. Yes, suite & tie day.
- Now, do you think they are going to let someone with an 8 month Chubb Degree do the presentation?? Not a hell's chance. Why? Because they feel you have not "paid the price". It's ingrained in management's little forehead - THOU SHALT HAVE A COLLEGE DEGREE. And to be honest, sometimes I think I do to.
- Are you comfortable enough to talk in front of the big boys - in this case the really big boys?
- Here's the best part -- after doing the mockup - the thing still had to be coded (JSP, Servlet, and tied into back-end systems).
- Also, don't think that I was the only person doing the project. I had 2 other Java progammers. Also, worked with an AS-400 team, and an IBM-Mainframe team (these guys are like 60 yrs old and have 30 yrs experience in the game). You have to be able to talk with these folks. Not only talk with them, but get them to help you out. God forbid you pee somone off with 30yrs experience. They've already got their mortgage paid off and kids through school, what the hell do they care about the new guy. Again, your age will help you here.
Side note: The guys on our AS-400 team and mainframe team saved my butt quite a few times.
- This is where the college experience comes in. It's also where your age helps you. It's why I say all these comment about age descrimination on this board are total b.s.
- BTW/ I started with American General Finance in Nov 2002, the project mentioned above went to production in July of last year (2003). Am working on new project now.
--------------
Now, let's focus our dissucion on the competition.
5. Your competition.
- I hold a BS-Applied Mathematics, BS-Computer Science, and an MS-Computer Science. I've been in the game now for 10 yrs -- and have programmed Java since 1999.
- The guy next to me (also a Java Ranch member), holds BS-Accouning, BS-Comp Sci, and MS-Comp Sci.
- The HTML guru guy next to him holds BS-English, BS-Comp Sci, and just finished his MBA.
- I've been through 4 MAJOR CORPORATION layoffs in the past 4 yrs. Corporations include Lucent, Hewlett-Packard, Qwest, and Electronic Data Systems (EDS). All of this has been documented (throughout the years as it happened) on this site.
- I've moved from Philadelphia, PA to Denver, Co and now Evansville, IN in the past 3 years.
- Why do I mention this? To give you a heads up, and to ask if you are willing to make such a committment to this game we call programming?
THIS IS ALL DOCUMENTED ON THIS WEBSITE FOR THE PAST 3 YRS -- AS IT HAPPENED -- LOOK FOR IT!!!
========
Let's keep moving on -- you still reading? -- good.
========
- Do you know how to play the job search game? Can read elsewhere on this board under my name for lots of suggestions. If you are doing it right - it's a 40-60 hour a week effort.
- Do you know how to writeup a winning resume? I can tell you that the job placement service people at Chubb (or any college for that matter), do not know one crap about how to write a winning resume.
- Do you know how to dress for an interview? Listen to the guys who are a success in this field. Look at how they dress.
======================
Bottom Line:
- Your education at Chubb and SetFocus is just a start -- and you got a long way to go. I mean a really long way to go.
- Not to despair. My advice, grab the data center job in a Fortune 500 company. First to get contacts and possibly advance into Java position, and secondly to get them to pay $$ for college. Most of the big boys will give you around US$5K/yr for college. Some pay for the whole ride.
- Also, working at Fortune 500 outfit will give some meat to your resume.
-----------
To answer your question about how to get experience:
- As far as experience goes. Most of us get our foot in the door doing projects for professors. Most professors have business contacts, so you may be doing some off the wall project -- but who cares -- it's real world experience that you can slap on a resume.
- BTW/ After getting BS-Applied Math -- I worked for $6/hour 60 hrs/week providing customer support for legal bankruptcy software, and coding in Prolog (of all things). At night (after comp sci classes), I would come back and shrink wrap and mail out software orders for said company.
- Meaning, we all have to start in the trenches.
------------------------------
- SO WHAT DOES IT MEAN??
- First, that salaries in this game/field have to go up. Even with all the so-called outsourcing being done. Seriously, how many folks are going to go through all the preparation (college, internships, learning the J2EE model, learning HTML, XHTML, CSS, SQL, XML, etc), for a measly US $40-$60K/yr. And then be expected to endure and suffer through the stress of multiple layoffs during the course of their career.
- Friends, this is why I believe the market will eventually correct itself. The law of supply & demand will prevail.

============
- Final note:
Keith Rosenfield, I hope I didn't discourage you. What I told you is what no Chubb Institute, or SetFocus manager/employee/salesperson had the balls to tell you.
This is the reality of the situation.
Good luck in your endeavors.
BTW/ I start nursing school June 20th. Will be fun combining full-time Comp Sci job with nuring school. Stay tuned...the adventure is not over yet.
Later,
John Coxey
(jpcoxey@yahoo.com)
[ January 11, 2004: Message edited by: John Coxey ]

John Coxey
Evansville, Indiana, USA
Matt Cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
Hi John,
As long as you still around, there is hope for this forum. Last time, I mentioned your lastname incorrectly Coxley. Sorry.
Regards,
MCao
Keith Rosenfield
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 25, 2003
Posts: 277
Hey John:
WOW...you sure gave me a lot to digest.
American Business DEMANDS!!! that you have a 4yr college degree to be in this field. Are there exceptions - yes!!! But 90-95% of the IT staff, will have a college degree. The one's who don't are relegated to being employed with the same company, and often must accept less pay.
An 8 month Chubb Institute Degree doesn't mean crap in today's market. Neither does the 3 month SetFocus program. Sorry, that was reality back in 1999 and it's certainly reality today. Yes, they may be skill-builders, but it's the college degree that makes the door swing.

To clarify things, as I mentioned in an earlier post I am a college graduate. I graduated in 92 with a BA in Information Systems. I did the Chubb and SetFocus thing in order to bring my skills up to date. In Chubb I learned VB, Orace, HTML, DHTML, JavaScript, XML, and Java. By the end of the course I had developed on online book store utilizing Java Servlets. In SetFocus I learned advanced Java development skills such as Networking, RMI, and JSP. During my studies, I developed a n-tier, networked banking application, an online travel agency using Servlets and JSP, and an online job recruitment application using Serlets and JSP. I easily passed the SCWCD and I am in the final stages of preparing for the SCBCD. Now you know where I stand.
What other skills should I focus on learning? What is the best way to go about learning them? I get so many suggestions as to what technologies I should learn. Given that I have limited resources(time, money, energy) how can I determine which technologies are worth my effort to learn?
Do you know how to writeup a winning resume? I can tell you that the job placement service people at Chubb (or any college for that matter), do not know one crap about how to write a winning resume.

Would you be willing to review my resume if I emailed it to you?
First, that salaries in this game/field have to go up. Even with all the so-called outsourcing being done. Seriously, how many folks are going to go through all the preparation (college, internships, learning the J2EE model, learning HTML, XHTML, CSS, SQL, XML, etc), for a measly US $40-$60K/yr. And then be expected to endure and suffer through the stress of multiple layoffs during the course of their career.

Being a single person, $40K/yr. would be more than adequate. I would even work for as little at $30/yr. just to gain work experience.
Keith Rosenfield, I hope I didn't discourage you. What I told you is what no Chubb Institute, or SetFocus manager/employee/salesperson had the balls to tell you.

I respect your honesty. I realize after digesting your post and posts of others that have contributed to this thread that I have an uphill battle ahead. I am willing to work in the trenches for a couple years if that's what it takes. The $99,000,000 question is how do I get that job in the trenches. I'm not getting interviews, therfore no offer and no job.
I hope that armed with the advice that has been graciously provided by those that have contributed to this thread that I will start getting those interviews and job offers.
Thanks again,
[ January 11, 2004: Message edited by: Keith Rosenfield ]
Bela Bardak
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 02, 2004
Posts: 179
John Coxey wrote:
First, that salaries in this game/field have to go up. Even with all the so-called outsourcing being done. Seriously, how many folks are going to go through all the preparation (college, internships, learning the J2EE model, learning HTML, XHTML, CSS, SQL, XML, etc), for a measly US $40-$60K/yr. And then be expected to endure and suffer through the stress of multiple layoffs during the course of their career.

Absolutely. Right now the profession is not repaying the effort it takes to stay in the profession. That will change. The basic problem has been the economy and reduced demand for applications, not outsourcing. If demand for new applications fell by 85% or more and the Indian outsourcers took half that market it looks like the Indians have taken half the entire market. That is only so if demand doesn't pick back up. I think it will.
John Dunn
slicker
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 30, 2003
Posts: 1108
That is only so if demand doesn't pick back up. I think it will.
Yup, I agree. We ALSO will see new technologies or rather newly-used technologies cause a resurge in the need for apps (i.e. internet/hdtv integration, better cell phone usage in U.S.)
Keith, you could volunteer you services in a company. If you can get into a fortune 500 company as a system tester, you could then work in the evenings (for free) to build relationships internally. If you do well, they'd be bound to do the old switch-aroo. Nice thing about that is the resume doesn't have to elaborate on what you did in that company at the beginning, but rather at the end.


"No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does."
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
 
subject: How to "get my foot in the door"