Yesterday, at the first company-paid happy hour since I have been working as a Java Developer (I had no professional OO experience in Java before that; only procedural in C and Assembly language) I learned form another manager (i.e., not mine) what their thought process was when they were talking about whether asking me for an interview or not. This manager told me that they never hired anyone without the required (professional) experience BUT what caught their eyes and opened the door for discussion amongst them was that I not only had taught myself Java but that I got an almost perfect score in the Programmer Certification. I asked him "well, I did write some programs and applets that I placed in one of my Web sites and put in my resume..." He said that yes, they looked at them and they were good BUT they were not Servlets, JavaServer Pages (JSPs) nor EJBs! (Gulp!) And that's correct; I knew nothing about Servlets or EJBs when they finally offered me the position. After four months, I am "the JSP/Servlet guy". (It's not brain surgery or rocket science! ) Another thing that they noticed in a positive way was that I have done a lot of Assembly language programming in the past... (I wonder if the absence of COBOL in my resume helped me also!? JOKE!! ) Finally, I give thanks to whomever I have to (God? My mother? Marcus? JavaRanch? ) because I know how lucky I was to get a break like that. After 2.5 months of the "try before you buy" period, they offered me a so-called "permanent" position which I promptly accepted. On the same note, my tech supervisor was explaining to another programmer (Visual Basic/ASPs) that when it came to Java no company could expect to find a grand pool of fully experienced (4-5 years) Java programmers because the language was too young for that. And so he recommends that we should look at programmers from other languages that have taught themselves Java, as legitimate candidates for the job. Of course Certification (by Sun) is an excellent way of showing proficiency in Java (if you don't have experience). [This message has been edited by Tony Alicea (edited September 30, 2000).]
Tony Alicea Senior Java Web Application Developer, SCPJ2, SCWCD
Heres another tiddy for you. I had very limited professional Java experience before looking for a full time Java position. In mid May I started working full time with a consulting company doing Java full time. I'm still far from an expert, but they now consider me a Java guru, which I find very amusing. Our company only has a few Java people but they want to really get into the "E Space" and Java certainly has a place there. It does seem though that if you have an understanding of the basics, as evidenced by being certified, the various areas of Java (servlets, applets, JDBC in my case) are really not that hard to pick up. BTW, I found my job thru computerjobs.com which i think is a great site.