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would you take c++ work if no java offers

John M. Gabriele
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 18, 2001
Posts: 232
looking for java work... you've got some c++ experience
but really like doing java much more... slow java job
market.. current job may be ending soon (layoffs probable).
up comes an offer for programming work. its mostly what you
like and looks good except for one thing. it's c++ instead
of java.
do you take it?
John Coxey
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 503
John Gabriele:
It depends on your situation.
If the offer is from a defense contractor - meaning they cannot hire H1B visas - then you should be polite, refuse the offer, and send thank-you notices to whom you interviewed with. More than likely, they will offer you employment again 3 months down the road - once you have tested the Java waters.
Reason being, these guys can only hire US-Citizens - and so will bend over backwards to accomodate you.
---
On the other hand, if you do not have a great skill set or education background - and if your past experiences in seeing employment the Java job market have been difficult - then grab the C/C++ job.
---
I had the same situation come up with the current job search - but decided to forgoe the C/C++ opportunity with a major defense contractor here in Denver, CO. I made sure to make the appropriate follow-up phone calls, sent letters, the whole nine yards - after I had made my decision to seek Java/XML employment.
In doing so, I did not burn any bridges, and played by the rules of the job-search ganme. As my reward, the hiring manager called the house yesterday and said gave me his home phone number. Said to call if things did not work out for me in the Java arena.
So you gotta play the game. Make a chart of pros/cons based on the what the job offers and your current skills. If you have to support a family - then you may not have a choice - you may have to take the C/C++ job. If you are very entry level - then you may have to take the C/C++ job. If you are non-willing to move, then may have to take the C/C++ job.
------
Overall, the market is picking up....but it's spotty. The US East Coast (Philladelphia and New Jeersey especially), seems to be picking up. Traditionally, these have been so-so markets for me in past job searches.
On the flip side, Denver (normally a screaming IT market) has cooled off considerably for junior to mid level Java work. You can also see the slowdown by looking at the increasing number of IT recruiters looking for work.
----
Also, don't let anyone b.s. you into thinking IT salaries have dropped. They are actually UP another 5% to 7% compared to last year. This is both from my own experiences in this latest job search as well as some of the recent trade-magazine salary surveys.
Hope this helps. Keep us posted.
John Coxey
(jpcoxey@aol.com)
[This message has been edited by John Coxey (edited June 06, 2001).]


John Coxey
Evansville, Indiana, USA
Matthew Phillips
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 09, 2001
Posts: 2676
If I knew C++, then all other things considered I would do it. I'm not really picky about a language. I just want to program. Right now I know a little Java and a little COBOL, but I plan on learning other languages as well. I do have a preference for Java over COBOL, but I wouldn't turn down a job just based on a programming language.
Matthew Phillips


Matthew Phillips
John M. Gabriele
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 18, 2001
Posts: 232
john, you're right on the money today. yup, it's for a large defense
contracting company. it's not an offer yet but i have a friend on the
inside who's supposedly getting me an interview. i'm still pretty entry-
level tho. i've only had one programming job (my current one) and it's
been since october. part of me thinks i should take what i can get at
this stage of the game. i'm newly scpj2'd and this is my first attempt at
finding java employment.
i went to college for physics (and the c++ job involves physics).
funny you should mention NJ/eastern PA. i've been thinking of picking up
and moving out that way. fairfield county is pretty darn crowded for this
country boy. the wife and i don't have any kids yet and we could sell the
condo in a week.
i've definitely noticed the slowdown of recruiters. heck, this month's
ddj employment section listed only dice and scientific.
matthew, c++ can be one ugly muffin compared to java.
Frank Carver
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 07, 1999
Posts: 6920
Maybe the market is different where you are, but I've often taken C/C++ contracts, and always been able to "spin" them into Java work. A lot of companies have large, old C/C++ projects which they would (overtly or secretly) like to move to newer technologies (Java/XML/Web etc.) Working on the maintainance of the old version can be a good way of putting you in a position to get involved in the development of the replacement system.
By all means take a C/C++ job, but make sure that everyone there is always subtly reminded of your wide-ranging Java skills. Frame your SCJP/SCJD/whatever certificates !


Read about me at frankcarver.me ~ Raspberry Alpha Omega ~ Frank's Punchbarrel Blog
John Coxey
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 503
Frank:
I just signed employment papers yesterday with Hewlett-Packard, so can reveal a little more.
The C/C++ opportunity was with Raytheon here in Denver, CO. I met with them at a www.brassring.com job fair. The work is 100% C/C++ with some UML. Raytheon job here in Denver was to support maintentance and development efforts on satellite ground stations.
Position would require extensive security clearance. I know nothing about security clearances - but had to fill out many govt. forms for Raytheon.
Salary offered was in the upper $60's. No bonus plan. Standard benefits. 3 weeks vacation to start. 100% PhD tuition reimbursment.
----
They are totally screaming for people. Not allowed to hire H1B visa types. And cannot have DUI/DWI/Drug convictions in last 3 years. Plus cannot have filed bankruptcy in last 4 or 5 years.
I had to go through all of this with Lockheed-Martin (another defense contractor) on my previous job search last year.
----
There is NO JAVA WORK at this site. You must work at this site for 1 year before moving within the company.
----
So I delayed my decision with Raytheon until Hewlett-Packard came up with a 100% Java/EJB/XML position. I will post details later this morning.
I informed Raytheon of my decision a few days ago - when I was sure that HP was going to make the offer. Again, did the followups and thank-you letters. On Monday of this week, Raytheon called and said to give them a call if things at HP did not work out.
John Coxey
(jpcoxey@aol.com)
John M. Gabriele
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 18, 2001
Posts: 232
frank,
thanks. i think you're right. in fact, the
more i think about it, the more right you get.
i don't think i can pull off the bluff jc intimates.
i'll go for it if they bite and i'll keep
you posted (heh, no pun intended. )
whoo-eee that's good news from john c. i even
put his start date down on my calendar. really
nice to hear about his success.
Matthew Phillips
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 09, 2001
Posts: 2676
Originally posted by john gabriele:
matthew, c++ can be one ugly muffin compared to java.

That's what I have heard. When I decide to learn something about it, I might quickly change my attitude. Right now I am concentrating on Java for fun and COBOL/RPG for school. I want to try a little C/C++ and VB to see what I think of them.
Matthew Phillips
 
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