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John Coxey - Job Search - Update #2 - Success

John Coxey
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 503
As promised, a followup to my most recent job search.
The job:
I signed with Hewlett-Packard (Philadelphia, PA) yesterday. Job starts on June 18th (Monday).
The position is a corporate trainer/instructor. Classes that I will initially teach would include: Core Java / EJB / XML / UML / Servlets. Position involves 50% teaching / 25% training / 25% project work.
Pay rate is over US$90K/yr (with the bonuses). Company car. 100% PhD tuition at University of Pennsylvania. Can live anywhere in USA. US$5K signon bonus. Standard HP benefit package. 3 weeks vacation to start.
Home base will be Philadelphia, PA. but I will continue to live in Denver, CO until things settle down. Office is across the street from the Philly airport (not downtown, yippeee!!!)
Position involves HP internal and external clients all over the world. Requires 4 to 6 weeks out-of-town travel at a time. Current clients involve Australia and Italian HP sites as well as several USA sites.
I am to attend 3 months of intensive Java training then another 2 or 3 months of "train the trainer" training where I go out in the field with a mentor/etc.
Overall, I am extremely excited with the position. I am single, and definitely want to see the world before I get hitched. No one wants to do this much traveling - so positions are extremely hard to fill, says manager. Reason for all the perks.
I am also excited about all the training opportunites the company provides. The entire team is out at the Java One conference this week - reason I can't start for another week an a half (no one is in the office).
About me:
For those of you new to the JavaRanch, here is my story.
I am a former tractor-trailer owner-operator with Mayflower/North American Van Lines. Did this for 5 years, decided to leave and hit up school in Jan 1990. After 2 undergrad and 1 grad degree decided to hit up market again.
Hit up job market in Jan 1999 - signed with Lucent (via on-campus recruiting) in May 1999. Laid off from Lucent in Oct 1999.
Took a year off to work on PhD and fly fish.
Relocated from Philly, PA to Denver, CO in Jan 2001. Was laid off from American Management Systems after only 12 weeks.
Hit up job market April 1st until June 4th (8 weeks). Signed with HP yesterday afternoon.
Resume can be viewed (either text or MS-Word) at: Just click on which resume format you wish to view. Sorry about the AOL advertisements - can't help it - it's a free site.
How did the job search progress:
1st two weeks - I did pretty much nothing.
2nd two weeks - Posted resume to and Had mediocre responses - mostly headhunters.
Last 4 weeks - Got aggressive with job search. Started firing about 10 resume's a week to various companies on the various job boards. Spent $75 and subscribed to - did not do the resume blaster - but did find the meta-search engine quite usefull.
Company #1:
Penn State University (PSU) - Applied Research Laboratory - StateCollege, PA
They do research for US-Navy. About 75% C/C++ and 25% Java Swing. Nothing with EJB/XML at this point in time. Would work with both PhD professors and college students. Building still has WW2 decor on inside. Regarding pay - they choked when I said US$70K/yr. Offered (verbally) US$50K/yr. I am still waiting for written offer.
BTW/ They expected me to pay the $4 per day parking rate at PSU -without any reimbursement. Sorry guys - you loose.
Comapny #2:
Raytheon Corporation - Denver, CO
Major US Defense Contractor. Met at job-fair here in town. Made formal offer of US$65K/yr. 100% C/C++ no Java work.
Would be supporting/developing sattellite ground stations for defense satellites. They do not develop TV / Commercial satellite groud stations.
Company #3:
Synchronoss Technologies - Bethlehem (Philly), PA
100% Java/XML/EJB shop. About a 75 person dot com spinoff from a 1000+ person outfit.
Company develops Telecommunications - Customer Care Package software. Software is in the development stages - expect major release(s) this summer July/Aug timeframe.
Still waiting to hear back from them. Sounds like a neat outfit - would be my 1st choice after the HP offer.
Company #4:
Signed with them on June 5th.
Overall impressions of the job market:
Java is definitely not dead. Neither is C/C++
What does seem to be dead right now is the H1B program, and these 18 month HTML tech schools. I had two companies (during on-site interviews) go on major tirades about the H1B program. The H1B program definitely needs cleaned up - and some verification processes implemented on both the candidate side as well as the company side.
Market is very spotty. Hot in some areas and cold in others. The East coast markets are doing extremely well. Also, the defense sector seems to be screaming - but is mostly C/C++ type work.
Denver is totally dead - compared to last year. Again, this is from my own experiences. Your mileage may vary.
Job market is definitely slower than last Oct/Nov. But, is picking up. Been getting more and more phone calls lately. But none of this 20 phone calls per day that I experienced last year.
Market reminds me of 1995 time frame - where YOU have to be the one to initiate the contact. Again, I found recruiters to be utterly worthless. Not one lead from any recruiters this time.
Other companies that I spoke with - and thoought would generate a lead:
Sprint-PCS (Nashville, TN)
Sprint-PCS (KansasCity, MO)
General Electric (Gaithersburg, MD)
Kyrus Corp (???, TN)
Tiger Software (San Diego, CA)
I hope this post helps clear up some questions regarding the current US job market.
If you have done your homework and preparation (education) - the Java/C/C++ jobs are out there.
If you have questions/comments - please post here. Also, would be glad to hear of any other success stories out there.
John Coxey

[This message has been edited by John Coxey (edited June 07, 2001).]

John Coxey
Evansville, Indiana, USA
John Coxey
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 503
So Johnny, where are you going - after getting a new job??
To Disneyland, of course!!!
I decided to head over to Disneyland, CA for a few days - will be back middle of next week to answer questions/etc.
John M. Gabriele
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 18, 2001
Posts: 232
son of a gun! a hole in one.
nice work john. B]
JiaPei Jen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 19, 2000
Posts: 1309
John, congratulations! I felt nervous when I came to know that you started searching for another job. Could you tell a little more about and what is meta-search engine? Thanks.
Saran Vel
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 03, 2000
Posts: 111
Hi Johnny,
As a regular follower of u'r posts... I'm really feel very happy for u'r success, which sounds highly encouraging for all job hunters.
Keep updating us with u'r job experience, which i'm sure will be really interesting, and man, u got a wonderful career...!
Enjoy............. and Have Fun...!

Sun Certified Java2 Programmer
Annie Weaver
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 17, 2001
Posts: 50
Congratulations! Sounds like quite the opportunity. I love my little family dearly, but travel like that sounds so enticing! I will daydream about it.Take care of yourself on the road,
Joel Cochran
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 23, 2001
Posts: 301
Big congrats John! Your patience and diligence paid off big time from the sound of it. Best of luck, tell Mickey I said 'Hi!'.
I'm a soldier in the NetScape Wars...

Wait a minute, I'm trying to think of something clever to say...<p>Joel
Raghav Mathur
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 12, 2001
Posts: 641
good work .... as they say ... hard work always pays .

krishna anand
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 21, 2001
Posts: 61
Hi John
Congrats on your success .Hard work always pays .
I would like ot know what sort of jobs you got for C/C++ .
Are they for Unix / Windows Platforms and are they
GUI Oriented ?
Kindly throw light on the type of projects that are in demand
for C/C++ .


Kajol Shroff
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 160
Good going John,
I have been regularly reading your articles in this section..
As they say patience pays... u done
Keep it up..
Do be in touch
Rochelle Hoffman

Joined: Jan 07, 2001
Posts: 13
Congrats John!
I have been following your story with interest and am glad that all has worked out so well for you. Plus the new job sounds like fun, and it's certainly nice that you can live whereever you want!
Tom Hennigan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 25, 2001
Posts: 71
Great going John!
Good luck

Tom Hennigan<P>Sun Certified Java 2 Platform Programmer
shailesh sonavadekar
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 1874
congratulations , John. Great News. I am really happy that finally you got what you wanted. It is also nice to hear that java in not dead. So worried guys , cheer up. See how John has done the things. It is rally inspirational for all the others.
We would like to hear more from you about your jon , training etc. , what are hp's plan about java etc , etc. ?
All the very best for the future.
Your Friendly Bartender
Johannes de Jong

Joined: Jan 27, 2001
Posts: 5089
Congratulations John. Sounds like a great job, good luck.
one question pse. is it standard that you list JCL as an language on CV's in the USA. I've seen it on other CV's as well
[This message has been edited by Johannes de Jong (edited June 17, 2001).]
John Coxey
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 503
Johannes de Jong:
This is a little long. I arrived in Philly last night - and am sitting in hotel (they have free data ports to local AOL access numbers). Also, it rained about 8 inches last night due to the hurricane comming up the East Coast from Texas. So no fishing this week.
Onto your question - my response is a little bit long:
Regarding placing JCL (Job Control Language) or any other language on a resume.
List only those languages that you know or have studied (in college). List them in order from most knowledge to least knowledge (not alphabetical order). Start with the language you know best and then go down the list to the one you know least.
You could also list in the order of preferrence. Meaning, if you want to work with Java/XML/EJB/J2EE then list that first - followed by JCL. But you had better know Java/XML/EJB/J2EE or whatever you happen to list.
So basically, if you know JCL then put it on the resume. If not, then leave it off. It's that simple.
If you know JCL - then you have probably worked alot with mainframes. In addition to JCL, you probably know COBOL, PL/1 and have experience with versioning software and batch cycle processing.
Granted, you are probably looking for a Java/XML type position. So you would list these skills first followed by JCL/COBOL etc.
During the managerial interview - you can relate stories of your previous mainframe experience. Remember, you will need 3 or 4 stories that you can tailor to various situations the interviewer will throw at you.
If you have lots of JCL/COBOL mainframe experience but little Java experience - this will be what saves you during the interview process. And yes, mainframe experience counts in this game - but you must be able to relate your mainframe problem solving to Java problem solving.
Meaning, concentrate on how you solved particular problems - dealt with difficult situations - dealt with deadlines - dealt with impossible managers - how you learned new skills - how you were a team player - how you made contributions to the team.
Employers want to hear this. You want to show that you can "fit into the team" And your job is to show how you did this during your previous mainframe stint.
If you are looking for a Java job - you will not get technical questions regarding JCL/COBOL. Mainly because no one at a Java shop will know JCL/COBOL. So you need to kick rear-end on the managerial side of the interview - in regards to your previous mainframe experience.
Naturally, you will get asked Java technical questions (and Java related questions to what you claim are your skill sets such as XML/EJB - if you listed them).
Hope this helps.
John Coxey
[This message has been edited by John Coxey (edited June 17, 2001).]
john towns

Joined: Jun 15, 2001
Posts: 11

best wishes
Johannes de Jong

Joined: Jan 27, 2001
Posts: 5089
Gee John, I'm sorry that you ended up writing such a long posting for nothing.
I actually only asked, because here (in the Netherlands) we dont normally put JCL on our CV. Its taken for granted that you know it if youv'e worked on an IBM mainframe.
Youre posting did make for interesting reading though
Thanks for your time.

[This message has been edited by Johannes de Jong (edited June 18, 2001).]
Tony Alicea

Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 3226
WOW John!
It was worth the wait!!
HP, COMPANY CAR!! Does it come with driver too?! (And if it does, is she a young 21-year old college junior whose other part time job is modeling for Victoria's Secret catalog?) Very
BTW, "getting hitched" is optional in these times... Unless it is to the aforementioned coed... He he he...

Tony Alicea
Senior Java Web Application Developer, SCPJ2, SCWCD
John Coxey
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 503
Had 1st day at work. Was really tough getting up since I was tying flies until 2AM. Not used to this work thing.
Found out one of the cars available is a Ford Explorer minivan. They even come with a roof rack to put the boat on. Looked really nice - can even take out seats and sleep in the back.
We don't get car until November time frame - as the program is on a yearly cycle.
Guys apparently really do travel all over the world. We have a 2 week class with about 8 other instructor-trainees who have been with HP for awhile. They are shipping out to India / China / Taiwan / Australia and San Francisco at the end of the 2 week class.
After my two week stint here in Philly I am headed back to Denver, CO for Rest & Relaxation then back for another 2 weeks of training.
Shetty Kiran

Joined: Jun 20, 2001
Posts: 9
Hi John
It seems that u got ur BUTT BURNT coz of H-1B candidates frm all over the world. Same here too !!! So we both r sailing in the same boat. So lets be friends.....hehehehehehehe
Anyway congrats for getting a dream job at HP and one more old are u ??? u didnt mention that on ur posting or ur resume.
John Coxey
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 503
Shetty Kiran:
I don't think I was burnt by the H1B program - at least not at this point in my career. I certainly was not replaced by them at either Lucent or American Management Systems.
I do get extremely upset with the way the H1B program is being run. For example, the H1B processing fees (I believe they are over $1000 per candidate) were supposed to go for American worker re-training in the IT field. So I ask (the US Govt)- as a US-Citizen - where is my share?
Regarding taxes/govt - am thinking of relocating 90 miles up the road from Denver - to Cheyenne, WY. Weather & fishing are the same as in Colorado - with the bonus being Wyoming does not have a state income tax - unlike Colorado at 5%. And it takes only 1 1/2 hours to drive (all 75mph interstate) from Denver airport (major hub) to Cheyenne.
But that's another story - right now I am working with HP's EJB Server technology and am trying to keep my head afloat with all the new information.
Lead boss is taking us out to diner tonight - so hopefully will learn more about HP. My direct boss is over in Italy - so will how pow-wow with him after I get back from Denver in 2 weeks.
I am 37 yrs old - US Citizen.
The other folks I have met at this HP office run the gammut from low 20's to mid 50's. Same goes for the new hires. Both males and females. Just a general mix of people. A few H1B folks - but I think (my own views here) because we teach in India/CHina/Taiwan and needed technical people who can speak the language.
In fact, part of the crew travels from USA to India then Taiwan then Australia and then back to USA during the course of 4 weeks next month. Talk about your frequent flyer miles.
Gotta run.
John Coxey
[This message has been edited by John Coxey (edited June 21, 2001).]
[This message has been edited by John Coxey (edited June 21, 2001).]
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: John Coxey - Job Search - Update #2 - Success
It's not a secret anymore!