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Contracting Offers

Dalia Rojas
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 23, 2002
Posts: 23
Okay, here's a question I've been trying to answer myself with no clue on how to answer, so I've been going around asking others. I've been looking for a job now for a little bit over 3 months. Ideally, I'd like a permanent position, and I've made this explicit. The weird thing is that 99% of the responses I've gotten are for contracting positions, and they're for older technologies, you know like RPG, COBOL, HP3000, even though I've got newer technologies on my resume. (I have COBOL on my resume too, but I don't have RPG.)
What I don't understand is: I know that the whole technology market is pretty dry right now, but why then do I get calls on older technologies, and why no permanent positions, just contracting positions? Are these types of positions very abundant nowadays?
Dalia


**********************************<br />Dalia R. Rojas<br />MBA, SCJP2<br /> <a href="http://www.geocities.com/daliarocio" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.geocities.com/daliarocio</a> <br />**********************************
Kerry Fidler
Greenhorn

Joined: May 10, 2002
Posts: 1
I'm not sure about the job offers for old technologies, but a good rule to follow is: if you don't want an offer for specific tech, take it out of your resume. My guess as to why contract offers seem to be the norm is because many companies are unsure what the next year is going to be like economically. If they have to trim then getting rid of contractors is much easier than laying employees off.
-Kerry
Dalia Rojas
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 23, 2002
Posts: 23
I'm not sure about the job offers for old technologies, but a good rule to follow is: if you don't want an offer for specific tech, take it out of your resume.

I've actually considered this, but sometimes I think that some employee will come up to me and say, we want you to do this plus we want you to have at least a knowledge of COBOL. I guess I'm an optimist.
My guess as to why contract offers seem to be the norm is because many companies are unsure what the next year is going to be like economically. If they have to trim then getting rid of contractors is much easier than laying employees off.

Very true. Good point.
Roseanne Zhang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 14, 2000
Posts: 1953
Dalia R. Rojas:
What calendar are you using?
Copied from your home page: Last revised: 5/29/2002
BTW, nice picture! If it were taken in 2005, then it would be even better.
Visit JavaChina on the web
[ May 10, 2002: Message edited by: Roseanne Zhang ]
Shura Balaganov
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 22, 2002
Posts: 664
Originally posted by Roseanne Zhang:
Dalia R. Rojas:
BTW, nice picture!

Dalia,
Not to sound weird: Nice picture
To your point, I think at least next 6 months you will see a lot more contract work than full time positions. Only those jobs that are hard to fill (experience C++ or Java developers) will advertise full time. One of the reasons is that there are a bunch of money-saving "schemes" for corporations in it. It used to be great to hire H1-Bs. Now that government is hard on this case, next tax evasion scam is recruiting from temp companies (basically, you get hired or get paid hourly or 1099 for temp agency who "sells" you to the company where work is). I don't remember exact details, but there are tax benefits in it for corporations (if anyone is interested or runs his/her own company, I can find out details).
Anyhow, look for money, not for logical sence, in ALL that companies do.
[ May 10, 2002: Message edited by: Shura Balaganov ]

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Joseph Hammerman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 19, 2002
Posts: 76
Companies have cut way back on new projects now. Therefore, there is relatively more demand for older skills. That is one reason C++ is now hotter than Java.
The job market and market for purchasing new hardware and software was unrealistically hot 2 or three years ago, and it is now unrealistically cold. In the long term, I do not expect COBOL and RPG to be the most in demand areas.
Donald Nunn
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 11, 2000
Posts: 200
Hello, fellow ranchers. One thing that I would like to say regarding older technologies is they're alive and well. I remember when Java came on the scene, everybody wanted to do Java. So they left their current positions say for instance C++, Delphi, etc to do Java and now that the dot-com's when belly up and companies are laying everybody off, Java is flooded. Now lets don't forget the millions of lines of code written in RPG and COBOL that need to be maintained and there exists a demand, maybe only contract positions right now but it will increase and not everybody knows RPG. RPG isn't that popular anymore since the emergence of the web, however, there is work out there and the pay isn't bad. It's funny. People tend to flock to the popular technologies and the end result is more supply than demand and it makes a mess of things. It's great to have RPG skills and If you can buddle RPG with the newer technologies then your better off. One thing you can count on is when a certain language platform gets flooded then you have something to fall back on.
Regards,


<b>Donald Nunn</b><br />Sun Certified Programmer for the Java 2 Platform
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Kerry Fidler:
I'm not sure about the job offers for old technologies, but a good rule to follow is: if you don't want an offer for specific tech, take it out of your resume.

I disagree completely. Say what you know. Emphasize what you want. I respect a candidate more when I see a diverse background. I see other technologies the way I see a liberal arts... it may help you better appreciate where you are and what you're doing.
I can't imagine any employer saying, "Gee we need a C++ programmer, but she knows C++ and Java, so let's skip her." If you're getting spammed with offers, maybe then take it out, otherwise, keep everything in there. Resumes are for bragging about what you can do.

--Mark
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Dalia Rojas:
What I don't understand is: I know that the whole technology market is pretty dry right now, but why then do I get calls on older technologies, and why no permanent positions, just contracting positions? Are these types of positions very abundant nowadays?

If you've seen my posts in this forum, you know I get frustrated with the typical "Java is dead" and "the market sucks" whining. Most people on this web site have worked less then 10 years. Many don't bother to look at the things from the historical perspective.
All this older technology never went away. Legacy systems are still around. Sure, some got upgraded to Java and other, newer, technologies, but most didn't. Much of the Java, ASP, ColdFusion, <insert recent technology here> was used by recent companies, i.e. those creating new systems. I don't think the demand for these legacy systems changes much, just our eprception of how strong the demand is, relative to these other technologies.
I think Kerry is right about the motivation for hiring short term contracters.
--Mark
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Joseph Hammerman:
The job market and market for purchasing new hardware and software was unrealistically hot 2 or three years ago, and it is now unrealistically cold.

I disagree with the latter half of your statement. But that's another thread
--Mark
Joseph Hammerman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 19, 2002
Posts: 76
When I said the job market when unrealistically hot and now is unrealistically cold, I meant the general market, not the Java market. Companies invested heavily in their computer operations, particularly web development. They realized they overdid it, and have now cut back.
I don't think the demand for Java is that weak now. The demand for everything is weak now. Java, C++, and maybe VB are still the main languages. At very least, Java is valuable to know.
Donald Nunn
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 11, 2000
Posts: 200
I remember the RPG contracting boom. There was a lot of money to be made. They are quite a few companies with AS/400 and millions of lines of RPG code that needs tending to, however, do you really want to continue to do that. It's old technology, sure it pays the bills and of course you can stumble across a long term contract that will make you say "well I can't find a position writing Java code so I might as well make some money". Over time this will drive your insane, especially If you've put in a lot of time learning the new stuff.
My two cents,
Dalia Rojas
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 23, 2002
Posts: 23
Everybody,
Thank you for your comments. They all shed light on what I've been noticing over the past couple of months of being "on the market."

Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:

I can't imagine any employer saying, "Gee we need a C++ programmer, but she knows C++ and Java, so let's skip her." If you're getting spammed with offers, maybe then take it out, otherwise, keep everything in there. Resumes are for bragging about what you can do.

--Mark


Mark, this has been the philosophy that I've been using. I basically put everything in my resume rather than selectively put only have what I want to be called for. Being "well-rounded" can only help in the long run.
Roseanne, thank you as well for your comments. Hmmm, I'll have to fix that web page. You're right. I must be on some kind of weird calendar. hahaha
Dalia
 
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