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Colere Aufgebracht
Greenhorn

Joined: Jun 22, 2003
Posts: 3
I got out of college six years ago. For three years, I worked on a C utility for Oracle. I then studied Java and got the Developer and Programmer certifications. Next, I spent 18 months creating a Swing/Java application before the company went belly up. Unable to find another job in the software industry, I have been out of work for 16 months.
I am essentially unemployable as a software engineer. It's not enough to know Java backwards and forwards, as I do. It's not enough to know J2EE, as I do having studied for the Architect certification. Employers have a laundry list of rigid requirements that I don't and can't meet. I don't have five years of Java experience. I don't have three years of Weblogic. I don't have three years of J2EE. Employers will even go so far as to specify experience with Rational Rose or ClearCase. Knowledge of UML and other source control products don't count!
Employers simply don't give a crap that I am eager to learn. I have done so throughout my career. But because of the downturn in the economy and the influx of H1-B programmers, they can make rigid demands about who they will consider hiring. As software development moves to India, the US job market can only get worse.
I am angry that factors beyond my control, namely the technologies I used in my last job and the relative recency I started working with Java, have essentially made me unemployable in my chosen field. Even if I got a job involving Java, what if some other technology replaces Java? After that job no one will hire me.
I am fed up. I have taken the LSAT, the test for law school, and I plan to become a lawyer in 2007. In the law, as in many fields, skills don't become outdated every five years, and hundreds of thousands of foreigners a year aren't flooding the job market. I recommend that anyone considering a career in software, particularly those in college now, choose something else.
John Fontana
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 28, 2002
Posts: 235
So, by going into the field of law, you may have better luck finding fairness and rationality?
Irony waits quietly on the sidelines...


www.websiteandsound.com
"If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten."
Colere Aufgebracht
Greenhorn

Joined: Jun 22, 2003
Posts: 3
My, what you a thoughtful reply you posted. The profundity of your insight is truly stunning.
SJ Adnams
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 28, 2001
Posts: 925
My, what you a thoughtful reply you posted. The profundity of your insight is truly stunning.

Oh, so thats the reason you flunked all those interviews. Maybe you're not as smart you like to think you are? Maybe 18 months of swing development makes you 'lower than entry level', maybe in 16 months you could have increased your skillset?
No, you're far to smart to learn how to use clearcase or take a job beneath you. No, Law school. Yup law is for smart people, in law school your ability will be allowed to flourish & shine through.
God speed young lawyer!
shoot for the moon.
Matt Cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
Hi Colere,
I have heard that kind of complaint since the hardware days. My assessment that you are too new in the industry not have the time to create your own niche or recognize the niche market. Probably you have not involved much with the operations side; therefore, the potential employers keep bang on technical side. In MHO, the favorite candidate is the one who knows how the business operate with a flare of technologies. The way candidate represents himself or herself could make or break the interview too.
Hope you chalk it up all the experiences prepare yourself with the new endeavor much better. Who knows you may end up as Technology Lawyer.
Good Lucks,
MCao
Mimi Chan
Greenhorn

Joined: May 21, 2002
Posts: 13
Colere, you should be smart enough to know that our industry is constantly changing and it's almost impossible to "master" all the new technology. Unless you enjoy being a "learner" and willing to adapt, you are better of going to something more stagnant. Good luck with law school, but hopefully you aren't chasing the mighty $$ but instead going for something that you enjoy. :-)
Tony Yan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 10, 2002
Posts: 170
And hope you can use your IT experience in the law field. Don't let frustration blur your logical thoughts.
I think even lawyers need logics, don't they? ;-)


Tony Yan<br /> <br />IBM Certified Developer XML and Related Technology<br />Sun Certified Web Component Developer For J2EE Platform<br />Sun Certified Programmer For Java 2 Platform
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 16061
    
  21

Originally posted by Tony Yan:

I think even lawyers need logics, don't they? ;-)

Consider the SCO-vs-"IBM" lawsuit. Are you sure?
I put quote around IBM, because while the official suit is agaist IBM, they usually go from swearing that agency "X" is safe from the suit ("X" being a person or company) to threatening "X" in about a 2-week span. Even Microsoft's had the baleful eye turned on them, and they just paid SCO a chunk of change.

I find this "5-year rule" frustrating too, and I've been out of work for 26 months with no relief in sight. In previous recessions it was only 2 years and it was only one product that you had to have experience in, not 20. But while the law may be one of the non-offshorable jobs that pays more than $25K, I'm afraid it's not for me.
So don't worry about needing to be logical.


Customer surveys are for companies who didn't pay proper attention to begin with.
John Fontana
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 28, 2002
Posts: 235
Originally posted by Colere Aufgebracht:
My, what you a thoughtful reply you posted. The profundity of your insight is truly stunning.

You're new to the board -- others here know my sense of humor. But seriously, I know people who went into law. It's quite a long road to take only to realize that it has it's own frustrations. Do it because you love it, not because it makes any more sense than programming. Because it makes far less sense to someone who is frustrated by nonsense than nearly any other field.
That's what I'm trying to say...and I think it's pretty darned worth pointing out. Apologies if my tongue-in-cheek version struck you as pretentious.
frank davis
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 12, 2001
Posts: 1479
Originally posted by Colere Aufgebracht:
... Next, I spent 18 months creating a Swing/Java application before the company went belly up... It's not enough to know Java backwards and forwards, as I do. It's not enough to know J2EE, as I do having studied for the Architect certification. Employers have a laundry list of rigid requirements that I don't and can't meet. I don't have five years of Java experience.

Ok, think like a lawyer here :
Employers ask for 5 years experience, but what they are really asking for is someone who knows Java really well. The 5 years thing is just an arbitrary number they came up with. You can be working with a technology for 10 years in a limited way and still know very little about it.
The important thing is the knowledge and this is common sense. You say you know Java "backwards and forwards", are certified to prove it, and have significant amount experience. Your credentials qualify you to make the claim of the equivalent of 5 years experience. You can phrase this claim in various ways depending on your ethics. The employer should be intelligent enough to evaluate you at the time of interview as to your actual skills regardless of claims. Many others who are competing with you are making the claim of 5 years and all the other lists of skills. The truth is, sometimes the guy with the biggest claims, not the highest skills is hired.
I'd hate to see you throw away your life as lawyer (I've been to law school), be creative in marketing yourself.
Rufus BugleWeed
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 22, 2002
Posts: 1551
Herb, I'm going to side with Matloff again. His position is that companies simply refuse to hire older workers without relevant experience in the
technology they are seeking.
To Colere Aufgebracht - I believe that when you get out of law school you are going to find that cheap foreign immigrants or offshore outsourcing have trashed that profession too.
Stephen Pride
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 14, 2000
Posts: 121
Just curious, but has anyone on these message boards partnered with others here to form a company? I know, it may seem crazy in these economic times. However, reading this board, I figure there is a lot of brainpower out there that could possibly be used in a collective manner to create a web design, consultation, training, etc., type of company.
Just a thought.


SCJP
JiaPei Jen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 19, 2000
Posts: 1309
I am working with partners to development commercial websites and products. A person with marketing talent would greatly help.
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 16061
    
  21

Hmmm.
Employers ask for 5 years experience, but what they are really asking for is someone who knows Java really well

Well, actually it was demand for a while there, but since almost everywhere you go anymore, the r�sum� is filtered by machine and may never meet human eyes, such fuzzy concepts as "someone who knows Java really well" have pretty much gone by the board in favor of digital (Java >= 5 && Java < 10). The killer was the "laundry list", where passing the first boolean means you then hit the second: (Oracle >= 5 && Oracle < 10). which sets you up for the third (J2EE >= 5 ... etc). By the time the end of the list was reached, you were either a stastistical anomaly or an outright perjurer.

I believe that when you get out of law school you are going to find that cheap foreign immigrants or offshore outsourcing have trashed that profession too.

Only the paralegals &Co.. Lawyers are very good at getting laws passed to protect them (surprise!).
Just curious, but has anyone on these message boards partnered with others here to form a company? I know, it may seem crazy in these economic times. However, reading this board, I figure there is a lot of brainpower out there that could possibly be used in a collective manner to create a web design, consultation, training, etc., type of company.

Sort of. A fellow rancher linked me up with a guy out of state and we banded together to work on projects. However we've had 2 obstacles to success and profitability:
1) His customers want to pay "billboard" website prices (e.g. $5/mo.) for J2EE hosting (which requires more expensive servers)
2) There's an outfit down the street from him. They're Indian. They have relatives back home in Bangalore. Ergo, they can offer J2EE expertise at $25/hour
 
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subject: rant