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Career in IT is it possible anymore?

shay Aluko
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 01, 2002
Posts: 167
I don't know if this question has been asked before but i would like to have anyone's thoughts on this, is it really possible to make a lifetime career in IT?. I have been in this field for six plus years, with degrees in Engineering and Computer science and certifications as well, the issue is i am getting tired of the constant learning grind, coupled with the fact that employers are outsourcing at a furious rate, i have to keep reinventing myself to keep myself relevant. Is there any way out of this bind?. All Employers are doing nowadays is labor arbitrage--(which is essentially a race to the bottom if you are an american IT worker) its no fun to be the one investing so much time and effort in this field only to find myself kicked out after a few years-- i am seriously considering leaving the field altogether or starting a new career in parallel with this one-- thoughts anyone?
Frank Silbermann
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 06, 2002
Posts: 1390
Ultimately, what career _won't_ suffer from this?
Suppose you become a construction worker, with the idea that it won't be practical to build skyscrapers overseas for shipment to America. If enough business moves overseas, where do you think the next generation of skyscrapers will be built?
Jobs will move to whatever country provides the best infrastructure and environment for doing business. Countries compete by effectiveness and efficiency of their educational endeavors (not to be confused with educational spending rates), and their success at providing physical security for people and property (which involves protection not just from free-lance criminals, but also protection from politically-based assaults).
In a few ways, America as an environment for doing business has improved over the last fifty years -- e.g. the removal of artificial structural barriers imposed by racial segregation.
But in many other ways the business environment has deteriorated. We've lost authority and discipline in schools, resulting in lazy students, wasted time and degree inflation.
We see increased free-lance crime due to a growing misplaced tolerance of bad behavior both by children and by parents (e.g. out-of-wedlock childbearing, and divorce even for self-indulgent reasons), and the general loss of religion-based moral inhibitions.
Increased tolerance of political radicalism has added to the insecurity of property and investment.
Because the business environments in most of our serious competitors (western Europe and Commonwealth countries) have been deteriorating even faster, we haven't yet felt the full effect of all this.
leo donahue
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 17, 2003
Posts: 327
Originally posted by Frank Silbermann:

But in many other ways the business environment has deteriorated. We've lost authority and discipline in schools, resulting in lazy students, wasted time and degree inflation.
We see increased free-lance crime due to a growing misplaced tolerance of bad behavior both by children and by parents (e.g. out-of-wedlock childbearing, and divorce even for self-indulgent reasons), and the general loss of religion-based moral inhibitions.
Increased tolerance of political radicalism has added to the insecurity of property and investment.
Because the business environments in most of our serious competitors (western Europe and Commonwealth countries) have been deteriorating even faster, we haven't yet felt the full effect of all this.

I would say that because business has been so effective at competition, we see the results you mentioned and not because business has deteriorated. There is no morality in business today, maybe there used to be, but in a post-modern society there isn't any reason to include morality with business. You either compete to maximize profit or go out of business. That's the western way. So "hello outsourcing"!
There is a tv show coming up next Monday on AMC about how the middle eastern countries view the US culture. Looks interesting.
But to get back to Shay's question...I see your point. Look at students today in CS degrees who are in their second year. They probably started out with procedural programming classes and are now going to be faced with more OO in the job market two years from now when they graduate than they are able to get their hands on in school.
It's like Bert says, "nothing left to do but smile".


Thanks, leo
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Whoa! Lemme get out my soapbox... :-)
Well, I'll just take out my small soap box (and skip the issues raised by Frank).
Not only is a career possible, many of us are doing quite well in IT. Computers are not some fad, they're here to stay (whereas <foobar>.com being worth $100M was a fad). Outsourcing will be limited in scope, because the communication pipe will prove insufficent for many projects.
Even if you had no competition from outsourcing, you will still need to keep learning. This isn't some boring, paper pushing cubicle job. our industry changes regularly. You need to keep up with it. One of the keys to any business (and you are your own business) are the barriers to entry. Marketing channels are a barrier to entry, really fast servers are not; the latter can be duplicated. intimate knowledge of JSPs isn't a defensible competitive advantage, anyone can do that. Good OOA/OOD skills, ability to work with customers, being able to write up business cases... those are not easily replicatable skills. They also don't go out of style in 18 months due to Business Skills 2.0.
If by "career" you mean sit in a cubicle, write code, and have some VC backed firm overpay you, then no, IT careers are dead. If you mean a job in which you apply strong technical knowledge to solve business problems, often involving code generation, then you should do fine.
--Mark
Al Newman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
Frank Silbermann wrote:
Jobs will move to whatever country provides the best infrastructure and environment for doing business. Countries compete by effectiveness and efficiency of their educational endeavors (not to be confused with educational spending rates), and their success at providing physical security for people and property (which involves protection not just from free-lance criminals, but also protection from politically-based assaults).

Hmm, I have to wonder if what we are seeing is a little more familiar than that. Americans are susceptible to the business cycle just as everyone else is (I write as a current 'victim' though I'm unlikely to remain one for long). Do you think that Koreans or Singaporeans weren't impacted by the 1997 crisis or this one? They were, even though their countries are business-friendly.
Outsourcing (to India mainly) looks like a huge trend mostly because of the lack of large projects in the US and Europe right now, which leaves outsourcing looking like the only thing going on. It won't last, I predict.
Mark Herschberg wrote:
Even if you had no competition from outsourcing, you will still need to keep learning. This isn't some boring, paper pushing cubicle job. our industry changes regularly. You need to keep up with it. One of the keys to any business (and you are your own business) are the barriers to entry. Marketing channels are a barrier to entry, really fast servers are not; the latter can be duplicated. intimate knowledge of JSPs isn't a defensible competitive advantage, anyone can do that. Good OOA/OOD skills, ability to work with customers, being able to write up business cases... those are not easily replicatable skills. They also don't go out of style in 18 months due to Business Skills 2.0.

Hey Mark, be careful with that soapbox. You could get injured.
Actually we have to stop agreeing like this, Mark. I figure my skill base at any particular time has a half-life of about 3-5 years. I'm going to mostly remake my technical skill base about once a decade. Price of being in the job. Thus far I've gone from being a Unix/C guy to doing C++/DCE etc to Java/J2EE/App Servers. I have at least one or two more big jumps left before retirement. Not to mention all the small adjustments of course.
That;s just the way it is. If you want less change go into management....


SCJP1.4, SCWCD
Todd F. Smithe
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 7
I�ve been in the IT field for about 23 years. I started in �Operations� mounting tapes and disks (ye olde CDC drives) and toggling octals on PDP-11�s. Then I moved into programming C, C++, Fortran and Macro-32 on vaxen. After that I had a boatload of Oracle training and spent a few years as an Oracle DBA. Insert dark and evil time as an IT Manager here - best forgotten. Retooled myself and worked on numerous Java programming projects. During the tail end of the dot.bomb boom I was a Senior Systems Administrator managing ~50 Sun and Linux servers for ridiculous $$$,$$$�s. After that went splat hitting the pavement in a messy way I secured my current position with a smallish engineering firm as a Programmer (Mostly Java)/Systems Administrator (Sun/Linux/Windows)/DBA (mostly Oracle but moving it to MYSQL). I guess my long rambling point is that IT is a huge tent within which you can have an almost endless variety of, I guess you�d call them, sub-careers. I�m still learning new stuff. Still having a whole lot of fun. And it *still* beats digging up old sewer lines (did that one summer in high school � it�s my bench mark for crappy jobs).
Rufus BugleWeed
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 22, 2002
Posts: 1551
I'm going to agree with the above speakers and say that it's quite possible. With the same skill and with the same effort, I wonder if a person couldn't easily find more satisfaction in another career?
IMO, as time goes on the projects get bigger and so do the companies that execute them. Big companies tend to view technical professionals as a commodity. I think this is arrogance on their part. They manage for their bottom line and your career growth isn't in harmony with that goal.
When you go against their goal, you are not a team player. The difficulties continue to mount.
I believe technology will leave countries where society disparages intellectual achievement. I believe that is the general course of society in the US.
Billy Tsai
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 23, 2003
Posts: 1304
I am emotionally depressed and I feel like to vomit...............


BEA 8.1 Certified Administrator, IBM Certified Solution Developer For XML 1.1 and Related Technologies, SCJP, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCDJWS, SCJD, SCEA,
Oracle Certified Master Java EE 5 Enterprise Architect
Paul McKenna
Ugly Redneck
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 08, 2000
Posts: 1006
I havent been in the IT Field long enough to give much advice but in the little time spent here I can give the following:
1. Aim at solving business problems. IT doesnt sell on its own. That is, you can invent a super fast micro processor that will warp time and take you gazillion light years into the future, but you aint going to make money out of it unless you show that warping time will result in profits for the business man. (After all, he has the money we want!)
2. Re-invent yourself along some business vertical. For example, if you know the finance industry very well, market yourself as a J2EE developer who has excellent experience with Finance vertical.
3. Learn EAI tools, such as Webmethods etc. These will play a big role in the future as large enterprise need some adapter / tool to make their various systems talk to each other
4. Network!!! Cant emphasize on this enough. A casual contact may be the gold mine you were looking for.
5. Look for jobs in unusual places. For example, I know of a guy who was out of work for a couple of months but then he found himself work at the local bank branch as a system administrator. There was no job posting etc. he just happened to know the manager well and offered to setup and maintain their systems.
6. Learn! Can't escape that anymore. If you dont, I will and I will succeed at getting that job you want!!


Commentary From the Sidelines of history
Gayathri Prasad
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 25, 2003
Posts: 116
Hi,
Ofcourse they are possible... But more than certifications and other stuff what is required is the attitude and ability to work in cross functional teams.
when going gets tough... Tough gets going...
In every stone sleeps a crystal...
All the best.
Gaya3
Svetlana Koshkina
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 108
All jobs announcements require candidates that are kind of geniuses and with long experience: 100 years there, 150 years here...
I can't find IT job because for entry positions that are very rare,I am overqualified, for middle cozy positions - I don't have enough networking volume because I'm foreigner. I saw positions that are expressely what i can and would like to do. No luck, no getting foot in the door.
All positions on the web are huge with a lot of money offered but I think I won't live for so long to get all this experience ever, not that someone even offers me such a possibility.
I have fine education but had to work here in the lab - the job I hate profoundly- and that I can find overnight: only in Uni of Chicago about 40 posting offered the position, because everybody hates it and money are pitiful. It is even more difficult to go back an do what you hate to get your bread than try to learn new skills which nobody wants. WOW, I'm very very pessimistic lately.
Matt Cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
Hello,
I begin to see the pattern of pessimistic people are those who have the status quo mentality.
If you do not have industry experience applying for a job not require IT degree or heck any degree at all. Don't be naive enough to display your degree when applying. Learn the process operative. Utilize your theory knowledge in school combines with the hands on operations knowledge. When you are ready present your case to your manager or supervisor and show what you have learned. If best show the loophole(s) in operations, I guarantee you will earn the job that you desire.
What I describe similarly to evaluate internship fellow before granting a full time position.
If you have experience, you need to write articles whether technical or business logic and have it published on trade magazine. If you have advance degree, write book... All boil down to present yourself to mass potential employers.
I know both ways are difficult, but we live in an interesting time. Internet causes you compete not only with your fellow classmate but also with the whole freaking world. Some of us for one reason or another could not endure, then he or she have to change career. HR people understand, on average an adult changes career 3 times, since we live in the internet-age may have to double the career changing time.
Regards,
MCao
Svetlana Koshkina
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 108
Originally posted by Matt Cao:
Hello,
to change career. HR people understand, on average an adult changes career 3 times, since we live in the internet-age may have to double the career changing time.
Regards,
MCao

You are taulking about interesting times and about understanding hr people, hm...
Let me desagree, first of all times are interesting to many people when they are successfull not when they are understated and underpaid.
Second of all, HR people's quantities as well as their callusness have become frightening lately.
3 years ago, when I wanted to apply to job at UoC,
I would go to Employment Office, write down job's ids I would like to apply and they sent my resume over to specified department. It was easier for me to get a job because I could talk to people directly, and it would be people who know stuff and see me.
Today, I have to send my resume to Recruter (some sort of God?) and then he/she will decide whether it worth sending it over to people who hire. Moreover, I have to write cover letter not to people who hire but to the Recruter (Dear recruting Manager!!!), who does not give a damn about what I am as a person and my potential. Also, how I can convince person who is not related to a particular field that I want to work in this field?
I think that propagation of HR lately is one of worst things that happened with us.
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 16246
    
  21

Well as a standard of comparison, job-hunting during the height of the dot-com bubble isn't a ggod place to start.
Actually, back in the mid-to-late 80's, when corporations fell in love with "permatemping" and the employee/employer fidelity relationship in this country changed, I formed the rather cynical opinion that the primary purpose of HR is simply to ensure at all possible costs that anyone who's truly qualified for the job will fail to even get an interview. However back then, you could at least cry on the shoulders of headhunters.
Fast-forward to 2K2. Now r�sum�s come in 100s at a time, most never seen by human eyes because the advent of the Internet made it possible to quickly and easily apply for jobs in bulk, and consequently a lot of candidates weren't even qaulified after their r�sum�s were padded. Headhunters, by and large simply hide from you (a notable exception is JavaRanch's own Sriraj Rajaram, for which I hope he reaps rich rewards).
The biggest issue of the all is simply that for far too long, jobs simply haven't been available at all, and we're still waiting to see if/how much that's going to be changing. The first rumblings of a turnaround are coming out of India even now. It is to be hoped that this will eventually spill over into local hiring as well, but that depends on just how much work can be effectively done offshore.
I've been looking for over 2 very long years now. No clear relief is yet in sight, although I have hopes. The one thing I have learned from past experience is that the best way to get a job is via inside connections. Unfortunately, like many computer geeks, I'm not sociable enough to do very well at that myself, and complicating the issue is neither are the people I need to be meeting. Still, despite all odds, I've managed.
So far, anyway.


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

Joined: Nov 01, 2002
Posts: 167
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
Whoa! Lemme get out my soapbox... :-)
Well, I'll just take out my small soap box (and skip the issues raised by Frank).
Not only is a career possible, many of us are doing quite well in IT. Computers are not some fad, they're here to stay (whereas <foobar>.com being worth $100M was a fad). Outsourcing will be limited in scope, because the communication pipe will prove insufficent for many projects.
Even if you had no competition from outsourcing, you will still need to keep learning. This isn't some boring, paper pushing cubicle job. our industry changes regularly. You need to keep up with it. One of the keys to any business (and you are your own business) are the barriers to entry. Marketing channels are a barrier to entry, really fast servers are not; the latter can be duplicated. intimate knowledge of JSPs isn't a defensible competitive advantage, anyone can do that. Good OOA/OOD skills, ability to work with customers, being able to write up business cases... those are not easily replicatable skills. They also don't go out of style in 18 months due to Business Skills 2.0.
If by "career" you mean sit in a cubicle, write code, and have some VC backed firm overpay you, then no, IT careers are dead. If you mean a job in which you apply strong technical knowledge to solve business problems, often involving code generation, then you should do fine.
--Mark
I disagree, you mention OOA/OOD skills as skills that are not replicable, wake up and smell the coffee, NONE of the skills you have mentioned above is defensible as a competitive advantage. Perhaps you are not aware, but improved communications have made it possible for EVERYTHING short of deployment to be done offshore. I know because i was on such a team.
That is perhaps an extreme example. But the implications are this: there will be a shakeout in so-called high-cost countries like the US and the only IT professionals left will be those at the top of the profession (very few i might add--you have to be a "Grady Booch" type person), very skilled professionals or those in some niche that is hard to find elsewhere.Bottomline, it will be very hard to maintain a long-term career unless you can find something (possible infrastructure related or customer-contact intensive that requires face-to-face interaction).It is ironic that the very things invented to improve communications over the world e.g computer networks, instant messaging etc are the very things that will make it difficult to remain employed in the U.S if someone elsewhere can do it cheaper.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Go to nursing school. $65,000 to start and hospitals will pay for relocation. And you aren't likely to be outsourced.


Associate Instructor - Hofstra University
Amazon Top 750 reviewer - Blog - Unresolved References - Book Review Blog
Svetlana Koshkina
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 108
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
Go to nursing school. $65,000 to start and hospitals will pay for relocation. And you aren't likely to be outsourced.

Beginning and intermediate nurse is getting about 30K max(salaryexpert.com or some such).
I worked in a hospital (not as a nurse). Nurses are a little better off than mackdonalds guys. Most doctors are arrogant a-h-s and treating nurses badly. High responsibility, emotional envolment, low salary, crazy working schedule, infectious patients, promotional ceiling - welcome to the hell.
Another choice to be lab research technologist (that what I've done)is better off than ave nurse but most of above disadvantages apply, plus radioactive stuff.
In short, most people are doing what they really hate or are growing to hate what they are doing. Best part of life is ruined. Economy ain't going nowhere. Prosak and zoloft individuals are flooding the streets. I'd rather stop before I'll become too depressed.
greg norman
Greenhorn

Joined: Jun 11, 2003
Posts: 19
Further, more and more nurses are coming to US with H2 visa.
Billy Tsai
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 23, 2003
Posts: 1304
lets face it ,IT IS IMPOSSIBLE
Matt Cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
Hi Svetlana,
I think you missunderstood my comment. What I meant by interesting time is whatever you do the world know about it. That creates another type of profession blocked or filtered out undesired information. Internet makes it all possible. On the other hand, the darkside of internet that we have to compete like hell.
HR is not your extended arm, your social worker. One of their roles in an organization is a gatekeeper. They filter out undesired candidate for the organization. The reason I said they understand you when you have more than one careers because when you apply for the job, you usually agree allowed them searching your profile. They usually understand if you happens to have more than one careers.
Regards,
MCao
Matt Cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
Hello,
I think Tim brought out an interesting point. The majority of computer workers are geeks, they lack social skill. I overlook about this barrier when I recommend land in the IT carrer through the process operative side. I have seen people landed the jobs this way also moving up the rank alot quicker.
Is it because the social skill lacking that why the majority of public do not know what IT have been suffering? Your spouse keep squaring you are no good SOB and etc.
Sign Out,
MCao
P.S. Take a look at the link that I posted in MD under Slick! topic. It points out Bushies covered the bad employment statistic in US.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Svetlana Koshkina:
Beginning and intermediate nurse is getting about 30K max(salaryexpert.com or some such).
I worked in a hospital (not as a nurse). Nurses are a little better off than mackdonalds guys.

I'm sorry, but you don't know what you are talking about. My wife is a registered nurse. What you are saying may have been true in the past but not today. According to Monster, the base salary for registered nurses is in the $50,000 - $65,000 range. Of course, they get paid for overtime so that is for a 40 hour week. When was the last time you worked a 40 hour week? Does your boss pay you overtime?
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by greg norman:
Further, more and more nurses are coming to US with H2 visa.


That was true 5 years ago but there aren't any more nurses from foreign countries to bring in. There is a huge nursing shortage.
Svetlana Koshkina
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 108
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:

I'm sorry, but you don't know what you are talking about.

Ask your wife whether all nurses are getting comparable salary. As I said I worked in Universuty of Chicago hospital side by side with doctors-fellows. I asked around and looked at salaryexpert.com that turned out is not free now so unfortunately I cannot quote from there.
By nurse I meant nurse that gives you pills and takes your vitals when you at hospital. That kind of nurse. Where everybody starts.
I asked my friend doctor how nurses are treated and what their lives look like. What I heard and saw, I told here.
Moreover, at fox news maybe 4 months ago, I heard that huge crowds of nurses are now exported from India and Fillipines, but true that nurses are still at demand.
Also, since nurses are eligible for overpay, many of them are overwoking. I, personally, don't want to be a patient of overworked nurse. Nurses and doctors are last people I want to see eligible for overpay. There were study of death rates of patients at hospitals with rested and overworked nurses. Guess where it was higher?
So, probably, we have different sources.
Also, you would not like to see former cs guy as a nurse. I suspect death rate will jump even higher. They will reprogram all medical equipment to stop at night so in next morning they will have less work.
:roll:
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Svetlana Koshkina:
By nurse I meant nurse that gives you pills and takes your vitals when you at hospital. That kind of nurse. Where everybody starts.

That is not where everyone starts. You are talking about a nurse's aid. A registered nurse with at least a bachelor's degree is making the salary I mentioned. You can check at Monster for lots of listings. Nurses make salaries comparable to programmers plus they are eligible for overtime. Nurses from other countries are being brought in because of the huge nursing shortage. They are not here to replace American nurses. if only that could be said of the programming field. Plus, for some reason, the H1B's for nurses have been reduced even though there is a shortage.
Svetlana Koshkina
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 108
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:

That is not where everyone starts. You are talking about a nurse's aid. A registered nurse with at least a bachelor's degree is making the salary I mentioned.

Ok, we talked about different nurses.
Just a question:
can you ever go higher than 50-65K ? If you can, what it will take?
What wrong with this job in my opinion, that creativity is ruled out. You can overtime it but you cannot be more productive and work less at the same time (as lab researcher, for ex.). Your opinion on medical cases will be largely disregarded and didmissed. What I've seen of the doctors is that I don't want them above me.
In concluson, I'd say that probably it is not carreer of choice for most of us. And those flesh, and bodies, and all different tempers except for stiffs of course who are still and pale and hard on touch. Br-brrrr...I'd better go to construct things. Bulldozers are my favorites. And look where Joe Millionair is now!!
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
A frind of my wife is making about 150K as an operating room nurse. She works with one surgeon exclusively. It is not unusual for surgeons to hire especially skilled nurses to work for them in surgery.
I also know some visiting nurses who are making in the 100-150K range.
I would say that in general the pay scale for nurses is comparable to programmers. The more education and experience the higher the salary.
Most doctors have learned to take nurses very seriously. A skilled nurse can help them avoid mistakes that can lead to malpractice suits.
[ July 13, 2003: Message edited by: Thomas Paul ]
Matt Kidd
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 17, 2002
Posts: 261
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:

If by "career" you mean sit in a cubicle, write code, and have some VC backed firm overpay you, then no, IT careers are dead. If you mean a job in which you apply strong technical knowledge to solve business problems, often involving code generation, then you should do fine.
--Mark

This reply is heartening Mark as its EXACTLY what I want to do but with limited experience on the development side I don't see how one can feasibly use the communication/business skills in the work force. Though that may be my dejection speaking.
Svetlana Koshkina
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 108
Almost all job postings say: motivated individuals self-starters wanted... Ability and desire to learn... blah-blah
Most useless line in one's resume is that he/she is motivated and self-starter.
Motivated: i.e. running out of money, hungry, nobody wants him/her;
self-starter: education is uncomplete, amateur, naive.
It's not right. Very very bad.
What we'll do? I am unemployed for about 3 months now. I can find job overnight as research technologist. I'll look for job I really want as long as I can, then, I'll go to work as research technologist for a while. Envy this employer and don't envy me.
Al Newman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
Matt wrote:
This reply is heartening Mark as its EXACTLY what I want to do but with limited experience on the development side I don't see how one can feasibly use the communication/business skills in the work force. Though that may be my dejection speaking.

Matt, dejection is common at this point in the jobs cycle. BTW, most entry-level applicants have "limited experience on the development side", so don;t consider that too much of an impediment.
At this point you should consider looking at the edges of the profession, for jobs with small firms who need a developer to do something. Jobs which are marginal for reasons of pay or just because they aren't well-advertised.
There is a lot of good advice in this thread....
[ July 14, 2003: Message edited by: Alfred Neumann ]
Al Newman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
It's not right. Very very bad.
What we'll do? I am unemployed for about 3 months now. I can find job overnight as research technologist. I'll look for job I really want as long as I can, then, I'll go to work as research technologist for a while. Envy this employer and don't envy me.

I'm not sure what a "research technologist" is? is it something which you may be able to make into a development job, perhaps? Possibly you can look for a "research technologist" where they will let you code most of the time? And thus you get your first step....
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by shay Aluko:
I disagree, you mention OOA/OOD skills as skills that are not replicable, wake up and smell the coffee, NONE of the skills you have mentioned above is defensible as a competitive advantage.

It is very defensible. Smarter people can do intellectual tasks better then not so smart people. Find the more challenging aspects fo the job, and excel there.
Originally posted by shay Aluko:
Perhaps you are not aware, but improved communications have made it possible for EVERYTHING short of deployment to be done offshore. I know because i was on such a team.

I disagree 110%. Most projects fail in the US due to poor communications--people in the same room can't even create a common consensus. While the telephone and internet allow information to be conveyed quickly and cheaply, it often inhibits the selection of which information to send, further hanicapping a project.
Originally posted by Matt Kidd:

This reply is heartening Mark as its EXACTLY what I want to do but with limited experience on the development side I don't see how one can feasibly use the communication/business skills in the work force. Though that may be my dejection speaking.

Case in point (to my above comments in this post). My advice is on target, but our channel is too narrow for me to easily customize it for your needs. I could call or email you eprsonally, but that's still not enough. Were I interacting with you on a daily basis, I could better evaluate your communication skills, initative, personal strengths, etc, and give you better suited advice.
As to your directon Matt, you should find someone locally to help. I may not be there (and even if I were, I'm probably full of hot air anyway), but others are. Network! Go to your local JUG and similar activities. Meet other people. Ask them for advice. Turn to co-workers, people you've met in the industry, professors, anyone you can think of; preferable people you respect, or in directions you'd like to go. They can meet you and interact with you and give you customized advice.

--Mark
John King
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Joined: Aug 27, 2002
Posts: 165
Take a look of this article:
http://www.comcast.net/News/TECHNOLOGY//XML/1700_High_Tech/1953c0d7-5862-4826-952e-ffba6cea69d4.html
shay Aluko
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Joined: Nov 01, 2002
Posts: 167
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
It is very defensible. Smarter people can do intellectual tasks better then not so smart people. Find the more challenging aspects fo the job, and excel there.
--Mark

I am not sure you have a valid point there-- are you sayiing in effect that U.S has an advantage
in terms of smart people?. I work for a multinational and i can tell you that you need get more information. The programmer/architects in other countries are just as smart as the best in the U.S AND they are cheaper-- they have all the OOA/OOD skills you mention and more-- so tell me where's your competitive advantage?.Also There's companies are even willing to live with foreign programmers/architects being less experienced if only to save a few dollars -- so there's your competitive advantage in the trash.
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:

quote:
I disagree 110%. Most projects fail in the US due to poor communications--people in the same room can't even create a common consensus. While the telephone and internet allow information to be conveyed quickly and cheaply, it often inhibits the selection of which information to send, further hanicapping a project.
--Mark

I can't speak to your own experiences but what is happening in in the communications industry now is a glut of broadband capacity. I am working on a project where i have real-time communications with foreign programmers so what you said cannot be universally true. I will concede that such projects do require a greate degree of coordination but I can tell you for a fact that offshoring is going on and it has been sucessful, though with a little bit more coordination.
So what other advantage(s) do you have?
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by shay Aluko:

I am not sure you have a valid point there-- are you saying in effect that U.S has an advantage
in terms of smart people?

Not at all. AFAIK all countries have an equal proportion of smart people. The advantage is that smarter people produce more better work. Despite the noise in the press, most work can't be outsourced.
Originally posted by shay Aluko:

I can't speak to your own experiences but what is happening in in the communications industry now is a glut of broadband capacity...I will concede that such projects do require a greate degree of coordination but I can tell you for a fact that offshoring is going on and it has been sucessful, though with a little bit more coordination.

Yes, I'm sure some have been succesful. I'm also sure most aren't. Someone (maybe even from this site, but I forget who) recently pointed out most osftware projects are considered failures, and it's often due to a miscommunications. How is this supposed to make it better? In any case, I have no fear that those who are smart and able to add value other then purely typing code.
Originally posted by shay Aluko:

So what other advantage(s) do you have?

Good looks and a winning personality. :-)
--Mark
Svetlana Koshkina
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Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 108
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:

Good looks and a winning personality. :-)
--Mark

I can translate and I know programming, and good looks and winning personallity and a cat named Pushkin. Between me and perspective employers i can see gray wall of HR people, by the time i break the wall i will be old mad cow staying in line for lottery tickets.
frank davis
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Joined: Feb 12, 2001
Posts: 1479
Originally posted by Svetlana Koshkina:

I can translate and I know programming, and good looks and winning personallity and a cat named Pushkin. Between me and perspective employers i can see gray wall of HR people, by the time i break the wall i will be old mad cow staying in line for lottery tickets.

I love Russians and Ukranians; they have a most special language gift of using images. I still rememember Shura's "monkey in a palace" post, Kononov's sex with trees post, and now this "gray wall of HR people". Great stuff, very entertaining, keep it coming !
Al Newman
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Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
I can translate and I know programming, and good looks and winning personallity and a cat named Pushkin. Between me and perspective employers i can see gray wall of HR people, by the time i break the wall i will be old mad cow staying in line for lottery tickets.

Svetlana, I suggest that you look for jobs with small employers. The advantage is there is no HR department, nothing between you and the person who can hire you. The pay can be lousy, but after you have some experience you should be able to change that fairly quickly.
Svetlana Koshkina
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Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 108
Originally posted by Alfred Neumann:

Svetlana, I suggest that you look for jobs with small employers. The advantage is there is no HR department, nothing between you and the person who can hire you. The pay can be lousy, but after you have some experience you should be able to change that fairly quickly.

Yes, it's what I'm trying to do. I am also scouring universities. Usually university's pay sucks but looks good on a resume and sometimes unis are having difficulties in attracting bearded programming folks because of this salary policy.
I saw very nice job anouncement in some Z-tech corporation that is specializes on j2ee for medical institutions. They needed person as a liason between bio and progr. teams. I could not wish better position for me. Every single thing that was required I could do.I sent my applic. and called hr: no luck. Dead silence. they had withdrawn this position very quickly afterwards. On their website they are listing benefits for their emp.:who finds candidate for any position, gets $500. I'd say, it is very nice benefit, but i think they could do cheaper. How I can get into this corp. ? Meet employee, pay him/her $500 and than he/she will get another $500. And I am in!!! hahhahahahahahahahha Way to go!
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Svetlana Koshkina:

Yes, it's what I'm trying to do. I am also scouring universities. Usually university's pay sucks but

...the compensation is excellent.
Most universities have generous benefits (especially with 401ks and tuition assistance). They also give you access to campus resources (including gym, pool, groups with which to network). Typically they offer great vacation, many holidays, and a 40 hour work week. The pressure felt in most companies is unheard of in the ivory tower.
Per unit of work, its hard to beat a university. But if you evaluate only in terms dollars at the end of the day, then they're only medicore.
--Mark
 
With a little knowledge, a cast iron skillet is non-stick and lasts a lifetime.
 
subject: Career in IT is it possible anymore?