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Where am I standing?

Ghazala Islam
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 22, 2000
Posts: 73
At the moment I am very confused about my career.I am sending my problem on net
Just to get an honest advice.Let me tell you a little about me.I am a,or I should write I was a Oracle developer 2000 programmer.I cleared three papers of OCP during my job(SQL/PLSQL,FORMS 4.5,Develop PL/SQL Program Units).Having worked in this field for 3 years I moved to new place and there I couldn�t get a job in my field.In the meantime (2 � years) I learned java and ASP.I cleared SCJP also.I also made some database interactive web sites on my own using servlets as well as ASP.Now I �m working as an instructor,but I am not happy because I always wanted to be a programmer.I had an interview for position of programmer 2 days before and my confusion and frustration starts from there.I couldn�t get this job because they already hired somebody before me but they offered me to join as Corporate Trainer.I refused,because I was not mentally prepared for that.To convince me to join this job,they gave some examples which left me very dishearted and I feel I was sleeping.They said :
�In your age(I am 34 now) it is not advisable to restart your career as a programmer because you have a long gap of experience,and nowadays younger people than you like 23 onwards ,more qualified than you are coming in this field and in their presence its hard to make a place.
�You should start thinking for some senior position like Analyst,Project Manager or trainer etc.They said you should totally change your mind,and forget about programming.I told them about some people who are older than me and very good programmers,so they said they must be continuosly working and touched with their fields so they are groomed now,but your case is different you are standing on beginning and a long way to go which may leave you more frustrated.
Although I refused to join as a trainer,but after coming home I find myself bit convinced with them and I feel perhaps they have spoken out all the fears in my sub conscious.Since then I am very depressed and fine myself as I am nothing.Instead of all the truth my love for programming is still there.I am a kind of person who cannot make compromises easily.I am deciding to leave this field of computer and go for something else.Is it applicable?Pls. be honest!Thanks.
Ghazala.
SCJP 2.
[ September 13, 2003: Message edited by: Ghazala Islam ]
Rufus BugleWeed
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 22, 2002
Posts: 1551
In your age(I am 34 now) it is not advisable to restart your career as a programmer because you have a long gap of experience,and nowadays younger people than you like 23 onwards ,more qualified than you are coming in this field and in their presence its hard to make a place.

Did these people claim to be equal opportunity employers? I really like the more qualified 23 year old claim. You have actual database experience and the java certification.
They are more qualified because they have greater sexual potency? They are better able to withstand the rigors of 80 hour weeks?
Mark H, you often speak on behalf of industry, what's your spin on this?
[ September 13, 2003: Message edited by: Rufus BugleWeed ]
Jeremy Sanders
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 13, 2003
Posts: 2
What you do with your career is your choice. I started my programming career at 38. Yes 38!!! Doing java at 38 - its been great and i hope to do this for a long long time. Another guy started his career at 40! Again, what you do is up to you. If James Gosling stopped at 34 - we probably would not have java. If Kant stopped at 34 we would not have the Critique of Pure Reason. ...
Are you in the USA? or Canada? There are labor laws against age discrimination. Is the entity a publicly listed company?
Are you at liberty to mention the name of the company?
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Rufus BugleWeed:

Mark H, you often speak on behalf of industry, what's your spin on this?

I speak on behalf of no one but myself. I simply try to present alternative viewpoints (which often means the view point of the hiring mananger or project manager)--although I think that might be what you meant.
As Rufus suggested, this is outright illegal. I once turned down a company for similar reasons (the interviewer suggested that he wouldn't want someone older for the job because he may have a family and/or wouldn't have the energy).
Generally, when people make reference to age its because they fear other things:
1) You have familiy committments.
2) You have a higher minimum income necessary than someone ten years younger.
3) Since most professionals traditionally don't change careers, someone your age in a position appropriate for someone with your relevant experience suggests a lack of promotions, hinting at incompetence.
4) There may be a culture clash if you're working with younger people.
There may be other similar ones, too. My answer is, so what? Each of these must be judges on a case by case basis. If we tell you the long hours and you say "fine" I have to take you at your word that you understand the committment. I make a salary offer and if you accept it, I assume it's sufficent. Three is just irrelevant; it's an issue of people not overcoming stereotypes. Four, again, is justed inidividually.
Over all developers 20-40, a certain entry level job (say 60 hour weeks at $55k) is more likely to attract younger, rather than older, candidates. Nevertheless, each candidate must be evualuated on how he or she meets the needs of the company, and not on the probability of being interested based on orthogonal factors.
There are quite a few people on this site alone who began careers at your age or later. I'm glad Jeremy joined in and I hope others will, too. Do what you enjoy.
With respect to this company, your options are
1) Talk to them, raise these issues, and try to get to the root of their concerns; then address those.
2) Walk away.
3) File a complaint (if this is a US company), but don't expect much to come of it.
Good luck.
--Mark
Ghazala Islam
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 22, 2000
Posts: 73
Thanks for motivation and suggestions.I want to ask Jeremy,as he said he started his programming career at 38,so before that, was he in computer field or he stepped into computer world in 38,and also same questions about guy who started his prog career at 40. Because problem with me is lack of experience.
Rufus BugleWeed
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 22, 2002
Posts: 1551
I simply try to present alternative viewpoints (which often means the view point of the hiring mananger or project manager)--although I think that might be what you meant.

Yes, that's closer to what I intended. I am sorry for the confusion.
Being that there's a considerable time off project, I'm assuming you have no exit stategy. On the other hand, you are only going to get older, fighting age discrimination is an uphill battle, and we have no idea when IT spending will surge, if you found some alternative to your present path, you might be better off in the long run.
Jeremy Sanders
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 13, 2003
Posts: 2
I moved into software development at 38. Before that I was in finance. The guy at 40 - same thing. Before that he was a medical doctor (surgeon).
As a seasoned worker enrich the company with a wealth of other experiences. In my case it was the understanding of the business domain. In addition, at 34 you know what you want. Many young guys (straight out of college) i've worked with are utterly disgusted with software development and given a chance would want to do something else.
I know of one person who started out as a corporate java trainer/instructor. Then after a year (sucking-it-up) was moved into the software development team. That guy was 30 back then. He is now technical lead.
On a personal note, i just don't want to look back when i'm 80 and regret not doing what i wanted to do at 38. If I try and fail, well at least i gave it my best shot. I have lived my life. I have exercised my freedom. I have faced my fears. I can now really go in peace.
Ghazala Islam
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 22, 2000
Posts: 73
Thanks a lot Jeremy,your determination and courage made me think in different way.
 
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