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Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 16140
    
  21

Some interesting things I've noted recently.
1. An article at zdnet.com on expected rises in IT salaries has some interesting commentaries attached. More than one responder is claiming over 20 months out of work and counting. As one who is very happy to have departed that august body, I sympathise with them. The fact that they're claiming to still be out of work even as the economy is supposed to be recovering (hey, I finally got hired) is rather scarey.
2. Some really strange help wanted ads in the local newspapers lately. One is for an IT manager for a small but growing chain of sandwich shops. The other was for a full-time programmer at a fish camp restaurant. Not a chain of restaurants. There's just one restaurant (admittedly one of the best in town, if you like fish camps).
3. Just heard this morning. Another local IT massacre. The entire 40+/- IT staff at a local mortgage company to hit the streets in January. They'll have plenty of company at the unemployment office, since the country's 3d-largest railroad is supposed to jettison 1000 mostly local employees.
4. And, in the national news, AOL is unloading people out California way while (but there's no connection, they say) hiring in Bangalore. Maybe they can rename themselves to IOL?
While we're at it, the mandala in the Indian national flag can be replaced with the GE logo and Wal-Mart can wrap a red sickle around the star separating the two words in their logo.
Or maybe I'm just being inflammatory - though it would be Truth In Advertising, anyway.
Where it all leads remains to be seen, but it's beginning to look like we'll know by Election time. If things haven't recovered by then, someone's going to have a real mess to handle.


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

Joined: Oct 04, 2003
Posts: 541
I once applied for a web developer position at a donkey sanctuary.
I also see advertised positions at single non-chain hotels.
There are some strange jobs out there for sure.


Kim Jong II (North Korea's Dear Leader) said:Nuclear weapons don't kill people, people kill people.
Jonathan Hendry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 16, 2003
Posts: 32
"More than one responder is claiming over 20 months out of work and counting"
20 months? Pah. It'll be 36 for me next March.
In hindsight, it appears I had about six months to find a job. Six months was September, 2001, and we all know what happened then. Job listings didn't exactly perk up.
At this point, I'm like a fuzzy container of yogurt that's been hiding in the back of the fridge, with a label on it "Use By 9/01".
Worse, because of my skill set and experience, which is on an oddball platform, I'm not even a yogurt flavor a company would find tasty. I'm prune yogurt. With fur.
And a little bit bitter.
Tim Baker
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 04, 2003
Posts: 541
A case of the blind offering advice to the blind on how to see, but you might consider finding something short term to do like a one year qualification or something which would put you in a better position to find a job once your finished, they will generally only be interested in the last thing you did and you can fill in the gap in your history by saying you did freelance work, which they wont be able to check up on. I wouldn't consider that to be a bad lie because it's their prejudice thats forcing you to do it, and they are in the wrong. If I can't find a job before the next academic year I'm going to look for a good MSc course.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Tim Baker:
and you can fill in the gap in your history by saying you did freelance work, which they wont be able to check up on. I wouldn't consider that to be a bad lie because it's their prejudice thats forcing you to do it, and they are in the wrong.

NEVER LIE! IT IS WRONG!
Your logic is equivalent to, "It's ok to produce false testimony. You know he's guilty but the jury will let him off on a technicality if you don't lie and make up evidence. It's their prejudice--well, not so much prejudice, but their legally sound opinion which you happen to disagree with--which justifies your moral lapse."
I do check freelance work. I ask for companies and dates before hiring someone. I fire people for lying on their resumes.

--Mark
Matt Cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
Hi,
There are many things to do with more profitable than IT. I do not understand why folks dying to work in this industry. I am working in the industry because I have knowledge from the user side, I did not just jump in and land a developer job like some of you despite the fact that I too have engineering degrees. I think some of you may well use this opportunity to look harder and deeper into your career track and see how to make an improvement. It is so important to have the user side knowledge because it will carry your career well into retirement than just hoping from one technology to another. I think many of you will do much better than myself. Probably, you were so busy to meet the deadlines while you were employed that you forget how to see window opportunities are everywhere.
My hints:
1. How is your communication skills? I know some people stutter when nervous.
2. Which industry did you belong in? Did you understand how the whole process worked? Sorry, if you work for the black project. Even so, you have the unique skillset that I think you are not chopped liver all the sudden.
3. Could you apply some of the existence knowledge into the new field and try to obtain the credential when time permitted?
4. Don't be so negative. The potential employer will read it on your face even you are professional actor doing IT in your spare time.

Some of you may notice my posts, understand where I from and how do make a living. Just let you know, even my busy schedule some organizations offer me to read their business healths with 80K+ a pop. The benefit package usually already adding-on to my current benefit because I am already in-house engineering consultant for my current company. No body want to jeopardy the relationship that I already built with the current company. On the general, it does not take me longer than a month to read financial statements. I know some people read Real Estate Value.
If you are just banging keyboards all day long without understand anything else, sorry please use your brains.
Regards,
MCao
Jonathan Hendry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 16, 2003
Posts: 32
Matt,
I worked 3 years on money market trading systems at a large bank, which included a course of training on the banking industry. Not exactly an MBA, but it's more than just working on code without any clue about what's going on in the underlying business. I've also worked on other trading-type software, and worked in the investment bank environment, allowing
a certain amount of osmotic learning.
But the fact of the matter is, knowledge of the business is not enough. If you don't have the specific technical skills and experience they want, they won't be interested. (There may be exceptions for the top 0.5% MIT grads. Most people don't fit that description.)
I'd actually bet that someone with specific technical experience, but no business experience, would most often get hired rather than someone with business experience and less technical experience.
This is because an organization will have lots of people around with business knowledge, from whom you can pick things up. Some large organizations, like the bank I worked for, will have an established training program to teach new employees about the business. But with technical skill, there are fewer people from whom you could learn on the job, and formal training programs are less common, because the skills are too specialized. (A course about banking would be useful for employees in many departments. A course about SQL would be useful for a much smaller group of employees, so it's better to just hire people with that skill.)
It's easier to grab someone and ask them to explain Eurodollar interest rates over lunch, than it is to get a coworker to teach you C++ or Struts.
Generally, in job ads, experience in the field of business is listed as "a plus", not a requirement.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Jonathan,
I concur with Matt's opinions. I generally see two types of companies, those who hire based on a laundry list (where business knowledge and skills are low on the list) and those who hire based on general ability. I find the latter to be better companies and recommend working for them.
I am surprised you can't find a job. Although the market is down, many Wall St firms are hiring these days now that the market is up. Where are you located?
My last job was working for finance professors at HBS. They were actually looking for a college kid to work for about $15/hr. I convinced them to hire an experienced full time developer (me) instead. If you're near any major university, it might be worth hitting up econ/finance/management professors and seeing if they need any simulations built cheap. That would keep your resume up to date and get you a good recommendation, in addition to some income, maybe even some connections.
--Mark
Jonathan Hendry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 16, 2003
Posts: 32
Mark: "I am surprised you can't find a job. Although the market is down, many Wall St firms are hiring these days now that the market is up. Where are you located?"
Connecticut, but not anywhere that would be convenient to commute to Stamford or New York. It's about 2+ hours each way from where I am. For the first year of my, uh, time in the wilderness, I was in Chicago.
Kevin Thompson
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 04, 2001
Posts: 237
Mark,
If I put "Freelance work" or some variation of self-employement on my resume and submitted it to you - how would you prove or disprove it?
For example - if my resume says
Kevin's Company
Software Developer January 2003 to present
blah blah - lots of wonderful sophisticated stuff here....
How do you prove or disprove it?
Kevin
[ December 23, 2003: Message edited by: Kevin Thompson ]
Tim Baker
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 04, 2003
Posts: 541
If a jew in nazi germany were to lie about his race it wouldn't be wrong. I'm not saying make anything fantastic up, like you created a computer system that saved some massive company 50% of their IT costs per year. But you can say you've been doing freelance work and consultation for local companies in a range of IT matters then there's not much you can do to disprove that, and most companies won't even be interested to check. If they ask for some firm contacts you can usually give them some that are true. Anywho, lying is fun.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Kevin Thompson:

For example - if my resume says
Kevin's Company
Software Developer January 2003 to present
blah blah - lots of wonderful sophisticated stuff here....
How do you prove or disprove it?

I'd ask for some clients, names and dates.
Now if someone 2 years ago spent 3 months doing some small project for a small company, I recognize that maybe the person you worked with left, and if all other jobs look fine, I can't confirm that. However, if you spent 2 years doing a number of projects, I expect some of them to be verifiable.
I would ask for a company name and phone number (the latter of which is varied in the phone book or web site) and contact person and verify dates of employment.
Did you spent 18 months working ofr a company which no longer exists? Then I can't confirm it, and frankly, because of people like Tim Baker, it's suspect. (Again, hiring isn't about being fair to the candidate, but about meeting the company's need.)
--Mark
Tim Baker
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 04, 2003
Posts: 541
Frankly because of people like Mark Herschberg you have to lie
Kevin Thompson
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 04, 2001
Posts: 237
Matt,
But it is my company called "Kevin's Company".
I don't see any way for you to verify "employment" for people who are self-employed. You can verify that the company is incorporated in the state of Texas, and filed for record at the county courthouse - but that is about it.
This is not an issue for me. I purposefully HIDE MY SELF EMPLOYMENT even though it is actually quite impressive (not piles of money - but technically impressive).
The reason I hide it is because of what you would call a negative attitude!
HR Departments do not want people who are self employed!!! It is too much! they don't want "independence" and genuine "self-starteers".
They want passive people who will tow the company line. They want a "yes man".
Kevin
Matt Cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
Originally posted by Kevin Thompson:
Matt,
But it is my company called "Kevin's Company".
I don't see any way for you to verify "employment" for people who are self-employed. You can verify that the company is incorporated in the state of Texas, and filed for record at the county courthouse - but that is about it.
This is not an issue for me. I purposefully HIDE MY SELF EMPLOYMENT even though it is actually quite impressive (not piles of money - but technically impressive).
The reason I hide it is because of what you would call a negative attitude!
HR Departments do not want people who are self employed!!! It is too much! they don't want "independence" and genuine "self-starteers".
They want passive people who will tow the company line. They want a "yes man".
Kevin

Hi Kevin,
Did you mean Mark?
I would take a look at your SS number to see your profile. Since you have your own business, I will look into revenue and expense. On general, I want to see cash flow activities in your dba and your business records such as clients.
Don't be so negative, companies love self-employed folks. It does not mean all self-employed folks will eventually land a job of their desired. It just that some do not want to live in an structure environment at least, at worse some are thinking of themselves as big boss. This is no fault to themselves. It is just a bad habbit and it could be changed. This story is so play out for all of us like some small time actours not even in the star league but all ready have the frame of mind set like a big time celebrities. Of course, they all fall afterward.
If you play your cards well, you could ended up as partner with the target company.
Good Lucks,
MCao
Lasse Koskela
author
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 23, 2002
Posts: 11962
    
    5
Originally posted by Tim Baker:
Frankly because of people like Mark Herschberg you have to lie
So you think it would be better to hire people based on who saw your ad first, nevermind who he is? Which company were you working for? I'll make sure none of my friends will bother to send an application.


Author of Test Driven (2007) and Effective Unit Testing (2013) [Blog] [HowToAskQuestionsOnJavaRanch]
Andrew Monkhouse
author and jackaroo
Marshal Commander

Joined: Mar 28, 2003
Posts: 11478
    
  94

I do not believe it is ever right to lie on a resume, and to be honest I have never seen any value in doing so.
When I returned home from overseas a little over a year ago, I deliberately chose to take a year out from work, and just spend some time studying Java. I wrote exactly that in my resume - I certainly did not consider lying about the past year. With that on my resume, I was getting interviews. And the interviewers appeared happy with my explanation of what I was doing and why. And my resume is all verifiable. I can show the certifications I got over the year.
I recently had a job interview where, had I lied about certain (unverifiable) skills I could have got the job. I certainly knew more than the interviewer, so I could have bluffed my way through the interviews. But at the end of the day, it would not have helped me, because I know that I would have been in over my head when it came to doing the real work. And I think that most people should consider that if they lie: what happens if 6 months after starting in one section of the company, you get moved to a different section because of your "experience as shown on your resume"?
Now I am lucky enough to be working again, and having been away from work for a year did not disturb my current boss at all. And I did not have to lie to get the position.
There are now companies that specialise in verifying information on resumes. So when you apply for a job at company A, they send your resume to company B for verification. Company B has the experience to know what to look for in your resume, and who to contact and what to ask in order to verify the information. This service is relativly cheap (especially from the perspective of a company expecting to hire someone for 3 or more years) so I would expect to see more employers using these services. The best you can hope for if you lie on your resume is that these companies will report that your resume is unverifiable - the worst would be that they would identify some lie and highlight it. If I had narrowed the field to 3 employees, and got a report that 1 person lied, 1 person could not be verified, and 1 person was very truthful: guess which one I am going to hire.
Regards, Andrew


The Sun Certified Java Developer Exam with J2SE 5: paper version from Amazon, PDF from Apress, Online reference: Books 24x7 Personal blog
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20635
    ∞

Lying will do you more harm than good. If you get into a job because of your lies, you'll quickly develop an ulcer.
Get a job through honesty and you have a chance at loving your job.


permaculture Wood Burning Stoves 2.0 - 4-DVD set
Paul McKenna
Ugly Redneck
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 08, 2000
Posts: 1006
Johnathan,
You are in CT.. ummm.. I have a few contacts there who "may" be able to help you out. Can you send me your resume.. you can look up my email address from my profile.


Commentary From the Sidelines of history
Ilja Preuss
author
Sheriff

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 14112
Originally posted by Paul Wheaton:
Lying will do you more harm than good. If you get into a job because of your lies, you'll quickly develop an ulcer.

Exactly. A relationship based on a lie is unlikely to become a healthy realtionship.


The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny - it is the light that guides your way. - Heraclitus
Ilja Preuss
author
Sheriff

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 14112
Originally posted by Jonathan Hendry:
It'll be 36 for me next March.
[...]
At this point, I'm like a fuzzy container of yogurt that's been hiding in the back of the fridge, with a label on it "Use By 9/01".
Worse, because of my skill set and experience, which is on an oddball platform, I'm not even a yogurt flavor a company would find tasty. I'm prune yogurt. With fur.
And a little bit bitter.

Mhh, 36 months sounds like a lot time to work on your own flavor to me. And there are so many interesting open source projects out there searching for helping hands...
Ilja Preuss
author
Sheriff

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 14112
Originally posted by Tim Baker:
Frankly because of people like Mark Herschberg you have to lie

I don't follow you. Could you please elaborate?
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20635
    ∞


TB: Frankly because of people like Mark Herschberg you have to lie.
IP: I don't follow you. Could you please elaborate?

I think what he is trying to say is that because Mark is good and has a good resume, Mark would beat other candidates. Therefore, if you are competing with Mark, your only chance at getting a job would be to cheat. Thus getting yourself a job you are not qualified for.
I don't agree with this mentality. I think if a person thinks their qualifications are not as good as other candidates, they should simply offer themselves at a lower rate.
Al Newman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
Originally posted by Tim Holloway:
Some interesting things I've noted recently.
1. An article at zdnet.com on expected rises in IT salaries has some interesting commentaries attached. More than one responder is claiming over 20 months out of work and counting. As one who is very happy to have departed that august body, I sympathise with them. The fact that they're claiming to still be out of work even as the economy is supposed to be recovering (hey, I finally got hired) is rather scarey.
2. Some really strange help wanted ads in the local newspapers lately. One is for an IT manager for a small but growing chain of sandwich shops. The other was for a full-time programmer at a fish camp restaurant. Not a chain of restaurants. There's just one restaurant (admittedly one of the best in town, if you like fish camps).
3. Just heard this morning. Another local IT massacre. The entire 40+/- IT staff at a local mortgage company to hit the streets in January. They'll have plenty of company at the unemployment office, since the country's 3d-largest railroad is supposed to jettison 1000 mostly local employees.
Where it all leads remains to be seen, but it's beginning to look like we'll know by Election time. If things haven't recovered by then, someone's going to have a real mess to handle.

Where the heck are you, Tim? Somewhere in the Carolinas? Or maybe Georgia? I used to visit Fish Camps when I lived in North Carolina....
I'd expect the number of programmers more than 20 months out of work to keep climbing for a little while, together with the number of graduates seeking to enter the field. The reason being that while employers are hiring to some extent they are very much targeted upon people who can come in and help *right away*. The long-term unemployed aren't perceived that way.
A really good reason to avoid long-term unemployment during a tech depression if you can. I clamped onto a really lousy job like a leech for about 13 months for just that reason, and then took an offer for less than I was worth a few months ago.
If my current project is any indication there should be a increase in hiring in the new year. We partnered with IBM on this project, and IBM GCS had extreme difficulty coming up with enough qualified people. They finally hired a bunch of contractors, but by that time the project was in major crisis. Employers are extremely wary of hiring people on the speculation that they will be able to grow into the role and contribute right now. But they will have to do it in the new year, because all indications in my local market is that it's next to impossible to lure people with 'hot' skill bases. At least at the lousy salaries which they wish to pay.....


SCJP1.4, SCWCD
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Paul Wheaton:

I think what he is trying to say is that because Mark is good and has a good resume, Mark would beat other candidates. Therefore, if you are competing with Mark, your only chance at getting a job would be to cheat. Thus getting yourself a job you are not qualified for.

Oh is that what he meant?!? I was under the impression he disagreed with my interview process and felt someone would have to lie to get a job with me.
--Mark
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 16140
    
  21

Hmmm. Another thread gone astray.
I wondered if the "fish camp" reference would localize me. Yup, I'm in Florida, and the St. John's river and its tributaries are home to more than a few "you-catch'em-we-cook'ms". One of the larger local BBQ chains also claims they'll cook anything you bring in (possum, deer, gator, skunk ... SKUNK!!???).
As long as we've diverged into situational ethics, however, I might as well chip in:
The "Ollie North" defense for lying is a real weasel-deal for me. Personally, except in matters of extreme duress, I won't lie even if it costs me. If I AM forced to lie, however, I'm not interested in justifying it, I'm just going do it and be honest about it. (How's that for self-righteousness? ). Seriously, I might have shortened my term of unemployment if I'd given in to pressure from one company's recruiting group to pad my DB/2 UDB experience on my resume. Or to claim the extensive Solaris experience that another company demanded just to do apps work in Java (3 months ago, I could barely spell Solaris. One of my primary responsibilities these days is taking the various systems I've either inherited or created and make Solaris install packages for them. So much for needing 5 years experience.
Like I said, I don't approve of misrepresentation. However I'm in no hurry to condemn those who do because of their relative lack of compunction or simply because they have urgent financial needs to be met. I've known one person who falsely claimed extensive mainframe assembly language experience, got hired, spent a fast-and-furious time learning it, and ended up as a senior systems programmer. If I wasn't rapidly on the dowslide to senility, I'd be able to name names and incidences of several more. The IT hiring process is far too heavily weighted on what (in specificproduct terms) you've done and not enough on what you can do.
Although there were some especially egregious cases during the last recession, there's never in my career lifetime been a time when there weren't employers demanding skills and experiences that weren't at the very least statistically improbable and frequently outright impossible for any strictly truthful person to possess. Myself, I usually turn away in disgust because any employer who requires you to perjure yourself just to get in the door probably isn't someone I want to be working for, but others either can't afford to or figure that in today's business environment, contempt deserves contempt.
And so far as firing goes, at least in this state, there's a probationary period involved. If I hire someone and they can't deliver, they're out the door whether their experience is real or feigned - and I've known enough leeches to be aware that not everyone who has experience is more of an asset than someone doesn't but is willing to learn.
From the applicant's point of view, however, it's pretty much a lottery anyway, since no matter how qualified you are, it's difficult to keep the same employer for more than 24 months and has been since the late '80s. Get canned sooner, get canned later. At least with any luck you'll have paid some bills in the mean time.
I don't like it, but that's the way it is.
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20635
    ∞

Anytime somebody lies to me, I feel like they also made it clear that they think I'm stupid, gullible and that they have a generally low opinion of me.
So when I catch somebody lying to me, or trying to deceive me, I usually have a hard time not terminating all relationships with them.
And when I see somebody lying to somebody else, it makes me think "how do I know they aren't lying to me too?"
I like the line in the movie "Hook" where Captain Hook says something about why lie when the truth is always so much more interesting.
 
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subject: Trends