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Gaining experience in tools not readily available

Matt Kidd
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 17, 2002
Posts: 259
A lot of job postings I see are for tools that aren't readily available or were taught when I was in school i.e. Business Objects, Websphere MQ. Now I could easily pick up a book and learn a new language like I did for XML and SQL (actually mySQL) but these seemingly involved tools appear to require a lot of $$$ to get the software just to learn them. How does one combat the employers desire for you to already have experience using a tool (not allowing for use of a similar one) when they seemingly do not allow you to learn as you go?
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Most Cs programs don't teach tools. Many people learn tools on the job.

Of course, most tools are free to download and try. For example, I know plenty of people who run Oracle at home as they try to learn the tool.

--Mark
Mike Gershman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 13, 2004
Posts: 1272
You can't qualify for these jobs by learning the tools, you need to already have paid experience in order to qualify for a job providing that experience.

That's only in the USA. Check out the jobs offered by the same companies in India to "fresher" CS grads. Of course, these jobs pay less than the US minimum wage.


Mike Gershman
SCJP 1.4, SCWCD in process
peter wooster
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 13, 2004
Posts: 1033
Originally posted by Matt Kidd:
A lot of job postings I see are for tools that aren't readily available or were taught when I was in school i.e. Business Objects, Websphere MQ. Now I could easily pick up a book and learn a new language like I did for XML and SQL (actually mySQL) but these seemingly involved tools appear to require a lot of $$$ to get the software just to learn them. How does one combat the employers desire for you to already have experience using a tool (not allowing for use of a similar one) when they seemingly do not allow you to learn as you go?


You can download a 90 day trial version of MQ for Linux or Windows from IBM for no charge. That should give you time to learn a bit about it.

IBM Webshere MQ Downloads
Henry Wong
author
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 18825
    
  40

I never understood why some companies are that specific with job requirements. They are basically choosing the dumb-luck of a candidates tools history over programmming skills.

I wouldn't worry about these companies too much. These reqs are like other silly reqs, like 15 years Java experience, or 10 years C# experience.

Henry


Books: Java Threads, 3rd Edition, Jini in a Nutshell, and Java Gems (contributor)
Matt Kidd
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 17, 2002
Posts: 259
I agree with what everyone said here...and on the whole I think its dumb but prudent for the company. It is true that tools aren't taught in most Cs programs but the basics that are taught should be sufficient to learn. Yet that runs into the problem of the reqs for most jobs and the time needed for them. I've even seen entry level jobs that require such a broad spectrum of experience you really have to wonder who wrote the job ad. This job search (although promising in some regards that I'm not putting too much hope into eventhough i want them REALLY REALLY REALLY bad) is very stressing. Its a shame money is mucking up my passion.
Homer Phillips
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 26, 2004
Posts: 311
Ninety days is not enough to seriously get to know a product. Some of the vendors provide subscription services. I know that IBM has a developer program that for $400 or $500 a year they will periodically send you the latest versions of their software on CD rom.

You need to be aware that you can spend $2K on a machine, $500 on a subscription, 500 hours working on it, and $250 to get certified and the market will say that you don't have any professional experience in the product.

It's an age discrimination issue. The industry does not want to hire older workers. They have to maintain a consistent position. Self improvement allows older workers to retrain in marketable technologies.

If you are under 35, under 30 is better, self improvement may well be a worthwhile investment.

HTH
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Homer Phillips:
Ninety days is not enough to seriously get to know a product.


I disagree. You might not be the foremost expert, but in 3 months you can get to know a product fairly well. You'll most certainly hit the 80/20 functions (core 20%) and probably even more than that.



Originally posted by Homer Phillips:
Some of the vendors provide subscription services. I know that IBM has a developer program that for $400 or $500 a year they will periodically send you the latest versions of their software on CD rom.


I don't know a singler developer who subscribes to such a program--outside his or her company. There may be some, but it's rare. Even the companies that are strict about knowing a particular tool are less concerned about not knowing the details of the patch release 3 months ago.



Originally posted by Homer Phillips:
It's an age discrimination issue. The industry does not want to hire older workers. They have to maintain a consistent position. Self improvement allows older workers to retrain in marketable technologies.


I've never seen any concrete evidence of this, just people making vague accusations and some annecdotal evidence. I hear the same argument about why people with 0-4 years experience can't get hired. It's funny how the grass is always greener.

--Mark
Mike Gershman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 13, 2004
Posts: 1272
I've never seen any concrete evidence of this, just people making vague accusations and some annecdotal evidence. I hear the same argument about why people with 0-4 years experience can't get hired. It's funny how the grass is always greener.

You're not going to get a public confession from the HR departments, but what little US entry-level programmer recruiting exists occurs quietly on college campuses. Just check monster and the other job boards.

There are good business reasons for not hiring all those middle-aged legacy programmers. They can learn UML and J2EE syntax, classes, and tools, but it's hard to think in OOP terms when you've spent a successful career doing procedural programming. They are very savvy about their legal and HR procedural rights, and over-40 folks do have more rights. They are harder to motivate to go beyond the point of endangering their families and their health to meet unreasonable goals.

The problem for HR is that age discrimination is illegal in the US, so they have subtle ways of accomplishing the same thing. What struck me most was a recent meeting of unemployed technical managers where I heard complete sympathy for those hiring managers who wouldn't give them a chance.

There is also an overhang of under-35 dot-com programmers who can claim any experience they want at their defunct former companies. On top of this are the excellent experienced Asian programmers with years of experience who earn around the US minimum wage.

I think I understand the problem, but I don't see a solution.
[ December 11, 2004: Message edited by: Mike Gershman ]
peter wooster
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 13, 2004
Posts: 1033
Originally posted by Mike Gershman:
There are good business reasons for not hiring all those middle-aged legacy programmers. They can learn UML and J2EE syntax, classes, and tools, but it's hard to think in OOP terms when you've spent a successful career doing procedural programming.


This is typical Human Racehorse nonsense (shoot them or put them out to pasture). Most good developers can get their minds into OOP in a few months, regardless of how much Procedural or Structured work they have done. They also tend to have the kind of experience that can't be learned in school.

Note that under these rules James Gosling would be unemployable, he's over 50 and spent a lot of time in older technologies.

Its odd that a CEO or HR Director with years of experience in the Soda Pop business sees no problem moving into the Software business at age 55, but wouldn't think of hiring a 40 year old CICS programmer to do J2EE, even though EJB and CICS both provide TM services.
Warren Dew
blacksmith
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 04, 2004
Posts: 1332
    
    2
Mike Gershman:

You're not going to get a public confession from the HR departments, but what little US entry-level programmer recruiting exists occurs quietly on college campuses. Just check monster and the other job boards.

Where do you think they should look for entry level people?

Very few people in their 40s are willing to accept entry level jobs. They often need or at least expect much more than entry level salaries. It wouldn't make much sense to try to recruit them for positions they aren't willing to accept anyway.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Mike Gershman:

You're not going to get a public confession from the HR departments, but what little US entry-level programmer recruiting exists occurs quietly on college campuses. Just check monster and the other job boards.


With all due respect Mike, I repeat, I've never seen any concrete evidence of this, just people making vague accusations and some annecdotal evidence. You claim is typical. I've checked monster and other job boards. I don't see it.

Can you demonstrate to me that the relative unemploment of 40-50 year olds compared to 25-35 year olds in software negatively contrasted to other fields? Perhaps this discrimination is recent, and you can show as a trend an increase in unemployment among older programmers in recent years. Maybe you can compare US software unemployment rates by age against other nations to show this fact. I'm open to any of these lines of proof or others you may suggest, until then, I remain unconvinced of a large pattern of discrimintation.

--Mark
Homer Phillips
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 26, 2004
Posts: 311
Can you demonstrate to me that the relative unemploment of 40-50 year olds compared to 25-35 year olds in software negatively contrasted to other fields?


It's been on this board so many times that it's very hard to see your behaviour as nice, fair or even objective.

The source - http://www.ieeeusa.org/careers/employment/langbein.pdf

The finding - In general, these patterns are consistent with the next finding: older respondents report significantly more weeks of unemployment than younger respondent.

Specifically, for each additional year of age, unemployment goes up by 2 weeks (p<=.007).


Demanding that the findings be compared to another field fails a morals test. Because one can't demonstrate it versus another field simply does not make age discrimination moral or proper. Well everybody does it is about as low a moral justification as one can grasp.
Mike Gershman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 13, 2004
Posts: 1272
Well, Mark, I hope you never have to gather first hand evidence.

If you actually look at the monster postings for "entry java", you'll see that the great majority either ask for industry experience or talk about recent graduates.

As for a concrete paper trail, industry HR departments and their allies in government have gotten a lot more sophisticated about that. The US government doesn't collect hiring statistics by skill by age. Companies don't collect EEO statistics on resume submissions, only on interviews, and they don't interview people they don't want in their EEO statistics. They recruit at colleges, where they expect to find recent grads (sort of like Abercrombie recruiting sales trainees on a non-discriminatory basis from all-white fraternities and sororities). Even there, they screen resumes for signs of too much experience before scheduling interviews. Unless some guilt-ridden HR exec shows up on 60 Minutes or a Congressional Hearing, you won't see any hard evidence. Even then, you'll call it "anecdotal".

As I mentioned in a prior post, even the victims agree with those discriminating against them.

So if you want to deny reality, you'll get plenty of help. But it's still reality.

PS: Perhaps I was too hard on Mark. Any middle-aged US programmer who got hired into a Java job without prior Java industry experience, please post your experiences here!

[ December 12, 2004: Message edited by: Mike Gershman ]
[ December 12, 2004: Message edited by: Mike Gershman ]
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Homer Phillips:

It's been on this board so many times that it's very hard to see your behaviour as nice, fair or even objective.


I haven't seen much hard evidence on this board. I do appreciate that you took the effort to find hard data on this topic.


Originally posted by Homer Phillips:

Demanding that the findings be compared to another field fails a morals test. Because one can't demonstrate it versus another field simply does not make age discrimination moral or proper. Well everybody does it is about as low a moral justification as one can grasp.


No, it's not an issue or morals. If the claim is that older engineers can't keep up with new technologies, for example, then we shouldn't see any age disciminiation among, say, accountants, whose methods remain relatively stable. The study you cited recognized the cross-industry question as a valid issue (see page 8).


The data provided is the report does seem strong, and after reading it, I am more open to believing it. However, there is a key question not addressed--method of job hunt. If, for example, the older engineers are searching the want ads in the newspaper for 90% of their leads, as the younger engineers are using other methods, then that could be a key contributor. (various studies and books like "What Color is your Parachute?" talk about the percentage of people who find jobs through each method, and they vary considerably.) The study asked about internet/email access, but that's as close as it came. Remember that engineers who began working in the 60's and 70's had an expectation of lifetime employment. The number of times they changes jobs is much fewer then for younger engineers. When major corporations with a history of lifetime first started laying people off, many of them had trouble adjusting to the job market. When I seem them use similar methods, then I will conclusively believe in age discrimination.

--Mark
Homer Phillips
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 26, 2004
Posts: 311
If you actually look at the monster postings for "entry java", you'll see that the great majority either ask for industry experience or talk about recent graduates.

Demanding recent graduates is cleary spelled out in the Age Discrimination Act as illegal. If one applies for the job and is later rejected one has a very good case with the EEOC. See this as a money making opportunity.
Unless some guilt-ridden HR exec shows up on 60 Minutes or a Congressional Hearing, you won't see any hard evidence.

Have you seen last year's film The Corporation? It does not adress this issue per se. But the ex-CEO is interviewed. He's spilling his guts. The thesis of the work is the US corporation is a modern and immoral invention that must be tamed. By law a US corp must put creating profit above all other motives.
Mike Gershman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 13, 2004
Posts: 1272
Demanding recent graduates is cleary spelled out in the Age Discrimination Act as illegal. If one applies for the job and is later rejected one has a very good case with the EEOC. See this as a money making opportunity.

They don't reject older workers who apply, they screen the resumes so there are no older applicants in their EEO statistics.

When I seem them use similar methods, then I will conclusively believe in age discrimination.

No offence, Mark, but this reminds me of the demands for absolute proof that cigarettes kill people before the government tried to save a few lives. Even more than in medical research, the social sciences work with reasonable inference, not absolute proof.

The methods of statistics were designed for cases where the entities being measured did not know or did not care what conclusions were drawn. In this case, the entities (companies) are gaming the system in a variety of clever ways, some of which I mentioned.

If you want to see the game in action, check out the public web sites for these companies which are currently actively recruiting on campuses:

Amit Saini greenhorn Member # 84106 posted December 08, 2004 10:26 AM
I know of a few companies in USA (VA-DC area) hiring Java/.NET ppl for entry level positions.
1. PWC
2. Deloitte
3. Bearing Point
4. Accenture
5. Sapient

A lot of my seniors have got into these companies after graduation. Typical pay packages are 55-60k in this area.



While not exactly on point, you might also consider this post from another thread on this board:
Arjun Shastry ranch hand Member # 46626
posted December 07, 2004 12:58 AM
quote riginally posted by Arun Prasath:
When looking at all these companies who are offering extreme pay, most of them remain silent and dont make much noise in the air. I mean they dont publicise themselves. I think most of them recruit through referrals.

I think Yahoo! India/AOL India are among them.AOL India was offering 6.5 Lakhs/year for Linux/Unix Admin with 2/4 years experience 6 months back.IMO,global companies who have opened the shops here for purpose of outsourcing remain silent on publicity/advertising fearing of backlash in their country of origin.Thats the reason they recruit through referrals.
Some of the companies I can list who give 'extreme' pay:
1)Trilogy
2)Yahoo!
3)AOL
4)IBM
5)BEA
6)CGI
7)Intel

--------------------

Arjun in Bangalore


Statistics don't work when the guinea pigs have read your last paper.
Henry Wong
author
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 18825
    
  40

I don't know if many cases are actually age discrimination, but it is definitely discrimination. Companies that want entry level programmers simply do not want to pay the higher salaries. Furthermore, they also don't want to hire someone that historically got paid more, because they don't want this person to leave as soon as the market picks up.

Henry
Warren Dew
blacksmith
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 04, 2004
Posts: 1332
    
    2
Homer Phillips:

The source - http://www.ieeeusa.org/careers/employment/langbein.pdf

The finding - In general, these patterns are consistent with the next finding: older respondents report significantly more weeks of unemployment than younger respondent.

Specifically, for each additional year of age, unemployment goes up by 2 weeks (p<=.007).


That study is good in that it includes multivariate analysis that controls for certain other factors. For example, they control for internet access (which decreases unemployment time by 50 weeks), advanced degrees, (which increase unemployment time by 10 weeks per degree), and a few others.

Unfortunately, it fails to control for desired salary. Given that, as I mentioned, older engineers tend to want or need higher salaries, it seems to me extremely likely that the trend found in the study is not a result of age, but rather of salary expectations. The better the position one is looking for, the longer one should expect to wait, even if one is qualified for it (obviously if one isn't qualified for it, one shouldn't expect to get it at all).
Warren Dew
blacksmith
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 04, 2004
Posts: 1332
    
    2
Mike Gershman:

PS: Perhaps I was too hard on Mark. Any middle-aged US programmer who got hired into a Java job without prior Java industry experience, please post your experiences here!

I was got my first Java contract, without prior Java experience, at the age of 40.

I got that interview through contacts, rather than randomly blasting out resumes - the latter approach has never worked well at any age. I feel that my age, if anything, put me at an advantage relative to younger prospects during the interview - as well as because it meant I'd had a lot more time to build up contacts.
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
There may be active age discrimination but far more likley it's other factors at work.
As hinted older people expect higher salaries. Companies are ever less willing to pay those salaries, especially for entry-level positions.

If I am hiring an entry-level Java programmer (maybe even one with no experience who I am willing to train from scratch) and I can get a 25 year old college grad willing to work for $20K or a 50 year old with 25 years of Cobol experience who wants 150K at least my choice is clear, especially since I will be investing heavily in that person and that 25 year old can give me a lot more years of employment before I loose him to retirement, chronic illness, etc. etc.
Now if this were a position requiring heavy interaction with a mainframe written in Cobol and the person would have to write an interface with that Cobol code that older person might bring in valuable experience...


42
peter wooster
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 13, 2004
Posts: 1033
Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:
There may be active age discrimination but far more likley it's other factors at work.
As hinted older people expect higher salaries. Companies are ever less willing to pay those salaries, especially for entry-level positions.

If I am hiring an entry-level Java programmer (maybe even one with no experience who I am willing to train from scratch) and I can get a 25 year old college grad willing to work for $20K or a 50 year old with 25 years of Cobol experience who wants 150K at least my choice is clear, especially since I will be investing heavily in that person and that 25 year old can give me a lot more years of employment before I loose him to retirement, chronic illness, etc. etc.
Now if this were a position requiring heavy interaction with a mainframe written in Cobol and the person would have to write an interface with that Cobol code that older person might bring in valuable experience...


You know that you can expect about 6 months out of that $20K fresher who you trained once their training is complete. They probably have nothing to tie them down and will jump to the guy offering $40K down the street for someone with 6 months of J2EE experience.

The person with the 25 years of experience with technology is likely to have a family to support and a well entrenched work ethic and possibly some old fashioned loyalty. She could be with you for 15 years, or until some chronic illness or the side effects of a greedy lifestyle knock YOU down.
[ December 13, 2004: Message edited by: peter wooster ]
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
The 25 year old will be happy to have a job at all, and is easily kept by offering the prospect of future incentives (car, laptop, stock options) which won't work with the oldtimer.

I agree a few years ago he'd be the jobhopper, but not anymore. The economy is such that companies once again dictate terms, and a clause in the contract that he has to pay back the entire sum of the training if he leaves within 2 years after the training is complete is once again quite common too.
Mike Gershman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 13, 2004
Posts: 1272
There may be active age discrimination but far more likley it's other factors at work.
As hinted older people expect higher salaries. Companies are ever less willing to pay those salaries, especially for entry-level positions.

If I am hiring an entry-level Java programmer (maybe even one with no experience who I am willing to train from scratch) and I can get a 25 year old college grad willing to work for $20K or a 50 year old with 25 years of Cobol experience who wants 150K at least my choice is clear, especially since I will be investing heavily in that person and that 25 year old can give me a lot more years of employment before I loose him to retirement, chronic illness, etc. etc.
Now if this were a position requiring heavy interaction with a mainframe written in Cobol and the person would have to write an interface with that Cobol code that older person might bring in valuable experience...


Money is not the issue. These legacy programmers are screened out long before salary comes up. In many cases, the salary range is set in the job posting and older applicants are still not considered. As for the sudden availablity of high-paying jobs in the future, that's a fantasy. If the Indians ever run out of good programmers, which I doubt, the Chinese are right next door with some top talent. If a few US IT salaries did rise, the younger programmers will be at least as ready to change jobs as their seniors.

There are a lot of posts, including mine, giving reasons why companies would prefer younger applicants. None of these reasons change the laws against age discrimination. There were also sound economic arguments for racial discrimination, but Americans decided that the larger interests of society and the fundamental right of each person to be judged on his or her merits was more important. The problem is that companies that shy away from racial discrimination feel justified, even compelled, to keep all those legacy programmers who just learned Java from turning their departments into old folks' homes, so they use the same kind of tricks and evasions that their colleagues in accounting use to manufacture earnings. And government enforcement is nonexistent.


I was got my first Java contract, without prior Java experience, at the age of 40.

I got that interview through contacts, rather than randomly blasting out resumes - the latter approach has never worked well at any age.

Your experience is typical today. About 80% of hiring is now through contacts.

This is new (most of the hundreds of people I hired came through agencies or mailed-in resumes) and disturbing. Left to themselves, most managers will hire people like themselves. People of a different race, religion, sexual orientation, etc., are at a disadvantage. Decades of legal and procedural controls, implemented at the HR level, have gone out the window and we're back to the buddy system.

The networking process reminds me of Manhattan drivers circling endlessly in search of a parking space. A few drivers do get spots through a combination of luck and persistence, but it's still almost impossible to park on the street in midtown Manhattan.
[ December 13, 2004: Message edited by: Mike Gershman ]
peter wooster
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 13, 2004
Posts: 1033
Originally posted by Mike Gershman:
The problem is that companies that shy away from racial discrimination feel justified, even compelled, to keep all those legacy programmers who just learned Java from turning their departments into old folks' homes...


Can you imagine the uproar if similar phrases about other groups were used. The JDL, NAACCP etc. would be on their case immediately.
Mike Gershman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 13, 2004
Posts: 1272
You're right.

I guess we geezers need to organize.
Warren Dew
blacksmith
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 04, 2004
Posts: 1332
    
    2
Mike Gershman:

Your experience is typical today. About 80% of hiring is now through contacts.

I don't think it's anything new. My parents are in their 70s now, and their generation had a saying, "it's not what you know, it's who you know".

This is new (most of the hundreds of people I hired came through agencies or mailed-in resumes) and disturbing.

I can't see it as disturbing. Resumes aren't very good indicators of a developer's proficiency, so using resumes as more than a screening tool doesn't make much sense - especially as neither developers nor most recruiters limit themselves to sending resumes only for relevant positions, hiring managers often have 'way too many to wade through.

And while good recruiters are very helpful in matching the right people to the right positions, the good ones are in the minority - and they are still expensive. In my example above, getting the position by networking meant I could charge significantly more and bill for commute time to boot - while the employer still ended up paying less than he would have to a recruiter.

Left to themselves, most managers will hire people like themselves. People of a different race, religion, sexual orientation, etc., are at a disadvantage.

That will happen whether or not employment is through networking. For that matter, it applies to employees as well as managers - people often prefer to work for managers like themselves, too. And if anything, that should favor older job candidates, since the average manager is older than the average worker.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Mike Gershman:

Money is not the issue. These legacy programmers are screened out long before salary comes up. In many cases, the salary range is set in the job posting and older applicants are still not considered.


Can you provide hard evidence of this? Personally I think Jeroen's comments are accurate (although make no sweeping claims about it because I can't provide sufficent data), when they see a guy with 15-20 years experience they can ballpark the salary. Salary may not ever be explciitly mentioned between the two parties, but it is a screening factor.

I also disagree with your second statement. The vast majority of postings I see list salary as DOE. Can you provide data from an internet job board showing what percentage of software jobs list specific salaries or ranges?




Originally posted by Mike Gershman:

Your experience is typical today. About 80% of hiring is now through contacts.

This is new (most of the hundreds of people I hired came through agencies or mailed-in resumes) and disturbing.


This is not new. For example, in "What Color is your Parachute?" the author argues stronly for networking--in the first edition as well as today's edition. Likewise, he notes that newspaper ads (internet postings) are not very useful. (I don't have the book with me right now to give exact quotes, but check out the website.)



Originally posted by Mike Gershman:

Left to themselves, most managers will hire people like themselves. People of a different race, religion, sexual orientation, etc., are at a disadvantage. Decades of legal and procedural controls, implemented at the HR level, have gone out the window and we're back to the buddy system.


Yeah, don't let the WASPs, Indians, and Chinese guys working for me fool you. They're all really Jewish.



More generally, business--all business--is about trust. Some people lie on their resume. I call their schools to confirm the degree, I call their former employers, I call their references; even then it's not perfect. Most people don't even go that far. But if you're a friend of a guy who I know, and he says you are smart, hardworking, etc, I have a clear chain of trust. That is *very* valuable.

--Mark
[ December 13, 2004: Message edited by: Mark Herschberg ]
Eric Pascarello
author
Rancher

Joined: Nov 08, 2001
Posts: 15376
    
    6

Originally posted by Mike Gershman:

Money is not the issue. These legacy programmers are screened out long before salary comes up. In many cases, the salary range is set in the job posting and older applicants are still not considered.


Then how come I was asked what salary range I was expected as the first question in about 95% of the places I applied when I was out job hunting in June?

A lot of people laughed at my requirements for a salary and they said will you be willing to accept this range. I could not even live in Metro-Baltimore for that salary!

Eric
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
I've not seen a salary range mentioned in any job posting (except for CEO level maybe) for several years now.
It used to be common in the past, but for years now the HR person will ask candidates they want for their expected salary and then try to barter (or just choose the cheapest from the leftover candidates for the job).
It's a market today where the employer has the upper hand. Being willing to work for less than the other guy may well get you the job so it's counterproductive for companies to list a salary range for the job...
Mike Gershman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 13, 2004
Posts: 1272
I see many salaries posted, but it is on a members-only BB for systems execs. I also deal with agencies and they always tell me the salary range up front.

I am OK myself, but some of my retired former colleagues, who would be delighted to supplement their pensions with a "fresher's" salary, are really hurting from the age discrimination some of you folks think doesn't exist. It makes me angry that the law is being ignored by government and evaded by industry while other anti-discrimination laws are conscientiously observed.

Perhaps this real-world example will be instructive:

A friend and contemporary of mine who is an excellent programmer in many languages and was a PhD candidate in math was comfortably retired after a career as a financial services systems consultant. He recently decided that he wanted to write code again, so he made himself really proficient in j2ee and interviewed for a consulting job, saying he'd be happy to take any salary, even the minimum wage, he just wanted to be a programmer. The technical interviewer and hiring manager were delighted to hire him, but the senior manager heard about it and called it off immediately.

At this point, I sign off from this particular debate with the following postscript:

Remember friend as you walk by
As you are now so once was I
As I am now you will surely be
Prepare thyself to follow me.

[ December 14, 2004: Message edited by: Mike Gershman ]
Matt Kidd
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 17, 2002
Posts: 259
Originally posted by Mike Gershman:
A friend and contemporary of mine who is an excellent programmer in many languages and was a PhD candidate in math was comfortably retired after a career as a financial services systems consultant. He recently decided that he wanted to write code again, so he made himself really proficient in j2ee and interviewed for a consulting job, saying he'd be happy to take any salary, even the minimum wage, he just wanted to be a programmer. The technical interviewer and hiring manager were delighted to hire him, but the senior manager heard about it and called it off immediately.



great. I have this attitude and desire to program but am not nearly as qualified. I'm still screwed.
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 16055
    
  21

Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:

The vast majority of postings I see list salary as DOE.


If I wan't so lazy, I'd reach behind me and get out Copi's book on Logic to look up the name of that particular fallacy. I was always better at the mathematical part than the inductive part.

Mathematically, however, it's the difference between equality and implication. Equality is commutative, implication is not. p implies q does not mean that if q is true then p is unconditionally true.

Or, in this case, Salary DOE does not meant that if you have the E, they'd cheerfully fork over the Salary. Meaning hire you.

Offering to work for less doesn't help either. I've long since lost count of the people who've whined "Yes, you say you'll work for less, but once someody else comes along and offers the going rate, you'll just leave and we'll have to go to the expense of replacing you!"

Hmm. I just realized what I've said. Supply and Demand pricing rules don't completely describe a skilled labor market. Oh dear. I think I'm about to say it again:

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Customer surveys are for companies who didn't pay proper attention to begin with.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Tim Holloway:


If I wan't so lazy, I'd reach behind me and get out Copi's book on Logic to look up the name of that particular fallacy. I was always better at the mathematical part than the inductive part.


I think you read too much into my obsrvation. I make no statement as to the validity of their claim, my point was only in response to Mike's comment about salary being a screening factor. Specifically, I rarely see an actual salary given.

--Mark
Homer Phillips
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 26, 2004
Posts: 311
Again and again is presented the claim that one won't hire the old worker at entry level prices because the old worker will just leave when the market picks up.

1) Offshoring may mean the market will not pick up for decades.
2) No hard data has ever been presented to support this rule of thumb.
3) The logic embodied in the assertion indicates that experience in software developement has a value for which the employer is unwilling to pay. If statistically the candidate has greater value than the employer is willing to pay for, then the candidate should be a better buy than the untested entry level candidate.

By deliberate or unintended intentions this is age discrimination.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
subject: Gaining experience in tools not readily available