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certified, no job

 
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Dear all,
Is it usual to get certified and still not be able to get a job? I have read some posts on this site and I see that this is a common problem for many people.
I only have 1.5 yrs experience in Java programming mainly JSPs and Servlets, and I was laid off end of March 2002. I wasn't getting any positive responses from companies/agencies, so I thought I pursue certification and I only took 2 months to study and passed the exam (SCJP2) early July this year.
I understand, that certification is not a job guarantee but I thought I get more positive response from employers/agencies. However, nothing has changed! still no response.
After all, the certification states that it is a certification of competency. The thing is that I even get rejected for jobs requiring only 6 months to 1 year experience. As much as I love to continue with SCWCD and IBM's XML certification, now I'm thinking twice about it as I am pushed to believe that certification doesn't mean a thing
I'm just hoping that I don't forget Java before I am employed again.
 
Greenhorn
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Certification will certainely help you in passing a technical interview and it is an excellent learning process but it is in no way a "guarantee" of getting a job offer. Right now employers want solid real-world experience, not just theorethical knowledge.
I am in a similar situation as you - about two years of experience (plus internships) and have been looking for the past four months. My advice for you is not to give up - write some sample applications, mention in your cover letter that you have samples to show etc.
By the way - where do you find jobs requiring 6 months - 1 year of experience ? All the lead I have had so far require about five...
 
Amir Ghahrai
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Sorry, I forgot to mention that I live in the UK and every now and then I see an ad on some IT recruitment agencies requiring junior java programmers, 6 months to 1 year experience. probably bogus tho!
 
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Amir,
If you are tired of study for exams, then you might want to spend some time working on an open source project. Yesterday, I posted the following suggestion for another person that was looking for a good use of down time.


If you are going to be unemployed for a while, then you might want try doing some work on an open source project with www.apache.org. Your resume will than state that you spent your time developing code for Tomcat, Axis, Ant, Xerces, Xalan, or some other interesting Apache project. Otherwise, your resume could develop a large gap. Furthermore, a company that is developing a new product using any of the above might be very happy to hire a programmer with intimate knowledge of the technology.
If you are interested, then just go to the page for any of the Apache projects and take a look at the "Get Involved" page. For example, if you are interested in web services, then you might want to contribute to The Axis Project which is basically Apache's new implementation of SOAP. To get started, you first subscribe to the mailing lists for developers and users. The mail traffic is very high, so you might want to subscribe using a new email account on yahoo or wherever. To modify the Axis code, you just install the CVS source code control system on your machine and download it. You will need to install Apache Ant to build it. To get an idea of what code needs work, just ask on the developer mailing list.
The same is true for any of the Apache projects.

 
Amir Ghahrai
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That's excellent Dan! thanx for the response.
I did have this thought on my mind, a while back, to start doing some open source development, but somehow, it got out of my mind! so thanx for refreshing my memory
 
Greenhorn
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Hi all, I recently realized how much a certification is worth. I have over 5 years with Java, passed SCJP in 1998 and recently got laid off as part of down-sizing. Since then I have passed SCEAJ2EE Part I (mostly to set goals for myself).
I am taken by surprise when people interviewing me want to know what a servlet life cycle is or what a thread is. Mind you, these are not for entry-level positions or junior positions either.
So wondering if it is worth persuing further certifications.
Cheers
 
Author
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"HulaBoy",
Welcome to JavaRanch.
PROPER NAMES ARE NOW REQUIRED
Please look carefully at official naming policy at javaranch & reregister yourself with proper first & last name, with a space between them. Please adhere to official naming policy & help maintain the decorum of the forum. The naming policy can be found at http://www.javaranch.com/name.jsp
Topics posted by people with invalid names will be closed. Please register with a new name and this topic will be reopened.

--Mark
 
Mark Herschberg
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Originally posted by HulaBoy:
Hi all, I recently realized how much a certification is worth. I have over 5 years with Java, passed SCJP in 1998 and recently got laid off as part of down-sizing. Since then I have passed SCEAJ2EE Part I (mostly to set goals for myself).
I am taken by surprise when people interviewing me want to know what a servlet life cycle is or what a thread is. Mind you, these are not for entry-level positions or junior positions either.


I'll skip addressing the first part, because I'm sure most people here know my views on certification. WRT the latter, that doesn't strike me as strange. Many people exaggerate on their resumes (and some even outright lie). I always start with basic questions, if they do well one the first one or two, I move on to medium questions; if not, I stick to more basic ones (kinda like those online SAT tests which adapt based on your answers). I was having dinner with someone yesterday and he mentioned he's interviewed "architects" with 20 years experience who can't follow a basic sort routine written in Java.
--Mark
 
Unni Kuttan
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Mark,
Thanks for pointing me to the name issue (I don't necessarily agree with it, but I am sure it has been discussed to death).
I know people glorify their resumes one way or other. But my point is when interviewing for a job, the goal should be to determine if the person is capable of doing his job, rather than seeing if he can cram the whole Java API (or C++ API). I haven't been around long enough to know what your views on Certification are, but the way I look at it is proof that the person knows his basics. You think someone who can't recognize a Java sort routine (if it is written by someone sensible), can pass the SCJP?!
Well it is time to brush up on that swing API for tomorrow's interview
Cheers
 
Mark Herschberg
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Originally posted by Unni Kuttan:
Thanks for pointing me to the name issue (I don't necessarily agree with it, but I am sure it has been discussed to death).


Yep, go to the JavaRanch forum to find this and many other discussions about this site.

Originally posted by Unni Kuttan:
But my point is when interviewing for a job, the goal should be to determine if the person is capable of doing his job, rather than seeing if he can cram the whole Java API (or C++ API). I haven't been around long enough to know what your views on Certification are, but the way I look at it is proof that the person knows his basics.


If you do a search on: "Job Discussion", Herschberg, SCJP, and certification, you should be abel to fin the old threads.
I agree, the interview shouldn't be about cramming the API. In fact, that's my objection to certifications. I think many focus too much on the technical details, the grammar of the language, so to speak. I've seen plenty of SCJP's who don't knwo the basics of software. (Feel free to reopen this thread if you're up for continuing the discussion.)
--Mark
 
Don't get me started about those stupid light bulbs.
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