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Results from my 1st Java Developer Interview

 
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Howdy Fellow Ranchers,
Here's the results of the my Developer Interview(Java, JSP, EJB, DB2 and Websphere(preferrable).
It went pretty much as John Coxey(Thanks John) described.
15-20 mins of discussing my background and types of Java projects that I have worked on. I even went to the whiteboard in describing my experience(Thanks again John!!).
***This is critical to the overall interview!!
10-20 mins discussing basic principals of Java: Polymorphism, Encapsulation, EJB(Session vs Entity Beans), How Beans are accessed from JSPs. The process of a request coming from the client to the JSP server. What happens with JSP vs Servlets.
Remainder of interview was general question and answer session. I asked a lot of the questions and allowed the interviewers to speak for quite a while. I always tried to tie what they were doing back to something that I had worked on.
So how would I rate the interview: I'd give it a 4.5 out of 5.0
Nearly perfect, I was relaxed and focused.
One problem is that there is a miscommunication between the Tech recruiter and myself. What I thought was $70 /hr is actually $70K a year. That's a huge problem because that would be sizable pay cut for me. Therefore it looks like I will remain at my current position for awhile longer.
But the experience was a good one. Java Certification is not a waste of time!!
Regards,
TMG www.travismgibson.com
P.S. Thanks again John!!

 
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That's great. I think the SCJP is worth it, for the purpose of transitioning from one development environment to another, as is your case. Having certification puts you a cut above others who merely list Java as a skill, especially when they don't have professional experience in it. The cert shows you have at least a good understanding the basic syntax and the core development environment.
Let us know how it works out. Also, I might suggest that taking a pay cut might be worth it, depending on how you feel about your current skill set, and whatever opportunity might be offerred. I see from your resume it's mostly in COBOL. How much a future does this have? I think we're going to see a huge- massive- move from legacy COBOL systems to Java. This is experience you can really leverage, but having 1 or 2 years professional Java experience might be necessary. You could go from 70K to 130K+ quickly. Just my 2 cents.
 
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Travis:
Where was this position located (state/town)?
You really got hit on the EJB part - I am still learning EJB and have never been asked about it on an interview.
$70K/year to start is not bad - that's about where I am at with the MS-CompSci here in Denver. $70/HR would be $140K/yr, and that puts you in the high end architect range 5+yrs exp.
Glad to hear you did good at the interview. Let us know if they make the offer.
Johnny
(jpcoxey@aol.com)
 
John Coxey
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Travis:
Having further read your post.
I would think you could really leverage your skills in converting legacy COBOL systems over to Java client-server. Especially if you have some architect experience.
GMAC Finance is all legacy COBOL code - and to me this would
be a major prime candidate for a conversion to Java. Even
if they kept the busy green text screens - and just rewrote
the back-end COBOL.
I know I would be writing all of my tools in Java (if I could
get an IBM-Java Virtual Machine installed on the mainframe). BTW/ they use IBM series 9000 mainframes I believe.
Just some thoughts.
Any comments on this or previous post?
John Coxey
(jpcoxey@aol.com)
 
Travis Gibson
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John,
The position is in the Bay Area, CA.
EJBs were very fresh on my mind since I have been studying and writing them for the past 1 1/2 months. So the questions were actually not the difficult. I have J2EE running on my ThinkPad so I have learned quite a bit about the basics of EJBs.
Furthermore since I have been writting JSPs and Servlets for about the past 4 months they were pretty fresh in my mind as well.
In regards to the Salary my only problem is that I am already making quite a bit more supporting Mainframe apps.
So it's a matter of do I take quick quarter or the slow dollar.
In a perfect world I could transition without a major pay cut. We shall see how it comes out. I got some feedback from the tech. recruiter and she says they really liked me the only issues they had were regarding my lack of actual real world EJB development experience and the fact that they still want someone who will 50% mainframe and 50% Java development.
To be honest I don't trust thoses figures. It could easly end up 80% mainframe and 20%(or less) Java development. I know how IT shops work. Whoever has the skill turns the wheel. I get stuck doing a bunch of EZtreive programs because I made the mistake of telling someone I knew how to do them.
I will keep you posted on an offer but I may be letting this one pass.
Regards,
Travis M. Gibson www.travismgibson.com
 
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Thanks John and Travis four your reports and comments. They were interesting to me
 
John Coxey
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Travis:
If they have you doing both Mainframe and Java at the same time, you should be getting more than just $70K/yr. Especially for the Bay area. And especially since you know about EJB and Servlets.
I guess it's another Valentine's Day. Snowed about 3 inches or so here in Denver this morning. Need to get me one of them Colorado snow bunnies
John Coxey
(jpcoxey@aol.com)
 
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$70K in the Bay Area is real low. Definitely push for
more. Considering you can't buy a shack there for under
a million - employers should cough it up.

Originally posted by Travis Gibson:
John,
The position is in the Bay Area, CA.
EJBs were very fresh on my mind since I have been studying and writing them for the past 1 1/2 months. So the questions were actually not the difficult. I have J2EE running on my ThinkPad so I have learned quite a bit about the basics of EJBs.
Furthermore since I have been writting JSPs and Servlets for about the past 4 months they were pretty fresh in my mind as well.
...
Regards,
Travis M. Gibson www.travismgibson.com


 
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