Eric: We need to get some more information here. Are you a college graduate? If so, what are your degree(s)/major(s). If all you have is self learning - you should have grabbed the job. If you have BS-Computer Science - then the pay is too low -should be around US$45K for recent undergrads. If you have MS-Computer Science - the pay runs around US$55K-$65K - depending on the location. As you gain more experience - the pay naturally increases. ------------- How's about posting a link to your resume'. If you don't have a website to post it to - then just give us the highlights. Thanks, John Coxey (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hi John - I have an associates degree in science .. here's a link to my resume .. it seems to be changing everyday. I actually just got word that I'm designing/building a website for a relative's company and designing/configuring their network - so that should help http://www.geocities.com/EricNeuman79 My resume should be on the first page there.
Oh and the drive to the place was unbearable .. a good hour to hour and a half one way! ------------------ Eric Neuman Sun Certified Programmer for the Java� 2 Platform ------------------
Egads! You should have taken it given your resume. Sure it's not a lot of money but as your first programming job and with a community college degree, it sounds a reasonable place to start. I couldn't imagine better now for you, especially with the job market.
Well I still could .. I sent an email to the recruiter on Thursday .. late .. even if he saw it .. I have all weekend to think about it. Thanks for your input everyone - I'm gonna think really hard about it this weekend. If it was just a *little* closer to my residence! AHHHHHH ------------------ Eric Neuman Sun Certified Programmer for the Java� 2 Platform ------------------
Eric: Before I begin - keep in mind that my comments are to be considered constructive - and helpful as you continue you computer career. OK, Where do I start? 1. Call/Beg/Get the website job you were just offered. Given your level of education - this will be one hell of an opportunity to get your foot in the door. Who cares about the commute. Move if you have to. Guaranteed, if you get into the industry ($50-$80/yr) you will be moving alot. At least travelling a lot. 2. Easy way to convert between hourly and yearly. Take the hourly amount - double it - and add three zeros. Example: $15/HR -> 15*2 = 30 -> = $30,000/yr. Example: $18/HR -> 18*2 = 36 -> = $36,000/yr. 3. On your resume - get rid of / delete the references. Put them on another sheet - and at interview time - you can put them in with the application you will have to fill out. Let the employer ask you for references. They know this - it's the game. Reason: You do not want to "burn out" references. Not that anyone calls - but you never know.
3A. No one cares about your guitar playing - or anything personal about you. It actually hurts the resume. Get rid of it. You may love guitar playing. I love/adore fly fishing. But it does not belong on a resume. 3B. To formally end your resume. You can put "References On Request" at bottom and center. This indicates to the reader that they are at the end of the resume. 4. Get the job - get your butt back in college - and get a BS-InfoSci or BS-CompSci. And not at a community college - it's gotta be a real one. This will help you out a lot more than just certifications. Community College experience is great - but it's used more to get you a leg up on going to a 4 year college. Considered by the industry to be more preparation for 4-yr college/education than anything. 5. Certifications with CS Degree will be a major plus - and will especially help you grab an internship - in a major way.
5A. The reason I stress a college education is this: - It's part of "paying the price". The first thing recuiters ask "after b.s.ing about the weather" is your college education. Only about 10% of them ask for QPA. All will eventually ask for transcripts - usually on 1st day of work. Granted, 80% of the courses you take in college are going to either have nothing to do with Comp. Sci. or are going to be so abstract and theoretical that they have no bearing on the real world. But, in America, corporate culture dictates that you have a degree. Naturally, there are going to be exceptions to the college education rule. But I am comming at you from my own personal experiences. BTW/ I am on my 4th round of doing interviews in 5 years. 6. The job market is slow right now. I said slow - not dead. Another reason you should grab the job. 7. $30-$35/yr in Illinois - if not in Chicago is very dooable. Especially if you are single. If they pay for college - you may want to go contract to permanent hire. 8. Remember, the c.s. field is a career - not a job. Meaning, you gotta work your way up. At your level, there are a ton of college grads, certification types, and of course the H1B folks competing for these jobs. So grab the job. That's my advice. ----------------------- To put things in perspective. I have 5 years in this field (1 PC Production Support, 2 IBM Mainframe Support, 1 yr teaching Java, 1 yr programming Java). I also have 2 - BS Degrees (CS and Math) and 1 - MS (CS) Degree. I am in middle of job search - and it's tough - even for guys like me. Hope this helps. Have fun. John Coxey (email@example.com)
[This message has been edited by John Coxey (edited April 13, 2001).]
It isn't a contract position .. it's direct hire .. I don't really know much more beyond that .. I suppose I could interview for it and if I really have a problem with it just turn it down then rather than right this minute.. Thanks for the info about the resume .. I will definetly go through it again this weekend and make the necessary changes. What's with all these positions where if you have 3 years Java experience you can make good money? I see it all the time! Obviously I don't apply but what about those that do in fact have the 3 years .. it isn't a smoke screen or a hook/switch! Keep talking! ------------------ Eric Neuman Sun Certified Programmer for the Java� 2 Platform ------------------
John, is your experience that employers ask for transcripts on the first day of work? I've never been asked for transcripts, nor GPA. I think it's common for most new grads probably but once one has a couple of years experience, it's not considered too important. If transcripts were material, I'd think they'd want them before an offer of employment were made, not on the first day (???) Maybe it varies somewhat depending on from which school one graduated. Most employers do probably check that one did get a degree- that is public information that can be checked with a 10 second phone call (name& SS#)- but anything more requires privacy rights waivers, something a lot of people (including me) prefer not to give on principle. Same for credit reports and drug testing and so on. Anything that is public like criminal record is fine with me however. I know some people feel such reservations are petty. While I generally agree that getting a degree in CS (or similar) is a good thing, I've also met more than my fair share of great programmers who were self taught. Some really great people with degrees in things like music, anthropology, and especially philosophy. Or even no degree at all. Big corporations though do indeed prefer the exactly right degree with good certifications and so on. I've avoided such employers though, too much stuffiness for my tastes!
[This message has been edited by M Prembroke (edited April 13, 2001).]
I live in the Chicagoland area too, as a Java developer. Actually Eric is in a suburb of Chicago. $35,000/year is okay if you live with someone. parents, roommate, etc. if not, it will be difficult to survive on that here. Your offer was probably low because you did not have a BS. I know someone who just got hired out of college as a C++ programmer, right there in Naperville for $55,000/yr. Try to manage it. Once you get a little bit of experience and some more education/learning, things will get better. Good luck! Bosun
Bosun (SCJP, SCWCD).
So much trouble in the world -- Bob Marley
Well the weird thing was he didn't have my resume with him .. I talked to him and went downtown to meet him in October .. back when my focus was networking. When I called on Thursday, he didn't really remember me .. I don't even think he had a copy of my resume (I can't remember) .. so he offered me the $15-18 per hour WITHOUT really knowing what I had as far as education (besides the cert). I talked with my Dad some about it .. he said I should have at least interviewed for it .. but trying to "go back" after I "passed it up" isn't recommended. I just announced my availability on Dice .. that brought in quite a few phone calls last October (I know the market has slowed quite a bit since then) just by doing that .. I just started looking too .. ug lol Thanks for the tips everyone. ------------------ Eric Neuman Sun Certified Programmer for the Java� 2 Platform ------------------
Eric: Just call up the bozo and get the interview. Don't worry about rejection - again, who cares. Rejection happens so much in the job search game, that you just toss it over your shoulder and go on to the next one. I have job posts elsewhere on this forum (20-30 posts down), that explain the hiring/job search game. Right now, you are just getting into the job search game. After awhile you get to be a pro at the interview/job search game. ------ Again, call this guy up - get an interview - and go for it. One of the major rules of a job search - TALK TO EVERYONE / ANYONE. I don't care if they are headhunters or not. I realize 90% of them are not going to be able to help you. But you occasionally find a gem with these guys. Since you are so new to this game... (and yes, we all started at this point sometime in our career)... you need to go on as many interviews as possible to get your "interview smarts". I would recommend "Knock Em Dead" by Martin Yate. This is a classic interviewing book. Can get at Barnes/Nobles. He has a resume book out too - but not as good as the interview book. ------------- Regarding the 3+ years experience. I saw this game played in the trucking industry 15 yrs ago when I was an owner-operator. Companies do this for two reasons. If they said entry-level, they would have 1000+ (seriously) resume's the next day. About half to three-quarters would be H1B. So they ask 3+ years. Since 3+ year Java programmers are hard to find - they go to recruiters. This is the reason why recruiters can't help you as much as if you had 3+ years experience. Now, it's important that you make contact with recruiters - even at this stage of the game. Remember, those that follow up with you, talk to you as a human being, and offer more than the 30 second advice column. These are the folks you will want to talk to 3 or 4 years down the road. See - you separated the winners from the loosers. Again, it's the game. ------------ Let us know how things went. No matter how they went. If you get rejected - learn from the experience. Be sure to wear a suite and tie and of course good leather shoes. Play the game...you just might get surprised. Good luck, John Coxey (firstname.lastname@example.org) [This message has been edited by John Coxey (edited April 13, 2001).]
M Prembroke: Regarding grades. That occaisionally comes up during the interview. It's kind of worthless, because in grad school only classes with a B or better count - so everyone has a 3.00+ QPA. Regarding transcripts. Everytime I was hired, they said to bring a copy of them to 1st day of work. I'd poop if anyone ever looked at them - as my fist semester at Pitt was like 18 credits of solid "F". And I took 1st semester calculus 5 times (failed it 4 times in a row - then got A+ on my 5th try). --------- The QPA question came up alot when I was looking for work after I completed the BS-Applied Math degree. And when I got the BS-Comp Sci degree it only came up at Lockheed Marting. But since then - it only came up once in a while. And with the MS degree - almost never. As soon as they hear 3.85 QPA for MS degree - they don't go on to the BS degress. (Which are 3.4 for CS and 3.2 for MATH). I don't put the QPA on my resume - as I am trying to escape the "just graduated from college" appearance. --------- Regarding the job search. Today ends week #2. I have some things in the works - so will let everyone know as soon as things go either way. I have to go to Utah most of next week for fly-fishing trip. Figured I came all the way out here - so I am going to go on at least one major fly fishing trip before I get relocated to the Sahara Desert. Don't laugh - Lucent wanted to send me there for 6 weeks. Was working with Kingdom of Saudi Arabia telephone system. Later John Coxey (email@example.com)
M Prembroke: Just re-reading your post. My experience has been with the big boys (Lucent, EDS, AMS, Osh-Kosh). When I interviewed - whether on campus or real-world, most of my interviews were with Fortune 500 companies. Most of the smaller outfits I have spoken to wanted lots and lots of experience. They can't afford to train you and get you up to speed. So I generally hit the big boys. Although, I will talk to anyone. ---- As you mentioned. The big outfits want to see that piece of paper. My dad worked for the Maytag, Co (sell washer/dryers) for 38 years. My grandfather for 40+ years. When I left trucking, I thought I could get a job (as a salesman) with them. With 80+ years of family experience with this outfit - they would not talk to me. No degree - No job. Period, end of discussion. Good old corporate America. Now that I have my college education - they call. But with the tech degrees - I really don't want to be a salesman any longer. ---------- Another thing about big companies. If you notice, the interviews are almost exactly alike. It gets to the point that you know what they are going to ask - even before they ask it. And you know about 20 seconds into the interview whether you have a chance or not. I "go for it" no matter what I feel. This is why I suggest to Eric that he goes on as many interviews as possible. Unfortunately, I had to learn the game the hard way. Was totally terrified at the prospect of looking for technical work when I first started. And yes, I totally froze up at those first couple of interviews. And yes, I kicked the cat (he is still around - 15 this summer). And yes, I have stacks of rejection letters (back when they used to send them). Hopefully, the advice here will ease the job search jitter/fears a little. Johnny (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Back in those days, we called them delayed flush letters. Typical writing... "At this time, we do not have a position that fits your skills. However, we will keep your resume in our database and if a position does come up that fits your skill sets, we will give you a call." Yeah right. -Peter