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Need career advice

 
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I am a Java developer who was laid off about 3 weeks ago, and I am at a crossroads. All my development experience has been in Windows thus far. My question is this: would it be better to continue on and get my Java Developer certification first, or work on a Linux certification so I don't exclude myself from jobs that require Unix? I realize that Linux is not Unix, but is close enough that I could learn Unix relatively easily.
Thanks for the advice.
 
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I don't advise either option. I think certification is next to useless (but that's another discussion, so let's not rehash it here--search the forum if you want more info). I also would never care what OS you've worked on before if you're doing Java.
I'm not syaing it will never matter, just that if you're smart, you can learn what you need to work in the OS in 2-3 weeks. Most Java work, of course, isn't OS dependent. (Note: I said most, not all.) Maybe I wouldn't want an entire team of people who have only done Windows working in a Unix shop (or vice versa); or maybe I have some application which is closely tied into the OS, but generally, probably for better than 95% of the jobs out there, it doesn't matter.
What other options do you have?

--Mark
 
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Alex:
Regarding your question: Get Linux Certification vs. SCJD Certification. Personally, I would grab te SCJD.
By itself, it won't get you the job. But it's another thing you can add to your resume' to separate yourself from the herd.
The concentration during the tehcnical interview process will be 90% Java skills and 10% operating skills. More like 100% Java skills and 0% operating systems skills.
You can grab the basics of unix/linux in 30 minutes. And can grab the rest on the fly. The "vi" editor is what is going to be the bear - but I suppose there are easier unix/linix editors out there.
----
If you have BS-CompSci degree (USA College) and SCJP2 exam, and a year or two of Java experience, and are somewhat open to relocation - you should be able to find a Java gig in the next 6 to 8 weeks.
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If you do not have your college degree - it's going to be a rough ride. Sorry, but that's what I am seeing in the market these days. And the SCJP2 and SCJD certifications will not take the place of a college degree - at least in the mind of corporate america.
John Coxey
(jpcoxey@aol.com)
 
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To add to this, I'd advise you to be searching rigorously for the next job while getting these certifications. Better to take some time off when you've been hired and can take it as vacation.
 
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What's the value of a MIS degree? Plus if I'm java certified? I've taken all the CS classes, just didn't major in it b/c of the general education classes. Consequently, I have a minor in CS and a major in MIS (if I were to do it all over again, I would have switched the two).
But it seems at my school (UofArizona), recruiters especially look out for MIS majors with technical background. So I'm confident (but somewhat shaken by all these jobless ranchers), but I wanted to see how the market for someone like me is outside of my school's CareerServices. Thanks

[This message has been edited by Christophe Lee (edited July 13, 2001).]
 
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There're two purposes of Java certification, among others, that can help you to find a job.
Firstly, certifications helps your resume to be selected from the pile of similar looking ones. Let's be honest. There are thousands jobless unemployed Java coders out there (some of them are in India and China) hunting for job at this very moment. The next day after we posted an Java job ad on dice, out HR manager has ran out of disk space : his inbox was overflown with letters and resumes! You certify to get ahead of the crowd, to have your resume be selected.
Secondly, on a technical interview, if questioned about Java, you can skip the basic questions and proceed directly to the stuff that matters (and thus save yourself from possible humiliation if asked on topics that you haven't used for awhile). Sometimes it may help to make a 180 turn : that is, you instead of them the one who's asking questions, and offering topics for discussions.
 
Alex Belt
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I appreciate all the advice. I have been looking very hard for the last 2-3 months and the best I've been able to do in Colorado is being turned down for a couple of Lotus Notes contracts for various reasons. I am not looking to relocate yet, but if something doesn't show up in the next 3 weeks or so, I'll have no choice but to relocate.
I only have a few months Java/J2EE experience, most of my IT experience is Lotus Notes/Domino, which I want to leave behind.
Thanks,
Alex
 
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