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How do you respond?

 
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Has anyone ever got asked "Isn,t Java only web based?" This question is asked by IT & HR people. This concerns me when my resume has the string "Java" in my objective line
How do you respond, discreetly that is?

------------------
Percy Densmore
Sun Certified Programmer for the Java� 2 Platform
 
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Try, "Isn't HR just paper pushing?" or "Isn't IT just BS-ing around while the work is being done by software engineers, and not IT people?"
OK, now that my blood's cooled off....
Clearly anyone who says this is clueless. If it's an IT manager, I'd wonder why. Maybe the company doesn't use Java, so s/he didn't pay attention to it. But if they do use it, or if his/her role is to be up on technology, that would be a big red flag for me.
But let's assume, it's an HR person, or a non-Java shop. Use this opportunity to educate them. Do it politely. It gives you a chance to show off your Vast Java Knowledge(TM), like I know how to run Java without a web browser" ("ooohhh, aaahhh" goes the interviewer).
I point out the Java is en entire virtutal machine, allowing code to be run on multiple platforms and why this is good. I'll mention how it made sense in 1996-1997 to integrate it with web services, but then go on to talk about how Java has moved beyond it. Talk about APIs like JMS, J2EE (application servers, not web servers), JDBC, Java file IO, etc. You can even talk about STar office and other products you know. Things they wouldn't think of as web-related, necessarily. They probably also have lots of other misconceptions, like "isn't Java 100 times slower than C?" And you can dispell these, too, with answers like "no, thanks to the JITs which came out a few years ago, Java is just as fast--and far easier to maintain." Again, be polite, and not condescending (my asnwers here are brief, and by themselves, may seem curt.)
If you have a laptop, bring it along, and run some Java programs (ideally one's you've written) as examples.
Finally, I would explain to them how in recent years web developers turned to Java. Java created Servlets and later JSP's. JSP allows HTML programmers to create web pages. Since JSP is Java (and it technically compiles to servlets), they are technically "Java programmers." However, they are not the same as hard core developers with CS degrees. Many of them don't understand basic concepts like data structures and algorithms, that CS people do. Explain this to the HR people. If you can help them understand the difference, you can save them time when sorting through resume's, and they'll like that. You can liken JSP developers to "Java programmers" as you might VB script developers to C programmers. They know a VB guy isn't a true "programmer" like a C guy. It's the same thing here.
Together, we can erdicate management stupidity--one pointy haired boss at a time!

--Mark
 
Percy Densmore
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Mark, those responses are very thought provoking. I realise that HR people really don't have as much knowledge as I thought. One forgets their background is not as all-inclusive as one would expect from a Fortune 500 company.
Starting now, my resume will be breaking Java skills into a simpler array of strings
Thanks,
------------------
Percy Densmore
Sun Certified Programmer for the Java� 2 Platform
 
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