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Any hope for juniors?

 
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Just got the certification, but these posts are bursting my bubble. I am new to this field, and do not have 12-15 skills to add to JAVA on my resume. Is anyone outhere willing to share some wisdom on what's the best way to get a entry level job and what kind of job to look for.
 
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Only you can give yourself hope and future; no one else can!!! Do anything/everything possible to learn and get experiences, concurrent with your job hunting process. For example
1) Make your own dynamic website
2) Do volunteer work if you can find any...
3) Find a low-pay tech-support job, you can learn a lot from that tedious boring job.
4) Join an open source project
5) Get another certification
6) Do not complain the society/community/employers treat you unfairly, since everyone went/go through the same process. Timing might be a little different...
7) Use your imagination and creativity to add more ...
8) Do your best...
Good luck!
Need Java real project experience? Join our project team here!
[ June 30, 2002: Message edited by: Roseanne Zhang ]
 
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Originally posted by Aleksandra Harper:
Just got the certification, but these posts are bursting my bubble. I am new to this field, and do not have 12-15 skills to add to JAVA on my resume.


What are these 12-15 skills you seem to think everyone else posseses?
--Mark
 
Aleksandra Harper
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jsp, oracle, xml and things like that. It seems like every job ad I see posted has a requirement of either several years of exp. or at bunch of other things besides java. Do you have any idea what the most common(if there is such a thing)jobs juniors like me usually have the most chances of getting?
 
Mark Herschberg
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Frankly I consider most of that useless. Not all of it, mind you. Knowing Oracle, or Unix, for example, can be useful. Know JSPs, EJBs, Swing, CLDC, etc is utter BS. If you are competant, you can learn it. If you are not, you're not worth hiring. It's unfortunate tht most companies don't recognize this, but don't feel like the other candidates are necessarily better then you because it's on their resumes. Those are not skills, they are knowledge. There is a difference.
--Mark
 
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What Mark said is 100% true. Atleast, that is how it should be. Just because some has a long list of Buzz words the resume, it doesn't necessarily make him a better programmer.
However, in practice, when you are hunting for a job (especially when you are going thru head hunters), they always seem to think otherwise. Your resume wont even reach the client. I am yet to see a head hunter who like to test my programming (or other core) skills to hire me rather than asking how much knowledge base I already have.
I think showing a long (and relavnt) list of items on the resume will certainly help you land in job, but, your good programming skills will most likely make you stand out once you are in a job.
I think that also explains why people go crazy on certifications and the like, just to land in a job.
Not trying to discourage you, but just my experience. Hope this helps.
 
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Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
Frankly I consider most of that useless. Not all of it, mind you. Knowing Oracle, or Unix, for example, can be useful. Know JSPs, EJBs, Swing, CLDC, etc is utter BS. If you are competant, you can learn it. If you are not, you're not worth hiring. It's unfortunate tht most companies don't recognize this, but don't feel like the other candidates are necessarily better then you because it's on their resumes. Those are not skills, they are knowledge. There is a difference.
--Mark


How true!!!
 
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Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
Frankly I consider most of that useless.
...
Those are not skills, they are knowledge. There is a difference.


True, but I can see two problems with that.
1) It doesn't help the person who is looking for work (you can't change all the employers).
2) A lot of knowledge is gained by applying skills. Few skills and no experience in applying them results in little opportunity for building depth of understanding.
I think the previous advice about helping on an open-source project is reasonable; at least it gives somebody the opportunity to apply the skills they are trying to acquire. With any luck, they'll learn something useful to discuss during an interview (i.e. gain some knowledge from the experience).
 
Roseanne Zhang
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I somewhat disagree with Mark. Skills and knowledge are both necessary for being a good developer, and they are not irrelevant.
People with ability to master more knowledge in a short period of time are better skilled people too. If my previous boss (a real person ) who can acquire a new knowledge in half a hour, I probably need two days, I'm sorry to say, someone else I know might need two weeks. If you look at the knowledge lists of these three people, my boss would not put everything on his resume, since it would be too long. I probably would put most of them on my resume. The other would definite put all, if not more than, on his/her resume.
The length of the list would be about the same
However, if you cannot put any of them on your resume, what are you about to tell your potential employer?
If you don't have any, go get it! Show your skills to acquire new knowledge real fast!!!
[ July 01, 2002: Message edited by: Roseanne Zhang ]
 
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Something else that may help you out is to join an established local Java user's group. Besides the industry contacts you make, many of these groups also do community service projects (such as setting up web sites for non-profit orgs using JSP, EJB, etc...) which would give you a chance to gain some experience.
 
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Hi Aleks.
I think what helped me was a sincere and strong desire to be a programmer. During the interview i remained honest, when asked about a particular technology i did not know. But this is one job i'd do for free - if possible.
Today i have the job, and am averaging 1 new job offer every 2 months.
I'm far from being guru. But i love what i do and don't want to do anything else.
 
Mark Herschberg
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I was expecting a quote like this. Now granted, useless was an exaggeration, but I any good developer should be able to pick up a new technology quickly.

Originally posted by Reid M. Pinchback:

1) It doesn't help the person who is looking for work (you can't change all the employers).


This is incorrect for two reasons.
A) It does help you find work. You rule out employers who aren't smart enough to know how to hire appropriate people. Those are probably the ones you'll be less happy to work for.
B) You very well can change, some or possibly even many, companies. Thousands of unions are very good proof of this.

Originally posted by Reid M. Pinchback:

2) A lot of knowledge is gained by applying skills. Few skills and no experience in applying them results in little opportunity for building depth of understanding.


Very true. Experience is key. My argument is I consider a candiate marginally less worthy for having skills but no knowledge. I would much rather hire a better skilled worker who requires then 3 months of training, instead of someone who has the experience, but isn't as sharp.

OK, now I'll admit. I'm way high up on my horse here. I know I can afford to be because I am smart and skilled and have MIT on my resume. I don't mean to sound conceited. In fact, that's my point. I'm not the only person around here smart enough to do that. I think many more people can, and should "do the right thing," and not get pressured by the industry into playing their game.

--Mark
 
Roseanne Zhang
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Another point I want to make is:
The question is not how smart you are, but how you are smart.
People are smart on certain things, but might not be so smart on certain other things.
[ July 02, 2002: Message edited by: Roseanne Zhang ]
 
Reid M. Pinchback
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Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
OK, now I'll admit. I'm way high up on my horse here. I know I can afford to be because I am smart and skilled and have MIT on my resume. I don't mean to sound conceited. In fact, that's my point. I'm not the only person around here smart enough to do that. I think many more people can, and should "do the right thing," and not get pressured by the industry into playing their game.


Out of curiosity, are you working in industry, or are you working at MIT? In other words, are you actively in a position to practice this approach? I'm curious if, once you were hired outside of MIT, you found that you ended up working for the kind of company you had hoped for. If so, had your approached successfully screened out the not-so-good companies to work for?
[ July 02, 2002: Message edited by: Reid M. Pinchback ]
 
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Just got the certification, but these posts are bursting my bubble. I am new to this field, and do not have 12-15 skills to add to JAVA on my resume. Is anyone outhere willing to share some wisdom on what's the best way to get a entry level job and what kind of job to look for.


Ask yourself what you would be looking for if you were hiring someone with little to no experience for an entry level position. What separates you from the herd of other entry level programmers?
One strategy is to highlight your talents first on your resume. Talk about them in your cover letter as well, if you go this route. Note: Talents are different than skills and knowledge. Talent is the subconscious and timely manifestation of skills and knowledge. Lots of people know how to program in Java. How do you do it successfully?
How did you prepare for your certification? Did you pass on your first attempt? If you attended higher education, how were you different than the other students? Did you do any programming on your own for no particular reason other than to see how something works?
Until you land a job, it's a game of selling yourself. If you don't highlight something of interest which makes the employer want to learn more about you, you don't stand much of a chance.
Good luck!
 
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I highly recommend burning a CD-rom of some code samples. Give this to your interview. Include a few examples that utilize skills listed in the ad. Then include the most advanced project you have done regardless of the technology used...the point is you can go that far with whatever you work with.
I used this approach at my last interview, and I got the job.
 
Mark Herschberg
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Originally posted by Reid M. Pinchback:

Out of curiosity, are you working in industry, or are you working at MIT? In other words, are you actively in a position to practice this approach? I'm curious if, once you were hired outside of MIT, you found that you ended up working for the kind of company you had hoped for. If so, had your approached successfully screened out the not-so-good companies to work for?



I went to MIT as an undergrad and grad. That's what I was referring, to. I also worked at MIT, i.e. I was officially an MIT employee, although we were really creating a company which eventually got offically started--although I didn't go there. I have worked for a few companies subsequently.
I quit my job last Novemeber to take time off, relax, travel, and write a book. The book is coming close to completion. I actually did a few interviews recently. I get cold calls from recruiters once a week. I turn down most of them. Right now, I won't consider a company unless it seems really outstanding. (I will probably be a bit more liberal once I start seriously looking in the fall.)
I liked all the companies I worked for--well all but one, but I quit that one after a few months. But I was still young and na�ve back then.
Bottom line, I very much practice what I preach.

--Mark
 
Reid M. Pinchback
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Glad to hear it! Would have been a bummer keeping your horse fed if it was on top of an ivory tower.
 
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