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Career advice needed

 
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Just got of the phone I failed my third interview, at least I got that far. I have to admit the IT job Market is too tough for me, while I have good skills and some good depth knowledge server side J2EE, J2EE Patterns and some Oracle, it really is not enough. I am not sure if it is me or the employers. maybe I dont measure up, or they are expecting too much. I have heard about some jobs being put on hold because there is no one with the right skills.
Well I have decided to try and change careers, the problem is that my degree is in IT and my work experience apart from a time in the Army is all IT development related. Does anyone have any good ideas about other careers that can be built on my degree and work experience. Is anyone hiring ex developers even as office temps.
TE
 
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You could try going through a hiring agency such as Volt. They would screen you and work with you in getting a job that would meet your qualifications and needs. I know that a lot of companies these days are only bringing in contractors from certain agencies and if you do a good job, companies will convert you to an employee.
The downfall of going through an agency is that the salary will be very low.
Good luck.
 
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Bellevuejava,
JavaRanch has a naming policy which is strictly enforced. Please read the policy and change your display name if you wish to continue posting here.
You can change your name: here
 
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Tony
I want to tell you a real and interesting story. A young girl I know had a little more than one year IT experience quitted her job about two years ago for some personal reasons. She came back to the job market in a bad time. She worked as a sales woman (commission-only-type sales) for several months, and she got rehired as a programmer when she was trying to sale office supplies to a company. When the company found out she was an ex-programmer, liked her, and interviewed her on the spot, then she got hired.
Never give up, be flexible, and wait for the right opportunities!
Good luck!
Roseanne
 
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My husbands went through the same cycle, for 4 months he was unemployed. He had some some very good interviews and some not so good. It just never clicked. It was somebodys brother in law getting hired or they had worked with other candidate before or you are technically very good, but it isnt right match. With each interview he used to go into analysis mode on what went wrong. He became so well versed with what the interviewer would ask, how should you answer. That at the end of fourth month he had 3 permanent positions and had 2 consultancy position in hand. So even in this market, if you go for it you will get the job. As he says, interview is an art.
 
Roseanne Zhang
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Aha, my type of attitude!!!
See here: http://bobcat.webappcabaret.net/javachina/faq/job_01.htm#invw_Q15
[ October 25, 2002: Message edited by: Roseanne Zhang ]
 
Tony Evans
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Thanks everyone for getting back to me, it is so easy to get into a destructive black mood.
Its just nowadays Employees have this what I consider a almost impossible wish list. A strong understanding of a language such as J2EE, a strong understanding of a database such as Oracle, as well as a strong understanding of UNIX.
All these are strong demanding skills within there own right, well I have a good understanding of Unix, Oracle, I am not up to a unix or DBA standard.
TE
 
Tony Evans
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Hi Roseanne Zhang I like your web site, you have a good attitude, but it is not the attitude we have over here in Britain.
You have one comment I believed in well used to: "Good skills are transferable", well not any more nowadays when you apply for jobs they are not interested in any skill not on the list, they are not interested in past experience unless it is in the correct field. And it must be the right number of years.
So if you have UML, J2EE, Oracle with Weblogic, don�t go for a job that is asking for UML, J2EE, Oracle with Websphere, even though Webshere and Weblogic do the same job. One agency would not put me for a J2EE role because I had Oracle 8i on my CV and they wanted Oracle 9i.
And the future looks even more frightening, with so many new technologies coming online and so many upgrades to existing technology, how can you choose which is the right set to skill up on.
It�s like a gamble.
Tony
 
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I suspect the root cause of your problem is
age discrimination.
I suspect you will find Matloff's Assertions interesting reading.
It's a little dated and a bit off topic. But you
will find reinforcement of ideas you hold that
people are denying.
For an IT job, IMHO, your best hope is to get
some experience on an open source project.
Is there any chance your > 35 years old?
 
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The reason why they wouldn't put you forward for a 9i role was probably because have other candidates _with_ 9i.
Job seeking is not a fight between you and the prospective employer, it's between you and the other candidates.
May I suggest you focus on improving your skills. If employers are asking for a developer with DBA & UNIX admin skills it's because they know they can get such people. Not because they are being awkward or unaccomodating.
my 2 pence
 
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"So if you have UML, J2EE, Oracle with Weblogic, don’t go for a job that is asking for UML, J2EE, Oracle with Websphere, even though Webshere and Weblogic do the same job. One agency would not put me for a J2EE role because I had Oracle 8i on my CV and they wanted Oracle 9i."
I had a similar experience. I was rejected for
a J2EE developer role because I had Weblogic,
but did not have websphere. Websphere was the
application server the client was using.
I strongly believe if you know one Application
server, it would not take long to learn the other.
I was first working with JBoss and it took me
just a day to learn weblogic.
Ebage
SCJP
SCEA
[ October 26, 2002: Message edited by: Christian Ebage ]
 
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Hi Rufus
i noticed a number of your posts have been about age discrimination.
i think you and i (together with many if not most intelligent life forms) will agree that discrimination with regard to age, sex, religion, ethnicity, height, weight, sexual orientation, skin color, and a goofy sounding last name ... are morally wrong.
i would like to think there are better informed people in this day and age, especially if you work for a big enterprise in a cosmopolitan city of a first world country.
i really think we should fight discrimination.
in my previous job, the oldest among my peers was a 58 year old. and he was reporting to a guy 28. the 58 year old guy did not like managing but was a damn good thinker. the 28 year old was not very good with details but a damn good manager. as for me i wish i could code until 70. i don't like managerial work. when i'm 70 i won't mind reporting to a guy or gal, 28. but that's just me. not the best, but i love what i do.
 
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Rufus, your Matloff's link isn't working, nor do most of the links related to his article... ?
 
Roseanne Zhang
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Originally posted by Tony Evans:
Hi Roseanne Zhang I like your web site, you have a good attitude, but it is not the attitude we have over here in Britain.
You have one comment I believed in well used to: "Good skills are transferable", well not any more nowadays when you apply for jobs they are not interested in any skill not on the list, they are not interested in past experience unless it is in the correct field. And it must be the right number of years.
So if you have UML, J2EE, Oracle with Weblogic, don�t go for a job that is asking for UML, J2EE, Oracle with Websphere, even though Webshere and Weblogic do the same job. One agency would not put me for a J2EE role because I had Oracle 8i on my CV and they wanted Oracle 9i.
And the future looks even more frightening, with so many new technologies coming online and so many upgrades to existing technology, how can you choose which is the right set to skill up on.
It�s like a gamble.
Tony


Everything you said is true, but the attitude. You only can change your own attitude, no one else. Therefore, do not focus on what other people think unfair, or wrong, or biased, or stupid, or whatever. Stop complaining recruiters or employers in UK or US. Do focus on improving yourself in attitude, technical skills, and communication skills. That will make yourself happier, which itself will make you have better chance to be hired. Just think who wants to work with a grumbler?
[ October 26, 2002: Message edited by: Roseanne Zhang ]
 
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Originally posted by Tony Evans:
Thanks everyone for getting back to me, it is so easy to get into a destructive black mood.
Its just nowadays Employees have this what I consider a almost impossible wish list. A strong understanding of a language such as J2EE, a strong understanding of a database such as Oracle, as well as a strong understanding of UNIX.
All these are strong demanding skills within there own right, well I have a good understanding of Unix, Oracle, I am not up to a unix or DBA standard.
TE



and now Tony they are asking fro knowledge about Java framewokrs usch as ofBiz and other new ejb aspects such as JAV AOP
 
Fred Grott
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Originally posted by Christian Ebage:
"So if you have UML, J2EE, Oracle with Weblogic, don’t go for a job that is asking for UML, J2EE, Oracle with Websphere, even though Webshere and Weblogic do the same job. One agency would not put me for a J2EE role because I had Oracle 8i on my CV and they wanted Oracle 9i."
I had a similar experience. I was rejected for
a J2EE developer role because I had Weblogic,
but did not have websphere. Websphere was the
application server the client was using.
I strongly believe if you know one Application
server, it would not take long to learn the other.
I was first working with JBoss and it took me
just a day to learn weblogic.
Ebage
SCJP
SCEA
[ October 26, 2002: Message edited by: Christian Ebage ]


ah I now I am goign to get flamed here but isn;t weblogic a step down in complexity from JBoss?
 
Tony Evans
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==================================================
May I suggest you focus on improving your skills. If employers are asking for a developer with DBA & UNIX admin skills it's because they know they can get such people. Not because they are being awkward or unaccomodating.
================================================
Yes but its when they ask for someone with DBA, UNIX admin skills and J2EE. And the fact of the matter is they are not getting those people. There are a number of jobs I know of that have been put on hold because despite the number of unemployed developers, these developers do not have the right skill mix.
This is because of the way most companies used to developed there project teams. My role was C. then C++ then java developer, I rarely had the time to play with the DB, as far as the companies I was working for I was there to use my existing skills not use company time to develop new skills. Today because of budget problems they need someone with solid DB skills and Solid Programming skills as well as Admin skills.
I am all for developing new skills in my own time, but dont tell the RecCon or the prospective Employer that a new skill was self taught they will rear back in horror.
In the old days it was a lot easier there was not such a profusion of langages, databases, enviroments, middleware products and a host of other tools. You could concentrate on maybe one or two skills at the most. Today to get a look in you need to be an expert in so many differing skills.
 
Roseanne Zhang
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Originally posted by Tony Evans:
In the old days it was a lot easier there was not such a profusion of langages, databases, enviroments, middleware products and a host of other tools. You could concentrate on maybe one or two skills at the most. Today to get a look in you need to be an expert in so many differing skills.


Sign, they are so true!
 
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Originally posted by Tony Evans:

In the old days it was a lot easier there was not such a profusion of langages, databases, enviroments, middleware products and a host of other tools. You could concentrate on maybe one or two skills at the most. Today to get a look in you need to be an expert in so many differing skills.


I attribute that to stupid HR depts. If you know EJBs and have used WebLogic for 2 years, and you are smart and competent, than frankly I'd have no problem hiring you for a WebSphere position. If you know how to use one tool, you can use most. They're not that different. Within a month you'll be fine. Within a few months you'll know it quite well.
Now don't misunderstand me. If I'm starting a new project with a new tool, I would want an expert in it, someone who knows the pitfalls. But if you're the 4th developer on a team, then I figure you can learn it as you go. I'm hiring you, hopefully, for 2-3 years. I'm not going to hire someone for specific knowledge, in most cases.
Another exception is for experts: a DBA, a sys admin, a security expert, etc. Even an architect should be pretty familiar with the tool, or something similar, expecially if no one else on the team is there to protect against mistakes from a lack of experience with it. But overall, specific knowledge has never struck me as important.
I hire people for what they can do, not what they know.

--Mark
 
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Mark,
Big time applauding here!
 
SJ Adnams
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Tony,
'these people' have been advertising these roles for at least 6 months. And I figure you have been out of work for just as long.
Had you got off your backside and taught yourself some dba and sysadmin skills you might not be searching for sympathy.
I doubt very much if anyone would 'real back' in horror if you had self taught 9i OCP??
Did that sound like a good kicking? Well it was supposed to be.
 
Tony Evans
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I have not sat around for the last 6 months, but have spent that time studying both J2EE weblogic and Oracle, I dipped into my savings and bought the software needed. I am not looking for sympathy but blowing of a little steam and a lot of negative feelings. I may be wrong but I feel that no matter how fast I run on the career track the pace just gets faster.
Cheers Tony
 
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Tony, you�re not alone. Although employed I too have, at times, felt that even if you pull out the stops and learn as much as you can you are still failing behind. I went and got a IT degree, spent the last 3 years studying what was considered hot technologies, obtained SCJP2 and SCWCD and I�m still in my 20s (just!) I�ve tried for over a year to move on as my current position isn�t getting me anywhere, and pay wise, I�m on what firemen are striking over. However, none of this really worries me.
We all know how tough it is out there. Logic dictates that if you�re learning all you can then it�s impossible for anyone to be gaining a great deal more knowledge than you. If you�re making the effort and getting interviews it�s only a matter of time before a job turns up. On a personal note, I�ve been having more luck recently with two interviews and my first unprompted enquiry from a recruitment type since early 2000! Perhaps this is down to a slight change in the job market, or possibly due to that fact that I�ve using some of the tips people have been giving on this and similar boards. For example; take print outs of your work to interview, look into learning less well used technologies, go an visit recruitment consultants personally and introduce yourself. Even though I�ve not got my next job, it�s definitely improved my mindset and I�m sure this comes across when I enquire about other posts.
I�ve also concluded that the worst case scenario is that programming in the UK and other Western World countries is dead as we know it and we�re have to train for another profession, or last specialise in some other IT field. So what. You managed to move from the Army into IT. I�ve move fields too and would consider doing so again if that�s what�s required. Just keep making plans and plugging away. Good luck.
P.S. Simon Lee, any chance of getting me a job in the City?
 
SJ Adnams
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Hi Peter,
I can't get you a job. I've plenty of recruitment agency contacts, but if you've spent more than a few months trawling jobserve your bound to have spoken to them already.
I'm not going to start giving interview tips. But I would say that you do need to demonstrate an edge over other candidates (DOH!). Energy (motivation, being keen etc) and Raw Knowledge ( for me I choose J2EE/Oracle/Solaris) will count highly.
The hard work WILL pay off.
 
Peter Crowther
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Cheers Simon. I was only being cheeky anyway and you�re right about the raw knowledge thing. That was part of the reason I�ve been doing certifications and will continue to do so. I�m sure they go someway to proving you do know something about the technologies you�ve put on your CV. Although I have had certain well known recruitment agency say otherwise!
Anyway, I�ve decided to leave it until spring and concentrate on expanding my db knowledge (current SQL Server and mySql!) This is the edge you talk about, and partly covers what Tony said about feeling it�s all a bit of a gamble. I can�t image that there�s a huge great difference between the fundamentals of SQL Server and Oracle, however, you�ve got to have experience in the latter before you�ll even get a look in with the City banks (that or Sybase.) Alas, gone are the days of nearly matching the skill set and getting an interview.
 
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