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to get a job you need to be top 5% of the pack

 
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That is what I am feeling after two rejects I received last couple of weeks.
Both needed a senior software developer. When I got into the interview, they started asking questions beyond my skillset(somewhat relevant, but things I haven't started working on due to demands on current job).
I have a feeling you need to know struts, JBoss, Weblogic clustering setup, database modelling etc to land in a job(in addition to your knowledge of J2EE, EJB, JMS etc etc).
It simply sucks.
Kishore.
 
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I consider myself to be an above average programmer. I strive very hard to learn new techniques, best practices, and new technologies. I feel comfortable calling myself "above average" because I actively work hard at my craft to continually better myself and then compare my abilities to most of my peers.
But I am a far cry from the top 5%. Even in my deepest moments of arrogance I might say I'm in the top 20%, but a few cups of coffee in the morning will usually help fade this delusion of granduer once I return to my right mind.
Above all other things you must have in a search for a job is persistence. Never give up, don't get disenheartened, take every rejection as a learning experience. Critically evaluate what you think went right and wrong and learn from it.
I know it sucks to be unemployed or even underemployed. I've been there, I feel the pain. Don't think that just because you didn't get a position that you're being told you're not "good enough". You simply were not what they were looking for. These days it seems like a search to fit as the right piece in a puzzle.
 
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Originally posted by Kishore Dandu:
That is what I am feeling after two rejects I received last couple of weeks.
Both needed a senior software developer. When I got into the interview, they started asking questions beyond my skillset(somewhat relevant, but things I haven't started working on due to demands on current job).
I have a feeling you need to know struts, JBoss, Weblogic clustering setup, database modelling etc to land in a job(in addition to your knowledge of J2EE, EJB, JMS etc etc).


Don't give up. You sound like you're still employed so that is something. If not formulate a plan to narrow the gap. They are looking for tie-breakers, and the fellow who sounds like he knows *something* will have the edge in this situation. So buy a good Struts book and do up a simple application to learn Struts 101 so you can BS convincingly. Disclaim any degree of expert knowledge but then show you've looked at it a bit. The better Weblogic books have a chapter on Weblogic clustering. Read and absorb a little of it. I prefer Zuffeletto's Weblogic Bible. Jboss? I like EJB in 21 days (Sams). It's not a JBoss book per-se, but has working examples complete with working deploy scripts for JBoss 3.0 and Weblogic 7.0.
DB modeling is a little harder. Get a decent Db book and read it. You may be surprised at how much you already know.
Understand one thing; the job market is very, very tough out there. There are a LOT of good candidates. I must have had 20 interviews over 8 months, perhaps 25. I felt I did well on perhaps 15 and would up with a grand total of 3 offers (two of which fell through for various reasons). Doing well in an interview therefore meant a 20% chance for me. YMMV.
 
Kishore Dandu
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I am pretty comfortable doing server side stuff.
It simply is the case that in my current position, we use our own proprietary framework for JSP and EJB interoperation rather than more uptodate stuff like Struts.
After going through the above posts, my feeling is to go ahead and research some on the latest technologies like JSF etc and be able to talk about various aspects that are being used lately in the Industry.
Thanks,
Dan.
 
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Two years ago I said:
- The people in the top 10% were doing fine (and could get new jobs, but were problably already employed and paid well).
- The bottom 20% needed to pack up and change careers.
- The rest ranged from having difficulty to employed by concerned about layoffs.
I'm estimating that if the current pace continues:*
- The top 20% will be doing fine, and even in demand (I've been getting more and more cold calls lately).
- The next 20% are stable where they are (although most companies will be cheap and won't give raises).
- Job opportunities should pick up for the next 60%.

*I have friends claiming that the signs are pointing to a serious implosion of the US economy. I'm not convinced, but let's just say I'm hedging my bets.
--Mark
 
Jason Cox
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- The bottom 20% needed to pack up and change careers.


Indeed, I wish they would. We still have a lot of hanger-ons from the dotcom days that simply refuse to go away. I'm talking about people who read a "Dummies" book or something with the words "Teach Yourself [X] in 24 Hours" and went out and got $50,000 a year jobs.
Granted, that's the point where I entered IT as well, but instead of hoping those days would last forever I went out and got certifications, took some courses, and worked very hard at my craft. I knew the dotcom boom would not last.
But I've seen complaints from others who entered IT at the same time about how work is scarce. I've tried to help a few and asked for their resumes and what they list isn't exactly competitive most of the time. Building websites in Frontpage in plain HTML doesn't make you a web guru and making buttons all day in Paintshop doesn't make you a graphic designer. Although I think most of the hack Java programmers have probably left the field by this point.
 
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Guys, when you are talking about percentage ("top 5%" would be an example), what do you exacly mean? What criteria you think are being used for ranking the pros?
 
Mark Herschberg
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Originally posted by Rob Aught:

Indeed, I wish they would. We still have a lot of hanger-ons from the dotcom days that simply refuse to go away.


Well, in theory, if you're significantly above them, it's not a problem. (This also assumes you only want to work for competant companies that know how to distinguish between the two.)

Originally posted by Dmitry Melnik:
Guys, when you are talking about percentage ("top 5%" would be an example), what do you exacly mean? What criteria you think are being used for ranking the pros?


I mean overall. You line up 100 people by ability and take the top 5. It's a combination of raw intelligence, technical knowledge, business skills (communication, teamwork, self-management), and general personality (no one likes a prima donna).
--Mark
 
Jason Cox
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True enough, but it doesn't help that so many unqualified people are out there applying for senior developement and architect positions. It's just that many more resumes for the qualified people to come up against. Considering that you can't really tell if a person is lying on your resume, that may mean that some people are getting passed over for interviews in place of someone with a "beefed up" resume.
I guess I get a little irritated because I know a lot of good people out of work and I know some very unqualified people who are basically creating unnecessary competition for positions.
 
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