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Combating depression during a job search

 
Greenhorn
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They are my friends!!!
How many of them are doing work that needs a MS?
 
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Originally posted by Andrew Soltis:
They are my friends!!!
How many of them are doing work that needs a MS?



Needs? Do you mean if it was a job requirement?
I don't know. I don't even know if my job needs an MS and if it was a job requrement. Why?
 
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Here is the reason why US Citizen finds hard to get/change job, this is what Bill Gates want...
Unlimited Visas
 
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{
.....
We're just not seeing an available labor pool
}
What are the skills he is looking for other than computer security?
 
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Hi all !

Here is the reason why US Citizen finds hard to get/change job, this is what Bill Gates want... Unlimited Visas

So in the very same article we have deeply engaged statements that there are seriously both not enough visas ($soft can't hire enough skilled people) and too many visas (more IT people enumployed in average than in other categories).

I believe (depite I am an alien myself) it is time to take the only possible relevant measures :

_ totally eliminate labour visa quotas, emitting them case by case only.

_ never hiring an alien as long as one US is available with either one of these 3 criterias : no diploma but long practical experience, relevant diploma, relevant international certification (SCJP, SCWCD, ...).

_ only if no US as above is available, allow 1 alien visa with mandatory
conditions to inhabit in US the whole time of his mission + have a personnal local bank account there + being paid in direct (not indirectly paid back by his company) at the very same wages than US conterpart.

These conditions would allow to avoid all these stupid discussions which always conclude that qualified aliens are always both too numerous and not enough at the very same time. This way they would be just the right number, no more no less, and all possible H1B abuse would be avoided. And Matt Kidd, this topic starter, would have a job as all US freshers.

Best regards.
 
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I seriously doubt if governments can do anything in this.
I mean. There *are a lot of ambitious, skilled and hard working people over there in Asia*.
If US is closed there might be more outsourcing with the same result.
I've spent a lot of month in Chile in the late 90ties which is another rapidly developing market oriented society. I allways wondered why the smart and hard working people there earned so little money in comparision to people in my country. I was student then.
And now they are catching up.
I'ld be interested in effects of german industrialization (which did not start seriously before 1860) had on employees in allready industrialized countries like France, Belgium and UK. Though at that time trade, transportation and communication was much more expensive.
There is a theory that now suddenly there are countries which has a skilled workforce which can compete in work market. But capital for investment isn't growing at such pace. It is acumulated slowly through saving. So as there is relatively less capital per skilled worker, wages are going down for people who were allready working in the world market. The newbies from India or China are getting higher wages than before, of course (when they were not members of world economy).
All very theoretical and I have a job. Could earn a bit more, though. I was 2 month unemployed. Not funny. I hope any individuum who tries finds a job. This are no easy times.

Axel
[ April 28, 2005: Message edited by: Axel Janssen ]
 
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Originally posted by Eric Lemaitre:
And Matt Kidd, this topic starter, would have a job as all US freshers.



No, he wouldn't. US companies would just offshore stuff even more.

Protectionism is a great way to defend the jobs of existing workers, but kills career prospects for those wanting to get into the industry. Germany is a great example.

If you like 5.7% unemployment, look at Germany.
 
Eric Lemaitre
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Hi Luke !

No, he wouldn't. US companies would just offshore stuff even more.

You may be right but I'm not convinced at all : all which could be sensibly outsourced has already been, and it is a very tricky process which may turn easilly to catastrophy when poorly managed (half of outsourced projects are either a failure or as expensive as if locally made). What is more there surely will be sooner or later boycots of companies which outsource too much. I heard Accenture lost a huge civil contract with Texas when they discovered it was outsourced. This trend will surely develop swiftly. What is more, public opinion pressure is such in US that surely none of US politicians in place now will be reelected if nothing is done against it, it is already a political deadly matter and will increase as such. Even in France where public opinion influence is tiny, a politician trying to defend outsourcing is a politically dead one.

Protectionism is a great way to defend the jobs of existing workers, but kills career prospects for those wanting to get into the industry.

But this is exactly what US did for many many years (alien visa possible only if no US applicant), and it perfectly worked untill recently, not because of the system purpose but because it has become widely abused and totally uncontrolled (who ever heard of any rataliation on abusing alien or his employing company, while as their posts show we see many on present forum every mounth). Of course I have nothing against the aliens, I am one myself, even against their employing companies, but the system is responsible for too much prone to abuse and uncontrolled. The guilty one is the visa labour system which has become totally unfair, not the people. It must be replaced by something else which works.

Germany is a great example.

I don't think such protectionism applied to Germany, could you and our fellow German ranchers elaborate ?

If you like 5.7% unemployment, look at Germany.

I don't need to : I simply have to look at our own official 10% unemployment (more than 15% in reality) rate in France , much nearer and easier to look at.

Best regards.
 
Luke Kolin
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Originally posted by Eric Lemaitre:
What is more there surely will be sooner or later boycots of companies which outsource too much.... This trend will surely develop swiftly.



This is wishful thinking. Manufacturing has been offshored for years, and Walmart became the largest retailer (and largest employer) in the US by selling cheaply made foreign products. Retaliation against offshored services has been limited to a few visible government projects.

Fundmanetally, Americans couldn't care less where a product is made or a service is delivered, provided that the price and quality are decent. Recent issues with offshored help desks and other services have focused less on the fact that the serivce was being delivered from India, and more that the service was lousy.

What is more, public opinion pressure is such in US that surely none of US politicians in place now will be reelected if nothing is done against it, it is already a political deadly matter and will increase as such.



Which is why the past Repulican Administration went down to a resounding defeat at the hands of the Kerry/Edwards ticket, and new House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced her delight at working with the new Administration. Oops, sorry - wrong alternate reality.

In this reality, the Bush Administration ignored its own regulations by refusing to implement the new permanent Alien Labor Certification regulation after 90 days of OMB review, but did so right after its re-election.

Even in France where public opinion influence is tiny, a politician trying to defend outsourcing is a politically dead one.



A French politician trying to defend open markets is a dead politician. Witness the CAP and 12% unemployment. Dirigisme is great if you are an enarque.

I don't think such protectionism applied to Germany, could you and our fellow German ranchers elaborate?



I'm not German, but the German labor market (as is a lot of continental Europe) is quite regulated and employers have a great deal of restrictions in who they can hire and fire. It's no surprise that the German unemployment rate is so high - as is the French.

Compare that to the experience of Spain since the Anzar government was elected. The PP liberalized the labor market, and made it easier for companies to get rid of workers. This had the paradoxical effect of reducing unemployment from 23% to 13%.

Generally speaking, the fewer restrictions on who you can hire and fire, the lower the unemployment rate. I live in a state where my employer can terminate me at any time, for any reason (or none at all). My part of the state has an unemployment rate of around 4%. While it's easier to get fired, it's also easier for a company to take a chance on me.

Therefore, I'm generally against protectionism and labor market restrictions out of pure self-interest. Generally speaking, the more protectionism, the less likely I am get to employed.

Cheers!

Luke
 
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Even with the labor shortage, Microsoft plans to keep most of its operations in the United States, Gates said. While the company just opened a research office in Beijing, "our development's going to stay in the United States," he said.


What a guy Bill Gates is. He's been sort of a ruthless competitor when it comes to the market place. But he's got that love of doing development in the US.

Every other corporation moves it's work offshore in a heartbeat. Bill is free to move his work offshore, too. Bill just loves us/US.

Maybe those of you on the Indian subcontinent would verify that M$ is pretty picky about who they hire over there, too. I'll bet Bill hires less than 5% of the people he interviews at his India operations.

Suddenly, poof, some of the 95% he would not hire in India are perfectly acceptable if he could only move them to the US.

The truth is as Matloff says, M$ can't offshore all its work.
 
Axel Janssen
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Originally posted by Eric Lemaitre:

I don't think such protectionism applied to Germany, could you and our fellow German ranchers elaborate ?


Big issue. Will come back to it later. Germany is very un-protectionistic regarding companies making investments in other countries. Or towards trade. Ourselves, the sector we are still successful is capital intensive production which requires skilled workforce.
There was also lots of immigration from Russia in last years. A lot of russians can immigrate because of german forefathers or special laws for jews. Not few people I explicitedly like to work with are of russian origin .
And we are frontier to lower working cost regions in Eastern Europe.

In my and others view the labour market is more regulated than in other countries. Too much job safety - I don't have, some of my customers might have - does not make anybody work in an eficient way (to put it mildly).
I am pro some regulation of labour market, but here is definitivedly too much.

There is lot of melancholy that things would be again like in 70ties, but this won't happen.
Here is a lot of panic regarding economy, but people are still leaving office at 16:00 coming at 9:00.
Its said that in France its a bit similar, but with less panic and more relaxed attitude.

Axel
 
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But Gates said his company was hiring at all levels, from recent college graduates to those with more advanced skills. "But Gates said his company was hiring at all levels, from recent college graduates to those with more advanced skills. "Anybody who's got a good computer-security education, they're not out there unemployed," he said. "We're just not seeing an available labor pool."


According to Bill you just need an education, not actual work experience? He must have forgetten the young word. Anybody young who's got a good computer-security education,...

Then he has the audacity to attack the educational system. He thinks it is society's job to provide him a profitable infrastructure for his profit making enterprise. Wake up and smell the coffee Bill, M$ has to invest in to formation of intellectual capital.
 
Sania Marsh
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Dell is expanding its outsourcing

 
Axel Janssen
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I do agree in big part with what is Luke saying.
Don't expect anything from labour regulations.
Only a part of the workforce will benefit from it and for sure not external consultants.
And a not small part of the benefiters will misuse it as a cosy basis for playing horse hockey day in day out.
 
Axel Janssen
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Originally posted by Sania Marsh:
Dell is expanding its outsourcing



Simply don't watch news. I don't read economic news from my country no more. Too depressing .
Its yourself that matters. Economy is fiction.
[ April 29, 2005: Message edited by: Axel Janssen ]
 
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Originally posted by Axel Janssen:

Simply don't watch news. I don't read economic news from my country no more. Too depressing .
Its yourself that matters. Economy is fiction.

[ April 29, 2005: Message edited by: Axel Janssen ]



Even before they started offshoring their support, I wouldn't buy a Dell machine. I've used 2 of them at work, the tower wasn't bad, but the laptop was complete garbage.
 
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Originally posted by Jesse Torres:


Matt,

Can you please provide more information such as if you have a degree or certifications?

Good luck!

[ April 25, 2005: Message edited by: Jesse Torres ]



I finished 95% of my schooling by May of 2000 but due to life and working I didn't complete my degree until January of 2003. Yes it took me 3 years to finish one class.

I have no certifications because I can't afford the tests. I make less than $30,000 a year and dropping $150 for at test, just to take the test, isn't feasible with my income.

I have 9 months of IT experience from May 2000-March 2001.
 
Matt Kidd
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Originally posted by m brown:
wow, i this thread sure is depressing me....im about to enter the job market fresh out of school and then i run into this thread.....matt kidd where do you live by the way?



chicago. Yes I'm in an area that has plenty of oppurtunities but again....relevant recent experience is keeping me out of these interviews.
 
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Originally posted by Matt Kidd:


I finished 95% of my schooling by May of 2000 but due to life and working I didn't complete my degree until January of 2003. Yes it took me 3 years to finish one class.



Is your degree a BS CS?
 
Matt Kidd
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sorry for the delay in replying...I shifted focus from the job search for a moment to seeking counseling, not like that helped. Still looking though on that front...and the jobs too.

Yes I do have a CS degree but I'm beginning to think its irrelevant.
 
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Originally posted by Matt Kidd:


I have no certifications because I can't afford the tests. I make less than $30,000 a year and dropping $150 for at test, just to take the test, isn't feasible with my income.

I have 9 months of IT experience from May 2000-March 2001.



Matt:
If you live in the Chicago area; then you have to search very well to know what you are doing wrong.
I sure can point at one thing you are doing wrong - like 'claiming to be making less than $30,000 a year and as a result can not afford to take a certification.' The market is very very competitive right now and you have to prove to the hiring manager why they should consider you ahead of others. I am damn sure you can squeeze out $150.00 from the little you make to add this valuable credential. It is going to be difficult for any one to call you for an interview without any relevant experience as well as no additional qualification since 2003; the general feeling is that he should be rusty by now. You need to wake up Kid!!! the market is improving but not like it was in the dot com era.
 
Jesse Torres
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Originally posted by Matt Kidd:
sorry for the delay in replying...I shifted focus from the job search for a moment to seeking counseling, not like that helped. Still looking though on that front...and the jobs too.

Yes I do have a CS degree but I'm beginning to think its irrelevant.



Try SourceForge and search for an Open source project. I agree with Anselm if you don't have much experience then you need a certification.
 
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Originally posted by Matt Kidd:
sorry for the delay in replying...I shifted focus from the job search for a moment to seeking counseling, not like that helped. Still looking though on that front...and the jobs too.

Yes I do have a CS degree but I'm beginning to think its irrelevant.



Matt,

I think you need to find a copy of GUERRILLA TACTICS FOR THE NEW JOB MARKET . You don't have to buy it - your public library should have a copy.

I was in a similarly difficult position to yours many years ago and this book helped me. Unfortunately the tactics I now use may not be easy for you to copy (I use recruiters a lot, and recruiters are usually interested only in the experienced). But one thing I do in bad times is try to generate a lot of interviews - and learn from them. No matter how discouraging it can be to learn that you're not up to snuff, interviews can provide information which you can use. Let's say that I go to an interview and bilge it on (say) Java questions. Well then I swot up on Java for a few days. The next interview it might be EJB, so I swot on EJB. Or maybe I suffer from nervousness (work on that).

When I was in your shoes the Internet didn't exist. Most job ads were in the Sunday papers then, and ads for entry-levels were rare occurances. So I worked on other things like listings posted on bulletin-boards at college placement centers. I couldn't use their services but I could sure steal the listings and contact employers independently - and did.

You need to fish the bottom of the market - independent businesses who are looking for cheap kids willing to take lowball salaries. Another possible tactic is to look for these kinds of businesses - the kind which offer relatively low-cost services to local businesses. Then walk in or call and ask for an informational interview (the book will tell you how). I would also make it a point to attend any local Java user groups (JUGS) or Linux User Groups and network. Let people know you're looking for work and willing to work cheap. Bring copies of your resume and ask people to drop it on their managers' desk.
 
Matt Kidd
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Originally posted by Anselm Paulinus:


Matt:
If you live in the Chicago area; then you have to search very well to know what you are doing wrong.
I sure can point at one thing you are doing wrong - like 'claiming to be making less than $30,000 a year and as a result can not afford to take a certification.' The market is very very competitive right now and you have to prove to the hiring manager why they should consider you ahead of others. I am damn sure you can squeeze out $150.00 from the little you make to add this valuable credential. It is going to be difficult for any one to call you for an interview without any relevant experience as well as no additional qualification since 2003; the general feeling is that he should be rusty by now. You need to wake up Kid!!! the market is improving but not like it was in the dot com era.




excuse me???!!! YOU'RE SURE I CAN PULL $150 FROM THE LITTLE I MAKE??? See this is the exact insipid stupidity belittling my situation because $150 is so "cheap". Get some perspective as to what barely $30,000 gets you in a big city when you have student loans to pay back before you make a comment like this again.
 
Matt Kidd
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Originally posted by Jesse Torres:


Try SourceForge and search for an Open source project. I agree with Anselm if you don't have much experience then you need a certification.



1. I have yet to meet a hiring manager that even respects open source projects.

2. This board has told me certifications are pointless.
 
Jay Ashar
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Originally posted by Matt Kidd:



excuse me???!!! YOU'RE SURE I CAN PULL $150 FROM THE LITTLE I MAKE??? See this is the exact insipid stupidity belittling my situation because $150 is so "cheap". Get some perspective as to what barely $30,000 gets you in a big city when you have student loans to pay back before you make a comment like this again.



This might be helpful, new exam from sun and it will not cost you anything,
registration starts tomorrow.
New SCJA exams for fresher
Objectives for this exam
 
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2. This board has told me certifications are pointless.



I would agree that certification, for someone who has been a programmer for a decade, and have 5+ years of Java experience, is kinda pointless.

But what about someone with only a year of experience, right out of school? As much as I believe certification is pointless, this is one case, where it may be useful.

Henry
 
Jesse Torres
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Originally posted by Matt Kidd:


1. I have yet to meet a hiring manager that even respects open source projects.

2. This board has told me certifications are pointless.



Certifications and open source experience cannot hurt your chances of obtaining employment in any way, shape, or form. Instead, the only thing that they can do is help by showing that you meet a certain criteria of experience. Yes there are many on JavaRanch who claim that certifications don�t help. But then there are those who claim that certifications do help in some way. I strongly believe that a degree is what will get you recognized at first. Then, maybe, a certification, will move your resume to the top of the list. However, a certification is not a substitute for real experience. If you don�t have real experience, then try the open source projects.

Also, if certifications were irrelevant, then why are there so many JavaRanch forums strictly devoted to Java Certifications?

I am deeply sorry to hear about your employment predicament and current economic constraints that are preventing you from purchasing a certification. Nevertheless, things are improving. Keep your chin up high. Things will hopefully improve. Try to complement your degree with open source experience.


The best of luck to you!
[ May 31, 2005: Message edited by: Jesse Torres ]
 
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Originally posted by Jesse Torres:


Also, if certifications were irrelevant, then why are there so many JavaRanch forums strictly devoted to Java Certifications?



Because JavaRanch is the property of, yes you guessed it, Kathy Bates - the author of the certification book. So people who buy the book come here for help when they see the URL in the book. This website is essentially a certification forum (especially if you come in from the front of the site).
 
Matt Kidd
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Originally posted by Kashif Riaz:


Because JavaRanch is the property of, yes you guessed it, Kathy Bates - the author of the certification book. So people who buy the book come here for help when they see the URL in the book. This website is essentially a certification forum (especially if you come in from the front of the site).



not exactly. actually probably the furthest from the truth. First this forum is a java forum so having subforums on teh certification of java makes sense and to get to them you have to scroll past all the various java-specific technology forums. As it's a forum specific to java a lot of professional coders will frequent it for additional advice during difficult spots during the work day or for a quick mental break. Now would you rather have a general board cluttered with umpteen various certification posts or have them segmented off?
 
Matt Kidd
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Originally posted by Jay Ashar:


This might be helpful, new exam from sun and it will not cost you anything,
registration starts tomorrow.
New SCJA exams for fresher
Objectives for this exam



Thank you jay...I'm getting started on this tonight. Maybe if I have something I can actually work towards I'll feel a little bit better. Based on what this says I could probably be ready for this in a week...week and a half.
 
Matt Kidd
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Originally posted by Henry Wong:


I would agree that certification, for someone who has been a programmer for a decade, and have 5+ years of Java experience, is kinda pointless.

But what about someone with only a year of experience, right out of school? As much as I believe certification is pointless, this is one case, where it may be useful.

Henry



how does the achivement of a certification combat the "relevant recent experience" hurdle? I recall that some said getting the SCJP was akin to 1 year to 18 months experience. Assuming the same for each cert if one was to get SCJP, SCAD, and SCWCD that would be the 3 years neccesary for entry level positions but its not "real world" projects so why would applicants get looked at?
 
Henry Wong
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how does the achivement of a certification combat the "relevant recent experience" hurdle?



Quite frankly, it doesn't... But just because it isn't useful to clear a particular hurdle, doesn't mean it's useless. How do you know that the reason you are not getting interviews for junior level, fresh out of college jobs, is because you can't compete with certifications?

Not saying that it will solve your problems, but at the very least, studying to pass certification, or doing an open-source project, or any type of experience, can't hurt.

Henry
 
Matt Kidd
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Originally posted by Henry Wong:


Quite frankly, it doesn't... But just because it isn't useful to clear a particular hurdle, doesn't mean it's useless. How do you know that the reason you are not getting interviews for junior level, fresh out of college jobs, is because you can't compete with certifications?



Not useless, worthwhile. The time spent studying for a certification is rote memorization. I have yet to hear anyone, especially a hiring manager, give an account where they hired someone who just took an exam. In their minds its not applicable because you didn't actually do it. I guess not practiced would be a better explanation. The thing thats keeping me out of interviews is a lack of recent relevant experience within enterprise settings because like I said...open source projects are not respected. I don't see the correlation between doing an open source project when a manager won't give it the time of day. Which brings me back to the freshers/little experience folks: what do you do when you need experience to get the job that should require any experience beyond the strong base you recieve in college?

Before today I didn't have an answer besides "apply, apply, apply" but at least now with the SCJA I can show I've done something that is actually germane to what I want to do. But even then come July 15th or so when I pass I'll be on the other side still without recent releveant respectable experience.


Originally posted by Henry Wong:

Not saying that it will solve your problems, but at the very least, studying to pass certification, or doing an open-source project, or any type of experience, can't hurt.

Henry



Can't hurt, don't see how it can help...like I said above. That won't stop me from doing the SCJA since thats all I can afford now.
 
Don Stadler
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Not useless, worthwhile. The time spent studying for a certification is rote memorization. I have yet to hear anyone, especially a hiring manager, give an account where they hired someone who just took an exam



Matt, I think you are on the wrong track here. I view the certifications as a tie-breaker, a help. Let's say that getting a certification raises any your chances of getting an interview by only 2% (from 3% to 5%) on any one submittal. Still that is a 40% rise and will cut your search time a lot. If you are entry-level it's going to make you stick out in a stack of resumes - so it's probably better than that. It's likely to get you in the door to talk over a lot of other newbies without one. In a stack of 100 resumes it's unlikely that more than 5 will have a cert - which makes it a good attention-getter.

A few years ago when I was trying to overcome the "old-fart, past it" label I used certifications as a strategic advantage to show I wasn't jivin' about knowing Java. I didn't expect it to get me a job - and it didn't. But the SCJP helped me get in the door and also helped in passing those silly Java tests they give people. After that I could tell stories and let my experience show.
 
Greenhorn
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Hi Matt,

I wish you the very best of luck with your job search. I spent over year working as a security guard before I got my first programming gig.

SCJP will not get you a job on it's own, but it may help prevent your CV being binned on the first pass by the secretary.
We had over two hundred applications for two grad level programming jobs. The boss is not going to read all those.
He'll tell the secretary to get rid of anyone who does not have a 2:1. If there are still too many, get rid of anyone who does not have a cert.
Only if all those are no good will he go back and look at the 'discarded' pile.

$150 may sound like a lot of money right now and it will not get you a job but it may well help get an interview.

It is a long time since 2001. People need to know that you will be productive quickly.
That you are still familiar with the language. That you can still produce a good design. That you are familiar with popular tools.

We would usually pick a programmer with commercial experience over one with only source projects, but we would pick someone with open source over someone who has not been programming at all recently.

Have you built anything recently? Small app/web site for a local business? Database for Uncle Joe's hardware store? Kids/mobile game? Utility to screen scrape job sites?

Are you really a programmer or just a guy with a degree? We need to know that you are keeping your hand in and can still do it.

Good luck
 
Don Stadler
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Matt, you might also consider taking a testing job. The hurdles are lower and it would allow you to get your hand back in. You could start looking around for entry-level programming jobs from inside the organization. I'm rooming with a guy who did this. Just started his programming assignment today.
 
peter wooster
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The common wisdom of the 10 years experience folk is that certifications are worthless. This is mostly because they don't have any and feel no need for them. I've been programming in Java since version 1.0 around 1996. I took the SCJP and SCJD certifications last year. The result was that I now get clean complies almost all the time, I know parts of the language that I never use much better, and I can answer most of those stupid questions that come up in technical interview, such as
- what does a static block do?
- how do you force garbage collection?
- what is the Command pattern?
- how does the Proxy pattern differ from the Adapter pattern?

Certifications won't get you past the HR kiddies and the PHB hiring managers who only look for 5 years paid experience. You need industry contacts for that. The certification will help in your interviewing and programming activities.
 
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I remeber about 3 years ago I read on teh fron page of computer weekly ( alarge computing magazine in the uk) that there was going to be a shortgae of skills related to an ibm product ( i can't remember which) so i emailed the journalist and asked him where you could get training and how many jobs he believed would be related to this product.

of course he didn't know and was writing a story but its funny how even the technical press can make you believe things that may not be even true.

the myth of the massive growth and demand for IT skills is still being peddled in the uk by some ( mainly "computing colleges" and course centers), but the longer you work within it the longer you see the facts -

most it recruitment consultants dont have a clue

companies will pay as little as they can and demand as much experience and as large a skillset as possible

still keep trying as where there is a will there is a way, and gaining certification can make your programmming become clear and less error prone at the very least.
 
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