I am currently working on a contract and it'll probably be up in 6 months. I work from home now and I want to start preparing for a Java Developer job. I have 2 years experience programming Java web apps--no j2ee experience though. I do have a Masters and I graduated at the top of my class. I have been trying to learn EJB 3.0, Spring, and Struts2 in my spare time but I don't know if that's going to count for anything towards a job. Is it a waste of my time?
My questions are what types of jobs should I be looking for? What can I do in the next six months to increase my potential to get hired as a Java programmer or possibly even a j2ee developer? What salary should I ask for?
Originally posted by David D.: Is it a waste of my time?
Learning is never a waste of time.
What can I do in the next six months to increase my potential
Work on or start an open-source project. Continue to learn on your own. Develop pet projects. Etc...
Your biggest challenge will be landing an interview. Once you get into one, you want to be able to demonstrate your knowledge of these technologies, and have as much concrete evidence to back it up as you can.
What salary should I ask for?
I ain't touching that one. [ November 05, 2008: Message edited by: Bear Bibeault ]
Check your local advertisements to see what the current scale is for someone with your profile. Also google for Java Salary in your locale to get some hints.
Pay more attention to type of experience and skills you will be gaining, so that you can fast track your career and earn more down the track. Make sure that you get to work on JEE, where most jobs are. Exposure to integration technologies like Web Services, JMS, etc will be a bonus. Where possible, find an opening that will give you opportunity to learn sought-after technologies/frameworks. Check your local online advertisements to see what technologies/frameworks are in demand. In general good to have some experience in Servlets, JSPs, Struts, Spring, and Hibernate.
I have been trying to learn EJB 3.0, Spring, and Struts2 in my spare time but I don't know if that's going to count for anything towards a job.
In India Spring,Struts & Hibernate are very hot technologies for securing a job. I do believe that happens in your country also.
What can I do in the next six months to increase my potential to get hired as a Java programmer or possibly even a j2ee developer?
First start preparing for SCJP certification & simultaneusly buy a HeadFirst Servlets & JSP book to learn servlets & JSP(J2EE). I say this because 1) Sun Certification will give you a competitive niche in the market along with your experience(That's my personal experience after completing 3 sun certifications but with less experience than you)
2) Have a neat resume, highlighting your experience,prestigious clients you have worked for & focussing on the value you can provide to the company.
3)Highlight your experience & expertise on the domain you have worked so far for the past 2 years.
4)Don't highlight too much on your lack of J2EE knowledge. Mention that you know servlets, JSP,Struts,Spring in your resume because that will land you many opportunities.
I have 2 years experience programming Java web apps--no j2ee experience though.
Remember in Interviews they will want only answers but they won't check your ability in the Technology. Take for example Struts: Study the Struts interview questions, understand what is struts,its architecture, and lifecycle etc. That is enough. I know of people who say that they've got good experience in Struts, but in Interviews they falter because they don't know what is struts or its architecture or how is different from servlets etc. So be confident .
5) Also learn one database oracle, sqlserver or mysql & put it in your resume.
5) Be prepared to answer about your roles & responsibilities in your current & previous projects, its architectures etc..
6) Also important thing is you should be very confident in Interviews. You should know what you are saying, whatever you say say it with much confidence that the Interviewer should believe it. Remember technology is a ocean, nobody knows much & at the end of the day it's how you present your ideas or yourself with conviction that matters in getting a job( atleast with my limited experience in industry)
My questions are what types of jobs should I be looking for?
Simple & easy development jobs
What salary should I ask for?
I don't know in your country. But in Bangalore,India for a geek with more than two years of experience they are prepared to give 2.7 lakhs per annum(INR)(atleast for me)
Is it a waste of my time?
If you are interested in technology , it's not a waste of time. Ok david advanced congrats on getting a job of what you like! Regards