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Experience on your resume question

 
Greenhorn
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We study for certifications for different reasons - some people study for certifications to make up for a lack of on the job experience. I was wondering, instead of studying for a cert like SCWCD, maybe you should just write your own e-commerce application using SCWCD technologies? In other words, which would look better on a resume?

1. Sun Certified Java Programmer certification
Sun Certified Web Components Developer certification
Sun Certified Business Component Developer certification
CISSP (application security certification)
RHCE - Red Hat Linux certification
MYSql certified administrator

or something like
2. "I have my own freelance developer business specializing in e-commerce applications. I have created an SSL enabled accounts, ticketing and billing system for my business using J2EE, Spring, Hibernate, LDAP, and MYSql in the Amazon EC2 cloud computing environment."

Any comments welcome.
 
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IMO, it's a hard call. I guess either looks fine.... But looks is only the first step, you actually need to have the skills to back it up. So, if you have the certification, but have *not* used any of the skills since passing the test, or you have used a ton of technologies in a personal project, but barely did more than installing it (and some stuff past the examples) -- neither would help you with the next step. You need the skills mentioned in you resume to be retained and understood.

Henry
 
Tod Stroszer
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Yeah, I was thinking - ideally you'd want both, along with on the job experience if you can get it. But ...

If I did #1 - employers could say, well he has passed a test but he hasn't put this knowledge into practice on the job.

and if I did #2, if I actually did those things I'd be able to talk about it, and if the site actually looked good, and maybe I was making money off of a freelance consulting business, then that would qualify as 'on the job experience'.

Ideally I'd like to do both, though, I was just trying to compare the two from an employer's perspective.
 
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Tod,
While I like #2 better, it's not comparable. In your first paragraph, you say to do your own project (which implies it is just two learn.) In #2, you have your own business where you have sold multiple applications for customers. #2 is a job not a project one did on his/her own.
 
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Trust is the biggest factor. How can you prove that you "actually" created and sold these wonderful applications? Maybe you simply read Jim Bob's 1000+ Java Interview questions website and created some false experience similar to the interview responses that you are finding on these sites nowadays.

Personally, with so many resumes to screen, I always suggest ignoring the "freelance specialist" or "certificate only" resumes. Either way, trust and creating and building a sense of trust is the most important aspect in today's world.

There are too many non-programmers getting Java jobs simply by being able to recite technical material...this ends up being VERY expensive in the long run and makes it difficult for the real programmer, in my opinion.
 
Tod Stroszer
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Frank Bennett wrote:Trust is the biggest factor. How can you prove that you "actually" created and sold these wonderful applications? Maybe you simply read Jim Bob's 1000+ Java Interview questions website and created some false experience similar to the interview responses that you are finding on these sites nowadays.
.




I'd prove it by directing employers to my website with examples that they can look at. Also after having built all of that stuff, I'd probably be able to talk about it.
 
Tod Stroszer
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Frank Bennett wrote:Trust is the biggest factor. How can you prove that you "actually" created and sold these wonderful applications? Maybe you simply read Jim Bob's 1000+ Java Interview questions website and created some false experience similar to the interview responses that you are finding on these sites nowadays.
.




I'd prove it by directing employers to my website with examples that they can look at. Also after having built all of that stuff, I'd probably be able to talk about it.



There are too many non-programmers getting Java jobs simply by being able to recite technical material...this ends up being VERY expensive in the long run and makes it difficult for the real programmer, in my opinion.



I'm not sure why you say this. My original post was to ask if possibly creating real world applications for use in a freelance side business would look as good on a resume as certifications - that, like studying for multiple Sun certifications, takes a lot of work.

Nobody is talking about trying to fake their way to a job by memorizing technical trivia.
 
Henry Wong
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Tod Stroszer wrote:
and if I did #2, if I actually did those things I'd be able to talk about it, and if the site actually looked good, and maybe I was making money off of a freelance consulting business, then that would qualify as 'on the job experience'.



I think the key phrase here is "be able to talk about it". It is amazing how many interviews I have encountered where someone can't actually talk about an item mentioned on their own resume.

Henry
 
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From my personal experience, you should have both. Many group projects are mentioned as single projects.

Down side on projects
A project can be made in several ways. No one starts a project from scratch. Half the code is implemented in the form of libraries. Most of this is never exposed. So if you show me a flash website, i might be impressed, not knowing that a part of it was made by a tool.
Furthermore having implemented projects might make you a more focussed programmer with lack of breadth in knowledge. As in you might be able to make a website, but thats about it. What if the company or job requirements change and now they want you to start making applications? I know there is not much change bt there are many people who can do only 1 of the two.

Also how does the company know how much time you took and help you took for creating the website? I have a friend whose husband used to write her school projects for her and then train her. She could answer everything but never develop. I am sure there are many such cases.

These are the places where certifications help. They show the employer that you have the basic skills and you are not bullshiting or glorifying your resume for no reason.
Also not all employers are willing to visit websites. Personal experience. I had an online CV. I kept a counter which was stagnant for quite a huge amount of time in spite of getting a lot of interview calls. Quite frankly many of them dont have time i believe or they feel we are lesser mortals ...


I believe there has been quite a few "discussed drawbacks" of just having certifications in the posts above. But i would say, having extra projects or certifications will never harm you. If you can afford it go for it. I am currently working on my thesis. But it gets quite monotonous at times. That time, i work on certifications. Adds to the variety in life.
 
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