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Frustrated 'Java developer'

 
Alan Smith
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Hi all,

I know this forum shouldn't be for rants and frustrations but I need advice from industry/experienced Java people. I started a java dev job with a major multi national company last summer right after I finished college (grad program). The product I am on is a massive system built using J2EE, Spring, Hibernate, GWT, etc. Problem is ever since I have been there I (and others too) have not done a tap of Java. Either I have been testing features or maintaining the code of this tool that the company uses internally. The code for this program is 'based' on Java but its really a scripting language. The built in editor for this tool doesn't even match braces, its awful. The product is so big that there is plenty to do besides Java development and it was just bad luck that I was assigned to other things. I have told my managers in my 'goals' meetings that I want to work with the developers and get Java experience but it just hasn't happened. I am at my wits end because I have been there a year now and not gained any experience in the technologies above and it feels like a complete waste of a year. I was doing J2EE, JPA and coding at home to keep myself up to speed but after work I really am not the type of person to come home and code all evening! As well as that I just run out of ideas for practicing at home. I even have the OJCP certification but because I haven't had to use Java in work I feel like I am going backwards and that cert wasn't worth getting. Now I am job searching and pretty much every job spec has a minimum of 2 years experience and experience with J2EE, Spring, etc. Every month or two I kept telling myself to give this job a chance but its a joke at this stage. Should I just say it flat out to my manager that I am not happy or do I just keep hoping that they throw some Java work my way? This is my first industry job so I want to make it a success. Its going to look terrible in other job interviews that I have been at a major company for a year and not done any Java considering thats my title! Thanks in advance.

Alan
 
William P O'Sullivan
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Keep up the self-education.

That will help you pass any technical interviews that you may encounter.

As for your "experience", I'm sorry to hear that your company pulled a "bait and switch".

I came from a true "Agile" eCommerce job to my current one and was told in the interview
that they were "oh yes, we're Agile". Ha.. what a lie that was. More paperwork and waterfall
processes here than I have ever encountered. So I'm learning JSF2/faces, JPA2, JBoss 7 etc.
all while I get paid

I would reach out though, and see if there is a small project or someone that may need your
help and edge your way in (if possible).


WP
 
Paul Clapham
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Your job title says "Java Developer" or something like that? Then that's what you put on your resume when you apply for another job.

From my limited knowledge of hiring practices, there's a chance that the HR people at the place you're applying to will take that as gospel. Or if not, they will call the HR people at your current company, who will check their files and say "Oh yes, Alan Smith worked here for a year as a Java Developer". You say it's a very large company you're working for, so probably that's all the information the hiring HR people are going to get out of them.

Of course in your interview for that new job it might come out that you spent the whole year working on Proprietary Framework WTF, so you would have to be prepared to talk about it. But I'm sure there's a way to put a positive spin on your experience.
 
arulk pillai
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Do you have access to the source code written in Java, Spring, etc?
 
Alan Smith
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arulk pillai wrote:Do you have access to the source code written in Java, Spring, etc?
No, all the work I do is working on a proprietary in-house program. Its still programming but its more of a scripting language than Java.
 
Alan Smith
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Paul Clapham wrote:Your job title says "Java Developer" or something like that? Then that's what you put on your resume when you apply for another job.

From my limited knowledge of hiring practices, there's a chance that the HR people at the place you're applying to will take that as gospel. Or if not, they will call the HR people at your current company, who will check their files and say "Oh yes, Alan Smith worked here for a year as a Java Developer". You say it's a very large company you're working for, so probably that's all the information the hiring HR people are going to get out of them.

Of course in your interview for that new job it might come out that you spent the whole year working on Proprietary Framework WTF, so you would have to be prepared to talk about it. But I'm sure there's a way to put a positive spin on your experience.


My actual job title is "Software Engineer" and I have "Graduate Software Engineer" but everything is done with Java technologies here and knowing Java was the key requirement for the position. And your right, HR will literally say yes, he was a Java dev/engineer here because the comany is so big thats all they will have about me really. The proprietary software I work on is 'interesting' in that it has been passed on from contract team to contract team throughout the years and the code at this stage is a mess (even though it works). Eg. there are whole sections of code commented out with no comment, documentation or any reason why. So I suppose your right, its a positive that I have to figure out how it all works and get it cleaned up! Thanks for the advice. I am just going to apply for other graduate positions.
 
Karl Barek
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Alan Smith wrote:
My actual job title is "Software Engineer" and I have "Graduate Software Engineer" but everything is done with Java technologies here and knowing Java was the key requirement for the position. And your right, HR will literally say yes, he was a Java dev/engineer here because the comany is so big thats all they will have about me really. The proprietary software I work on is 'interesting' in that it has been passed on from contract team to contract team throughout the years and the code at this stage is a mess (even though it works). Eg. there are whole sections of code commented out with no comment, documentation or any reason why. So I suppose your right, its a positive that I have to figure out how it all works and get it cleaned up! Thanks for the advice. I am just going to apply for other graduate positions.


Does the code have tests? Ever hear of, Test by Commenting? Basically you comment out code to get tests to pass. :)
 
Alan Smith
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Karl Barek wrote:
Does the code have tests? Ever hear of, Test by Commenting? Basically you comment out code to get tests to pass.


No it doesn't have any tests and I have never heard of that
 
Karl Barek
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Alan Smith wrote:
Karl Barek wrote:
Does the code have tests? Ever hear of, Test by Commenting? Basically you comment out code to get tests to pass.


No it doesn't have any tests and I have never heard of that


Ya, it's not a good practice. I said it to be funny, hopefully not de-rail your thread.

It just came to me, the proper name... Comment Driven Development (CDD), the new and improved Test Driven Development (TDD) process
 
Alan Smith
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Karl Barek wrote:
Ya, it's not a good practice. I said it to be funny, hopefully not de-rail your thread.


No worries you should see this code its horrible.. int var1, string s, etc.
 
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