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Career Gap and Salary Expectations

 
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Hi Johanna & Fellow-Ranchers,

I currently reside in India as my geographical region and am employed as a software developer in one of the world's leading stock exchange for the past two years with my total experience in software field being three years. I've two questions to ask related to job discussions:

1) Is it right to show an year long gap when we were actually working (as an Helpdesk) in a non-IT firm for eight months? The reason to be given during the gap "is doing some certifications (of which we do have certificates and other valid proofs)". The reason for not showing we were employed is the fear the employer might consider us "unstable".
Note: This gap and work experience is excluding my total work experience mentioned at the start.

2) I'm currently working on Java technology and know expert-level JavaScript (which unfortunately is not used at its fullest capability). I'm solely responsible for development, enhancement and any business related issues for one entire (minor) segment. I have developed web-applications (using JSP and Servlets) for every major segment that handle trades during the peak trading hours. I have developed (from scratch) and therefore, am responsible for server-side applications (some are concurrent) for the data that other teams access during trading as well as post-trading hours.
What should be my salary as per the above details and if I wish to pursue a career in Java and JavaScript (preferably Node.js) (server-side) technologies, how much should I expect? (And yes, I'm open to learning new things...)

Thanks.
 
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Welcome to the Ranch

What were you doing at the non‑IT firm? Don't not claim to be unemployed when you were working.
What if the job was menial and didn't require any brainpower? Maybe you could say you worked for certificates and supported yourself by stacking shelves.
 
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Raghav,
Welcome to CodeRanch!

You say you worked at a help desk for 8 months. That's valid experience. Programmers need to be able to troubleshoot and communicate with people. I think it is much better to show that than an 8 month gap. Also, some employers will view a long gap as bad. Most people don't volunteer not work for 8 months to study for certificates.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Agree with Jeanne; I missed the bit about help desk.
 
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Hi Raghav,

Yes, you always want to claim your experience. The key is how you highlight your experience. What did you learn there? How did you add value to your career?

As Jeanne said, programmers need to be able to troubleshoot and communicate with people. Can you highlight any specific experiences and show how you saved the company money, increased revenue, or made some customer happy? Managers care about things like that.
 
Raghav Arnav
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:

What were you doing at the non‑IT firm?



The IT-firms that I got recruited had put forward a condition that they were ready to recruit me if I was willing to leave my certifications mid-way (it might be in order that I could concentrate more on work). I couldn't do that and I ended up in a non-IT firm.

Johanna Rothman wrote:

Can you highlight any specific experiences and show how you saved the company money, increased revenue, or made some customer happy?



Even though I was working as a Helpdesk, I had automated several processes that were previously done manually. Thanks for the suggestion and giving me an insight.

Finally, thanks to Jeanne and Campbell for their valuable suggestions.

And yes...anyone having any knowledge about the second question can feel free to post his/her views.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Raghav Arnav wrote: . . . The IT-firms that I got recruited had put forward a condition that they were ready to recruit me if I was willing to leave my certifications mid-way . . .

I think that, if somebody was willing to pay you to work before you got your certifications, you ought to have taken the job and forgotten the certifications.
After 1½ years' work, nobody would have asked about certifications.
 
Johanna Rothman
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I agree. Certifications might be useful for learning, but they prove not much for whether you can do the job. Your job performance proves that you can do the job.

Studying for a certification might be useful.
 
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