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Career Guidance Needed for Java Programmer

 
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Hi!

I have been programming Java for the last 6 years, in Java, JSP, MySQL, Javascript, JQuery, in both frontend and backend.

I am thinking of changing jobs. Many job advertisements I saw requires Spring and Hibernate frameworks, something I have no knowledge of. My current job uses another smaller scale framework and I never touched on Hibernate because the previous programmers who did the application finished it and the code was handed down to me.

I have passed the Oracle Certified Java Programmer I exam. I am currently studying for the Programmer II exam.

Advertisements also said they require team leading experience, something which I have none.

Questions are:

1) How to I gain frameworks experience?

2) If I apply for jobs which is a developer role, then I have to downgrade my salary expectations because I have to compete with fresh grads. In addition, I am almost 40 years old (My previous jobs were not in software).

3) Would any company hire a 40 year old programmer who has no team leading experience? How should I gain experience? Should I even apply for jobs which wanted team leads?

I feel that I am stuck between new programmers and team leaders.

What can I do?

Please advise. Thanks.
 
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1) Practice! Seriously. Get a book and start using Spring on a practice project

2/3) You shouldn't be competing with freshers if you have 6 years in java. Even if not in the right skillset. You also say your previous jobs weren't in software though so I'm confused how you have 6 years of Java and no software.

 
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I think previous jobs not in software means jobs before the 6 years with Java JQuery etc.
 
Alan Blass
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Thanks Jeanne and Campbell,

Yes, other jobs were before the 6 years.

I was wondering if I am too expensive to hire.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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No, you aren't too expensive.

You should look around at lots of job adverts and look at the websites and see the sort of thing they are providing, just to see the sort of thing which is available. You should look at lots more jobs than you apply for. Just to find out what is going.
 
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