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D.W. Smith

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since Feb 11, 2007
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Recent posts by D.W. Smith

I'm still amazed by how similar this guy's situation is to mine.
12 years ago

Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
No, they're 100% truthful, but you've effectively said, "I want to do math, I worked hard at learning to farm, why won't they let me do math now?" That an extreme example, and a somewhat fictitious one. A better one might be, "I got a 4.0 in physics, why can't I get my big break as an actor." You have simply defined "good job" to be one which requires skills you have selected to ignore.

Let me ask you this, what did you hope to get by posting this thread? Advice on how to change? A fairy godmother who will wave a wand and give you a job for which you admit you lack the skills to get? Company that misery so enjoys? Or something else all together?

....

Exactly, and the point you're missing is that in many companies writing Java code is not a solo activity, but one which requires teamwork, communication skills, etc.

If you want a job which doesn't emphasize these skills, find a company where you are one of a handful of programmers in a support role on some non-critical project. You'll get little recognition and little opportunity for advancement, but you'll also get fewer people who will want/need to spend time with you.

Let me reiterate: 98% of the time software development is a team oriented activity (when done right).



Mark, it's been almost 2 weeks since the last time you replied to my messages and your words are still haunting me. One thing that I want to repeat and emphasize is that I don't have a problem with teamwork. I have a problem with public speaking and socializing. It's not that, as you suggested, I am "afraid" of public speaking. The problem is that I am inarticulate in speech. I also have very underdeveloped social skills to the point that I have a hard time networking and performing basic human activities such as making friends. Those are deficits that can be improved upon with hard work, but my dislike for such activities is such that it's been suggested by at least one mental health professional (who also happens to be a friend of mine) that the foundations for my behavior could be psychological. I don't believe a lot in all this psychobabble, so it might as well be that I am unintelligent, and that the only reason I did reasonably well in school is because the educational system has been dumbed down so much in recent years. I don't know how academics at your alma matter compare to those at the school I went to, but my college coursework, with the exception of that from graduate level courses, always felt like an extension of the coursework I did in high school, with a few classes actually being easier than some of the classes I took in high school.

Mark, if I don't have what it takes to be a real world programmer, that's fine. If I wanted to program that bad, I could always do it in my spare time for my own pleasure or at the very least try to do what it takes to make myself competitive for a real world programming job. What I want you to tell me is, what type of "technical jobs" you think would be a good fit for me. And I am not talking about the low level support roles jobs you mentioned. I am talking about technical jobs where college-level hard skills are rewarded and soft skills are merely a plus.

What happened to the computer science geeks we all came to love? What happened to the grouchy hacker? Are they unemployed, or did they become suave and couth?
12 years ago

Originally posted by Henry Wong:
[QB]

Generally recognition or advancement, or even both, are triggers for raises, bonuses, etc. This may explain why your friend with a "2.6 GPA, state school, makes more money than [you] make".

And BTW, advancement does not imply management -- most companies have technical tracks for advancement.



Henry, you are correct. It is possible to advance to another technical position within the company. But, if those higher technical positions require me to do the stuff that I don't like doing, I'll keep my current position, doing what I like doing.
[ June 23, 2007: Message edited by: D.W. Smith ]
12 years ago

Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
[QB]

Exactly, and the point you're missingis that in many companies writing Java code is not a solo activity, but one which requires teamwork, communication skills, etc.



I don't have a problem with teamwork. I also don't have a problem with communication skills, unless I am required to give public speeches.


If you want a job which doesn't emphasize these skills, find a company where you are one of a handful of programmers in a support role on some non-critical project. You'll get little recognition and little opportunity for advancement, but you'll also get fewer people who will want/need to spend time with you.



I don't care about recognition and I don't care about advancement. If I like what I am doing, why would I want to advance to some type of managerial or supervisory role? Any why would I need recognition? I try not to place my happiness on what people think about me, you know.
12 years ago

Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:

You have simply defined "good job" to be one which requires skills you have selected to ignore.



Yes and no. I never said I wanted a managerial type of job, or a job where I will be required to speak in public, or a job where I will be required to have tons of interaction with the customers. All I want is a job where I will be writing Java code. I want to come to work in the morning, sit at my desk, write code, interact with coworkers if I need to, and then go home at 5:00 PM. If I get paid a competitive salary for my work, great. Otherwise, I a willing to sacrifice myself economically for the right job. That's my definition of a "good job."


Let me ask you this, what did you hope to get by posting this thread? Advice on how to change? A fairy godmother who will wave a wand and give you a job for which you admit you lack the skills to get? Company that misery so enjoys? Or something else all together?



I wanted someone to tell me which programming jobs I could be doing with the hard skills that I have.
12 years ago

GPA is based on memorization, mathematical/scientific calculation and application, and general analysis. Career success depends on those but at least as important are communication skills, teamwork, networking, the right attitude, negotiation skills, determination, enjoyment of your job/industry, hard work, personal planning, etc.



That's my problem right there. I couldn't possibly deliver a speech even if I were to spend a month memorizing the entire speech (I suppose that's what you mean by communication skills), and my social skills and personality type make it difficult for me to develop good networking skills (knowing how to make friends who will help you find a job in the future) and negotiation skills (which I suppose means being able to talk your way into a great job).

Teamwork? I don't see what's the big deal. If it means being able to work on a project with people each of whom will contribute different bits and pieces to the project, that's fine with me.

Attitude, determination, enjoyment of your job/industry? Sure.

You need to change your attitude. You can say life isn't fair or that your unlucky or come up with any other reason, but until you believe that you control your own fate you will never be successful.



I need to change more than just my attitude; I also need to change my personality type, my social skills, my worldview, my values, my demeanor, my temperament, my disposition blah blah blah just give me a new brain and let me start over again.

But seriously, I do think it is sad that out of all the skills career success depends on, the one I struggled the least with is the one most students struggle the most with. That's why when they tell you "study hard and you will have a great job," they are not really lying, it's just that it is assumed that you have all those other skills or, at the very least, that they are easy to acquire.
12 years ago
One of my "not-so-intelligent" friends from high school went to a state school (not one of the good ones), graduated with a 2.6 GPA in some lame subject unrelated to banks or money, and now works at a bank, earning $2000 more per year than I earn.

The fun part is that this is a guy who struggled even in his algebra classes and didn't do such a good job in high school (he wasn't an honor roll student, like I). He and his parents looked up to me like I was some sort of genius, and were shocked to learn that I had had such a hard time finding a job out of college. When I dropped the bomb that I had finally found a job, he couldn't believe that I started making $2000/year less than he started making out of college. (On a related note, the guy sort of lost respect for me from that day on and hasn't talked to me ever since.)

I went to a "selective" university, was an honor roll student, graduated with latin honors, majored in a challenging quantitative subject, and ended up with a GPA that wouldn't disqualify me from being interviewed for an entry-level position at one of the bigger software companies. I never partied in school, I never got drunk, I never did anything stupid, and yet I ended up working as a low level QAer, doing a job that I hate, earning less than $40k/year in one of the most expensive cities of the US.

Who ended up better off?
12 years ago
John, wear a white oxford shirt, a necktie, formal pants and black shoes the first day of work. It's important to make a good first impression even amongst your coworkers. Look around and see how your coworkers dress and then dress in a similar way from the second day on.

I hope that helps.
[ April 29, 2007: Message edited by: D.W. Smith ]
12 years ago
n/m
Alright this was a dumb question.
[ March 11, 2007: Message edited by: D.W. Smith ]
12 years ago
byte = 8-bit integer, signed, range = [-2^7, 2^7 - 1]
short = 16-bit integer, signed, range = [-2^15, 2^15 - 1]
int = 32-bit integer, signed, range = [-2^31, 2^31 - 1]
long = 64-bit ingeger, signed, range = [-2^63, 2^63 - 1]

I feel better typing all that info


My question is: Why should we bother using byte, short and int, when we could get away with long? Obviously a long number type uses up more memory, but does it make a difference when you look at the big scheme of things?
[ March 11, 2007: Message edited by: D.W. Smith ]
12 years ago


To go further, check out the IT jobs at eFinancial Careers. For example...

http://jobs.efinancialcareers.com/job-4000000000229169.htm
SR JAVA DEVELOPER/ INTEREST RATE DERIVATIVES GROUP
Base plus Bonus range 225-300k
5-7 yrs

http://jobs.efinancialcareers.com/job-4000000000238349.htm
Sr. Web Developer/Analyst
Total Compensation 175-225k
3-5 yrs

http://jobs.efinancialcareers.com/job-4000000000228575.htm
C++ UNIX Senior Developers - Fixed Income MBS Hedge Fund NY
150k - 250k plus bonus
3-5 years minimum



Who cares??!?

99.9% of us "Java Programmers" would never, EVER, get one of those high paying jobs, certainly not with 3-7 years of experience anyway.

Are you a world-class programmer? Can you find employment at a company like Google or Microsoft? This is a bonus: Did you study computer science at an elite school? If the answers to these questions are "no" then those jobs are out of your league.

I might as well quit programming in Java and start acting or playing baseball.
[ March 08, 2007: Message edited by: D.W. Smith ]
12 years ago