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stephen gates

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Recent posts by stephen gates

How do you get into the hedge fund, wall street trade floor world as a Software Engineer?

I've been in IT as a software engineer, web developer, mainframe programmer, c++ and java programmer for over 10 years. But I've never worked in the finance industry. How do you get started working on the trade floor or on wall street or some big hedge fund company? It's where I'd like my career to go toward next.

[ June 09, 2007: Message edited by: stephen gates ]
14 years ago
Isn't the old saying that companies "promote until the person falls flat on their faces." It happens all the time and the reality is, if the woman has little technical knowledge but is great at selling herself, than she might one day become the CEO.

Regardless of what talent you have or skills, if you can't sell yourself, nobody will care who you are. It's obvious this woman has an ability to sell herself far more than she actually deserves credit for. But again, look at reality.

If you whine about this woman and go up the chain of command, it might help, it might not. Then suddenly one day if she is as good at selling her abilities as you have said, and she winds up VP, CTO, CIO or whatever, you might have a huge problem.

If she screws things up, that's one thing, but her taking credit for other peoples work.. Gee, last time I checked, Microsoft got credit for somebody elses operating system. Half your leaders, politicians, and managers get credit for somebody else's work.

If you are a programmer or developer or engineer then you have to accept, you will not get the credit in the end but you'll get the blame. It seems to me this woman is on the path to becoming a CEO. They are the ones who take the credit and place the blame on everybody else. It's called life and it's always happened that way.

Those in charge or those who can sell themselves well, take the credit while everybody else does the work. It's nothing new.
14 years ago
The other factor is politics. A good manager also has to be a good politician. You have to get the right people doing the right jobs and projects. You have to convince upper management that certain projects are indeed important, other projects are needed but not as important, and so on.
I agree many managers seem to do nothing at all, but at the end of the day, a good to great manager will make a programmer or engineers job a lot easier. Most engineers and programmers do not like dealing with non IT people.

If you had to answer to all the business people, all the users, all the upper level managers, all the non IT people, you'd probably never get a chance to develop anything. IT is now just another "support" group in a large company. Yeah a software company might be different, but then again, as software companies become larger, they need to answer to their clients needs. It's just the way it is. If you have no managers, it probably means you have no projects. Cause most engineers and programmers are not the best politicians.
14 years ago
The above poster is correct I think. Find smaller working programs, figure out how they work and why. Change them, fix them, debug them. And do it all over again.

Certifications are nice, but most of it is theory and "Hello World" type of applications. You might become very good at explaining things but I think in the long run if you want to become good, you need to learn how things work, why they work and then change the code to do something else.

I know I've learned a lot more by reading and playing around with code from applications that actually did something meaningful over a few "Hello World" examples you learn through many of the certification routes.

Don't get me wrong Certification is a good thing and if you want to do it, go for it, but I've met far too many "Certified Experts" who were very bright and could explain various theories but they also couldn't program an actual application that was needed. Most certifications, lime most theoretical business classes, are best case scenarios where everything is well defined and perfect. Yet most people realize in the real world, the IT staff might be overworked and under staffed and budgets say one thing while theory says something entirely different.

Learn how programs were coded. Learn why or try to figure out why they were programmed a certain way and learn from actual applications that do something important. You will learn a lot more from an application that has to grab data from an actual database with thousands of records more so than if you read some book where you grab data from a simple DB you created with columns and tables like "Employee, Name, Account_Number" and so on.
14 years ago
I don't get the SCJP suggestion. If your into IT Security, go for CISSP and other Security related certifications. If your not into programming, why bother getting programming certifications. That's like telling a programmer to get a MCSE even though they have no desire to go into networking.

There is always the management path. It's really that way for most careers. Especially in IT... You get to a certain point or level and bam.... Your kind of stuck unless you go into management. I'm sure there are other Technical Roles and more responsibilities in the IT Security field. YOu can also get more involved in Computer Forensics, become a needed IT Security Consultant for places like the Homeland Security. YOu can move into Director roles where you are implementing nation wide security polices and so on,.
14 years ago
Interesting read. I tend to agree with many things stated. I've been a contractor/consultant for most of my career and while I learned a lot, it does seem I move more in a lateral sense than actually progressing or leading an organization.

I come in, do my job, then find my next project. I can go from developer to engineer to mid level to Sr level to Architect level, but in the end, I am always a hired gun or not the one making the major decisions cause it's not my "baby" as they say.

While staying with one company might not be the ideal in today's society, I think you do learn a lot about that particular companies cultural and policies if you are there 20+ years and therefore become trusted more so than somebody who has had 10+ jobs at 10+ different organizations in 20+ years.
14 years ago
Communication and interaction. That is what drives careers now. Learn as much technology as you can, but if you want your career to advance, learn to communicate with non IT people, with customers, with IT people, with "C" level executives.

Learn to speak in a non Tech way so people who aren't technical, who are usually the ones making the $$$ decisions, can comprehend what your doing and trying to do.

As far as career paths, that depends on what you want to do. Some people might like management, other people not so much. Some people might just like the tech side, other people a combo of business and tech. In the long run, figure out what you like best, aim for it and then keep your skills up to date as well as become comfortable speaking to upper management.
14 years ago
As far as the person who says Religion never says to Kill anybody.
Last time I checked, "God" wiped out half the planet with a flood.
"God" blew up two separate towns.
"God" wiped out a bunch of soldiers so Moses and his tribe could make it to the other side.
"God" supposidly wanted Abraham to sacrafice his first born son.
"God" supposidly put various plagues on the Pharoah and his city.

The list goes on but maybe it says "Thou shall not Kill" but in the history book known as the Bible, "God" and his followers are responsible for killing many many people.

But as far as planets in some far off galaxy, pictures are not facts.
Nobody knows anything about those places. It's all based on assumptions and "faith." Pictures are not facts. They are just pictures. People say the Bible is written by Man and can't be taken as fact. It's just oral stories passed down into written stories.
Same thing can be said about pictures of planets far far away.

Some people have taken pictures of UFOs. Other people dismiss that UFOs are fake. Who really knows the truth.

If people can believe there are "aliens" out there even though nobody has really ever seen one, then why should people condemn those that believe "God" is out there. If you can believe crop circles and faded pictures, why can't you believe books and stories.
[ May 25, 2007: Message edited by: stephen gates ]
14 years ago
You seem to know what you're talking about and I'm not dismissing theories as fake or fact. All I'm pointing out is that what many scientist's do the same things religous zealouts do. They try to belittle the other argument just to prove their point and in the end, both look like fools.

Mars is a planet for now. We've sent robots there to collect data, samples, and to take pictures. From that data they can perform tests and assume certain things. It probably is close to fact as it can be.

But my argument isn't about Mars. It's about many people who will throw the "God" theory away because it can't be proved or disproved. Yet at the same time many of these same people make assumptions about planets in some far off galaxy. Things that are nothing more than assumptions and blind theories because these galaxies and "planets" are indeed billions and trillions of light years away. Most people will just accept what is told because in reality, you will probably never get a chance to prove or disprove them in my lifetime and most other people's lifetimes. Maybe one day, but that might be a hundred or a thousand years from now.

So most people never see these galaxies, never touch them, don't see first hand pictures of them, never really know much about them, but take it on blind "faith" that it is fact because some scientists say so.

That sounds an awful lot like the masses believing the world is flat. It also sounds an awful lot like people who believe in whatever "faith" that their is a supreme being or "God."

You can't condemn people for having "faith" in a god yet at the same time have "faith" that some galaxy far far away is what a scientist on earth says it is.

I'm not a big fan of religion. Whether it's the big three(christian, judaism, or muslim) or hindu, buddhism, confuscism, and so on it doesn't really matter. Because say what you want, most wars over the years have been fought due to religion and "god."

Maybe it was just one or two people of that faith who may have caused the destruction. But last time I checked, it only takes one Leader to destroy a world. Hitler, Stalin, Hussien, heck some people might say Bush. You are defined by your leaders, like it or not.

The new Pope made another stupid remark in South America about the catholic or christian saying his faith showed Latin America the saviors path a couple hundred years ago. Seems to me his faith and religion a couple hundred years ago came with weapons and hate more than peace and love.

I hate it when religious people try to push their "beliefs" on other people. Everybody will believe what they will believe. But at the same time I don't like it when non-believers and scientists push their own "faiths" on other people.

It's the age old saying, can't ever talk about religion or politics without causing a stir.

On another note, somebody once said, "Human Beings are the worse virus there ever was."

We invade, kill, destroy, and then try to take over the host country. Sounds to me like a virus. Who knows.
14 years ago

Stephen, personally I don't, in general, laugh at people who believe in some sort of god. I only laugh at people who make fools of themselves by repeating poorly-conceived nonsense over and over in an attempt to convince others of their point. It's time to move on, I think.

I'm not trying to prove any point. I'm throwing out fallacies in your own argument. You proved the kind of person you are by your above written paragraph.

We can test whatever we want on Earth, it still does not mean it's the same on some planet in a galaxy far far away. We have not sent a Ship to Mars which returned to Earth yet. So it is just theories. Educated Guesses. There are no facts to back up whatever might be claimed about Mars or any other planet. Maybe one day it will, maybe it won't, but at this point it is just a theory. We ASSUME Mars is sort of like Earth. We ASSUME planets far far away are just like Earth or a lot different than Earth.

But remember most people also Assumed the Earth was flat at some point. Now you can laugh at that claim, but if you went back in history, the majority of the world believed it to be fact. Almost like you believe to be fact what some planet in a far far off galaxy is made of because, "hey it's been tested on Earth, so that's what it must be."

You Assume something with no real hard evidence. Testing something on Earth does not mean it's the same thing on some planet we saw in a telescope.
[ May 24, 2007: Message edited by: stephen gates ]
14 years ago
I don't even like putting my resume on half the job boards anymore. There are far too many spam emails and spam phone calls. Some are legit recruiters and human resource personel, but half have obviously never even looked at my resume.

So in my experience, why would I put my references on my resume or give them up front. Certain recruiters have submitted my job board profile and resume to jobs and then contacted me afterwards. I don't like that. Most people wouldn't.

Many people are contacted by recruiters, consulting agencies, and human resource personel. I have references and I've been a refernce in the past. My references nor I want to be contacted 5 times in a week. Most people work and are busy. And most people don't want random calls from recruiters who really have no business calling them.

If a job is getting down to the final few candidates, then a reference is something you can look at. But if your not even at the interviewing stages yet, contacting references is unprofessional at that point, at least to me.

I know I get contacted daily by recruiters, agencies, and so on through email and phone calls. Some are about specific jobs, other's are a general discussion and a plan to find some jobs that might be out there.

That is great but if you put references on your resume and get contacted 1000 times in a few weeks from recruiters, agencies, and Human resource personel there is also a chance your references will soon request they no longer be used as a reference.

I know I don't want my phone rining off the hook asking about a friend, former co-worker, people who worked for me and so on. It's especially bad if it's just at the initial screening.
[ May 24, 2007: Message edited by: stephen gates ]
14 years ago

Well, yes, in fact we DO know what these other planets are made of.

It is all theories. And you defeated your own argument.

You have a "faith" in science. That is fine. Nothing wrong with that. But what is the difference between your "faith" in the science of things you can't see, touch or feel compared to somebody elses "faith" in religion or a god, which they can't see, touch or feel. There isn't any. You just preach science and complain about religious preaches.

You can say whatever you want about the Earth. Many things are indeed, facts that can be tested and proved.

But for people to laugh at those who believe in religion or a god cause you can't feel, touch, or prove God exists, you shoot yourself in the foot at the moment cause you can't prove what Some galaxy far far away is made of. You can't touch it, you can't see it, and you can't feel it.

Believe whatever you want to believe, but if you condemn people who believe in god cause it's all about "faith" well your "faith" in galaxies far far away are nothing but beliefs based on your "faith."
14 years ago
Like I said... We have no evidence of what these other planets are really made of or are not made of. Maybe the moon, but other than that, our ships don't come back after they go into deep space. Our ships wind up crashing or fading from existence like the ones on Mars.

Science is nice but Space is nothing but theories. We have no hard evidence what most planets are made of. We assume. We theorize. Our ships take pictures and then disappear never to be heard from again. Pictures are nice, but I can take a million pictures and not know what something is made of. I can assume or theorize, but none of that is a Factual basis.

Like I said, besides the Moon, nobody has ever been to another planet. None of our robotic ships come back from Mars, Saturn, and so on. So it is all theories. Theories bases off a few robotic tests and tons of pictures.

It is funny, people want hardcore proof that God exists. People need hardcore evidence to prove he's real or not real. That's fine.
But don't come back with Space is fact because you believe everything that's told to you. Nobody on this planet has ever visited Mars or another other planet. Some have orbited the Earth for a few moments, a couple walked the moon, but other than that, nobody has ventured out into space. And nobody besides robotic controlled ships has ventured beyond the moon. People think they know what space is and what our universe is all about because it's based on "faith." You have faith that what scientists say is true. But no Scientist has been to these planets to actually say so and so is Fact. It's all theories.

Maybe some are closer to fact than others, but the reality is you can't bash people who believe in God based on "faith" and then at the same time base your own Universes "facts" on the "faith" of people who have never been in space.

NOBODY HAS EVER BEEN TO THESE PLANETS. The only place we've been to is the Moon. Orbiting Earth is great and taking pictures is great, but seeing a few things from a telescope they plan to destroy isn't exactly proving your point.

When we have hard evidene what Saturn really is made of besides what some people assume and theorize, then you can say it's Fact. But until then, it's nothing but theories.
14 years ago
I thought it was going to be a bit different than it was but it was ok. I wasn't impressed by it. Could have been a lot better, but for what it was, it had its moments.
14 years ago
They say cell phones in Japan and Europe are far superior than the cell phones in the US. Who knows i've never been to Japan or Europe to say for sure.
But the fact is, from what I've seen, it's a nice cell phone, but not worth 600 bucks. If they have some kind of rebate or instant savings deal like most other cell phones, then I'd consider it. Otherwise, it's just another overpriced cell phone that isn't worth it.
14 years ago