Andy Lester

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since Jun 03, 2009
McHenry, IL
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Recent posts by Andy Lester

George Goubak wrote:while reading a lot of threads discussing the CV preparation subject i read some oppinions saying that you have to prepare your CV based on the country that you are trying to get a job into.

It's not even a matter of the country that you're trying to get a job in as much as the company and the position you're hiring for. You don't have a single resume. You send out a different resume for every job you apply for. You can have a single base resume from which you derive, but every resume should be tailored to the position you're pursuing.

There is no right or wrong way to order a resume. It depends on what the company and the position will find important. You show your educational credentials at the bottom, but what if you're applying for a job in academia? Or perhaps a public library? They might well place more value on your educational background, and so that should be at the top.

You have "previous projects" at the bottom, whatever those may be, but if they are aligned exactly with what the company is looking for, then by all means put that at the top, or mention them in your professional summary.

You should always start your resume with a professional summary of who you are. Nobody is going to read your entire resume unless you give them a reason to, so make that top 4-5 bullet points just below the contact information grab the reader and compel him to read the rest.

And while we're on the subject of books, I'd like to suggest my "Land The Tech Job You Love" from Pragmatic Bookshelf. There are two chapters on resume creation where I expand on the ideas above. It's available in paper or electronic form direct from the publisher, and it's also available on Amazon, both here in the States and in the UK. The page has a short video from me about job hunting as well.
11 years ago

raghunath venkat wrote:Thank you for giving valuable replies.How can I tell ,if any body asks why did you get 1.3 yrs gap?

"I was unable to work for personal reasons."


"Personal reasons left me with other matters to attend to for those years."
11 years ago
The key to getting into open source isn't find a project to contribute to. What you want to do is contribute to a project you already use.

What open source projects do you take advantage of every day? I'm no Java expert, but it seems like half of what the Apache Foundation is driving these days is Java-based. Do you use Ant? Struts? Jakarta?

How about non-Java related projects that you still use? Do you use SpamAssassin? It's in Perl, so would give you a reason to also use Perl. Any Apache modules you use? You could learn some C.

How can you contribute to those projects? It doesn't have to be just contributing code at first. Hang out on the mailing lists and provide answers. Update support wikis or contribute documentation. I know that on the Parrot project, a large amount of contributor time goes just to maintaining the tickets in the bug system. Anything you can do to pitch in, do it.

Start with joining the appropriate mailing list for the project, or monitoring forums. Hang out in appropriate IRC channels. Listen to what people are saying. Make yourself known as being someone who is willing to pitch in.

Go into it with the goal of contributing to the project, and not of improving your career. When you take care of the first part, the second part will come naturally.

Good luck!
11 years ago

Bear Bibeault wrote:Meh, I don't like trick questions. I think you can find out everything you need to know without having to lob hand grenades.

I guess I don't see it as a trick question.

I also don't see it as a trick question when I hand a candidate a quiz on a sheet of paper, and see what he does to fill it out. Did he bring something to write with? Or is he looking all around my desk for a pen to use and finally asking "Do you have a pen?" Who doesn't think they're going to need to write at a job interview?
11 years ago

Bear Bibeault wrote:Which again, is why you don't ask questions formed that way.

I certainly do sometimes, to see what the interviewee knows about how to conduct him/herself in an interview.
11 years ago
I found this article in Computerworld called Schmoozing 101: Tips for shy techies. I don't like the word "shmoozing," which sounds icky and slimy, but it's got good tips for folks who are shy but need to expand their business networks. I especially like the sidebar "How to work a room."

11 years ago

Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:First, a big thanks to Andy Lester for being here to promote the book

You're very welcome, it's been a lot of fun. I expect I'll be hanging out here at the Ranch for a while. Just not in the Java parts. :-)
11 years ago

Vishal Pandya wrote:Wait a minute guys, Isn't it a responsibility of a good interviewer to go through the resume first before interviewing that candidate?

"Do you know LDAP" often does not mean "Please give me a yes/no answer as to whether you know LDAP." It probably means "Tell me about what you have done using LDAP."

An interview isn't a police interrogation where the interviewer is trying to determine the facts of the case, of whether you do indeed know LDAP. The interviewer is trying to see how you interact with others, and how you're able to talk about what you've done in the past. You should rarely answer a question that sounds like it needs a Yes/No answer with a simple yes or no.
11 years ago

sanker san wrote:Could you please comment about the role of technical certifications in a job interview?

It all depends on what the hiring company wants. Some companies find certifications to be very important, and some think they're not worth the paper they're printed on.

I'm not sure how they'd relate to an interview, though.
11 years ago

Bear Bibeault wrote:
Death is to just sit there and say "I don't know, next question."

I wouldn't say it's "death".

I may ask about tech at random, without having it actually be a job requirement. I once asked a guy if he knew anything about LDAP, because I'd earlier been talking to someone about something we might maybe possibly in the future potentially do with LDAP, and so I just asked off the cuff "Hey, do you know anything about LDAP?" and I thought he would burst a blood vessel. "Well, I, uh, well, I've done things with...." and trying to turn it into a "No, but I'll learn."

His response should have been "No, I'm afraid I don't. What are you using it for?"
11 years ago
Your answer is fine. The key is "I don't know, but here are things I do know about."

I've posted about this before at How to say "I don't know" effectively.
11 years ago

Sandeep Sa wrote:Everything is same, only instead of X, Now it is Y, so "All You Have to Do Is..."

For me, that's called "Can't You Just..."

11 years ago
I can't really answer because it's such a vague definition. In Chad Fowler's book, The Passionate Programmer, he suggests you need to be both.

You're going to wind up knowing a wide variety of things, and you're going to know some things in depth. It's just the nature of the job.
11 years ago

Mark Judman wrote: Disconcerting for those who many not have big networks or are shy about networking. Opinions?

Disconcerting, perhaps, but a crucial skill for your career.

"Networking" doesn't have to mean "go out and meet random people." It could be going to a user group meeting and talking to people there. It could be going to lunch with someone new, who isn't from your department. It might be joining a new mailing list and interacting with folks you've never met.

The key is to make more connections. Those connections lead to more connections. It takes time, but it's gold.

I got fired one day at 11:30am. By 2pm, just by calling around to people in my address book, I had three job leads with people who knew me and knew what I was good at. That's the kind of payoff that good networking can bring.
11 years ago

Kevin Navles wrote:Hi Andy,

I read through the blog. But i didn go through your book yet. If you could can you just brief this topic in terms of resume please. How to use numbers in our resume??? Just briefly if you could

I'm not sure what you're asking. The blog post was all about how to use numbers in your resume. Use numbers to quantify details of what you did in your job, and to make the details come alive to the reader. There were two examples in the blog post. Did they not make sense?
11 years ago