John Coxey

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Recent posts by John Coxey

- In my past experiences, every company that made me an offer had me come to the office (suite & tie) for at least one interview.
- I've flown all over the USA for interviews. Actually, it's quite fun.
- I usually will ask to stay an extra 2 or 3 days (I will pay the extra hotel bill, etc) . I use the excuse that I want to check the area out/etc.
In reality, I bring my fly-fishing gear and hit up the local streams.
- Lots of times the air-fare will be lower for the company. Airfares go down quite a bit if you stay over a weekend and fly back the next week. The company will sometimes give you the extra money by picking up your entire hotel bill. Again, the HR folks (not the interviewing manager) will work out the details.
- Every company that I have flown out to interviews with, has let me stay a few extra days. And again, I use it as a "vacation" to do some sight-seeing and fly-fishing.
- Have I ever gone on an interview just to go fishing? Not yet.
- Regarding the suite & tie thing. Start saving some $$, because more than likely you will be going to the office for at least one face-to-face interview. Oh, don't foret you'll need $$ for a new pair of shoes and a haircut.
- Gotta run. It's 5:00AM Monday morning. Gotta drag myself over to work in a few min.
John Coxey
19 years ago
Nathaniel Stoddard:
- First, are you talking about a recruiter or an acutal company?
- Interviewing with a recruiter (head-hunter, job-agency) can be done over the phone. Head-hunters won't be flying you out just to get your resume.
- Regarding companies. They usually pick up the tab. Some pay up front, others want you to submit a voucher/travel form. Most will pay for the big ticket items (flight, rental car, hotel) up front and have you submit a form.
- Hewlett-Packard deviated from the norm, in that I had to pay for a $1500 flight w/hotel (last minute from Denver to Philly) up front. They called on Wed night, told be to be in Philly on Thur morning. When I arrived, I filled out an expense form and they had a check waiting for me before I left the interview.
- I would not have put so much $$ up front if interviewng for a mom & pop shop. But I knew Hewlett-Packard wanted to make a major move that day - so I jumped at the opportunity. Also know they would reimburse me with no problems.
- Ended up scoring a US$150K/yr job with them -- but laid off about 8 months later (Jan 2002). Was a great job - travel all over USA teaching Java, JSP, Servlets & HP-Bluestone server software.
- Even in today's market - the Fortune 500 boys are still paying for interview expenses. Most, are still paying for relocation. You may have to be aggressive (after the offer), but can get the $$ for relocation.
John Coxey
19 years ago
- Position was filled Feb 29, 2004.
John Coxey
19 years ago
- No problem.
- Can you get me your cover letter as soon as possible. If you are
sending as an attachment, please make sure you put some text in the
body of your e-mail, otherwise our system treats as spam and I won't
get it.
John Coxey
19 years ago
Anujmittal Mittal:
- If you already have completed your degree, then send your resume.
- American General's specifications for this job do require that
you have an existing 4-yr college degree.
John Coxey
19 years ago
- See my post regarding position at American General Finance.
- Fire me a cover letter & resume'.
- Link to post:
John Coxey
[ January 23, 2004: Message edited by: John Coxey ]
19 years ago
- I posted a job notice in the "Jobs Discussion" forum.
- My comany, American General Finance, is looking to bring a programmer on board within the next month. We are currently accepting applications for the position, and will be conducting interviews sometime next month.
- So, why is this important to you?
- Mainly, because we are asking for a reasonable skill set. Essentially, Core Java, JSP, Servlets, and knowledge of the MVC design pattern. Meaning, if you have been in the game a year or two, you should know this stuff, and should apply.
- Bad part, AGFS does not offer H1B sponsorship for this position.
- Good part, we do offer relocation expenses (pretty good relo package).
- Best part, I am a programmer, not a recruiter -- so know what's going on.
- Even better part, go ahead and send me your resume' -
John Coxey
NOTE: Please send resume/cover letter (as word attachment) to DO NOT SEND TO my account.
[ January 23, 2004: Message edited by: John Coxey ]
19 years ago
My company, American General Finance, in Evansville, Indiana is seeking a mid-level Java Programmer. We are looking to start interviews in the next two weeks and are currently accepting resume's.
Position involves work with Core Java, JSP, and Servlets. We also use MQ-Series (essentially modify existing MQ framework code as needed). We also are responsible for the front-end HTML/DHTML/CSS of the application. Most of our applications are classic Model-View-Controller design running over the Internet and tied into back-end mainframe systems (MQ-Series & JDBC).
Our development environment is Win-XP, WSAD, and ClearCase (if I ever get it working).
We port our code to an AS-400 environment, where a different team is actually responsible for the actual deployment on WAS 5.0
We use NO EJB's, NO Struts, & NO Taglibs. Great position for someone with 1 or 2 yrs Java experience.
We may be doing some WebServices type work in the future.
If you are interested in doing above type work - please read on.
American General Finance - Evansville Indiana
Mid-Level Java Programmer
Education: Must have 4 yr college degree.
Certifications: This company loves to see Java certifications.
Very strong: Core Java, Servlets, JSP.
Should know: HTML, DHTML, CSS
Some knowledge: WSAD or other Eclipse based tool.
Pay Range: US$45-US$65/K yr.
Relocation: Provided
Sponsorship: NOT PROVIDED

- Attach your cover letter & resume' as a word document.
- As a courtesy to the group, I will post when position has been filled.
Good luck!!!
- Attach your cover letter & resume' as a word document.
DO NOT MAIL TO MY account.
[ January 23, 2004: Message edited by: John Coxey ]
19 years ago
Steven Broadbent:
- Responding to your message about being laid off every few years.

- In Nov 2000, I moved from Philadelphia, PA to Denver, CO (Qwest/American Management Systems paid for relocation).
- On my first day of work (this is after a 2000 mile relocation), I was laid off. Real nice. Fortunately, I was/still am single, and only rented an apartment, and had not bought a house.
- My favorite job of all time was with Hewlett-Packard, which I picked up after the Qwest fiasco mentioned above. At Hewlett-Packard, I worked in Philly, lived in Denver, and travelled all over USA teaching JSP/Servets/Core Java. Was a total blast - even got a company car.
- Now I am stuck in a box/cube that even a termite would find confining.
- At the age of 40 (I'll be 40 on Wed the 22nd), I want more out of life.
- I got to spend about 6 months after the Hewlett-Packard layoff crusing the west - and fishing every day. I would go out for 3 or 4 weeks at a time and live out of my minivan. Defenitely would like to spend my summers doing that. But, I only get 3 weeks vacation a year... and right now I am using that time for exam study days in nursing school.
- About going for an M.D. degree. Yeah, it's slowly but surely creeping up on me. If I keep kicking butt in my courses, I may look into it.
- I have the $$ to do it (or will have, after another 2 or 3 yrs in the computer game - providing I don't see another layoff). So may consider it.
- Gotta see what happens.
John Coxey
19 years ago
- On the subject of pursuing alternative careers.
- Even though I am working full-time as a Java programmer, and teaching 2 nights a week at the local technical college, I am actively pursuing a degree in nursing.
- Am hoping to eventually combine nursing with the computer job.
- Eventually, would like to become CRNA (Certified Nurse Anesthesiologist), which takes a BS in Nursing, plus 2 yrs CRNA school.
- If grades are super good after the BSN (before CRNA school), I may consider looking at an MD program. But that's a major major life change, and a long way off.
- Personally, even though I am working full-time, I am totally disgusted with the comp sci industry. Tired of being laid off or being under the threat of layoffs. After 4 layoffs/moves in the past 3 yrs - the heck with it.
- I'd rather do nursing 3 nights a week - get paid for 40 hours - and make 2/3 of what I am getting now. Will live where I want to live (not in Evansville, Indiana), and fish 4 days a week. Really, the true reason I am getting into nursing.
- I already wrapped up Anatomy & Phyiology I and II. Am taking Microbiology now at Univ of Indiana, and will start actual clinicals in June.
- Gotta run, the boss (gotta love 'em) is yelling.
John Coxey
19 years ago
John Mattucci:
- Keep the business card -- it says the guy was a professional.
- It's when you don't get business cards - that I get worried.
- In the meantime, keep hitting the pavement and line up the next interview. It ain't over 'till you sign on the dotted line.
- Good luck.
John Coxey
19 years ago
- Yeah, we are seeing some rumbings out in our part of the country.
- For whatever reason, Saint Louis has been generating quite a few leads the past 2 months.
- Unfortunately, the 1099 rate (where you pay both sides of social security and your benefits) has been stuck around US$30/hour. In addition, most limit number of hours to 40/week - so no overtime.
- Did hear of a decent sized project getting started out in Salt Lake City, Utah. Company offered 1099 wages at $40/hour. Had a dozen spots opened. Been talking to the recruiter -- said it took about a week to fill the spots.
- Personally, I need a guarantee of 1099 wages of US$50/hour, plus 20 hours/week overtime (if I want it), in order to think about budging.
- Gotta run,
John Coxey
19 years ago
- My apologies for not seeing the BA-Information Technology degree.
- From my experience (I went through the campus-interview process over 4 different years), most companies that hire recent college graduates on campus are looking for production support type folks. No one came to the colleges looking specifically for Java programmers.
- Since you already have a college degree - I would start looking more towards customer support & software maintenance. You may have to start in a COBOL shop (since they tend to be with the Fortune 500 guys and these are the companies that tend to cut you a break - as they have hundreds of programmers working on their COBOL systems).
- Right now, your goal is get working. So even if it's an $8/hour call center printer operator job -- it's experience. Even more important, if it's with a Fortune 500 company, you'll get name-recognition on your resume.
But right now, any experience is better than none.
- So how to get into the field:
- Talk to everyone and everyone.
- Get the book "Knock 'Em Dead" by Martin Yate. Read it every single night. It will get your mind focused as to the type of interview questions to expect.
- Focus your resume more on your college degree.
- Chubb Institute has a bad rap in this industry -- so if you put this at the top of your resume, people may automatically classify you as a technical school graduate versus a college graduate. I would bring it up at interview.
- Your job search should consume 8-10 hours a day of searching.
- You want to only mail out 5-10 resume's a week. As you will be following up on leads.
- Visit your local library - also browse the books at Barnes & Nobles (also a good place to study), and get ideas for your job search.
- Be willing to relocate anywhere in USA. I know, it's tough if you got a family.
- Talk to your local community college. They WILL talk with you - even if not registered to take a class there.
- See if you can teach at community college. See if you can teach at Chubb. Talk to your high school - see if they need tutors. Man, anything to put on a resume.
- If you get bored, keep studying. Again, the emphasis in this industry is web-enabled applications (JSP, Servlets). I would definitely concentrate my studies in this area.
- No one really cares if all you do is design static websites. Nearly everyone can design/write HTML pages these days - due to all the WYSIWYG tools available.
- Learn an IDE like WSAD. Can get 60 day trial version at IBM.
- This IDE comes with a test version of WebSphere Application Developer. Now you can test your program as it runs on an actual server.
- A full mockup type program & demo that uses Model-View-Controller, JSP, Servlets, (possibly Struts), HTML & DHTML & CSS would certainly impress an employer more than the typical static HTML portfolio so commonly seen from students at Chubb.
- But first, you need to have a winning resume that will get your foot in the door.
- Send me your e-mail address, I will forward a copy of my resume over to you to look at. I don't have a personal web-site anymore since I gave up my AOL account.
- Use my resume as a template. You'll immediately see that it's different from what you have seen before.
- Hope this helps,
John Coxey
19 years ago

Keith Rosenfield & Others:
- The following dissertation/comments relate to the U.S. job market.
- Allow me to indulge you with a little history about myself. I've been in the game now for 10yrs. Been through 4 layoffs in the past 3 years (most of it documented on this site - do a search on my name). So I know what I am talking about, as opposed to some high-school guidance counselor who's main accomplishment in life was parking his mini-van between the lines in the faculty parking lot that morning.
- First, age has nothing to do with you getting hired. Being 30-40 yrs of age will actually help you in today's game. It's getting a little old seeing this fallacy repeated over and over on this board. Like a bunch of crying schoolgirls. Hell, this keeps up, we're going to need to put a box of tissues next to the moose.
- That being said, I'd like to address (specifically to Keith) as to what is keeping you from getting employed?
1. The IT job market. Plain and simple - this was the worst hit sector of the current recession. So lots of competition. When you see 1099 Contractor rates at US$30/HR ($60,000/yr) - then you know the market for Java job seekers is bad. Especially when you conside the requirements being posted for said positions.
2. Your skills: - And I said this back in 1998-1999 when the market was strong (and yes you can read my old posts on this board):
American Business DEMANDS!!! that you have a 4yr college degree to be in this field. Are there exceptions - yes!!! But 90-95% of the IT staff, will have a college degree. The one's who don't are relegated to being employed with the same company, and often must accept less pay.
An 8 month Chubb Institute Degree doesn't mean crap in today's market. Neither does the 3 month SetFocus program. Sorry, that was reality back in 1999 and it's certainly reality today. Yes, they may be skill-builders, but it's the college degree that makes the door swing.
Most American Corporations will not even look at you, unless you have the degree. The exceptions that I know of, started working in data entry, or were a friend of a freind in the company, and moved their way up in the ranks. The one' I know of, have been at the same company for 5-10 yrs, just to get into a Java seat.
Why? It's the way American Business operates. No one cares if you, I, and everyone else on this board disagrees. It's the way it is.
3. Regarding your attitude towards education. You are just getting started. The guys that are succeeding in this game (myself included), put in around 2 hours extra (outside of work) studying per day. Surprisingly!!! A lot of it is non-Java related. Right now, I am hitting books up on American General Finance's - Branch Credit System. Figuring out the potential user requirements needed to centralize 1800+ branches via an Internet based solution. I haven't even started on the technical details yet - just trying to get a grasp of this side of the business and how it works.
4. Your technical skills.
- Core Java - is NOT what makes you money at this game. It's the use of Servlets, JSPs, and possibly (EJBs) and how to deploy them in a distributed environment on a web-application server (IBM-WAS or WebLogic usually).
- It's being able to integrate these technologies together to make a system work.
- You need to know how to make calls to the database and how to make calls to the Mainframe (MQ-Series).
- You need to know how to handle the returned data, and also how to handle error processing from these above calls. Not only do you need to handle errors due to system problems, but also errors due to business rules being violated that were detected on the mainframe systems. And you need to differentiate between the two.
- Additional technical skills:
- Despite the hype concerning separation of presentation from data. You will need to know HTML, DHTML, and Cascading Style Sheets. In addition to the final solution/project - you will be doing mockups of proposed solutions/ideas and you will have to present these mockups for review by management.
- If you don't know the skill, guess what? You are staying late that night...happens to all of us.
- Additional non-technical skills: (long story)...
- Example: We just did a revolving credit (ie: credit card type purchases) application for high-end merchants (i.e. US$10K-US$50K credit lines).
Well, after gathering the inital requirements, I had to create a mockup. Fine, but then out team had to present the mockup to senior management. Yes, suite & tie day.
- Now, do you think they are going to let someone with an 8 month Chubb Degree do the presentation?? Not a hell's chance. Why? Because they feel you have not "paid the price". It's ingrained in management's little forehead - THOU SHALT HAVE A COLLEGE DEGREE. And to be honest, sometimes I think I do to.
- Are you comfortable enough to talk in front of the big boys - in this case the really big boys?
- Here's the best part -- after doing the mockup - the thing still had to be coded (JSP, Servlet, and tied into back-end systems).
- Also, don't think that I was the only person doing the project. I had 2 other Java progammers. Also, worked with an AS-400 team, and an IBM-Mainframe team (these guys are like 60 yrs old and have 30 yrs experience in the game). You have to be able to talk with these folks. Not only talk with them, but get them to help you out. God forbid you pee somone off with 30yrs experience. They've already got their mortgage paid off and kids through school, what the hell do they care about the new guy. Again, your age will help you here.
Side note: The guys on our AS-400 team and mainframe team saved my butt quite a few times.
- This is where the college experience comes in. It's also where your age helps you. It's why I say all these comment about age descrimination on this board are total b.s.
- BTW/ I started with American General Finance in Nov 2002, the project mentioned above went to production in July of last year (2003). Am working on new project now.
Now, let's focus our dissucion on the competition.
5. Your competition.
- I hold a BS-Applied Mathematics, BS-Computer Science, and an MS-Computer Science. I've been in the game now for 10 yrs -- and have programmed Java since 1999.
- The guy next to me (also a Java Ranch member), holds BS-Accouning, BS-Comp Sci, and MS-Comp Sci.
- The HTML guru guy next to him holds BS-English, BS-Comp Sci, and just finished his MBA.
- I've been through 4 MAJOR CORPORATION layoffs in the past 4 yrs. Corporations include Lucent, Hewlett-Packard, Qwest, and Electronic Data Systems (EDS). All of this has been documented (throughout the years as it happened) on this site.
- I've moved from Philadelphia, PA to Denver, Co and now Evansville, IN in the past 3 years.
- Why do I mention this? To give you a heads up, and to ask if you are willing to make such a committment to this game we call programming?
Let's keep moving on -- you still reading? -- good.
- Do you know how to play the job search game? Can read elsewhere on this board under my name for lots of suggestions. If you are doing it right - it's a 40-60 hour a week effort.
- Do you know how to writeup a winning resume? I can tell you that the job placement service people at Chubb (or any college for that matter), do not know one crap about how to write a winning resume.
- Do you know how to dress for an interview? Listen to the guys who are a success in this field. Look at how they dress.
Bottom Line:
- Your education at Chubb and SetFocus is just a start -- and you got a long way to go. I mean a really long way to go.
- Not to despair. My advice, grab the data center job in a Fortune 500 company. First to get contacts and possibly advance into Java position, and secondly to get them to pay $$ for college. Most of the big boys will give you around US$5K/yr for college. Some pay for the whole ride.
- Also, working at Fortune 500 outfit will give some meat to your resume.
To answer your question about how to get experience:
- As far as experience goes. Most of us get our foot in the door doing projects for professors. Most professors have business contacts, so you may be doing some off the wall project -- but who cares -- it's real world experience that you can slap on a resume.
- BTW/ After getting BS-Applied Math -- I worked for $6/hour 60 hrs/week providing customer support for legal bankruptcy software, and coding in Prolog (of all things). At night (after comp sci classes), I would come back and shrink wrap and mail out software orders for said company.
- Meaning, we all have to start in the trenches.
- First, that salaries in this game/field have to go up. Even with all the so-called outsourcing being done. Seriously, how many folks are going to go through all the preparation (college, internships, learning the J2EE model, learning HTML, XHTML, CSS, SQL, XML, etc), for a measly US $40-$60K/yr. And then be expected to endure and suffer through the stress of multiple layoffs during the course of their career.
- Friends, this is why I believe the market will eventually correct itself. The law of supply & demand will prevail.

- Final note:
Keith Rosenfield, I hope I didn't discourage you. What I told you is what no Chubb Institute, or SetFocus manager/employee/salesperson had the balls to tell you.
This is the reality of the situation.
Good luck in your endeavors.
BTW/ I start nursing school June 20th. Will be fun combining full-time Comp Sci job with nuring school. Stay tuned...the adventure is not over yet.
John Coxey
[ January 11, 2004: Message edited by: John Coxey ]
19 years ago
Carlisia Campos:
- In the USA, with an MS-Comp Sci degree...
- You should be commanding around US$50K-US$60K/year.
- Yes, salaries for new graduates are down. Hopefully, this will change.
- As Mark mentioned, previous employment wages should have nothing to do
with the salary at your new employment.
- Your offer should include benefits.
John Coxey
20 years ago