Rory French

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since Apr 03, 2003
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Recent posts by Rory French

Hi

I'll shortly be conducting a data migration from a legacy system on Oracle to a new (purchased) software package running on Sybase SQL Server. I've done data migration before and found it to be very fidgety and painful. Can anyone suggest anything that will ease my pain e.g. good third party migration tools, effective methodologies, good books etc. Any helpful suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
14 years ago
Saliya,
Jeeez, thats a drastic move. How old was your friend when he started medical school and what motivated him to make such a major move ?
Rory
15 years ago
Rick
I think yours is a great idea i.e. develop internet sites yourself, and if you're too busy or simply could't be bothered, source the work out to indian firms. I still maintain that you can't avoid having to practice sales when its your own business.
Rory
15 years ago
Hi there Rick
I feel the same way you do about the corporate world. I also love the challenges that programming provides, but all things considered I'm prepared relegate it to hobby status and look to potentially greener pastures.
whether you're a permanent staffer or a contractor, rates of pay aint what they used to be, and its a lot harder to find/switch jobs because of economic conditions, outsourcing (or "smart-sourcing" as I've heard it called by certain company execs) etc. I know a lot of people share the "do what you love" sentiment, but personally my "love" has limits.
So I'm currently investigating starting my own business. I know its supposed to be more risky than being an employee, but is it really that much more risky given the recent dot-bomb and its consequences for risk-averse employees. I've come to learn though that even if my business is in computing, most of my time will probably be spent managing and selling the business, rather than doing hands-on programming work. In other words I think its really difficult being a business owner and hands on technical specialist.
I'm currently looking at Franchising as a way of going into business for myself. The franchise - WSI Internet- may interest you. As for me, I think I'm gonna go for fast food. At least I'll get free lunch.
Good Luck
Rory
15 years ago
Thanks for those useful links Tobias. I wasn't aware of them before. It is encouraging to see that there are still quite a few jobs out there.
Viki, returning to the language issue. Its a simple case of the government taking note of a skills shortage, and taking action by trying to import those skills. On the other hand, many (probably most) companies will require German speakers because employees will need to operate in German speaking environments, which makes sense. For people who only speak English the best bet is to target the larger, multinational companies where English is more dominant - for example in some of the vacancies posted by SAP (on the links provided by Tobias) I noticed German is not always a prerequisite, although a willingness to learn German is sometimes necessary.
As for salaries, I think they are pretty much on a par with the rest of Europe and the UK. But remember, taxes are very high in Germany. They can be around 50% for a single person with no dependants. Employees MUST also pay contributions to health insurance and government pensions (also expensive). So you'd be fortunate if you could hang on to half of your salary.
-Rory
15 years ago
hi Vikrama
Yes, Germany currently has a green card scheme which is to remain in effect until at least 2004. It allows degreed IT specialists to work in Germany for an initial period of 3 years (this can be extended to 5 years after the 3 years have expired). I think initially provision was made for the issuing of 20,000 green cards when the scheme was implemented in 2000. However less than a quarter of these have been issued, and the largest proportion of these have been issued to Indian IT specialists.
I'm not sure why such a relatively small amount of visas have been issued, but I do think one of the reasons is language, despite promoters of the scheme often asserting that only a decent command of the English language is enough to get you a Visa. This may be so for some jobs, but in my experience, for the vast majority of vacancies posted by employers under this scheme, fluency in German has been a prerequisite.
Also, the German economy is in a bit of a state at the moment, with over 4 million people unemployed. I'm currently in Frankfurt am Main which only a couple of years ago was rumoured to be taking over from London as the financial/banking capital of Europe. No such luck. The large banks in this city are cutting jobs and freezing budgets in a big way. Getting a Java job here is damn near impossible and I think your chances are worse of you don't speak German.
Nevertheless, the authorities in Germany insist that there is still a shortage of certain IT skills e.g. IT Security, so while it may be more difficult to get a job here its apparently still possible.
below are some links to sites and articles you might find interesting/helpful :
read this
and this
and this
and this
and this
and if you browse the web you'll come up with plenty more info.
-Rory
[ July 31, 2003: Message edited by: Rory French ]
15 years ago

Originally posted by Billy Tsai
Even if u got through the selection process and get to the interview some the managers or the technical ppl in some company interviewing and testing u are just out to humiliate u, humiliate u like u r useless without experience, u dont have the enough certs...


Hi Billy
I have to say I really enjoy reading your posts because they often reflect exactly how I feel. I have been programming for about 8 years and have decided to drop it and do something else. There is absolutely no dignity in being a programmer anymore, and dignity is something I value, and that is why I have become so frustrated like you.
While I agree that interviews can be a humiliating experience, I've come to realise that employers aren't intent on humiliating applicants. Its completely impersonal. You/we are merely a commodity with a one-dimensional boring set of skills/certs that needs to be matched with a predetermined laundry list. They arn't out to hurt your feelings because they simply don't care about your feelings.
So, the one way to improve our lot may be to make it more 'personal'. One way to do this is by networking and selling ourselves and 'getting under other people's skin' so to speak. I find myself having to agree (often reluctantly, because its hard to be open minded when you're p****d off) with Mark, Matt etc when they say things like:

posted by Matt Cao
Since your folks have a computer business, if I were you I would come out to business take the job as salesperson, practice human interactions, practice public speaking, and practice to make a right decision on a split of second


posted by Mark Herschberg
This is why you must actively network on your own. JUGs and other professional groups, alumni networking from your college, local business community events, even social settings are all areas where you can make new contacts outside your company


Practicing social skills like these is really intimidating for people like me, but I realise that it's necessary and there's no way around it. To achieve goals you inevitibly have to interact with people, and the better you are at the gentle art of arm twisting, the easier it will be to get what you want.
And while you're at it, why not shift your focus and try becomming an employer instead of an employee i.e. go 'where the real cheesecake is'. Here's an idea: why not act as a broker/middleman between programmers in India and clients in Australia/NZ. You can undercut the price of local programmers just enough to keep Indian programmers employed and youself deeply in the green for many years to come. This may sound unethical, but life is tough and only the fittest survive. After all many of us are the victims of this very type of activity, so I think Its time to stop being victims. Check out this (advertised on Javaranch, go figure) website for some ideas.
Rory
15 years ago
I think the reason they advertise for a junior position is that they're simply trying to get maximum value for money. Given the state of the market, they probably get loads of applications from very, very highly qualified applicants. So for the senior position they'll probably end up hiring some superman with 10+ years of experience, and for the 'junior position' they'll also hire a superman, but one with maybe a little less experience. That's why the job descriptions are the same for the senior and the junior positions - the word 'junior' just means less pay, and realistically doesn't have much to do with skill level, since skills are so plentiful. Time to find another career. I'm tired of being treated like a bushel of wheet or a bag of coffee...
15 years ago
SAP is pretty broad in scope, so if you want to get into it, there are quite a few choices. You could be:
- a functional consultant. SAP software comprises many functional modules e.g. Financial, Human Resources, Sales and Distribution, Workflow etc. Each of these modules is customisable via a GUI interface. So it is the job of the specialist functional consultant to ascertain the requirements of the business where SAP is being applied, and then customise/configure the software accordingly. Generally, the functional consultant does NOT require any programming knowledge/ability. More important is the consultant's business knowledge e.g. a consultant for the SAP financial module would likely come from an accounting background.
- An ABAP programmer/consultant - any required extra functionality which the functional consultant can not easily configure, is usually handed over to the ABAP programmer/consultant. This usually involves modifications to the SAP user GUI, and more often, the writing of reports.
- A Basis Consultant - the basis consultant is responsible for the maintenance and administration of the interface between SAP software and the platforms on which it runs - the database (e.g.Oracle), the operating system (eg unix) etc. So a basis consultant often has previous relevant Database and/or operating system experience.
Traditionally, these (abv) are the 3 main roles within SAP. Incidentally, SAP has also embraced Java, and delivers many of its applications (e.g. e-business apps) based on Java or J2EE.
As for PeopleSoft, when I last I checked it was an ERP specializing in Human Resources. It may have since expanded its scope. But like SAP and other ERP's it's also cusomizeable/configurable, is programmable, and requires platform administration support.
Also remember that its not that easy to get a job using SAP - it's possibly more difficult than getting a Java job. And its not like you can teach yourself SAP consulting like you can teach yourself Java; training is very expensive. So obviously the best way is to be on a site that has implemented or is about to implement SAP or to know someone who is in that position that can get you hired.
Hope the info helps
[ July 24, 2003: Message edited by: Rory French ]
15 years ago
Fabulous Giselle. Well done!
16 years ago
Good one Mike. Congratulations!
16 years ago
Well done Anup!
16 years ago
Belated congratulations Helen!
16 years ago
Congratulations Kim (and especially for doing it in only 2 weeks)!
16 years ago
Thanks a ton for the advice, Andres and Murali. You've told me exactly what I need to know