It's 2001. Recruiters parade around with rifles on their shoulders, shooting fish in barrels. People everywhere are taking jobs they are overqualified for (says one person with six years of development experience on the verge of taking a webmaster position).
Share your tales of employment-process macabre here for the morbid delight of your fellow Wikizens.
- A certain programmer sent some sample code to a certain company. It was written test-first with all the well-refactored fixins. The recipient was very impressed, saying, "This code is great! Can we use it to train our other engineers?" The author, feeling complimented, said "Sure." After two months of no response, said applicant became curious and called said employer. The entire division of the company had been laid off.
- The biggest problem I'm encountering is that I don't have a lot of experience with expensive tools. Experience with opensource, OO design, design patterns and a PhD just doesn't seem to count for much with recruiters. Short term familiarity with proprietary products seems to get a lot more attention. 200 years of ASP seems to be more valuable. The way things are now, I wish I'd have dropped out of the PhD within my first year and spent my savings getting to be an MCSD. I suspect that there's a roaring demand for sysadmins and technicians - but not developers.
- My most recent experience was with HR departments. I applied for a permanent job with a large investment bank (GS). I was rejected at the HR stage because I didn't have a degree. Three months later I was called by a recruiter asking me if I wanted to interview for a contract job. Yup, same job. Too late of course.
- An automated reply to a lovingly crafted cover-letter-and-resume email: "There has been a major increase in the number of resumes we have been receiving over the last month, so we will get to yours as soon as possible." (July 2001)
- Then again, by mid-2002, many companies have stopped sending replies to resumes at all, at least in the Portland, Oregon area. Treasure that automated reply...
- It's the spring of 2001 and you send a job application to three companies. Within two months all three have figured in the computer press headlines with the word "layoffs".
- An employee with a reasonable salary and high job security is headhunted by a company offering a very good salary. The employee takes the job, and one month later the entire department is laid off. Did the company really have no idea that this was likely when they recruited?
- I interviewed at one place where they fired the last guy because his tech skills stunk. After interviewing me, they told my recruiter that I appeared to have tech skills, but that I was too geeky. I wonder if they will ever get what they want.
- One phrase: FiveYearsOfCeePlusPlusRequired
- For the longest time, for every single Java job: "Five years industry experience required". Of course, that means to begin to receive your five years of industry experience you need to already have it...
- In contrast to the first paragraph: we're recruiting, and that sucks too. Because we have to wade through great drifts of CVs from recently layed off e-commerce "developers" (tick the Java box, right?) with very high opinions of themselves but not much actual programming experience. That would be fine, if they weren't applying for jobs with us writing system software for hand-helds. When the rare good developer crops up we often find that by the time we've read their CV and called their agent back, they've already been snapped up. (We don't want to interfere with the cathartic effect of commiseration. However, there were individuals who wanted advice about getting jobs in the computer industry, so see: HowToSurviveInaJobMarketThatSucks.)
One big problem here is the attitude
that going from development to WebMaster
is a "step down". It's a challenge like any other, and we should pride ourselves in meeting challenges. Imagine the difference between a typical WebMaster
and someone trained in TestDrivenDevelopment
. You'd have the slickest, most bulletproof WebSite
on the block, and it could turn on a dime!
If you have experience writing tests
to speed up development (and if the hiring person actually knows
how important this is), you are in the top 1% of your cohort. Go for the throat.
Challenges schmallenges. Working in McDonalds is challenging too. You'd still be JustaWebMaster?.
This reminds me of a SpikeLee?
movie - [spoiler alert
] I forget which, where this young black talent keeps getting in trouble trying to become an actor. His mother keeps nagging "the PostOffice?
is hiring", and he keeps brushing her off. Then at the end he finally relents and gets the gig his mother was talking about - appearing as a post office worker in a TeeVee
I don't know how it is in the rest of the World, but in UK if you wanna get a job, you must deal with recruitment agencies. When the job market sucks, the agents talk to you as if you were a piece of sh... ! They lie, they manipulate you, etc ... Tell me about your experience with agencies in London AgenciesDoNotRespectYou
It's 2003 and TheJobMarketStillSucks?
It's 2004 and TheJobMarketStillSucks?
. They're lying that it's getting better, though.
It's August 2004 and, at least in Atlanta, the job market is much better than it was last year and the year before.
Same in Pittsburgh. We can't find enough people, and no one is laying off good programmers.
It's 2007 and the economy is booming, with OpenSource
s on one side, and Daddy Warbucks trickling the largess down to at least the high-end professionals on the other side. --PhlIp
Software development is highly cyclical because during recessions, existing software continues to work as it did the day before. Software is kind of like the construction business in that regard. Buildings don't go away if you stop building them; they just need maintenance. It is not like food and medical care, which people need even in down-times. Some professions, such as law enforcement, even go up during downtimes because out-of-work people tend to cause societal problems. In short, in good times save save save! The Wheel in the Sky Keeps Turning.
No longer are people taking jobs they are OverQualified?
for; rather, companies are hiring UnderQualified?
staff for important positions (because they don't want to spend enough to hire the real talent), and then wondering why growth is so slow. We can only hope that this situation continues until employers start to increase the value of InformationTechnology