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Motard (Slashdot user name) replied:
You might want to look into getting some technical certs to help get your foot in the door… just look at what kinds of requirements some of your job reqs have and invest in some of those certs. You could likely cinch one in maybe a month of cramming with a study guide and an exam for a few hundred $$. If you have a couple thousand to invest, you could even do one of those 1-2 week-long prep courses and get it done faster.
Preferably once you have a nice job, they would be happy to help put you through further certs and degree programs to strengthen their workforce (and your credentials), so try to take advantage of that situation.
The consensus seems to be that if you can demonstrate strong IT skills, ideally through work on an open source project where prospective employers can look at code you wrote, you’re in better shape than someone who has a CS degree and little or no real experience. Of course, a lot of HR departments aren’t smart enough to realize this, so — several responders say — you may want to look for your first job or two in smaller companies that don’t have obstructionist HR people.
And, some Slashdot users say, after a few years of provable experience the lack of a CS degree won’t really matter.]]>
The sun never set on our empire — which sounds like a joke, but was a true statement.
MySQL had an even larger and farther-flung empire. MySQL CEO Mårten Mickos and I talked about tactics for hiring, training, and motivating remote workers whenever we ran into each other at software conferences and IT trade shows. And our consensus opinion was that hiring was all-important when it came to managing a virtual workforce. Basically, if we brought people on board who thought of their work as a paid hobby rather than as drudgery, we had no problem making sure they were doing what they were supposed to do. They were self-managed, and our job was to make sure they had well-defined tasks and that they stopped working now and then to eat, sleep, kiss their spouses, and that sort of thing, rather than standing behind them with a whip, urging them to work.
In his book, Kevin Sheridan imparts a lot of the lessons Mårten and I had to learn on our own because there were no good books around back then to teach us how to do what we were doing. We were in the leading wave of the open source movement, not followers. We knew and often exchanged information with academics and analysts, but they were picking our brains at least as much as we were picking theirs.
If you’re on the applicant side of the equation, you need to be as honest with yourself as my neighbor was. Otherwise you are setting yourself up for failure. (As it happens, my neighbor, Tim McCann, soon became the public information officer for the City of Bradenton, a job for which he was eminently suited — and still holds.)
If you’re on the employer side, honesty is still important. Years ago, when I worked briefly for an employment agency in Baltimore, I found that employers lied more about the jobs they were offering than applicants lied about their skills and training. Maybe an exceptionally nasty employer might say to himself, “Time are tight right now, so once I get them on the payroll, they probably won’t leave even if I ask them to do more work for less money than I originally promised.”
Of course, the better employees will leave if you pull this sort of thing on them; they can always take a temp job while they look for a real one or have savings they can rely on. In the end, lying to job applicants gets you a low-quality work force.
if you want low-quality workers, that’s the way it goes. But if you’re interested in high-quality people who can work from home across town or halfway around the world, read The Virtual Manager. It’s well worth your time.]]>
From Robert Hatta:
A big trend these days is for older professionals to leave dates of employment off their resume, or omit decades of experience to seem younger. I get why they do this because age discrimination is real. I also hate it. Evaluating someone’s fit for a role and overall abilities has everything to do with their experience. How can I learn about someone and NOT know about, oh, 10-15 years of their career?
Kat Krull of Careerimp writes:
Many job seekers fail to tailor their resume for the particular job I’m trying to fill. This forces me to wade through a bunch of irrelevant information and makes it difficult for me to understand how the person will fit what I need. As a hiring manager, this signals to me that the individual either did not take the time to look at the full job description, or care enough to edit their resume appropriately.
From Creed Huckaby, tech lead at Pyxl, Inc.:
I once received a 12-page resume for our senior web developer position. It appeared that the applicant listed every old technology and programming language they had ever touched, which is a major red flag in my book. I strongly recommend listing a few skills that you are passionate about and you think would be valuable to your prospective company. Technology ‘over- generalists’ are really common these days and it’s much harder to find a good long-term fit for them rather than applicants who have some focus.
Ian Aronovich, CEO of GovernmentAuctions.org writes:
The worst mistake you can make on a resume is to mistakenly leave it tailored to another job…
From Alesia Benedict, President & CEO of GetInterviews.com:
Worst mistake ever: A programmer who was working at a CPA firm. In the description of the company, he listed it as a certified pubic accounting firm.
And I have a million more resume and interview bloopers to share with you in the weeks to come.
Meanwhile, let me leave you with the motherlode of Stupid Resume Tricks: MyCrappyResume.com. These would be funny if they weren’t so sad.]]>