on looking for work

Discussion in 'Perl Misc' started by cartercc, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. cartercc

    cartercc Guest

    I don't mean to pry or be disrespectful, but have an interest in this
    subject, as many of you probably do.

    This is prompted by TM's statement in a recent thread that he needed
    employment. I found his resume online, and it looked like a good,
    solid resume to me. He appears to have a history of working for
    substantial people doing responsible stuff ... and he is searching for
    a job. Obviously, there can be many reasons for this, and I'm not in a
    position to speculate, but I've been thinking about this for the last
    couple of days, and I have some basic questions.

    As for myself, I have a decent job and while I'm always looking, it's
    only because I'm looking for a better opportunity, not because I need
    work. I'm just wondering in general.

    (1) How is it that a person with good skills has trouble finding work?
    (2) Why do employers often seem to pass over people with good skills?
    (3) What about self-employment or contract work for skilled
    professionals?
    (4) How does one position himself to minimize the necessity of looking
    for work?

    My take on this, from very limited exposure to the problem, is not
    lack of work in general, but a disconnect between the consumers of
    skilled labor and the producers of skilled labor. I've seen more often
    than not (in the situations that I know personally) that the hirer,
    which mostly is not the person who needs to hire, looks at the wrong
    things, for example, a requisition that specifies C# may hire a person
    with limited C# skill and pass over a person with extensive OO skills
    in a number of other languages. Or a requisition that specifies MySQL
    and PHP may hire a person with very limited experience in this area
    while passing over a person with good Oracle and MSSQL experience
    coupled with JSP and ASP.

    I know this is OT and not specifically related to Perl, so please
    excuse this if you think this is posted to the wrong group.

    CC
     
    cartercc, Jan 22, 2009
    #1
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  2. cartercc

    Uri Guttman Guest

    >>>>> "c" == cartercc <> writes:

    i have some knowledge in the perl jobs field so i will try to help out here.

    c> As for myself, I have a decent job and while I'm always looking, it's
    c> only because I'm looking for a better opportunity, not because I need
    c> work. I'm just wondering in general.

    c> (1) How is it that a person with good skills has trouble finding
    c> work?

    there are more issues to getting a job than just skills. location, work
    environment, pay rates, onsite vs telecommute, etc.

    c> (2) Why do employers often seem to pass over people with good
    c> skills?

    because they have criteria that aren't met. most often these days it is
    on-site vs telecommute. most candidates can't move (stuck with a
    mortgage, can't uproot the family) and too many companies insist on
    employees being on site.

    c> (3) What about self-employment or contract work for skilled
    c> professionals?

    those require marketing skills and perserverence. not all perl hackers
    have those skills. i have been self-employed for over 15 years and it
    can be very tough in spots.

    c> (4) How does one position himself to minimize the necessity of looking
    c> for work?

    hit the lottery? be lucky and be part of an IPO company? there is no
    particular thing you can do for this. if there were, everyone would do
    it and it would become useless.

    c> My take on this, from very limited exposure to the problem, is not
    c> lack of work in general, but a disconnect between the consumers of
    c> skilled labor and the producers of skilled labor. I've seen more often
    c> than not (in the situations that I know personally) that the hirer,
    c> which mostly is not the person who needs to hire, looks at the wrong
    c> things, for example, a requisition that specifies C# may hire a person
    c> with limited C# skill and pass over a person with extensive OO skills
    c> in a number of other languages. Or a requisition that specifies MySQL
    c> and PHP may hire a person with very limited experience in this area
    c> while passing over a person with good Oracle and MSSQL experience
    c> coupled with JSP and ASP.

    that is more of the disconnect between HR people who are not technical
    so they rely on buzzwords and the technically oriented candidates and
    hiring managers.

    c> I know this is OT and not specifically related to Perl, so please
    c> excuse this if you think this is posted to the wrong group.

    a better place to discuss this is the perl jobs discuss list (look for
    it at jobs.perl.org). it isn't off topic to discuss job skills here but
    it is off topic to discuss specific jobs or to offer them.

    uri

    --
    Uri Guttman ------ -------- http://www.sysarch.com --
    ----- Perl Code Review , Architecture, Development, Training, Support ------
    --------- Free Perl Training --- http://perlhunter.com/college.html ---------
    --------- Gourmet Hot Cocoa Mix ---- http://bestfriendscocoa.com ---------
     
    Uri Guttman, Jan 22, 2009
    #2
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  3. >>>>> "cc" == cartercc <> writes:

    cc> (1) How is it that a person with good skills has trouble finding
    cc> work?

    It's like a great big dance. You have good companies to work for, and
    bad companies to work for. Over time, the good companies accumulate all
    the good employees they need. The bad companies hire people and lose
    the good people, increasing their badness.

    Eventually a person with good skills determines that he will only work
    for good companies, and finds himself in a position where he is waiting
    for a good company to have an opening.

    cc> (2) Why do employers often seem to pass over people with
    cc> good skills?

    Because the employer wants objectively demonstrated skills. Many
    programmers can't show a portfolio or code samples, and it's very
    difficult for soft-skilled HR types to tell the difference between a
    competent programmer and a competent scam artist. When in doubt, the
    employer errs on the side of caution.

    Because the employer wants a personality type that fits with the manager
    of the open position. A brilliant programmer who's abrasive won't get
    hired to work in a group where the manager is promoting a more collegial
    atmosphere.

    Because the employer may also want other skills: really good software
    engineers often get paid more because they can explain the problem in
    English and then deliver a solution to meet a deadline rather than
    because they understand all the ramifications of closures.

    cc> (3) What about self-employment or contract work for skilled
    cc> professionals?

    Self-employment requires a different skillset. If you have marketing
    and accounting skills, and are very good at networking, you might have a
    shot at it.

    cc> (4) How does one position himself to minimize the necessity of
    cc> looking for work?

    Win the lottery or own the company.

    Charlton


    --
    Charlton Wilbur
     
    Charlton Wilbur, Jan 22, 2009
    #3
  4. cartercc

    cartercc Guest

    On Jan 22, 3:25 pm, Charlton Wilbur <> wrote:
    > Because the employer wants objectively demonstrated skills. Many
    > programmers can't show a portfolio or code samples, and it's very
    > difficult for soft-skilled HR types to tell the difference between a
    > competent programmer and a competent scam artist.


    Two brief war stories:

    I interviewed for a sys admin position. During the course of the
    interview, I told the interviewer (HR type) that I cut my sys admin
    teeth on BSD. She had never heard of BSD, and when I told my bad BSD
    joke ('Do you think it's a coincidence that BSD and LSD came from the
    same place?') she thought I was making fun at her, which in fact I
    was.

    I interviewed for a Java position with an IT manager (EE background)
    and went to considerable effort detailing a number of classes I had
    developed for an application that I had written. When I finished, he
    looked at me and asked me when I had taken the classes. This isn't a
    joke, it really happened.

    CC
     
    cartercc, Jan 23, 2009
    #4
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