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job prospects

Given 3 interviews in 3 weeks for developer positions, what do you think are the average job prospects? 1 in 3?
1 in 5? what are peoples previous experiences?

anonymous
Thursday, March 13, 2003

My previous experience has been three interviews in 6 MONTHS, not 3 weeks. If you're getting that many interviews, you must have something people want. Sounds like your prospects are fairly good, assuming you don't flub the interview.

Chris Tavares
Thursday, March 13, 2003

Actually I had nothing in the previous 2 and half months, I guess it's a bit of luck

anonymous
Thursday, March 13, 2003

It depends whether your talking at the interview meets, or better yet, exceeds, the claims you made to get the interview in the first place.

Darin
Thursday, March 13, 2003

You'll get the job if your skills match what they're after. Seriously, there are so many different tech skills these days that all this talk of over supply is just there to keep us in crappy jobs that we hate.

optimistic coder
Thursday, March 13, 2003

In times of bad economy do you guys suppose the agencies have all the advantages? They seems to be the only one promising to be able to sift through thousands upon thousands of resumes no one can read through.

Sometimes I feel so bad for these poor companies in desperate need to sift through the hay that I wish two paragraphs, 8 frames of powerpoint, or a 1 minute video is all job seekers ever submit.

-- David

Li-fan Chen
Friday, March 14, 2003

If you're good, I'd say you'd get three job offers.

Mr Jack
Friday, March 14, 2003

"If you're good, I'd say you'd get three job offers. "

What's your definition of 'good.' In this market (and, really, any time other then the bubble of the late 90's), it means fitting the employeer's requirements.

He could be an excellent C++ programmer (for example) with great communication skills but not be 'good' for a Java (or Cobol, VB, whatever) position. He could know manufacturing systems down pat but not be 'good' for a position with a financial company.

It's more about fit then it is about good.

RocketJeff
Friday, March 14, 2003

most of my previous experience is in C++ and Java, the positions I have interviewed for have been varied, from PHP in one case to C to Java.It's hard to say.

anonymous
Friday, March 14, 2003

RocketJeff wrote,
----------------------------------------------------------------------
What's your definition of 'good.' In this market (and, really, any time other then the bubble of the late 90's), it means fitting the employeer's requirements.

He could be an excellent C++ programmer (for example) with great communication skills but not be 'good' for a Java (or Cobol, VB, whatever) position. He could know manufacturing systems down pat but not be 'good' for a position with a financial company.

It's more about fit then it is about good.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

This type of reasoning is what I expect from a clueless employer (98% of them seem to fall into this category).

There shouldn't be such a thing as a COBOL, VB, C++, or Java position!

If employers in non I.T. related industries (i.e. Insurance, manufacturing, etc.) need to discriminate based on requirements then it should be based on a potential job candidate's knowledge of the software development lifecycle.

What happens to a new hire when a software project that uses COBOL, VB, C++, etc. gets canceled after 3 months? Also, industry knowledge is highly overrated in my opinion.  The reason why some employers look for it when hiring typically has nothing to do with a person being a good software developer.

With all of the "catch-22's" that exist in this industry, it simply amazes me that anyone is able find employment or stay employed.

You should hire developers based on talent and provide training to those that happen to lack a specific technical skill.

One Programmer's Opinion
Friday, March 14, 2003

"You should hire developers based on talent and provide training to those that happen to lack a specific technical skill. "

I agree, completely (since I'm an out of work IT guy).

However, in the current market, employeers are able to find very talented developers who already have the specific technical skills they want. It isn't an either/or situation.

RocketJeff
Friday, March 14, 2003

Since the new year[*], I've had five real interviews[**] and four rejections.  (Still waiting to hear back from #5.)  One of the companies that rejected me interviewed fifteen people for a single position; another interviewed about 50 people for six to eight position, and checked references for 23 (including myself); a third interviewed three people for two positions (ouch!), and I don't know what the statistics are for the fourth.

So I figure that with every interview, I have about a 5% chance of getting an offer.  Obviously, I'm trying to figure out how to increase my odds, but I'm trying not to invest too much hope in any one company that I interview at, and trusting that if I keep working at it for long enough, *one* place I interview at is going to make me an acceptable offer.

[*]I was laid off in November and got no interviews in November and December, but that's not surprising.

[**]I define a "real interview" as one that's face-to-face with someone at the company that's hiring me, as opposed to a phone screening or an interview with a recruiting firm.

Seth Gordon
Friday, March 14, 2003

"However, in the current market, employeers are able to find very talented developers who already have the specific technical skills they want. It isn't an either/or situation."

They can find developers who match a long shopping list of skills, but they aren't finding many *talented* developers like that.  Most of the people who match their shopping list lied on their resume or exaggerated the truth, and most of the others just happened to sit on projects that involved the specific languages and platforms, but they aren't really *good*.

T. Norman
Friday, March 14, 2003

Do all empoyers actually get back to you? I am yet to here from some of them yet...

anonymous
Saturday, March 15, 2003

> Given 3 interviews in 3 weeks for developer positions, what do you think are the average job prospects? 1 in 3?

Let's say there are 5 people interviewed per job.  If all people have the same odds of getting hired, you have a 1/5 chance of getting each job. 
1/5 + 1/5 + 1/5 = 3/5 chance of getting a job.

Bella
Saturday, March 15, 2003

> What happens to a new hire when a software project that uses COBOL, VB, C++, etc. gets canceled after 3 months?

One option is to fire him, and hire someone else who fits your new needs.  Of course, the company must take all factors into effect.  Cost of rehiring, cost of retraining a new employee, impact of reputation of firm, impact on current employees psyche, etc.  vs cost of retraining existing resource, etc

Bella
Saturday, March 15, 2003

Make that "five real interviews and *five* rejections".  It's just like college admissions ... when you see the thin envelope in your mailbox, you know it's not good news.

Bella -- if you go on three interviews and you have a 20% chance of an offer for each one, the total chance of success is not 80%, but slightly under 50%.  A 20% chance of an offer is equivalent ot an 80% chance of *not* getting an offer, and (assuming that the three interviews are statistically independent) the chance of not getting an offer for any of the three interviews is therefore 80%^3.

Seth Gordon
Saturday, March 15, 2003

Seth,
It's no wonder you're unemployed.  You're an idiot.

Bella
Sunday, March 16, 2003

Bella,

Seth is correct. You have a 48.8% chance of getting hired, and a 51.2% on not getting hired. Basic probability theory.

Harlequin
Sunday, March 16, 2003

Here is some more simple probabilty theory.

P(getting EXACTLY one offer) = 3C1 x (1/5)^1 x (4/5)^2 = 6 x 1/5 x 16/25 = .768 = 76.8%

P(getting EXACTLY 2 offers) = 3C2 x (1/5)^2 x (4/5)^1 = 3 x 1/25 x 4/5 = .096 = 9.6%

P(getting all 3 jobs offers) = 1/5 * 1/5 * 1/5 = 1/125 = .8%
or
P(getting EXACTLY 3 offers) = 3C3 x (1/5)^3 x (4/5)^0 = 1 x 1/125 x 1 = .768 = .008 = .8%

P(getting AT LEAST one job offer) = P(exactly one offer) + P(exactly 2 offers) + P(exactly 3 offers) = 76.8% + 9.6% + .8% = 87.2%

Bella
Sunday, March 16, 2003

Dear Bella,
                  Your math is hopeless, although I presume your last post is just a pisstake. He is asking about the probability of being offered a job as opposed to not being offered a job. So the easiest thing to do is to calculate the odds of his not being offered a job.

                The first time it is 80%. The second time it is 4/5 of 80%, which is 64%. The third time it is 4/5 of  64% which is 51.2% , exactlly as Seth said.

Stephen Jones
Sunday, March 16, 2003

P(getting AT LEAST one job offer) = P(exactly one offer) + P(exactly 2 offers) + P(exactly 3 offers) = 76.8% + 9.6% + .8% = 87.2%

This one made me laugh.

Vegas?
Sunday, March 16, 2003

Bella -

3C1 = 3. If you substitute that into your first clause, you get P(exactly 1) = .384 and P(at least 1) = .488, as was indicated by the other posters.

Devil's Advocate
Monday, March 17, 2003

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