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Where are all the new jobs?

I keep hearing about all the new jobs being created and that these jobs are good paying jobs. 

Can someone tell me where these jobs are being created?  What sectors are the jobs in?  Where should I look for these jobs?

I really need a job and besides breaking down and accepting a job at McDonalds I am at a loss as to where the new jobs are?

This is a serious inquiry I really do need help and don't know where to turn. 

I have been trying and trying to get a position after graduation in the software field, but it really does seem to me that this field is flooded with people.  Am I correct in this assumption?  Perhaps some of you can give me some guidance.

Friday, June 11, 2004

I guess it is just hard to give up on my dream of becoming a software engineer but I really need to take a job somewhere doing something so any help would be appreciated.

Friday, June 11, 2004

There aren't any new jobs.  It is all a conspiracy.  The "liberal" media is lying to you about new jobs because it wants Bush to win the election in November.

Mr. Fancypants
Friday, June 11, 2004

Thanks but no thanks Mr. Fancypants.  I need to be serious here.  (Even though you may be serious.) I don't want to go back to mindless factory/assembly line work, I don't want to go back to grunt work on a farm, I don't want to sign up for the military again.

I have done all of these things already.  I have done them to work myself up to getting a degree and then all of a sudden there are no jobs?  That doesn't make sense.  There has to be something.  I am not saying education guarantees a job, but let's be real here there must be something I can do that's not mindless and boring.  I'm not afraid of physical labor but my hopes and dreams have been demolished and I prefer not to slave away for little to show for my efforts.

I am seriously distgusted.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Uhh, in Phoenix, Arizona. .NET and SQL jobs are being posted on local boards at the rate of 2 or 3 a week.

A year ago, nothing.

With "real" salaries and benefits.

It is a bit hot though...


Friday, June 11, 2004

Lots of new stuff in DC. For that matter, I was getting calls through the recession - not nearly as often as prior to the dotbomb, but at least once a week even when I wasn't looking.


Friday, June 11, 2004

Yes EE.  I apply for all jobs for which I believe I am qualified.  I have no real experience except for 4 months and before that 8 years of "hobby coding."

Seriously most jobs posted on job boards in my state are looking for "senior developers" or people with outrageous skill sets.

Most jobs posted on these boards are fake.  They are posted every couple months and then I send my resume in and then I receive a postcard saying "Thanks for your application.  We will store it on file for 1 year... etc" but never any real response.  Phone calls to these companies are not welcomed.

This makes me believe that companies are just collecting resumes and using me.

How do I go about getting a job with my limited experience?  I have applied numerious places.  I don't use recruiters anymore as the ones I have worked with have lied to me.  They called me once a week or every other week telling me they had a job lined up and then the job would magically be filled "by someone else."  I can't believe that I was not qualified for any of those positions, it was just the recruiter that was trying to keep me hanging on so-to-speak.

People with jobs look at job boards and see a big list of jobs and think there must be a heck of a lot of demand.  I look at a job board and see fake jobs, recruiters trying to attract people and very rarely a true position.

The last job I applied for was a .NET position.  The HR person at the company emailed me asking for a time that they could call for a telephone interview.  I emailed back asking if a certain time was ok.  They did not respond.  So I called them at the given time and all I heard were excuses about why they didn't call and then they asked me some generic questions and said "we'll be in touch."

If you have a job, you have a whole different perspective than the person who doesn't have a job. I see a bunch of lying snakes whereas you wonder why people are complaining about the job market.

The reason people are complaining (or maybe just me) is because I really can't find work and have been lied to so often that it makes me sick.

I went to a Culver's the other day and sat down to eat my hamburger and at the table across from me I overheard a man (HR) and a woman (candidate) talking about a position that I had applied for.  The man was all over the woman.  He was reviewing her resume and her body...  It made me sick and I left.  I could just as easily have done the job as her and I wanted to say something like "did you recieve my resume" but I certainly would have looked like a fool then.

Finding a job is not easy and I am trying to understand how can I find a job that meets my satisfaction.  This really is a serious inquiry.

I know about politics and the need for politicians to look good, but does Bush know what it feels like to work for something your whole life and then be denied what you have worked so hard for?  What you dreamed for?

The people in Washington have no idea.  They have too much money and too much time to know what it is like.  They put on good show and pretend that everything is ok on the surface but underneath people like me are hurting.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Yes Philo, but look at what you have:

You're were an officer in the US Navy?
You have a law degree?
You have how many years of experience in computers?
You have a security clearance?

I mean give me a break, there's no comparison to me.  I'm a scrub compared to that.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Perhaps you are a little mistaken when you think about there being a "software field" to get into. In reality it is not quite like this. Being able to write software is a tool of the trade for more specific professions, much like writing is a tool of the trade for journalists. To continue the analogy, being able to write well is not the only skill required to actually be a successful journalist, but it is a necessary one.

So I maybe you need to be more specific about which area you wish to work in, and try to gain some particular training or education in that area. For example, it might be banking, or real-time systems, or communications, or e-commerce, or CRM, or scientific and technical, or SCM, or engineering, or military applications, or simulation, or...well you get the idea I hope.

You could try to be a little more specific and targeted in your job search. What are the particular areas of life or vocations that specially interest you? What things do you find mentally stimulating? Research the ways that software is used on one of these fields, and use that interest to look for a specific entry point into that industry.

In truth, it would have been better to start this process before selecting a college course, but you have nothing to lose by starting now.

Friday, June 11, 2004

You also have some EE degree no?

And now you're working for MS?

How the heck do I get a start?  Where do I go?  Who do I turn to?  I have no idea.  All I see are scams not jobs.

Friday, June 11, 2004

There are no jobs.  It is all a sham.

Mr. Fancypants
Friday, June 11, 2004


I graduated in the May of 2001!  I haven't been able to break into anything not even tech support?  Where the heck are all the tech support jobs?

You say I should specialize.  I did.  I specialized in database management/programming.  I also have an interest in graphics/games but these don't seem to help me any.  I am very open minded and willing to learn almost any field.

It's not a matter of geographic area either.  This is usually the second excuse most people tell me.  The area has heavy industry and some technology but it all seems "fake" and all jobs are "inside jobs" to me an outsider.

Two or three people I went to school with got jobs at the school because guess what their parents work their!  The rest are not working in software.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Dude, I hate to say it but you sound like a whiner.  I didn't even finish the history degree I would have gotten but I'm working in IT. I agree that most job postings are idiotic. Your belief that head hunters are lying to you indicates a bad attitude on your part. It's not easy being a head hunter and clients are finicky. They want to get you work otherwise they don't get paid. Take the advice of the others here: get focused. If you have not clue where you want to work then maybe you are in the wrong field. But if you do ... then focus on that. Be prepared to move. I know a guy with plenty of C++ and Java etc. and in this area there was no work for him and he was not prepared to move so now he's doing real estate. I have *lesser* skills but those skills are needed so I'm working in IT in this area. Learn what you need to learn; this was a problem with the aforementioned guy, he knew what he knew and always let  you know what he didn't know and wouldn't learn. That was not an attitude appreciated by anyone. In IT I believe you need to learn new skills all the time. This current gig came from my learning the language the last time I was out of work.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Bleh.  Does anyone understand what I'm going through?

Friday, June 11, 2004


I'm not a whiner and I'm not whining.  I'm asking for help.  I have tried everything.  I have tried what you suggest.  I have tried targeting my search.  I have tried the Department of Workforce development, I have tried job fairs and such and still nothing turns up.

I don't mean to sound "whiny" but I really have had bad experiences.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Anon, where do you live? Are you willing to relocate? My point is that there have been openings in the DC area the whole time. The places I've worked have generally been interviewing and hiring.

Personally, I would suggest learning to admin and develop on SharePoint and start applying to government agencies. But obviously I'm biased. :-)


Friday, June 11, 2004

The headhunters I have worked with must have been lying to me.  There is no other way to explain it.  Why would the person working with me quit?  Why would the person after that person quit?  Why when I asked two separate job agencies to quit posting fake ads on the local job board did they listen to my request.  This is because they were telling lies.  Why did one recruiter want $5k from me to "find me a job."  That's a scam for certain?

Instead of questioning my judgement why not give me the names of some honest job agencies?  Some honest companies?  Some companies who are hiring?

If companies are still recieving piles of resumes then there is still something wrong.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Anon, Philo's right that the DC area is booming (the defense industry at least).

If you're a U.S. citizen, go to, and look down the left column for the "jobs" link. Search on C++ (or whatever your interest) and note the 20+ pages of listings.

All the big defense contractors will hire straight out of college, and pay for you to sit in a waiting room and read books for six months until your security clearance goes through (which is basically guaranteed if you've never been arrested or fought for the Taliban).

Friday, June 11, 2004

The answer is simpler than you think. Write software. If software engineering is your dream job, then you are probably doing this already, but what you need to do is ship something. As a beginner, the easiest way to do this is to join an open source project, preferably small. The other option is writing shareware, although it is harder for employees because an employer can't look at your code. If you are really good at this, employers will find you.

If there are any user groups in your local area, which there should be, join them. If you learn something from (1), talk about it.

As an employer, these are my two main methods of hiring.

Finally, in discussion forums, use your real name :) You might already do this, but it is worth pointing out. If I look at your resume and google your name, I would prefer to see lots of newsgroup and forum postings. If you ever post a question, and solve it yourself, post a follow up - it's a common pet peeve of mine :)

Rhys Keepence
Friday, June 11, 2004


Where do you live?  Where are you looking?

Seriously, stop blaming other people like the politicians.  Its always pretty tought to find a job, especially when you are starting out.  They can't do anything for you. 

In '97 when the economy was supposedly doing well I was a Naval Officerlike Philo, getting out of the Navy, had a CS degree, security clearance and a few months of programming experience.  I spent almost six months looking for a job in my home town of Pittsburgh had got nothing.  I started looking elsewhere in the country and found work eventually.

Here are some thoughts.  The FBI and other law enforcement agencies are in desperate need of people with technical backgrounds, no experince is necessary.  If you have prior military service then you will get preferencial treatment for any hiring for a governemt job.  Also maybe start looking a little broader than just 'programmer"

Bill Rushmore
Friday, June 11, 2004

Why in the hell do people say "Learn technology XXXX and get a job!"

That's BS.  In my experience it doesn't work that way.  I have taught myself so many various technologies I can't even count them all.  Now when the interview time comes and I say to the interviewer in response to "How did you learn this technology and what experience do you have?", I taught myself and have developed several programs that use the technology, the interviewer simply smiles and nods and kicks me out the door so as to say that personal learning doesn't account for jack.

So how do all of you people who claim to have "learned XXXX technology in their spare time and now work in IT" do it?  Or you all full shit to?  I would think you are or you had an inside connection at the company to get you in.

When people tell me to start doing something it makes me mad,  I have been doing something for the past 3 years.  Keeping up on technology.  Writing code in my spare time.  Doing small projects.  People who say this stuff makes a difference are full of shit and are talking out their ass.  When was the last time they were hired on "personal project."  Probably never.

Friday, June 11, 2004


I cannot speak directly to your situation in searching for a job, but I have had some experience in interviewing and recruiting people.

I can tell you that recruiters are usually looking for specifics, for someone that is a good fit for this opening they have right now. That means that candidates that say "I can learn, I can do anything you ask me to, just give me a chance" are not likely to be offered the job. In contrast, candidates with strong personal skills, who can demonstrate sharpness and enthusiasm, and particularly who can say "I know about this company, I can relate to it; I think I have the skills to work here because...da de da...and here are some examples of things I have done that relate exactly to what you are asking me in this interview" -- those are the candidates that get hired.

As I say, I know nothing about you and what jobs you have applied for, so the above is just general information. You may know it already, you may not.

But I would also suggest getting hold of some good books on successfully getting an interview and then succeeding at those interviews once you get them. I would mention some titles, but I don't immediately have any references to hand.

Remember, looking for a job should itself be considered a full-time job. Make sure you consider it in terms of working 8 hour days, and making several (targeted) applications per day until you succeed.

Anyway, I feel for you; good luck in your search.

Friday, June 11, 2004

I am working on becoming more personable and I am working on my communication skills.

Sorry about becoming defensive and losing my temper.

I don't know if security clearances expire but I believe that is what I was told when I left the service so I would guess mine is no good anymore but it is good to know that the government if hiring.

As far as 8 hours a day job hunting, well I have become depressed and angry.  Not a good combination and it has affected my ability to hunt for a job.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Oh boy ... well, I'm waiting for the last dvd to burn ...

Anon, it's now time to put up.

You say you've written stuff. Where is it? Post a link.

No excuses. I personally run my websites(s), mailserver etc. from a box on my local lan at home that connects via cable and I have a wireless router to share that connction with others in the house.  Before that I paid the US$10 a month to host websites (actually I paid US$50.00 but then I was a programmer and did things).

When I first started out I wrote all kinds of goofy Perl stuff. Once, one of my scripts was written up in some German magazine (I checked that their websites were running, saved logs, sent emails etc.) My page of scripts was listed in all those "Perl Script" pages that people put up. It's all history now. I don't even own the domain anymore as someone gave me an offer I couldn't refuse.

When I learned my latest language I wrote an application in it and I showed it to everyone.  The recruiter who got me this job showed this stuff to the people who hired me. I passed the tests they gave and I also showed that I could translate the knowledge into something that worked.

If you are not working ... let me see the apps you have written ... where are the urls?

Friday, June 11, 2004

As far as using my real name well I always feel too self aware in order to use it on these forums anymore.

Googling candidates is one of the worst and most demeaning practices that I can think of.  If you would like to know something about me or test my knowledge I will gladly share this information with you in private if it is in my best interest.  You will not find any information about me on Google FWIW.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Anon, your sample of 1 does not represent the job market.

Your statements are valid for you, but please don't make the mistake of projecting your misfortune to the whole market. That's just a way to shift blame.

It's NEVER someone else's fault.

Tirless persistence is the best way to improve your outlook. And it's okay to vent now and then.

I wish you well in your search.

Friday, June 11, 2004

I am sorry. Delete the "(targeted)" at the end of my last post. That was a gratuitous word.

Friday, June 11, 2004

If you are depressed and angry, maybe you need a bit of a break? Perhaps you should take some time off the job search, have a bit of a vacation (at home), and come back to things refreshed in a few weeks time?

Friday, June 11, 2004


I'm not going to argue with you.  I show my projects to those parties who ask and who I have a vested interest in showing them to.  My projects are not Perl scripts.  I don't know Perl.  My projects are hardcore VB 6.0, C++, Win32 apps.  The largest one around 30k lines.  I am not a fake.  The fact is that not many people/companies want to see my projects.  They simply don't care.  They don't view this as real experience.

Having said that, if you really would like to see one of my projects simply provide your email.  I will email you, then you can email me back and I will send you the project.

Friday, June 11, 2004

"As far as 8 hours a day job hunting, well I have become depressed and angry.  Not a good combination and it has affected my ability to hunt for a job."

I didn't have time to respond on that earlier "motivation" thread, but I do now. I suggest meeting people occasionally who share the same interest. I used to not respect programming, because I thought it was a glorified form of accounting. But I found something I liked, and met passionate people who assured me that if I had a delusion, it was at least a shared one.

OTOH, before that I once went to a ocuple "linux" meetings, just to see, and left completely empty.

I dunno, you need to break out of your mindset somehow. Only you care if you're self-aware. And obviously I have absolutely no idea if what worked for me will do anything for you.

Tayssir John Gabbour
Friday, June 11, 2004

Hey ... I would believe that they don't want to see your code. That's too bad. I can tell a lot from someone's code.

I'm just a grunt like you so I could not help you any by looking at your code.  I really do think it would not hurt to put up some examples of code on the net.  If I were to hire someone I'd like to hire someone who shares.

When I was out of work I went into business for myself (which, btw, is what I did when just beginning). I buy ads on google and overture and I keep responding to every job posting ... I go back to usenet and answer questions ... I  hustle just to get some money here and there. I once got 2 months good work from someone who decided not to hire but to outsource work. I suggest you try this route.

Best of luck ... my last dvd id burned and verifed and the weekend is now beginning.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Also, I could be wrong, but I don't even think people get jobs by the normal, apply to a site(job post) and then wait 2 weeks and they get back to.  Networking is the way to get jobs, but what does that mean?  I am not an expert, rich, or even in a dream job, I have seen a lot of stuff, and some stuff is pretty nutty:

You have to figure HR Managers, Normal Managers, Hiring People live under a different code than engineers.  An engineer's thinking is learn, get better at something, produce something, be disciplined.
I can't tell you how HR people think but it is not like the engineer.  So you could be the best in your field, and you come to this forum, you easily could be, but a Hiring person will not see that.  First, they could have a stack of 100 resumes on their desk, yours could be one of them, but let's say the Hiring person goes out to lunch with another employee,

Hirer: It is tough reading through all those resumes
Employee: Yea, I hear ya, hey my nephew is looking for a job, he is an engineer or something
Hirer: Cool, can he program, give me his number, Ill contact him

And unless the nephew is an idiot, he will probably get the job because the HR  person made contact with him first as opposed to reading through the resumes.(Like I said, this is not the extreme case, this is real stuff, I have actually seen this go down)
And as an engineer, I am thinking that is Crazy!, why can't you read through the resumes you lazy person!

I got a phone-interview(contact) with Microsoft(didnt get the job) because one my friends from college got hired and he said he would talk to somebody and two weeks later I got a phone call(email contact).  I didnt even apply for a job, my college friend just told some MS hirer that I might fit-in.

Just recently, a recruiter told me about a job opening, he said It would great if you apply, I will setup it up for you.  I wasnt really interested, but he was going to make sure I get the job.  I went to the website, and  said, "Where is the job-posting", "Oh, I haven't posted the job yet"
The point, some people are given jobs before jobs are posted.

Remember, HR people are people-people, they don't perform heavy analysis when wanting to hire somebody, if you can make human contact somehow, and started talk the talk and being friendly, get your foot in the door you are half-way there.

If you get in the door, bring demos, laptop, code-samples, phamplets, something visual.

In terms of networking, the local technology group is a good place, ask them where they work?  What do they do?  What areas are hot right now?  Is your team swamped, are you looking to hire anybody soon?  I wouldn't walk into a meeting with a bunch of fresh faces and start shooting off 'Hire me' comments, but play the field.

Also, like I mentioned earlier, talk to former college alumns, even if you don't know them well.

That help?

Berlin Brown
Friday, June 11, 2004


I do have to change my mindset and am trying hard to do so.  Thank you for the idea.


Yes, that does help.  It's not fair, but it's the way of the world.  I have tried networking and haven't gotten too far with it.  Most (well all) of my friends and relatives work blue collar jobs and so are not really taken seriously by their white collar co-workers.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Two more points, remember that quote from Good Will Hunting,
"You have all these books but they are the wrong books", Don't just learn what 'you' think you should learn.  Learn about where different technologies are applied and how, for example, I am partial to 'java', I was asked about a position for Java Telephony JTAPI and JDance, and how it relates to telecommunications.  I didnt know java was used in telecom, that is something I should have known, sometimes industry magazines provide information on this, for example telecom(BT), Oil and Gas, Security, etc .  As Philo mentioned, try the the public sector, learn about GIS, an emerging hot-field.

Second Point:
Research the text in hiring posts, for example,
"programmer to support the needs our rapidly growing company" and use words almost exactly as they appear in the post.  Don't lie and say you know C++ when you don't, but lets say, going with example above:


Java programmer developed multi-tier applications


Programmer that supported an emerging company

You will be tempted to use a bunch of technology buzzwords and what-not, go with text that sounds good to the hiring manager to get your foot in the door and maybe an auxillary techical document for the technology manager. 

Point, I gurantee when an person reviewing a bunch of resumes and sees stuff that they can't understand, it is going in the garbage.

Berlin Brown
Friday, June 11, 2004

In SiliValley, the market is better but still tight, and
newlygrads are still having a hard time.  Experience
still rules, but the jobs are less skill-specific than they
were at the bottom of the market last year.  (ie, less
"5 years Java" and more "skilled in one of

Craigslist is up to 20-30 posts per day in the
"software/QA" category in the Bay Area, and the
categories have recently been partitioned.  Last year,
there were maybe 10-15 posts per day.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Anon, do what Beau Geste is considering and Philo did, and join the services to get a start in life.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Anon, the situation is that, yes, you have been lied to. Arseholes have made a lot of money out of the work you and others put into your training, and you won't see any of it.

Lecturers at universities are buying their nice holiday homes, CEO's at big corporations get extra bonuses for cutting their labour bills, and Indian shonks (the managers, not the programmers) are buying their 20th house in Mumbai.

First thing you should, to help those who come after you, is spend a week making sure every politician and their jerk-off staff hears your story in person. They go to swish dinners with the afore-mentioned arseholes. Make them listen to you too.

Then go join the Marines. Seriously.

Friday, June 11, 2004

  I'm biased too, but on the the team I'm mentoring right now EVERY member of the team has been called about positions related to Sharepoint.

Unfocused Focused
Saturday, June 12, 2004


Firstly I don't think you are being whiny. I would call it venting and understand.

I probably enjoy what you have to say more then most because I am in almost the same situation. I graduate a computer science degree 18months ago. During my degree I gained four years domain experience in the accounting field, as well as IT support.

I have continually applied (at least one per week) for the last 18months for software jobs all over the country. I have not been asked for a single interview. I understand that the employers want more then just a graduate, but it realaly does seem a nasty catch-22. Can't get the experience without the job, can't get the job without the experience.

You could get alot of experience/knowledge by self-educating. However that is a full-time job really.
I ended up writing a piece of software on my own, I figure it would be valuable as experience now, it probably would be, but I guess in the end I gave up.

I am happier, and the lack of work (at least work that would advance my career) over the past year has allowed me to rethink what I really want, and it all worked out for the better.

I too was contemplating going back to work at McDonalds (I worked there for years when I was in high school and absolutely loved it, it was so much fun). My brother heard that, he also heard I was contemplating being a check-out chick while I finished this second (teaching) degree. He promised to come down and give me a huge talking to if I ever did that. It was nice to feel valued, even if only by family.

My thoughts? Hang in there, find something you love to do. Then be realistic, if you can't find a job, then change to a career that you can. Right now I am a dishwasher/flowerpicker studying to become a teacher, and I am so happy, I love being outdoors, and love doing work that doesn't require a computer.

Aussie Chick
Saturday, June 12, 2004

Oh and I agree with you about the job agencies. I have been looking for work of any kind over the last six months.

I am highly skilled in computing (obviously), skilled in admin (ie I can be a receptionist), in accounting, in factory work (did alot of it before starting uni), I have done an autocad course and some units of engineering. I am articulate, very intelligent, and have an incredible problem solving mentality. You would that a recruitment agency would be able to place me in something. There are only 80k people in this town, I imagine I would be good for something. But I have enrolled in pretty much all of them, including an apprenticeship/traineeship firm, I was quiet willing to go to minimum wages to 'get a foot in the door'. However I have not heard a single peep from any of them.

I am sure alot of it has to do with government subsidies for placing unemployed people, as opposed to people like me who are semi-employed.

But it always makes me wonder. Sometimes I just wish we could avoid the middle man, just meet me, you will think I am great!!

Aussie Chick
Saturday, June 12, 2004

Hi Anon,

Your situation is NOT unique it simply doesn't get discussed that much in some developer forums. The reality is that no matter how talented a coder you might be there is a distinct possibility that you won't be able to find a job in the IT industry no matter how hard you try to find one. Currently there are a large number of people trying to break into this field and a large number of people looking for a way to exit it. I am sure this is something you don't want to hear but that is the way things are.

If you are still fairly young, your best bet probably is joining the military (again). If I were you I would talk with an army/navy/air force recruiter and ask him/her if you can be placed into a programming position. If he/she can't guarantee you such a position then walk away.

Obtaining a full-time business programming position within a traditional company (insurance, manufacturing, etc.) is not a very easy thing to do nowadays. Many companies have fired their technical employees and outsourced the work to local consulting firms and contractors. Since you mentioned that you have recently earned a CS degree, perhaps you should send your resume to every local and national consulting firm you can find. Some consulting firms such as Accenture are notorious for hiring recent college grads and throwing them into the deep end of the swimming pool. Yes, many of these firms are still laying off employees or they are only hiring talent from outside the United States -- even so it is still something you should try.

As for finding a government job, keep in mind that most city/state governments are deeply in debt. While I recommend you still apply for any advertised position you come across, I believe you might have an easier time obtaining a federal government position.

Imo, besides ranting within online forums such as this one you should also write letters to your state's political representatives and let them know why you oppose the L-1 and H-1B visa programs.

Good luck and feel free to let us know how things turn out for you.

One Programmer's Opinion
Saturday, June 12, 2004

Aussie Chick, I don't know if you saw the recent story in The Australian.,7204,9708574%5e16123%5e%5enbv%5e,00.html

Apparently the Howard government has been increasing the number of IT people allowed in, even though there's a recession and widespread un and underemployment. I was stunned when I saw those figures.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

When I graduated I had a hard time finding a job.  6 months later I wised up and listed with every temp agency in town from the secretarial temp agencies to the technical contractor agencies.

I was immedately snatched up at a pretty good rate to work on an MRP system.  Experience and foot in the door - check.

I used that time and experience to land my current job, which was posted as entry level, but I know that my prior experience helped a lot.

I'm in the Philadelphia area.  I've seen REAL entry level postings for the pharmaceutical companies (Glaxo SmithKline, Wyeth, AstraZeneca, Merck, etc) as well as the Healthcare companies (inlcuding Independence Blue Cross, Aetna, and Cigna).  It's amazing to me how many entry level jobs are becoming available now.

And think about getting hooked into a company that does MRP/ERP systems or a company that does LIMS systems.  Those large systems are a great way to get programming within a construct and gain some value quickly (even if you're just doing validation).

There are lots of jobs, but if you constrain what you're looking for you'll always have a hard time.  I suggest looking for Entry Level jobs requiring SQL to support reports - foot in door.

Once you find a job, it's 100x easier to find a better one.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

I recommend reading "What Color Is Your Parachute".  The local library should have a copy of this perennial bestseller.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

> I recommend reading "What Color Is Your Parachute". 

I've worked out a great new job. I'm starting a new job investigating corporate fraud, tax evasion by senior executives and illegal tax minimisation schemes that use multi-nation arrangements.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

>> "Then go join the Marines. Seriously."

I was in the service and as has been mentioned I could re-join but I would have to take my old job and couldn't cross-train.

Thanks for the comments guys it will still be a long road to recovery.  Hopefully I can overcome my mindset of 'Have to be a programmer' and find something else to do.  Programming may not be all it's cracked up to be anyway, but I guess I had to at least try.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Another scary point, I noticed that you have written 30k applications in  C++ and all that stuff, which is great.  But as I said earlier, it may not register in the eyes of  the recruiter.  And a lot of people who apply to jobs now may have two, three, four degrees from Ivy league
schools across multi-discplines and these resumes bullets look very attractive to recruiters.  For example, I knew somebody who had a Mechanical Engineering Degree, Computer Science Degree and a Masters in Computer Science and to be honest, couldn't program that well, but this is what you are competing against.  And I wouldnt go back to school unless you really want to but know how to sell yourself and what kind of bait to use.

Write papers and send them to computer magazines and then put that on your resume, you are a good programmer, write a book(seriously, or at least an online one) and then put that on your resume.

Berlin Brown
Saturday, June 12, 2004

The the OP, Anon:

I have been *exactly* where you are right now.  It sucks ass, no way around it.  Yes, all your life you are told to go to school, get good grades, get a degree, and a great job will show up.  Yes, it's a big frickin' lie.  Get over it.

The fact of the matter is that all that crap is just the ante, or closer to truth, it's the cover charge just to sit at the table.  You pay it before you're even allowed to ante up.  Once you accept that and try to figure out what the real game is, your mind will rest a lot easier.

The real game is who you know, and how you can parley that into interviews.  How to expand your circle of family, friends, acquaintances, contacts, and people who have heard your name.

Two things you should work on that are closely related to that:  First, swallow your bitterness and stop projecting hatred onto the world.  You only succeed in isolating yourself further from those around you the more pissed off you act, which is the exact opposite of what you want.  The people who will hire you eventually are several steps away from you, and you are not closing that gap.  Second, stop hiding under a rock.  Someone here told you to use your real name.  That person is right.  Create a personal website with details on all your cool projects.  GPL the stuff you want to use as demos that you know you'll never sell.  Blog like mad, and link to postive people that say things you like.  Read books like crazy and post links with Amazon Associates so you actually get some money when people buy it based on your recommendation.  That's your web presence.  Also you should talk to people.  Be friendly.  Treat it like dating - you talk to lots of attractive people, ask some out, date a few, marry one.  A job is very similar.

Did I do these things?  Well, I did the first and I did part of the second - I emerged from my shell and started talking to people again.  I owe my current job to a multistep connection - my current boss is in a Mensa group along with a member of my wife's chorus.  Me - wife - chorus member - boss.  You may not be so lucky with that few of steps, but it's your job now to extend your sphere of influence until you are directly connected to the right people who can and will help.

So, yes, your fury at the injustice of the world is justified.  Also useless.  Drop it, get over it, and move on.  And don't waste your breath on telling me it's not that simple.  I've been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

Aaron F Stanton
Saturday, June 12, 2004

Good morning Crew,

I was out of work from Nov 13th to Dec 15th this past year.  I hit the pavement (well, internet) and got out over 100 resumes.  I received 7 phone interviews, 4 in-person interviews, 2 temp contract positions, and my current perm position out of it.  After the initial blast, I heard nothing until a month ago.

Now, I'm still gettting anywhere from 1-3 call each week with offers for interviews just from my resume.

I have 3 years of experience in XML, Java, large-scale (200+GB) databases and have been doing html since '96.  i don't have a fantastic skill set, but the skills I do have, I manage to keep sharp by working on Open Source projects.  That alone has allowed me to talk about "personal initiative".

The jobs are steadily appearing up and down the East Coast (US) and around Chicago... and these are the only places I'm looking.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

"My projects are hardcore VB 6.0, C++, Win32 apps.  The largest one around 30k lines.  I am not a fake."

So polish them up and sell them.  If they do really well you can start your own company and forget about working for corporate slavemasters.  If they don't do so well, but they still sell somewhat, place your URL on your resume so that people can see what you've done.  If you get an interview you'll be able to walk in with a laptop and demo the app and say "there are 500 individuals and companies in 12 countries who are using this".

And if you can't sell them at all, open source them and still use them to showcase your skills.

T. Norman
Saturday, June 12, 2004

I second the suggestion to join a local user group. One UG is overflowing with requests to fill positions, (~10/wk) which runs circles around and other such boards for my area.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

The fact that you get a letter back saying that they are keeping your application on hold for a year, and then never here any more doesn't mean they are collecting resumes. It just means they aren't interested in you but reckon it will hurt your feelings less to tell you they are keeping your resume then letting you know they have trashed it.

When there are more jobs than applicants it's great; when there are less it's shit. And it can change incredibly rapidly. One thing that is not clear is where you are applying. Different areas have very different  job markets

Tech support jobs are no longert an easy way to get in. With the plummetting cost of hardware few vendors can afford it, so they try and give away a cloned HD and get you to reinstall as soon as there is a problem.

Also, entry level jobs are the first to go when there is the whiff of a recession, and the last to be on offer when the situation eases up. This is particulary true in software development, where, as was said on another thread, a new hire is considered successful if he has zero effect on productivity, as opposed to bringing it down.

Stephen Jones
Saturday, June 12, 2004

Believe it or not, I've had the opposite experience--I can't find enough good candidates for two entry-level C#/Windows Forms programming positions I'm trying to fill in Portsmouth, NH.

I've certainly had quite a few applicants, but I've only found about 5 candidates worth interviewing since posting the job in May.

Now, we're not in a major city, but we're only an hour from Boston.  Seems strange that I'm having a difficult time finding really good candidates, preferably those who are recent graduates.  Perhaps this means there really ARE jobs for recent grads?


Saturday, June 12, 2004

>> >>>>>>>
"The fact that you get a letter back saying that they are keeping your application on hold for a year, and then never here any more doesn't mean they are collecting resumes. It just means they aren't interested in you but reckon it will hurt your feelings less to tell you they are keeping your resume then letting you know they have trashed it.

The problem is not repeatedly getting a letter.  The problem is that the job(s) are repeatedly posted every couple of months and don't seem to be getting filled.  I have the qualifications to fill the job.  This tells me they are collecting resumes because the job never goes away.  It always stays posted and gets reposted every couple months.

Now I used to be gullibale enough to apply for the same jobs that kept being posted over and over again, but I don't anymore.  If i get a rejection letter fine, If not fine.  I have called these companies and they say they are doing nothing wrong except that they can't fill the positions.  When I attempt to explain to them that I can do the job and have sent in a resume they do not want to talk with me.  Of course all of that only occurs if the company wants to talk with me at all.

I know how to do my job.  If you give me a task within my domain of knowledge I am able to do it right away.  I am a competant person and programmer.  If I am given a task where my knowledge is not up to par well then I know how to research the problem, I know where MSDN is, I know how to use Google and I know how to ask for help if I need it.  I find it insulting that people would consider me a sub par performer even though I am entry level.  I would not and do not accept or apply to jobs where I know I cannot perform the tasks listed in the advertisement.

I have been coding for 10 years now.  Mostly as a hobby.  I don't know everything but I think I deserve a little more credit than people give me or probably than I give myself.  I'm not bragging and I'm not a 'know it all'.  I like working with other people to solve problems.  I know the areas I am lacking in.  These would be the analyst parts of the job.  And even then I have done this at my short 4 month stint.

I have been through it all and seen it all.  When I say a job is fake that is exactly what I mean.  Nothing more nothing less.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

When I graduated it was at the height of the boom, there wasn't a single student who didn't have at least one offer.

That aside, I think you should really get out there and start networking with professionals in the same field.

Bottom line, networking is *the* single way of finding the choice jobs and getting a stab at them.

* Technology User Groups
* Young (Old) Professional Clubs

Most of my job offers have been "Hey Jackass, we could really use a guy who can do Zerboltz 4.3, why not give me your resume.  I'll see that it gets on Mr. So-and-so's desk Monday morning."

Oh, and I'll totally agree the programming field is messed up.  I think there needs to be active mentoring going on.  Whatever happened to "from Journeyman to Master"?  Companies are putting out ridiculous hiring expectations and in the end getting whatever candidate lied the best on his/her resume.  Companies should recognize “future prospects” just like baseball does.  OK, here is someone who maybe doesn’t have a lot of experience, but they are smart, a fast learner and put in a good effort.

To be fair, a lot of applicants don’t show the same loyalty, and are gone for greener pastures as soon as they get enough experience.

Saturday, June 12, 2004


What exactly do consider a "candidate worth interviewing."  These things are very subjective.  Also where to you post your ads for these jobs?

I have written a basic, single user, version control system in C# and SQL Server.  Would this help qualify me for the job?  I mean you say you can only find 5 people "worth interviewing."  To me that is demeaning.  Even if I had never used C# or WinForms it would only take me a couple of days to learn the syntax and become comfortable with it.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Most Tech Recruiters are crap.  Most HR interviewers and screeners also fall into that same category.  That is why you have to get to someone on the development team (the higher the better).  Meet people.  Make friends in high places.  That is the only way you're resume is going to be seen by someone who will actually knows the difference between C# and a paper shredder.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

"The problem is that the job(s) are repeatedly posted every couple of months and don't seem to be getting filled"

You didn't mention it was a recruiter's ad, but that's a typical tactic some of the sleazier ones use to get people to send in their resumes (it's a good clue when the ad reads like "2-3 years JAVA $100K+").

Then they spam them around hoping for a hit, and call you back and say "Gee, that one filled, but we do have this OTHER one..."

Been There
Saturday, June 12, 2004

They really should start teaching economics in CS courses. There is a bigger world out there than Joe and his resume.

The ratio of job vacancies to job seekers affects what happens when Joe sends out his resume. It's not a matter of what words he puts on his resume or how he combs his hair, and if that's what your lecturers are telling you, they clearly need an economics education too.

And yes, recruiters do advertise jobs over and over without any intention of filling it. Anyone familiar with the industry in a particular industry will be able to recognise a lot of the jobs.

Recruiters do it to build their databases (looking for top grads), and also to satisfy snoops who ask questions about imported workers. (advertised for months and couldn't find anyone.)

Inside Job
Saturday, June 12, 2004


You're right--it is a bit subjective.  Specifically for me, it includes:

1. Did the candidate submit the requested information?  (Cover letter, resume, questionnaire.)
2. Is the candidate actually entry level or, if not, are they looking for a salary that's within our range for this entry-level position?
3. Does the candidate require sponsorship?  We do not sponsor employees (this is stated in the job ad.)
4. Do they appear to be able to communicate well, at least in writing?
5. Is their resume clean, professional, and understandable?
6. Is their cover letter targeted to the position, or is it a cover letter that appears to be "boilerplate?"
7. Did they submit their resume using's automated tools (automatic rejection--I don't read them. I state this in the job ad.)
8. Does the candidate have the experience outlined in the job ad?  (basically 2 years of work or school experience with C++, Java, C#, or similar.)

We post our ads on, on the University of New Hampshire (UNH) Career Services database, and we also notify the Computer Science faculty at UNH about the openings.

Your experience with C# would certainly give you an edge for our particular position, but the factors above would also come into play.


Saturday, June 12, 2004

"""The point, some people are given jobs before jobs are posted."""

Every software job -- every job -- I've ever gotten in the last *21 years* was gotten this way.  There was no job posting.  I didn't see an ad for a job and apply.  No calling.  No resume spamming.  One resume prepared (specifically tailored to that opportunity), equalled one job obtained.

Networking is king.  Use your contacts, whoever they may be.  Don't have contacts?  Make some, online, as some folks here have suggested, by selling your software, open sourcing it, being a VB guru on some forums, etc.

Also, build "real-world" contacts.  "People people" are important.  That is, cultivate people who like people and therefore know lots of them.  This multiplies your exposure.  Only a couple of my jobs came from direct contacts; most were through friend-of-a-friend contacts.  Therefore, look for people who have lots of friends, that you can cultivate a common interest with.  Attend local user group meetings, and so on.  Back when I was 15, I got my first computer jobs by hanging out at the local Radio Shack and "talking shop" with the owner.  He knew everybody in town who was getting or even thinking about getting a computer, so naturally he'd mention them to me, or me to them.

While the specific strategy (i.e. hang around Radio Shack) probably won't work any more, a more narrowly focused version still will: get involved with groups related to your skills, and make yourself someone worth knowing.

Phillip J. Eby
Saturday, June 12, 2004

>> >>>>>>
"There was no job posting.  I didn't see an ad for a job and apply.  No calling.  No resume spamming.  One resume prepared (specifically tailored to that opportunity), equalled one job obtained."

I have never spammed my resume to anyone.  I treat each job individually and customize my cover letter and resume for each and every position I apply for.  I DO network.  I have received interviews that way, but it definately wasn't on a personal level.  It was through a teacher who recommended every student or a friend who not only recommended me but every one else because they would get a bonus if one their recommendations got hired.  That really doesn't help.  Like I say, I am trying to network.  It doesn't happen overnight.  The website and selling of my software may help.

Now you've been in the industry 20 years that's a huge advantage.  I wish I had the experience behind me.  I've probably done as much networking as you did when you first started.  I'm glad you find all of your jobs via networking, but that's probably not the norm.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

> job is a fake
Often that is not too far off the mark. Some companies post jobs with the huge laundry lists so they can tell the government that they cannot find any US citizens who are suitable, hence they bring in an H1B  who, not surprisingly, does not fit the laundry list either, but works considerably cheaper and is less likely to be "difficult."

I am in a similar circumstance - 26 years experience, 2 years out of work, not too many nibbles. However, I recently bought an inexpensive development board for the M68HC11 chip, and I am having an absolute blast learning to program it and play around. There is a large community of hobbyists who use the HC11 for robotics, and I fully intend to start going to their meetings in Seattle to make connections. Perhaps some work may result out of it, perhaps not. But it beats sitting around the apartment.

Or I may just move to Buenos Aires and dance Argentine tango the rest of my life *bg*.

W Michael Ealem
Sunday, June 13, 2004

"I'm glad you find all of your jobs via networking, but that's probably not the norm. "

It's pretty close to the norm.  Something like 80 percent of all jobs available are never advertised.  Think about it from the perspective of the employer:  Would you really want to advertise in public, where you know you are going to be bombarded by hundreds of resumes (most of which have nothing to to with the position you advertised) except as a last resort?  Wouldn't you do that long after you had sifted through the internal candidates and all the friends and family of people who work there and can provide an immediate reference?  HR people can be pretty frickin incompetent, and recruiters are scum, so even from the point of the view of the people doing the hiring, using them is pretty much the realm of the desperate.  It's far easier for them to hear from a current employee, "Yeah, I've got a friend who might be good for that, let me check and see if he's interested."  Then just let the HR person do the new hire paperwork instead of trashing the resume' you've already approved.

So don't dismiss networking so easily.  Don't dismiss it at all.  I've done that too often and it's never paid off.  Every single decent job I've ever had has come from it.  The only ones I got without it either sucked because of low pay (retail sales, which is fun but the pay sucks) or simply sucked in general (temp jobs or working for the state board of health wrapping water bottles to test water for swimming pools).

Aaron F Stanton
Sunday, June 13, 2004

The fact is, I have not dismissed networking.  If you read the sentences and paragraphs before that I do in fact state that I do and have networked.

I made the statement you are referring to in reference to the other posters' experience level and the number of connections he made over time.  Most entry level people simply don't have the experience and the connections it takes to get in, this obviously comes over time.  (Of course there are the few that do have connections or get lucky.)

I don't believe I would practice the 'hire this person because they were recommended by a friend' thing.  I would in fact go through the resumes.  Maybe I would be wrong in doing so and maybe I would learn the hard way, but I would at least try to be fair to all of those who are looking for work.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

2 responses to Ian:

1) I don't see how someone could spend 8 hours a day looking for a tech job - at least not in Connecticut, where I am.

I could see someone doing this if they're looking for the kind of position that is widely required. An administrative assistant, for example, who might well get a job from contacting random businesses.

But I don't see the point of, for example, cold-calling businesses and asking if they need someone with Java and Objective-C experience. Most businesses won't need programmers, and most who do probably don't need someone with my skill set.

So the set of possible employers is small, compared to the overall set of employers, and it's difficult to ascertain the members of the set.

So really, I think for programmers, it would be hard to spend 8 hours a day looking for work. 1 hour a day would be a lot, especially after you've been at it a while and started to notice the patterns of bogus ads so you can weed out the red herrings.

Of course, the time not spent pursuing jobs directly ought to be spent on useful career-related things. Though one problem with that is some technological areas don't lend themselves to projects you'd work on at home. (Server things like J2EE, I find, are difficult because interesting applications tend to require lots of data and such, and would be expensive to put online where they could be seen.) And if companies require experience with expensive products, that's another problem.

Then there's the problem of getting your home projects taken seriously. I suspect that's easier if your first contact with an employer is through their developers, who are more likely to have a clue about what your work entails. If your first line of contact is through HR, it probably doesn't count unless you were paid and had a manager or a contract.

2) Taking time off.

I'm not sure this is good advice. It seems to me that, when they lose their job, developers are stamped with a "BEST IF USED BY" date, which is approximately 6 months later. Every day you're unemployed, the more unemployable you become.

I've been unemployed so long, if the developer job market were  a refrigerator, I'd be a furry container of prune yogurt marked "SEPT. 01".

(*Prune* yogurt because my skill set is mostly things that are unwanted and even unheard of, and what skills I have that are in demand, I have less than a year working with, it's been much more than a year since then.)

I foolishly kept hoping the job market would improve, but it never really did until I'd gone furry and it didn't matter any more.

Jon, Connecticut

Jon H
Monday, June 14, 2004

What skillset are you talking about?

Berlin Brown
Monday, June 14, 2004

I am by no means an expert at this, but having just received 4 software engineering job offers, I probably have some good advice.

First, job searching *is* an 8-hour-a-day job.  This time is spent writing targeted cover letters for each job you apply to; going on interviews; writing thank-you notes for interviews; talking to recruiters.

It's probably not a 5-day-a-week job.  If you can do all of this stuff in 3 or 4 days, by all means take some days off and enjoy your time away from the office.

I had absolutely no success responding to online job postings, and I actually stopped doing it after a while.  I had multiple recruiters working for me; even then, only one recruiter was really helpful, getting me 5 interviews, each of which progressed to a second round.  Another recruiter got me another interview, and a good friend got me an interview at his company.

Put your resume on the online job boards and respond to emails you get from random recruiters.  Drive around town and walk into buildings to see what companies exist - you'll find that the JobBank books have missed a lot of companies.  Check your college career center for events they're having.  Get some free business cards and hand them out as you meet people at networking events.  Get in touch with previous co-workers.

I am a software engineer living in the Boston area.  During a 2 month period, I interviewed with 7 companies.  In the end, I chose from 4 job offers.

Another Dave
Monday, June 14, 2004

SE North Carolina has 3.4% un-emp rate....the jobs are here.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Another Dave writes: " Get in touch with previous co-workers."

Not really an option. I'd prefer to stay in/near Connecticut (aging parents) while my prior co-workers are all in the midwest or in California.

Alas, I'm looking for work where i grew up, but I don't really have any connections here, because I hardly spent any time here from high school graduation until 2002 when I had to move back.

"I am a software engineer living in the Boston area.  During a 2 month period, I interviewed with 7 companies.  In the end, I chose from 4 job offers."

Boston's probably a better than average location for finding work, considering the presence of MIT, Harvard, and other schools, and their technology spin-offs. And the investment money they have and can attract.

There's some startup activity around Yale, but it seems to be primarily biotech-oriented. Software-oriented entrepreneurs in Connecticut probably relocate towards Boston, for access to the talent. There are probably finance-oriented firms around Stamford, I'd guess including trading-related software (possibly including in-house development at places like UBS, if they haven't shipped it to India). Hartford has insurance companies, but they've been offshoring pretty hard.

Anyhow, I'd guess the density of developer-hiring businesses is far lower than in the Boston/Cambridge/Rt 128 area.

(How many development job ads are there in a typical Sunday paper in Boston? In the New Haven paper, it's been 1 to 3 ads for months.)

This will naturally reduce the amount of time that can be usefully spent looking for work.

Jon H
Monday, June 14, 2004

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