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How do pople get thier first job?

Most jobs seem to require 3+ years of experience. How do people get thier first job?

* Writing programs on your own.
* Starting out in testing and debugging and slowly making your way up the ladder.


Thursday, July 29, 2004

Canvass. Interview. Hire.


Thursday, July 29, 2004

I learned how to program on my own, when I was a bench tech.  I started writing code at work to exercise the hardware.  Engineering found out about it and drafted me.

Of course, I learned Z-80 assembler, used 8080 at work, and this was 25 years ago when few people knew what a microprocessor was, let alone assembly.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

If you have a degree in Computer Science, with a good GPA (3.5 or higher).  You shouldn't have too much of a problem with just sending in your resume to large software companies and attending career fairs.

If not then try to find an entry level tech job at a big company and work your way up, or even better work your way through school and get a better job when you graduate.

Craig H
Thursday, July 29, 2004

I'm sure your school has an employment office. The companies that go there are by definition looking for entry-level, so that's probably the best place to start.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

>How do people get thier first job?

Actually the first one is the easiest because one does not have many expectations (excepting the crazy dot com era ofcourse!) .

It is just  that not many people advertise these jobs directly.

Look for internships....look for volunteer work...go meet some people at user groups anyplace where you can showcase your enthuthiasm and skills in a low key manner. 

Be creative....a friend  of mine right out of high school wrote a very informed critique of a piece of software and suggested how it could be made better. Four months later he was working for the company....for peanuts..but that experience helped him get to where he is today

Code Monkey
Thursday, July 29, 2004

Internships - gives the employer a chance to try you out. I know of several people that went straight from an internship to a position with the company upon graduation.

That old cliche - networking. Almost without exception every job I've gotten was because I got a call from a friend, or someone else's friend, or because someone at a user's group meeting remembered me and remembered I had a clue and tracked me down.

Michael Ealem
Thursday, July 29, 2004

I raised my right hand, said "I, [state your name], do solemnly swear to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic..."

Wasn't really that big a deal. Seemed to be kind of expected, actually...


Thursday, July 29, 2004

I just waited to make 18 during an economic boom. It worked.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

If I remember correctly some people actually said "I, state your full name". Lol.

Dave B.
Thursday, July 29, 2004

Those were the folks were "non designated" (i.e., destined to Boatwain's mates).  I.e., they didn't qualify for any technical schools, just a month of naval history and knot tying training.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

I join a project as tester and then support, but for a good company.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Take a job in helpdesk or pc support.  You'll get an appreciation of people that just use a computer to get a task done.  Show some promise there and you will get moved up.  I did.  I'm now a dba.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

In case B. Sc. students are reading, I will claim my +1 to Craig's statement that having a good GPA helps a lot. There are some IT companies such as Softimage and Discreet that require a 3.4 GPA at least to consider an interview.

Eric V.
Thursday, July 29, 2004

"If I remember correctly some people actually said "I, state your full name". Lol."

When I worked in the radio station, we had a rap that included a clip of a whole lotta voices repeating "I, state your name..."


Thursday, July 29, 2004

I was hired as an intern to do network performance analysis for a tlco equipment manufacturer. They liked my worked and asked me to return as a programmer after I fiished my degree ... and gave me a job as a "maintenance engineer" (fixing bugs in released products, working alone) for 14 months, then a promotion to "development engineer" (junior person on a two-man team, writing some new software).

I'm not sure how I got that first job as an intern; it was partly self-motivation, and partly 'luck' and connections. The self-motivation was my deciding independently to take a year off after two years of a three-year degree course, to get some industry experience: I decided that I wasn't going to be working as an astrophysicist or a quantum mechanic after I graduated, so I needed to get some work experience to prepare me for something else before I graduated. The luck and connections was that during my year off, my parents found someone from their extensive network of social contacts (they were both teachers) whose work involved "computers or something", and who introduced me to their company's internship program.

For another data point, my brother is currently an editor at The Times; he knew that was the industry he wanted to work in. His first job was dog's-body (e.g. courier) at a publisher ... then sub-editor and then editor at weekly entermainment suplement, then content manager for AOL UK.

For a third data point, the first guy I hired had been working in a warehouse; but he was a hacker (had written an IDE in assembler), and replied to a job advertisement when we needed someone who could hack assembler, so he was in.

Christopher Wells
Thursday, July 29, 2004

My first job was a milk run after school. My friend got me the job...

Jack of all
Friday, July 30, 2004

Lie on your resume & interview.

It worked for me.

Friday, July 30, 2004


Thank you for your service.


Friday, July 30, 2004

yes, unfortunately a lot of companies did look at GPA. I had a lot of internship experience + i had been in the army, but some places wouldn't talk to me because of my GPA (it was close to 3 going into the last semester).

anyways, ended up working for a large investment bank where i stayed for 6 years. i would have probably left at 3.5, but that was when the .com error burst.

anyways, good luck!

Friday, July 30, 2004

From surveyor to projectionist, math-teacher, site-engineer, tech-support rep, tech trainer, tech writer to programmer....
Oh, I did start programming on a Commodore VC-20 back in '85 or so. Might have helped...

Friday, July 30, 2004

A headhunter got me my first job. 

It is very hard to get that first job.  Be patient. 

Also, realize that your career will most likely head in the direction that 1st job puts you in.  eg:  If you get a tester job, you might never get a chance to be a "real" programmer.  If there are a lot of sysAdmin duties, you may follow the path of sysAdmin.  B/c whatever experience you get at the first job is where you'll be most likely to be hired doing in your 2nd job, when you get a hefty pay raise. 

Friday, July 30, 2004

Wasn't there a kid's show on television in the '80s called "The Popples"?

I didn't know they had jobs though.

Friday, July 30, 2004

I got my first job following a co-op term.

That was 16 years ago.

Brad Clarke
Friday, July 30, 2004

C.S. degree, 1994 (has it really been that long?), University of Cincinnati.

Anyway, the campus "Career Development" office.

At that time, all the local companies, and many from across the nation, would send their recruiters to interview on campus. This was an opportunity I could not pass up.

I went to a dozen or so interviews with little podunk companies that I had absolutely no intention of working for. Used this time to polish the "pitch", become comfortable in front of interviewers and being put "on the spot".

After a dozen or so of these "throw-away" interviews, I requested a scheduled "critique" of my interviewing skills. Basically, the Career Development office sat you in your next interview with a video camera. You later reviewed your performance with a panel of counselors from the office.

Based on that critique, I went to another 3 or 4 interviews -- again, "throw-away" -- I didn't want jobs with these folks, I just wanted to practice the art of interviewing.

Finally, I created the ShortList -- the list of companies coming for on campus recruitment that I actually *wanted* to work for. I believe these were IBM, GE, ComSat, and the <gasp> NSA.

Got denied by Comsat and NSA -- math and engineering skills/grades weren't up to par, but got an offer from IBM and took it.  Not too bad. IBM was a prime catch for a first job.

The point is, go to as many interviews as you can. Apply for jobs you *don't* want. Get used to the pressures of the interview process. Polish your sales pitch.

Only after you've done a dozen or more, and have become too confident -- you'll know when you're ready -- only then, should you actually target the companies you *want* to work for. It's like everything else. Practice, practice, practice.

Sgt. Sausage
Friday, July 30, 2004

==>I raised my right hand, said "I, [state your name], do solemnly swear to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic..."

That was really my first job -- I did the military thing prior to college. They (you, the taxpayer) paid for my college under the Montgomery GI Bill. Went to college, and then got the first "real" job.

2 yrs, U.S. Army, 11C (Infantry, mortars)
6 yrs, OH Army National Guard (Mechanized Infantry).

I remember it as "support and defend". Maybe I'm misremembering. Let's see how close I can get:

I [state your name] do solemnly swear (or affirm) to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and
that I will bear true faith and alegience to same.  I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me ...

Sh*t. Can't remember it. Now I've got to go look it up. Dammit!

Sgt. Sausage
Friday, July 30, 2004

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