Mature-IT.pro - Discussion for Experienced IT Professionals

Main Category => FTE, Job and Career Discussion => Topic started by: pxsant on February 24, 2018, 04:28:06 pm

Title: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: pxsant on February 24, 2018, 04:28:06 pm
Its pretty clear to me that once you're considered old, you're done when it comes to the computer profession.

Hate to disagree but I definitely do.    If you want to work into your 50's, 60' or 70's you can.   It requires a couple of things.

*  Forget programming.   Get into a skill set the 20 somethings generally ignore like project management or business analysis.
*  Persistence - NEVER give up regardless of how many times you have been put down by the young turks.    It is a numbers game.   The more things you apply for, the more likely you are to get a job.
*  Absolute confidence during an interview.   You are better than them and you can do the job like none of the young turks can.
*  Concentrate on some specific industry.   Once you have experience in that industry, it will get easier and easier to get a job.

I happen to have concentrated in banking and financial services when I go for jobs or contracts.  In my own private consulting with SMB's I generally do legal and other systems like that.

But it can be anything.   Pharmaceuticals, insurance etc.   Pick your poison.   It might take you a couple of years to get the first gig but keep plugging and you will eventually get the first one.

After that, you will be scanned and picked for similar gigs by the headhunters.

Here is a very specific suggestion.   Linux admins -These jobs are out there and quite a few are remote where you can work from home.   Most corporate Linux systems are Red Hat.   But work with CentOS on your own system which is actually Red Hat Enterprise.   There are plenty of courses on Udemy for Linux Admin at 10 bucks on sale that would qualify you for it and get certifications.   Salaries range from 85K for a beginner to 150k  for a well qualified Linux admin.   Gorn, check this out if you can stand the thought of working for a big corporation.  You have shell scripting chops and lots of other skills which would apply. 

When you are working from home, they have no idea how old you are and couldn't give a crap anyway as long as you can do the work especially if you are on a contract.

I am working right now on a 2 year gig at a major bank.    And I am older than anyone working at the entire bank.   Don't want to say how old I am ( or I would have to send Louie from South Philly after you to pay you a visit) but I was working at Cape Canaveral in the space program as a radar and telemetry engineer during the Mercury program.

So get off your butts and forget your age!!
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: unix on February 24, 2018, 05:37:27 pm
There are lots of people in that age group at my current gig.

Maybe it's more difficult to find a gig, I don't know.  But many are working.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: The Gorn on February 24, 2018, 05:39:42 pm
Only one thing I can add:

It can be truly mystifying how to identify an entry point to do this. IE, some kind of work that you feel like you can add value in.

What I mean is that most of us don't know where to start.

Example: If I have been programming or in tech work for decades, how do I reposition for project management or business analysis? I don't have a track record in either.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: unix on February 24, 2018, 05:42:33 pm
I disagree about programming. Just take anything you can get.

There is an older mainframe dude floating around here.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: The Gorn on February 24, 2018, 05:57:13 pm
I disagree about programming. Just take anything you can get.

There is an older mainframe dude floating around here.

Pxsant is trying to say to develop a specialty area where you aren't competing head-on with young dumbasses. And that will generally, not always be something peripheral to technology and not implementation.

That's why he's saying not programming. If you program you are in competition with young turks.

Mainframe and related older in-demand tech is the exception to that rule. Older guys and gals know that stuff and are competitive.

But I don't even have that skill set. What Pxsant says applies more to me, but I don't have a clue where the entry point would be for me.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: I D Shukhov on February 24, 2018, 06:26:26 pm
@JoFrance thanks for the kind words.

@Unix - Yes, I've worked on plenty of government contracts -- about 30 years worth and you do see some older workers.  I saw more of them in the 1980s than I did  in recent years though.  That coincides with the H-1B influx, so maybe they need older workers less to fill positions.  Also, the IT world has changed so much that skills are becoming obsolete faster.   But my next door neighbor is 70 and works with enterprise Java frameworks, and an old college buddy is 65+ and he's working for CSC as a programmer. 

In the latter person's case his resume tells a 40-year story of  assembly language, device driver type stuff.   

@pxsant - I hear what you're saying about attitude being everything -- in particular not having a defeatist attitude.  Don't think I could get hired as a PM or Business Analyst since I never did that kind of work.   Older people who can "Concentrate on some specific industry" usually have worked in those industries, like my brother-in-law architect/building inspector who is pushing 60 and has no trouble staying employed.  I think most older ex-software engineers identify with being a software engineer and it's confusing to think of being something else.

After writing that I see Gorn said the exact same thing. There must be some truth to this if Gorn and I agree!

Quote
Only one thing I can add:

It can be truly mystifying how to identify an entry point to do this. IE, some kind of work that you feel like you can add value in.

What I mean is that most of us don't know where to start.

Example: If I have been programming or in tech work for decades, how do I reposition for project management or business analysis? I don't have a track record in either.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: pxsant on February 25, 2018, 05:21:02 am
I have a couple of suggestions on how to start to reposition yourself.

Do an advanced search on job boards like Dice or Careerbuilder or Indeed for keywords you might be interested in to see how many jobs there are and how many are remote.   A few possibilities assuming you want to stay technical and you can accept working for a big corporation.   Most will be contracts but that's life in the technical fields today.

*  Python - lots of python jobs out there
*  Linux - Linux admin mainly
*  SQL - Very good jobs where your SQL skills are very high - Use Oracle since that is what all big corporations use.   You can download a free version from Oracle.
*  Big Data - lots of big corporations have moved to big data (NoSQL etc) for certain things.   Very few candidates are out there.
*  Data Analytics - Again this a big one where there are few candidates.  You need to take courses in the R programming language which is what most big corporations use for analytics.

Once you identify a candidate, then go to Udemy to find out what courses are available.  Don't pay full price.   Virtually every course on Udemy is available on sale for $10 or $15.   Join and get on their mailing list and wait for your courses to be on sale.   Might take a month but they will be there.

Take as many courses in your chosen field as you need to become expert.   That might take a couple of months but that's the price.   Then start flooding jobs with your resume which you will have modified to show appropriate experience with the language.    Keep at it until you start to get telephone interviews. 

You might crash and burn your first few interviews but so what.   Consider it a learning experience.   Eventually, you will start to ace interviews.

As I said before, it is a numbers game.  The more you flood the jobs with resume's the more likely you are to get a job.

Attitude and persistence have a lot do with it.   You have to believe you will eventually score a job.    Don't worry about being rejected.   You might be rejected 99 times before you find that one interviewer willing to take you on.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: I D Shukhov on February 25, 2018, 05:41:37 am
@pxsant

I agree that picking some in demand thing and sticking with it stands a decent chance of succeeding.  I'll add building a portfolio of demonstrated work would help immensely.

Since leaving the workforce I've dabbled in VR and mobile apps.   My main problem is that I don't stick with anything.  Gorn ran a Watson Personality Analysis on all my board postings and it confirms this unfortunate trait of mine which I have to force myself to overcome.

I've taken a few courses on Udacity.  They have nanodegree programs with a reasonable tuition.  Udacity even guarantees   you will become employed or they will refund the money.  I think the caveat is that you have to take any kind of job anywhere at whatever pay.  But, that's the kind of attitude that would get one work.

Data science is big these days.  One could do some open source programming to get some creds or volunteer to be a Linux admin somewhere.

You didn't mention cyber security.  That might  be a good specialization for a sysadmin to have.  When I left the last company I worked for more than 1/2 the reqs. were for people with information security experience.   The only problem with that is there seems to be a bit of a cattle call going on at the moment.   Where I live, some local colleges are persistently running ads for their infosec programs.




Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: pxsant on February 25, 2018, 08:14:26 am
You didn't mention cybersecurity.  That might be a good specialization for a sysadmin to have.  When I left the last company I worked for more than 1/2 the reqs. were for people with information security experience.   The only problem with that is there seems to be a bit of a cattle call going on at the moment.   Where I live, some local colleges are persistently running ads for their infosec programs.

You are correct I did forget the cyber/information security possibility.   That one might be a bit more difficult to gain expertise in.  Mainly because the tools used at big corporations may not be available to you or they are too expensive to buy.    Still, it is something to think about.   

Also, it may be a bit higher risk.  If the corporation you work at in cybersecurity has a major break in and data compromise, you may be screwed along with the security management.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: The Gorn on February 25, 2018, 08:52:44 am
Take as many courses in your chosen field as you need to become expert.   That might take a couple of months but that's the price.   Then start flooding jobs with your resume which you will have modified to show appropriate experience with the language.    Keep at it until you start to get telephone interviews. 

You might crash and burn your first few interviews but so what.   Consider it a learning experience.   Eventually, you will start to ace interviews.

As I said before, it is a numbers game.  The more you flood the jobs with resume's the more likely you are to get a job.

Attitude and persistence have a lot do with it.   You have to believe you will eventually score a job.    Don't worry about being rejected.   You might be rejected 99 times before you find that one interviewer willing to take you on.

I don't disagree with this overall picture but I bolded one area where I've never had any luck - convincing someone that my book learning was backed by real experience.

Are you saying to make up experience that you list on your resume or to fudge the work you did to resemble the hot skill you're targeting?

I don't object on moral grounds (a few virtue signalers here in the past would piss all over the notion) but the problem I'd have is that I know I'm BSing about paid experience.

Overall I know exactly how this process you're describing feels to go through because I've attempted it. To me it feels insubstantial and paper-thin.

Here's one real world problem I've run into with such a tech specific approach: no matter how much you study, it's not going to come off like authentic experience to anyone performing that work.

One important matter is which classes and libraries and stacks you specialize in. That is where Udemy learning is going to fall apart during an interview.

Learning (say) Python or Javascript by itself is dandy, but ANY employer willing to vet your technical background in any depth is going to ask you about common stacks, libraries or class that you prefer or work with daily. 

Example: Javascript by itself, not a ticket. Much more convincing: Angular.js (a common JS library used in web dev.)

That was the issue I ran into in 2000 when I was self learning Java. I never got anywhere with Java in interviews, because even though I got comfortable with the language syntax and structure, employers even then were miles beyond that with pointed questions about particular libraries.

If there is going to be a technical assessment during an interview, this WILL happen invariably.

I grant that you CAN glean this market information on which classes or stacks are most-used, from Indeed postings.

But it will still reek of inauthenticity unless you're VERY, VERY good at spinning a story.

And most geeks aren't natural storytellers.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: pxsant on February 25, 2018, 12:17:40 pm
"Example: Javascript by itself, not a ticket. Much more convincing: Angular.js (a common JS library used in web dev.)"

That is exactly why I said you might crash and burn some interviews.   They are using something you didn't come up to speed on.  So go out and get your hands on Angular.js and work it until you become an expert in it.   I searched Udemy and found at least 25 courses on variants of Angular including Angular 4, 5, JS, Node JS etc., all at $19 each.  Buy a course or two or three and beat them to death.  So it takes you a month or two or even longer.   

Next interview, you might run into another library or something else you didn't get up to speed on yet.   So do the same thing again.

After a bit of time, you will have more in-depth knowledge and expertise on the subject than the people who are interviewing you.  And that will come out and be obvious to them in the interview.

Also, you build an application (Web in this case) which has commercial applicability in the SMB or next level upmarket.   Host it yourself so you can show it during the interview.  When they ask who you built it for, say that you hold the copyright and do not reveal customer names because of confidentiality issues.  That is an absolute truth for me.  Virtually every private customer I have (law firms, others) wants a non-disclosure agreement, especially where I maintain the copyright.

I guess the most important thing is to go in stages and NEVER GIVE UP.  Find out through the interviews what you are short on and get that part up to speed for the next interview and the next and so on.  Ultimately you will discover you know more about the technical subject matter than the people working at the places you are interviewing with.

Then there is the issue of buzz word bingo with resumes and HR departments.   But that might be a subject for a separate post.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: I D Shukhov on February 25, 2018, 01:04:13 pm
^ And build something in the particular market you want to penetrate.   If I'm interested in home health care for the elderly, then build something like a cloud-based app that announces over loudspeakers it's time to take your meds. 
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: The Gorn on February 26, 2018, 07:50:41 am
Then there is the issue of buzz word bingo with resumes and HR departments.   But that might be a subject for a separate post.

Pxsant, I did some checking on Indeed.com. I don't know where you would recommend to source your leads for opportunities for the kind of campaign you're describing.  Indeed.com seems as good a place as any to start.

When I'm on Indeed what I see is:

Any tech skill you want to mention is dominated by body shop listings. A FEW major employers advertising directly.

I've found that lacking the mix of alphabet soup listed in the job ad, you don't get any opportunity to talk to a human to do what you're saying.

That by itself messes with my motivation to try what you're saying. I know factually that placed in a real task environment, I may run rings around any real human. But I'm going to be weeded out long before I get that opportunity.

The body shops and most Fortune 500s won't even talk to you unless you fill out a lengthy Taleo assessment. (Note to older workers who haven't interviewed for years; Taleo is the main HR platform that forces the applicant to fill out a detailed item by item application for a job that usually takes 30 mint to an hour.)

Then (and I have found this out directly) even when you meet the job's likely needs, you don't get a call back when you have a problematic current bio (too many years since FTE, non verifiable experience with clients or employers long out of business, small shitty companies that are unknowns, etc.)

Suppose you progress to talking with someone.

They'll ask where you did this and that and who they can ask about you. NOT about what you can actually do. Again, it's not about what you can do for them, the process is still in this "we need to assess your merit" phase.

Ok, suppose one gets past this phase:

Back in the 90s, I really knew my shit about Windows application development on C++, VB and Delphi, and HR software wasn't in wide use. I  almost always crashed and burned on the interviews that were more formal and structured. 

The places I was actually able to get into were the small biz shitholes that had no formal interview process. Which is why I was always complaining about my clients.

Now, that's really my own self esteem, salesmanship, and self worth issue that I fully own and it's all my fault, I realize.

I'm just saying that even when I was at the top of a particular area of expertise with a lot of current work to show for it, I would get dissed down to nothing and rarely got invited for a follow up. That was in an area I already knew.

Tooling up on a completely new skill and building some app to show it? Maybe there's some new weird current dynamics that make that feasible but I never got that to work.

Lastly, you're saying it may take many tries. That's true and I tended to give up after 5 successive failures in a given niche.

I'm probably more persistent in the face of really discouraging odds than anyone else on this board currently.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: unix on February 26, 2018, 08:46:46 am
Interesting.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: I D Shukhov on February 26, 2018, 01:03:42 pm

Tooling up on a completely new skill and building some app to show it? Maybe there's some new weird current dynamics that make that feasible but I never got that to work.

I don't understand.  If one wanted to build web apps, why couldn't a person identify the most in-demand web app frameworks and tools and create something like https://www.timeanddate.com/date/duration.html (https://www.timeanddate.com/date/duration.html) and demo it to the employer?

Do you think that would not be good enough or only paid work will do?
Title: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: pxsant on March 04, 2018, 10:19:04 am
I am thinking of conducting an experiment about my post on older workers.   In my earlier post I mentioned several technologies older people could get into.

I have specialized in project management and business analysis the past some years.   It has kept me employed for a long time even though I would have been considered old/unemployable 30 years ago.  Right now I am 3 months into a likely 2-year gig so there is no time like now to reinvent myself.

I am going to pick something to get back into the technical area.   Data sciences using R comes to mind at the moment although I might pick one of the others I mentioned.   I might shoot for something which has some remote work possibilities.

It will likely take 3 months or so to get into condition to start applying for jobs in whatever I pick.   I am going to take a shot at this just to prove older people can still be marketable.  I will keep the board here or wherever it is posted on progress and results periodically.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: I D Shukhov on March 04, 2018, 11:09:53 am
I am thinking of conducting an experiment about my post on older workers.   In my earlier post I mentioned several technologies older people could get into.

I have specialized in project management and business analysis the past some years.   It has kept me employed for a long time even though I would have been considered old/unemployable 30 years ago.  Right now I am 3 months into a likely 2-year gig so there is no time like now to reinvent myself.

I am going to pick something to get back into the technical area.   Data sciences using R comes to mind at the moment although I might pick one of the others I mentioned.   I might shoot for something which has some remote work possibilities.

It will likely take 3 months or so to get into condition to start applying for jobs in whatever I pick.   I am going to take a shot at this just to prove older people can still be marketable.  I will keep the board here or wherever it is posted on progress and results periodically.
I have no doubt some older people can be marketable.  My 70-something next door neighbor is an enterprise Java software engineer. My 67 year old college buddy is happily modifying messages for some sort of DoD project.

But what you want to do is going to be interesting, to say the least.  If you are coming from a management consulting background and can get a data sciences gig using R (is that bioinformatics-oriented?) I'm going to be HIGHLY IMPRESSED.  You could write a book about it.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: The Gorn on March 04, 2018, 01:21:21 pm
I am going to pick something to get back into the technical area.   Data sciences using R comes to mind at the moment although I might pick one of the others I mentioned.   I might shoot for something which has some remote work possibilities.

It will likely take 3 months or so to get into condition to start applying for jobs in whatever I pick.   I am going to take a shot at this just to prove older people can still be marketable.  I will keep the board here or wherever it is posted on progress and results periodically.

That is a FANTASTIC idea, Pxsant. You'll be the BrundleFly of IT retooling.  >:D :D

I like what you wrote but overall it's just not for me. I lived like that for 10+ years and I despised it. It's a hard work life. It would beat homelessness if it came down to it, though.

My own tack going forward is increased intensity of marketing what I already have skill set wise which is a lot. Not learning new nuts and bolts but marketing the nuts and bolts I already own.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: The Gorn on March 04, 2018, 01:27:20 pm
But what you want to do is going to be interesting, to say the least.  If you are coming from a management consulting background and can get a data sciences gig using R (is that bioinformatics-oriented?) I'm going to be HIGHLY IMPRESSED.  You could write a book about it.

I think Pxsant may have an interest in that subject, but my opinion informed by own experience is that you'd better pick something that you know you personally can actually sell effectively.

And that's the rub, the deeper problem with pre-selecting a technical domain and going after it. You're just guessing about a ton of things:

- Whether it will be in demand at jobs you can plausibly apply for after you are tooled up.
- Whether your own experience mix plus "R" or whatever will be accepted by any employers.
- In summary whether you can effectively sell the new tech skill for new work consistently.

That's exactly why I stopped marketing my "software copywriting" services. It's a bag of shit. I'm a competent writer. But it turns out that everyone WANTS the service but NONE of the cheap bastards running tech businesses wants to actually pay for the skill.

The billable work I could find was astoundingly low quality - pennies per hour, pretty much. Yet you'll run into tons of blog articles and Youtube videos about how copywriting is a gold rush.

That is a key instance of possessing a skill in a supposed marketable area and you still can't find acceptable work in it.

For instance, I received this a few weeks ago through my copywriting website:

Quote
Message Body:
Hi,
My name is Yury, and I am the marketing director for VironIT company.  I found your profile via google.
We would like to create an article "How to hire app developer?"
Here is the example we like. https://thinkmobiles.com/blog/how-much-cost-to-hire-app-developer/
Could you create a similar article but with some improvement? (unique pictures, video etc.)
Could you please provide me with the price for 1000 words?

Doesn't he fucking KNOW what he's willing to pay? YES, but it's a game and he won't say because he's fishing.

G***damned games. These places are all alike. He probably has a budget like $150 which would be rock bottom pay scale, but he's fishing to see if he can get it done for $75, I bet. Because that's been exactly the pattern with every one of these requests.

I just replied with one word: "No". I was tempted to write "f*ck off."

It just gets into your head.

And that's the larger challenge with the "Pxsant method" of retooling: staying motivated and sticking with the plan. Because, trust me, it will be EXTREMELY hard to get any respect when you start out on such a path.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: I D Shukhov on March 04, 2018, 05:35:44 pm
Just received this email from an old (in both senses) friend:

Hi X,

I still have my job that I started back in May 2014. My boss let me cut my hours to 32/week, which gives me time to take Y to her doctor’s appointments.
My advice is to find a government contractor that can bill you as a senior software engineer. That way the company does not need to worry about your salary. Next you need to find a manager who likes you and feels senior software engineers are better than junior software engineers.

And remember if you don’t know the application they are using just brush it off by saying you are a quick learner and have not had the pleasure of using the application they are using.

Right now I’m writing a User’s Guide and before this I had to write the System Requirements Specification. This requires that I know how to use Microsoft Word.

Take care,
Z

The message here for us older folks is to avoid HR and find a sympathetic (older?) hiring manager.  Nothing that hasn't been preached for 40 years in What Color is Your Parachute.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: The Gorn on March 04, 2018, 06:02:03 pm
I D, if you want to get back to work, you should really be working your local contacts. You have 100x the potential I do to mine existing contacts and you're in a huge metro area.

While I look forward to pxsant's test of his approach, I honestly don't think it's the best option for you. I see his approach as a long shot for someone who doesn't have any recent ( < 5 years) marketable technical skills and who has absolutely no network or any other options.

You worked in a cleared government contract job. That's a distinct business niche. It seems like perhaps your last employer's treatment of you got into your head but it doesn't reflect the market. You're most likely highly marketable with the right resume spin in exactly the same stuff in your immediate area.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: I D Shukhov on March 05, 2018, 02:22:50 am
I D, if you want to get back to work, you should really be working your local contacts. You have 100x the potential I do to mine existing contacts and you're in a huge metro area.

While I look forward to pxsant's test of his approach, I honestly don't think it's the best option for you. I see his approach as a long shot for someone who doesn't have any recent ( < 5 years) marketable technical skills and who has absolutely no network or any other options.

You worked in a cleared government contract job. That's a distinct business niche. It seems like perhaps your last employer's treatment of you got into your head but it doesn't reflect the market. You're most likely highly marketable with the right resume spin in exactly the same stuff in your immediate area.
Thanks Gorn.  Very astute advice.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: unix on March 05, 2018, 04:05:27 pm


I hate to say but DeeCee has the best job market in the country right now. It's not "just" a huge metro area but a bubble isolated from reality.

Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: The Gorn on March 05, 2018, 05:40:15 pm
I D, if you want to get back to work, you should really be working your local contacts. You have 100x the potential I do to mine existing contacts and you're in a huge metro area. ...
Thanks Gorn.  Very astute advice.

It's blatantly obvious, actually.  If you're an engineer and you can't find work in DC in the defense sector and you have recent defense contractor experience, you honestly can't find work.

Unix said it well in a different way.

Pxsant's advice is for those of us not living near a DC beltway and who have no recent skills to fall back on to beef up.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: I D Shukhov on March 06, 2018, 04:18:25 am

It's blatantly obvious, actually.  If you're an engineer and you can't find work in DC in the defense sector and you have recent defense contractor experience, you honestly can't find work.

Well, there's finding work and finding work in an environment where you want to work and doing something you want to do.


Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: ilconsiglliere on March 06, 2018, 09:42:44 am
I am not sure this is the right approach. I got into PM years ago because I could see the writing on the wall with hands on IT work. This was around Y2K. Do I really want to compete with India for work both onshore and offshore? NOPE.

Learning is good, I will never put down anyone who wants to learn. So go forth and expand your brain.

However what I see with job hunting nowadays is companies only want to talk to you if you have done the exact same job they have open. They want a programmer that has done Python v123 but you only did Python v1, sorry we arent interested. Oh you worked in financial services but want to come to telecom, sorry we arent interested.

The idiots in HR wont talk to you nor the recruiters at the body shops. You have to be an exact match.

So where does that leave you? NO WHERE, thats where it leaves you. You have to do what the Indians do on their resumes, exaggerate, tell them whatever you want to hear. Otherwise its not happening.

The other thing is you need a niche that the Indians have not or cannot pour into. Examples: DoD work - unless you are an American citizen they wont talk to you. Jobs that require very good communication skills or niche technical skills they have not yet discovered.

The big buzzwords now are Big Data, Data Analytics, Functional programming - Haskal, etc... If you have this stuff you can pretty much find a job tomorrow.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: The Gorn on March 06, 2018, 09:51:43 am
I am not sure this is the right approach.

Do you mean Pxsant's crash course/immersion tactic that you are not sure about?

Myself, for his technique, I'm sitting on the fence. He promises to test it out. I want Pxsant to do so with a scrubbed resume that doesn't reflect his current or recent billable work.

In other words, simulate someone going out with e-course knowledge to find work.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: pxsant on March 06, 2018, 09:58:35 am
I am not sure this is the right approach.
Myself, for his technique, I'm sitting on the fence. He promises to test it out. I want Pxsant to do so with a scrubbed resume that doesn't reflect his current or recent billable work.

In other words, simulate someone going out with e-course knowledge to find work.

Well, that depends.  If I go for Linux Admin I have quite a few years of experience in Linux including VPS's.   I would create a resume to emphasize that experience.

If I go for SQL, again I have years of experience there.   Last year I wrote more than 400 SQL queries for a banking client to test data quality.  Again, I would do a resume to emphasize experience in that area.

If I went for Python, there I would be a rookie so I would not be able to show specific experience there.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: The Gorn on March 06, 2018, 01:11:10 pm
Well, that depends.  If I go for Linux Admin I have quite a few years of experience in Linux including VPS's.   I would create a resume to emphasize that experience.

If I go for SQL, again I have years of experience there.   Last year I wrote more than 400 SQL queries for a banking client to test data quality.  Again, I would do a resume to emphasize experience in that area.

If I went for Python, there I would be a rookie so I would not be able to show specific experience there.

I had the impression that your advice and also your idea of testing the concept was meant for your retooling tactics.

Getting the same kind of gigs that you're already well qualified for doesn't prove anything. I mean it's great and all that you are staying billable but it doesn't help anyone trying to assess whether they should do the immersion training + bludgeon their way through interviews.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: pxsant on March 06, 2018, 01:15:25 pm
OK I'll do exactly what you suggest.   I'll pick something I have absolutely no experience in and see what I can do with it.   I'll let everyone know what particular thing I chose.

I'll retool in whatever it is and then attempt to get work using that particular skill.   If I can do it and actually get work, that means anyone can do the same thing.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: I D Shukhov on March 06, 2018, 02:06:38 pm
OK I'll do exactly what you suggest.   I'll pick something I have absolutely no experience in and see what I can do with it.   I'll let everyone know what particular thing I chose.

I'll retool in whatever it is and then attempt to get work using that particular skill.   If I can do it and actually get work, that means anyone can do the same thing.

I wouldn't say it proves anyone can do it, but it would help with the defeatist thinking that a lot of older software engineers have.

I wasn't joking about this being book material.  Barbara Ehrenreich wrote https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nickel_and_Dimed (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nickel_and_Dimed) about trying to get a minimum wage job as a high-credentialed professional.  To her amazement she could not get hired.  Employers thought she wasn't a good fit or that she wouldn't stick around.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: The Gorn on March 06, 2018, 03:38:49 pm
OK I'll do exactly what you suggest.   I'll pick something I have absolutely no experience in and see what I can do with it.   I'll let everyone know what particular thing I chose.

I'll retool in whatever it is and then attempt to get work using that particular skill.   If I can do it and actually get work, that means anyone can do the same thing.

Excellent. Thanks. Yeah, that's precisely what I was driving at.

I think this is one hell of a great experiment!
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: pxsant on March 06, 2018, 03:50:42 pm
Looking at ID's list, I think I have isolated it to 3 items, none of which I have any experience in.    Java, Python and Big Data.   I am going to do a little more research before picking the final one.  Sort of leaning toward Big Data even though it is lower on the list.   Always wanted to dig into it but never had the time.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: The Gorn on March 06, 2018, 03:58:06 pm
If you're intending to apply for rookie/trainee/retread jobs...I would think a more tool-focused specialty (eg, Java or Python) would be more marketable than a big data/data warehouse target. But maybe I'm wrong. It's just my thought...
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: pxsant on March 06, 2018, 04:21:36 pm
Big data generally means Hadoop.  So I searched Dice for the three posted within the last 10 days, no specific location and here are the results.  I used "Developer" to restrict results otherwise each returned far more.

hadoop developer - 136
python developer - 253
java developer - 1976

So it appears Java is the top choice even though Java disgusts me - primarily because Oracle owns it and I hate that company. I need to think it over before choosing.   I also want to look at the courses available on Udemy first.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: unix on March 06, 2018, 05:10:46 pm
Linux is having an impact in the federal contracting area. Nothing really new here. Has been that way for 15 years, but now more than ever.

I need to get my rear end certified.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: I D Shukhov on March 06, 2018, 07:16:54 pm

So it appears Java is the top choice even though Java disgusts me - primarily because Oracle owns it and I hate that company. I need to think it over before choosing.   I also want to look at the courses available on Udemy first.

A couple of good things I know about Java besides the fact that it's been the top-ranked language on the Tiobe Index forever.

There are really good Java books:

* Thinking in Java  (4th Ed) by Bruce Eckel
* Design Patterns for Dummies by the ever-prolific Steve Holzner.  All the examples are in Java and it's the first book which really made the design patterns comprehensible to me and how and why I might use them.

If you are going to interview for a job, you'll have to know all about the design patterns as well as everything in the 1,400+ page Eckel book. 

Also, Android mobile uses Java, but mobile app development does not sound like a skill target. 

The bad thing about Java is that because it's so widely used there is going to be stiff competition. And who knows how many Oracle certified Java SE 8 Programmers are out there?

I'm a little dubious about learning language skills outside of a domain area.   In that sense, Gorn is right when he advised me "You worked in a cleared government contract job. That's a distinct business niche..."  My clearance is long gone.  The best I can do now is put "clearable"  on my resume.   But that's life.

I think Gorn's challenge to go job hunting "with a scrubbed resume that doesn't reflect [your] current or recent billable work" is a bit unrealistic.  We all have a history and if we are going to go talking to hiring managers there needs to be a common understanding.   My 2 cents of course.

Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: The Gorn on March 06, 2018, 07:32:30 pm
I think Gorn's challenge to go job hunting "with a scrubbed resume that doesn't reflect [your] current or recent billable work" is a bit unrealistic.  We all have a history and if we are going to go talking to hiring managers there needs to be a common understanding.   My 2 cents of course.

You misunderstood what I was asking Pxsant. I asked him to consider using a scrubbed resume when he tests his method of crash-learning plus hammering interviews to find something available.

It's to establish a baseline to see if what he's stating actually works to help someone land a job when they don't have the specific OTJ experience. 

It's the equivalent for his method of fasting overnight in order to take a blood glucose test in order to get a proper blood reading.

Not something you'd do in a real life economic survival situation.

Quote
If you are going to interview for a job, you'll have to know all about the design patterns as well as everything in the 1,400+ page Eckel book.

Also, Android mobile uses Java, but mobile app development does not sound like a skill target.

The bad thing about Java is that because it's so widely used there is going to be stiff competition. And who knows how many Oracle certified Java SE 8 Programmers are out there?

I don't agree with the first sentence. I say it really just depends. Some shops want to see sample code. Others may tech you out on standardized knowledge as you state. It really depends on the sophistication of the place and how much their own staffs who interview you know. I had that a lot when I contracted in C++ - some places are formal, others just want to hear you talk about your interesting project.

I agree with your last sentence. Pxsant seems to be targeting the market leader for programming languages, so Java >>  Python. Yet Java is the most generic language on the planet at this point, similar to knowing "just C" in the 1990s. I'd personally go for a language where I could establish some personal uniqueness in my approach.

In my guts I don't think that "cold learning" Java will allow you to land a position, but let Pxsant prove me wrong.

I believe your technical specialization is a bit of targeted marketing. The more generic you are, the more you SEEM to be able to fit more roles, yet the more of a face in the crowd you are.

That's true of cars - dating and selecting a mate - picking reading material - picking a movie to watch on Netflix. You would never pick generic when you needed or wanted specific.

Same with employers.

When I did SW contracting my best successes were in fairly tightly defined language+platform+project type domains.  I wasn't everything to everyone. I was something very specific to the rare but extant places that needed that combination of interests.

Example of a successful schtick/niche that lasted me for about 10 years from 93 to about 2005: C++ language; Windows OS with Borland and then Visual Studio tools as platform; Windows application rewrites as the project type.

I believe that Pxsant should figure out a similar triad of qualities for best success, not just figure that learning Java expertly will open doors.

In fact, DAMN, I feel like I just created a new law of programming job physics in this post. Hurray me!  :laugh: >:D
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: I D Shukhov on March 06, 2018, 07:59:01 pm

You misunderstood what I was asking Pxsant. I asked him to consider using a scrubbed resume when he tests his method of crash-learning plus hammering interviews to find something available.

It's to establish a baseline to see if what he's stating actually works to help someone land a job when they don't have the specific OTJ experience. 


I'm confused about what Pxsant is trying to do.  I thought he was going to actually try and get hired somewhere.   If not, what's the success criteria for the  experiment?  Get a phone interview?  If he's going to be technical at some point he'll have to pass a technical interview.


Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: The Gorn on March 06, 2018, 09:21:17 pm
I'm referencing Pxsant's crash course idea. Where he gives a prescription for those currently out of the tech job game.

The first post you see from this link:

http://www.computerconsultantsforum.com/forum/discussions/specific-tactics-for-landing-technical-jobs-as-a-mature/msg96359/#msg96359

I'm asking him to go to those interviews with a resume that omits his current work and strengths. To test his concept for retooling from ground zero.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: pxsant on March 07, 2018, 02:41:35 am
OK here it is.  I am skipping Java.  I am actually going with two - Hadoop and Python.   I ramp up on both over the next 3 months and see what I can do with job applications.

I am working so I don't actually need a job right now but if I get a good offer either long term or remote, I'll l might take it.   I'll post about progress periodically. 
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: pxsant on March 07, 2018, 03:17:10 am
In looking at courses on Udemy on Python and Hadoop, I see some interesting stats.

One of the courses I had previously looked at is from a guy named Frank Kane.  He has 84 courses on Udemy.   Just the one I looked at on Python has 53986 students.  Even if you figure a low average price of $15, Frank grossed more than $809K on just this one course.

I just looked at one of Frank's courses on Hadoop and it has 34621 students grossing around $520K.

I don't know what Udemy's cut is but Frank has apparently made millions by having video courses on Udemy.

Guys and gals, what the hell are we doing??   If you want the ultimate work from home gig, work up some courses on whatever you can think of and post them on Udemy.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: I D Shukhov on March 07, 2018, 05:22:09 am
In looking at courses on Udemy on Python and Hadoop, I see some interesting stats.

One of the courses I had previously looked at is from a guy named Frank Kane.  He has 84 courses on Udemy.   Just the one I looked at on Python has 53986 students.  Even if you figure a low average price of $15, Frank grossed more than $809K on just this one course.

I just looked at one of Frank's courses on Hadoop and it has 34621 students grossing around $520K.

I don't know what Udemy's cut is but Frank has apparently made millions by having video courses on Udemy.

Guys and gals, what the hell are we doing??   If you want the ultimate work from home gig, work up some courses on whatever you can think of and post them on Udemy.
Psxant, I know this is armchair and potentially useless advice but I just don't see how online learning absent anything else is going to be successful in getting an interview.

A somewhat better approach IMO would be to skip the the online learning and get a Hadoop with Python book and work through the exercises.  Then build something that solves an interesting problem and try somehow to get people to use it.  Then reference the app in a Google-findable web site.   I think the app should be hosted on AWS as a cloud app.  I think this would demonstrate proof to an employer than you can use Hadoop to solve their problem.

I've sat through 100s of hours of computer science coursework  instruction.  Probably a 1,000+ hours.  I honestly believe it's not as good as books and whatever you can find online in the event you have a question, like Stack Exchange or wherever you can find a Hadoop user community. 

What we need to decide here is what's the best use of one's time.  Is it to get a credential or is it to create a portfolio of accomplishments?  I'm pretty sure Dick Bolles would favor the latter approach.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: pxsant on March 07, 2018, 05:34:55 am
ID I agree with you on one part.    You really do need to build something which has some practical application so you can show it during an interview.   I would host whatever it is myself instead of using AWS.

I do appreciate your advice.  However, I disagree with you on the book vs video courses part to some extent.   Video courses would be faster and easier to do than reading a book on the subject.   I am limited in the time I can spend on this and I have set a personal deadline on being fully functional on the subject within 90 days.  The only way I can make that timeline work is through the video courses.    It is just too tedious reading a book and trying to apply that in practice.  The video courses do take you through the practical part of building something aside from the theory.  Reference books will come later.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: I D Shukhov on March 07, 2018, 05:45:34 am
ID I agree with you on one part.    You really do need to build something which has some practical application so you can show it during an interview.   I would host whatever it is myself instead of using AWS.

I do appreciate your advice.  However, I disagree with you on the book vs video courses part to some extent.   Video courses would be faster and easier to do than reading a book on the subject.   I am limited in the time I can spend on this and I have set a personal deadline on being fully functional on the subject within 90 days.  The only way I can make that timeline work is through the video courses.    It is just too tedious reading a book and trying to apply that in practice.  The video courses do take you through the practical part of building something aside from the theory.  Reference books will come later.

What I like about books, and I'm not talking about a reference book, but a tutorial, is that you can copy the example, run it and then dissect the code to see how it works.  For me, that involves a lot of concentrating, looking up things, making little changes to see how the output is affected.   Listening is way too passive, I think.

But maybe it's a difference in learning styles.  Same thing when I took Algebra II in 10th grade.  I always felt I wasn't getting it in class, that a lot was going over my head.  It wasn't until I got home and figured it out for myself that I got it.   I loved the teacher, though.  She was an older woman who really had a passion for teaching. Those were the days when smart women were tracked into secondary school teaching.  I'm sure one reason schools are so shitty these days is because all the smart women are now in industry.

Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: ilconsiglliere on March 07, 2018, 05:48:19 am
I dont think companies will hire you with just book/e-learning. They want to see that you do that exact skill/language/technology on your last job. If you dont have it, they will pass you by. Your resume needs to be an exact match. I have seen this over and over in my own job hunting.

My friend was at some in-person class (some Big Data Oracle thing I believe) last year. He was the only non-Indian in the class. The class was even taught by an Indian. There was no hostility toward him (racial problems) but they generally ignored him.

Regardless all these people were fresh off the boat, knew nothing and their resumes were total fabrications. As in outright lies. They were here on H1B. As the class was being taught the instructor would tell them that your resume has to match the job EXACTLY. He told them to fabricate job histories, what they knew and what they worked on. Told them to just make it up, nobody can verify what you did. Use your friends as references and have them appear to be your ex-manager.

At some point the instructor took my friend on the side and asked him if he was a manager. The instructor told him he was a partner in a tech body shop and that if they hired guys from his shop he would kick $$ back to the manager on a monthly basis.

Basically this is what you are up against. This is what the IT job market has evolved into. I am not sure its like this  all over the country but its definitely like this in NJ which is Indian central on the east coast. I am pretty sure its like this on the west coast as well. Not sure about the center and south.

Americans enter the job market with the mindset that its open, fair AND HONEST. Everyone is told that your resume has to be forthright and honest. No exaggerations or lies. Dont make anything up and if you do you are horrible person and should be black balled.

Nobody takes you on the side and tells you how it really is - which is that you are completing against people who will LIE and fabricate ANYTHING to get that job. The idiots in HR and recruiting have to know that this is going on but dont seem to care. They will not hesitate to put the stones to an American with exhaustive work history and background checks but these people on visas are given a free pass. I dont get it.

So what do you do? You either do what they do or you will be left in the cold. I am of the opinion you could do the learning that pxsant suggest but you best have job history to back it up. If you dont have that job history you better fabricate it.

I also think the more niche you are, the better off you are. Be it a technology or industry. Sure there are a zillion Java openings but so what? That also means you are competing against everybody and his brother.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: pxsant on March 07, 2018, 05:58:39 am
"Americans enter the job market with the mindset that its open, fair AND HONEST."

There is nothing fair and honest about the US job market, especially with HR acting as gatekeepers.  They are a huge obstacle in the way of having your resume in front of the hiring manager.

It is pretty easy to verify employment history and references on people who live and work in the US.  Verifying anything on H1B's and people who just got off the boat is virtually impossible.  It could take weeks to months to get verification back and the US HR drones know that so they don't bother.  So foreigners have a clear advantage - aside from the low cost to the employer.

So you have to learn how to work the system to get past HR and to the hiring manager where you at least have a chance.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: I D Shukhov on March 07, 2018, 06:04:33 am
Seems like it makes marketing yourself as much a problem as gaining technical skills.  What we are saying here is that some class of people are out-marketing us?

ilconsiglliere wrote:
Quote
I also think the more niche you are, the better off you are. Be it a technology or industry. Sure there are a zillion Java openings but so what? That also means you are competing against everybody and his brother.

That would be the start of marketing yourself.

pxsant wrote:
Quote
So you have to learn how to work the system to get past HR and to the hiring manager where you at least have a chance

That's why Bolles recommends skipping Fortune 500 companies and trying to get an interview at small businesses.

Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: ilconsiglliere on March 07, 2018, 06:45:06 am
"Americans enter the job market with the mindset that its open, fair AND HONEST."

There is nothing fair and honest about the US job market, especially with HR acting as gatekeepers.  They are a huge obstacle in the way of having your resume in front of the hiring manager.

It is pretty easy to verify employment history and references on people who live and work in the US.  Verifying anything on H1B's and people who just got off the boat is virtually impossible.  It could take weeks to months to get verification back and the US HR drones know that so they don't bother.  So foreigners have a clear advantage - aside from the low cost to the employer.

So you have to learn how to work the system to get past HR and to the hiring manager where you at least have a chance.

Agree with everything you wrote.
Title: The necessary triad of attributes that help find WORK
Post by: The Gorn on March 07, 2018, 07:07:38 am
This got overlooked with the sidebar on fraudulent hiring of guest workers. Because my ego is the size of a f*cking bus I will repost.  >:D

I say that in order to be credible when looking for work you need the following. This is for I D who is the main questioner here currently but I would surmise that a salty old dog like Pxsant already knows this quite well.

Here:

Quote
When I did SW contracting my best successes were in fairly tightly defined language+platform+project type domains. I wasn't everything to everyone. I was something very specific to the rare but extant places that needed that combination of interests.

Example of a successful schtick/niche that lasted me for about 10 years from 93 to about 2005: C++ language; Windows OS with Borland and then Visual Studio tools as platform; Windows application rewrites as the project type.

I believe that Pxsant should figure out a similar triad of qualities for best success in locating a post-retooling job, not just figure that learning Java expertly will open doors.  But he already knows that...

This is just as and even more important as a job search principle in looking for software development jobs as the learning and online courses and sample apps.

Why: practically EVERY job you see listed is described like this:

Quote
The software engineer will be responsible for [building specific kind of app] on [operating system and development toolchain] with [computer languages].

I totally distrust job ads that don't somehow cover all three points. If all three attributes aren't listed, the job ad is too generic to be real. They are usually bogus headhunter/agency ads, or some neophyte / loser business that doesn't know what it's doing at all.

It's very effective targeting. When I had all three concepts lined up and in alignment with a job's requirements, I usually got an offer on the spot or at least was told "give us your rate, and please hurry, we need you."

In my own case the platform and languages used in most of industry drifted away from what I knew, and I lacked interest in tooling up again for it.
Title: Re: The necessary triad of attributes that help find WORK
Post by: ilconsiglliere on March 07, 2018, 07:47:46 am
This got overlooked with the sidebar on fraudulent hiring of guest workers. Because my ego is the size of a f*cking bus I will repost.  >:D

I say that in order to be credible when looking for work you need the following. This is for I D who is the main questioner here currently but I would surmise that a salty old dog like Pxsant already knows this quite well.

Here:

Quote
When I did SW contracting my best successes were in fairly tightly defined language+platform+project type domains. I wasn't everything to everyone. I was something very specific to the rare but extant places that needed that combination of interests.

Example of a successful schtick/niche that lasted me for about 10 years from 93 to about 2005: C++ language; Windows OS with Borland and then Visual Studio tools as platform; Windows application rewrites as the project type.

I believe that Pxsant should figure out a similar triad of qualities for best success in locating a post-retooling job, not just figure that learning Java expertly will open doors.  But he already knows that...

This is just as and even more important as a job search principle in looking for software development jobs as the learning and online courses and sample apps.

Why: practically EVERY job you see listed is described like this:

Quote
The software engineer will be responsible for [building specific kind of app] on [operating system and development toolchain] with [computer languages].

I totally distrust job ads that don't somehow cover all three points. If all three attributes aren't listed, the job ad is too generic to be real. They are usually bogus headhunter/agency ads, or some neophyte / loser business that doesn't know what it's doing at all.

It's very effective targeting. When I had all three concepts lined up and in alignment with a job's requirements, I usually got an offer on the spot or at least was told "give us your rate, and please hurry, we need you."

In my own case the platform and languages used in most of industry drifted away from what I knew, and I lacked interest in tooling up again for it.

I agree what you wrote here about the three point. Unless they are specific they are just fishing for resumes. The same thing applies to project management, business analysis and other work.  I ended up doing PM/BA because I got tired of trying to retool in the language of the month. PM/BA is a lot more stable from a skillset perspective.

Another big buzzword now is agile/scrum. Its the big holy grail at the moment. Now I am a scrum master ;) . Same pig different lipstick  >:D

Based on the projects that I am involved,  the stuff that is red hot now is the following: Mathematica, R, NONMEM, PSN, Monolix, SAS - I have yet to encounter any body shop kind of people. Its all about computational computing and they PAY.
Title: Re: The necessary triad of attributes that help find WORK
Post by: I D Shukhov on March 07, 2018, 06:25:53 pm
When I did SW contracting my best successes were in fairly tightly defined language+platform+project type domains.
...

I believe that Pxsant should figure out a similar triad of qualities for best success in locating a post-retooling job ...


What about this?

Language:   Python 
Project type:  Computer Security 
Platform:  Not sure 

I'd be up for starting a study group based on one of these books:  https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1/?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=black+hat+python (https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1/?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=black+hat+python)
Title: Re: The necessary triad of attributes that help find WORK
Post by: The Gorn on March 07, 2018, 06:34:27 pm
I D, I'm not recommending to invent a cluster of three attributes at random at all.

What I would recommend to pursue what Pxsant is talking about (with the crash course approach he champions) is to study Indeed.com and find listed Python jobs that seem really interesting to you. Those will contain the project type+platform information.

You can then get a sense what the market wants at present and then you can mold your new job search + job study persona.

Damn, I'm on a roll of inventing shit these last couple of days!

Quote
Language:   Python 

Ok.

Quote
Project type:  Computer Security 

That's totally not an application type. WAYYYY too generic and broad. You really need to focus in on something that someone is already doing in the market.

Example: Python+"scripted DDOS bot attack testing"

Using Python to do something specific.

Quote
Platform:  Not sure


That may or may not matter. Python comes from the Gnu world so Python under the Windows, Linux, Sun, and Apple ports will all act exactly the same.

But citing a platform of preference would really help. I'd say Linux would be top dog for any Gnu based language.

Title: Re: The necessary triad of attributes that help find WORK
Post by: I D Shukhov on March 07, 2018, 07:01:46 pm
I D, I'm not recommending to invent a cluster of three attributes at random at all.
It's not random.  I picked Python because it's an important language for system programming and hopefully data analysis.  I'm hoping it's as good as Perl, which I used to love and would use it whenever I got the chance to do all sorts of stuff.

Computer security has several virtues.  Older IT workers might consider looking at themselves in a caretaking role.  Think night watchmen and looking after grandchildren.  We are in an ideal position to watch over and protect networks.   :-X

Quote

[Computer Security] is totally not an application type. WAYYYY too generic and broad. You really need to focus in on something that someone is already doing in the market.
Agree, but this can be narrowed down once a study group begins.  A quick look at the table of contents of the suggested book list shows a variety of popular hacking targets.   One book even specializes in wireless hacking

The platform could be Linux.  But after my brother-in-law's unpleasant experience on a Microsoft network I'm thinking that might be a good platform.  Again, that depends on a field survey. 
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: The Gorn on March 07, 2018, 08:47:59 pm
You're looking for a study group? What on earth do you think this discussion is, anyway?

Job searches are experiential. Not theory craft.

I'm not saying that my "triad" is sacred. But it seems to fit an awful lot of IT and programming positions and I've been beholden to it unconsciously for 30+ years when looking for work.

You have to start pounding the pavement and looking at real life situations that already exist. Then model a job direction on some in-demand job situation you've observed in real life.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: I D Shukhov on March 08, 2018, 04:25:23 am
You're looking for a study group? What on earth do you think this discussion is, anyway?

Job searches are experiential. Not theory craft.
One of the themes of this discussion is retooling.  How best to do that?  Is it lectures or a seminar?   I believe it's the latter because that is active learning, not passive.

I've been thinking about the "3 months and hit the pavement" idea.  I don't believe this is realistic because that's way too short of a time to credibly present yourself as competent.  It's great to be agile and prototype your way forward in a career change.  That way you quickly get intel about what you want to do and what's feasible, but 3 months is too short .   

10,000 hours has been proposed as the time needed to become an expert, which is what employers want, so at 20 hours a week, that's 9.6 years.  That's not at all reasonable.

If job hunting is not a survival concern because you are either employed or otherwise have a cash flow where you can last 1 year, I'm going to suggest changing 3 months to 1 year of retooling before initiating a job search.   That would give enough time, IMO, to work through 1 or 2 books in the  https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1/?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=black+hat+python (https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1/?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=black+hat+python) list and maybe take a cert test.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: koehj on May 02, 2018, 08:28:35 am
Here's some non-technical advice from someone who
remembers Eddie Cantor and Fred Allen:
BE ENTHUSIASTIC AND ENERGETIC when you interview
Go to a really good barber or hairdresser
Lose your beer belly or love handles
Wear up-to-date clothes
Learn new skills every year (especially trendy ones)

Is this all superficial? Yes. Does it work? Yes. Keep knocking on doors and somebody will let you in.

P.S. I agree with the Gorn that it tales a year to become proficient in a brand new skill, but as a former boss of mine once said, "You only have to be one step ahead of the client!"



Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: The Gorn on May 02, 2018, 08:40:07 am
P.S. I agree with the Gorn that it tales a year to become proficient in a brand new skill, but as a former boss of mine once said, "You only have to be one step ahead of the client!"

Good post, Citizen Koehj. Thanks.

I would like to amend that one step ahead deal.

In today's business climate, everyone is a self-educated know-it-all and will carp that they saw in a Youtube video how to trivially do the thing that you have have spent 10+ years perfecting.  One may be WELL ahead of the client, but it's for naught unless THEY recognize that fact.

You might be ahead of the client but they still gotta sponsor your work. I guess that losing the love handles and personal presentation kick in as antidotes. :)

In terms of effecting actual change, I absolutely agree with you.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: I D Shukhov on May 03, 2018, 04:13:38 am
My latest views on the subject of this thread. 


1) Stay completely away from big companies with their HR departments. 

The policy against hiring older workers is really not all that stupid, even if it is discriminatory and illegal.  The problem is cultural fit.  Big companies have rigid reporting structures and don't want problems in the chain of command.  A person reporting to someone 20 years their junior could be a problem.   Also, the broader culture stereotypes older people as being slower and possibly trespassing in a space (a workplace) where they don't belong.  Being present in such an environment can be very unpleasant for the older worker.

2) That leaves smaller companies.

This is where an older worker wants to look for a job.   It's best to figure out how specifically you can add value and what specifically the company's problem is and what they are looking for.   Personally, I've never done this kind of research on a company, but it sounds like a reasonable thing to do.

3) If you get an interview, take a Shark Tank approach to pitching yourself.

Notice how the sharks want proof they will get their money back.   "What are your current sales?"  is the first question they ask.  It proves that a person can service the market they say they can.    From there on out in a Shark Tank interview it depends on how the person comes across.  Are they enthusiastic?  Does  the product make sense?  Is the person likable?

How would an older, unemployed, older worker prove sales?   Well, maybe you can't prove sales if you are unemployed in the sense someone is paying you a salary, but you can prove a user base, even if it's unpaid.

You can do that through web and mobile apps which people are using.  Or one might provide useful free information and build a following and then monetize it as this person has done:  http://www.buydonthold.com/category/blog/ (http://www.buydonthold.com/category/blog/). 

I really like Masonson and believe in his strategy (and have made a little money using it).  The general idea is that you look at a list of high-performing ETFs, which he maintains here:  https://www.etfscreen.com/buydonthold/bdh-decision-page.php (https://www.etfscreen.com/buydonthold/bdh-decision-page.php) and then buy and sell them based on an overall market momentum change which is indicated by (I think, currently 3) signals which he tracks. 

Masonson published a book about his "Buy, Don't Hold" strategy and then published his blog for free for many years.   It's still free, but now he's asking for $20/year for special emailings to subscribers.   A service which I readily signed up for.

What stands out in my mind about Masonson is the goodwill he generates.  He comes across as someone who is genuinely altruistic.  I don't think I'm naive in this regard.  As I said, for many years he did a lot of work to publish his blog that *may* help people invest more wisely.  I say, *may* because I know that modern portfolio theory generally is against market timing. 


Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: ilconsiglliere on May 10, 2018, 05:08:07 am
If you want to do hands on IT work I suggest 2 areas: data science (big data) and security.

Data Science is a really big thing. What do you think Google is all about - its all data and manipulation of that data. Read this about data science:

https://blog.udacity.com/2014/11/data-science-job-skills.html

I already mentioned in a previous post about what the hot individual skills are with data science. Stuff like SAS, NONMEM, R, PSN, Haskall, etc... I manage projects that are all data science and I can tell you for a fact that they cant find people who can do this stuff. I have seen people with these skills get poached. And they get paid a lot more.

Security is a big, big thing now. There is lots of hysteria about data integrity and the hacking. If you want to do security get the CISSP or CISM certs and than you can leverage your past IT experience. Neither of these certs is that hard to get. If you are an American citizen and have these certs there is a high probability the DoD defense companies will look at you.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: Dennis on October 16, 2018, 04:20:06 am
I've been reading this thread. Did pxsant do what he had planned: learn a new technical skill and try and land a job?
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: The Gorn on October 16, 2018, 07:11:27 am
I've been reading this thread. Did pxsant do what he had planned: learn a new technical skill and try and land a job?

Thanks for joining.

Pxsant has already been running his own profitable IT contracting business. His advice was aimed at conducting a feasibility experiment on training from scratch in order to find specialized technology work without recent paid experience.

I just assumed Pxsant has been busy with paying work. I talk about a lot of things that sound good but never get down to trying them.

Pxsant, what say you?
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: pxsant on October 16, 2018, 08:34:39 am
Here is the result of my experiment.

I chose two areas to test with.   The first was Python, the second was Data Analytics using R.  I took a few courses on both on Udemy and did lots of test scripts and so on.

I was able to secure two remote contracts, one in Python and the second in Data Analytics with R.   Luckily since these are remote I could do these after hours and on weekends since I have a long-running contract at a big bank doing data analytics using standard SQL queries.   And also doing some Business Analysis work for the same bank.

So the quicky experiment was successful in that I now am effectively working three jobs.   The downside is that I am getting very little sleep and have virtually no free time until these remote jobs are over or the main contract at the big bank is finished.  Being an old fart, I can't keep this up too awful long before I burn out.

So the real answer is that you can switch specialties if you give it a go and are persistent.   NEVER give up.   Work hard at building up your skills in whatever new you choose and then bang out your resume and applications to as many places as you can.

One hint for looking for remote jobs.   Search Dice for remote jobs but don't choose a specific specialty.  That will give you a big list of the type of  remote jobs which are available.   Then, based on that, choose a specialty to get up to speed on.

BTW, I haveen't posted often lately because of my crazy schedule.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: Dennis on October 16, 2018, 10:52:56 am
Here is the result of my experiment.

I was able to secure two remote contracts, one in Python and the second in Data Analytics with R.   Luckily since these are remote I could do these after hours and on weekends since I have a long-running contract at a big bank doing data analytics using standard SQL queries.   And also doing some Business Analysis work for the same bank.


Incredible I say. Obviously there is something that you are doing, or something about you that makes you land a job so quickly. I will get to that part later. May I ask how many interviews you had to give to land each job?
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: The Gorn on October 16, 2018, 12:13:05 pm
Luckily since these are remote I could do these after hours and on weekends since I have a long-running contract at a big bank doing data analytics using standard SQL queries.   And also doing some Business Analysis work for the same bank.

So the quicky experiment was successful in that I now am effectively working three jobs. 

If I may say...

The seed of your project idea was to self-impose your own "boot camp" on learning a new tool.

But your situation - fully employed in tech - doesn't match those of us laid off or otherwise who never managed to find a replacement software gig.

Pxsant, you have momentum. Meaning you were already working.

It's a lot easier to totally lose momentum when you get older. Momentum in your case means that you already have directly relevant employment therefore you will be deemed a close fit if your tech skills are sufficient too.

What about those of us don't have that current gig and no current momentum?

You may not see this since you were the job candidate but you'll project a TON more self-confidence and "ready to run with" attitude than someone who is coming off of a jobless or no-contract period. It's unconscious. One absolutely can't help it. And companies go totally out of their way to read that self confidence in candidates.

I can see doing what you did here as a good first step for the currently long term unemployed. But I don't see it as sufficient by itself. You interviewed from a position of total strength so you appeared just as a 30-40 year old with current employment would.

Your experiment, while worthy, doesn't indicate anything whatsoever strongly about those who've derailed and have been going through that extended unemployment that the business world believes that seniors deserve.  >:(
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: pxsant on October 16, 2018, 12:22:08 pm
Dennis,

It was not so quick.  After I completed the courses and felt that I was ready, it took a couple of months of constant applying to get the first contract.  I was only looking for remote jobs so I was pretty restrictive on my job requirements.  It took a bit longer to get the second.  Luckily both could be done effectively on a late hours basis with an occasional daytime teleconference.  That was necessary because of my longer-term bank contract.

In the contract market, interviews are few and far between.  It is all a numbers game.  If you get a 10% hit on interviews, you need 100 job applications to get just 10 interviews.  So if it takes 20 interviews before you get a contract, you see the numbers.

It is much easier if you are looking for a full-time contract (i.e. 8 hours a day) but it is still all about the numbers.

The key is persistence.   Keep at it and don't get discouraged.   Ignore the crap you will run into and the turn downs.   There are jobs out there assuming you have picked something that has decent job availability numbers.   That's why you do a search on Dice, Careerbuilder, Indeed in that order.   Pick a specialty that has good job availability numbers before you try to switch your specialty.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: pxsant on October 16, 2018, 12:30:44 pm
If I may say...

The seed of your project idea was to self-impose your own "boot camp" on learning a new tool.

But your situation - fully employed in tech - doesn't match those of us laid off or otherwise who never managed to find a replacement software gig.

Pxsant, you have momentum. Meaning you were already working.

It's a lot easier to totally lose momentum when you get older. Momentum in your case means that you already have directly relevant employment therefore you will be deemed a close fit if your tech skills are sufficient too.

What about those of us don't have that current gig and no current momentum?

You may not get this since you were the job candidate but you'll project a TON more self-confidence and "ready to run with" attitude than someone who is coming off of a jobless or no-contract period. It's unconscious. One absolutely can't help it. And companies go totally out of their way to read that self confidence in candidates.

I can see doing what you did here as a good first step for the currently long term unemployed. But I don't see it as sufficient by itself. You interviewed from a position of total strength so you appeared just as a 30-40 year old with current employment would.

Your experiment, while worthy, doesn't indicate anything whatsoever about those who've derailed and have been going through that extended unemployment that the business world believes that seniors deserve.  >:(

I have had serious starvation periods in the last 5 to 10 years.   There were times when I had sent out 250 to 500 resumes and didn't get even one interview.   Was I down and discouraged?  Absolutely.  And near bankrupt also.   But I persisted and finally got back into big banks.  Aside from my SMB accounts, I seem to be stuck in banks and financial services.

BTW, at my current bank contract, a high percentage (maybe 75% or more) of the contractors and FTE's are either green cards or work visa's.   Do I care?   Hell no as long as I am there also.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: The Gorn on October 16, 2018, 12:35:29 pm
I probably posted too quickly. I think this passage says it all and speaks to everyone, regardless of immediate conditions:

It was not so quick.  After I completed the courses and felt that I was ready, it took a couple of months of constant applying to get the first contract.  I was only looking for remote jobs so I was pretty restrictive on my job requirements.  It took a bit longer to get the second.  Luckily both could be done effectively on a late hours basis with an occasional daytime teleconference.  That was necessary because of my longer-term bank contract.

In the contract market, interviews are few and far between.  It is all a numbers game.  If you get a 10% hit on interviews, you need 100 job applications to get just 10 interviews.  So if it takes 20 interviews before you get a contract, you see the numbers.

It is much easier if you are looking for a full-time contract (i.e. 8 hours a day) but it is still all about the numbers.

The key is persistence.   Keep at it and don't get discouraged.   

I think also the fact that you applied only for remote gigs removes most of the "current momentum" issue. The hiring party is shooting a bit blind with a remote candidate.  As a remote contract candidate, that is to your advantage, and it's a lot more about performance alone. 

This seems to be an excellent way to chisel yourself back into real employment:

Tool up.
Locate online gig - AKA "paid experience".
Maybe use that paid experience to justify your job search with physical employers. If you want.

Well done and I hope nothing I said came off too cynical. The key here is going remote for contract gigs, so there's none of the face to face hiring politics.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: The Gorn on October 16, 2018, 05:00:01 pm
I have had serious starvation periods in the last 5 to 10 years.   There were times when I had sent out 250 to 500 resumes and didn't get even one interview.   Was I down and discouraged?  Absolutely.  And near bankrupt also.   But I persisted and finally got back into big banks.  Aside from my SMB accounts, I seem to be stuck in banks and financial services.

BTW, at my current bank contract, a high percentage (maybe 75% or more) of the contractors and FTE's are either green cards or work visa's.   Do I care?   Hell no as long as I am there also.

This is also a money quote. I didn't realize you had these hard times before you found your current bank gig(s). I honestly thought your employment had been steadier.

Thanks for the candid thoughts.

This is very encouraging to all of us who are outside average high tech employment demographics.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: unix on October 17, 2018, 06:39:46 am
Can you elaborate on this point:

---------

I totally distrust job ads that don't somehow cover all three points. If all three attributes aren't listed, the job ad is too generic to be real. They are usually bogus headhunter/agency ads, or some neophyte / loser business that doesn't know what it's doing at all.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: The Gorn on October 17, 2018, 07:25:48 am
Can you elaborate on this point:

---------

I totally distrust job ads that don't somehow cover all three points. If all three attributes aren't listed, the job ad is too generic to be real. They are usually bogus headhunter/agency ads, or some neophyte / loser business that doesn't know what it's doing at all.

Go back to the first post of this thread. Where ilconsiglliere quotes me the first time. The passage that starts "When I did SW contracting my best successes...".

I explain the three points right there in that passage.

If you don't absorb what I say there, I'm saying: A recruiter (or company) that won't talk to you about a specific end user application, or won't talk about the platform (Unix, Windows, Android, etc) is just collecting resumes. Someone asking you for the skill and won't get specific about anything else is wasting your time.

I personally don't think it's a good use of your time to be "teched out" or interviewed at length unless you're told how your work supports a specific application or mission. That is another way of saying the same thing.

Tell me if this makes sense.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: Dennis on October 20, 2018, 07:06:41 am

The key is persistence.   Keep at it and don't get discouraged.   Ignore the crap you will run into and the turn downs. 

Ok, I can buy that, and that is how I operated all my working life, but it sure does get tiring. Just as an example to get the job that I currently hold I had to give around 30 interviews while _still_ having a  job at that time. Some people are more likable than others and get hired faster. It also has to do a lot of with the stereotype  naive-immature-programmer type personalities who do the interviews. For them you have to pass the candidate-is-smart-but-not-too-smart-and-also-be-submissive-and-likable test.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: unix on October 20, 2018, 05:54:38 pm
Kinda OT but when I looked for a gig in the middle of the 2003 recession, the borks turned away everyone who wasn't  already "current", with current being the code word for employed.

i.e. if you are not already employed, no need to apply.  That's how they narrowed down the candidates from 500 for one opening to 100.

The most important gig is the next one and the right time to look for one is when you already have one, not when you are 6 months out of work and no longer "current".

Just a footnote in this valuable discussion.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: The Gorn on October 20, 2018, 06:27:44 pm
The most important gig is the next one and the right time to look for one is when you already have one, not when you are 6 months out of work and no longer "current".

Just a footnote in this valuable discussion.

Pxsant's procedure is intended (I think) to be the remedy for this type of situation.

Just as an example to get the job that I currently hold I had to give around 30 interviews while _still_ having a  job at that time. Some people are more likable than others and get hired faster. It also has to do a lot of with the stereotype  naive-immature-programmer type personalities who do the interviews. For them you have to pass the candidate-is-smart-but-not-too-smart-and-also-be-submissive-and-likable test.

I think Pxsant is saying in part that it's a numbers game.

Even when you are well qualified.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: unix on October 20, 2018, 07:02:17 pm

Well yeah.

A numbers game.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: pxsant on October 21, 2018, 03:23:17 am
Kinda OT but when I looked for a gig in the middle of the 2003 recession, the borks turned away everyone who wasn't  already "current", with current being the code word for employed.

i.e. if you are not already employed, no need to apply.  That's how they narrowed down the candidates from 500 for one opening to 100.

The most important gig is the next one and the right time to look for one is when you already have one, not when you are 6 months out of work and no longer "current".

Just a footnote in this valuable discussion.

2003 was one of my bad times.  I had just finished a 2 year contract at a financial services firm and could not find another assignment to save my life.   Luckily I had a few SMB clients that kept me alive for over a year until I found another high paying gig.

The job market is sort of like the stock market.   There are high times and low times.  During the high times, you think you can never do anything wrong.  Everything you do works out just fine.   Then comes the crash and everything goes to hell in a handbasket.  But like the stock market, if you panic, you are dead meat.  The stock market and the job market will turn around.  If you get discouraged and give up you will never go to work again.  The only path is to keep at it until you finally land something.   There is a job out there somewhere just waiting for you to apply.  Most interviewers are fools in that they discard everyone who does not fit their pattern of what a person should be like.  But there are a few interviewers who read between the lines and not just play word bingo.  The only way you can find them is to keep at it.

There used to be a guy on this board that engaged in resume bombing to get a job.  I don't remember his name but that was his method - to him it was a numbers game and it works.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: unix on October 21, 2018, 06:37:26 am
Mixxalot maybe
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: The Gorn on October 21, 2018, 07:25:02 am
Pxsant, you're on a roll with the fantastic observations!

The job market is sort of like the stock market.   There are high times and low times.  During the high times, you think you can never do anything wrong.  Everything you do works out just fine.   Then comes the crash and everything goes to hell in a handbasket.  But like the stock market, if you panic, you are dead meat.  The stock market and the job market will turn around.  If you get discouraged and give up you will never go to work again.  The only path is to keep at it until you finally land something.   

What a good analogy. EG - treat your career and knowledge like an equity. Don't discard yourself or sell out cheap. Ride out market bottoms.

There used to be a guy on this board that engaged in resume bombing to get a job.  I don't remember his name but that was his method - to him it was a numbers game and it works.

Pm4hire. He used to provide email lists of borks. Pm4hire lived out of a mobile home for awhile and traveled the country for PM gigs.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: unix on October 21, 2018, 06:33:56 pm
interesting.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: ilconsiglliere on November 09, 2018, 06:13:31 pm
Regardless of skill set people need to understand a few things about finding a job:

First, your resume is a piece of advertising. No matter what the HR idiots tell you, thats what it is. A resume is an advertisement for YOU and what YOU CAN DO FOR THEM. I have seen lots of bad ones, a good one takes lots and lots of work. Your resume should look like a Madison Avenue advertising company wrote it. You want to portray yourself in the best possible light.

You have the obvious things about spacing and punctuation but your resume should be clean and crisp. I write everything as an accomplishment - no more than 2 to 3 lines per accomplishment. Than move on. Whatever the big buzz words are, make sure your resume has them slathered through out along with numbers. Lots of numbers - code ABC models, reduced downtime, save $$, whatever... they want to hear.

Second - an interview is a sales presentation on YOU. You are there to SELL YOURSELF to them. YOU ARE THE PRODUCT. Many people never figure this out. The best way to learn to interview well is to watch sales guys. Forget the HR people, watch successful sales people. That means you have to have great communication skills - both verbal and body language.

You want to be clean, reasonably well dressed, shaved and showered. When you meet them, look them in the eye and smile. Say nice to meet you. You want the people to feel good about meeting you. It helps if you can tell engaging stories which is what an interview is really about. If you can SELL YOURSELF via YOUR STORIES you will be in the door.

Third - networking is very important. If you read the statistics most jobs are gotten via networking as opposed to cold resumes. Sure you can bag a job by the numbers. Grinding out tons and tons of resumes and rolling the dice on the numbers. A smarter way is to network with anyone and everyone BEFORE you lose your job. If you wait till you are unemployed than its already too late.

Lastly as Pxsant said he has seen highs and lows. I believe we are in a high right now. I have seen people leave from where I am for lots more money. A BA guy on my project left and got a 30K increase along with benefits. Will this high last? I don't thing so but as long as Trump is in office it may continue. Who knows....
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: Dennis on November 10, 2018, 04:50:27 pm
Regardless of skill set people need to understand a few things about finding a job:

First, your resume is a piece of advertising. No matter what the HR idiots tell you, thats what it is. A resume is an advertisement for YOU and what YOU CAN DO FOR THEM. I have seen lots of bad ones, a good one takes lots and lots of work. Your resume should look like a Madison Avenue advertising company wrote it. You want to portray yourself in the best possible light.

You have the obvious things about spacing and punctuation but your resume should be clean and crisp. I write everything as an accomplishment - no more than 2 to 3 lines per accomplishment. Than move on. Whatever the big buzz words are, make sure your resume has them slathered through out along with numbers. Lots of numbers - code ABC models, reduced downtime, save $$, whatever... they want to hear.

Second - an interview is a sales presentation on YOU. You are there to SELL YOURSELF to them. YOU ARE THE PRODUCT. Many people never figure this out. The best way to learn to interview well is to watch sales guys. Forget the HR people, watch successful sales people. That means you have to have great communication skills - both verbal and body language.

You want to be clean, reasonably well dressed, shaved and showered. When you meet them, look them in the eye and smile. Say nice to meet you. You want the people to feel good about meeting you. It helps if you can tell engaging stories which is what an interview is really about. If you can SELL YOURSELF via YOUR STORIES you will be in the door.

Third - networking is very important. If you read the statistics most jobs are gotten via networking as opposed to cold resumes. Sure you can bag a job by the numbers. Grinding out tons and tons of resumes and rolling the dice on the numbers. A smarter way is to network with anyone and everyone BEFORE you lose your job. If you wait till you are unemployed than its already too late.

Lastly as Pxsant said he has seen highs and lows. I believe we are in a high right now. I have seen people leave from where I am for lots more money. A BA guy on my project left and got a 30K increase along with benefits. Will this high last? I don't thing so but as long as Trump is in office it may continue. Who knows....

All good advise, but I guess the trouble is in following part of it ( the resume is the easiest part, and things like networking are doable) . Many  people who are good at selling themselves are either deluded, or embellish, or lie, or are just great communicators which is not an easy thing for most technically inclined people to do especially with mannerisms and conduct .  Suggestion: you appear to have great social skills, why not use you social skills to get gigs which you can have it done by the ones with less social skills from this forum. Ofcourse that might pan out to be similar to the story  in "Animal Farm" ( I'm referring to the George Orwell's novel)  - but I believe that there are probably some very dealable  ( i.e a notch above the average code monkey)  people here, judging by the posts. But then I could be wrong.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: unix on November 11, 2018, 04:49:33 pm
If I may say...

The seed of your project idea was to self-impose your own "boot camp" on learning a new tool.

But your situation - fully employed in tech - doesn't match those of us laid off or otherwise who never managed to find a replacement software gig.

Pxsant, you have momentum. Meaning you were already working.

It's a lot easier to totally lose momentum when you get older. Momentum in your case means that you already have directly relevant employment therefore you will be deemed a close fit if your tech skills are sufficient too.

What about those of us don't have that current gig and no current momentum?

You may not get this since you were the job candidate but you'll project a TON more self-confidence and "ready to run with" attitude than someone who is coming off of a jobless or no-contract period. It's unconscious. One absolutely can't help it. And companies go totally out of their way to read that self confidence in candidates.

I can see doing what you did here as a good first step for the currently long term unemployed. But I don't see it as sufficient by itself. You interviewed from a position of total strength so you appeared just as a 30-40 year old with current employment would.

Your experiment, while worthy, doesn't indicate anything whatsoever about those who've derailed and have been going through that extended unemployment that the business world believes that seniors deserve.  >:(

I have had serious starvation periods in the last 5 to 10 years.   There were times when I had sent out 250 to 500 resumes and didn't get even one interview.   Was I down and discouraged?  Absolutely.  And near bankrupt also.   But I persisted and finally got back into big banks.  Aside from my SMB accounts, I seem to be stuck in banks and financial services.

BTW, at my current bank contract, a high percentage (maybe 75% or more) of the contractors and FTE's are either green cards or work visa's.   Do I care?   Hell no as long as I am there also.


IME, banks pay the best coin. Also insurance companies. Maybe anecdotal data.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: ilconsiglliere on November 12, 2018, 05:44:32 pm
If I may say...

The seed of your project idea was to self-impose your own "boot camp" on learning a new tool.

But your situation - fully employed in tech - doesn't match those of us laid off or otherwise who never managed to find a replacement software gig.

Pxsant, you have momentum. Meaning you were already working.

It's a lot easier to totally lose momentum when you get older. Momentum in your case means that you already have directly relevant employment therefore you will be deemed a close fit if your tech skills are sufficient too.

What about those of us don't have that current gig and no current momentum?

You may not get this since you were the job candidate but you'll project a TON more self-confidence and "ready to run with" attitude than someone who is coming off of a jobless or no-contract period. It's unconscious. One absolutely can't help it. And companies go totally out of their way to read that self confidence in candidates.

I can see doing what you did here as a good first step for the currently long term unemployed. But I don't see it as sufficient by itself. You interviewed from a position of total strength so you appeared just as a 30-40 year old with current employment would.

Your experiment, while worthy, doesn't indicate anything whatsoever about those who've derailed and have been going through that extended unemployment that the business world believes that seniors deserve.  >:(

I have had serious starvation periods in the last 5 to 10 years.   There were times when I had sent out 250 to 500 resumes and didn't get even one interview.   Was I down and discouraged?  Absolutely.  And near bankrupt also.   But I persisted and finally got back into big banks.  Aside from my SMB accounts, I seem to be stuck in banks and financial services.

BTW, at my current bank contract, a high percentage (maybe 75% or more) of the contractors and FTE's are either green cards or work visa's.   Do I care?   Hell no as long as I am there also.


IME, banks pay the best coin. Also insurance companies. Maybe anecdotal data.

Pharma and biotech pays high. At least where I live.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: ilconsiglliere on November 12, 2018, 05:47:16 pm
Regardless of skill set people need to understand a few things about finding a job:

First, your resume is a piece of advertising. No matter what the HR idiots tell you, thats what it is. A resume is an advertisement for YOU and what YOU CAN DO FOR THEM. I have seen lots of bad ones, a good one takes lots and lots of work. Your resume should look like a Madison Avenue advertising company wrote it. You want to portray yourself in the best possible light.

You have the obvious things about spacing and punctuation but your resume should be clean and crisp. I write everything as an accomplishment - no more than 2 to 3 lines per accomplishment. Than move on. Whatever the big buzz words are, make sure your resume has them slathered through out along with numbers. Lots of numbers - code ABC models, reduced downtime, save $$, whatever... they want to hear.

Second - an interview is a sales presentation on YOU. You are there to SELL YOURSELF to them. YOU ARE THE PRODUCT. Many people never figure this out. The best way to learn to interview well is to watch sales guys. Forget the HR people, watch successful sales people. That means you have to have great communication skills - both verbal and body language.

You want to be clean, reasonably well dressed, shaved and showered. When you meet them, look them in the eye and smile. Say nice to meet you. You want the people to feel good about meeting you. It helps if you can tell engaging stories which is what an interview is really about. If you can SELL YOURSELF via YOUR STORIES you will be in the door.

Third - networking is very important. If you read the statistics most jobs are gotten via networking as opposed to cold resumes. Sure you can bag a job by the numbers. Grinding out tons and tons of resumes and rolling the dice on the numbers. A smarter way is to network with anyone and everyone BEFORE you lose your job. If you wait till you are unemployed than its already too late.

Lastly as Pxsant said he has seen highs and lows. I believe we are in a high right now. I have seen people leave from where I am for lots more money. A BA guy on my project left and got a 30K increase along with benefits. Will this high last? I don't thing so but as long as Trump is in office it may continue. Who knows....

All good advise, but I guess the trouble is in following part of it ( the resume is the easiest part, and things like networking are doable) . Many  people who are good at selling themselves are either deluded, or embellish, or lie, or are just great communicators which is not an easy thing for most technically inclined people to do especially with mannerisms and conduct .  Suggestion: you appear to have great social skills, why not use you social skills to get gigs which you can have it done by the ones with less social skills from this forum. Ofcourse that might pan out to be similar to the story  in "Animal Farm" ( I'm referring to the George Orwell's novel)  - but I believe that there are probably some very dealable  ( i.e a notch above the average code monkey)  people here, judging by the posts. But then I could be wrong.

Are you saying to land gigs and than sub contract it out to others?

My skills werent always like this. I worked very hard on improving my communication skills after the first time I got laid off. I realized that I interviewed like crap and took steps to fix it. It was not easy. I bought a ton of books and practiced on people all the time.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: Dennis on November 13, 2018, 03:06:17 am

Are you saying to land gigs and than sub contract it out to others?

Correct, I always lament the fact that many IT people seem like lone wolves.

My skills werent always like this. I worked very hard on improving my communication skills after the first time I got laid off. I realized that I interviewed like crap and took steps to fix it. It was not easy. I bought a ton of books and practiced on people all the time.

How exactly did you infer that you were interviewing like crap?  Well to me atleast an interview is a conversation... which should not be too difficult normally.

Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: ilconsiglliere on November 13, 2018, 06:02:55 am

Are you saying to land gigs and than sub contract it out to others?

Correct, I always lament the fact that many IT people seem like lone wolves.

My skills werent always like this. I worked very hard on improving my communication skills after the first time I got laid off. I realized that I interviewed like crap and took steps to fix it. It was not easy. I bought a ton of books and practiced on people all the time.

How exactly did you infer that you were interviewing like crap?  Well to me atleast an interview is a conversation... which should not be too difficult normally.

There was a Verizon guy a few years ago that outsourced his job to India without telling them. He had multiple jobs running simultaneously. Eventually he got snagged and fired.

IT people in general have bad social skills. Those skills include both verbal, body language and social timing ie. they cant make small talk and talk about nothing. They are too analytical and precise which is the opposite of real interactions.

I had been at the same company for 15 years and had not interviewed in a long time. After a few interviews I realized the interviewing was not smooth and flowing. It felt very stilted, artificial and uncomfortable for everyone.

I realized that an interview is a sales presentation on yourself. So I took it upon myself to fix it. Read a bunch of books about sales, body language, verbal and physical cues, etc... I also watched people who I thought were good at it. And I actively worked on it every time I interacted with people. You also have to have the self confidence to pull it off.

Here is a basic thing that everyone can learn - every time you see someone make eye contact, smile and say hello. I have used it many times to disarm people. Hi my name is Joe Bob, whats your name. And I stick out my hand.

Steve Jobs was EXCELLENT in front of a crowd. He may have been a mean bastard but he could work the crowd like no ones business. Even if you started out hating him by the end you were a fan.
Title: Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
Post by: unix on November 14, 2018, 05:49:21 pm
interesting.