[lug] Will they hire you?? Was the C++ thread!!

Tkil tkil at scrye.com
Sat Apr 8 02:07:31 MDT 2000

>>>>> "John" == John Starkey <jstarkey at polaris.umuc.edu> writes:

John> Wondering how to go about getting into the sys admin and
John> programming fields without the CIS degree.

it's my current opinion that anyone who can find the "any" key can
find a 45k$/year job in the denver area without trying very hard.

as for how to hook a job, list every bit of software and hardware that
you've ever touched.  to see a depressingly antiquated list, feel free
to make fun of:


even if you only worked with it for an afternoon, put it on there.
don't claim to be an expert, but do put it on there.  given your
background, emphasize your experience with diverse hardware, software
that is stuck on suboptimal platforms, etc, etc.

as for homework, teach yourself perl or python in your free time.
learn how to do cgi programming.  do some database stuff.  i don't
mean to say that you should ignore c++; for its niche, c++ is the best
thing going, personal opinion.  i find perl to be a little more
direct, but my coding style tends to be such that i can often do
line-for-line translations from perl to c++, especially using the STL.

read newsgroups.  even if you don't understand the questions, it will
nudge you and inform you about the corners of the langauges or systems
you are trying to learn.  likewise for IRC channels on topic,
wwwboards if you can find them, etc, etc.  read FAQs and popular

ask around.  go to job interviews.  the worst thing that can be told
is "no", which isn't as big a deal in job interviews.  right now,
technology skills is a complete seller's market.  even if you start
off at a salary level that is lower than you hoped for, make sure that
it is noted "probationary", and that you do a review at 6 weeks or 3
months, to see if you have met their expectations or not.

i've found that corporations simulatneously dislike yet need people
who will stimulate (irritate?) the bottom layers.  they need
contractors who will come in and ask, "why the HELL are you doing it
that way?".  they need external viewpoints.  they won't love you for
them, but they *need* them.  you, with your varied resume, can offer
that.  leverage it!


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