More job search kvetching

After a trying weekend, my job search blues hit a new low today. In a addition to waiting all day for a phone call the didn’t come, I had to deal with no less than 5 bad recruiter calls. Bad recruiters are the ones with an inscrutable accent in a call center with lots of noise in the background but still for some reason they insist on being on speaker phone so you’re also distracted by the echo of your own voice in the background. Every one of them had no idea what they were talking about. Waste of time – I’m thinking of just asking them all to take me off their list – they seem to only recruit for jobs that want 10 years experience anyway.

But that wasn’t what put me over the edge. No, it was a video interview. Not with a person, with an app. I love that someone woke up and said to themselves, “You know, this process isn’t dehumanizing enough. We used to have them dance like trained monkeys in person, but now we do that by phone and skype. What if you have an app and they can dance like monkeys in front of that, recording the video for our amusement later.” Unfortunately it was a terrible UX and I ended up thinking it was recording when I was supposed to be thinking about my answer and sitting there like an idiot when I was supposed to be recording. And there’s no way to go back and rerecord. I sent the lady an email, “Hey, if you want to talk with me like two human beings, give me a call.” I’ll never hear from them again. I was torn about the job – on one hand they were offering about half the market value, on the other hand that probably increased my chances of getting hired.

Some more whining. Really, why do they have all the power? It’s a super in demand field. Unemployment just hit 3.9%. Visas are being cracked down on. Employers are screaming that they can’t find enough people. And yet, it is still a buyers market. The laws of economics say that the power should shift over to employees. And yet…

And again, my common rant … if there are not enough employees, you either need to pay more or hire less experienced to increase the pool. It’s simple economics. Where do they think mid-level devs come from? The cabbage patch?

It’s tough. It used to be that you hired someone and they stayed with the company for 40 years so investing the time in an entry level employee was worth it. But with devs changing jobs every few years, there is no incentive. So everyone wants already experienced people.

The shame is that I see jobs that I could do pretty well and be nailing within a month, jobs that have gone unfilled for six months and more. It amazes me that these people are willing to let these job go unfilled, hamstringing their businesses, rather than give someone else a shot.

OK, I’m better now. Damn, this is good Scotch.


Meshka. You’ve got the kvetch itch.

A six months of job searching, a horrible day, and a couple fingers of Scotch will do that.

Job hunting is the effing worst. I have breakdowns on an escalating schedule whenever I’m going through it.

…and it galls me that the tech ‘leaders’ that advise presidents/prime-ministers like Trump et al. are the leading outsourcers of tech jobs in the country. They want universities to change what they teach (think increased market-share by targeting young devs who learn all their skills on your platform) and excuse it as necessary to find relevant skills in the country but then once the newbies are hired, they invest as little as possible in their training until they’re able to hire another set of newbies fresh out of school. So they get cheaper labor, with a subsidized education (at least here in Canada) on the dime of tax payers and then even more gov. subsidies for these new grad positions.
The only way out that I see is to invest in one’s own training and push the boundaries of that till it makes an impact…
A friend and previous manager of mine spent one year getting 30 certifications (thirty!!) and got a job offer for the place he wanted after that and further job offers beyond that (last time I checked with him, even our old company which outsourced his job wanted him back). (they were industry certifications, not schooling certifications like FCC). So just goes to show (at least shows me) that pushing the limits of self-education is necessary to get better job offers.

Edit: found myself wanting to show off my friend’s list of certifications and went on to linkedin to find them. Here are some of the ones he lists:
SOA Integration:
–>IBM Certified Integration Developer - Business Process Manager Advanced V8.0
–>IBM Certified Integration Developer - WebSphere Enterprise Service Bus
–>IBM Certified Solution Implementer – WebSphere DataPower SOA Appliances
–>IBM Certified Solution Developer - WebSphere Message Broker V8.0
–>IBM Certified SOA Solution Designer

Enterprise and Infrastructure Architecture:
–>IBM Certified Infrastructure System Architect
–>TOGAF 9.1 Certified

Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM): deployment architecture design, deployment, administration and customization:
–> IBM Certified Solution Experts - Rational Collaborative Lifecycle Management
–> Requirements Management (Rational Requirements Composer)
–> Quality Management (Rational Quality Manager with RFT and RPT etc)
–> Change and Configuration Management (Team Concert)

System and Infrastructure: design and administration
–> Database Server and Databases (DB2, MS SQL, Oracle)
–> WebSphere Application Server and Applications, Datapower etc
–> RHEL (RedHat Certified System Administrator)
–> Oracle Solaris (Oracle Certfied Solaris System Administrator)

–> Certified HL7 2.7 Control Specialist

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This is exactly what neoclassical economists were made to believe until 1935 - when Keynes thought them that labour market is not frictionless and that wages are sticky!

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I’m not even talking about wages, just basic self interest. If I have a company and that company is suffering because I have empty jobs, then it is in my best interest to fill those jobs. If I can’t find enough people with 7 years experience for $100k, then the laws of supply an demand say that in order to attract enough people, I either need to lower my expectations to 6 years experience or increase the pay to $110k. To intractably sit on your demands while your business suffers is insane.

Of course, that is an oversimplification. There is inertia in the markets. And they may take the long view. But at some point the invisible hand has to win out. It’s wage “friction” not wage “super glue”. And I hear so many people complaining that there aren’t enough devs. So much so that they have send away to the other side of the planet for them (and of course the work for less so that is a bonus). But even with that they are still whining. And yet, there are plenty of devs here. True, they may be a lot of entry-level devs. But until Pfizer develops some pill, I only know one way that entry-level devs become junior/mid devs. What exactly do they think the job market is going to look like in 10 years with no junior/mid devs? Forget about coal jobs, we need a government program to incentivize companies to hire local entry-level coders to keep our software industry healthy.

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Is getting a contract job difficult as well? I’m sorry to hear it is so tough out there. I agree it is quite concerning with the 3.9% unemployment rate and relative scarcity of technical talent.

Can’t remember where I read it… goes something like this, one developer’s account of the job market (in Silicon Valley)

Being an outsider and getting a developer job is extremely difficult… almost impossible.
But once you’re hired, it’s unbelievable on the number of doors and choices opening up for you.

So It seems companies are just attracting and recruiting devs from each other… and devs jumping from one job to the next in an ever increasing salary upgrade… rinse and repeat.

Yeah, I get that SV is a tough market and that you need that first job. Unfortunately, I’m not the best at networking and my age doesn’t help.

Chin up Kevin, kia kaha and I hope you get some offers soon.

I hear you sir. Had much the same experience myself, I actually posted the full story on here a few years ago. Being straight out of college with a computer programming degree, I knew I could do the work but employers were straight up laughing in my face like I was some kind of foolish child pretending to know something, I have no idea what the deal is, but it was very insulting and unnecessary. I had a portfolio online, did very well on my tests. But no years of professional experience. As if the 10 hours of programming I did every single day for three years was meaningless? Well eventually I did get a job offer even though it is not programming but it is IT and I enjoy it very much. So you never know what can happen, things can change very quickly even when you don’t expect it. Good luck and keep the faith.

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It’s interesting to hear this side of the story. So many of us young, wide-eyed developers imagine we’ll just walk into a job once we finish the FCC curriculum. For me, it was this or clandestine chemistry wind turbine technician. I’m starting to wonder if I made the right choice.


Just get any job you can get. I was working in an Amazon Fulfillment center 10 hours a day and studying before and after work before landing a job.

It took me sort of 2 ish years to get a job as a developer.

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I have a job. The problem is that I’m trapped in it and want to move to the web dev job. My current job also makes it nearly impossible to attend meetups.

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I just take a look at your website and skills, and thinking, if you can’t get a job, I should stop trying. I don’t have half of your skills yet…

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i feel you on the trapped part man. I got to work everyday with absolutely no enthusiasm as to what im doing. Ive spent the majority of my life since university doing retail sales and im just over it. Some woman at my work yesterday called me a dumbass lol i just had to laugh it off and move on with my day. Every interview i get i think this could be it. Im 0/4 for now. But hoping that more come. I guess its just a matter of time before you get one man. Ive been attending meetups and trying to connect with people on linkedin also, incase ya wanna give that a go?

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@Alpino, there are many other factors, like where you are, who you know, people skills, luck, etc. Unfortunately my age is probably working against me as SV is a very youth oriented place.

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@kevinSmith, just curious, how long have you been looking for a job? Have you ever re-designed your portfolio?

I recently started the job hunt and already received a couple of “no’s”, including a failed screening interview. It’s a bit discouraging but at least they are noticing me now. But if it takes me more than 8 weeks To find a job I might consider making some changes.

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Yeah, I’ve been wondering if I should redesign my portfolio. At least I know I should clean up the code in it a bit. But I’ve been more focused on learning and building things.

As to my search, it’s been about 8 or 9 months of serious looking.

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