17 Replies - 3708 Views - Last Post: 19 July 2012 - 12:47 PM
Re: A little discouraged - or am I rushing too much?
Posted 19 July 2012 - 12:33 PM
We don't take lazy no-good layabout slackers, sorry.
Wait - are you saying I'm lazy?
Edit: sorry, I just realized you were replying to someone else.
I just got a reply from someone I contacted about an internship. I showed him my website and he also likes Project Euler, so he wants to get in touch with me.
This post has been edited by carnivroar: 19 July 2012 - 01:04 PM
Re: A little discouraged - or am I rushing too much?
Posted 19 July 2012 - 12:47 PM
I love to program and I do it a lot for fun, but it's nothing that I can call "experience". For example, I just spent the last month learning x86, which is generally much harder than high level languages and should (?) be highly praised, and I have a nice portfolio to show, but employers don't seem to give a shit about it.
This is a hard thing to learn, but nobody cares about how hard it is. They care about what you can bring them. Learning x86, to most employers, just means "interested in stuff we don't need". Hard problems aren't necessarily interesting - you could write a web server in Ook, and it would be hard, but what it mostly means is "likes to reinvent wheels using inappropriate tools".
Not to say you shouldn't do the stuff that grabs you, but you shouldn't expect the things that interest you to necessarily be interesting to a potential employer.
What's interesting to an employer? Depends on the employer, but it's always good to be able to communicate effectively - you're not doing bad on that, but you don't highlight this.
Also, real-world work experience. You don't list any actual jobs you've held. I started working when I was 13, I've never had a resume without previous experience on it - this helps. Doesn't matter what it is, but being able to hold a job is a good sign for an employer. If nothing else, steady commitment to a volunteer position would be good - anything that says "this guy can work with other people over a long term and get something done". That would also help in that there would be someone to call who could say "yes, I've seen him work, and he's good". People often fail to check those references, but having them is important.
Unfortunately, though, we're in a job market where any job you want is getting hundreds of resumes. You need a way to get yours to the top of the pile, and one of the most effective ways to do that is to have someone who can talk to the hiring manager and say "be sure to look at this guy". If you know people who are working in tech, network with them. Let them know that you want to find work. You want them to be thinking of you when something comes open.
Nobody's going to give you the job just because you know someone, but if you're qualified and interview well, it doesn't matter how many resumes are on the list after yours - you're likely to get the job. So whatever you're doing, think of it in terms of being the one to get that call when a job comes available. Most people in the industry are happy to help you get your foot in some door - if only because they know that they're likely to need a lead some time in the future. So make sure that your professional contacts know that you're looking for work.
Also, I never considered intern to mean 'paid'. To me it is a volunteer position where you do for the company, and the company teaches you. Most companies won't pay you to soak up their experience and training then go someplace else.
At my company, interns are paid $15/hour, and encouraged to "soak up the experience and training and go someplace else". They work their asses off while they're here, we pick the best of them and offer them positions, and the rest go off to be good connections elsewhere in the industry. If anything, this rate is a little low here in Boston for serious companies.
Well, for someone who has been programming for a year, has excellent grades, I thought I was doing better than average. I mean, I do so much more than any of my classmates - not a single one of them seems to be involved in personal projects, let alone have a website full of things to show.
I've been told once by my CS professor (same professor in whose class I began assembly) that you don't go to school to learn, but rather to learn how to learn. Learning assembly language and all that junk taught me so much beyond the language itself. He was also impressed that I decided to pursue it further - I think I was the only one out of the entire class that did so.
I do get what you mean that I shouldn't expect employers to be impressed by my work(learned it the hard way), but it's far from useless. Actually, like I mentioned above, I just got contacted by someone who liked my website. I guess contacting business companies who develop financial software (I don't even care for that stuff anyways) wasn't a good idea to begin with!
Oh, and of course I worked before - started at 15 years old, first job lasted over a year - but I don't think listing non-academic related jobs in my resume would do me any good. Or is that what you're saying I should do?
Anyways, thank you very much for your lengthy response!
This post has been edited by carnivroar: 19 July 2012 - 01:07 PM