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#1 Jayp806  Icon User is offline

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Killing my career before it starts?

Posted 23 July 2012 - 05:11 PM

Hello fellow posters!

I just recently graduated from college with a bachelors degree in computer information systems. Coming straight out of school, I applied to every tech related job I could find. I want to be a software developer, but development jobs are scarce in these parts right now and I need cash flow to pay off my student loans, so I landed a job doing basic technical support stuff. If I worked in tech support for a year or two (coding on the side to make sure I don't get rusty) will that make me look bad to potential interviewers when I try to shift into development? I obviously need the money to pay off student loans, but I also don't want to kill my career before it starts.

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Replies To: Killing my career before it starts?

#2 Skydiver  Icon User is offline

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Re: Killing my career before it starts?

Posted 23 July 2012 - 05:24 PM

Some of the best developers I know started in tech support. They know the user's pain when there are bugs in the program or if a program is designed poorly. So in projects, they are the ones who are hardcore about "getting it right" or "focusing on the user experience".
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#3 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: Killing my career before it starts?

Posted 23 July 2012 - 05:35 PM

View PostJayp806, on 23 July 2012 - 08:11 PM, said:

If I worked in tech support for a year or two (coding on the side to make sure I don't get rusty) will that make me look bad to potential interviewers when I try to shift into development?

In a fortune 500 company I went from level 1 help desk technician to a level 3 application analyst position, working with Unix, Java, & being part of a 24x7 emergency support team.

If you have the skill set to perform the task, & are better than the other candidates, then the company should want to use you.
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#4 BBeck  Icon User is offline

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Re: Killing my career before it starts?

Posted 23 July 2012 - 06:09 PM

I can't imagine anyone holding that against you in this economy. And having some sort of IT experience is better than no IT experience. And seriously, we have developers and IT people in my company who don't have a CS degree and probably know most of what they know from reading 2 or 3 books.

And there's nothing to keep you from looking for a developer position with another company. You can even be straight with them in the job interview and say "Well, I needed to work to pay off my school loans. But I want to be a developer so I'm looking for a developer job even though I'm currently employed as tech support with XYZ company."

Just the fact that you have a job will make you more "hire-able" and get rid of some of the taint of "You have no experience and no one else wants to hire you. Why should we?"

And the CS degree will help quite a bit too. I would just take the job and keep interviewing.
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#5 JackOfAllTrades  Icon User is offline

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Re: Killing my career before it starts?

Posted 24 July 2012 - 03:02 AM

Started in tech support here too. It's a valid career path. If you're supporting a software product, and can get access to the source code, use your "downtime" to study it.
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#6 DarenR  Icon User is offline

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Re: Killing my career before it starts?

Posted 24 July 2012 - 05:04 AM

View PostBBeck, on 23 July 2012 - 09:09 PM, said:

I can't imagine anyone holding that against you in this economy.

Man am I tired of hearing this.... The economy is always exactly how people think of it-- so if you think it is this way you will spend less, do less, and be all sluggish about everything...


Where I live there are tons of jobs--- on any given day there are probably 50-60 software development jobs available and probably 100+ network jobs.


You just have to take the time do your resume right and turn it in-- get a head hunter if you have too but know this work is only as available as you make it.
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#7 Martyr2  Icon User is offline

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Re: Killing my career before it starts?

Posted 24 July 2012 - 03:15 PM

All the more reason to fight back with a portfolio. Again, who cares if you were help desk or even a waiter at a restaurant. If you can show employers that you can write code, good code, get projects done and do it on budget then who cares what you did before!

Believe me, a company will take a programmer who was once a waiter but can make wicked apps and write awesome code than some grad student who can't even write anything beyond a hello world program. It is all about the skills you have and what you have done with them, not where you worked before.

Your job in an interview in the future will be to remind them of this too. You can do that with a portfolio of your recent work (writing code, not how you can serve 3 tables at once)

:)
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#8 BBeck  Icon User is offline

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Re: Killing my career before it starts?

Posted 24 July 2012 - 03:49 PM

View PostDarenR, on 24 July 2012 - 05:04 AM, said:

View PostBBeck, on 23 July 2012 - 09:09 PM, said:

I can't imagine anyone holding that against you in this economy.

Man am I tired of hearing this.... The economy is always exactly how people think of it-- so if you think it is this way you will spend less, do less, and be all sluggish about everything...


Where I live there are tons of jobs--- on any given day there are probably 50-60 software development jobs available and probably 100+ network jobs.


You just have to take the time do your resume right and turn it in-- get a head hunter if you have too but know this work is only as available as you make it.


Well, I absolutely disagree that the economy is a "state of mind". Economics is a hobbie of mine and I watch the markets and what's going on on a daily basis. I would say, it's more like spending on credit: you can just keep spending money that you don't have until you max out the account, but once you max out the account the repo man's on his way. It may have looked like the party was never gonna end just because you believed it was so, but the numbers in your account are irrefutable. The markets can deny the economy for quite awhile, but the longer they deny it the worse it gets when the day of reconing comes.

But we're getting a bit off topic.

I will give you that the IT job market is not as bad as most people believe it is. I have it from pretty good sources that IT unemployment in the Dallas area is around 2% right now and that just represents normal "turn over". But I also have it from the same sources that most IT jobs are not at all open to anyone who doesn't currently have an IT job. If you don't have an IT job, your resume is probably going straight into the trash. There are enough jobs out there to keep the experienced people employeed, but most companies in Dallas don't want to take a chance on someone that either has no experience or was not important enough to "make the cut" during layoffs. They figure if someone let you go you must not be that good. I know, it's ridiculous but that's the way the big companies are thinking right now and they get away with it because people want to stay employed.

So my point was "get a job" then worry about getting the job you want.
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#9 DarenR  Icon User is offline

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Re: Killing my career before it starts?

Posted 25 July 2012 - 06:18 AM

Well, I absolutely disagree that the economy is a "state of mind". Economics is a hobbie of mine and I watch the markets and what's going on on a daily basis. I would say, it's more like spending on credit: you can just keep spending money that you don't have until you max out the account, but once you max out the account the repo man's on his way. It may have looked like the party was never gonna end just because you believed it was so, but the numbers in your account are irrefutable. The markets can deny the economy for quite awhile, but the longer they deny it the worse it gets when the day of reconing comes.



in here lies the problem-- you watch the markets of which are controlled by the 1-2% of the population. You spend to much time worring about a market that only holds a few % of actual companies out there. People put to much stock in the market as seen in the 30's crash. Keep your money close, spend correctly and dont buy from the giants and you will be ok. The markets are a good place for people to say, "hey look at me I am expanding, takign your money so I can become richer and then I will close the companies I made"

I also dable in economics and statistics and have been compiling records for almost 25 years and the trend that shows up everytime is when someone in power says we are in an economic downfall-- the blind masses say, "oh shit he is right lets horde the money and not spend" thus causing a real recession. People in power just need to keep their mouth shut about the market that they have no clue on.

back to topic......

Yes get a job that will pay the bills and continue to look for another job. Even if you have to move to find a good job you should.....
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#10 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Killing my career before it starts?

Posted 25 July 2012 - 07:08 AM

Daren, I think you might want to look into "correlation" and "causation" and what sort of relationship can be said to hold between them.

As for the original question, the main concern is that you don't let yourself get stuck in support roles, but at the same time, that you do any job you get as well as it can be done. So take it seriously and do it right, but at the same time, keep working towards what you want to be doing next.
If I were hiring someone, I'd never see holding a job as a bad sign. The question is, what did you do while you were there, and what did you learn from it?
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#11 BBeck  Icon User is offline

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Re: Killing my career before it starts?

Posted 25 July 2012 - 09:29 AM

View PostDarenR, on 25 July 2012 - 06:18 AM, said:

You spend to much time worring about a market that only holds a few % of actual companies out there. People put to much stock in the market as seen in the 30's crash.


You misunderstood me when I said that I watch the markets daily. I did not mean that I watch just the Dow/Nasdaq/S&P. I meant that I keep an eye on the price of corn, copper, WTI and it's spread against Brent Crude, the 10 Year Treasury, and other prices. I also watch curriencies such as how the Dollar is trading against the Euro and the Yen. I watch government policy and what the Fed is up to. I watch the CPI and the PPI and compare the inflation rate to the prices I see around me in my own life.

In short, I constantly watch the big economic picture to see how one side of the picture is pulling on the other side. To me it's all a big machine with all the parts interconnected. West Texas Intermediate has several forces pulling on it including a over-supply in Cushing, Oklahoma, the fact that Europe is collapsing which sends money pouring into US dollars to escape the Euro, the Saudi's over-supplyed the global market over the past couple months, and the Asia region is consuming more oil than ever before, just to name a few factors. All of that's related to the treasury note rate and Fed policy. That's the sort of thing I watch, not just the Dow.

But anyway, I wouldn't mind debating this subject with you, but I'm sure there's a more appropriate forum for that discussion.
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#12 DarenR  Icon User is offline

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Re: Killing my career before it starts?

Posted 25 July 2012 - 09:37 AM

Though it sounds nice---- i have to mention your avatar rocks
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#13 BBeck  Icon User is offline

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Re: Killing my career before it starts?

Posted 25 July 2012 - 09:41 AM

View PostDarenR, on 25 July 2012 - 09:37 AM, said:

Though it sounds nice---- i have to mention your avatar rocks


:-)

Thank you. It's different from what everone else is using anyway. Val's Doc Holiday is really one of my favorite movie characters of all time. And it somewhat represents certain parts of me such as being from Texas and all. I almost chose Josey Wales, but I identify more with Doc. I often seem to choose Cowboy avatars for some reason that I don't fully understand myself.

This post has been edited by BBeck: 25 July 2012 - 09:48 AM

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