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#1 jjh08  Icon User is offline

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Would love advice about this job opportunity

Posted 17 August 2013 - 06:11 AM

Hello all. I would like to ask for some advice about a potential entry-level opportunity I have to work in the IT industry. The position is basically debugging within a production team, but before I ask the questions, I would like to share with you all the pros and cons of the position (in order to get the best feedback possible) based on my interview with the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and my technical interview with the development team.
PROS:
- A great opportunity to get my foot in the door within the IT industry.
- The environment is very laid back.
- The CTO seemed very enthused about the outlook of the company and the position.
- The CTO informed me that the potential candidate would have a mentor that would help him/her to learn the ins and outs of the system.
- There is opportunity for growth when the supervisor feels that the potential candidate is ready to move to the next level.

CONS:
- The development team did not seem very enthused or excited.(However, this could be because it was late in the evening on a Friday and they probably do not normally interview candidates. I've never heard of potential candidates being interviewed by their potential co-workers...weird)
- The position is in debugging, not java development. (However, this appears to be a miscommunication with the recruiting agency I went through. The agency said it was entry-level java developer but the CTO said it is debugging with an opportunity to move into java development after about 6 months to a year.) Also, I'm not very familiar with debugging. I rarely use the debugger in Eclipse.
- The development team said that they use J2EE(JSP, JDBC, Tomcat Server) and SQL. However, relative to the position, I know only J2SE (Core Java). This appears to be another miscommunication from the recruiting agency.
- The environment seems to be potentially stressful because of the production debugging. (i.e. The potential candidate is given the task of solving a critical system error within a specified amount of time. This error MUST be fixed within 24 hours.)
- There are no set hours. (According to the CTO, if the task is not completed within normal business hours, the potential candidate will have the option of staying late at the job or working from home but as I stated earlier, it must be completed with 24 hours. I forgot to ask the CTO how the pay factor is utilized when working from home or staying late, but it does not appear that there will be overtime pay because he said they don't punch the clock.)

TL;DR
The primary pro that sticks out to me is that the position would be a great opportunity to go in and learn how the system works. On the other hand, the main cons that stick out are that they use 2 languages I'm not familiar with (J2EE and SQL) and the potential stress of dealing with the 24 hour time frame of debugging.

These questions are geared toward you all who work or have worked in software development or information technology industries but I appreciate any feedback/insight from anyone.

1) If you have worked in production/debugging teams, I would love any insight that you can provide on the workload and how were you able to deal with any potential stress.

2) As I stated earlier, I'm not very familiar with the languages that the team are using. (Matter of fact, I'm just starting to get the hang of Core Java). Therefore, do you all think this would be overwhelming?

3) Similar to question 2, I'm not very familiar with debugging at this point in my development (I've used it a few times in Eclipse as I stated earlier). So once again, do you all think this is overwhelming and outside of my knowledge range at this point in my development?

I don't mean to sound like I'm complaining about the position because it is a great opportunity but I'm not sure if it would be a good fit for me at this time and I would hate to be a burden on the supervisors or the teams if I couldn't solve the errors.

Thanks for reading and I really appreciate any feedback :)

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Replies To: Would love advice about this job opportunity

#2 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Would love advice about this job opportunity

Posted 17 August 2013 - 10:08 AM

[quote]I've never heard of potential candidates being interviewed by their potential co-workers...weird)[quote]
Yeah it happens quite frequently.

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The environment seems to be potentially stressful because of the production debugging.

every job is potentially stressful.

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There are no set hours. (According to the CTO, if the task is not completed within normal business hours, the potential candidate will have the option of staying late at the job or working from home but as I stated earlier,

Yeah - that's the typical "overtime as needed".

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I forgot to ask the CTO how the pay factor is utilized when working from home or staying late

If you are salary there is none. It's part of your job.

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1) If you have worked in production/debugging teams, I would love any insight that you can provide on the workload and how were you able to deal with any potential stress.


Yeah that's part of my day to day activities. It sounds like you would be dealing with more of the low rung help desk issues and errors. If that's what your job is going to be day in and day out then I would imagine the workload would be constant and then ramp up during releases and then even back down...

As for the stress - I am not sure if I follow. It's a job.. you fix bugs.. turn in code.. get it reviewed and repeat. Particularly tough bugs, or long bugs, happen. You deal with work stress as you would any other job.


[quote] As I stated earlier, I'm not very familiar with the languages that the team are using. (Matter of fact, I'm just starting to get the hang of Core Java). Therefore, do you all think this would be overwhelming?

I don't believe anyone here can gauge how well or poorly you may do. Perhaps you are a quick learner.. maybe you know more than you let on.. etc.

The way you write things I do think this is going to be overwhelming.. is that overwhelming in a good way or bad? I am not sure, but the first few weeks, or month, in a new gig is always rough.


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Similar to question 2, I'm not very familiar with debugging at this point in my development (I've used it a few times in Eclipse as I stated earlier). So once again, do you all think this is overwhelming and outside of my knowledge range at this point in my development?

See above for estimating your own abilities.

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I'm not sure if it would be a good fit for me at this time

Then don't.. keep at your current job. Just because a recruiter talks you into this doesn't mean it is a good idea/fit.

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I would hate to be a burden on the supervisors or the teams if I couldn't solve the errors.

I am pretty certain if you are a burden and cannot solve errors they'll just cut you loose.
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#3 andrewsw  Icon User is online

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Re: Would love advice about this job opportunity

Posted 17 August 2013 - 11:17 AM

Given the brevity of the PROS and the detail within the CONS I would suggest that you've already made up your mind :bigsmile:
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#4 Ryano121  Icon User is offline

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Re: Would love advice about this job opportunity

Posted 17 August 2013 - 11:26 AM

@andrewsw Very true!

As bad as it sounds it looks to me like you don't currently possess the knowledge or experience to actually do that job. You have admitted that you don't know about JSP or SQL so I wouldn't be surprised if you struggled a lot if you did get it. Thats not to say the company doesn't already know this and is willing to give you the time/freedom to learn (thats what happened to me), but you really need to know if this is the case before you even consider joining. If you start and they expect you to get going on things straight off then chances are you will be wasting yours and their time. (again probably not what you want to hear)
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#5 jjh08  Icon User is offline

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Re: Would love advice about this job opportunity

Posted 17 August 2013 - 01:00 PM

View Postandrewsw, on 17 August 2013 - 11:17 AM, said:

Given the brevity of the PROS and the detail within the CONS I would suggest that you've already made up your mind :bigsmile:

I didn't really notice it but you are correct. I'm not very comfortable because of the languages they are using. I wouldn't mind learning the languages at all but I like to learn at my own pace so that I won't rush through the material. I don't know if that would be possible at this company.

View PostRyano121, on 17 August 2013 - 11:26 AM, said:

@andrewsw Very true!

As bad as it sounds it looks to me like you don't currently possess the knowledge or experience to actually do that job. You have admitted that you don't know about JSP or SQL so I wouldn't be surprised if you struggled a lot if you did get it. Thats not to say the company doesn't already know this and is willing to give you the time/freedom to learn (thats what happened to me), but you really need to know if this is the case before you even consider joining. If you start and they expect you to get going on things straight off then chances are you will be wasting yours and their time. (again probably not what you want to hear)

No, your advice is perfect. The recruiter never mentioned JSP, SQL, or debugging to me during the initial phone interview so when I went to the interview, the developers were like "You don't know SQL. Come on n00b" LOL. It was actually my mistake. I should have told the recruiter from the beginning to email me the job description so that I would have something in writing.
When I speak with the recruiter again, I will ask for a copy of the job description just to be sure. However, I may not get it anyway because of the body language between the developers.

At any rate, thank you all. The advice was helpful :)
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#6 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is online

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Re: Would love advice about this job opportunity

Posted 18 August 2013 - 08:35 PM

I think modi said what I was thinking, but in a much nicer way.
I would have said: So are you new to working? If you're not sure you're ready for the real world yet, you might consider the Army. They will help you grow up, get used to working and handling stress. If you're looking for the perfect job with no stress, short hours, lots of pay, rainbows and unicorns, and no deadlines or expectations... Let the rest of us know when you find it.

Personally, I think you should take the job. What's the WORST that could happen? You get some experience in a working environment... You make the transition from school world to real world... and in 90 days you get fired, but are wiser from the experience. Its not the first job you'll get fired from. And it won't be the last. But try to learn from every one of them so you can walk into that dream job 5 years from now with greater understanding and the skills to keep the one that matters.
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