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#1 jmanexe  Icon User is offline

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how to get a job as a programmer C++

Posted 08 April 2014 - 12:16 PM

Hello everyone,


I have been having difficulties trying to get a job, so thought someone might be able to point me to the right direction.
I started my major in computer science engineering. Got a job in Queens, NY with the help of a friend lasted at that job for 8 years; since then, I haven't been able to get another job. I have had interviews but since I was the only programmer didn't get much experience from more than I was able to learn from my own experience, so do not know every single commands of the C++ language neither know in depth about all the technologies like threading, network, source control and so on but enough to get my way around it. I have been reading on the web, YouTube etc, but interviewers always find a question I can't answer. I have applied for entry level position to learn more from experts and probably escalate to a higher position, but they say for my years of previews work I don't qualified. So I am overqualified for a staring position and under qualified for a regular position, and the longer I stay out of work the the more rejections I get from recruiters because they usually say that they don't want a person who has been unemployed for 3>=months.

So any subjection will be appreciate, or a job position(I am very good programmer and extremely creative,but haven't got a chance to prove it).

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Replies To: how to get a job as a programmer C++

#2 no2pencil  Icon User is online

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Re: how to get a job as a programmer C++

Posted 08 April 2014 - 12:16 PM

** Moved to Corner Cubicle **
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#3 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: how to get a job as a programmer C++

Posted 08 April 2014 - 12:21 PM

To be clear.. You have a comp sci engineering degree. Eight years of actual for-pay experience (only in c++), have been out of work for three-plus months, and are getting rejected because you are not able to answer some question in c++?
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#4 no2pencil  Icon User is online

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Re: how to get a job as a programmer C++

Posted 08 April 2014 - 12:39 PM

View Postjmanexe, on 08 April 2014 - 03:16 PM, said:

but interviewers always find a question I can't answer.

(from my experience) Just because you can't answer a question doesn't mean you are not qualified. It's how you handle not knowing something that will tell them what kind of employee that you will be.

Another thing to look at... why are no longer at this place of 8 years? It may not be the 3 months without work, so much as it might be why you left in the first place.
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#5 DarenR  Icon User is offline

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Re: how to get a job as a programmer C++

Posted 08 April 2014 - 01:04 PM

so you been programming for *= years and you don't know what threading is or source control?

perhaps you should have done more with your duties than just day dreaming--

no one will ever know everything about programming -- all you need to know is what your strengths are and your weaknesses and address them as such.

so when they ask can you thread you say something like
"we barely used threading at my previous employer however we used different technologies such as...." and name them
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#6 belgarion262  Icon User is offline

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Re: how to get a job as a programmer C++

Posted 09 April 2014 - 06:43 AM

The interviewer is looking for both reasons to hire you, and reasons not to. Your job is much simpler. You merely have to give reasons for them to hire you.

Like Darren said, if you get asked a question and the answer will be a reason for them not to hire you, turn it around. willfully misinterpret the question and lead onto something that will give them a reason to hire you.
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#7 depricated  Icon User is online

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Re: how to get a job as a programmer C++

Posted 10 April 2014 - 06:04 AM

View Postno2pencil, on 08 April 2014 - 01:39 PM, said:

View Postjmanexe, on 08 April 2014 - 03:16 PM, said:

but interviewers always find a question I can't answer.

(from my experience) Just because you can't answer a question doesn't mean you are not qualified. It's how you handle not knowing something that will tell them what kind of employee that you will be.

Another thing to look at... why are no longer at this place of 8 years? It may not be the 3 months without work, so much as it might be why you left in the first place.

This. So much this.

There was a staffing firm I was going through when I was job hunting. They brought me in to talk to one of their dev team leads, I forget his exact role off the top of my head, but he was a coder and they him to determine if I was capable enough to place into a C# position. I told them I don't know it well but I'm comfortable enough with the knowledge I have of it to say it wouldn't be hard or take too long to ramp up and work in it daily. So I sat down with the guy, and we talked programmer. He started with some general questions - design patterns, data structures, etc, that weren't really C# specific. Once he was comfortable that I understood OOP he moved in to C# and .NET questions. Some of them I was able to answer, some of them I prefaced with "I'm not sure, but if I recall correctly - " or "I don't know this one, but at a guess I would X". Be honest when you can't answer a question, and give more than just a "nope don't know it." There were plenty that I just didn't know, and I asked if he wouldn't mind explaining. For instance, I didn't know anything about the GAC or why it solves the problem of DLL Hell - but he explained, and I've since learned more.

His assessment was that I'm definitely a good entry level candidate for C# and would be able to hit the ground running in VB.NET. About a week and a half later I got several offers, including one from their client, and also the one I accepted (direct hire here). That was early November. Late December I got a call back from that guy, offering me a position with the agency's in-house software team. I was thrilled to have made that impression to the point that when he needed someone he asked, "what about depricated? is he available?"

I'm trailing from my point though. Sorry. I do that.

Point is, how you handle not knowing is more important than the facts you have memorized. Taking a moment to consider the question and acknowledge that you still have to learn something, shows competence.

Also, you don't last 8 years somewhere by being bad at your job. If a recruiter is concerned about you being overqualified, explain that there are aspects to a team-focused project that you've never learned to address and while you have the development experience solo, you still require entry level training on specific tools like TFS and learning whatever team processes they have in place.
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#8 BBeck  Icon User is offline

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Re: how to get a job as a programmer C++

Posted 14 April 2014 - 02:23 PM

You're right that 3+ months unemployed is going to make it 20 times more difficult to find a job. My first advice is to take whatever you can get. You may need to go shovel some fries at Mickey D's. Paying the bills is critical even if you have no spending cash. Also, some employment may help at least a little. At least fry chef shows that "someone" is willing to hire you and it's not like you've got a drug problem where you won't even show up for work.

100 times better than that is to take a computer job that pays a lot less money or isn't quite in your field. Taking a 50% pay cut may still allow you to pay the bills comfortably and buy you time. But don't miss a single beat in your job search. Keep looking as if you're still unemployed. Once you have a decent IT job, even at lower pay or in a slightly different field, you're a hot commodity.

I've experienced this first hand. Once I was unemployed for almost a year between contracts partially because I just decided to take 3+ months off. Big mistake because 3 month turned into almost a year.

I also had this crazy work ethic thing where I thought it was unethical to look for a job while you are employed. I later figured out they won't hire you unless you look for a job while you're employed. You're expected to knife your employer in the back and go to work for whoever will offer you more money (you can give them 2 weeks notice and it's probably good to tell your future employer that you need to help the old one with the transition of losing you because they know they may be next).

The next time between contracts I let about 30 days pass before I dropped my demand for a pay raise. After about 45 days I started looking for anything regardless of pay. Sure enough, I was employed pretty quick at about 75% of what I was getting before (after adding really big stuff to my resume that should have earned me a huge raise). But I was employeed. At that point, I could pretty much just get rude with employers and tell them "I have a job, I don't need yours. If you can't make it worth my while, shut up and stop wasting my time." I litterally laughed in the face of a few recruiters and told them I wouldn't work for them for the kind of money they were offering even though it was more than I was making at that point. And this was during the recession when things where at their worst. Sure enough, within 30 days I had another job and was making what I was making before, which wasn't bad considering everyone was getting laid off at the time and accepting pay decreases. Being employed greatly increased my leverage in getting a good job.

Anyway hit the books. There's no excuse for not knowing "multi-threading" or whatever technology it is that's keeping you from getting the job. You've got 2 jobs when you're unemployed. 1} Looking for a new job and 2} Studying. You've got all day to sit around and read. You should be consuming every book on the subject you can get your hands on. And getting familiar with software, like version control software may mean loading some on your computer at home to work with it. That's one of the reasons I have multiple computers at home. It's a lot tougher to get up to speed if you can't get some hands on experience more than just reading the book.
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