Some feedback on experience/applying for jobs/CV

  • Hey guys, this might not be the right place to post but what the hell I thought I'd ask here anyway. I'm currently rewriting my Curriculum Vitae and applying for some new jobs and I'd like some help as to best, lets say tunnel my qualities and make them more apparent than my negatives, what I'm really asking is do I have experience worth a damn?

    A CS degree seems to be of very high value to companies and also to programmers in general, I DID start on a CS degree but after one year (straight A's in the computer-related courses such as Programming and Hardware, less good grades (C's etc in maths, physics)) I decided it was not for me (for several personal reasons to). I then did 1 year psychology and 1 year political science. So my school-credentials are close to zero.

     What I DO have of work experience though is as following.

    Around 96-98 I did lots of freelance webdesign and also worked on/off a week here or there at some firms with hardware (building, fixing etc). This is of course crap but nonetheless experience, including writing some graphical applets in java and also at the time writing some basic tutorials (back before flash was "inn" i wrote simple stuff like parallax starfield, sinescrollers, showing doublebuffering and all that jazz).

    I have 1.5 year of experience as a system administrator at one of the largest universities in Norway, doing administration of windows servers, some linux servers, mailboxes and what not for 30000 users including a rather large project in Security.

    I have also 7 months of experience as a system administrator and teacher at a center for psychologically challenged people wanting to learn to work with computers, administrating all the systems, projecting, purchasing and rebuilding the server-infrastructure from NT 4.0 to 2003 & Exchange.

     I have 8 months experience as a software programmer/consultant working on ASP.Net mainly in VB but also some C# and also some VB ASP classic, projects having sole-responsibility for speccing, writing and implementing several sites such as a full lottery-system, a publishing system, comment/blog system, all including administrative pages. Another part of my job was also to develop and extend Windows Explorer Toolbars and to develop and spec from scratch a Windows Deskbar solution, both fully XML driven in C++ with Some ATL, WTL and of course COM.

    That is what I have on paper, I also for the past 6-8 years have been keenly interested inn reverse-engineering and security and have a good grasp of tools such as IDA, SoftIce and OllyDbg having for educational purposes written everything from a gamehack (injected DLL, reversing of ingame structures and functions), Trojan (fullfledged KMD Rootkit), and done basic cracking (None of these of course I have ever released, it's just I have had a very keen interest and wanted to focus into these areas, security), this has given me a good grasp of understanding and interpreting assembly though of course I'm no master nor expert.

    From my own point of view I have a very good grasp of C++ and C, though I admittadly have some holes such as I am not too familiar with such extension libraries as boost and several parts of STL (such as maps and what not). I'm not very good at templates either, the reason is of course that I've never had the use for them nor ever really looked at the usage of them. That's a bit of a problem, since I'm mostly self-taught exept for 1 year of university, some courses like WMI VBScript and others I of course have mostly taught myself what I've needed to learn to do what I've wanted to do or needed to do at work.


    I have a very good grasp of WinAPI. I'm proficient in the writing and building of ASP.Net driven webpages with MySql/SQL 2005 and relevant technologies such as AJAX, I also feel I've gotten a good grasp on Javascript and CSS having written several dynamic systems in them lately (modular dialogs, ajax-type systems and what not). Though I am fully aware that there is much to learn and most importantly that my way might be the wrong way, this is also one of the reasons for my wish to change jobs, I want to work more closely with other developers and see how they work in a more, lets call it "educated environment".

     I'm currently still employed doing C++/ASP.Net but due to the nature of the firm (contractual work and not monthly pay) I am hoping to relocate to another job, because when clients don't pay or there is little to do the wallet suffers. So I'm wondering, do I have a shot at a development position in either C++ or ASP.Net (VB or C#) ? I'm pretty sure I could land a support-job or Sysadmin job but neither of those appeal to me on the same level as a programming-job does because I like to create, I like to write code and I really enjoy learning and expanding my knowledgebase. Not to mention I feel I can bring lots to the table in terms of learning very fast, working hard, working nights/at home, generally broad specter of experience and knowledge.


    So to sum it up, do i have a shot at what I want? And how should I in a proficient manner build my CV on my experiences and lack of school-credentials.



    Sincerely Tom 

  • sounds like you've got enough experience for at least a junior programmers job, you just need to get your foot in.

    Take a look at the "Guerilla Job Hunter" or something like that (sorry too lazy to google now), it has some good ideas. 

    Don't leave off your humanities studies and other jobs.  It looks well rounded. 

    best of luck

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