Need to defibrulate my career



  • Here's my situation.  I'm planning on moving to the Bay Area (to be closer to family), and would like to go into software development, preferably firmware/embedded systems.

    Here's my difficulty.  I graduated four years ago in computer engineering.  Since graduating, I've done basically nothing with my degree.  I had a DBA/data entry position for a couple years, and now am a "web developer."  99% of my day is updating static web pages, while all the interesting work is contracted out.

    Given my (lack of) experience and that I live in Chicago, I can't seem to get people in San Francisco to look at me seriously.  I feel I'm qualified for the kind of job I'd like, but I'm just not qualified on paper.

    What do you guys think would be the best way of getting my career going in the direction I'd like it to?
    If I can't expect to land that firmware development job, what kind of jobs should I be applying for?



  • Get yourself one of those PHP & MySQL books. Then apply for entry-level web development positions; these usually have the lowest bar for entry, then you could start "climbing the hill" searching for better positions.

    You could also go for small sysadmin jobs, but those usually ask for experience in whatever OS you would be admining.



  • @danixdefcon5 said:

    Get yourself one of those PHP & MySQL books.

    I already know how to develop LAMP web apps, and currently hold an entry-level web development position.  I want to move away from what I'm currently doing.



  • @Pesto said:

    @danixdefcon5 said:

    Get yourself one of those PHP & MySQL books.

    I already know how to develop LAMP web apps, and currently hold an entry-level web development position.  I want to move away from what I'm currently doing.

    Well that already has given you a foothold on the IT business. My own experience was kind of crazy; I jumped from being a freelance Java developer, to a sysadmin/PHP developer for a small government division ... to IT Security, maintaining LDAP servers and other stuff for a very large financial institution. I'm now back to Java webapp development, but I'm no longer an "entry-level" guy. (But then, I've been doing EJB's since college, so I wasn't exactly in the "beginner" level when I graduated!). My road would involve LDAP, managing public certs, SSL and using the J2EE framework. (I haven't really used Java EE 5, and my current employer is stuck with J2EE 1.4)

    You could also go down the DBMS road; either Oracle or DB2, DBA's have decent salaries. Or you could go for OLAP cubes and go down the "data mining" road.

    There are a lot of things out there... it really depends on what would you like to do.



  • @danixdefcon5 said:

    There are a lot of things out there... it really depends on what would you like to do.
     

    @Pesto said:

    I'm planning on moving to the Bay Area (to be
    closer to family), and would like to go into software development, preferably firmware/embedded systems.
     



  •  @Pesto said:

    Given my (lack of) experience and that I live in Chicago, I can't seem to get people in San Francisco to look at me seriously.  I feel I'm qualified for the kind of job I'd like, but I'm just not qualified on paper.

    Then lie, make yourself better on paper than you have it as it stands.  Point them to a website you have developed as proof.  If you can back-up all of the talk with factual knowledge durring an interview then good, if not they will either be too stupid to notice or they will weed you out.

     

    I beefed up my resume with all kinds of experience in language like C# and JavaScript when really all i had done was read a book on them...  But hey, I knew enough durring interviews to get calls and offers.

     

    I don't recommend stating "I have 50 years experience with Java" or overdoing it, but you really need to talk yourself up on paper.  Their first impression is a stupid little piece of paper with your name on it, you had better make it impressive.



  • @amischiefr said:

    Then lie, make yourself better on paper than you have it as it stands.  Point them to a website you have developed as proof.  If you can back-up all of the talk with factual knowledge durring an interview then good, if not they will either be too stupid to notice or they will weed you out.

     

    I beefed up my resume with all kinds of experience in language like C# and JavaScript when really all i had done was read a book on them...  But hey, I knew enough durring interviews to get calls and offers.

     

    I don't recommend stating "I have 50 years experience with Java" or overdoing it, but you really need to talk yourself up on paper.  Their first impression is a stupid little piece of paper with your name on it, you had better make it impressive.

     



  • If you don't have any experience doing embedded work, you need to find some place looking for entry-level candidates.  The SF area is probably going to be a bit tough, though, as so many tech people are there.  What's more, the Bay area isn't known so much for embedded work as for consumer desktop software and Internet start-ups.  Finally, the cost of living is going to be damn high.



  • @Pesto said:

    I'm planning on moving to the Bay Area (to be
    closer to family), and would like to go into software development, preferably firmware/embedded systems.
    I think that would be going down the C road. Check what these positions require, get familiar with what they're asking, then apply to entry-level positions in that.

    The last job I remember being offered on the embedded area was development under Symbian, so that might be one option.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    If you don't have any experience doing embedded work, you need to find some place looking for entry-level candidates.
     

    I guess my biggest problem is finding people looking for entry-level candidates.  I've looked on the big job boards like Monster and CareerBuilder, but nearly everything in that realm requires 5+ years experience.  I consider any job listing requiring 2-3 years experience close enough to entry level, but they are still in the minority.  What are some other avenues I might try to look for entry level positions?

    What other types of entry level positions might give me the right experience, or put me on track for the kind of development position I'm looking for?

    What might be the best way to solve the location problem?




  • @Pesto said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    If you don't have any experience doing embedded work, you need to find some place looking for entry-level candidates.
     

    I guess my biggest problem is finding people looking for entry-level candidates.  I've looked on the big job boards like Monster and CareerBuilder, but nearly everything in that realm requires 5+ years experience.  I consider any job listing requiring 2-3 years experience close enough to entry level, but they are still in the minority.  What are some other avenues I might try to look for entry level positions?

    What other types of entry level positions might give me the right experience, or put me on track for the kind of development position I'm looking for?

    What might be the best way to solve the location problem?

    Monster and CareerBuilder are shit.  I would stick to craigslist and dice.com for tech jobs. 



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    I would stick to craigslist and dice.com for tech jobs. 
     

    You should also have a look at linkedin.com



  • I hadn't heard of dice.com.  I will try that out.

    Here's another plan I thought up.

    1. Quit job.
    2. Move to SF (live with my brother until I find an apartment)
    3. Find temporary work through IT staffing firms (it may not be what I want, but it will be temporary)
    4. Look for a permanent job I actually want



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    I would stick to craigslist and dice.com for tech jobs. 

    @morbiuswilters said:
    Filed under: Disclaimer: I own stock in dice.com and I'm actually "Craig"., This is not an advertisement.
    That's interesting. I only recommend this site I ran across the other day called bstorerjobs.com. It's totally legitimate and we they definitely won't flood your inbox with spam. Also, they've never failed to find somebody a job, and there are still tons of jobs left in the coal mine IT sector.



  • @bstorer said:

    That's interesting. I only recommend this site I ran across the other day called bstorerjobs.com. It's totally legitimate and we they definitely won't flood your inbox with spam. Also, they've never failed to find somebody a job, and there are still tons of jobs left in the coal mine IT sector.

    Hey, I tried that site once!  Yeah, the first interview seemed to go okay, but I don't remember much after the recruiter gave me a cup of coffee.  I did wake up in the bathtub of a seedy motel room 3 days later with scars all over my lower back...  hmm... 



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Hey, I tried that site once!  Yeah, the first interview seemed to go okay, but I don't remember much after the recruiter gave me a cup of coffee.  I did wake up in the bathtub of a seedy motel room 3 days later with scars all over my lower back...  hmm... 
    Dude, "Call 911" was written on the mirror in lipstick. It's not our their fault that you didn't RTFMirror. Besides, you have two livers, so it's not a big deal that we they took one.



  • @bstorer said:

    Besides, you have two livers, so it's not a big deal that we they took one.

    If that's true, the Morbius is more of a freak than I thought he was. 



  • @jetcitywoman said:

    @bstorer said:

    Besides, you have two livers, so it's not a big deal that we they took one.

    If that's true, the Morbius is more of a freak than I thought he was. 

    That's not the only organ I have two of ;-D

     

    But seriously, when I made the decision to dedicate myself to alcoholism, I got a hot spare liver installed. 



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    I got a hot spare liver installed. 
    I wish you would've listened to me when I told you to keep it on ice. It's starting to smell, and I think there's mold growing on it.



  • I don't mean to spoil your fun and games, but I still have a couple questions.@Pesto said:

    What other types of entry level positions might give me the right experience, or put me on track for the kind of development position I'm looking for?

    What might be the best way to solve the location problem?

    Any thoughts on the practicality of this plan of action?

    @Pesto said:

    1. Quit job.
    2. Move to SF (live with my brother until I find an apartment)
    3. Find temporary work through IT staffing firms (it may not be what I want, but it will be temporary)
    4. Look for a permanent job I actually want
     

     



  • @Pesto said:

    Any thoughts on the practicality of this plan of action?

    @Pesto said:

    1. Quit job.
    2. Move to SF (live with my brother until I find an apartment)
    3. Find temporary work through IT staffing firms (it may not be what I want, but it will be temporary)
    4. Look for a permanent job I actually want
     

     

    This might work, but you really need to see how long can you live without any real source of income. Moving to SF does sound good, as its easier to find jobs when you're in the same city, and some employers sometimes shave off those who don't live in the same city, for various reasons. At least that was my case, though the job I finally got did accept me with only a sidenote of "we can't pay your relocation costs". I actually wanted to move to Mexico City, so that wasn't a problem for me 🙂



  •  I have money saved, moving won't cost much, and I have a place to stay once I'm there.

    Basically, who here has used an IT staffing firm?



  • @danixdefcon5 said:

    I actually wanted to move to Mexico City, so that wasn't a problem for me 🙂

    Where the fuck where you living before that Mexico City was a step up??  North Korea?  Antartica?  Jersey??



  • Cambridge, MA.

    OH SNAP.

    Okay, I got nuthin'.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @danixdefcon5 said:

    I actually wanted to move to Mexico City, so that wasn't a problem for me 🙂

    Where the fuck where you living before that Mexico City was a step up??  North Korea?  Antartica?  Jersey??

    Rural Mexico. And living in a state that looks like the Mexican version of the Bible Belt, only worse.



  • @danixdefcon5 said:

    Rural Mexico. And living in a state that looks like the Mexican version of the Bible Belt, only worse.

    I can't even imagine what that must be like.  All I can envision are overweight, barefoot and toothless men in overalls chewing tobacky and talking about rising again...  there's an '86 Fiero up on cinder blocks and with its wheels removed, a family of chickens nesting in the driver's seat...  the smell of deep-fried Spam permeates the air like the thick, toxic smoke of burning plastic... someone is offering me food....

     

    what's this? ... Spam burrito? ... Spam nachos? ... sweet tea???

     

    Oh God, get me out of here!  I promise, I'll do anything, just let me gooooo!!!! 



  • @Pesto said:

    Cambridge, MA.

    OH SNAP.

    Okay, I got nuthin'.

    People who live in Chicago shouldn't throw rocks...

     

    Mostly because it will cause a stampede amongst the thousands of emaciated crackheads that line every street of that filthy, impoverished, God-forsaken hellhole. 



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    People who live in Chicago shouldn't throw rocks...

     

    Mostly because it will cause a stampede amongst the thousands of emaciated crackheads that line every street of that filthy, impoverished, God-forsaken hellhole. 

    Truth



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    I can't even imagine what that must be like.  All I can envision are overweight, barefoot and toothless men in overalls chewing tobacky and talking about rising again...  there's an '86 Fiero up on cinder blocks and with its wheels removed, a family of chickens nesting in the driver's seat...  the smell of deep-fried Spam permeates the air like the thick, toxic smoke of burning plastic...
    Ah, I see you've read Fodor's guide to Virginia.



  • Uhh, that's WEST  Virginia, thank you very much.



  • @jetcitywoman said:

    Uhh, that's WEST  Virginia, thank you very much.

    Excuse me, but pesto is a Virginian, heart and that-missing-gap-where-his-soul-should-be.  I believe he is quite up on the culture of "America's Baghdad". 



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Excuse me, but pesto is a Virginian
    What in the world are you talking about?



  • @Pesto said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Excuse me, but pesto is a Virginian
    What in the world are you talking about?

    Not you.  Nobody was talking about you. 



  • @jetcitywoman said:

    Uhh, that's WEST  Virginia, thank you very much.

    As
    a patron and resident of the fine state of West Virginia,
    I'll have you know we use real meat to make our burritos and drink only the finest used engine oil while raising (or was it razing) barns and square dancing.


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