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Re: [vox] Slashdot lay-offs
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Re: [vox] Slashdot lay-offs

> > A skilled engineer should have no trouble finding a job - it's just
> > that the playing field has changed: in the dot-com days, you didn't
> > need any skills to get a tech job (JavaScript coders become Senior
> > Engineers :) ).

I am living testimony to that.  On the basis of a year or so of doing web
development as part of another (mostly clerical job) and two weeks as a
full-time web developer for the University, I was offered a position
as "senior web developer" with Salu.net.  Since I didn't know any better,
I took the higher-paying job with the cooler title instead of sticking with
the lower-paying job with better training opportunities at the University.
The first few weeks were heady; we developers bragged amongst each other and
declared that if we left Salu we could find another job in minutes.  Alas,
when the bubble burst, I was dismayed to find that my skill set does not even
make it as "junior web developer" these days (that may be an exaggeration;
it's based on the number of positions as "junior web developer" or
"entry-level" that I applied for, and followed up on to be told "there are
more experienced people").

There are probably an awful lot of us out there: those of us who taught
ourselves HTML, Javascript, SQL, ColdFusion, some PHP and Perl and so on, and
got good jobs based on that.  For those of us whose educations were in
non-technical fields (my degree is in Philosophy) and who had put in late
nights of sweat and effort learning the technology, it was nice to feel like
the learning we had done had paid off.  Of course, now I'm seeing more and
more job advertisements which contain language like, "Self-taught need not
apply" (a direct quote), which is quite disheartening; and without meaning to
sound whiny, I'm sure that I'm not the only one who feels disappointed at
being stuck back at square one.

I can only imagine what it's like to have studied for *eight years* to get an
MS in CS, only to graduate into the current economy...

Richard (who doesn't really miss the 2:00a.m. release meetings, the 15-hour
workdays, the 1:00 coding sessions in a tiny hotel room in Portland, the
20-hour debugging sessions in Boston, etc., anyway)

Richard S. Crawford

mailto:rscrawford@mossroot.com		http://www.mossroot.com
AIM:  Buffalo2K   ICQ: 11646404  Yahoo!: rscrawford
MSN:  underpope@hotmail.com

"It is only with the heart that we see rightly; what is essential is
invisible to the eye."  --Antoine de Saint Exupery

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