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2002 Jul 20 00:03

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

ME writes:
 > On Fri, 19 Jul 2002, Micah Cowan wrote:
 > > Believe it or not, this doesn't really impress me - I know too many
 > > people with BS degrees but no real skills. But you'll have to be the
 > > judge of that.
 > > 
 > > <snip>
 > They have skills, but almost all of the posts for jobs say things like,
 > "must be a citizen" or "will not process VISAs for non citizens." They
 > have skills - they worked for me before they graduated! ;-)

Gotcha. But for me, that means they're not representative of what I'm
likely to encounter.

Isn't it illegal to discriminate based on citizenship, unless
warranted by the job? If not, I think it ought to be. When the economy
becomes uncertain, I think a lot of people consider themselves to show
patriotism by rejecting foreign employees. I think that's ridiculous -
I understand that in our home country, it makes sense that if I get
two prospects with equivalent skill, I should perhaps favor my
compatriot - but I will not refuse to consider hiring foreigners,
especially if the other candidates are less highly skilled. It's kinda
like "best tools for the job", only for people :)

 > Meant to say, "What kinds of limits do you have when you look for jobs
 > beyond the simple "pay"? Examples, relocation - how far?, career changes
 > - how much?, place to work, "no gov?" (you said you did not see yourself
 > woprking at a gov job.) Others?

It's not that I'm against government work - it's that I place very high
value on the work atmosphere, and don't believe that I can find that
atmosphere in a gov't job. Too stuffy, I expect. But perhaps you can
convince me otherwise, as I really don't have much info to go by on
that assumption.

Relocation - how far isn't a huge issue if the other factors check
out; but I would definitely be checking to see how the area would fit
my family's needs.

Career changes - don't care, as long as I love what I do. That is the
single most important factor to me - and it is likely to make my job
search much, much harder - but it's worth it to me. However, I have
found that I love software development and related things, when I am
working on projects that I am interested in - but I am often
undermotivated if I am working on a project which I have little
interest in, only because I'm being paid to do it. In the job I have
just left, the only projects I ever was truly happy doing were some
intelligent OO implementations of Base64 and MD5 in C++. They were
planning on GPL'ing those before the Great Axing - I intend to find
out what the plan is now. They were a "group effort" - however, the
other folks on the team merely provided input - I wrote the
requirements and design documents, and implemented it in the code,
entirely myself. So I consider it mine, and would like to be able to
display the work on my website.

But I believe I would have enjoyed the other projects much more, if I
had agreed more frequently with the design decisions made by
management - and the (IMO) overly restrictive coding standards. It's
not much fun to work on a project where I strongly disagree with most
of the design decisions. Next time maybe I'll scope out the
development philosophies a little more carefully.

 > > I am a Software Engineer, and was also a sysadmin for about a year. I
 > > haven't started looking for a job yet - I need some time to sit down
 > > and think about what I really want to do next.
 > > 
 > > I am highly skilled in C, C++, Perl, HTML, XHTML, CSS2, XML, XSLT,
 > > etc. I also consider myself skilled in secadmin/sysadmin, but don't
 > > have much experience on paper.
 > Yes, I have seen jobs out there for this, but it is not where I want to
 > go. I think even UCB, UCLA, and Irvine have recently had job offers that
 > fit the above description nicely. There is still demand for these skills,
 > but these are not the skills I wish to apply.

I'd be happy to employ these skills in my next job - but, the majority
of jobs which fit the latter portion of that list will not be to my
liking. However, there are some jobs out there which make intelligent
use of those skills.

 >  (Perhaps my list of
 > "demands" is too great.) I guess it is just like he whole, "I *can* do MS
 > Windows NT,2000,XP, Domain, Active Directory, Office, Access, MS SQL
 > Service, etc. and started the MCSE thing (it is really easy if you want to
 > do it) but that is not where I want to go. That is also employable, but
 > who wants to program in ASP? Blech. I want a stable job that is exciting,
 > fun, requires a great deal of control, attentions to details
 > with big implications and affords a lot of responsibility. Really, a job
 > where I get to do what I am doing now, but with more stuff to control and
 > manage.

Right. I'm not just gonna take any old job that fits my job - I have
to love doing it. I consider it *extremely* unlikely that I'd even
consider a non-UNIX development environment; though in a very few
select situations, I might consider a Cygwin environment.

But I love GNU software too much. It is just too cool to be able to
custom-tailor my environment to my exact needs - I wouldn't be happy
giving that up.

I would consider web development - but most clients wouldn't want me:
I'm a standards pedant, and would refuse to write anything which
made platform-specific assumptions; or used JavaScript in stupid ways
(like almost all sites do today). These days I insist on writing web
which conform to XHTML, CSS2, and WCAG (the Web Content Accessibility
Guidelines). This means I avoid using tables to lay things out
wherever possible - and where I do use it, I ensure that they still
look good if linearized (that is, if a browser were to ignore all the
table tags - something that can happen on text-or speech-based
browsers). This would be unpopular with many companies - though
perhaps if I had a good opportunity to explain the reasons and
benefits, I might win some of them over.

But really, my chief loves are software development and systems
administration. But I don't usually look for sysadmin jobs, because
they are typically demanding - I don't own my life. I need the ability
to spend 8 hours (usually), and give all the rest to my family and
personal needs. But with software dev, I need to be involved in
projects which I will enjoy working on.

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