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RE: any junior positions?



Cynthia is correct in her assesment of COBOL and mainframe people.
Gartner came out with a statistic that stated 15% of all legacy
developers cannot make the jump to OO.  Having said that, we are
successfully training development teams in the technology migration
every day from COBOL to Java.  The key is learning OO principals not
Java syntax.  The most successfull clients we have bring one of our
mentors on site for a few weeks after the training is done.  

-----Original Message-----
From: Alfreda Duffin [mailto:Aduffin@stratixcorp.com]
Sent: Thursday, July 05, 2001 1:25 PM
To: 'Cynthia Jeness'; ajug-members@ajug.org
Subject: RE: any junior positions?


What is your experience as a programmer?? None? It's wrong to say that
retraining COBOL programmers is "problematic". What type of training did
you
give them? Maybe it just wasn't done properly.

You say you taught computer science, just what did that entail? Did you
provide actual real-world problems that your students had to resolve?
Did
your students have to install and maintain their own software on their
own
laptops? Did they have to use MS Project or some other tool to manage
their
projects? Did your school have a leading-edge system? I could go on and
on,
but maybe it just depends on what school one attends. I don't think you
can
equate everyone's education to being the same.

Years of experience, even in the same task, brings you new ways to do
the
same tasks, so you are still learning. That's also another advantage of
working for different companies. I don't think one should jump around
either, but, if that's the trend and acceptable at the time, why pass up
good opportunities?

OK, well I got that all off my chest. Have a good day. 

-----Original Message-----
From: Cynthia Jeness [mailto:cj@goldencode.com]
Sent: Thursday, July 05, 2001 12:09 PM
To: ajug-members@ajug.org
Subject: any junior positions?


Based on my experience as a hiring manager, I have enumerated my
thoughts
below.   These comments relate to hiring full-time employees and not
contractors.   We generally did not employee contractors because we
wanted a
long-term commitment from our employees.  Also, there are always
exceptions
to
every rule; however, it may be difficult to determine the "exceptional"
person
in an interview situation.

1.  When it is difficult to find programmers, then we used every
resource
available including recruiters.
2.  When programmers are abundant, then we would use recruiters much
less.
It
is not a function of whether recruiters are good or bad, it is just
economics.
If you get an employee through a recruiter then you pay a large fee:
20-25%
of
first year salary.  We would normally require  the employee to be liable
for
a
pro rata share of the fee if  he quit before 6 months.  If an employee
is
unhappy with our situation, then this liability may force him to stay
and
this
may result in a poor work product.
3.  In terms of experience, I consider C++ and Java basically equivalent
if
on
the job.  I do not consider experience in school as equivalent to on the
job
experience.  I have taught computer science in a university setting and
feel
that that work and school are too different.  I would not dismiss what
someone
has done in school, but I would weight it less.   At the same time,
there
are
certain advantages to hiring directly out of school which may outweigh
the
lack
of experience.  For example, consistent programming standard were very
important in our team-oriented environment.  An experienced employee was
not
always willing to accept these standards while someone fresh out of
school
generally would.
Mainframe Cobol experience is also problematic.  There are some really
excellent mainframe programmers who transition to the O-O world and make
great
programmers.  However, I again think that the two environments are very
different.    I worked at a company where we tried to transition 12
mid-tier
Cobol programmers to C++ and the PC environment.  Of the 12, only 2
actually
made the transition.  We invested a lot of time and effort in the
re-training
process and we really wanted the Cobol guys to succeed.   In terms of
length
of
experience, I think that once you hit about 5 years, then additional
experience
may not help a lot especially if it is doing the same type of task.
4.  In terms of job hopping, regardless of the economic times, I would
always
favor people who stayed at a job longer.

Because of the economy, it is just difficult to break into the IT world
now.
Things will get better, but it will take awhile.  In the meantime, I
would
recommend sending your resume directly to the personnel office of as
many
companies as you can.

Cynthia Jeness