Is this what Jr Programmers do for work?

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by Coottie, Jun 7, 2007.

  1. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    I was interviewing with a local company for a Jr lvl programmer position. I just graduated with a BS in CS and looking to get started working. In the interview they asked me how I felt about observing things and analysis work. I said I didn't mind it but I was interested in programming and developing my programming skills. They didn't ask any technical questions at all.....like complete this method, write an query to do this....nothing. Just personal questions.

    They just called and said they went with someone else because they couldn't meet my programming needs. That it would be 6 months to a year before there would prolly be any coding. Is this normal for a new programmer....to spend that long NOT coding but in analysis??
     
  2. SLED

    SLED build an idiot proof device and someone else will

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    It sounds like they wanted a little bitch, with a little technical background to do some crap work. Just move on to the next job man. Don't get too hung up on particular companies and what they offer you. Everybody has different IT needs. You'll find something.

    Hell, if you were in AZ, I'm looking for a Jr.
     
  3. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Thanks!

    Yeah I wasn't terribly hung up on this company it just got me thinking after I talked with the HR person. Made me think that it's normal to put Jr programmers into babysitting positions. However, looking back I think they misrepresented the position.
     
  4. skinjob

    skinjob Active Member

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    Sounds like they are in a requirements gathering/design phase. That type of experience is probably more valuable than just being a code monkey maintaining existing code. Code monkeys are a dime-a-dozen in India.
     
  5. kayaker411

    kayaker411 New Member

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    Companies hire junior level programmers for their potential since they don't have a body of work or strong work related references yet. They tend to look for stuff like communication skills, attitude, drive to succeed rather than specific technicals. A quick perusal of job postings will you show you this to be true.

    It is odd that they didn't have any technical questions for you but perhaps something set off a red flag and you didn't get that far in the interview? Your post gives no indication of this but it's a possiblity. Although, the first coing job I got didn't have a technical interview.

    I wouldn't dissmiss the interview as a failure on the company's part. There's too much competition to even have a face to face with someone so mine the experience for all its worth. Above all, don't give up! You'll get hired eventually but don't expect to go in fresh out of school and be given major programming tasks...anywhere. You might try to let your interviewer know early on in the discussion that you're aware that you will be expected to grow into the team and that you're willing to do whatever they need to get you up to speed and fitting into the team they have there. Then ask questions about what they need a person with your qualifications for, etc etc. Try to get them to tell you what they need a person for and then decide if that's what you wanna do.
     
  6. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Perhaps but they told me it more of a monitoring position. They have several applications that are currently deployed with a large DB and they said they needed someone to monitor certain things to make sure nothing happened.

    That's about all they said....they weren't anymore specific and just asked if I minded this type of work. I explained that my primary desire was to increase my programming skills and I certainly wouldn't mind doing other tasks that would help the team and all.

    I dunno...maybe I misunderstood things.
     
  7. kayaker411

    kayaker411 New Member

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    That sounds like a not so unusual place to begin work as a programmer. It's a good way to begin learning the applications anyway.
     
  8. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Sure...and I actually was told that everyone really liked talking with me and that they think the job wouldn't be a good fit for me. Perhaps it was BS, kind of a let-him-down-easy thing but it seemed genuine.
    Well I got pretty far in the interview process. 3 phone interviews and the last one was a 1 hour in person interview with 3 other programmers. The VP of the programming department came in to meet me because of my past experience (non-programming) and my resume. The HR director indicated everyone had very positive things to say about me. So I feel like I got really far.

    I actually had prepped for this interview as I thought it would be very technical in nature.
    Thanks and that's good advice.

    I think I do need to convey that message more clearly in interviews. I'm always trying to convey a can-do attitude as well as acknowledge that I have a lot to learn and I'm willing to put forth the time but come on....today was the first time in 4 interviews with this company that they told me there would be at least 6 months to 1 year before I'd get to do any coding. Now that doesn't seem like a Jr level programmer position to me and that's why I created this thread.....perhaps my ideas are not accurate.

    I'm not looking at this as a failure at all. Hell the more practice I get interviewing the better I'll be next time so it's all good.
     
  9. kayaker411

    kayaker411 New Member

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    That's a good attitude. Just hang on to that cause it will carry you past the new graduates who don't have a good attitude r who wither quikly. When I got laid off after 9/11 it took me a year and a half to find another coding gig but I never gave up. It sounds like you lost out on this last one by a slim margin. You might send a thank you note if you haven't already. If the person they hired didn't work out they may remember you and your note.
     
  10. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Yeah good idea. The HR person told me she'd call if things didn't work out with that other person and that they are in a growth mode so something else might open up soon.

    I'm also going to revoke my waiver on background/credit checks. They made me release them from any damages caused by their efforts and it didn't have an expiration date. Normally I wouldn't sign something like that but it seemed like a decent company/job.
     
  11. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    I hate to say it, but being a junior programmer puts you on the bottom of the totem pole. The guys at the top of the technical chain are doing design work, the people below them are managing the construction of code libraries and sharing the load of writing modules with the guys below them, and the guys at the bottom do the work nobody else has time for. It's the way of things; unless you know someone willing to take a big chance on you, you gotta start at the bottom and whore yourself out to people who can't get their work done on time until you've proven yourself useful to those people's bosses. Then you'll get a real job.
     
  12. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    It sounds like they wanted you to participate in the entire process of creating a solution: requirements gathering, design AND implementation. This would have been an incredible learning opportunity for you, and would have made you a better programmer. Third worlders will work $5 an hour and no bathroom breaks to write functions strictly defined by tickets. If you want a good career you need be able to work at multiple levels of abstraction simultaneously, and be able to build things from conception to design to implementation to maintenance.
     
  13. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Yeah I expected that and even told them I'm willing to do the lowly work. Guess I need to emphasize my willingness more. lol
     
  14. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Interesting perspective but what makes you think this?? They said it was a monitoring type of position where I would just watch stuff then tell them if anything changed. I'm not sure I get how they wanted me to participate in the entire process.

    Keep in mind, I already have an accounting degree and 10 years of real world working XP. No it's not specifically programming XP but it's heavy on the analysis and problem solving skills.
    True...good point.
    I agree but seriously...after reading this entire thread you don't think they misrepresented this position?? You think this is more my issue?? Ok....well gives me more to think about. Thanks for the perspective.
     
  15. johan

    johan Active Member

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    sometimes when you get a odd reply like this, it could be they just weren't interested in you, but sugarcoated the rejection.

    Instea of we didn't like you, it becomes, the job fit didn't seem right, it turns out that what we actually needed doesn't fit well with you.

    Unless you think they're in the habit of putting out slightly misleading JD's.
    I know I'm not, and I often tell new apps this sort of spin.
    Easier for me since it avoids hassles with HR.
     
  16. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    That's what I've been thinking the past couple of hours. I mean it sounds awfully similar to a woman breaking up saying, it's not you...it's me. LOL

    I have no idea about their history of JDs because this is the first I've seen and I don't know anyone that's worked there.

    I actually thought about calling up the HR director to ask for suggestions areas where I can improve but I'm not sure that's such a good idea.
     
  17. Sexual Vanilla

    Sexual Vanilla New Member

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    Strangely enough, I recently went on an interview for a jr. programmer position as well as I graduated this past May with a BS in CS. I too was asked a bunch of bullshit questions not at all pertaining to programming or even computing in general. It was more along the lines of "How did you benefit your previous employer, blah blah blah."
     
  18. Sexual Vanilla

    Sexual Vanilla New Member

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    P.S.

    I didn't get the job...turns out they were looking for someone who was still in college and hired a junior. :ugh2:
    Good thing I just spent 4 years of my life to get a degree that does me no good.
     
  19. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Well at least I'm not the only one struggling to find a job. Funny thing is, I worked my ass off to quality for Magna Cum Laude and noone seems to care. They just want to know what my hobbies are. LOL

    Oh but hey, I gotta disagree about the degree that does you no good. I'm confident I'll find a job it's prolly just going to take a bit longer and perhaps be at a lower level then I had hoped.

    I'm just trying to stay positive and enjoy my time off. It's like an extended vacation. :)
     
  20. skitcy

    skitcy uhm title! ok

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    What kind of programming do you know Cootie? I could possible spot you a job in all seriousness.
     
  21. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Thanks man...that's really cool of ya.

    I'm not struggling as bad as it sounds it's really just this job interview was kinda goofy.

    I actually like different types of programming and I'm open to different things. I'm trying to focus on application development but I also really enjoy web programming. I know C++, Java (mostly command line J2SE but I'm also comfortable with servlets, JSP, and JavaBeans). I've worked with mySQL 5 and Oracle 9i (I think). I've also programed in PHP, VB6, COBOL, Pascal, Prolog and some other stuff.

    If I were willing to relocate to the Dallas/Plano area of Texas or even Austin, I'm almost positive I'd find a job. But before I make that move, I've been shopping the OKC market.

    I did get an interview set up with a large corp here in OKC for Monday. Hopefully it'll go well but I'm not don't have the specific language experience they are looking for...C#.net. I gotta learn that cuz I've seen many jobs available for it.
     
  22. skitcy

    skitcy uhm title! ok

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    Ohh you're down the C alley.

    Damnit, our studio needs more Flash Developers ( Actionscript 2.0 and 3.0 ) not newbie level though true classes etc.. if that is really "understandable" in AS.

    Ah well :( I tried!
     
  23. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    C ally?? Never heard of that.
    Thank man. I did buy Flash 8 back in May but I haven't spent much time with it. There's soooo many things I need/want to learn.....I love all this stuff I just want to know it now. lol
     
  24. skitcy

    skitcy uhm title! ok

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  25. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Wow...that's really cool.

    I think I might have to work on learning Flash as a side project once I find a job. I'd really like to know how to do those things cuz I have such a creative itch that's just dying to be scratched.
     

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