Suggestions on companies to work for after graduation?

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by Coottie, Aug 15, 2006.

  1. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    As you may or may not know, I'm currently a CS student about to start my Sr. year. When I got my first degree (accounting) there were a couple of standard paths for careers. However, most people went to work for one of the Big 8 accounting firms (now it's Big 5 I think) and started studying for the CPA exam...I didn't because I hated accounting :) .

    However now that I'm about to graduate from my CS degree, I'm wondering are there similar career paths for programmers?? My interest lie in many different areas of CS but mainly I like DBs, Web Programming and Games. I want to direct my career and not just end up in a job somewhere. I have good grades and feel comfortable with a few different languages.

    So my questions are:
    - Where do most CS graduates start their careers?
    - Are certifications (from MS or CompTia) as valuable as many people make them sound?
    - Where did the really good application developers learn their methods?
    - Is it better to start with bigger companies or smaller companies?

    I'm going to update my resume and start looking for a job but even with all my hardwork so far (39 hours of CS courses with 3.85/4.00 GPA), I still feel unprepared to enter the workforce. This feeling comes from being a bit overwhelmed by all there is to know about professional software development.

    So I want to be a professional developer - I very motivated and want to learn a lot of things about a lot of different technologies - but I'm not sure where to start looking for a job. Any suggestions??
     
  2. samm

    samm Next in Line

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    Have you done any internships? If not, I would highly suggest them since it gives you great experience that you otherwise do not get in school.
     
  3. 7960

    7960 New Member

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    Isn't this backwards? Shouldn't you be applying to *anywhere* that has anyhting you're even remotely qualified for and get some job offers and then pick which company's offer you want to accept?

    For the most part, the times of an unexperienced college grad cherry-picking his first post-grad job are long gone.
     
  4. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    I haven't yet because I wanted to focus on my studies. I've been asked if I wanted to participate in some by my professors but I turned them down because I didn't feel qualified. Perhaps I should rethink this.
     
  5. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    I'm not talking about cherry picking anything. But my previous work experience tells me that all companies are not created equal. There can be major differences and some places should be avoided at all costs.
     
  6. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    Nabisco. I like cookies.
     
  7. 7960

    7960 New Member

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    Don't apply to places that go against your beliefs but we don't know what those are. Otherwise you need to apply everywhere else and hope for an offer. Get experience, learn what you can about how the real world works, and then (based on experience/word of mouth in the workplace) decide where you want to go.
     
  8. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    Nabisco has cookies and computers and... did I mention cookies? Oh, and cigarettes.
     
  9. SLED

    SLED build an idiot proof device and someone else will

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    yea, don't plan on hand picking. Where do you live? You might find an IBM/Google/Intel shop near you where you can grab an entry level developer position at. Experience is EVERYTHING in this field, and until you have enough of it, you won't be able to hand pick shit. I would suggest starting at a bigger company that has many standard practices in place, like a real structured design and testing phases. I started out at a very small 3 developer shop where everybody stepped on each other's toes. It was very hard to transition out of that sort of environment into a bigger corporate environment where these strategies are worshiped.
     
  10. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Sure I agree with that.

    Was hoping for the word of mouth here also.
     
  11. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Funny that you mention Nabisco. My bro worked for them for many years and was up for a VP position when he finally left.
     
  12. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    I live in Oklahoma City but I'm seriously considering a move to Dallas. Many more tech jobs there.

    Thanks I was thinking that a smaller company would provide more experience but that exp might come at the sacrifice of some of the better coding practices that are used by larger companies. I went the small company route after my first degree and I was constantly surprised at how the big companies would do things. The people I worked with that came from the big companies just seemed to have more things going for them then the ones at the smaller companies (not all the time but for the most part this was true).
     
  13. 7960

    7960 New Member

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    If one place offers you a job, that's the best place. If more than one does, ask "which would you rather work at?" and tell us who. You're asking for an industry-wide analysis of every company doing CS/development........it's going to be much easier for you to get offers from companies that are hiring and then ask.



    And btw, yes, you should rethink this. Many people who do an internship

    -get a job offer
    -learn it's not something they want to do
    -get experience they can list on a resume to increase their chances of getting a job

    ..............you really should do this.
     
  14. SLED

    SLED build an idiot proof device and someone else will

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    don't get me wrong, if I wasn't consulting for myself and had to work for somebody again, I would MUCH rather work for a smaller company for different reasons. I hate the whole corporate/cube deal, but the problem with small companies is that they often come with small budgets. And that usually (not always) means that you have to crank shit out as fast as you can, regardless of good coding practices. Just the trend I have seen over my last 5-6yrs of experience. There are smaller companies out there which implement good practices, but I find they are rare.

    Sounds like Dallas would be a good place to start. You will also find that the more important things to having a good job and getting paid are usually networking and communication with the IT community. If i were a hermit and didn't network or promote myself well, I would be nowhere today. I'm not some badass mofo code monkey. Rather just an average developer who writes good quality code (usually :mamoru: ) and takes care of my customers.

    Good luck.
     
  15. 7960

    7960 New Member

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    Lastly, before deciding to move to Dallas you should get a job offer. It may seem like there are more jobs there, but if you're willing to move you could also go to california or north carolina (check www.rtp.org for jobs).

    Unless you really want to live in Dallas, find a job and then move...not the other way around.
     
  16. aphoric

    aphoric Even if god did exist, it would be necessary to ab

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    they have computers in oklahoma? If they do, you are not gonna be picking from much. If you lived in a tech city, maybe you could pick. I live in Colorado Springs... lots of developer jobs here
     
  17. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    Your brother Austin was never up for that VP spot. In fact, he didn't quit. He was fired... for sniffing secretary's butts. Something terribly wrong with that boy...
     
  18. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    Apply to be the doorman at the SkyyBar in Bricktown in Oklahoma City.
     
  19. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Work for a small company that focuses on software design and development; that way you'll get a wide variety of work that's related to your training, and you won't be stuck doing the same goddamn thing every day for the next five years.
     
  20. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Yeah see that's the thing. I've done the small company thing and worked my friggin ass off. I would regularly work 60 hours a week and during crunch times it was going to 80 hours a week. During one, unbelievably stressful period I managed to log 100 hrs in a week. I'm not afraid of hard work but I don't ever want to return to that type of pressure cooker again. It aged me but paid for my second chance at University so it wasn't all bad.

    Any suggestions on networking with the IT community? I went to our local computer club but it was all old people talking about what a jpeg is and how to get outlook up and running. I never went back and the only other community I found was a LAN party. They were all too lazy to work and just played games all the time.
     
  21. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    It sounds like you still think I'm trying to cherry pick. I'M NOT! And I'm not about to send out 20,000 resumes in the hopes that one company will offer me a job. No, I'm going to focus my efforts on companies that will help me develop my skills as a coder and program developer.

    I'm not asking for an industry wide assesment. I'm asking for suggestions and perspective from those that have gone before. When I was going through Uni for my accounting degree, the path was very clear for the majority of graduates. Not that it was easy getting a job but there were companies that everyone was competing for. That's kind of what I'm asking here.....what are those companies. However, there were many more questions in my OP.

    I have a good resume but not for coding. I was with a local oil company for ~10 years and worked my way up to the top tech job, CTO. I am rethinking that internship.
     
  22. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Yep I thought about Cali but my whole family is in this area. Actually they are more in Dallas then Okc. I'm not sure where I want to move but I'm considering all options. I love Boston and I know there are a lot of tech jobs there so who knows.
     
  23. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    haha yep we have computers and running water and electricity also. But I had to sell my covered wagon to afford that new printer...damn it!!!

    That's the main reason I think I want to move. Most of the programming jobs here are as support for other businesses and I want to work for a company where programming is the main business.

    Denver was another thought. My sis just moved from Colorado (Castle Rock) to Fort Worth and she was telling me how the job market is up there....seems there are a lot of tech jobs.
     
  24. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    haha Austin was not my bros name but it's quite possible he was sniffing something. And he most definatly quit cuz they were working the shit outta him.
     
  25. aphoric

    aphoric Even if god did exist, it would be necessary to ab

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    Well, my company hired a fresh out of school programmer that I scooped up on here...
     

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