You've got to get on LinkedIn

Friday, March 27, 2009 · 0 comments

OK gang. Based on my conversations with developers I've noticed many of you haven't taken the time to create a profile on LinkedIn. I had a reminder today as I attended a MN Recruiter Conference. I hear that only 20% of college students have taken time to create a LinkedIN profile, and they are more prolific on Facebook and the failing Myspace. Out of all Social Media tools out there now LinkedIn is the only one you Really Need to be on. It is essential for your career. Those that have a profile are the more proactive ones and I'd bet are building a great pier and career networks.

For those not sure how to create a profile on LinkedIn and have questions, attend one of the free online seminars hosted by my friend Paul DeBettignies. They are held once a week or so. If you have any other questions send me an email.

Webcomic: The 10 stages of software development

Friday, March 20, 2009 · 0 comments

I’ve seen this one before, but for some of you out there it maybe be new. Just some levity on a Friday.

Shows the importance of communication, understanding the big picture, asking questions, follow through and customer interaction. Not to mention our old friends lack of documentation and support. :)

Twin Cities Code Camp – 4/4/09

Thursday, March 19, 2009 · 0 comments

Code Camp Twin Cities Code Camp will be held on Saturday April 4th, 2009 in the Computer Science and Engineering building on the University of Minnesota campus.

From the TCCC web site.

The Twin Cities Code Camp is biannual event held in the Twin Cities area. It follows the guidelines published in the Code Camp manifesto. As this is a community-driven event, we are always looking for people to lead sessions, volunteer to help during the day of the event, etc. If you'd like to participate, or if you'd like to contribute to the event, let me know.

You can register for the event here.

Finally an Increase in Computer Science Majors


CS enrollment up I came across this article on ZDNET regarding the increase in Computer Science majors in 2008. This is after a 20% drop in Computer Science majors from the previous year.

“The number of majors and pre-majors in American computer science programs was up 6.2 percent from 2007 [first time in six years], according to the Taulbee Survey, which follows trends in student enrollment, degree production, employment and faculty salaries for computer science, computer engineering and schools of information in the U.S. and Canada.” Posted by Andrew Nusca 3/18/09

This means more computers science majors will be graduating soon and in an economic downturn. There is a still great need for high quality computer science majors, but the competition is greater than in the past 6 to 7 years and the opportunities are fewer.

Are about to graduate or have been working for a year or so? If so, this is a perfect reason to sharpen your communication skills, build up your person network, learn a new language or methodology, improve your QA skills and focus on the big picture.

Take stock in yourself and don’t get left behind.

C# Software Engineer – Direct Hire


Copy of CSharp Position Description: Software Engineer

Position overview: The ideal candidate will be proficient in maintaining and enhancing complex business logic, and in participating in the research, design and development of new functionality. You must have a GREAT desire to delve into the nuts and bolts details of a multi-faceted business. There will be frequent interaction with the highest-level business experts in the organization. To understand their requirements you will need exceptional written and oral communication ability.

Reports to: VP of Technology

Compensation: Salaried. Commensurate with skills and experience

Schedule: Full-time – general business hours

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Participate in producing detailed functional and technical design documents
  • Build automated unit tests
  • Code in all tiers (data, business and presentation layers)
  • Thoroughly document code
  • Test, prepare and deploy production releases
  • Work with end users to analyze production issues

Skills and experience required:

  • Computer Science or other relevant degree, or work experience equivalent to formal qualification
  • Understanding of multi-tier architectures and OO concepts
  • Understanding of relational data modeling
  • Must demonstrate exceptional organizational and communication skills
  • Must demonstrate an ability to quickly assimilate, analyze and solve complex business problems

Specific skills desired:

  • C# .NET, T-SQL, ADO.NET, XML, Crystal Reports, NUnit, ASP.NET

More info here: Resource Group

Tavis Hudson

Technical Resources


Should You Tell Recruiters Your Salary?

Friday, March 6, 2009 · 0 comments

money_talk_081015_mn I was reading an article (well really a short blog post) titled, “Battling recruiters and the salary issue.”  by Toni Bowers, Head Blogs Editor at TechRepublic. As you can see the post addresses the issue of sharing your salary requirements with a recruiter and goes on to give a specific example. The real meat of this post are the 316 comments attached.

I read the majority of the comments, most of which lambasted recruiters in general for asking about salary. To be fair some comments supported the right to ask and point out not all recruiters are “worthless.”

There are a lot of unqualified recruiters that simply ask the salary question just to fill a check on a profile sheet. They think a candidate is pretty much qualified if they match the salary requirements and they have a few acronyms on their resume that match the clients needs. These are lazy recruiters, a good recruiter will go beyond that.

Here are two great posts I agree with.

Good/Bad recruiters

I was working for a company in a position that I totally hated. 60 to 80 hours a week on salary on callin 24/7. So I started looking. I knew what I was worth. One recruiter tried to get me to accept a position at 1/2 of what I was currently making. Maybe it was rude, but I laughed at him and told him that even though I hated my job, at least it paid the bills. I never heard from that recruiter again, thankfully.
I always tell the recruiter what my current salary is and whether I am willing to maintain my current salary or if I require a higher salary based on the position in question.
I really don't care what their base is or what they are willing to provide as a salary range. Being straight up with the recruiter will almost always get you what you want. That is if the recruiter is any good at all. Of course you always have those that think you are really desperate and will take anything. They are not worth the your time and obviously neither is the company they are representing or they wouldn't be using such a lousy recruiter.
Posted: 02/06/2009 @ 07:27 AM (PST)

This post is all about confidence in yourself and your value. The line I like the best is, “Being straight up with the recruiter will almost always get you what you want.

and here

Perm verse contract

Be sure the advise most are giving applies to contract of prem jobs, as they are not the same animal. One issue most company's have is when Contract applies to Perm and expects same dollars, will NOT happen,
There is a surplus of job hunters now, whine or growl, that is the reality and it is going ot get worse before it gets better. To many in IT seem to think "I am IT and invaluable". Lesson one, NO ONE is invaluable, all can be replaced. Second with some of the more juvenile posts most can see why the posters are running into issues. Lastly most recruiters KNOW what a company will pay, they expect the candidates KNOW reality of wages, lay offs, etc. Time most broaden their educations a wee bit about jobs.Lots of sites out there on wages, benefits etc, be informed and able to negotiate, not demand and whine. You will find better jobs with better firms, with better salary and conditions. Sounds like to many see to think "all low ball me" etc and I "hate, will never use them, etc, etc, Suspect your issues may have more to do with a recruiter not wanting to use you then you think. For the adults, look at what some say and bluster and ask, "would I want that attitude in my shop?" So take a lot of the posts with that in mind as its seems many need to grow up a bit, times are getting harder and it seems a lot of techies have not read the news much.Reality world is setting into this nation that has been badly spoiled, and some it seems, do not want to deal with it.. and it shows
Posted: 02/14/2009 @ 10:09 AM (PST)

See my reply post to hmmmmm!  here – Although some of hmmmmm!’s comments may seem harsh and direct, they are true and you need to think about them.

Regarding Salary: It’s ok to give a salary range around 10K + or – . Just make sure that if you are asking for a lot more than you currently make you have a good explanation, I mean really good. If you can’t you will get thrown out of the candidate pool.

Bottom line: If you are going to work through a recruiter you need to trust them. Sure do your due diligence, ask them questions, ask around and look them up on LinkedIn.  Also make sure you know who YOU are, what you want and where you want to go. See Know Thyself and Show me the Money.

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About this blog

I'm not a blogger. So consume at your own risk.
Since 1995 I've been working with software developers helping them increase their value through technical training and connecting them to great employers. This blog is dedicated to those technical professionals that want to get the most of out their career. I'll answer questions I get daily, common misconceptions and provide direction, but it's up to you to take action.
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