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Re: "Lots of bad IT Workers" ?

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  • Shlomi Fish
    ... This is more or less an accurate description of me than. I got the job by using contacts: my father was a good friend of that start-up s CEO, and he
    Message 1 of 10 , Jan 4, 2003
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      On Sat, 4 Jan 2003, Nadav Har'El wrote:

      > On Sat, Jan 04, 2003, Shlomi Fish wrote about "[hackers-il] "Lots of bad IT Workers" ?":
      > > Are there still enough jobs for competent IT workers. When I started
      > > working in Elpas (my first real job as a programmer) which was during the
      > > start of the IT boom (1997 or so), I only had experience programming with
      > > C, Basic and VBA on my home computer. Yet, I was still competent enough to
      > > be of value to them. Afterwards, when I switched jobs to Cortext, a
      > > web-publishing house based on UNIX and Perl, I had to learn all about UNIX
      > > and Perl there, yet I was still able to get my job done. I feel that I
      > > have greatly improved since this point in every area I did back then.
      > >
      > > Do you think the Shlomi Fish of 1997 could still find a job today?
      >
      > You have to put experience in context.
      > The Shlomi Fish of 1997 was (and I'm just making up a story here, please don't
      > flame me too much if I get the facts wrong) a young guy, who did not think too
      > highly of himself, and his (relatively) little knowledge was consistent with
      > him being smart (it's not that he learned slowly, he just had only a few years
      > to learn). So an employer was faced with a cheap smart employee: don't sound
      > too bad.
      >

      This is more or less an accurate description of me than. I got the job by
      using contacts: my father was a good friend of that start-up's CEO, and he
      recommended they give me an interview. I went to the interview, and they
      eventually decided to hire me. I eventually turned out to be their chief
      programmer after the main programmer, a strange bird who started playing
      computer games all day was fired, and I started doing his job anyways.

      > But the problem is that "we" (people involved in hiring other people, and for
      > the last year I'm no longer one of those "we") don't just get "Shlomi Fishes
      > of 1997" - we also get people who think highly of themselves and demand high
      > salaries, but know very little.
      >
      > We got people who've been around computers for several years (e.g., spent the
      > last 3 years in the Technion's CS department) and yet the amount of knowledge
      > that has rubbed on them appears to be tiny.
      >
      > Imagine I talk to someone who has dwelt in computers and had all the resources
      > (computers, books, network, people) imaginable, and still didn't learn
      > anything beyond what was spoon-fed to him in class (and even that is
      > questionable when he comes in with a relatively low GPA). Why should I believe
      > that in my company this guy will be different? Maybe after 3 more years
      > he'll work in (say) Linux he still wouldn't know anything I (his boss) did
      > not explicitly tell him to learn (and it's not hypothetical, I know such
      > people). Maybe it means this guy is not actually interested in computers,
      > but is in it only for the money?
      >
      > Similarly, when you talk to a person who has just finished some course
      > converting them from another profession to computers, the details are very
      > important. I've seen, for example, two excellent people, with a biology
      > degree, that have taken a CS course and successfully switched to computers;
      > Both of them took serious 1-year courses (tought by Technion professors, and
      > containing serious CS courses, not just C and HTML), got genuinely interested
      > in their new profession,and their employers did well on gambling on them.
      > But you get other people, who tell you how much they hate computers ("I
      > prefer to work with people"), barely know anything ("Where's 'The Internet'?
      > Isn't it some building in America?"), and don't careenough to change that.
      > Nobody wants an employee like that.
      >

      True.

      > Returning to the Shlomi of 1997 for a moment, there is one downside that
      > prevents some employers from employing "rookies" like you describe, even
      > if they show a great potential and are verysmart. This happens in three
      > cases:
      > 1. The company (e.g., start-up) only has plans for the next year. It has
      > no use for somebody who will only start really helping the team after
      > 6 months. It looks for people who can start doing real work NOW, and
      > pours money on them.
      > 2. The company already puts a very high load on the low-level managers or its
      > good technical employees. Employing a rookie means more load on the low-
      > level managers who'll need to show him the ropes, or on the good
      > technical employees who'll need to teach him what he still doesn't know.
      > In some situtation, these employees are better off spending that time on
      > completing the job.
      > I've seen a *very smart* part-time-employee student get fired, for exectly
      > this reason.
      > 3. In some types of job markets, you face a high risk of the rookie bailing
      > out on you just when he has finally got enough experience to be truely
      > useful. The army has a very simple solution for this problem: sign on
      > people for 6 (!) years.
      > In the job market of 3 years ago, I even saw a guy leave his job for a
      > better paying one, after 2 weeks (!) in the job...
      >

      Understood.

      > > I know of a fellow student who graduated from EE (maslul "handasat
      > > machshevim vetochna") in the Technion and could not find a job because he
      > > claimed workplaces look for someone with more experience, and he has none
      > > except for his studies. I know him and he's a bright, and talented guide,
      > > albeit does indeed not have much real-world experience. I suggested him to
      > > take on open-source development while he's unemployed so he'll have
      > > something impressive to put in his resume/.
      >
      > Why doesn't he have any experience other than his studies? Did he ever program
      > for fun, whether free software or just stuff he'd written for himself? Did
      > he program before he went to the Technion, or program for fun during his
      > studies?
      >
      > If the answer to all of that is no, it might mean he came from a poor
      > family and didn't have time during his studies. But it might also mean that
      > he's not genuinely interested in computers. Since he can't offer any examples
      > of his work, why should employers believe that option #2 isn't the truth?
      >

      Actually, I think he mainly focused on his studies (Technion students are
      given enough programming exercises), and just wanted to have non-computer
      related fun (which is OK). Studying in the Electrical Engineering
      department is very hard consumes a lot of time and concentration. I
      somehow managed to find time to hack on free software, for E-mail
      correspondence, reading Linux resources etc. Many times, it is done before
      doing homework.

      I don't think is family his poor. He seems like middle-class to me. Like I
      said, he is a bright kid, and I'm sure he can learn new things if given
      the chance. As far as programming is concerned he is higher than the
      Shlomi Fish of 1997. As far as Electrical Engineering is concerned it is a
      difference of heaven and earth.

      Like I said, I recommended he works on open-source projects for the time
      being, to gain some experience. Not only can he put something impressive
      on his C.V., but he'll also be able to deal with a lot of real-world
      situations, code, and hacktivity.

      > This is why personal connections is the best way to get jobs. A personal
      > friend of yours knows exactly what you're really worth, and doesn't have
      > to make guesses based on your previous experience.
      >

      I noticed this myself in several occasions. The only serious job I did not
      get out of personal connections was Smart-Link, where I was somehow
      invited to a job interview, they were impressed by me, and accepted me. I
      did not anyone from there up to this point.

      > > I know of an American fellow, named Jay Glascoe, who has an M.Sc. in
      > > mathematics, and know Linux, C, C++, Perland Python well, and could not
      >
      > The guy you describe certainly sounds better than a lot of people who do
      > find jobs.
      > Maybe there are other circumstances you don't know. Maybe this guy is
      > asking for too much money, has other unrealistic expectations, or isn't
      > as good as you believe. Maybe he's trying at the wrong companies. Or maybe
      > he has incredibly bad luck.
      >

      I don't think he is asking for too much money. At the moment, he is
      unemployed and will probably accept any job with a reasonable payment. He
      sent me a code he wrote in Python that worked pretty well. I did not look
      at the code too closely, but he also did things the hard way, and parsed
      the output of fc-solve text-wise. At the moment he's trying at any company
      that gives him a job interview.

      In the past week-end I was able to get him 3 job opportunities. One of
      them may hopefully prove useful.

      > > Have Hetz ben Hamo eventually find a job? He certainly knows Linux
      > > in-and-out, but naturally is not a qualified programmer.
      >
      > I don't want to discuss a specific person (whom I don't know well), so
      > I'll say something general based on your premise that he is not a
      > "qualified programmer" (I assume you mean he's not a good programmer,
      > because there is no 'programming degree' to qualify).
      >
      > Indeed why should someone who's not a good programmer, and not showing the
      > potential of being one, be hired to do programming???
      >
      > It's like I'm really crappy in sports. Do you think that if I hang enough
      > time around soccer fields and in soccer mailing lists, and know the "ins and
      > outs" of soccer, Maccabbi Haifa will hire me to replace Yaakubo Igabini?
      > Of course not, I'll have to show some prospects of good soccer-*playing*, not
      > just interest in soccer-watching and talking about it...
      >
      > But in the situation about, I might be able to get a job doing soccer-team
      > PR, or something similar.
      >

      Exactly. I think Hetz (judging by the knowledge he shows in the mailing
      list) can be a good Q&A person, or a system administrator, or something
      like that. Maybe his problem is that he focuses too much on getting the
      latest Linux news, instead of learning to program properly.

      > > At the moment, I'm completely confused. And I'm almost sure there are many
      > > mediocre IT workers who have jobs now. (refer to the Linux-IL thread about
      > > the Israeli web-sites).
      >
      > Judging from what goes on around me, the number of mediocre IT workers who
      > are getting high salaries (not kids who do web sites) is rapidly decreasing,
      > being replaced by much better (technically) people brought from other
      > companies. But, again from personal experience, this does not always make
      > working in such an "improved" company more enjoyable.
      >

      OK. Web-design is probably not very hard. When I did it I worked on UNIX,
      with hand-written HTML and Perl CGI scripts. I suppose learning HTML and
      ASP or HTML and PHP or other adequate combination is not that hard either.

      One problem my web-publishing company encountered is that we charged for
      designing a web-page, which we then hosted on our server, and then kept it
      there. I don't know if they charged for extra maintainance, but I suppose
      most web-design houses do (and should).

      Regards,

      Shlomi Fish

      > --
      > Nadav Har'El | Saturday, Jan 4 2003, 2 Shevat 5763
      > nyh@... |-----------------------------------------
      > Phone: +972-53-245868, ICQ 13349191 |I started out with nothing... I still
      > http://nadav.harel.org.il |have most of it.
      >
      >
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      >
      >
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      >
      >



      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
      Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/
      Home E-mail: shlomif@...

      "Let's suppose you have a table with 2^n cups..."
      "Wait a second - is n a natural number?"
    • Omer Musaev
      Omer Mussaev Software Engineer, EMS team, APM R&D Mercury Interactive ... From: Shlomi Fish [mailto:shlomif@techst02.technion.ac.il] Sent: 5. januar 2003 09.58
      Message 2 of 10 , Jan 5, 2003
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        Omer Mussaev
        Software Engineer, EMS team, APM R&D
        Mercury Interactive


        -----Original Message-----
        From: Shlomi Fish [mailto:shlomif@...]
        Sent: 5. januar 2003 09.58
        To: hackers-il@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [hackers-il] Re: "Lots of bad IT Workers" ?

        [ many text skipped ]
        SF> OK. Web-design is probably not very hard.

        Famous last words...


        SF> When I did it I worked on UNIX,
        SF> with hand-written HTML and Perl CGI scripts. I suppose learning HTML and
        SF> ASP or HTML and PHP or other adequate combination is not that hard
        SF> either.

        Yet there are J2EE technologies, which are hard. And there are Web Forms,
        which should be relatively easy, but the technology is new...

        Regards,

        Shlomi Fish


        Best regards,
        Omer Mussaev.
      • Shlomi Fish
        ... Indeed. CGI scripts can easily be made extremely exploitable. At least bare HTML is safe... for now. Regards, Shlomi Fish ... Shlomi Fish
        Message 3 of 10 , Jan 5, 2003
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          On Sun, 5 Jan 2003, Omer Musaev wrote:

          >
          >
          > Omer Mussaev
          > Software Engineer, EMS team, APM R&D
          > Mercury Interactive
          >
          >
          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: Shlomi Fish [mailto:shlomif@...]
          > Sent: 5. januar 2003 09.58
          > To: hackers-il@yahoogroups.com
          > Subject: Re: "Lots of bad IT Workers" ?
          >
          > [ many text skipped ]
          > SF> OK. Web-design is probably not very hard.
          >
          > Famous last words...
          >

          Indeed. CGI scripts can easily be made extremely exploitable. At least
          bare HTML is safe... for now.

          Regards,

          Shlomi Fish

          >
          > SF> When I did it I worked on UNIX,
          > SF> with hand-written HTML and Perl CGI scripts. I suppose learning HTML and
          > SF> ASP or HTML and PHP or other adequate combination is not that hard
          > SF> either.
          >
          > Yet there are J2EE technologies, which are hard. And there are Web Forms,
          > which should be relatively easy, but the technology is new...
          >
          > Regards,
          >
          > Shlomi Fish
          >
          >
          > Best regards,
          > OmerMussaev.
          >
          >
          >
          > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          > hackers-il-unsubscribe@egroups.com
          >
          >
          >
          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          >
          >



          ----------------------------------------------------------------------
          Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
          Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/
          Home E-mail: shlomif@...

          "Let's suppose you have a table with 2^n cups..."
          "Wait a second - is n a natural number?"
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