Funemployment–Day 3

To say things were going rough would be an outright lie. I’ve got so many leads that I’m having to take down my resume and decline any more recruiters’ offers for assistance. I don’t want to lose track of where I’m applying / being applied to and I don’t want to waste anyone’s time. The .Net market here in Tampa is hot right now, so there’s plenty of opportunities. My main concern is somehow getting into the interview stages quickly.

First off, I’m a computer programmer, not a resume writer. The recruiters and a certain wife of other developers stuck in an overseas sandbox  have helped me polish it up a bit, but it still seems like a crap shoot if the hiring manager likes the particular way I put it together. Sadly, I’ve been working on the Interweb Tubes and in application development for 16 years, I can’t possibly put down all my accomplishments.

Second, I have to take a C# test today. I hate these tests because they tend to focus on minutia and arcane knowledge that I know, I just don’t remember the details. I store that kind of stuff in my exobrain – I need to remember what the namespace is for writing to the event log? That’s what Google and Bing are for. Value types belong on the stack or heap? Beats me, if I was that concerned about performance, I’d be writing in C++ (side note, Value Types sit on the stack. Reference Types have a pointer on the stack that points to the Heap). “Look at this block of code. Will it compile?” That’s what Visual Studio is for. I can write faster if I don’t sit there and pour over every line wonder if I’ve accidentally assigned an integer to a var that was declared as a string.

What they can’t really test for using multiple guess choice is how quickly can I figure out a problem that is presented to me. That’s why I prefer the interview, I can get those kinds of details across that I can’t in an online test or a resume.

Thirdly, luckily I’m seeking a senior position which means I won’t be battling a lot of junior developers straight out of college. The benefit is that I don’t feel that I’m entitled to a job. Nobody owes me anything. The deal is I show up for work, on time and every day, get what is requested of me done, and trade that for payment. I’m not part of the generation that feels entitlement is something that’s automatically granted. Again, a multiple choice test on this isn’t going to get that across.

Finally, my blog. Yup, my name shows up as the first entry in practically every search engine and it links to this blog. Where I’m an activist. And crude. And make jokes about not wearing pants. Will it hurt or help me? Hard to tell. I would hope that a prospective employer can understand I have no issues keeping my business and personal lives separate. I’m not a danger to anyone, even though I am a firearms enthusiast. I hated my job at Catalina and managed to not shoot anyone. I was laid off from my last job and instead of retrieving my pistol and shooting up the place, I shook my boss’ hand and thanked her for a wonderful opportunity.

One would hope the fact that I wrote the software for this blog counts for a lot, but to point it out means to point it out. Such is the life of a rights activist and one I wholeheartedly accept full responsibility for.

So, wish me luck. Gotta brush up on my C# minutia, take the test, and wait for the recruiters to do their thing. Worst case scenario for me would be to start taking contract jobs which aren’t really my bag of tea (I like taking ownership of what I do), but for my family, I’ll do anything and my work ethic would mean whoever hired me would benefit as well.

posted by by Robb Allen @
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