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- 4 decades ago

Sometimes complaining gives results
I've always had a complaint with programming or software engineering jobs. They usually expect one to have previous job experience or a degree. I, honestly, have neither. I've spoken to many temp agencies and other contractors who require such a thing. 

I even had a formal interview with Teksystems for such jobs. The female I interviewed with appeared very young. She didn't really know much about the job I was applying for. Nevertheless, I explained to her that I didn't quite understand why programming jobs required people to have degrees or previous job experience almost exclusively. I explained the catch 22 as being a exclusive club. The only way you can join the club is to already be in the club. Sure, you can get a degree, but it's not necessarily easy. It costs thousands of dollars to go to school and earn the degree. Some of us can't afford the sky high tuition to earn the degrees we need to get in such fields. So, programmers like myself are stuck between a rock and a hard place. I attempted to contact her by email to discuss another job shown under their wing and I have yet to get a reply. I sent two emails so far. That pisses me off. Not replying gives me the sense that the business isn't legit.

I applied to even more jobs with the same type of response. One day, I just got annoyed and sent this email to a temp agency:

"I'm assuming I just got off the phone with you a few hours ago. I never got that email, Mike. My email consists of a question I'd like to ask you. However, before I get to that question, I'd like to point something out: Bill Gates, one of the richest men in the world, became what he was without finishing college and without having any prior job experience in the field. Let me remind you: one of the richest men in the world. Just the other day, a 17 year old teenager found a way to exploit Twitter and advertise his website through XSS. No college experience or job experience. Napster: said to be the dawn of P2P applications. The creator of that particular program had no job related experience or degree. Yet, he made millions of dollars selling his brand. World of Warcraft: the founders were college drop outs, and now they're one of the largest and most successful video game developers/publishers in the world. Yes, in the world. So, you probably can see where I'm going with this. So, here's my question. Why is the professional programming market so exclusive? In order for one to get a job doing the one thing he or she loves to do, they are required to have a degree or prior job experience. Yet, if that person can't afford a degree (like most of America), they are completely denied the opportunity to work for someone in that field. I've noticed that programming and/or software engineering jobs are huge catch 22s. Almost like a group of elitists who feel that one would need to be picked by the golden finger in order to be chosen to join the market. Mike, I've been programming since I was 12 years old. I started out on an IBM PC Jr. programming in A Basic. At 14, I began programming using Qbasic. I then went to a technical school and learned Visual Basic. From there, I began programming in tougher languages such as C++ and x86 Assembly. As time rolled by, I began programming in Java and C#. I began learning more about Java and C++ in the 3 years I've been going to college part time. Of course, I worked a full time job then and I was the only one financing my way to college. After tuition was increased 3 times, I could no longer afford it. I was thrown into debt. Yet, I never stopped programming. I soon got into PHP and MySQL. I created my own LAMP server and used my long history of programming to develop a website similar to Youtube: a video sharing website. During this time, I programmed my own computer game using the Ogre 3D engine. Here I am, 26 years old with no job to show for my life of programming. I can program both Windows and Linux applications, and I still have nothing. Mike, even with that all said, according to many like yourself, I'm not "skilled" enough to work in the programming field. I'm in the same situation as many talented programmers out there, yet just like them, I get over looked."
I accidentally sent the email to the president of the company (Oops!). In any case, the president of that company forwarded the email to the proper person and he read it. I'm assuming he spoke to the president of that company and they understood my plight. So, what they ended up doing was forwarding my resume over to the job in question. What a twist! So, now I just have to wait for a response from the company and hope I get scheduled for an interview. *Sighs*
Posted on 04/14/2009 06:00 pm


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