General job search question
I am employed at one of the large IT consulting firms as a developer. I have
been here for 13 years, right out of college, and I am making 63K. It's
decent money, but not great. I live in a major metro area in the south.
I know the economy is not at its best right now, but I am interested in
looking externally for a new position. This will be my first external job
search ever, and I know my situation is a lot different than it was when
I was trying to land a job right out of college.
I've read all the articles on resumes, cover leters, networking, and all
that stuff that you're supposed to read before embarking on a job search.
But I know you guys have some good advice, since I've been following this
forum for several months.
My main concern is that every job posting I see, whether it be a general
job site (ComputerJobs.com, Monster.com, etc.), a company's web site, a recruiting
company's web site, or the newspaper, seems to specify a very narrow and
specific skill set. That would be all very fine and good if my skills matched
the skills they are looking for, but that does not seem to be the case.
I've moved around quite a bit in my company, learning what I need as I go,
and I have a lot of different technical skills. Many of them are not exactly
the latest - COBOL, VSAM, VB3, VB5, some C++. I've always had success picking
up languages and platforms easily, so that is not a problem for me. Part
of my problem is that I've tended to work primarily on legacy systems, doing
some development and maintenance. I haven't gotten into much architecture
or design, and I haven't dealt much with any infrastructure issues. It's
mainly small-to-medium-sized development projects on an existing system.
But, I just don't see any ads that seem to be looking for that type of person.
I know that companies need people with those skills - we've hired several
just like that in the past. I don't know how the position was worded, but
these people have had similar skills as myself. They've been good solid
IT workers - not superstars with amazing and unique skills - and they have
for the most part been very loyal and stayed here for several years.
It almost seems like I'd be better off getting an entry-level position where
I would not be expected to be an expert on a particular platform or language.
I'm sure that with my experience and skills that I would do well with an
opportunity like that. But, I cannot take a position at an entry-level salary,
and I'm sure I would hear the word "overqualified" quite a bit.
So, how exactly should I approach this possible job search? I'm not in a
position where I have to change jobs, and I'd rather not have to devote a
huge amount of time or effort. Not that I'm lazy, it's just that I have
a job plus a family. Also, I really didn't have to work hard at all to get
interviews and offerings out college. Back then the thing I kept hearing
that employers were looking for was "experience", and now I have me some
of that "experience", so I would expect that things should be somewhat easier.
I know that the market for IT workers in general is not that great, and I
also know that some positions are going to be sent to places like India and
Mexico. But there are always some positions open, and the economy will improve
sometime. Again, this is not an urgent job search, but if there is something
better out there, I'd like to find it without a ton of effort. I hear of
some people who send out thousands of resumes with no interest, and I hear
of some people who send out one and get a better job. I'd rather my search
be like the latter example.
Any advice and words of encouragement (or admonishment) are welcome.
Re: General job search question
Before you launch into a job search, you might want to stop and consider
what direction you would really like to move in over, say, a 5 to 7 year
Do you want to stay in software development? That is possible, but that
path requires ongoing investment of time and money in self-training. By
money I don't mean $5,000 for expensive seminars and training programs -
- I mean maintaining a "training lab" at home with hardware and software
for your chosen platform. There are a few companies that still foot the bill
for all this, but not that many that I can see. Or, if they do pay for all
the training, they require massive amounts of unpaid overtime (so the training
isn't really "free" if you get my drift.) If you really don't see yourself
making that investment because, say, you have a life, then perhaps you don't
really want to stay in hands-on technical positions over the long term.
There are a couple other routes you can go. There are "business analyst"
type positions where you serve as the interface between the technology-ignorant
business people and the business-ignorant technology people. In this type
of position, you do not need to know the nuances of any particular language
or software tool - - instead you focus on making sure the technology is designed
correctly to serve the business function in a cost-efficient manner. I could
explain this further but I expect if you work for a large consultancy you
already have some of these people around so you know what I mean.
Another path is IT management. You need to make a thorough assessment of
yourself here to decide if you really have the desire and temperment to do
that type of job. Again, you probably have plenty of people around you in
those types of positions to help you get an idea of what their work is like.
Another possible option is moving into the "user" area completely. If, for
example, you have done many projects in the accounting/finance arena, or
in the materials management area, or some other business function, you might
consider a sideways move into one of those jobs.
You could, of course, look for a job with precisely the same skillset as
the one you currently have. If your work has been in mainframe environments,
look around for companies that still maintain those technologies. Large
hospitals and government organizations are the first to come to mind.
You situation now is completely different from where you were when you graduated
college 13 years ago. Yes, of course, now you have experience. But now
you no longer work for entry-level wages. And at this moment, developers
are accepting job offers at salaries 10% lower than a year ago. You should
probably research salary surveys on the web. The Computerworld 2001 salary
reports the following for the South Atlantic region (South Atlantic = Delaware,
District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina,
South Carolina, Georgia, Florida )
Programmer Analyst: $54,500
Web Application developer: $59,000
Job titles are only a crude way of categorizing people's positions so perhaps
neither of these accurately describes your responsibilities. There are other
salary surveys on the various job boards that report much higher numbers
although frankly, I'm a little suspicious of some of them.
At any rate, to get a premium salary as a developer you absolutely have to
have the "hot" skills and that requires a significant ongoing effort. And
in this market, with a large contingent of unemployed developers, you might
find the going pretty rough. In previous years, you could also go into self-employed
consulting which allows you to keep much more of your billable rate but right
now life is pretty hard for the independents so you might want to hold off
on launching your own consultancy.
Well . . . all I'm trying to do here is to give you some things to think
about so that you can choose the direction that best fits your ambitions
Best of Luck,
Re: General job search question
My background is similiar to yours. I used to work for a large consulting
firm and I also performed a lot of maintenance work while working for them
as well. Lately, my experience has been similiar to Elena's. Lots of hard
work and personal sacrafice before I was able to get away from the big iron.
First, I will comment on your post and then I will give you "my advice" at
the bottom of this post.
>I am employed at one of the large IT consulting firms as a developer. I
>have been here for 13 years, right out of college, and I am making 63K.
>It's decent money, but not great.
13 years with the same consulting firm! Wow! For someone in a techie position
that is truly impressive.
I think you might be reading too many salary surveys. From what I have seen
out there your salary is what I would expect a consulting firm employee to
be earning (i.e. someone with the same number of years and experience).
>I know the economy is not at its best right now, but I am interested in
>looking externally for a new position. This will be my first external job
>search ever, and I know my situation is a lot different than it was when
>I was trying to land a job right out of college.
I am going to take a guess as to why you are currently looking for a new
job. Let me know if I am close to being correct.
Maintenance work is lot harder than people think it is and you don't feel
appreciated for doing it. You are tired of constantly fighting fires and
you wish you didn't have to solve each and every problem that comes your
way all by yourself. You are tired of getting those 3AM phone calls and would
like to do more new development work. You don't see yourself doing anything
but maintenance work if you decide to stay with your current employer. Your
employer is taking half the billing rate and providing you with little besides
a bi-monthly paycheck. You are worried about your marketability and think
that your extensive legacy skills are making you look like a dinosaur.
>I've read all the articles on resumes, cover leters, networking, and all
>that stuff that you're supposed to read before embarking on a job search.
> But I know you guys have some good advice, since I've been following this
>forum for several months.
Well, I wouldn't put too much stock in what you have read. Unlike most corporate
jobs, there are few "universal truths" that you can follow when searching
for another IT position nowadays. We definately work in a bizarre industry
>My main concern is that every job posting I see, whether it be a general
>job site (ComputerJobs.com, Monster.com, etc.), a company's web site, a
>recruiting company's web site, or the newspaper, seems to specify a very
>narrow and specific skill set. That would be all very fine and good if
>my skills matched the skills they are looking for, but that does not seem
>to be the case.
That is why most people still get hired using their networking skills.
The reason almost all advertised jobs specify a very narrow and specific
skill set is because most companies only place an ad when they have reached
the "I am hurting stage". In other words, companies only place job ads for
IT positions they know will be hard to fill.
A company may hire someone such as yourself if you come "highly recommended"
by an insider in the company, but they probably won't hire you if you respond
to one of their job ads. Unless of course, your skills closely match those
that are on the job ad. Why does this happen? Can you say "buzzword bingo"?
This is the only game most HR types know how to play. While the same can
be said of recruiters and headhunters as well -- they seem to have an excuse
-- they have no choice in the matter (at least that is probably how most
of them feel).
>I've moved around quite a bit in my company, learning what I need as I go,
>and I have a lot of different technical skills. Many of them are not >exactly
the latest - COBOL, VSAM, VB3, VB5, some C++. I've always had >success picking
up languages and platforms easily, so that is not a
>problem for me. Part of my problem is that I've tended to work primarily
>on legacy systems, doing some development and maintenance. I haven't >gotten
into much architecture or design, and I haven't dealt much with >any infrastructure
issues. It's mainly small-to-medium-sized development >projects on an existing
system. But, I just don't see any ads that seem >to be looking for that
type of person.
You know neither do I. You don't even see the large consulting firms advertise
for these type of jobs. Why is that? I think the answer is complex, however,
here are three reasons that I can think of:
* A lot of companies have outsourced maintenance work to consulting firms
and therefore they don't need people such as yourself.
* Consulting firms know that don't really have to recruit for maintenance
positions therefore they hire people for these type of positions through
* Companies only advertise IT positions they think we will be hard to fill.
>I know that companies need people with those skills - we've hired several
>just like that in the past. I don't know how the position was worded, but
>these people have had similar skills as myself. They've been good solid
>IT workers - not superstars with amazing and unique skills - and they have
>for the most part been very loyal and stayed here for several years.
I am assuming that your company has several large outsourcing contracts.
You could ask those individuals you mentioned how they got hired by your
employer at your next branch meeting. You could also do some research and
find out which consulting firms have a lot of outsourcing contracts. Once
you have indentified these companies you can send them a cover letter and
>It almost seems like I'd be better off getting an entry-level position >where
I would not be expected to be an expert on a particular platform or >language.
I'm sure that with my experience and skills that I would do >well with an
opportunity like that. But, I cannot take a position at an >entry-level
salary, and I'm sure I would hear the word "overqualified" >quite a bit.
Yes, I think you would hear the word "overqualifed" quite a bit. This word
can mean many things such as "too expensive".
>So, how exactly should I approach this possible job search? I'm not in
>position where I have to change jobs, and I'd rather not have to devote
>huge amount of time or effort. Not that I'm lazy, it's just that I have
>a job plus a family. Also, I really didn't have to work hard at all to
>get interviews and offerings out college. Back then the thing I kept >hearing
that employers were looking for was "experience", and now I have >me some
of that "experience", so I would expect that things should be >somewhat easier.
From a technology perspective, what are strongest skills? Is it COBOL and
mainframe development? If so, you should be able to find a local contract
or a full-time job with very little effort on your part. My question to you
is this -- will it be worth it? Just because you might be able to find another
job doesn't mean that you will be earning anymore money or that the grass
will any greener than where it is now.
>I hear of some people who send out thousands of resumes with no >interest,
and I hear of some people who send out one and get a better >job. I'd rather
my search be like the latter example.
I think everyone would like to be in the latter group.
>Any advice and words of encouragement (or admonishment) are welcome.
----- My advice -----
I would re-post your question all over the web just to get some different
perspectives. You might want to try asktheheadhunter.com, as well as, sending
a few emails to syndicated careers columnists.
Make sure to carefully read Elena's post to you. She is a lot wiser than
she probably thinks she is.
Re: General job search question
>>Make sure to carefully read Elena's post to you. She is a lot wiser than
she probably thinks she is.<<
Oh My Goodness! My face is so red!
Interesting analysis of why companies do what they do, THoskins. I think
the comments on how maintenance work is valued, the "hot skill" game and
the importance of networking are right on. As well as the idiotic insistence
on a precise buzzword match before interviewing. ("Fred quit! We need another
Fred! What does Fred know? Fred knows X, Y and Z. Therefore, we need someone
with X, Y and Z.")
Re: General job search question
>Interesting analysis of why companies do what they do, THoskins. I think
>the comments on how maintenance work is valued, the "hot skill" game and
>the importance of networking are right on. As well as the idiotic >insistence
on a precise buzzword match before interviewing. ("Fred quit! >We need another.
Fred! What does Fred know? Fred knows X, Y and Z. >Therefore, we need someone
with X, Y and Z.")
Well, my analysis was really pretty simplistic. There are many sides to any
story. For example, the guy who runs asktheheadhunter.com has a different
take on why there is so much "buzzword matching before interviewing" going
on. From what I have read on his site -- he seems to blame incompetent Project
Managers for the buzzword matching problem.
Personally, I wish networking wasn't "the way" most techies obtain a full-time
job. The problem I have with networking is that most of us techies don't
interact in the same manner as many other professionals types do.
Maybe the Internet may someday reduce the importance of networking? I hope
so. Job boards certainly will never be the answer though. Job boards are
simply -- a cheaper and sometimes more effective -- alternative to newspaper
Re: General job search question
I thank you both for your advice. It makes me miss the good ol' days of college,
where the employers came to ME and they had no strict expectations of what
I knew or could do - they just expected me to be able to step in and learn
and contribute. And now that I have "experience", I should be able to step
in and learn and contribute more quickly, while avoiding many of the mistakes
that a young developer makes. Nothing against young developers, but I've
made mistakes and learned from them, as well as learned from the mistakes
The main reason my thoughts are wandering towards leaving my current job
is that I'm getting tired of being a number, or unit, or whatever you want
to call it. I currently work on a very large system, and it could take years
to get to where I am a key person, if I even have the ability to get there.
Right now I am just one of many developers, and my ego is not getting fed
as much as I would like. I've also been on smaller projects, and the people
on those are also ignored. The only way to make it technically is to be
a big fish in a big pond. My personality is more of being a big fish in
a somewhat smaller pond. I guess after 13 years I've just finally recognized
the reality of my situation....
If I look at my situation from a different perspective, like a recruiter
or an HR person or a hiring manager, I can see the difficulty of my situation.
If a company has one position to fill, and it gets 50 resumes, the person
who is screening the resumes will look for a match in skills. This is not
the most effective way of finding a match, but it sure is quicker than interviewing
every single person. A resume does not tell what a person's "soft skills"
are like - personality, confidence, ability to work with the team. But a
resume can be reviewed in a very impersonal manner in a matter of minutes.
There's no way for the screener to tell that I can learn to be productive
very quickly in a certain language by working in the code and reading a good
book. Face it - it's not that difficult for many people to be thrown into
a project with good team members and some existing code and do an outstanding
job. I have personally seen people with no experience in a language such
as C++ outperform people with years of experience. Knowing a language is
one thing; having the good judgement to learn and apply knowledge and work
well with a team and within an existing framework is something else. But
that is a skill that will not come across on a resume; "four years coding
in C++" looks better to most screeners than "three months coding in C++ (but
learns quickly and works well with others)".
I'll step off my soapbox now.... just getting worked up over what I perceive
to be my major stumbling blocks by going the traditional job-searching route....
At least I know quite a few people who could help me. Former co-workers,
neighbors, people from church, parents of my childrens' classmates. I think
I'll start with them and see what may turn up. I may also put my resume
on some of the big boards and send it to some other companies. At least
I'm not desperate. I've heard the horror stories of those who are.
Thanks again for your advice.
Re: General job search question
>>If a company has one position to fill, and it gets 50 resumes
Actually, these days it's much closer to 500.
>I'm getting tired of being a number, or unit, or whatever you want
>to call it . . . The only way to make it technically is to be
>a big fish in a big pond. My personality is more of being a big fish in
>a somewhat smaller pond.
I'm not sure I understand the comment "the only way to make it technically
is to be a big fish in a big pond". What is your definition of "making it"?
Are you referring to money? Career longevity? These things are not necessarily
tied to the size of the company. In fact, I'm starting to think large companies
are the last place I want to go. I've worked in two fortune 50 companies
in the past and these organizations are where this whole "people are commodity
products" concept reigns supreme.
Anyway, you might think seriously about small companies for your next career
move. Now if you derive a lot of satisfaction from walking into a 50-story
glass tower each day, or from working for a big "name brand" outfit, then
perhaps you would not be happy in a smaller organization. There are certainly
pros and cons. This is a choice that depends on your personality more than
anything else. It's just one more thing to consider.
Re: General job search question
>>I'm getting tired of being a number, or unit, or whatever you want
>>to call it . . . The only way to make it technically is to be
>>a big fish in a big pond. My personality is more of being a big fish in
>>a somewhat smaller pond.
>I'm not sure I understand the comment "the only way to make it technically
>is to be a big fish in a big pond". What is your definition of "making
>it"? Are you referring to money? Career longevity? These things are
>not necessarily tied to the size of the company.
What I mean by that comment is that the only way to get any real significant
recognition in my company (salary, bonus, promotion, respect from any manager
above the lowest level) seems to be by being either a manager or a lead developer
on a large project. Being a mid-level developer doesn't cut it, nor does
being a lead developer on a smaller project. While I can certainly understand
this mindset, that doesn't mean that I like it.
>Anyway, you might think seriously about small companies for your next
>career move. Now if you derive a lot of satisfaction from walking into
>50-story glass tower each day, or from working for a big "name brand"
>outfit, then perhaps you would not be happy in a smaller organization.
>There are certainly pros and cons. This is a choice that depends on your
>personality more than anything else. It's just one more thing to
I do agree that a smaller company may meet my needs better. From what I
know, the pay is similar and the benefits may be as good (although benefits
seem to vary widely), plus they may treat people with more respect. I guess
I have some sort of mental block. My father and my wife's father both worked
at the same large corporation in a town of 40,000, so I am used to the concept
of working for the biggest outfit in town. They both retired from that company
after spending their whole careers there, so I am used to the concept of
spending a career at one place. So I have to break free of this mentality
that I have that is keeping me here.
Thanks for all the advice.
Re: General job search question
Your situation sounds a lot like mine two years ago, except I tried to find
a job in a healthy market. I ended up staying put, but I can share some
of my experiences.
I do agree with the "being a unit" observation. A lot of developers want
to stay "technical", which is not entirely the same as being an individual
performer rather than a manager. The more senior people in my group (senior
being a matter of position rather than age) still do a fair amount of coding,
but they do an awful lot of dealing with the customer and other vendors,
leading projects from the technical side, estimating, and high-level design.
This is on the larger types of projects that you mention. Many people don't
want to mess with those tasks - they want to have a task already defined
fairly well to the point they can sit at their desk and design, code, and
unit test it. On smaller projects, the tasks I mentioned are not as difficult
- there are fewer vendors, the estimates are smaller, the designs are not
as difficult - there are just fewer people to deal with, and people are a
lot more difficult variables than technology.
Back to my job search.... I had been maintaining some smaller client/server
and desktop applications for the past nine months. These were developed
in Visual C++ 5.0, Visual Basic 5.0, and Visual Basic 3.0. This was when
VC++ and VB were already well into the 6.0 versions. Prior to that, I had
spent two years with a COBOL system using VSAM files, and prior to that,
a smaller BASIC application running in DOS with flat files. Before that,
more COBOL and some real old stuff, like DBASE III+. I had two goals in
my job search. First, make more money. I was paid decently, but it sure
seemed like the market was higher than where I was. Second, I wanted to
"re-invent" myself from a mainframe developer to a client/server developer.
I put my resume on a few Internet sites, and the phone started ringing off
the hook. It was primarily recruiting firms, of course. They had seen that
I had Visual C++ and Visual Basic, and that piqued their interest. But once
they found out that I did not have a lot of experience with it, many of them
didn't call back. I actually met a few recruiters, who told me I may have
a hard time getting the salary I wanted (a 7K - 12K increase) with my particular
I also sent my resume to a few large companies through their web sites.
I got a short phone interview from one, but that was it. I imagine they
get flooded with resumes, because they seem to be a good place to work, with
decent salaries and stable positions and good benefits.
I had a few short phone interviews, and I ended up with actual interviews
with two companies - one through a recruiter, one where the company found
my resume. With the first company, I do believe I could have gotten the
job. I just wasn't sure I wanted to drive that far to work at a really small
company, so I decided not to pursue it further. With the second company,
I actually had three separate interviews for three separate positions. It
was a large financial firm who was hiring a lot of technical people. I think
the recruiter for that company was overselling me - once I got to the interviews,
I found out that they were looking for a real senior person who had been
using the particular technology for a while. I decided not to pursue any
more interviews with them, even though I think they would eventually have
found a good match for me.
By then I was kinda tired of the whole process, and I could see that it would
be more difficult than I expected to make the change I wanted on my terms.
Plus, I found a good opportunity within my company. Interestingly enough,
they were looking just for people with *any* C++ experience. I joined the
group, and honestly, I have been as strong a C++ coder as just about anyone,
including people with a lot more experience. I've seen some people with
very little coding experience whatsoever do fine, and I've seen a couple
of people with lots of C++ experience fall on their face. One guy in particular
- his resume looked great, he had actually taught C++ before, and he knew
quite a bit about it. But he just could not write a program to solve the
necessary business problems. Plus his code was unnecessarily complex and
hard to maintain. I ended up totally rewriting one of his programs, and
I made it a LOT better. So, that goes to show you that a killer resume does
not necessarily mean that a person will do better on the job than someone
with little relevant experience.
But if you think about the whole interviewing process using examples from
other parts of your life, you can see why the screening process is such a
barrier. When I was getting calls and emails from 20 recruiters a day, I
didn't have time to talk to each of them or meet each of them. I had a job
to do, and I had a wife and kids to spend time with at night. If the phone
rang and it was a recruiter, I would talk with them, but I did not return
all the calls that were left on my voice mail. I may have missed out on
the perfect opportunity by doing that. Also, when we got a new roof on our
house, we talked with four roofers. There were probably several dozen we
could have chosen from, and we may have gotten a better price or better quality.
When we were getting tile in our bathroom, we didn't talk to everyone who
could do it. We didn't look at every pediatrician in the city when we chose
one. Most of the time, for most positions, a company just wants to find
someone who can do the job, and they don't worry about finding the "perfect"
candidate. Now if they're looking for a CEO or other officer, or if they
desperately need someone with a hard-to-find and difficult-to-master skill,
they'll try harder to find the perfect person. But most of the time, they
want to fill the position as quickly and inexpensively as possible. They're
willing to miss out on that "diamond in the rough" - the person who could
develop into the perfect employee - if they can find someone who already
has the skills needed for that position. They don't have the time or money
to extensively interview everyone who applies - they find the people who
best match the criteria and eliminate everyone else. By doing this, obviously
they interview some people who are not a good fit at the expense of some
people who would have been.
Another part of interviewing is the dreaded technical interview. I hated
knowing that my fate could be determined based on how well I answered a question
that may not be relevant. But, they are a way of screening people out, and
they can get rid of unqualified people. And, if you really know your stuff,
they are not that difficult, provided you study a little bit before your
interview. I guess part of my dislike for them was because I really didn't
have a lot of experience to draw upon. I knew the terms - I had the book
knowledge - but I couldn't relate it to actual work I had done. I actually
did very well in most of my VB tech interviews. I did get tripped up on
one because I expected it to be a short phone interview to tell me about
the company and the position, but the interviewer started off by firing off
technical questions, and I just wasn't prepared for that sort of interview.
My C++ tech interview did not go as well because they asked some tough conceptual
questions. I could answer them now, but really it did not mean that I could
not have done the job. In my current position (where I did NOT have to endure
a technical interview), I have done just fine without knowing that stuff
coming in. I have learned it, but being able to learn something is a lot
harder to quantify than actually knowing it.
As of now, I'm fairly satisfied with my current situation. I live only four
miles from work, and I could not work any closer. But I struggle with what
I want to do, and the market is not particularly good right now (externally
Good luck with whatever you decide to do. Based on my experiences, you may
have some struggles, but you may find the perfect job too. Good luck!
Re: General job search question
Thanks for the info. I'm really not looking to re-invent myself by changing
jobs - I'm honestly looking for an employer that values all-around skills.
I have been able to use any technology that I have had to learn, even when
I have no one to learn the technology or the actual application from.
When I think of my ideal position, it always comes down to the smaller-scale
development, where I can support a project from beginning to end, and where
I get some say in the design and platform and architecture, as well as getting
to do a considerable amount of coding. And in my current company, those people
just don't get any of the glory. The projects are huge, and with big projects,
anything can go wrong - budgets, egos, re-organizations, and so on. Plus,
all the work is specialized. You have the architecture team, the design team,
the coding team, the test team, and all the politics that go along with that.
I work better when I am doing all that work myself on a smaller project.
And honestly, a lot of people who thrive on the larger projects just could
not handle the smaller ones, just as some who work better on the smaller
ones do not thrive on the larger projects. I have had plenty of opportunities
to do and observe both, and those who work primarily on smaller projects
just don't get the same recognition. I'm not adverse to politics and dealing
with people. I actually love working with the users of an application to
determine what they need and want it to do, and I enjoy training them on
the end product. On the large projects I have worked on, the direct interaction
with the customers has been missing, and it has been a lot more acrimonious
than what I have experienced on the smaller projects.
I think I'm going to give it a shot and see what happens. I'll make use of
my personal network too, as well as the conventional means. At least I have
no urgency at this time. I've been studying VB.NET and C##, although I haven't
had any opportunity to use them. I'm sure I can learn them as I go along
- I have NEVER had any problem picking up new technology, as it never seems
to be a radical change from anything else I have learned. If I have a good
manual, I feel like I'll be set.
Thanks everyone for the advice.