DevX Home    Today's Headlines   Articles Archive   Tip Bank   Forums   

Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: What to do?

  1. #1
    cal Guest

    What to do?


    Hi, I'm posting this to get some of your opinions on what you might do in
    my case.

    Back in 1997, I got laid off from my BBx (business basic)programming position.
    I had been programming in BBx since '87 and I quickly found out I was a
    dinosaur which really didn't come as a surprise to me but with Y2K issues
    having to be resolved I was able to keep my head above water for awhile.


    I had been dabbling with VB3 back then and decided I would pursue it seriously.
    To gain experience with VB I began to volunteer my services and found myself
    with lots of opportunities to apply my learning. The process of learning
    event-driven programming as well as OOP was long and arduous but I persisted.
    With each new release of VB there were new challenges but I figured the
    hard work would eventually pay off. I got my MCSD in November 2001 and now
    have 4 successful projects under my belt (time and attendance, small lending
    library software, charitable receipts, scheduling software). All are basically
    VB front-ends to an Access or SQL Server database that I programmed gratis.

    The problem is when I received my MCSD the tech market had taken a nose dive
    so I have not been able to obtain a response to any of the resumes I've sent
    out. It's probably a combination of the market and perhaps a distrust of
    independent consultants actually 'sticking around' for awhile. With .NET
    out now, my VB skills are not as desirable as they once would have been.
    There is now a long and expensive learning curve for .NET before me. With
    Linux coming on so strong I'm wondering if I should change camps. Seeing
    that Microsoft has made VB obsolete, I have moved from being one or their
    strongest supporters to a disgruntled skeptic leary of trusting them again
    with my career choices.

    The experience I've gained from volunteering has been invaluable but unprofitable.
    I still can pay my rent from the small amount of work I get from the old
    BBx technology BUT I have yet to find a paying VB client. Is there any way
    to leverage this situation? Should I drive cab? :-)

  2. #2
    Elena Guest

    Re: What to do?


    Hi Cal!

    Let me start with a couple of facts as I perceive them (others may disagree.)


    1. A certification without experience is basically useless. There's nothing
    wrong with pursuing them, just don't blow a wad of cash expecting a return
    on your investment.

    2. VB 6 has an enormous installed base. The switchover to .Net will be
    gradual - - taking a couple years I'm guessing.

    3. The job market for IT is about the worst it has ever been in my 24 years
    in this field. Many experienced people have been out of work for months.
    Someone with minimal professional experience (and possibly no 4-year degree?)
    is really going to have a hard time.

    4. I'm not sure about this one, but there may be some real structural changes
    going on in the IT field with more programming jobs going overseas and less
    opportunity in the US. Of course, there has always been some of this in the
    past, but I think the trend is accelerating.

    I commend you on the initiative you've shown so far. Never "trust" any vendor
    to support your career whether it's Sun, Oracle, Microsoft or IBM. But we
    all have to make these technology-path choices since employers insist on
    making their hiring decisions based on narrow jobskill definitions. You can,
    of course, start learning Java and all the related technologies, but again
    you're competing with a sizeable contingent of experienced programmers for
    limited openings. I guess I'd say continue in the technology path that interests
    you. The IT market will always contain a mix of technologies - - neither
    Sun/Java nor MS will ever have exclusive control of the market. Since you
    are more-or-less an entry-level candidate, you can go either way.

    I hate to be Miss Gloom&Doom. It's entirely possible that next year things
    will improve substantially. But realistically, things might be lean for a
    while longer and of course you have to decide how to manage your situation.


    You might consider shifting emphasis somewhat by looking for a job that uses
    technology but is not specifically a "programming" job. Jobs in the Finance/Accounting
    area are heavily based on IT. The marketing people are forever pestering
    us for "data" and data modelling results. Maybe the answer is to broaden
    your search somewhat. You can always go back to a programming focus later
    when the market opens up.

    Best of Luck.

    Elena


    "cal" <willcal@compuserve.com> wrote:
    >
    >Hi, I'm posting this to get some of your opinions on what you might do in
    >my case.
    >
    >Back in 1997, I got laid off from my BBx (business basic)programming position.
    > I had been programming in BBx since '87 and I quickly found out I was a
    >dinosaur which really didn't come as a surprise to me but with Y2K issues
    >having to be resolved I was able to keep my head above water for awhile.
    >
    >
    >I had been dabbling with VB3 back then and decided I would pursue it seriously.
    > To gain experience with VB I began to volunteer my services and found myself
    >with lots of opportunities to apply my learning. The process of learning
    >event-driven programming as well as OOP was long and arduous but I persisted.
    > With each new release of VB there were new challenges but I figured the
    >hard work would eventually pay off. I got my MCSD in November 2001 and

    now
    >have 4 successful projects under my belt (time and attendance, small lending
    >library software, charitable receipts, scheduling software). All are basically
    >VB front-ends to an Access or SQL Server database that I programmed gratis.
    >
    >The problem is when I received my MCSD the tech market had taken a nose

    dive
    >so I have not been able to obtain a response to any of the resumes I've

    sent
    >out. It's probably a combination of the market and perhaps a distrust of
    >independent consultants actually 'sticking around' for awhile. With .NET
    >out now, my VB skills are not as desirable as they once would have been.
    > There is now a long and expensive learning curve for .NET before me. With
    >Linux coming on so strong I'm wondering if I should change camps. Seeing
    >that Microsoft has made VB obsolete, I have moved from being one or their
    >strongest supporters to a disgruntled skeptic leary of trusting them again
    >with my career choices.
    >
    >The experience I've gained from volunteering has been invaluable but unprofitable.
    > I still can pay my rent from the small amount of work I get from the old
    >BBx technology BUT I have yet to find a paying VB client. Is there any

    way
    >to leverage this situation? Should I drive cab? :-)



  3. #3
    MarkN Guest

    Re: What to do?


    Cal,
    I addition to what Elena has said...

    You really need to look beyond VB6. It was a good technology but it is very
    basic in implementing OO. Unless you've gone beyond what VB has to offer,
    there is alot to learn. OOP and OOD is not easy. Most of the time it involves
    thinking abstractly about abstract things. Some standard things like Customer
    and Invoice are pretty easy. There is alot of VB6 code to be maintained
    but I'm not sure there is a whole lot of new development in it. VB.Net is
    not VB6 other than the basic syntax.

    Other things. First, I work for myself. Second, I don't limit myself to
    one contract to protect myself (diversity) which would be very difficult
    if I worked for someone else. Also, I am looking at developing my own products.
    I am looking to use alot of open source tools and APIs to make it easier
    and quicker to develop my product(s). Also partnering with larger organizations
    that provide access to tools and platforms. This is one reason I am using
    Java. IBM has a great (free/cheap) partner program. Combining these things
    allows me to target a platform such as Linux with no more cost than my time
    (ok - my hardware too - but I can test on other platforms without buying
    it). The customer doesn't have to buy an OS or any other thing such as a
    database. So I can actually charge the customer less and make more! But
    if they want to 'feel secure' by using Oracle/DB2/SQL Server instead of MySQL
    they can.

    The bottom line is whether you work for yourself or work for some else you
    need to have something that sets you apart from everyone else. This is the
    same for any job\industry.

    Mark


    "Elena" <egermano@comcast.net> wrote:
    >
    >Hi Cal!
    >
    >Let me start with a couple of facts as I perceive them (others may disagree.)
    >
    >
    >1. A certification without experience is basically useless. There's nothing
    >wrong with pursuing them, just don't blow a wad of cash expecting a return
    >on your investment.
    >
    >2. VB 6 has an enormous installed base. The switchover to .Net will be
    >gradual - - taking a couple years I'm guessing.
    >
    >3. The job market for IT is about the worst it has ever been in my 24 years
    >in this field. Many experienced people have been out of work for months.
    > Someone with minimal professional experience (and possibly no 4-year degree?)
    >is really going to have a hard time.
    >
    >4. I'm not sure about this one, but there may be some real structural changes
    >going on in the IT field with more programming jobs going overseas and less
    >opportunity in the US. Of course, there has always been some of this in

    the
    >past, but I think the trend is accelerating.
    >
    >I commend you on the initiative you've shown so far. Never "trust" any

    vendor
    >to support your career whether it's Sun, Oracle, Microsoft or IBM. But

    we
    >all have to make these technology-path choices since employers insist on
    >making their hiring decisions based on narrow jobskill definitions. You

    can,
    >of course, start learning Java and all the related technologies, but again
    >you're competing with a sizeable contingent of experienced programmers for
    >limited openings. I guess I'd say continue in the technology path that

    interests
    >you. The IT market will always contain a mix of technologies - - neither
    >Sun/Java nor MS will ever have exclusive control of the market. Since you
    >are more-or-less an entry-level candidate, you can go either way.
    >
    >I hate to be Miss Gloom&Doom. It's entirely possible that next year things
    >will improve substantially. But realistically, things might be lean for

    a
    >while longer and of course you have to decide how to manage your situation.
    >
    >
    >You might consider shifting emphasis somewhat by looking for a job that

    uses
    >technology but is not specifically a "programming" job. Jobs in the Finance/Accounting
    >area are heavily based on IT. The marketing people are forever pestering
    >us for "data" and data modelling results. Maybe the answer is to broaden
    >your search somewhat. You can always go back to a programming focus later
    >when the market opens up.
    >
    >Best of Luck.
    >
    >Elena
    >
    >
    >"cal" <willcal@compuserve.com> wrote:
    >>
    >>Hi, I'm posting this to get some of your opinions on what you might do

    in
    >>my case.
    >>
    >>Back in 1997, I got laid off from my BBx (business basic)programming position.
    >> I had been programming in BBx since '87 and I quickly found out I was

    a
    >>dinosaur which really didn't come as a surprise to me but with Y2K issues
    >>having to be resolved I was able to keep my head above water for awhile.
    >>
    >>
    >>I had been dabbling with VB3 back then and decided I would pursue it seriously.
    >> To gain experience with VB I began to volunteer my services and found

    myself
    >>with lots of opportunities to apply my learning. The process of learning
    >>event-driven programming as well as OOP was long and arduous but I persisted.
    >> With each new release of VB there were new challenges but I figured the
    >>hard work would eventually pay off. I got my MCSD in November 2001 and

    >now
    >>have 4 successful projects under my belt (time and attendance, small lending
    >>library software, charitable receipts, scheduling software). All are basically
    >>VB front-ends to an Access or SQL Server database that I programmed gratis.
    >>
    >>The problem is when I received my MCSD the tech market had taken a nose

    >dive
    >>so I have not been able to obtain a response to any of the resumes I've

    >sent
    >>out. It's probably a combination of the market and perhaps a distrust

    of
    >>independent consultants actually 'sticking around' for awhile. With .NET
    >>out now, my VB skills are not as desirable as they once would have been.
    >> There is now a long and expensive learning curve for .NET before me.

    With
    >>Linux coming on so strong I'm wondering if I should change camps. Seeing
    >>that Microsoft has made VB obsolete, I have moved from being one or their
    >>strongest supporters to a disgruntled skeptic leary of trusting them again
    >>with my career choices.
    >>
    >>The experience I've gained from volunteering has been invaluable but unprofitable.
    >> I still can pay my rent from the small amount of work I get from the old
    >>BBx technology BUT I have yet to find a paying VB client. Is there any

    >way
    >>to leverage this situation? Should I drive cab? :-)

    >



  4. #4
    Cal Guest

    Re: What to do?


    "MarkN" <m@N.com> wrote:
    >
    >Cal,
    > I addition to what Elena has said...
    >
    >You really need to look beyond VB6. It was a good technology but it is

    very
    >basic in implementing OO. Unless you've gone beyond what VB has to offer,
    >there is alot to learn. OOP and OOD is not easy. Most of the time it involves
    >thinking abstractly about abstract things. Some standard things like Customer
    >and Invoice are pretty easy. There is alot of VB6 code to be maintained
    >but I'm not sure there is a whole lot of new development in it. VB.Net

    is
    >not VB6 other than the basic syntax.
    >
    >Other things. First, I work for myself. Second, I don't limit myself to
    >one contract to protect myself (diversity) which would be very difficult
    >if I worked for someone else. Also, I am looking at developing my own products.
    > I am looking to use alot of open source tools and APIs to make it easier
    >and quicker to develop my product(s). Also partnering with larger organizations
    >that provide access to tools and platforms. This is one reason I am using
    >Java. IBM has a great (free/cheap) partner program. Combining these things
    >allows me to target a platform such as Linux with no more cost than my time
    >(ok - my hardware too - but I can test on other platforms without buying
    >it). The customer doesn't have to buy an OS or any other thing such as

    a
    >database. So I can actually charge the customer less and make more! But
    >if they want to 'feel secure' by using Oracle/DB2/SQL Server instead of

    MySQL
    >they can.
    >
    >The bottom line is whether you work for yourself or work for some else you
    >need to have something that sets you apart from everyone else. This is

    the
    >same for any job\industry.
    >
    >Mark
    >
    >

    Thanks Elena and Mark for your responses and taking the time to offer your
    opinions, I appreciate it! After browsing the forum here I can see that
    the industry is in greater dire straits than I thought it was.

    I have spent a great deal of time studying and applying OOP. In fact, for
    enterprise solutions I only use OOP in my apps. I even have used an OO approach
    to a database solution based on an article in VBPJ.

    But I liked your response about Linux, Mark. I actually had one opportunity
    in NYC from someone I had done some volunteer work on the coast for. That's
    why I had done so much volunteer work hoping for a spin-off of some type.
    Anyway, they had moved to NY and found that the business they were in could
    use the same type of software that I had developed for them. They flew me
    to NY and I did a needs assessment for them. They actually used a Linux/Samba
    network and I found that an Access database worked just fine sitting on the
    Linux box (they use MS workstations). Anyway, they liked my proposal and
    when I left it looked like I had finally found an opportunity. But since
    then, my 'supporter' has resigned over some other office politics and hence,
    so did the project. But it had opened my eyes to the Linux platform.

    I don't know how it will work out, but thankfully, I have an understanding
    wife that can see how crazy this business is. It's either get out now, or
    in for a penny in for a pound!

    Thanks, again!

    Cal


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
HTML5 Development Center
 
 
FAQ
Latest Articles
Java
.NET
XML
Database
Enterprise
Questions? Contact us.
C++
Web Development
Wireless
Latest Tips
Open Source


   Development Centers

   -- Android Development Center
   -- Cloud Development Project Center
   -- HTML5 Development Center
   -- Windows Mobile Development Center