Thursday, January 15, 2009

On the plus side, the economic collapse has done wonders for my traffic numbers

I usually post on a substantially delayed schedule, to preserve anonymity. Of course, there's some topical things that simply doesn't work for, and the economy is one of them. Of course, I haven't had much to say on it for the past three months, but shhh.

So here's my impression of the job market I'm facing: SDET contractors are still okay. According to my inside source, the number of contracts coming in is normal for the year, although more people are coming to my relatively well off metro area to compete for these jobs. I'm still getting harassed by agencies desperate for a good SDET. So my hypothesis that contractors are

The employees that have jobs aren't doing much better. Benefits have taken a massive cut, and payroll deductions are on the table. My salary has stayed exactly the same.

As for developers, I just don't know. My best source is a co-worker who loudly proclaims that there are no jobs to be had, one just has to sit in the mud and wait for the economy to recover. She's a nice person, but I get the feeling she has higher self esteem than her performance warrants. She's been laid off four times, the longest of those lasted a year (after the tech bubble popped). So we'll call that "no information." If anyone has a story to share, feel free.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Lies my recruiter told me: really, actually lies

Long ago I wrote that it was best not to indicate one had a long term career goal during an interview, because employers don't want to be your stepping stone. This is bullshit. Or rather, it may be true that they don't want to be a stepping stone, but they really don't want to hire an idiot with no ability to plan for their own future. I have heard this from multiple people with hiring influence at multiple companies. My new advice is as follows:

  1. Indicate that you have a plan, if not a goal. It's okay if that plan is "learn more about industry X and discipline Y and reevaluate in 3 years."
  2. Your plan should not be set in stone.
  3. Goals are okay too, with the same caveat that they should not be set in stone.
  4. The plan you give should have a space for the job you're applying for.