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[#] Wed Mar 25 2015 13:56:57 EDT from LoanShark

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CIS is a very different major :( especially the B.A. version.

[#] Wed Mar 25 2015 15:28:26 EDT from anonymous

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Very true. Mine is at least a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems.. From a very long time ago. I'm old. Of course I knew how to program before I got to college, which was good, since the programming classes were mostly jokes.

Information Systems is very business and communications heavy.

[#] Wed Mar 25 2015 19:31:42 EDT from triLcat

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Ok, my stepson is majoring in :  
IS&T (Information Science & Technology) that is offered through Temple's Computer and Information Science school.
(Temple University)

What should he be teaching himself on the side so that he'll be able to get a decent job?
He's only a Freshman now, so he has some time, but I see from what you say that a BA isn't going to give him the knowledge necessary to get a job. If there are particular skills he can learn on his own to make him more attractive to future employers, I figure this is the time - when he has more resources available and he isn't in a soul-crushing job.


[#] Thu Mar 26 2015 06:26:54 EDT from dothebart

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hm, last time I had a similar interview I told the girl, that she would have a hard time to walk in a shop and purchase an apple with her current c-knowledge (which her CV also classified as deep)

I was shoutet at by $boss because of she would be such a nice fit for the team and I overdid my competencies.

After wasting 6 months of pay on her, they came to the same conclusion as me and fired her again.

[#] Thu Mar 26 2015 09:15:52 EDT from wizard of aahz

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Tril - Some of it depends on what kind of work he wants to do. If he wants to be involved in systems programming for companies, then the IS degree will give him the business stuff he needs, but he'll need to work on programming skills. Understanding databsaes, transactional programming, etc... If it's other type of work that he wants to do, he'll need to focus there instead.

[#] Thu Mar 26 2015 12:45:31 EDT from LoanShark

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I was shoutet at by $boss because of she would be such a nice fit for
the team and I overdid my competencies.

we keep making the same mistake, it's an industry-wide problem. you can hire good people who can pass skills tests, but then mgmt doesn't want to pay the salary they ask for. or extend the search for the position by 6-18 months...

[#] Thu Mar 26 2015 13:46:09 EDT from LoanShark

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triL- I can't speak to the situation in Israel, but the situation in the US is such that almost anybody can get a development job if they can bluff their way through an interview -
like they are good at the particular problem domain of answering interview questions.

So the problem is not getting the job, the problem is keeping the job and being competent at it.

And the state of the industry is that a lot of marginally competent people keep their jobs.

Ultimately, you can't quite teach competence, but my personal belief is that it comes out of an interest more in the nuts-and-bolts than in the "business" knowledge...

[#] Thu Mar 26 2015 15:43:10 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Er... (looks over resume, sees 'Bachelor of Arts in Computer
Information Systems,' sighs sadly).

I haven't written a resume in 25 years. If I ever have to write one, it would probably *not* enhance my considerably impressive career as an IT Architect by including "Bachelor of Science in Television and Radio Engineering."

Come to think of it, my college education hasn't made a bit of difference in my career.

[#] Thu Mar 26 2015 16:41:58 EDT from fleeb

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We've been more fortunate in our hiring practices, in that the people who manage to survive our interviews and get hired turn out to last a good while. That is, you can't bluff us very easily.

But then, our requirements are a tad different from most, and we can ask certain kinds of questions that do a good job of revealing what you can do.

I wish we could branch a little outside of cyber security, though, and become something like a trade school in software engineering. I think, based on the folks I've met here, that we would kick ass at that.

[#] Thu Mar 26 2015 17:34:20 EDT from LoanShark

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For our last 3 hires or so, I pretty much recused myself from the interview process because I was frustrated with the outcome of previous interviews and I felt that I wasn't contributing to it effectively. Not a good judge of character and all that, and my questions can be too focused on whatever I'm working on at the moment...

One out of those 3 hires was a mistake, so, I probably need to get more involved in the future. We need a written test, for one thing. Java doesn't have pointers but we need our people to demonstrate they can code....

[#] Fri Mar 27 2015 03:13:53 EDT from dothebart

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in my current job I was asked to demonstrate a bit of code I wrote. - Quote - not only setters and getters please ;-)

I used libcitadel strbuf and it was fine.

[#] Fri Mar 27 2015 15:23:44 EDT from fleeb

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Our questions can involve asking what happens with a blob of memory passed to the WriteFile function from the moment you call that function to the moment it gets written to the hard-drive. We don't expect people to know, but it reveals an awful lot about a candidate.

Some candidates just outright say, "I don't know."

Some say, "I don't know, but I think it does this..."

Some try to dodge the question.

So far, nobody could actually tell us the real answer, but again, we don't really expect people to know. But that kind of non-linear approach to evaluating a candidate has been helpful. Unfortunately, it also excludes an awful lot of people, so we have a hard time finding the sort of developers we need.

I was asked a question like that. My response was along the lines of, "Hmm, not sure, but it would almost have to do this..." I knew enough about how operating systems work, in general, to kind of guess at what might be involved, and came reasonably close for a guy who has never had to write a device driver.

[#] Fri Mar 27 2015 15:50:59 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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My answer would be "wtf is WriteFile and why aren't you using a real operating system?"

[#] Sat Mar 28 2015 16:06:08 EDT from triLcat

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Hmmn. I was thinking about specific languages and stuff like that - maybe stuff where he could do an online free course to get at least a passing knowledge. 

I don't think he really knows what he wants to do long-term. He has a couple years, though.

Any career-developing advice for a college freshman?

[#] Mon Mar 30 2015 06:28:29 EDT from fleeb

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We have an analogous question for Linux.


The biggest problem I see in candidates seem to be an inability to think through a problem to find a solution.

College gives book-knowledge, which is useful, but not enough.

So, the best advice I can give to someone getting into this stuff today is to try and get involved in an open-source project. It might not be easy, but if you start with fixing some bugs reported in their tracking system, and work your way towards perhaps implementing features that might be useful in such a project, you'll get real-world knowledge of how to do stuff, and you'll get away from thinking about software in terms of scholastic cookie-cutter problems popped from a can.

Plus, if you get your name out there, you might find yourself with a job doing more work on such projects. You can also point to your work for others to see.

[#] Tue Apr 07 2015 15:30:36 EDT from fleeb

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I've thought of an evil team-building exercise.

Find someone in your office who looks fried, and perhaps not quite aware of his surroundings to some extent. Most developers would do.

Get everyone else in the office to say things like:

"Thank goodness it's Friday."

"I think tomorrow I'll [something you'd only do on the weekend]..."

And so on.

The idea is to convince the person that it's Friday, even when it's Tuesday or something.

This would completely work on me today.

[#] Wed Apr 08 2015 18:19:30 EDT from wizard of aahz

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Fleeb - I think that would work on you almsot any day.

[#] Thu Apr 09 2015 08:22:07 EDT from fleeb

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You are probably right.

[#] Mon Apr 13 2015 15:37:35 EDT from fleeb

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I've been researching products and services offered by Globocorp (r).

I'm rather impressed with their offerings. Knowing these guys are part of International Amalgamated Corporations, Inc., helps assure a standard of quality that is in line with industry standards.

[#] Wed Apr 15 2015 00:17:48 EDT from ax25

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nice, clean, and content free :-)


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