Thursday, August 26, 2004

I am not Athena.

*Sigh!* I thought, as I hung the phone up on yet another unsuccessful interview:

'Your resume looks great, but the java...?'

In truth, they had a point. My java experience is not great. Pretty well non-existent actually, but it's not from want of trying. The trouble is, how do you gain experience in a skill when you don't get the opportunity to gain experience? Catch 22!

Maybe I should have tried harder 7-8 years ago, when java was first coming into use. The trouble was, back then, the average company had never heard of java. They did C++, or C, or (shudder) VB. And then, things changed. Overnight, it seemed that everyone wanted java. What was more, they wanted three years experience worth. Nothing else would do.

'But... what d'you mean by three years experience? What sort of skills are expected?' I asked one of the agencies filtering out the nonconformists. '...the sort of skill expected of someone with three years experience!' came the reasoned response. They had clearly never heard of circular logic. (or maybe they had...)

The thing that really irks me about all this is that it doesn't actually take much effort to switch languages. I have used C++ for many more than the standard three years and, in the past, I have managed to pick up and run with Object Pascal, Visual Basic, Python, and C#, in a very short time. But, if you don't fit the mould, forget it! (I might add that the company referred to at the start of this little piece did have a need for real java skills, so can't really be faulted here: and I still have faint hopes...).

This has been fulminating for a while, and I have actually got around to publishing an antipattern on the topic (AnAthena). Meantime, I will probably have to be resigned to the fact that I somehow missed the java wave.

... and settle down to wait for the Python one!


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