On Sat, 28 Apr 2012 07:36:03 -0400, Jerry wrote:
> On Sat, 28 Apr 2012 07:41:18 +0200
> Polytropon articulated:
> >On Fri, 27 Apr 2012 16:46:52 -0400, Jerry wrote:
> >> On Fri, 27 Apr 2012 13:58:40 -0600
> >> Chad Perrin articulated:
> >> >On Fri, Apr 27, 2012 at 01:57:10PM -0400, Jerry wrote:
> >> >> On Fri, 27 Apr 2012 10:32:24 -0600 Chad Perrin articulated:
> >> >> >On Thu, Apr 26, 2012 at 06:43:06PM -0400, Jerry wrote:
> >> >> >> On Thu, 26 Apr 2012 15:52:56 -0600 Chad Perrin articulated:
> >> >> >> >On Thu, Apr 26, 2012 at 02:45:53PM -0700, David Brodbeck
> >> >> >> >wrote:
> >> >> >> >>
> >> >> >> >> Generic skills aren't recognized because they're hard to
> >> >> >> >> judge and test for. People want quantifiable, objective
> >> >> >> >> things to weed out applicants. This is also why credit
> >> >> >> >> scoring has become so popular -- sure, someone's credit
> >> >> >> >> score may not tell whether they'd be a good employee or
> >> >> >> >> not, but it's a convenient, objective way to throw out a
> >> >> >> >> bunch of resumes.
> >> >> >> >
> >> >> >> >Indeed -- and the employer who bucks this trend does him/her
> >> >> >> >self a huge service, because large numbers of very skilled
> >> >> >> >and/or talented people are being rejected on entirely
> >> >> >> >arbitrary criteria that have little or no correlation to
> >> >> >> >their ability to do the job. People who use such critera are
> >> >> >> >forcing themselves to compete with everyone else in the
> >> >> >> >industry using the same criteria, leaving a glut of job
> >> >> >> >candidates who would be great at the job waiting for someone
> >> >> >> >else to give them a chance.
> >> >> >>
> >> >> >> Wouldn't it be far easier for this "glut of job applicants" to
> >> >> >> either become proficient in the skills stated in the job
> >> >> >> description for which they are applying or do what everyone
> >> >> >> else does; i.e. lie on their résumé. If the mountain will not
> >> >> >> come to Mahomet, Mahomet must go to the mountain.
> >> >> >
> >> >> >1. Pretty much every employer has a slightly different list of
> >> >> >keywords. I guess you think all these job candidates should learn
> >> >> >every skill in the world.
> >> >>
> >> >> No, I think they should learn the one(s) most sought after in
> >> >> their chosen field. If 90% of the potential openings in a
> >> >> specific field are requesting proficiency with MS Word, what do
> >> >> you think any legitimate applicants should become proficient in?
> >> >
> >> >Right -- because all the keywords you need will always be Microsoft
> >> >Word.
> >> >
> >> >Admit it: you're just making up half-baked excuses to disagree now.
> >> If the requirement is for proficiency in MS Word, Excel or whatever
> >> and you lack those skills then you are not qualified for the job.
> >> Period.
> >There are two problems "hidden":
> >1. You typically cannot learn proprietary products for free.
> >Of course there are books and online material to help you, but
> >you cannot try the software. You have to buy it, and you have
> >to buy the OS that supports it. There is no (legal) way for
> >autodidacts to make theirselves familiar by "learning and doing".
> Irrelevant. You cannot learn to be a doctor, lawyer, physicist,
> etcetera sans an education. Unless you have managed to acquire a "free
> ride", i.e. you are getting the education on someone elses dime, you
> will need to pay. Quite frankly Poly, I would have expected a better
> argument from you than that. It was really quite bogus.
> >2. There are many different versions, so when you encounter
> >"Microsoft Word" as a required skill, you cannot be sure that
> >the skill _you_ have will be the right one. You know that
> >products like "Word" differ from version to version. And of
> >course they highly differ from established and standardized
> >ways of doing things, so your generic knowledge (e. g. acquired
> >by "learning and doing" OpenOffice or StarOffice or Abiword)
> >isn't fully portable simply because of the arbitraryness of how
> >"Word" does things.
> "arbitraryness" [sic} is one way of describing it. Since MS Office is
> the de facto standard it can be stated that the other entries in the
> word processing field are guilty of arbitrariness in their approach to
> the matter.
I don't agree here. The history in UI and behavioural changes
in prograns like "Word" made whole generations of its users
nearly completely RE-learn what they already could do before,
worse or better. During the many versions things massively
changed, and there is no _the_ "Word" version you find un
Putting formatting options into the File menu is one of such
things that I call arbitrary, because logic dictates that it
would be expected to be where the other formatting options
(typeface, selection, paragraph -> page) are found. Something
similar can be seen for visualisation settings: some of them
are in View, some other aren't.
Standard (at least in my idealized opinion) also includes
file formats. Instead of memory dump blobs, programs like
OpenOffice use a publically documented format which makes
it easy to implement "output processors" for OO-files without
> For the record, would you please point me to the RFC that
> gives the requirements for a word processor. I must have missed it
> somewhere. By the way, have you noticed that StarOffice, OpenOffice nor
> Abiword all work exactly the same either? Are they guilty of
> Come to think about it, FreeBSD does not work the same as Ubuntu or
Of course, they are different operating systems, even though
they share many similarities inherited from UNIX tradition.
This is where generic skills enter the stage: They enable you
to find your way around AIX or IRIX even if your previous
experiences cover only Linux.
> In fact, none of them work exactly the same.
That's not a problem for someone who can deal with the
differences by using the analogies. :-)
> Quick Poly, call
> the "Arbitrariness Police?. This must be nipped in the bud immediately.
I fully agree, I've experienced the "let's put this file somewhere
into that stupidly named subtree and expect administrators to
find it" attitude you sometimes find in Linux land. :-)
> >> If those skills are the ones most requested then the applicant should
> >> learn them. It doesn't get any simpler than that.
> >I fully agree with you here. If the employer is _precise_ on what
> >he expects, you can "trim" your resume or your skill profile to
> >make a good match. You can even acquire requested skills (if
> >possible). However, at least on the german job market you won't
> >find such situations. As I wrote in a previous message, externalized
> >HR services do most of the pre-employment work, and they are not
> >very specific in their application requirements they publish.
> >"Programmer" and "Office" can mean anything.
> Absolutely, except I am not sure about "trimming". Unless the entry was
> counter to the job requirements, I would leave it in. The "shock & awe"
> concept of feeding the interviewer more data than they will have
> time to digest can work to your advantage.
Attention, that _might_ (depending on viewer!) make the
applicant appear as "over-qualified", which has also become
a reason for rejection. "He knows too much!"
If the employer exactly and precisely states _what_ he
expects, you have many chances to make your resume or
CV appear fitting precisely.
> >> If a job required
> >> proficiency with 3+ years minimum experience in c++ and you only had
> >> knowledge of Pascal, would you still believe you were qualified?
> >Depends. If your intelligency is high enough, your ability to
> >learn and to conclude is good, then maybe you have the chance
> >to learn the required C++ skills that are _equivalent_ to 3+
> >years of experience. But that's only an assumption, and you will
> >face the problem that you cannot "prove" it (by shiny paper
> >with signature and rubber stamp).
> Honestly Poly, you lost me there. It is probably a language problem.
I wanted to use a picture here. Many HR services require you
to append your "certificates and proofs of experience and
knowledge", which are tyically diploma printed on shiny
paper, colorful, with a signature of some important and
omnipotent reviewer, and a rubber stamp of an organisation
or company that is totally free of any fail. If you have
many of those certificates, you become "valuable", even
if those certificates are worthless, i. e. they claim you
have knowledge that you in fact don't have. This may not
be visible in the application, but _might_ become obvious
at performing at the real job.
The "shiny papers" are the things you typically can see
on a "wall of fame" behind an important person in his chair:
a wall full of certificates. They look impressive, I admit.
But what do they say? Highly debatable.
> >Again, I fully agree with you. "Selling yourself" on the HR market
> >includes the typical aspects of selling you'll find in consumer
> >products. For example, in marketing... let's say a tablet, the
> >manufacturer doesn't say you cannot remove the battery (which will
> >be flat line after 1 year of use), and the device will be unsupported
> >after 2 years of use; no, the manufacturer will only show positive
> >aspects of the tablet: it's shiny, slim, lightweight, entertaining
> >and so on. He will also exxagerate, e. g. it's the world's most
> >popular, future-proof, revolutionary and so on.
> "Selling Yourself" is always important, as you stated. You only get one
> chance to make a good first impression.
Correct. People have the habit of judging uneducatedly and
"out of the stomach", so the first impression is the most
important one, even if it's _not_. However, it's hard to
predict how your counterpart will judge because... well,
people are different.
> >Employers often have strange expectations. I also wrote that
> >some of them, because a "shortage of skilled programmers",
> >suddenly want the "geek" (who trained himself lots of programming
> >languages and development methods in his free time), but they
> >want him to have certificates and university degrees. Reality
> >shows that the _really_, I mean ***REALLY*** good programmers
> >often don't have any degrees at all, sometimes even no professional
> >education! Those promising candidates drop out at the beginning if
> >they don't "improve" their CV or resume. It's the only chance they
> >can turn their knowledge and experience into money (by being
> >employed by a boss who _recognizes_ what he can get). Needless
> >to say that such skills aren't taught in schools, universities,
> >professional education and IT courses. You can only teach them
> >to yourself.
> True, Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard. Obviously, that never slowed
> him down.
Many inventors and successful persons (in business or in
R&D) seem to have an "atypical career". Maybe this is because
the normal (means: average) way of living a life with a
predefined course of education and work does not fit those
extraordinaty (means: non-average) persons, or, _they_ don't
fit into that pattern. As always in social processes: "If
you don't play according to the rules, YOOOOU'RE OUT!" And
the only thing left is a "non-average" life which can be
of success (if you know how to manipulate "the significant
others" - no negative connotation here), or you become their
victim, which leads to a sad life and early death (or endless
> Interestingly enough, Microsoft requires applicants to have a
> degree(s) for it's various openings. In any case, to quote you, a
> "***REALLY***" good programmer would have job experience. Without a
> degree and sans job experience, I would seriously question his
Depends on what you call a good programmer. I know that you
know that programming is more than coding. Today, management
skills, group-orientation and other "side aspects" do matter.
Many of them can only be experienced during work in form of
a regular employment.
> Lets look at it from this point of view. If I advertise
> for a job opening, lets call it "XYZ", and you apply for said job,
> sans any degree(s), certificates of certification or job experience in
> said field, what, and please be honest now, do you think the odds of
> you getting hired are? Very few companies are doing the OJT (On Job
> Training) thing these days, although the associates or candidates
> programs are alive and well.
The problem is: Most jobs aren't the same. You nearly always
need to train the new guys. You can't expect them to know your
company procedures and internal standards.
Being _fixated_ on certificates, many skilled programmers
slip out of scope. As I said, it's possible to "buy a certificate"
no matter if the knowledge certified is really present. It's
also important to judge "established certificates" from
"joke certificates" which are seen as a DISqualification
if you happen to have one of them.