Home » Author Archives: Dave Fecak

Author Archives: Dave Fecak

Dave Fecak
Dave Fecak has been recruiting software engineers for start-ups since 1998 and he has served as the founder and president of the Philadelphia Area Java Users’ Group since 2000. Dave is often cited and published on career topics for technology professionals, and he blogs at JobTipsForGeeks.com.

How Engineers Get Found on LinkedIn (and how to hide)

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There are two types of software engineers on LinkedIn: those aggravated by the large volume and poor content of incoming recruiter email, and those who wonder where all those recruiters are that are offering jobs to friends and co-workers. This post was originally intended solely for the latter group, which is either the minority or just less vocal. But being that I try to write ...

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How I Read a Technical Resume

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I have spent many hours discussing and writing about how résumés are written, but I’ve never shared much regarding the way résumés are read. I’ve reviewed thousands of résumés, and my process has changed with the times. The description here describes how I read a résumé upon arrival in my inbox, with the only decision being whether I will schedule an initial conversation (with me). Disclaimer: This ...

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How to Make More Money (and the plateau)

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Most extended discussions about the technology industry and software engineering trade eventually find their way to the topics of worker supply and demand, talent shortages (real or otherwise), and compensation. Every Best Jobs of The Year list (examples here or here or here or here) features a Top 10 littered with assorted job titles given to those who code, often including salary data that could cause non-technical readers to regret life decisions. New ...

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What Programming Language Should I Learn?

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Several times a week I am asked by a contact/reader/someone on Reddit for advice on what they should learn next. The question comes from both junior and experienced programmers, and has been posed both as open-ended (“What should I learn?“) and multiple choice (“Python or Ruby?“, “Django or Flask?“, “iOS or Android?“, etc.). Unless it is someone I’ve worked with, there is usually little (or no) ...

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Stupid Recruiter Tricks, Vol. 1: “Where are you interviewing?”

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Anyone who has worked with a recruiter has probably been asked “Where else are you interviewing?” or “What other companies have you applied to?“. The question comes from both agency recruiters (‘headhunter‘) representing several hiring firms and internal corporate recruiters hiring only for their company. Candidates are understandably not always willing to answer, and recruiters may stumble to give convincing explanations as to why they want to know. ...

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What I’ve Learned After 15 Years as a Java Group Leader

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After founding the Philadelphia Area Java Users’ Group in 2000 and leading it for 15 years, I’ve decided to resign my post and pass on leadership to someone else. It’s time. At our first meeting in a small and long-forgotten dot com, 35 Java developers came to eat pizza and listen to a presentation on XML and JAXP. Since then we’ve had about ...

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Job Security, Career Stability, and Employability For Startups

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I was recently asked to answer a question on Quora about startups and stability, and as I read some of the other replies I noticed a trend. The question was basically “Would joining a startup be a mistake for someone with the goals of stability and career progression?”. The questioner then defined stability as being able to support a family and have nice things (financial ...

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Career Stagnation – Early Detection and Treatment

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Have you ever been on LinkedIn and stumbled on one of their work anniversary announcements? In case you haven’t, they look something like this: The announcements are generated by LinkedIn and typically followed by a predictable handful of likes, congratulatory words, and positive sentiments. I’m yet to see a comment that generally reflects my knee-jerk reaction to at least some of these posts. Longevity ...

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Why Technical Resumes Need a Profile (because we’re dumb)

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There is significant variation in résumé format across candidates. Name and contact information is always on top, but on any given day a recruiter might see the next section as Education, Skills, Experience, or even (gasp) an Objective. Career length influences which section comes first. Entry-level candidates usually choose Education, while veteran candidates gravitate towards experience and accomplishments. Unfortunately, going from a glance at contact information to dissecting intimate ...

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Using the “Do You Have Any Questions?” Question

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During most interviews, an interviewer provides the candidate the opportunity to ask questions. In most cases the highly-anticipated “Do you have any questions?” question falls towards the end of the session, though some companies today throw candidates a curveball and start the interview this way (consider yourself warned). Many candidates use this invitation to gather information that will be helpful in making a decision on any ...

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