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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.

But I’m negotiable

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I review many emailed job applications each week that include a salary expectation, usually in the form of “seeking $X,000 per year“. Some continue with a phrase that has become trite, not to mention quite costly to job seekers everywhere. “but I’m negotiable” What these candidates are telling us is “I have a target number, but I want you to know in advance that I’m willing to accept less.“ This phrase is ...

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How to Evaluate Job Offers

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At some point in a career, many will be in a position to decide between multiple job offers from different companies – or at worst having to decide between accepting a new job or staying put. When starting to compare offers, it is common for the recipient to focus on the known quantities (i.e. salary, bonus, etc.) and perhaps a couple additional details that are generally ...

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So You Want to Use a Recruiter Part III – Warnings

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This is the final installment in a three-part series to inform job seekers about working with a recruiter. Part I was “Recruit Your Recruiter” and Part II was “Establishing Boundaries”  In Part II, I alluded to systemic conditions inherent to contingency recruiting that can incentivize bad behavior. Before proceeding with warnings about recruiters, let’s provide some context as to why some recruiters behave the way they ...

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So You Want to Use a Recruiter Part II – Establishing Boundaries

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This is the second in a three-part series to inform job seekers about working with a recruiter. Part I was “Recruit Your Recruiter” and Part III is “Warnings” Once you have identified the recruiter(s) you are going to use in your job search, it is ideal to immediately gather information from the recruiter (and provide some instructions to the recruiter) so expectations and boundaries are ...

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So You Want to Use A Recruiter Part I – Recruit Your Recruiter

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This is the first in a three-part series to inform job seekers about working with a recruiter. Part II is “Establishing Boundaries” and Part III is “Warnings” This week I read an unusually high number of articles (and the comments!) about recruiting. Although most of the discussion quickly turns to harsh criticism, there are always a few people wondering the best ways to find ...

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How I Learned To Appreciate Job Hoppers

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The possibility of being labeled a job hopper is still a concern for many in the technology world. This fear is often unreasonable and is primarily a function of traditional and antiquated employment concepts being extended into an economy where they likely don’t belong. In other words, don’t take career advice from your parents. When I first started recruiting software engineers during the late 90′s ...

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How Ben Accidentally Became a Developer

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In early April I received a message from Ben, delivered to my Reddit account. I’ve been reading /r/resumes for, well, the whole time I’ve been actively looking for another job. I’ve noticed your comments on other posts and respect your opinion. Even though I’m not a “programmer” per se, I do enjoy reading your site and appreciate the time you take ...

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How to Level Up

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I regularly hear from and read about technologists in a career rut. Unless one is both lucky and adept at predicting the future, experiencing some temporary stall can happen to professionals at any career stage. It may be the feeling of being stuck in an unchallenging role, feeling burdened by an undesirable skill set, or trapped in a company that seems difficult to escape. Career stagnation in technology could be defined as a prolonged ...

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Why Hire Older Engineers

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Another day, another article about age and technology. The comments of these articles usually escalate into some generational war played out with mythology and anecdotes regarding relative energy levels and productivity, work hours, the value of experience, and general competence. These discussions usually make no progress, while some useful topics are ignored.   As someone who has been around programmers (and ran a ...

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How To Succeed in Software Without a CS Degree

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This week I was approached by two individuals seeking advice on finding employment in a programming capacity, yet both lacked the traditional standard requirement for entry-level positions – the BS in CS (‘BSCS’). I get asked about entering the industry often, and each scenario has a unique wrinkle. The most recent candidates were a fresh Ivy League liberal arts grad ...

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