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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.

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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When You Can’t Compete on Salary: Tech Talent On a Budget

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When trying to hire developers, startups and small companies now find themselves in the unfortunate predicament of having to directly compete with the unlimited resources and mass appeal of market heavyweights like Google and Facebook. New grads are laser-focused on getting jobs with what many call The Big Four, and some grads will land. Most founders and hiring managers know ...

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Counteroffers, Secrecy, and Fear

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Counteroffers are a fairly common occurrence in technology and other competitive job markets, and much of what we think we know about counteroffers seems to originate from agency recruiters. Google counteroffer and we find articles with fear-inducing titles. Check the bylines for these articles and you’ll discover that many are written by recruiters. Some agencies are so bold as to direct ...

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Don’t Make Me Read Your Resume (How to Apply to Jobs)

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I will read your résumé unless it’s 10 pages, but (just as you didn’t want to write your résumé) I really don’t want to read your résumé. To put it another way, I don’t want to read it because I must in order to make a yes/no decision. Ideally, I can decide to speak to you based on a few sentences in the ...

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Would You Hire the CS Class of ’04 Today?

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A comment in a Reddit computer science career advice forum got me thinking. There was mention about the high volume of advice in the forum coming from inexperienced people relative to advice from industry veterans. The comment that got my attention (which I believe was made by an experienced person) was: And most of the people giving advice in this ...

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Recruiter Job Posts, Explained

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Over the years I’ve seen several complaints about the way agency recruiters write job posts, so I thought it might be useful to explain the motivations behind a recruiter’s actions. Job seekers become particularly frustrated by a lack of transparency, and understanding the reasons may benefit recruiter/technologist relations. First, a couple quick definitions. Agency Recruiter – AKA “Headhunter” These recruiters represent ...

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Why You Are Overpaid

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I wrote Why You Make Less Money in early 2013, which attempted to account for the many reasons some technology professionals make less than others with similar qualifications. Underpaying employees (defined as below market rate, which can admittedly be difficult to truly know) will cause problems for both the employee and his/her employer, but overpaying also creates some challenges on both sides ...

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