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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 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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How and Why to Backdoor Into Jobs

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When I read anecdotes from frustrated job seekers in the tech industry, they usually start out the same way. “I applied to dozens of jobs but I am not getting any response.” Sometimes the low response is warranted due to lack of qualifications or less obvious factors, but often the problem is simply that the job seeker never got access ...

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Hiring Indicators, OSS, and the Value of GitHub

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As someone who writes about tech hiring and who has also encouraged many to participate in open source and establish a GitHub presence, a recent article caught my eye. Why GitHub is Not Your CV ¹ by James Coglan was partly inspired by another article, The Ethics of Unpaid Labor and the OSS Community by Ashe Dryden. Both articles are well-written and if you evaluate ...

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Why Your Resume is 10 Pages

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Even though there are hundreds of articles professing the beauty and efficiency of the one page résumé, not a day passes where I don’t see a five pager. The issue of length has even surfaced amongst college undergrads applying for internships, who seem to have increasing difficulty trimming their list of accomplishments and experiences into a single page (really). This ...

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