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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.

Rethink Career Path

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The baby boomer generation probably helped define the image of career path and trajectory for many Gen X and Millennials that followed.  It was incredibly common for the baby boomer to remain with one company for their entire career, possibly move up the proverbial corporate ladder, and retire with a pension. The typical baby boomer’s lifespan may have looked like ...

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When To Leave Your Programming Job

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I am often approached by programmers that are thinking about leaving their job but want to discuss to see if they are making a wise move.  These conversations are quite sensitive in nature and I do not take them lightly, as the decision is rarely easy to make and will have a lasting impact on the programmer’s career and livelihood. ...

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Alternative Jobs For Bored Web/App Developers

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I’ve recently seen a spate of engineers declaring boredom and/or dissatisfaction with their current roles and responsibilities, which leads them to openly question what options are available.  Perhaps building accounting software products or maintaining the web presence of an insurance firm just isn’t inspiring you to get out of bed anymore.  This problem isn’t unique to the software industry (and ...

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The Dangers of Book Learning

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Today’s software professional is under constant pressure to maintain a high skill level with an ever-changing palette of languages and tools, and the fear of potentially becoming somewhat irrelevant can be daunting.  Those that do not keep up with industry trends and movements are at some risk of losing marketability, but even those that do closely follow tech news need ...

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Indicators of Talent (and Heuristics) for Software Engineers

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A recent Hacker News post by a man named Andrew was voted to the front page and received over 50 comments (as of my post).  The post was called Ask HN:  Would you hire me?, and Andrew specified that he was talking about a junior level position. He provided the following details about himself: 28 years old with a Finance ...

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Why You Make Less Money

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Have you ever had a conversation with a fellow technologist that you felt wasn’t quite at your skill level, and at some point you discovered that she/he makes $20,000 more than you do? $50,000? As someone who has had a great deal of access to the salary and compensation details for thousands of software engineers over many years, I can ...

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Why You Scared Off the Ninja

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The saying goes you never get a second chance to make a first impression, and it is well-documented that this is never more true than in the effort to hire great technical talent. Complaints about the interview practices of some companies and anecdotes about how recruiters make foolish approaches are quite popular reads lately. As someone in the hiring business, ...

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Enterprisey Developers, Acronyms, and Discrimination

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Over the past few years my clientele shifted from a mix of mostly mid-market companies and a few startups to almost entirely startups, and that shift has resulted in a wider palette of languages requested by clients. Where my business was about 95% Java for the first 10+ years of my career, today it is closer to 25%. As I’ve ...

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A Guide To Lifelong Employability For Tech Pros

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There seem to be a rash of “Am I Unemployable?” posts and comments lately on sites that I frequent, and after reading details the answer in my head is usually “Not quite, but sounds like you are getting there“. In other words, someone will hire you for something, but many who assess themselves as unemployable are going to feel both ...

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