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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.

The Stigma of Tech Certifications (and their real value)

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Every so often I will receive a résumé from a software engineer that includes a list of technical certifications. These days most candidates tend to have none listed, but over the years I’ve seen some include anywhere from one or two certs up to ten or more certs, and it seems the number of companies willing to certify tech professionals ...

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Tips To Overcome Ageism In Hiring As a Software Professional

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As a recruiter who is about to celebrate (as if recruiters celebrate such a thing) mark fifteen years in the technology industry, I am starting to see that many of the contacts I made back in the late 90?s are now having some concerns about ageism during a job search. Any failed interview for older software professionals may cause a ...

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What If We … Like We Hire Programmers – What Questions Are Appropriate?

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Programmers often experience a high degree of frustration during the interview process, and one primary source of annoyance is how the programmer perceives the line of questioning or exercises. In a buyer’s market where supply exceeds demand, hiring managers will often be a bit more selective in evaluating candidates, and talent evaluators may request or require more specific skill-sets than ...

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How to Hire Geeks, Brand Your Shop, and Beat the “Talent Shortage”

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As a recruiter of software engineers, I hear every day how difficult it is for software companies to find technical talent. If hiring engineers was easy, I wouldn’t be in business. Using a recruiter is one way to have qualified potential employees neatly packaged and delivered, but there are several other strategies that forward-thinking firms can implement to differentiate themselves ...

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Interview Prep For Geeks

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Failing an interview due to a lack of qualifications is forgivable, but it is tragic when highly qualified candidates do not get an offer due to being unprepared. With the amount of information freely available today, the time and effort required to prepare for an interview is extremely low and a relatively small investment to make in your career. Typically ...

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Things Great Engineers (almost) Never Say

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My job as a recruiter of software engineers and my 12 years as a user group leader have provided me the opportunity to speak with many talented technologists since entering the business in 1998, and through my interactions I’ve been able to notice several behavioral patterns shared by those that are considered to be the most skilled. To develop a ...

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Disrupt Tech Recruiting II – So You Want Ari Gold?

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After publishing How to Disrupt Technical Recruiting – Hire an Agent and reading the subsequent feedback from readers at Hacker News and elsewhere, it is clear that at least some subset of engineers believe two things: The technical recruiting industry is at times remarkably flawed, and the financial incentives inherent to the system will not always lead a recruiter to ...

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How To Disrupt Technical Recruiting – Hire an Agent

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A recent anti-recruiter rant posted to a news group and a subsequent commentary on HackerNews got me thinking about the many ways that tech recruiting and the relationship between recruiters and the tech community is broken. I saw a few comments referencing that the community always says how broken it is, but no one tries to fix it. Here are ...

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TALK! It’s An Interview, Not An Interrogation

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Several times a year I will get a call or email from a hiring manager telling me that an interview never really ‘went anywhere’ because the candidate seemed either unwilling or unable to dive very deep into technical topics. It can be impossible for an interviewer to accurately gauge whether the cause was a lack of tech skills or just ...

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How Hackers Choose Tools

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Recently, a 2001 blog post with the title Java’s Cover written by Paul Graham (of Y Combinator fame) spread across Twitter and was linked by all the other usual tech site suspects. The piece was about what Graham called ‘hacker’s radar‘, which he describes as the ability of hackers to ‘develop a nose for good (and bad) technology‘. For his ...

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