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Uh. Hi! I am sort of new here. I post maybe once in a blue moon. This place is honestly 100x better than StackOverflow.

Anyway. I won't post my entire resume here but I will post relevant details. Graduated two years ago, currently underemployed, but happy. No internships.

My first real concern is... are the skills on it too granular? I've listed experience with use cases, UML and sequence diagramming...and while studying SWE UML online (today) to fill in gaps in my knowledge I've come to learn that use case and sequence diagramming are subsets of UML. Plus I learned that there's some large gaps in my knowledge. To my defense, some of these were never covered in my university classes.

Excerpt from my resume regarding skills in SWE:

Software Engineering: Learned about agile software development, practiced functional/non-functional requirements, use cases, unit/integration/regression automated software testing, and object oriented design, UML & sequence diagramming.

I will follow up here if I have more questions or concerns.

Hi! Firstly, thank you so much for your kind words about DaniWeb, but I'm sorry to hear you're difficulty finding employment. I started DaniWeb back when I was still in college, and went into it full time when I graduated, so I was never in the position of looking for a programming job.

I have, however, hired developers for small to mid-sized projects on Upwork or Toptal. If you're underemployed, I would highly recommend supplementing your income with Toptal. It targets connecting entrepreneurs and small businesses with expert-level developers for small to mid-sized projects (typically a couple of months long). It's a great way to gain some practical experience to add to your resume, while making pretty good money at the same time. Upwork, on the other hand, in my opinion targets a little less discerning and more budget-conscious clientele.

Something else I would recommend doing is contributing to open-source projects on Github, and adding those to your resume as well. It's a great way to show that programming isn't just a job for you, but that you're passionate enough to do some side projects for fun that showcase your interests and skillset.

Something I don't like about your resume is that it says that you "learned about agile software development". When I read that, it sounds to me as if "learned about" is code for "I read a few paragraphs about it in a textbook at school once", and therefore you learned what it was, as opposed to actually doing it. I would prefer it to say that you are "An agile software developer" or something like that. Similarly, putting in your resume that you "practiced ..." sounds like code for practiced for a test once, but never actually did it in the real world. However, don't take my word for it! I have always just worked for myself so I'm a bit far removed from resume writing.

Member Avatar for Johnny2x4

Okay thank you Dani! I may give Toptal a try. I've attempted to use UpWork and its just like dating apps. A whole lot of trial met with damn near equal amounts of error, IE. a wall with no give! Open source contributions may be something I try as well. When I mentioned being underemployed I meant that I am definitely not doing what I graduated in Computer Science for. I deliver pizzas... it pays the bills and a bit more but obviously isn't my life's goal.

I think a problem that faces myself (and many others I am presuming) is the sheer amount of opportunity we face as CS people... entrepeneurship, open source contributions, personal projects, startups, corporate careers, etc. its really tough to know which way to go. I definitely struggle with this. I live in a rural area (I moved far away since graduation), and as you can imagine engineers let alone computer science people do not abound here. Which makes starting any sort of entrepeneurship ventures hard to justify. I can always move... but even obtaining funding is iffy (though I haven't tried), and being the sole engineer on the team is very challenging. Finding talent here would be difficult if not impossible I imagine, and I shudder at moving to CA, OR, or WA. Working delivering pizzas and figuring out my next move is... vexing to say the least. So here I am making up for lost time and forgetting a good chunk of college (not just the knowledge...), studying up and practicing my skillsets to get it all down in hope that I can land a job in the industry.

I have made it my mantra this year: "rise above"; not let the day to day tasks and events get in the way of my goals. In recent weeks things have gotten lots better across many areas of my life; and that's no wishy washy hyperbole either. Here's to the future !

I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that you feel part of the problem is how big the industry is. There’s web development, mobile development, IT, game development, etc.

Basically your degree gave you the tools to be able to figure out how to tackle whatever piques your interest, but it all starts with figuring out what that is. Otherwise you’ll find yourself being a jack of all trades but a master of none.

This isn’t something I can answer for you. You need to figure out if you want a career in game development or making enterprise B2B web platforms or digital marketing and AdOps and technical SEO or programming alarm clocks and smart dishwashers or other IoT devices.

Once you narrow that down, then the sky is the limit in terms of really focusing on that niche and learning everything there is to do and becoming an expert in your field.

Do you have any ideas, as of now, what types of things might interest you? Let’s begin with why did you decide to pursue computer science to begin with? What interested you about it? What were your favorite classes? Which classes did you find the most enjoyable?

Member Avatar for Johnny2x4

I really loved game development for a long while. Always wanted to be a game developer since I was little. I'm kind of turning my back on that though... I just find it such a struggle to be creative enough, cover all the bases, and finish anything. As a solo game developer its all up to you, code, QA, art, music, storytelling, marketing, finances, etc. and I don't know if I have it in me to keep trying that. I found myself looking at other so called "indie" game devs out there recently and something stood out to me. We all have the same skill set. It makes sense that its so hard to find a spot in the industry (we're all lost in a sea of applicants). I don't want to dig into my so called baggage but someone really aggravated me by blatantly copying my work and making lots of money off it, and telling me so, and the Unity moderators banned me for reacting to another person who made it their mission to agggravate me (they're still scott free).

The way I see it, I have bigger fish to fry, that's all in the past, and anyhow I am finding other things that I want to do other sit at a computer all day and make video games... and come to think of it. I need to get back to them. I stopped my gym membership because of personal reasons, plus its ridiculously expensive and I don't want to pay their prices, its up to me to cancel it, find a new gym, and maybe move to a different city. There's nothing here that I want, my job is in another city, and the gym that I use has gyms in other cities, other gyms I don't know. I wanted to go biking this spring... it just stopped snowing and has warmed up a bit this week. I wanted to take a trip... its already late March, and I have no actual plans.

Sorry didn't mean to ramble.

About my career interests. I've wanted to practice robotics for the longest time. I took two classes at University, when covid hit and we switched from our profesors boring old physical robots to simulators, it blew my mind! I wanted to focus on cyber security too, but game development always took a front seat to that. I love Software engineering, specifically writing code. Its the biggest reason I started my CS degree. I honestly thought computer science was all programming!

That's one reason that I am studying things again, to broaden my skillset, be more marketable and because they are interesting to me. I've had my eye on a local robotics company. They want a full stack engineer with experience in at least a dozen technologies. At some point I want to be qualified enough to give that a shot. I love playing games but not for the reasons I once had. I love the competitiveness of multiplayer, and in general competition is a definite pull for me. Online games are an easy way to just jump in and have a go at a competition without having to go to some event or otherwise coordinate with people.

Cybersecurity is just plain cool, but there are nation states violating legal american citizens rights, which definitely goes against my personal ethics. It would be really cool to work for a government agency like that if they weren't doing such things...

Probably need more than agile. Consider Python and Linux for skills worth having. IT shops offer relatively high stress, low pay jobs, so tend to have high turnover and frequent job opportunities, and that is a way to get some experience. Good luck.

I have been involved with software development since 1986. During that time frame, I have been a programmer/analyst, team leader, IT director, and acting CIO. I have interviewed and hired many candidates during that time frame.

If you are a fresh (or relatively fresh) graduate from school, I could care less about your entire course of study. I don't care if you are a PhD candidate or a Rhodes Scholar. You are applying for a job as a junior programmer/analyst. I want to know: are you able to think under pressure; do I, or one of my staff members, need to hold your hand every step of the way; and, are you creative?

From my experience, there are a few things that used to drive me nuts on resumes:

  1. a list of every current buzzword currently in vogue - you just graduated from college; you're level of expertise in any of these areas is, in all likelihood, limited to a class project with little real world application.
  2. puffing your resume by trying to turn the thing you have touched into an area of expertise - this will make you look like a fool very quickly.
  3. TMI - in general, I don't care about your sex life, social life, or how compassionate and loving you are - you're not in college any more and most managers don't care.

Software development is a creative process (like being an artist). It is also an area requiring a very logical methodology. If you can balance these two areas - using both hemispheres of your brain, you will be a very successful in the field; if you can't, you will likely be mediocre at best.

If you possess the above traits, don't be afraid to apply for a job you really want even if it seems you don't have the necessary skill set - you can learn it on the job (e.g. - if you have a C# background, don't be afraid to apply for a job developing HTML or Fortran). The majority of IT upper management recognizes a candidate's potential, assuming they know how to conduct a proper interview.

Last thought, I study Fine Arts in college, not software development or computer science. In 1986, I was working as a technical writer when my boss challenged me to write a preventive maintenance/work order application for a major hotel chain. It went from an idea to implementation in less a year.

This has turned into a fascinating discussion. Swshurts has some good points. In a perfect world, hiring decisions could be made like that. It is more likely that a job applicant has to get past a company recruiter, or an inexperienced manager in smaller companies. For that, what’s in one’s resume counts.

Aww, it looks like Johnny2x4 deleted his account. I wonder why :(

Chuckc, I agree with you 100%... But, telling me you're a ABD Nuclear Physicists is not going to get you a job as a junior programmer.

Hi Swshurts, Thank you. I would have taken what you wrote as a compliment, even if you said you agreed with me 50% of the time.
FWIW, I’ve been retired for several years, worked for roughly 30 years, mostly with minicomputer
-related jobs ranging from jr programmer to consultant to hiring manager. I don’t claim to have been a great manager, but most people people who worked for me turned out well.

Your lengthy message, just over a week ago, reminded me of an informal talk that I heard many, many years ago by a top-level GE executive. I had an opportunity to be there because one of his sons and I were close friends. I won’t go into detail, but what that successful executive said, sounded much like what you wrote. So thanks for sharing those thoughts.

I think what he's saying is there are two levels of interviews, HR and Technical. You have to get past the first to get to the second.

You can also argue there are three levels, automated resume scanner, HR Generalist then technical. If your resume has the right buzzwords you get past the scanner and onto the HR generalist.

They (HR) know buzzwords and industry words too, they just don't know what they mean. So you can BS your way through them. Then when you get to the technical interview it could come crashing down if you played up the buzziness on your first two interviews (scanner and HR). The technical interview can blow that out of the water.

So I think you need to have a good balance of including the right amount of buzziness in rounds one and two. But you have to have a ground to stand on those words in round three. It's a complicated balance that ultimately comes down to round three.

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