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Getting Employment with Low-ish College GPA?

mrgoodstuff

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I've applied to two virtual internships that my school is offering due to corona. Waiting to hear back... they're both in security btw. Which is a really big field in computing these days. Although, I am in Software & Scientific Applications and not Cybersecurity. I still thought it would be good to apply.
For the job search we use hours a day every day. Id use at least an hr a day in your case on indeed, career builder, dice, and various companies job sites.
 

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nicksaiz65

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For the job search we use hours a day every day. Id use at least an hr a day in your case on indeed, career builder, dice, and various companies job sites.
I agree. And then, there's the time I need to spend learning and programming for my success plan as well. Not to mention preparing for these coding interviews so I don't make an ass of myself lol.
 

mrgoodstuff

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I agree. And then, there's the time I need to spend learning and programming for my success plan as well. Not to mention preparing for these coding interviews so I don't make an ass of myself lol.
Yes, the job search and consequential interviews build up your confidence little by little. In my search, when I'm between jobs, I search and respond to call backs and emails like a fulltime job 8 hrs a day. I wake up like I'm going to a job, go to the lilbrary and do my search. It takes time. In my case I do 50 or more submissions per day. I search for jobs within my scope and I hit them up. It's a fast search, not a perfect fit type search which waste more time.

With your hour or so a day you can get at least 10 or more submissions, and by a week it's 50'.

In my case out of 10 submissions I get 2-3 call backs and out of about 3-5 call backs I get a interview offer. So it's a numbers game, just like talking to babes on the street.
 
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mrgoodstuff

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So I just got an idea for you. You have the background and skills to apply for "technical support call center" type positions, and also "production support" on whatever operating systems you have been educated on. It will get you in the door and professional experience.

Also "Jr Developer" type positions, I know you ideally want to be a developer. However those "tech support" type positions can give you cash while your in school and you will become familiar with technologies used.
 

nicksaiz65

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Yes, the job search and consequential interviews build up your confidence little by little. In my search, when I'm between jobs, I search and respond to call backs and emails like a fulltime job 8 hrs a day. I wake up like I'm going to a job, go to the lilbrary and do my search. It takes time. In my case I do 50 or more submissions per day. I search for jobs within my scope and I hit them up. It's a fast search, not a perfect fit type search which waste more time.

With your hour or so a day you can get at least 10 or more submissions, and by a week it's 50'.

In my case out of 10 submissions I get 2-3 call backs and out of about 3-5 call backs I get a interview offer. So it's a numbers game, just like talking to babes on the street.
It really is the same lol. You do the "self improvement" by practicing your skills and doing the portfolio.

Then you play the numbers game and chat up as many as you can.

Your "game" is you solving the programming problems, and you at the job interview.

Some flake, but it only takes one to win the game.

So yeah, that's a really good analogy. You run jobs through your funnel just like women.
 
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mrgoodstuff

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It really is the same lol. You do the "self improvement" by practicing your skills and doing the self improvement.

Then you play the numbers game and chat up as many as you can.

Your "game" is you solving the programming problems, and you at the job interview.

Some flake, but it only takes one to win the game.

So yeah, that's a really good analogy. You run jobs through your funnel just like women.
Always getting better at what we care about.
 

nicksaiz65

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So I just got an idea for you. You have the background and skills to apply for "technical support call center" type positions, and also "production support" on whatever operating systems you have been educated on. It will get you in the door and professional experience.

Also "Jr Developer" type positions, I know you ideally want to be a developer. However those "tech support" type positions can give you cash while your in school and you will become familiar with technologies used.
Now that you mention it, I know my school had a position like that. I could still apply for those jobs in my hometown virtually too, right? I know tech companies like to see experience like that too.

Operating Systems.... that's CSC 4100. I'll be taking that next Fall. I couldn't take it earlier unfortunately because I just passed Assembly programming this semester.
 

mrgoodstuff

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Now that you mention it, I know my school had a position like that. I could still apply for those jobs in my hometown virtually too, right? I know tech companies like to see experience like that too.

Operating Systems.... that's CSC 4100. I'll be taking that next Fall. I couldn't take it earlier unfortunately because I just passed Assembly programming this semester.
Get some unix admin and windows admin experience
 
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Papa_smu

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So I just got an idea for you. You have the background and skills to apply for "technical support call center" type positions, and also "production support" on whatever operating systems you have been educated on. It will get you in the door and professional experience.

Also "Jr Developer" type positions, I know you ideally want to be a developer. However those "tech support" type positions can give you cash while your in school and you will become familiar with technologies used.
I highly suggest not taking this route. Yes, you can make a decent roll working technical support. There's even a little bit more money in production support. However, it's even harder to transfer to an internal programming role because you'll be pigeon holed into that area. You may think it looks good on your resume, but it creates an unconscious bias among the engineering team interviewing you. They'll agree that you're 'technical' but they will rather have a fresh, off-the-podium computer science graduate than a seasoned, prod support person if it came down to the wire. It's freakin' stupid, but unfortunately that's how it is.

From my experience, it took me nearly 4 years of working support to get a legit developer role because I took the route that everyone seems to suggest to get your "foot in the door". That's even including going through a coding bootcamp.

@nicksaiz65 you're in a really good position to land a decent paying entry-level developer job so long as you keep your nose to the grindstone. If you need to make extra money then I would put your services on craigslist.
 

Papa_smu

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I agree. And then, there's the time I need to spend learning and programming for my success plan as well. Not to mention preparing for these coding interviews so I don't make an ass of myself lol.
My rule of thumb is for every hour of coding, you should be spending two hours job hunting (resumes, submitting apps, cold calling employers, etc.)

Also, do spend more time on that job opportunity after submitting your resume. Reach out to someone part of that company who is a decision maker after you submit and connect with them.
 

mrgoodstuff

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I highly suggest not taking this route. Yes, you can make a decent roll working technical support. There's even a little bit more money in production support. However, it's even harder to transfer to an internal programming role because you'll be pigeon holed into that area. You may think it looks good on your resume, but it creates an unconscious bias among the engineering team interviewing you. They'll agree that you're 'technical' but they will rather have a fresh, off-the-podium computer science graduate than a seasoned, prod support person if it came down to the wire. It's freakin' stupid, but unfortunately that's how it is.

From my experience, it took me nearly 4 years of working support to get a legit developer role because I took the route that everyone seems to suggest to get your "foot in the door". That's even including going through a coding bootcamp.

@nicksaiz65 you're in a really good position to land a decent paying entry-level developer job so long as you keep your nose to the grindstone. If you need to make extra money then I would put your services on craigslist.
You do know the idea was for jobs he can do while he's still im school? The idea gets him in the door with dime a dozen type position, where he can build technical resume experience. Once he's inside of one of these companies that also does development he can transfer to a different position at a later date.

But the man needs to build a resume with technical experience because his grades aren't the greatest.
 
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Papa_smu

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You do know the idea was for jobs he can do while he's still im school?
Yes. But to add to my last post, It's not worth exchanging your sanity for cash in hopes that the experience will beef up your resume. It's not worth it.


The idea gets him in the door with dime a dozen type position, where he can build technical resume experience. Once he's inside of one of these companies that also does development he can transfer to a different position at a later date.
Even if he did take on a support role and did an internal move, it'll be two or three years before he could move into a development role regardless of performance. It's very, very difficult to switch roles once an organization is used to you being a role you originally got hired in for.

But the man needs to build a resume with technical experience because his grades aren't the greatest.
Technical experience is not an all-encompassing domain. Just because you're a ServiceNow poweruser doesn't mean you're an expert at developing extensions for it. You can't fool hiring managers with that.

And grades don't matter in software development. It's whether or not you can do the job that matters.
 

nicksaiz65

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Yes. But to add to my last post, It's not worth exchanging your sanity for cash in hopes that the experience will beef up your resume. It's not worth it.




Even if he did take on a support role and did an internal move, it'll be two or three years before he could move into a development role regardless of performance. It's very, very difficult to switch roles once an organization is used to you being a role you originally got hired in for.



Technical experience is not an all-encompassing domain. Just because you're a ServiceNow poweruser doesn't mean you're an expert at developing extensions for it. You can't fool hiring managers with that.

And grades don't matter in software development. It's whether or not you can do the job that matters.
From your experience do you think that's something specific to the Computer Science industry, or would you say that's just the human bias to put people in boxes/categories?
 
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mrgoodstuff

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Yes. But to add to my last post, It's not worth exchanging your sanity for cash in hopes that the experience will beef up your resume. It's not worth it.




Even if he did take on a support role and did an internal move, it'll be two or three years before he could move into a development role regardless of performance. It's very, very difficult to switch roles once an organization is used to you being a role you originally got hired in for.



Technical experience is not an all-encompassing domain. Just because you're a ServiceNow poweruser doesn't mean you're an expert at developing extensions for it. You can't fool hiring managers with that.

And grades don't matter in software development. It's whether or not you can do the job that matters.
I'm in the industry, 28 years. So I know what goes on. Supporting these products in the technical support aspect has no bearing on coding skills, but he is able to put something more revelant upon the resume. Plus in supporting these products, he will understand how they integrate with other products, he will understand the industry more than a kid that just went to school got straight A's and never did anything but live off his parents money. It shows initiative. Plus for a College job, it pays great compared to his other options.

Plus he is already in the door with these companies, so he can be applying for the coding job he REALLY wants from within the entire time.

I know how to find jobs, and I know how to find others jobs. I worked contracts for 20 years, making 1 to 2 job movements per year. I've had my own company a couple, but the main one for 4 years. You guys that went to a company and worked there for 20 to 40 years or that's your goal need to be quiet in these type of discussions. You don't know what goes on.

Nick. I gave you a great strategy for the position you are currently in. I explained how to job search, and not to try to find a perfect match. Use a bulk search method. In the mean time, a production support or technical customer support allows you to get in the door, make a great check for a college "kid", plus gain communication, corporate skills, learn the products enterprises make use of and how they integrate.
 

RickTheToad

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Sorry Rick, I totally thought I responded to you a couple weeks back. I was preparing for finals at the time so I think I lost this message in the shuffle.

1.) Not really, I'm not sure of the benefits? Although I do hear some good stories about military engineers or something like that?
2.) I want to be a great programmer, violinist, composer, and fitness guy.
3.) I've put together a few things, like sawhorses for my home gym, but eh, not too much. I'd say I'm good at the above: programming, music performance and composition, and so on. That's my purpose.
4.) Eventually, I would most definitely like to have my own business. I like the fields of Music Technology, Big Data, and Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence in Computer Science. And of course, the music industry. I'm interested in classical music, playing pop music and originals(I already do that with my band), composing classical music, writing beats, and making original EDM tracks. That sounds like a lot, but they're all under the same umbrella.
No worries.

1) Pension, nearly unlimited growth and educational options, GI Bill, VA loans, etc. I for one recommend Air Force; but I am a little jaded there.
2) Focus on # 1, the other things will most likely not make you any money.
3) Stick to the purpose which will support your life style as priority # 1. The other ones can be used for entertainment and blowing off steam.
4) Focus on CS. The other stuff, while fun, isn't profitable or sustainable financially.
 

nicksaiz65

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No worries.

1) Pension, nearly unlimited growth and educational options, GI Bill, VA loans, etc. I for one recommend Air Force; but I am a little jaded there.
2) Focus on # 1, the other things will most likely not make you any money.
3) Stick to the purpose which will support your life style as priority # 1. The other ones can be used for entertainment and blowing off steam.
4) Focus on CS. The other stuff, while fun, isn't profitable or sustainable financially.
I agree with you on sticking with the CS. Whenever I ask people in the "real world" they say the same thing, that I should focus on CS. Music is also my passion and I'll always continue to do it: but I think being a great programmer, combined with being a virtuoso violinist and composer is a deadly combo. I can even have my base CS salary, which will be very good, and supplement it with my music salary.

"The other stuff, while fun, isn't profitable or sustainable financially." I totally agree. I know some musicians and they're living off like $10,000-$20,000 a year. I don't want to be a broke ass musician for the rest of my life lol.

Like it's been said before, I should just do both, so I can have both purposes/passions.
 
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These are the steps to success which should be concurrently executed:

  • If you don't have a portfolio site built, then drop everything you're doing and start building it. It's very easy throw together a sexy site and deploy it out into the wild. Check out these resources to build it quickly but still look like you built it on your own
    • Use a template to build your site, but make sure to build it from scratch while using the template you choose as an inspiration
    • Take advantage of the cloud -- Netlify gives you everything you need to host and the process stupidly easy. They even provide free lambda functions to host your backend. It'll even secure your site with TLS 1.2 for free
    • Once you have that setup, buy a domain name and point that sucker at your portfolio site. Also make it secure. You can find cheap domain names here
  • You maybe one year away from graduation but that isn't an excuse to not start reaching out to employers. If you want to get a decent first developer job, then you need to network immediately
    • Get on Linkedin and build out your profile. Make sure to fill everything out on your profile so it can better rank you in their search engine. Use this article as a resource:
    • Also do get a professional headshot. Having a professional picture carries a lot of value. You're experience maybe **** but you're damn beautiful HD portrait is going to at least get them to look at your profile.
    • When you fill everything out on the profile, order the sections this like this:
      • Education
      • Projects
      • Experience
      • Volunteer Experience
    • The reason why Education and Projects are first is because it's above the fold on the page and are your biggest money makers for now. You want to make as much as of impact as soon as possible.
    • Also make sure your portfolio, linkedin, and resume are consistent with each other. You will not be taken seriously if any of these are not congruent with each other.
    • Once you have your profile up and it looks GOOD then you need to start reaching out to other developers at the companies you want to work at
      • Look for senior developers or tech leads in your search. Once you find them, send them a connection request if you can.
      • Always, always, always include a personal note with the connection. You will get ignored if you don't
      • In that personal note, say something along the lines like this: "Hi [name], I'm currently a computer science student who is about to graduate soon and soon be new dev in the community. I was wondering if I could have five minutes of your time to pick your brain some"
    • Make it a goal to get 500 QUALITY connections. The more the connections you have, the better chances of appearing in search results
  • If you have downtime from school, now is the great opportunity to start contributing to open source. A big thing in the workplace is having a mastery over version control systems. Specifically, distributed version control systems like Git. The best way to get at a level expected in the workplace is contributing to projects on Github:
  • Finally, start going to conferences even if they're virtual. They are all-around good for your career and with the coronavirus fiasco going on, there are a lot of them going virtual and have free entry.

If you do all these steps in parallel and you hustle, then you will get a job and even possibly do much better than your peers who have 4.0s and honors.
Amazing post!

Thank you @Papa_smu !!!
 
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