[Israel.pm] Shortage (or Perceived Shortage) of P-Languages Programmers in Israel (and Elsewhere)

Omer Zak omerz at actcom.co.il
Sat Jun 24 13:52:43 PDT 2006

On Sat, 2006-06-24 at 12:19 +0300, Shlomi Fish wrote:

> Of course, the question is if this is case, why did my co-worker and I not 
> find a suitable job for so long?

[... snipped ...]

> Why didn't I get into the other jobs? I don't know the exact reasons for each, 
> but there are many facts about me that can make me look bad to employers. In 
> some cases, the prospects of hiring me were simply lost in red tape. 
> Ironically, some of the workplaces that rejected me are still looking for 
> employees, and have been advertising it. 
> My main theory at the moment is that workplaces have become much more picky 
> ever since the burst of the bubble. They realise that hiring the wrong 
> employee may be much more risky than not hiring a good employee, and so they 
> tend to reject people even on slight (or possibly in my case grave) 
> suspicions.

[... snipped ...]

> Anyway, if anyone here has any tips for people who are looking for a job to 
> ovecome the over-pickiness of employers, it would be nice of them to 
> braindump them now. Note that lying to an employer, or concealing facts is 
> not an option (and I hope you realise why).

I think that I have an unique perspective as:
- a professional with disability.
- job seeker.
- someone who was interviewing candidates (both able-bodied and
disabled) to fill positions in a company.
- someone who participated in an attempt to help people with
disabilities get jobs.

>From my participation in the effort and attempts to recruit deaf
professionals for a company, I reached the conclusion that a person with
disability who knows to work - has a job.  And someone with disability
without a job - does not know to work.  This conclusion is valid for
low-unemployment areas such as Gush Dan.

At least among the deaf, I noticed that almost everyone who knows to
work has a job.  But in several cases, they were overqualified for their
jobs and/or did not have prospects for promotion (inaccessible training,
human communications element of management, low glass ceiling).

I remember having interviewed an hearing impaired software developer.
When I asked him to write a simple program, he felt he cannot cope with
it and ran away!  Few years later I saw his name in a list of people
with disabilities looking for a job, and I told my associates that I
cannot help him find a job until he finishes the unfinished interview.

The company in question (a deaf-managed software house) tried to recruit
hearing impaired software developers.  However, there were not enough
unemployed qualified ones, so we looked also for hearing software
developers and sysadmins.

Another observation, which I had was that people seem to be reluctant
not only to hire professionals with disabilities, but also to be hired
by them!  The company looked for people at years 2002-2003, when there
were more people looking for jobs.  Yet, we could not fill most of the

About advice to people with disabilities looking for a job:

1. Ensure that you have the mental stamina, resourcefulness and habits
to really do the job.  Can a mission to the Moon be launched on time and
without blowing up due to bugs or missing code, to which you are

Can a company depend upon you to deliver your part in the last few days
before a key product launch?

2. In the case of software development, demonstrate your love for this
profession by having a portfolio of software developed on your own (for
example, as Free Software).

This is true also for people without disabilities.

But I saw more mentality of entitlement among people with disabilities -
less willingness to work as volunteers on volunteer-based projects.  

This may be caused also by employers, who try to cut costs by getting
people with disabilities to work as volunteers or for very low salaries.

3. Generally, transportation between home and the place of employment is
the employee's responsibility.  If there is help for transportation, the
employee should have it arranged.

I encountered at least two persons with disability, who expected the
employer (or organization where one of them was volunteer) to take care
of transportation.  Large employers often provide transportation to
their employees, but small employers do not.  Most of new jobs are
provided by small employers...

4. Several employers do not know how to deal with the disability, even
if they are generous and are willing to contribute to the community by
removing one more person with disability from the group of the
unemployed.  Make it easy for them to get educated about the disability
in question.  Prepare beforehand information packet about accommodations
which you need to get the job done, and provide them with contact
persons and organizations, who can give them additional advice.

5. One more point (and I remember a candidate, who failed interview due
to this) - ensure that the rehabilitational training, which you got (if
you got any), is relevant for today's job market.  At least in the area
of software development, the training lags behind today's job market.

                                             --- Omer
Everyone needs a hug.
My own blog is at http://tddpirate.livejournal.com/

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