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

guy keren choo at actcom.co.il
Sat Jun 24 14:12:45 PDT 2006

i don't think this is specific to perl, but rather to any technology that
is not very wide-spread in use by companies in a sophisticated manner.

lets divide the use of a technology to two levels. the entry level, where
the technology is used for simple tasks which are not the main business of
a company, and the "advanced" level - where the technology is used for the
main parts of the company's product/service/whatever.

in the first case - you don't need "language experts" - you just take a
programmer that learns this technology, and uses it.

in the second case - most companies look for "language experts", for one
reason or another.

when a technology is not in wide-spread use, you'll see two things.

jobs - will be scarce, because not many companies use this technology, and
lets face it - most jobs are normally not vacant (if you have 100 jobs,
you'll most likely not have more then 5-10 new openings each year,
depending on how long it takes employees to leave you or get fired).

people - people preffer learning how to use the more wide-spread
technologies, which will mean they have a more flexible job market.

as a result, there is lack of good job, as well as lack of technology

conclusion 1: make sure you have good knwoledge in some wide-spread
technologies, so you'll have a fall-back.

conclusion 2: if you become an expert in a technology that is not so
widely-used, expect having a harder time when looking for jobs.

linux is still less (much less) used then windows, for example.

C, C++, java and dot net are probably the most used langauges in the
israeli market - so it'll be easier finding jobs where they are required,
then finding jobs where other languages are required.

the web-development market, btw, is distinct, because it uses a set of
application-specific technologies (be that php, ASP, server-side java
technologies, etc.). it is not easy to switch between the web-development
market, and the systems development market - because they use quite
different "language sets". it is possible to do the switch by finding
partial-pverlaps. for example, if you did web development in a company
that used java server pages - it'll be easier to switch to the systems
development market by going to company that uses java, rather then a
company that uses C++.

the two ways to get over the "pickiness" of employers are:

1. gain more (relevant) experience. don't gain too much experience, or
   else you'll be dismissed as "being too old" (or too expensive) ;)

2. learn how to pass interviews better. just like you can learn
   programming, you can learn how to get interviewed. i found that being
   an interviewer helps in this. makes you think "what do they want, and
   how do i help them see that i got this?". most bad interview-es (people
   that are being interviewed) don't see this - so they come up with
   hand-waving excuses (i'm a fast learner... i knew how to do that, i
   just forgot but i'll remember quickly.. i'll learn this when i need
   it...), rather then with susbtance (oh i know this - you do this and
   that....  here is the code..... the answer is 1, 2, 3, but there's
   also another option, but it'll make the code harder to maintain).

3. don't insist on using technologies that companies don't want. if you
   interview for a job that asks for experience in technology A, and you
   got to the interview, don't tell them that using technology B is
   better. it works very rarely - but normally it will back-fire.

4. become an excellent programmer - and learn how to prove that during
   interviews. if not excellent - at least very good.

finally, there is no way to overcome the pickiness of employers - they are
picky because they were burnt. you can't make them not be picky, because
you'll need to resort to hand-waving - and that is exactly what they were
burnt by.


"For world domination - press 1,
 or dial 0, and please hold, for the creator." -- nob o. dy

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