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

Mike Freedman michael.freedman at gmail.com
Sun Jun 25 09:50:32 PDT 2006


Ok I am looking to make Aliyah, I do C#, SQL, ADO, .NET V1.1 etc... I
transfered to these because I didnt think that perl was a wanted skill
over here in the UK. I guess in Israel things are different. I havent
sone perl for a while but used to use it all the time (in sys
development). How would I find a job in Israel - I am looking. If I
can get a good enough one, then I would move over there sooner than
later

On 25/06/06, Shlomi Fish <shlomif at iglu.org.il> wrote:
> On Sunday 25 June 2006 00:12, guy keren wrote:
> > 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.
> >
>
> Right.
>
> > in the first case - you don't need "language experts" - you just take a
> > programmer that learns this technology, and uses it.
> >
>
> Yes.
>
> > in the second case - most companies look for "language experts", for one
> > reason or another.
> >
>
> True. Either "language experts" or they expect professional (for some value
> of "professional") programmers to learn the language while working there, and
> then become "language experts".
>
> > 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.
>
> Depends on which people. If you're talking about the "average" programmer who
> just wants to make a living, or has been hyped into IT because of the large
> salaries, then yes. If you're talking about a programming enthusiast (the
> so-called "hackers"[1]), then they may not necessarily want to learn it
> unless perhaps they want to work on a project that is written in such a
> language. I didn't give any time to thoroughly learn Java or .NET, even
> though they are popular, because I don't need to write any code for projects
> written for them. (except for very minor things, where my rusty knowledge of
> JDK 1.0.2 is adequate).
>
> >
> > as a result, there is lack of good job, as well as lack of technology
> > experts.
> >
> > conclusion 1: make sure you have good knwoledge in some wide-spread
> > technologies, so you'll have a fall-back.
>
> Good idea. Hopefully, as far as a hacker is concerned, it will be a technology
> that hackers love to use, rather than one of the so-called "Enterprise
> Technologies" that are parodied on http://thedailywtf.com/ , (and especially
> those that hackers hate - some enterprise technologies may be pretty good).
> Learning all the hyped enterprise technologies or all the hyped open-source
> technologies is a waste of time.
>
> >
> > 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.
> >
>
> Yes, unless you also know a popular technology. And some technologies which I
> really like (for what's their good for), are already popular, and I'd
> recommend everyone to use them.
>
> > linux is still less (much less) used then windows, for example.
> >
>
> True, as far as the home users are concerned. However, according to the
> article reference at:
>
> http://xrl.us/np5i (points to the old Joel-on-Software forum, with some
> discussion there)
>
> then:
>
> <<<
> Linux is becoming the development platform of choice; for example, it is
> expected that more developers will be developing on Linux than Windows by
> 2004;
> >>>
>
> And we're already in 2006. The problem I outline there is that most software
> is not "shrinkwrap" that is intended to run on home users' machine (for which
> you probably have to develop for Windows, if you want a market large enough),
> but rather different kinds of software. (See:
> http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/FiveWorlds.html ).
>
> > 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.
>
> Right, but as you say (or I'm saying now) there are also more programmers who
> know them than Perl or (much more so) Python or (much much much more so) Ruby
> or (infinitely more so) Lisp programmers[2], simply because they are or have
> already become popular. Even most people I'm talking to did not hear about
> Perl yet. So, although there is a smaller demand for them, there is also a
> smaller number of programmers to fill this demand.
>
> >
> > 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++.
>
> Right.
>
> >
> > 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) ;)
>
> Hmmm...
>
> >
> > 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).
>
> I heard of a few consultants for preparation for passing interviews as well. I
> usually don't hand-wave. Either I admit I don't know the answer, (which
> doesn't happen often, but happened to me at least once), or answer the best
> way I can. Sometimes I try to develop the answer along with the interviewer
> step-by-step if I don't know it right away, which AFAICT should make a good
> impression.
>
> However, despite all that some interviews where I answered all questions
> correctly, turned out to be dead-ends. And some companies I've been too also
> find the fact, that I've been out of jobs for so long, a bad sign, so it was
> a vicious circle.
>
> ( Now that I think of it, it is possible I resorted to hand-waving
> or "gimgumim" when the employers asked me some personal questions. I hate
> most of those. ("Name three of your faults.", etc.))
>
> >
> > 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.
>
> That I know. Of course, I think it may be a sincere thing to admit that you
> prefer technology B, or that you don't like technology A too much. Hiding it
> will only bite you later.
>
> >
> > 4. become an excellent programmer - and learn how to prove that during
> >    interviews. if not excellent - at least very good.
> >
>
> Well, I don't know if I'm an excellent programmer, but I'd like to think I'm
> pretty good, and that I'm getting better in time. I've seen some bad code in
> various places. (Including some of my old code that I became unhappy with,
> and had to refactor, etc.). To paraphrase what I said on Hackers-IL once, I
> think that sometimes when a programmer writes code, he writes it
> quick-and-dirty, rather than in perfect modular condition.
>
> >
> > 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.
>
> I realise that. What I'm trying to say is perhaps an employer should realise
> that if a candidate did everything all-right except for one or two things
> where he was unhappy with him, he should still consider hiring him.
> Otherwise, he'll probably never find a candidate that's "perfect". We are all
> human.
>
> BTW, I forgot to say that I enjoyed your presentation at YAPC about the perl
> framework you wrote to test the SAN. One problem for me was the fact that my
> own presentation got scheduled in the second half of yours. Now, the
> presentation itself (about a Perl module to a mostly Pythonist crowd - it was
> the room of the Python track) took about 5 minutes, but setting up the
> computer took most of the other time. Thus, I missed the middle part of the
> presentation.
>
> Regards,
>
>        Shlomi Fish
>
> [1] -  and I don't necessarily mean computer intruders. <sigh />
>
> [2] - I've talked with an Israeli guy (I won't mention his name) who now has
> his own small web development firm and writes server-side logic in Common
> Lisp. He doesn't tell that to his customers.
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> Shlomi Fish      shlomif at iglu.org.il
> Homepage:        http://www.shlomifish.org/
>
> 95% of the programmers consider 95% of the code they did not write, in the
> bottom 5%.
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