A little history: I received the news that I was being laid-off on December 16. It was lovely. I had driven my wife to a doctor’s appointment. We had expected her doctor to say that she was going to need surgery to cure her “minor digestive abnormalities.” Lucky for us, the doc decided not to go that route, since I’ll be losing my medical insurance soon. Yuck.
One week later, on December 23, I had my first interview. Here is the blow-by-blow:
Title: Software Developer
For two years I’ve been working in IT for a small-ish company that has given me some latitude. While on the job I was able to learn some about network administration (yea for Cisco!), server administration (mostly Linux stuff), as well as software development (Perl, Ruby, Python, Ruby on Rails, and Django). In addition, I had some time to home my golf game.
As it happens, a company got a hold of my resume through my extended church network, and they brought me in to interview for a Java developer position.
Let me just say that I had never in my life touched anything that wreaks of Java before. However, the software development group was interested in my language skills. On my resume, I always mention that I can read Ancient Greek, Latin, and Classical Hebrew. Why? Well, because it makes me look cool. In this case, however, it was probably the difference between getting an interview and not getting an interview.
In two of the three meetings that comprised this interview, I was told that language learning skills were analogous to computer science training. One interviewer even went as far as to say that Computer Science degree plans should have more foreign language requirements.
I told him that I hoped we could meet in the middle. I’d teach them some Greek/Latin/Hebrew, and they could teach me some Java.
Because I have no Java experience, I’m not expecting to get this job. However, I must say that it is an intriguing position. I’ve decided to do a little self-study Java in my new spare time. Here are the resources I’m using:
- Learning Java, 3rd Edition
- WikiBooks: Java
- MIT: Introduction to Software Engineering in Java
- MIT: Laboratory in Software Engineering
I’m sure I’ll find more resources as I move forward. Who knows? Maybe I’ll get this job! Wish me luck!