My point is not to over-emphasize on the years of hard skills. 3 years java VS 5 years java VS 10 years java means little value from employer point of view. You can put many years on each items because it's common sense. But don't count on them. Whatever they will test you of your real java skills. Sometimes too long will make people think your skill is out-of-date.
Only recuitors care about key word searching. The real employers care more on "experience".
Hard skills should be strong enough. However, "enough" is enough. The most valuable label is that you can pickup new things systematically, quickly and confidently. Many gurus are satisfied with knowing how to implement it. But they don't know enough of why and why not.
If a job is based on how familiar you're on one language or tool or development env, it's not a prosperous job. This is probably a candidate for out-sourcing.
Another guy does not have to be as skillful as you but as long as he can finish this assignment, it's enough. That's why $10/hour contractors exsit. Company also asked us to teach these guys how to do the work. When reviewing all my assignments from that angle, I found actually most of my work can be handed-over to another one. Even something is really tough, if I was forced to teach a guy hand-by-hand, he can also learn quickly. So the lesson is you can never count on exist technical skill to maintain your job security. If you're earning too high salary and company is aiming to find some cheap resources to replace you, you will be in trouble.
In the world of out-sourcing, any jobs related with large amount of coding will be in danger. That's why I think hard skills are not that important. Especially some very detail ones.
The jobs remained in R&D in NA should be something not worth moving to another country or to a cheap contractor.
For example, when I joined the new company, I also think if it's possible to out-source? And why not? Is it good to hire some contactors to replace some of our work?
Both are true, but so far so good.
1) There're some developers in India, but they cannot replace our work. Because we're doing the researching and prototyping. We don't care that much about detail implementation and normal bug fixes (because those are the india people's work). The researching`is closely related with requirements. All the alternatives are worked out mostly based on knowledge not on skills. During our prototyping, when we needs any detail technical help, we just come to the people with that skill. The real valuable thing which drives us to ask who for what question is the "idea". I think the prosperous job in NA should require a lot of reading, not coding.
2) We hired some DOTNET contractor to do the application wrapper and some GUI stuff. Because it's not kernel of the product. For me it's valuable to know some DOTNET. But digging into too detail is useless.
There're many java gurus in this company. They even wrote a customized JVM and sold it for revenue. But during the discuss meetings, I feel the knowledge to understand the problem and describe the problem is more important than to resolve it. Because there always be a solution for any technical problems. Managers do not care about that much if you happen to know the answer right now. They care more on how much cost to resolve the problem.
In my next resume, I intend to reduce hard skill lists (they just lured a lot of recruitors to offer me potential job opportunities based on one or 2 hard skills.), and should put more words on how to conduct a new products design from requirement and how to resolve customer issues with my specific efforts.
In my previous job, my experience with customer is limited with how to resolve their issues. A better customer experience should be driving the product releasing based on customer requirements.
Anyway, this will be my last "lecture".
I find many people of this forum is still desperate in finding a 40K/year job. They would not realize some of my points.
I've no intention to look down j2ee. I just pick up a hot tech as target.
BTW, I want to tell a little about so-called canadian experience.
Many people accepted the $10/hour is to gain the canadian experience. But observing these people's performance in my previous company, I noticed that their experience in china are too shallow though still enough for most of their assignments. Maybe because these people are doing too "senior" position in china (such as system intgration, manager, sales, consultant, etc). However, their english and personality are not strong enough to support their equivalent career in NA. Some are from big companies in china. Then their skills are too specific and cannot find a job here.
But every chinese candiate is applying job in the same way: he tries to present themselves as a guru of some hard skills. If he's really a guru, he will not be limited by so-called canadian experience. He can get a good job anywhere. However, that kinds of guru are very rare. A person played with a few examples on the book will claim as "familiar with XXX". Most of the experienced people's skills are at this level. Some even worse. -victorzhou(patty) 2006-6-10