Back in 1998, I had just graduated from college with a degree in computer science and was looking for a job. I had previously worked in technical support and hardware installation. I had also done some Novell network administration. What I really wanted was a programming job. There was a job posting that I recall quite vividly. One of their requirements for the position was “5 years experience with Java”. The problem was that the first public release of Java was in 1996, 1995 if you worked on Sun boxes. In order to have 5 years of experience with Java (1993), you would have had to have worked at Sun. There was another posting that asked for 10 years with Java, a feat not possible unless you had a time machine and repeated a few years since the project that would one day become Java began in 1991.
In the last ten years, things really haven’t changed. Really. I just saw a posting today asking for “20 years experience with Java” … 2008 minus 20 equals 1988… so they want someone with 3 more years experience than the guys who invented Java. Its frustrating to be looking for work and have to deal with crap like that.
Even more exasperating, however, is having positions require samples of your work. Seriously? I’ve been a programmer for the past 6 years, and in those 6 years I have worked on exactly ZERO projects where I was not under and NDA and taking code samples with me couldn’t be prosecuted as theft. I have 6 years of experience, but I have no samples of my work because it would be against the law for me to have them. Sure, I could send them samples of things I have done for myself, but I honestly don’t think WordPress themes and a party invitation managing webpage I wrote are going to be all that impressive to someone who is considering me for a senior level .NET/C# position.
I can only say… would you really want to hire someone to work for you under an NDA if in order to get the job they were willing to break the NDA of their previous job? That’s like being the other woman who’s lover leaves his wife and then being surprised when he cheats on you too…
Some times I really wish I could put aside my morals for personal gain. It would make getting a new job so much easier.