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Crafting a help wanted ad

Posted by daniel on August 20, 2004 at 8:06 AM PDT

Do you get what you're asking for?

Dori points to a help wanted ad on Craig's list and thinks that she spots age discrimination in an ad that lists as one of their top requirements "recent college grad." I may be cynical but I read that as code for "we're not going to pay very much" and not that "we want the most experienced" folks.
We've been discussing Help wanted ads in the forums based on a posting on the MacroMedia site. You need to read down in the postings as the original post was removed and later reposted by someone else. The tone of the ad is pretty telling. Conditions include:

1. Have RECENT experience with Cold Fusion & SQL Server (NOTE: 3 years ago is NOT recent).

2. Are available to work at least 35 hours per week RIGHT NOW (NOTE: 20-25 is not equal to 35).

3. Are willing and able to speak on the telephone during business hours, return calls, and you're able to communicate well in English. You must also have a telephone number at which we can reach you – and not by appointment only. If you object at all to speaking on the phone, please do NOT respond. If you tell us later that you don't like to talk on the phone or prefer email, you'll be immediately taken off the job.

By the way, the ad goes on to say who should not respond. This list includes:

1. Any military body you were in erased any part of your memory which now prevents you from remembering the spec [..]

3. You are a nervous wreck on the verge of a breakdown because: (a) your marriage is on the verge of falling apart and you're emotionally unstable as a result; (b) your child(ren) scream(s) 23.9 hours a day which makes it too hard for you to work; (c) your wife/husband/boyfriend/girlfriend doesn't like you freelancing and/or demands that you take care of the baby for 12 hours a day and you think you can do our work before 6 a.m. and after 11 p.m. and still stay awake and conscious and not give us complete and utter junk -- you can't; [..]

5. You're the type of person who uses profanity or inappropriate material in naming your variables or in your testing. "Got really drunk last night" is not appropriate in a business environment. Naming variables after sexual organs is also not appropriate.

6. You believe in abandoning projects BEFORE they are finished or missing deadlines you set for those projects. (Even if you are the greatest programmer on earth, we're not paying you if the job isn't finished and finished ON TIME. It's worth nothing to us otherwise.)

Oh wait - there's one more thing that I love the most about this ad. You must be "willing to work initially for a short time with no money upfront realizing that you will only be paid some money when we see some work done."

Note - I've turned off the feedback today to this blog as I'd like you to post comments on this to the forum.

Also in Java Today
, A poster in our forum on Help Wanted Ads pointed us at Allen Holub's article When Hiring, Smarts Beat Skill Lists. "First, the ads often consist of marketing hype that doesn’t accurately describe the work to be done. Since competent programmers typically want to know what they’re getting into, that fact alone probably weeds out scads of qualified candidates. Next come the laundry lists: compendiums of random, often mutually exclusive skills."

In Handling Events from JavaServer Faces, Part 1, Hans Bergsten writes that the MVC approach makes it "easy to develop and maintain the code for each specific user action in a separate code module. You can even use multiple event handling modules for different aspects of the processing, such as one that logs the action and another that acts on it." This article is an excerpt from Hans' book "JavaServer Faces".

Chet Haase has written another great entry
in today's Weblogs. He has "spent the better part of the last year thinking about multithreading problems, and I could probably spend the rest of my career doing the same (although it probably wouldn't be a long career since my head would pop off before too long). There are so many issues in this ugly space that to write about all of them would take too long. So for the purposes of a focused blog (although it's probably too late for that goal), let's just focus on one area of trouble for Java client developers: multi-threaded graphics."

John Catherino writes that really works. He has recently discovered "the logger project; it allows project owners to view access statistics for their projects. What I found out astonished me. So much so, that I thought it important to share this discovery with you."

Back to
Help wanted ads
in today's Forums. DCMinter writes "My problem is with the ignorance of the lossy filters (HR departments, Agencies and clueless managers) who don't know the technology. They're the people who force me to spell out that J2EE includes Java, JSP, JDBC, EJB, ... The same people who would rule out an MS SQL Server developer for a Sybase position (despite the fact that they were originally the same product and remain 99% the same). And when I've finished expanding my CV into all these atoms of definition - some more technologically astute filter will exclude me for playing buzzword bingo... Can't win."

Java Kiddy asks "To what extent should a person's own prejudices influence who gets the job? Should one hire someone in harmony with your own views, or slightly at odds with them? [..] what is classed as 'good design' as opposed to 'bad design' seems to be a matter of personal taste, experience, and (it has to be said) fad."

Ron Hitchens begins to wrap up this month's book club by looking at Not depending on the thread scheduler. "Thread scheduling is, by definition, nondeterministic. Have you ever depended on busy-waits for thread rendezvous? Have you used Thread.yield() when Thread.sleep() or Object.wait() would have been a better choice? Ever relied on thread priorities to make things happen in a specific order?"

In Projects and Communities, the Resource Bundle Editor project in the Java Tools community provides Java developers and language translators with an easy way to collaborate and edit Java resource bundles.

JSR-247, Java Data Mining, has been approved to continue development in the JCP. This JSR enables Java and web services-based applications to embed advanced analytics and data mining technology into their applications.

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