1.2: First Job

  • magetoo 2008-02-11 10:13
    Let me be the fist! to congratulate you on this new venture. I hope that it will fully leverage the synergies of this enterprisey confluence of web and comics.
  • CrazyBomber 2008-02-11 10:21
    Actually, I do have a friend who just graduated, and got a job at one of those "enterprises".
    They put him through a quick Java course, and off he went to a client... and Java's nowhere to be found.
    Aparently they're rebuilding some internal aplication. He's doing the testing...
  • Brett 2008-02-11 10:32
    Wow...

    That is very funny. The sad thing is it is very true.

    Alex, you need to start another artcle about moron recruiters.
  • joe.edwards 2008-02-11 10:47
    Early Penny Arcade comics were rather crudely drawn. The same for early Garfield comics. Cartoonist art styles tend to evolve over time.
  • Outlaw Programmer 2008-02-11 10:54
    I agree with the premise that recruiters are scum, but the comic doesn't really do a good job explaining why they're scum. I think it might be a little confusing for those that don't have experience with them, but *shrug*. Good work, anyway.

    Here goes my evil recruiter story. I was just out of school (with a BS in Comp Sci no less!) and was having a hard time finding a job. A guy from a huge recruiting agency (initials RHT) calls me up and says he'd like to talk. I show up, ace the 2 programming tests that he gives me, and I'm psyched about all the phat loot that he's promised me. Only...he never hooks me up with a client. He doesn't call me once in like 6 months. Of course, after month 1 I recognize the guy is a snake so I keep looking for another job. And when do I hear from him again? Yup, the first day at my new job!
  • Spectre 2008-02-11 11:11
    Now this is a 150+ KB PNG without any gradients. What the failure?

    (On a side note, I like the comic itself. Keep up the good work!)
  • A 2008-02-11 11:13
    I quickly learned to avoid any job postings from RHT KF and several other large agencies.

    The smaller ones are more difficult to avoid... you can't remember their names.
  • egon0119 2008-02-11 11:13
    Ignore the idiots above who are afraid of something new. It's your website, Alex, more power to you.
  • James 2008-02-11 11:22
    My question is, who gets screwed more: the fresh-faced graduate, or the company he gets sent to "consult" for?
  • joe 2008-02-11 11:27
    ahhhhmazing!!!
  • FredSaw 2008-02-11 11:57
    Keep it funny, or better yet, wryly on-target, and the artwork won't matter. See Dilbert for an example.
  • McGuffin 2008-02-11 12:05
    Before I started performing music in public, I practiced at home. A lot.
  • Alex 2008-02-11 12:07
    Oh, come on - personal meetings with recruiters are totally useless. Last year I had like 10 of those, and none brought me a job. Nowadays I just refuse to attend such meetings...
  • AccessGuru 2008-02-11 12:07
    egon0119:
    Ignore the idiots above who are afraid of something new. It's your website, Alex, more power to you.

    He's the site admin, and he does whatever he wants (content discretion, name changes, color schemes) despite us. I'm not sure what power there is to gain beyond this.

    But I'm not saying the comic isn't funny, or that I could do better, because I can't.
  • Aaron 2008-02-11 12:25
    McGuffin:
    Before I started performing music in public, I practiced at home. A lot.

    Come on now - compared to the likes of xkcd or even Dilbert, this is the Mona Lisa.
  • ekolis 2008-02-11 12:27
    Not ALL recruiters are evil, actually... well, either that or the one who got me is REALLY sneaky and has something up his sleeve! I graduated with a BS in Information Technology last June (yes, I know, it's not "real" Computer Science, just the "applied" version :P), 3.8 GPA, some co-op experience working at the university, and no one would hire me! Well, I eventually posted my resume on a career site and started hearing from recruiters right away. Granted many of them I never heard from again (though I did show up, ace the tests at RHT, hear that they needed to run a background check "just in case" since I have misdemeanors on my record - I thought it was illegal to ask about that, anyway, only about felonies? - and never hear from them again :P) - but one agency ("TS") actually pulled through and found me a job last October, and it's worked out just fine! :) Maybe I'm not getting paid what I should, I really don't know and am too polite to ask around, but hey, I found a job, I like it, and I'm getting paid! :)
  • RayMarron 2008-02-11 12:35
    I'm going to withhold judgement until we see about a dozen strips. Hopefully, this will become funnier as we get to know the protagonist.

    Like the others said, artwork takes a distanct second to the characters & story in such comics.
  • Zylon 2008-02-11 12:48
    joe.edwards@imaginuity.com:
    Early Penny Arcade comics were rather crudely drawn. The same for early Garfield comics. Cartoonist art styles tend to evolve over time.

    The early Penny Arcades actually looked better than the current lantern-jawed, Illustrator-enhanced monstrosities.

    And then there's User Friendly's art, which hasn't appreciably changed in years.
  • :-X 2008-02-11 12:58
    It definitely has potential. This one still isn't quite there though.
  • KattMan 2008-02-11 13:00
    Personally, I'd like to keep this off the front page.

    I surf here at work sometimes, and it is easy to say it is work related as it is a tech site that gives the anti-thesis on what should be done, which is just as important as knowing the right way to do things. This claim will be much harder if someone can come by and then claim that I'm sitting here reading some comic strip.

    So by all means do your web comic, just not here on the front page, or perhaps even not on this site. Create a new site or a new sidebar item to host these. Be aware of your audience and what the impression would be purely from a glance at the page.
  • Rev. Spaminator 2008-02-11 13:09
    You know, as much as those jobs suck, they are usually the only way to get a real first job on your resume. Bonus if you stumble into a good situation and get picked up the by the organization after proving you have a brain.

    Prior to that, interviews went something like this...

    "So a degree in Mathematics & Physics, that is quite impressive. But what relevant work experience do you have?"

    "Uh, well... " Lots of humming and hawing follows. Truth be told, you were getting a degree in Math and Physics. Any spare time you had was spent getting drunk and a few other things so you could recover from partial differential equations.
  • bah 2008-02-11 13:11
    KattMan:
    Personally, I'd like to keep this off the front page.

    I surf here at work sometimes, and it is easy to say it is work related as it is a tech site that gives the anti-thesis on what should be done, which is just as important as knowing the right way to do things. This claim will be much harder if someone can come by and then claim that I'm sitting here reading some comic strip.

    So by all means do your web comic, just not here on the front page, or perhaps even not on this site. Create a new site or a new sidebar item to host these. Be aware of your audience and what the impression would be purely from a glance at the page.


    Is that all? Anything else they can do to keep you happy?
  • halber_mensch 2008-02-11 13:16
    KattMan:

    I surf here at work sometimes, and it is easy to say it is work related as it is a tech site that gives the anti-thesis on what should be done, which is just as important as knowing the right way to do things. This claim will be much harder if someone can come by and then claim that I'm sitting here reading some comic strip.

    I'd be more concerned about the paranoid and hostile work environment than the comic strip, dude. If you have to CYA on every web page you visit, that's draconian.
  • Ross 2008-02-11 13:38
    My own first post-college job was as a consultant, working, as you say, for a Certain Company.

    Being a career student with no experience, and being a consultant, made a lot more sense when I realized that it was only the technical side of the Certain Company that called them "consultants". In this company's other (and older) business area, they used a different term for employees in the same class as myself.

    They called them "temps"
  • kipthegreat 2008-02-11 13:58
    So is there an RSS feed for the comic in the works?
  • KattMan 2008-02-11 14:00
    halber_mensch:
    KattMan:

    I surf here at work sometimes, and it is easy to say it is work related as it is a tech site that gives the anti-thesis on what should be done, which is just as important as knowing the right way to do things. This claim will be much harder if someone can come by and then claim that I'm sitting here reading some comic strip.

    I'd be more concerned about the paranoid and hostile work environment than the comic strip, dude. If you have to CYA on every web page you visit, that's draconian.


    You miss the point. If anyone just sees me on the site and says something I can easily say this is job related, it ends there. But if someone comes by and sees a comic on screen and says something, this becomes harder.

    We are in a very public open room and can be seen by people not in our department. Policy doesn't have to be draconian at all, but if people outside the department see this, then they go back and say "Well IT people just sit there reading comics all the time" it doesn't matter what the truth is, the draconian rules will become a necessity.

    It isn't about the rules it is about appearance that can garner a bad reputation from other departments. IT gets a bad rep often enough, reading this site doesn't need to add to that.
  • rycamor 2008-02-11 14:06
    I thought the dry humor implied by the National Geographic or PBS-style commenting was a nice touch. Imagine some overly-schooled commentator describing the absolute carnage of an alligator kill with the same tone of voice you would expect in a symposium on Misesian vs. Keynesian economics.

    +1 on the webcomic.
  • DumbWebComic 2008-02-11 14:16
    Please remove the web comics, they aren't funny
  • Disgruntled DBA 2008-02-11 14:38
    DumbWebComic:
    Please remove the web comics, they aren't funny


    Whom do you recruit for? ;-)
  • Anonymous 2008-02-11 14:49
    As you can probably tell from the artwork, First Job was actually my first attempt at a web-comic, ever. Don't worry, the art gets better in #1.3, #1.4, and so on.

    This is a 1.0 version of the comic? No wonder it's making a bad first impression. I hope the tiny blank expressionless eyeslits and excessive narration will be improved in forthcoming strips.
  • DZ-Jay 2008-02-11 14:49
    I do not think the new comics are funny, so I recommend they be removed from the front page.

    I really miss the days when The Daily WTF contained mostly submissions of horrendous code found alive in the wild.

    -dZ.
  • g0dhand 2008-02-11 15:00
    The bottom line is obvious.

    Someone would not address the recruiting policy in a satirical manner if there wasn't a relation between recruiting/being recruited to the outcome of employment AND/OR that someone hadn't experienced or known someone who had experienced it before.

    I think it's hilarious, and the correlation is definitely evident.

    A comic quick and to the point, as they should be. I caught the point immediately, chuckled like I should at a comic.

    Keep up the good work. :D
  • Rex 2008-02-11 15:04
    Actually I just got a job with a consulting firm. C/C++. (Yup, I am fresh out of college with no work experience).

    I too aced those programming tests they gave me but I have already been at two interviews for major companies, both of which provided THEIR programming test which I aced too. I got the job offer this morning.

    I guess some consulting firms are bad and some are good eh?
  • livid 2008-02-11 15:09
    Outlaw Programmer:
    A guy from a huge recruiting agency (initials RHT) calls me up and says he'd like to talk. I show up, ace the 2 programming tests that he gives me, and I'm psyched about all the phat loot that he's promised me. Only...he never hooks me up with a client. He doesn't call me once in like 6 months. Of course, after month 1 I recognize the guy is a snake so I keep looking for another job. And when do I hear from him again? Yup, the first day at my new job!


    Funny, that *perfectly* describes my experience with a sleazy RHT recruiter. The only time I ever got a call back was *after* I had already procured a FT position on my own, and now, 6 months later, the asshat won't *stop* emailing me about his latest 90-day VB/Access/WTF contracting gig.
  • Nomen Nescio 2008-02-11 15:17
    bah:
    KattMan:
    I surf here at work sometimes, and it is easy to say it is work related as it is a tech site that gives the anti-thesis on what should be done, which is just as important as knowing the right way to do things. This claim will be much harder if someone can come by and then claim that I'm sitting here reading some comic strip.


    Is that all? Anything else they can do to keep you happy?


    Yes, add a mode where all comments are replaced with "All comments and solutions are available to Premium Service Members only."
  • shadowman 2008-02-11 15:43
    Nomen Nescio:

    Yes, add a mode where all comments are replaced with "All comments and solutions are available to Premium Service Members only."


    But then the unregistered users will just figure out they can scroll all the way down to read replies.
  • Anonymous 2008-02-11 16:01
    My comic is 100000 times better.
  • GalacticCowboy 2008-02-11 16:13
    KattMan:
    I surf here at work sometimes, and it is easy to say it is work related as it is a tech site that gives the anti-thesis on what should be done, which is just as important as knowing the right way to do things. This claim will be much harder if someone can come by and then claim that I'm sitting here reading some comic strip.


    A number of years ago (as in, more than 10) I worked for a company where the president would randomly wander around to see what people were doing, and then report them to their managers as discipline issues. One day he told off one of the engineers in our department for "looking at cartoons." Seems he'd wandered by when the guy's screen saver was on, and it featured the Simpsons.

    This was the same president who made a big point of telling everyone how important it was to "be an individual."
  • Chris 2008-02-11 16:16
    You mention the artwork will improve. I like the current artwork.

    For a webcomic's art to be good, it doesn't have to be good. It can be childish, b&w, simplistic, realistic etc. Look at XKCD - it's stickfigures!

    Keep the art this way. I likes it =)
  • Roy-G-BIV 2008-02-11 16:22
    Let me guess, someone was playing PARANOIA when they came up with the name? :)
  • Drongo14 2008-02-11 16:22
    I landed a "consultont" job fresh out of college as well. They - pretty rightly - told me that once I had read the SQL server's documentation back-to-front I'd know 200% more about the product than the all people in our customers' IT departments combined.

    And, as I said, they were quite right. Of course, you need other skills as well, but on that thing, they were absolutely right.
  • DZ-Jay 2008-02-11 16:41
    My comic is 100000 times better.


    HOLY SH*T! Now, *that* is funny!

    I like the artwork too; very crude, but with _style_. Reminds me of early XKCD, before the fancy backgrounds.

    Thanks!
    -dZ.
  • GrandmasterB 2008-02-11 16:48
    As you can probably tell from the artwork, First Job was actually my first attempt at a web-comic, ever.


    probably best to quit while you're ahead.


  • ET 2008-02-11 16:50
    This is worse than your half-assed text diatribes. Yeah, it's your site... but why can't you just keep it to what it's always been -- amusing anecdotes from real life IT, not weak attempts at breaking into new industries?

    You've already pimped the hell out of your little job site or whatever, and hey, that's cool. But PLEASE just stick to what we expect and don't shovel out this crap in addition to the actual entertainment.

    YOU are not why people come here.
  • Russ 2008-02-11 16:50
    livid:
    Outlaw Programmer:
    A guy from a huge recruiting agency (initials RHT) calls me up and says he'd like to talk. I show up, ace the 2 programming tests that he gives me, and I'm psyched about all the phat loot that he's promised me. Only...he never hooks me up with a client. He doesn't call me once in like 6 months. Of course, after month 1 I recognize the guy is a snake so I keep looking for another job. And when do I hear from him again? Yup, the first day at my new job!


    Funny, that *perfectly* describes my experience with a sleazy RHT recruiter. The only time I ever got a call back was *after* I had already procured a FT position on my own, and now, 6 months later, the asshat won't *stop* emailing me about his latest 90-day VB/Access/WTF contracting gig.


    I had a similar experience with Robert Half Technology. I don't remember the exact details, but basically it was between an internship with a big company that paid less but could've led to a full time job, and a contracting gig for another company through RHT that paid double what the internship paid. Being a college student, I needed the money, so I took the consulting job. When I showed up at the employer the first day, I was left sitting there in reception for about an hour when my recruiter called me and told me the job wouldn't start for another two weeks. All in all, I'm still not sure which road would've been better for me, but that experience left me with a sour taste in my mouth. Of course later, after the contract when I tried to come back and rejoin the internship, they wouldn't take me back anymore.
  • Steve 2008-02-11 16:56
    Most jobs suck. Your point?

    CATCHA: "jumentum". Appropriate.
  • taylonr 2008-02-11 16:58
    I sat here and read these comments about how many of you started out as consultants, and I was surprised.

    Honestly, my first reaction when reading the comic was "How can you actually graduate with a degree in a technical field and not have a job prior to graduation?" Has the job market tanked that bad? I had one lined up over a month before graduation, and the company said they wished I'd interviewed in the fall because they would have made an offer then.

    Then again, I graduated with a BSEE in 2000, so maybe 1. Not being comp-sci and 2. being 8 years ago has a difference. But I've watched the market some (and changed jobs last year) and it was definitely an employee market.
  • vt_mruhlin 2008-02-11 17:04
    taylonr:
    I sat here and read these comments about how many of you started out as consultants, and I was surprised.

    Honestly, my first reaction when reading the comic was "How can you actually graduate with a degree in a technical field and not have a job prior to graduation?" Has the job market tanked that bad? I had one lined up over a month before graduation, and the company said they wished I'd interviewed in the fall because they would have made an offer then.

    Then again, I graduated with a BSEE in 2000, so maybe 1. Not being comp-sci and 2. being 8 years ago has a difference. But I've watched the market some (and changed jobs last year) and it was definitely an employee market.


    1) BSEE is way more marketable than BSCS. At least as far as VT was concerned, Engineers did actual work.
    2) The job market was better in 2000.
    3) You managed to stay with a company for 8 years without them outsourcing you to India or just going out of business. That has to look impressive on your resume.
  • SomeCoder 2008-02-11 17:19
    My first and only experience with recruiters was in 2002, after the bubble burst and I was laid off.

    Got a call to come in and "interview" with them. I had only worked for one company and was still pretty green at the time so I didn't see the signs. They made it sound like it was a job interview.

    Turns out it was a recruiter. He made me take a Perl test which is aced and then continued to find me work that was in a city about 40-60 miles away from me. No thanks.

    If I ever got a call from a recruiter again, I'd just laugh in his face and hang up
  • Eternal Density 2008-02-11 17:48
    Meh, I prefer the following
  • Perplexed 2008-02-11 17:56
    Am I the only one with a positive experience with a recruiter?

    I was laid off after the dot-com bubble crashed. I signed up with several recruiters I was sent out on several job interviews and got one closer to home than my previous job.

    Unfortunately it was a contract-to-hire position with a hotel chain in the US that started 10 September 2001.

    After three weeks "due to loss of revenue due to all of the cancellations" my contract was canceled (they actually gave me two weeks notice, very nice of them.)
  • Outlaw Programmer 2008-02-11 18:15
    Perplexed:
    Am I the only one with a positive experience with a recruiter?


    I've had experiences with 3 separate recruiters, and only 1 (the most recent one) really worked out for me. The first is that whole RHT bullshit I wrote about previously. The second recruiter placed me at a job that I was way too overqualified for (glorified copy boy). I made it known to the recruiter that I had a degree in CS and was looking for a programming job, but he sent me to this place anyway. It actually wasn't a bad place at all, but the hours were terrible (12am - 8am) and the work was very boring (when there actually was work).

    A recruiter placed me at my current job and it's worked out really well. However, as far as the recruiter is concerned, I think it's just a coincidence. Just like used car salesmen, these guys will try to place you at any job they have available, with almost total disregard for the wants of the individual or needs of the company. A lot of these tech recruiters don't have the slightest clues about technology at all (one guy actually yelled at me because I didn't know the difference between 3rd normal form and BCNF, wtf?).

    It's just dumb luck that once in a while someone gets placed at a company they actually like.
  • GregoryD 2008-02-11 18:23
    I've been a recruiter, back when I was looking for anything and needed a job (I now develop web applications).

    Here's the deal: new recruiters are given the horrible candidates from other recruiters' databases in the same company. They usually don't have jobs right away for the candidates because they're really just trying to network around to find the best candidates and clients they can find. There's a process involved... candidates yield potential clients and candidates, who in turn can yield more potential clients and candidates. Recruiters don't actively search for specific positions. Instead, they network the client managers they're in contact with to see if there are any positions available. They then go through the pool of candidates they have to see if they match.

    That's pretty much the way the business HAS to be. They have to get the candidate in front of the client before the client puts the job up on Dice or Monster, or they're likely to lose out on the 20% markup.

    The key to working with recruiters is to only work with the guys who sound like aggressive superstars. They WILL call your references and attempt to network them because it's standard business practice, so protect your references and only give them out when you have a job waiting. The more polished they are on the phone, the more polished they are talking to the client, the more likely they're going to find openings for you.

    And hey, shit happens. Jobs fall through because of all sorts of problems. Sometimes the best clients can have issues.

    Bottom line is, don't go bitching about recruiters unless you're doing your own legwork on the side. When a recruiter finds you a job, you should look at it as a bonus, not an expectation.
  • Anonymous 2008-02-11 19:23
    I have unsubscribed from your RSS until you get rid of this unfunny, poorly drawn crap.
  • Tei 2008-02-11 19:25
    Good Luck with the Comic!
  • recruiters are terrorists 2008-02-11 20:33
    GregoryD:
    I've been a recruiter, back when I was looking for anything and needed a job (I now develop web applications).

    ...

    Bottom line is, don't go bitching about recruiters unless you're doing your own legwork on the side. When a recruiter finds you a job, you should look at it as a bonus, not an expectation.


    Awwwww boo hoo poor you. I'm happy to do my own legwork, the problem is asshole recruiters locking up all the employers, so if you go to the employer directly they say "we do all our recruiting through xyz".

    If a company advertises itself, they immediately get harassed by recruiters telling them they can do a better job. Recruiters constantly pass on the bottom of the barrel to companies so they can maximize their margins.

    I have never met a recruiter that wasn't a lying scumbag. They'll lie about the job to candidates, they'll lie to the employer about the candidate, they'll lie about negotations, they'll lie about the contract. They can't help but lie.

    Recruiters are parasites on society and are probably responsible for 99% of the wtf'ery on this site.
  • paul 2008-02-11 22:21
    I am not opposed to web comics in general but this one is poorly-executed and there hasn't been any discernible humor in either strip.
  • Cloak 2008-02-11 23:32
    Here in Belgium people come out of a College school and then they become a teacher...
  • Anon 2008-02-11 23:39
    KattMan:
    Personally, I'd like to keep this off the front page.

    I surf here at work sometimes, and it is easy to say it is work related as it is a tech site that gives the anti-thesis on what should be done, which is just as important as knowing the right way to do things. This claim will be much harder if someone can come by and then claim that I'm sitting here reading some comic strip.

    So by all means do your web comic, just not here on the front page, or perhaps even not on this site. Create a new site or a new sidebar item to host these. Be aware of your audience and what the impression would be purely from a glance at the page.


    If you are that worried about it, you could block the images on the site, then the page would look more "work related"
  • Cloak 2008-02-11 23:46
    bah:
    KattMan:
    Personally, I'd like to keep this off the front page.

    I surf here at work sometimes, and it is easy to say it is work related as it is a tech site that gives the anti-thesis on what should be done, which is just as important as knowing the right way to do things. This claim will be much harder if someone can come by and then claim that I'm sitting here reading some comic strip.

    So by all means do your web comic, just not here on the front page, or perhaps even not on this site. Create a new site or a new sidebar item to host these. Be aware of your audience and what the impression would be purely from a glance at the page.


    Is that all? Anything else they can do to keep you happy?


    Well, Kattman is not so wrong. People often try to mob you and this is just one occasion to add something to it.
  • Proko 2008-02-12 03:45
    Rev. Spaminator:
    You know, as much as those jobs suck, they are usually the only way to get a real first job on your resume. Bonus if you stumble into a good situation and get picked up the by the organization after proving you have a brain.

    Prior to that, interviews went something like this...

    "So a degree in Mathematics & Physics, that is quite impressive. But what relevant work experience do you have?"

    "Uh, well... " Lots of humming and hawing follows. Truth be told, you were getting a degree in Math and Physics. Any spare time you had was spent getting drunk and a few other things so you could recover from partial differential equations.


    I have never heard that anyone could better describe how getting degree in Math and Physics works. But anyway I'm learning Physics in university and working from side is possible only if you care only about getting through from university not the grades with what you get through( luckly, I dont care ). And actually I don't even want to hear about partial differential equations.
    But about that story. In the country where I live, there is so high demand for programmers and administrators, that computer science guy's are pulled to work from the first year in university and there are talks, that about 85% second year drop-out's are dropping out because they can't to that much work and school in the same time.
  • Anonymous Coward 2008-02-12 03:49
    My first point is, what the heck! As if I don't spend enough time in front of my monitor. Now you're trying to ruin my eyesight even more. Can you use a sharper anti-aliasing?

    And my second is that, having interned at an investment company, I learnt that consultants of software providers get poked and prodded by the IT analysts of external companies which use their products. No "consulting" for me after I graduate (at least as much as I can help it). :P
  • Mez 2008-02-12 04:16
    recruiters are terrorists:

    Recruiters are parasites on society and are probably responsible for 99% of the wtf'ery on this site.


    Hear, hear! I'm going to go one further, and suggest that agents of any time are the scum of society....employment agents, real esatate agents.
  • Mez 2008-02-12 04:17
    Proko:

    I have never heard that anyone could better describe how getting degree in Math and Physics works. But anyway I'm learning Physics in university and working from side is possible only if you care only about getting through from university not the grades with what you get through( luckly, I dont care ). And actually I don't even want to hear about partial differential equations.
    But about that story. In the country where I live, there is so high demand for programmers and administrators, that computer science guy's are pulled to work from the first year in university and there are talks, that about 85% second year drop-out's are dropping out because they can't to that much work and school in the same time.


    Which country would that be?
  • tragomaskhalos 2008-02-12 06:16

    This must be how the consultants who did the "requirements" capture for my current project were recruited!
    (1 year + 2 people + a million quid => 1 big useless excel spreadsheet)
  • ObiWayneKenobi 2008-02-12 08:36
    Let me jump in on the "recruiters are scum" bandwagon. Every time I've dealt with one, it's led to absolutely nothing but a waste of my time. 90% of them want me to drive over an hour (usually further than the job they advertise for) to meet with them, before they even tell me anything about the job that they advertised in the first place! For a real interview this isn't so bad, but to meet with some non-technical idiot who thinks he knows about technology? Fuck that.

    And yet, over 90% of the jobs that I see listed are listed via staffing agencies and headhunters. Not a one listed by the hiring company itself, so I at least know who it is and what they do.
  • ChrisH 2008-02-12 09:11
    A BS in Computer Science?

    I've got BS in almost all subjects. The consultancy job is mine!!! Muuahahahhaahaaa.
  • Brett 2008-02-12 09:19
    Has anyone else adopted a position of not dealing with recruiters?

    I got tired of dealing with them. They either offer me jobs I'm not qualified for or the offers just suck. I also want to control the direction of my career. Recruiters don't do that, they are out for themselves. I understand why they are that way, they are in business to make money for their company.
  • fennec 2008-02-12 09:42
    This, ladies and gentlemen, is why you need internships.


    (As a student, not as a company.)
  • savar 2008-02-12 10:06
    James:
    My question is, who gets screwed more: the fresh-faced graduate, or the company he gets sent to "consult" for?


    I went straight from college to working as a consultant. I'm aware that I don't have the experience of others in the industry, but looking around at the employees where I work... I'm f***ing happy that I'm not one of them.

    Most are complete idiots, with credential more dubious than my own. Awful social skills, terrible management/communication skills. The project they are running is an utter disaster: 7 years with not 1 line of code in production, spending $500 mil per year and employing over 200 people. Some of them can't touch type. Most of them can't program. None of them can design.

    Sigh.
  • savar 2008-02-12 10:18
    Also, you folks are all off on the nomenclature.

    Contractor: Fills roles temporarily in client organizations that can't afford to hire an employee due to the short term nature of the work.

    Temp: See <Contractor>. Derogatory connotation.

    Consultant: Work on behalf of a client who doesn't have the [manager or expert] resources to complete the work themselves.

    Staff Aug: If you're a consultant who got stuck doing contracting work anyway, Staff Aug is a nice way to explain to your parents that you're an IT temp.
  • JimM 2008-02-12 12:20
    Eternal Density:
    Meh, I prefer the following
    [code]Posted narbonic strip snipped out fopr everyone's sanity

    I did wonder if anyone else would pick up on the narbonic similarity. if this webcomic turns out to be even a quarter as good as narbonic then it'll still be better than 80% of the webcomics out there.

    The thing that gets me is the fact that the vast majority of people who are dissing the comic can't even be bothered to register on the site! Erm, guys... you do realise that you are essentially totally anonymous, right? (says the guy who hasn't bothered to register yet ;^) )

    btw, I think the recruiter thing is somewhat different in the UK; apart from the annoying fake job ads that get issued to farm CVs, they generally send you details of jobs that are relevant to your level of experience and area of expertise...
  • operagost 2008-02-12 13:04
    Outlaw Programmer:

    Here goes my evil recruiter story. I was just out of school (with a BS in Comp Sci no less!) and was having a hard time finding a job. A guy from a huge recruiting agency (initials RHT) calls me up and says he'd like to talk. I show up, ace the 2 programming tests that he gives me, and I'm psyched about all the phat loot that he's promised me. Only...he never hooks me up with a client. He doesn't call me once in like 6 months. Of course, after month 1 I recognize the guy is a snake so I keep looking for another job. And when do I hear from him again? Yup, the first day at my new job!

    My personal experience with RHT says that you should have followed up with him every few days. That helps keep your resume on top of his stack. I only had two recruiters out of four at RHT that would actively "sell" me rather than just add my resume to the database.
  • FredSaw 2008-02-12 14:34
    My experience with recruiters was essentially good. I put my resume up on Monster, and immediately heard from about six of them. One interviewed me by phone and the others had me come in. The first one offered me less than I wanted for a position with no benefits, so I asked for $5/hour more. We finished the interview but I never heard from her again. The others were equally vague, but one guy was sincere enough to wait for two hours while I battled Dallas 5:00 o'clock traffic to get to his office, getting lost twice in the process. This guy sent me on four interviews. In 2000, before .Net, I was a VB6 developer, and the four positions were all for a guy with those skills. The first was the local branch of McAfee, and I botched that interview, as I have told in another thread here. Second was a company with one flagship product which they updated annually. The third was an investment company with lots of utilities to be built for internal use. They and I did not get a comfortable feeling about each other. Finally he sent me to interview for the position I still hold now, almost eight years later.

    When I accepted this postiion, the people with the flagship product tried to woo me away. They asked me to come have dinner with them and discuss terms. But the thing was, they were developing a win32 product, and this position was web-oriented. And I wanted to be working on the web.

    The recruiter was straight up with me and with the hirers. He was a good man, so far as I saw.

    However, in the time since then, I've seen a few in connection with interviews I've done who would shake your confidence.
  • Captaffy 2008-02-13 03:06
    I have had absolutely zero luck with recruiters, and I don't know how many I've dealt with. Twenty at least. They lie. Constantly. (Every job I've gotten has been the result of knowing someone in the company that got me an interview.)

    The last recruiter I dealt with said the hiring company was okay with limited telecommuting (which was a necessity for me at the time), and yet when I finally spoke to someone at the company, this was not the case. I don't understand what the recruiter stood to gain by lying. Did he think that I would be so enamoured with the company that I'd just throw my obligations out the window? All he did was waste my time, and the hiring company's time.

    I've chosen to never deal with a recruiter again, even though I suspect that will lead to me having to leave this field.
  • Proko 2008-02-13 03:34
    Estonia, in case you have ever heard about it.
  • Proko 2008-02-13 03:35
    Proko:
    Estonia, in case you have ever heard about it.


    It was answer to Mez question.
  • Evil Otto 2008-02-13 09:34
    You're lucky that's ALL they lied to you about.

    The job I had before this one (found through the Judge Group - never ever ever EVER work with these scumbags) was represented to me with a level of compensation that turned out to be $20,000 more than what the job actually paid me in total. They lied about the bonus structure (I guess it's really easy to mistake 1.5% of your total salary for $1000 to $5000, which is what they told me), they lied to me about the 401k match (what, the vesting percentages aren't the same thing as the employee match? Wait, it's actually illegal for a company to match up to 20% of your salary into the 401k?).

    Current job was found by my company putting an ad on Monster, and searching through the resume listings for good candidates. Came in, talked with my current boss, got the offer that evening.

    THIS IS THE WAY IT'S SUPPOSED TO WORK. Recruiters only exist to line their own pockets at the expense of making it harder to get a job. They profit off of our skills because the only skills they have are lying, cheating, and schmoozing. I'd like to see the whole industry legislated out of existence (or at the very least regulated to the point where EVERYTHING MUST BE IN WRITING.)

    In a similar vein, my advice to those who must deal with these leeches because they have the job market sewn up:

    1) Do NOT go to meet them just to 'meet the team' or to 'talk about your background'. Ask them if they have a particular position in mind, and to tell you about it. If they don't, tell them you are going on so many interviews that you have to be selective about how you budget your time (even if that's a complete lie - they lie to you, so you better lie to them). If they do describe a position, make sure you ask if it's still open and when the company is looking to place someone. I've shown up at a recruiting office only to be told that the position they told me about had been filled 3 days ago, by someone other than the person I talked to. (Gotta love catching them in a lie.)
    2) Ask if it's ok to come in wearing 'business casual' clothes. Don't waste a dry-cleaning on these scumbags. If they want you to come in in a suit, it's a red flag that they're looking to have you make an emotional investment in working for them.
    3) IF IT ISN'T IN WRITING, IT DIDN'T HAPPEN. If there is an offer, make DAMN SURE you contact the client company first to confirm the details of the offer. If the recruiter asks you not to contact them directly, ignore them. You have to look out for your own interests, because they sure as hell aren't going to.
    4) Ask who the client company is as early as possible. They may not tell you right away, but eventually they'll tell you where you have to go for an interview. At the very least you'll be able to do some homework on the company, to find out what kind of a place it is to work, what their business prospects are, what kind of business they're in, and so forth. It may turn out that the reason they're using recruiters is that their turnover is huge because they treat their people like crap. If you haven't signed anything with the recruiter indicating that you won't contact the client directly, check to see if the job is posted online and contact them directly. Chances are the company will realize that they can save the recruiter's fee by not using them, and agree to talk to you. However, don't mention the recruiter at all to the client company; they may not appreciate your end-run (even though it's better for everyone involved.)
    5) Remember that until you verify otherwise yourself, EVERY WORD THAT COMES OUT OF THEIR MOUTHS IS A LIE.
    6) Recruiters make money by placing people. If they want to charge YOU for getting placed, turn around and RUN, not walk, away.
    7) Remember that without you, they make no money. Comport yourself accordingly, and don't take any crap from them.

    Why yes, I have been screwed over by many recruiters; I seem to be a slow learner. RHT actually wanted ME to pay THEM once to find me a job. When I didn't have the $3700 they wanted, that was that.
  • Martin 2008-02-13 09:36
    Personally I have had decent luck with recruiters. When I was a total noob they were useless but now that I have actual skills I know that I can count on them if I need a job quick. The last time I was unemployed I got in touch with a recruiter and was placed within 3 days of first contact at a very good hourly salary with almost unlimited overtime. Basically if you have no demonstrable skills and the market is a bear then recruiters are useless. But if you have skills and the job market is in good shape they are the fastest way to get a job IMHO.
  • zip 2008-02-13 10:08
    Brett:
    Has anyone else adopted a position of not dealing with recruiters?


    I have to answer the phones in my office (satellite office, part of a larger company) and we get calls from recruiters constantly. My greatest pleasure is saying to them "I'm sorry, we don't work with recruiters" and then listening to them squawk for a bit before I hang up.
  • fellow illustrator 2008-02-13 13:07
    ET:
    This is worse than your half-assed text diatribes. Yeah, it's your site... but why can't you just keep it to what it's always been -- amusing anecdotes from real life IT, not weak attempts at breaking into new industries?

    :::snip:::

    YOU are not why people come here.


    Wow, I rarely (if ever) post here, but this response really hit too close to home.

    I did post on a couple message boards in a different area of interest over a few years and, one day, I started to receive some pretty stupid complaints about my posting style. There was a time when moderately intelligent people with a point would express it at length, allowing opponents to see why an opinion was held while providing an outlet for their own views. Unfortunately, I didn't keep up for a bit and had a rude awakening to an enraged crowd of "me too" drama queens sputtering and choking on proper sentence structure and coherent thoughts.

    I travelled around aimlessly for a few weeks, alternating between pitying and cursing them. Then, one day, I imagined a humorous (if a little mean) drawing that opened up the possibility of doing a regular editorial cartoon. It would be a grand experiment...could I win over in pictures those who would howl at the written word?

    A year and 40-some editions later, I have tentative answers to that question. On one board, it's gotten me some fans, particularly in the creative community. On another, I've been chided for the effort (100+ drivel posts per week is cool, but spend an hour drawing and you need to get a life) but my point is not entirely lost. I can't wait to see what happens when I cast the net a little wider.

    I really hope Alex is taking into account the source, as well as content, of these critical remarks. A few sound like they come from people who don't get it and/or couldn't draw to save their life, but need to feel big hiding behind a keyboard. This is his site and his soapbox and I think the comic's a fantastic idea even if the execution needs work.
  • RBob 2008-02-13 14:57
    GregoryD:
    I've been a recruiter, back when I was looking for anything and needed a job (I now develop web applications).

    Here's the deal: new recruiters are given the horrible candidates from other recruiters' databases in the same company. They usually don't have jobs right away for the candidates because they're really just trying to network around to find the best candidates and clients they can find. There's a process involved... candidates yield potential clients and candidates, who in turn can yield more potential clients and candidates. Recruiters don't actively search for specific positions. Instead, they network the client managers they're in contact with to see if there are any positions available. They then go through the pool of candidates they have to see if they match.

    That's pretty much the way the business HAS to be. They have to get the candidate in front of the client before the client puts the job up on Dice or Monster, or they're likely to lose out on the 20% markup.

    The key to working with recruiters is to only work with the guys who sound like aggressive superstars. They WILL call your references and attempt to network them because it's standard business practice, so protect your references and only give them out when you have a job waiting. The more polished they are on the phone, the more polished they are talking to the client, the more likely they're going to find openings for you.

    And hey, shit happens. Jobs fall through because of all sorts of problems. Sometimes the best clients can have issues.

    Bottom line is, don't go bitching about recruiters unless you're doing your own legwork on the side. When a recruiter finds you a job, you should look at it as a bonus, not an expectation.


    I began working as a consultant in a niche market (Remedy, now BMC Remedy) several years ago. The company that pushed me into Remedy went tennis-shoes-up. Life has been good, probably because it's a niche market with some demand. Remedy "developers" with a software and systems background are hard to find. In all but one case, for me it's been one interview, one job--after the recruiter screening. Also, the organization needing my services usually finds me and tells whatever recruiter the organization uses to hire me.
  • mal(adjusted) 2008-02-13 18:49
    GregoryD:
    I've been a recruiter, back when I was looking for anything and needed a job (I now develop web applications).

    Here's the deal: new recruiters are given the horrible candidates from other recruiters' databases in the same company. They usually don't have jobs right away for the candidates because they're really just trying to network around to find the best candidates and clients they can find. There's a process involved... candidates yield potential clients and candidates, who in turn can yield more potential clients and candidates. Recruiters don't actively search for specific positions. Instead, they network the client managers they're in contact with to see if there are any positions available. They then go through the pool of candidates they have to see if they match.

    That's pretty much the way the business HAS to be. They have to get the candidate in front of the client before the client puts the job up on Dice or Monster, or they're likely to lose out on the 20% markup.

    The key to working with recruiters is to only work with the guys who sound like aggressive superstars. They WILL call your references and attempt to network them because it's standard business practice, so protect your references and only give them out when you have a job waiting. The more polished they are on the phone, the more polished they are talking to the client, the more likely they're going to find openings for you.

    And hey, shit happens. Jobs fall through because of all sorts of problems. Sometimes the best clients can have issues.

    Bottom line is, don't go bitching about recruiters unless you're doing your own legwork on the side. When a recruiter finds you a job, you should look at it as a bonus, not an expectation.


    Ya know, I appreciate the POV of someone who has done the job, but I don't necessarily agree with you. From the perspective of a programmer who has dealt with recruiters numerous times in the last 8 years, here's why:

    1. Most of the "opportunities" that have come to me from recruiters, do so from people who have failed to read my résumé or job site profile. That is, either the opportunities are not in my target region, or the skills they want are not on my résumé (For example, if I wrote a Perl SOAP client that talked to a .NET SOAP service, you cannot conclude that I know .NET).
    2. The "aggressive superstar" recruiters I have dealt with have usually been willing to play fast and loose with the facts when representing me to a company. It may be a weakness, but I prefer to err on the side of telling people when I can't do a job, rather than representing myself as being an expert in something I'm not.
    3. Recruiters have a tendency to promise the world--and deliver little if anything. "I have a job you're a perfect fit for. They'll hire you next week!" (followed by a 6 month wait and unreturned follow-up calls).
    4. Recruiters tend not to update your contact info. I have one agency that I contacted 5 years ago. They didn't deliver at the time, but they keep pestering me to work in a town I never lived in (and don't want to) even though I've since left the state.
    5. Recruiters get pushy when they want something, but disappear completely when they don't.

    Am I jaded and cynical about being another slave in the recruiter's meat market? You bet! I use them because I have to, and I've met one or two who actually seemed to care beyond the fact that placing me got them a commission, but I don't have a very high opinion of the process.
  • PAG 2008-02-14 07:52
    Wow, so much analysis over a litte funny web comic...

    He should have done it even more caricatural so people wouldn't think that this is reality...

    http://blogmiel.blogspot.com