• philip (unregistered)

    Sounds like a lot of interactions I've had with recruiters. That's commission employees for you though.

  • dgvid (cs)

    The recruiter's use of "Ciao" might have been sufficient to scare me away from further inquiry.

  • drusi (unregistered)

    What I'm learning from this website is that recruiters are never to be trusted.

    CAPTCHA recruiters would like to mention that you shouldn't trust recruiters because they act very suscipit.

  • Zylon (cs)

    I think I'd rather have casual faux-enthusiasm than faux-casual enthusiasm.

  • YR (unregistered)

    I just began to wonder how frequently a WTF story includes, uhn... faint... signs of nepotism.

  • WC (unregistered)

    I like where someone "beaconed The Guru" ... Do you think it was the bat signal?

    What? Oh, beckoned? That's not nearly as flashy.

    __ Ed: It was more a faint beeping noise... [fixed]

  • java.lang.Chris; (cs)

    I love the "must have a degree" insistence of some firms. I have no formal programming qualifications, but have been programming since the age of eleven - first in 6052 assembler (Commodore 64), then 68k assembler and C (Atari ST) before becoming a professional programmer. Even with fifteen years experience in the industry, I still get turned down for jobs before the interviewing stage thanks to not having a degree!

  • PedanticCurmudgeon (cs) in reply to dgvid
    dgvid:
    The recruiter's use of "Ciao" might have been sufficient to scare me away from further inquiry.
    Or at the very least, this quote from the article should have been a "Run for your life!" warning:
    The Guru:
    The IT department forms the vital organs of this company, and the Head of IT and I are the two hemospheres of its brain. One of you will be it's hands. While you may write the code, it is up to the brain, not the hands, to decide what action to take.
  • ThePants999 (cs)

    Having a degree myself, I don't understand why anyone insists on a degree. It was fun and all, but spending that time working would have made me better suited for most jobs than the degree did.

  • Corey (unregistered)

    Think I would've walked out when the guy without the degree got the boot. A company wasting someone's time by bringing them in for a face to face without reading their resume would would raise a giant red flag for me.

  • Jon (unregistered)

    There are no blonde chicks in IT.

  • J (unregistered) in reply to ThePants999
    Having a degree myself, I don't understand why anyone insists on a degree.

    Because HR expects the job posting to be easy for them to understand.

  • YR (unregistered)

    I have a degree... it is nice to teach you a lot of techniques, principles and fundamentals behind many aspects of programming and IT, but real-world experience is by far more useful. I pity myself for not getting a job earlier while studying... I'd be far far away from where I am now.

    I'm tired of having to live along with some dumb code-monkey-with-a-degree, where a 16 year old kiddo with programming practice would be rocking the boat, not punching holes on it.

  • RichP (cs) in reply to ThePants999
    ThePants999:
    Having a degree myself, I don't understand why anyone insists on a degree. It was fun and all, but spending that time working would have made me better suited for most jobs than the degree did.

    The degree requirement happens after an HR department hires a Marcus McNaulty, who the Boss says is "really good with computers", but actually dropped out of college to do welding. If the HR dept. lacks the ability to evaluate the technical abilities of recruits, they fall back on the degree requirement.

    End result: they'll weed out lots of the McNaultys, but also plenty of otherwise qualified people.

  • Bruce W (unregistered)

    "The CEO smiled broadly" -- when did he enter the story?

    "Optimizing Access" -- the ulimate oxymoron.

    __ Ed: whoops, should have been The Guru. Fixed!

  • C-Octothorpe (cs) in reply to java.lang.Chris;
    java.lang.Chris;:
    I love the "must have a degree" insistence of some firms. I have no formal programming qualifications, but have been programming since the age of eleven - first in 6052 assembler (Commodore 64), then 68k assembler and C (Atari ST) before becoming a professional programmer. Even with fifteen years experience in the industry, I still get turned down for jobs before the interviewing stage thanks to not having a degree!

    I also found this closer to the beginning of my career, however once you get past the 5 year mark it tends to not weight quite as much. Personally, anytime there is an employer who insists on degreed candidates only, it's probably a red flag and should be avoided, IMO.

  • Bruce W (unregistered) in reply to J
    J:
    Having a degree myself, I don't understand why anyone insists on a degree.

    Because HR expects the job posting to be easy for them to understand.

    The best analogy I've heard is "a degree is the white-collar union card".

  • boog (cs) in reply to PedanticCurmudgeon
    PedanticCurmudgeon:
    dgvid:
    The recruiter's use of "Ciao" might have been sufficient to scare me away from further inquiry.
    Or at the very least, this quote from the article should have been a "Run for your life!" warning:
    The Guru:
    The IT department forms the vital organs of this company, and the Head of IT and I are the two hemospheres of its brain. One of you will be it's hands. While you may write the code, it is up to the brain, not the hands, to decide what action to take.
    Indeed. Hands certainly aren't a vital organ, and they won't hesitate to amputate if it elevates the body's survival rate.
  • skington (cs) in reply to java.lang.Chris;
    java.lang.Chris;:
    I love the "must have a degree" insistence of some firms. I have no formal programming qualifications, but have been programming since the age of eleven - first in 6052 assembler (Commodore 64), then 68k assembler and C (Atari ST) before becoming a professional programmer. Even with fifteen years experience in the industry, I still get turned down for jobs before the interviewing stage thanks to not having a degree!

    I'd say that's a good thing; you don't want to waste your time with people who read your CV and think "no degree" without noticing that they didn't do CS degrees when you were entering the industry.

  • boog (cs) in reply to RichP
    RichP:
    ThePants999:
    Having a degree myself, I don't understand why anyone insists on a degree. It was fun and all, but spending that time working would have made me better suited for most jobs than the degree did.

    The degree requirement happens after an HR department hires a Marcus McNaulty, who the Boss says is "really good with computers", but actually dropped out of college to do welding. If the HR dept. lacks the ability to evaluate the technical abilities of recruits, they fall back on the degree requirement.

    End result: they'll weed out lots of the McNaultys, but also plenty of otherwise qualified people.

    I would add that having a degree requirement doesn't automatically make any job a bad option. I've had a couple jobs that were great despite requiring a degree.

    But I do agree that requiring degrees can weed out qualified individuals. Also, there's no absolute guarantee that someone with a degree has any real skills. I know a number of nitwits who managed to get degrees somehow.

  • C-Octothorpe (cs) in reply to drusi
    drusi:
    What I'm learning from this website is that recruiters are never to be trusted.

    CAPTCHA recruiters would like to mention that you shouldn't trust recruiters because they act very suscipit.

    I refer to them as used car salesmen who would step over their own mothers for a buck... There are a few, and I mean maybe ten in the world, who are actually motivated (at least in part) by your best interests.

    Fortuntely once you deal with enough of them (and unfortunately get burned once or twice), you can spot the ingenuous, turd polishing bullshit that spews from their mouths. When you know the rules to their game, it's a lot easier to play.

  • StudentEternal (unregistered) in reply to C-Octothorpe

    I have actually had good experiences with recruiters, but you do have to be careful. I have had to rebuff a lot of recruiters who were trying to put me in positions I was not qualified for, but I hate to see the whole industry tarred with their brush after working with some really good ones.

  • Mikerad (unregistered) in reply to boog
    boog:
    I know a number of nitwits who managed to get degrees somehow.

    Just like there is always someone first in their class, there is always someone last in their class. Sounds like you got some of the latter...

  • Mike (unregistered) in reply to C-Octothorpe
    C-Octothorpe:
    java.lang.Chris;:
    I love the "must have a degree" insistence of some firms. I have no formal programming qualifications, but have been programming since the age of eleven - first in 6052 assembler (Commodore 64), then 68k assembler and C (Atari ST) before becoming a professional programmer. Even with fifteen years experience in the industry, I still get turned down for jobs before the interviewing stage thanks to not having a degree!

    I also found this closer to the beginning of my career, however once you get past the 5 year mark it tends to not weight quite as much. Personally, anytime there is an employer who insists on degreed candidates only, it's probably a red flag and should be avoided, IMO.

    Most local / state / federal jobs require a degree.

  • nB (unregistered) in reply to YR

    9 times out of 10 if nepotism is involved RUN. The other 1 time out of 10, keep your sense of trepidation handy.

  • just me (unregistered) in reply to nB
    nB:
    9 times out of 10 if nepotism is involved RUN. The other 1 time out of 10, don't forget to say "thank you" to your uncle.

    FTFY

  • Jellineck (unregistered) in reply to Mike
    Mike:
    C-Octothorpe:
    java.lang.Chris;:
    I love the "must have a degree" insistence of some firms. I have no formal programming qualifications, but have been programming since the age of eleven - first in 6052 assembler (Commodore 64), then 68k assembler and C (Atari ST) before becoming a professional programmer. Even with fifteen years experience in the industry, I still get turned down for jobs before the interviewing stage thanks to not having a degree!

    I also found this closer to the beginning of my career, however once you get past the 5 year mark it tends to not weight quite as much. Personally, anytime there is an employer who insists on degreed candidates only, it's probably a red flag and should be avoided, IMO.

    Most local / state / federal jobs require a degree.

    They may require a degree, but it doesn't have to be a CS degree. I worked in a gov't shop that had that requirement. It was even to the point that one of the canned interview questions was "You have a degree in X, why did you decide to go into software development".

  • C-Octothorpe (cs) in reply to StudentEternal
    StudentEternal:
    I have actually had good experiences with recruiters, but you do have to be careful. I have had to rebuff a lot of recruiters who were trying to put me in positions I was not qualified for, but I hate to see the whole industry tarred with their brush after working with some really good ones.

    I'm not saying it's the whole industry as I too have had good experiences and I continue to work with the ones I trust. What I am saying is that there tends to be almost a culture of lying where the best liars are rewarded. I've seen it, heard it and been burned by it and I'm sorry to say, is undeniable. Anyone who has contracted for more than 3 years will tell you this.

    Honestly, I wish I had your luck, but I've dealt with recruiters from both small (1-5 people) and large (1000+ emps) firms and lying seems to be the great leveler. Whether they lie about the potential company, the role, the rate, what their cut is, whatever... Except for the few I mentioned above that I still work with on a regular basis, most recruiters lie about something.

    And don't even get me started on the ones who call you up once every three months saying "omg, there iz dis crzy role for 12 months at 1 bajillion dollars an hour, need you to fill out this skills matrix that will take 2-3 hours while you're still at work because the submission deadline is this afternoon!!!". You won't hear from them again until the next "omg role!"...

  • Anon (unregistered)
    the Head of IT and I are the two hemospheres of its brain.

    You have to appreciate their honesty in admitting to only having half a brain.

    Also hemosphere? Is that anything like a hemisphere?

  • frits (cs) in reply to C-Octothorpe
    C-Octothorpe:
    What I am saying is that there tends to be almost a culture of lying where the best liars are rewarded.
    These people are in sales, no? Enough said...
  • C-Octothorpe (cs) in reply to Anon
    Anon:
    the Head of IT and I are the two hemospheres of its brain.

    You have to appreciate their honesty in admitting to only having half a brain.

    Also hemosphere? Is that anything like a hemisphere?

    Alex writes code; nobody ever said he can write English...

  • frits (cs) in reply to Anon
    Anon:
    Also hemosphere? Is that anything like a hemisphere?
    More like a bloody ball.
  • jnewton (cs)

    A degree is no substitute for experience but it does effectively multiply it. I found that when I got my first real job out of college I picked up concepts a lot quicker than my colleagues without degrees but more experience. Also, having a degree proves that you have enough discipline to finish school.

  • C-Octothorpe (cs) in reply to frits
    frits:
    C-Octothorpe:
    What I am saying is that there tends to be almost a culture of lying where the best liars are rewarded.
    These people are in sales, no? Enough said...

    Agreed, but it takes it to a new level of slime when you're messing with someones income, their family and personal well being, etc..

    Addendum (2011-05-24 11:53): NOTE: not jaded, just sayin'...

  • jdea (unregistered)

    This Marcus reminds me of Agent Smith from the Matrix series. Did anyone else imagine him speaking with Smith's voice?

  • Craig (unregistered) in reply to jnewton
    jnewton:
    A degree is no substitute for experience but it does effectively multiply it. I found that when I got my first real job out of college I picked up concepts a lot quicker than my colleagues without degrees but more experience.

    Bingo! You understand fundamental computer and data processing concepts and how to solve problems rather than how to cut-and-paste code from examples you found on the web.

    I find it amusing in these conversations that the non-degreed people always pipe up with the "experience is more important" and "I don't have a degree and I'm doing just fine." A person can be a complete tool with or without a degree, but I find I can explain things a lot more quickly to someone who has a more broad education than "I wrote programs on my C64 when I was eleven."

  • Herby (unregistered)

    On requirements: The chip in a Commodore 64 is a 6502, not a 6052. I'm surprised no one caught that one.

    While a "degree" might be a requirement it is laughable that some require one from a "Top-Tier" school.

    My experience in this area was being recruited for a position and offered a REALLY low salary. They didn't want to get charged by the recruiting company too much. They said I would get a raise "real soon" after I signed up. I passed, and the offer went up 25% which was STILL way low for the death march schedule. I still passed. Every once in a while I look at their web site for their product, and it is still there, but I don't see their product in all the mass merchandising stores they claimed were just waiting to get their hands on. I knew a bit about the costs of the hardware and with the margins included, they weren't going to make it at the price they wanted to sell it at. Besides that, it was a function that a simple application on your home computer could do quite easily (I asked a family friend if their 8 year old could do it on their computer, and I got the answer "Oh, yes quite easily"). I just checked, and it appears that the company isn't any more. Perhaps someone got a clue!

  • Mel (unregistered) in reply to Craig
    Craig:
    jnewton:
    A degree is no substitute for experience but it does effectively multiply it. I found that when I got my first real job out of college I picked up concepts a lot quicker than my colleagues without degrees but more experience.

    Bingo! You understand fundamental computer and data processing concepts and how to solve problems rather than how to cut-and-paste code from examples you found on the web.

    I find it amusing in these conversations that the non-degreed people always pipe up with the "experience is more important" and "I don't have a degree and I'm doing just fine." A person can be a complete tool with or without a degree, but I find I can explain things a lot more quickly to someone who has a more broad education than "I wrote programs on my C64 when I was eleven."

    Well, I have a fairly patchy education record so maybe a different perspective. I did 1 year of Uni then completed a (rubbish) diploma at a private training institute, which opened the door to my first job. At the next job, I decided to finish the degree. I don't think I work or "understand concepts" better now than I did before the degree. Although I'm glad I did the degree (where I live now, people often include their qualifications everywhere - like their doorbells), I truly, honestly don't think it's made a blind bit of difference to my work or career.

    I think people are either able to pick things up easily, or they're not. A piece of paper doesn't change that. The study for it might - in that it's practice, but then someone who studies on their own or actually pushes themselves at work can gain that too.

  • Ooooohhhhh!!! (unregistered) in reply to Herby
    Herby:
    On requirements: The chip in a Commodore 64 is a 6502, not a 6052. I'm surprised no one caught that one.

    While a "degree" might be a requirement it is laughable that some require one from a "Top-Tier" school.

    My experience in this area was being recruited for a position and offered a REALLY low salary. They didn't want to get charged by the recruiting company too much. They said I would get a raise "real soon" after I signed up. I passed, and the offer went up 25% which was STILL way low for the death march schedule. I still passed. Every once in a while I look at their web site for their product, and it is still there, but I don't see their product in all the mass merchandising stores they claimed were just waiting to get their hands on. I knew a bit about the costs of the hardware and with the margins included, they weren't going to make it at the price they wanted to sell it at. Besides that, it was a function that a simple application on your home computer could do quite easily (I asked a family friend if their 8 year old could do it on their computer, and I got the answer "Oh, yes quite easily"). I just checked, and it appears that the company isn't any more. Perhaps someone got a clue!

    Was this company involved in desktop search?

  • Sean (unregistered) in reply to Jon
    Jon:
    There are no blonde chicks in IT.

    That's the real WTF!

  • Lerch98 (unregistered)

    My last job didn't require a degree. They wanted 5 years experence for a senior developer. However, senior develpoers were required to articule and needed basic documentation skills, which incidently was very rare there.

    My employer before that said you can't be an engineer without a degree. They had a parellel pay scale for non-degreed engineering personal which was hourly vs saleried. You were way better off as you got paid overtime. I worked most Sundays and got paid double time.

    My current employer says that only software engineers write code and you need to have a degree to do that. I don't hav ea degree and was fine with that. However after a year they 'found out' that I was senior software engineer at a previous job and wanted me to work on a Java project. That lead to more Java code and then Labview. I'll be writing code here until I die. So much for the degree requiment.

  • Jay (unregistered) in reply to java.lang.Chris;
    java.lang.Chris;:
    I love the "must have a degree" insistence of some firms. I have no formal programming qualifications, but have been programming since the age of eleven - first in 6052 assembler (Commodore 64), then 68k assembler and C (Atari ST) before becoming a professional programmer. Even with fifteen years experience in the industry, I still get turned down for jobs before the interviewing stage thanks to not having a degree!

    The Commodore 64 actually had a 6502 chip, and later models had an upgraded version called a 65C02. Which I only mention because I once saw an advertisement selling Commodore 64s that mentioned, in between the amount of RAM and full-size keyboard and all that, that it included "65 C02 chips". I guess whoever wrote the ad thought that there were 65 little chips of carbon dioxide in each computer. I'm not sure what he thought they were for.

  • Bumble Bee Tuna (cs)

    "One was a clean-cut, thirty-something man in formal atire, and the other was a young blonde whose girl parts lead Felix to wonder how she came to be here."

    Fixed that for Felix

  • Optimus Dime (unregistered) in reply to Bruce W
    Bruce W:
    J:
    Having a degree myself, I don't understand why anyone insists on a degree.

    Because HR expects the job posting to be easy for them to understand.

    The best analogy I've heard is "a degree is the white-collar union card".

    You sound uneducated.

  • Jay (unregistered) in reply to Lerch98
    Lerch98:
    ... senior develpoers were required to articule and needed basic documentation skills

    I take it you weren't among those with the basic documentation skills.

  • Robb (unregistered)

    I kinda wish my name was Felix.

  • a (unregistered)
    Felix hesitated for a moment, forming the most diplomatic answer he could. "Thank you for the offer, but I don't think I'd be a good fit for this position."

    "What?!" Marcus shrieked in frustration, "but we didn't even discuss pay!"

    "I know, Mark. That should be a hint."

  • Jay (unregistered)

    "While you may write the code, it is up to the brain, not the hands, to decide what action to take."

    I can put up with a lot, but if I was told in a job interview that I would not be expected or permitted to think on the job, that would be major minus points to me.

  • lucidfox (cs)

    Sexist comments above aside (less than the usual "norm" for an IT site, I admit), I do wonder what the shy blonde was doing there. From the sound of it she didn't have a clue about the job, but if so, why did she apply for it in the first place?

  • Paul (unregistered)

    A degree is just a filter to prove you are willing to put up with 2/4/more years of bullshit. Those who spend their professional lives swimming in bullshit want to screen out any applicants that won't lie down and take it.

    This from someone who has a Masters. For some strange reason money seems to gravitate toward bullshitters, and since I can tolerate their crap, I'm happy to take their money.

    Yeah, I learned a few random things along the way, usually not related to what the class actually claimed to teach. But ultimately I got about three weeks worth of knowledge out of six years in classes.

    The rest you can learn much better on your own. If you have any self-starter motivation at all you come into most classes knowing more than the instructor. I mean the semester project for a Masters level Java class at one of the "top schools in the country" was a data entry program (no web interface) in which you were required to create exactly four classes: one for the menu, one for the entry screen, one for the update screen, and one for delete. Anything that varied from this pattern, the instructor didn't know how to grade.

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