Wednesday, July 16, 2008

How to Build a Great Resume for the IT Field - Java and Information Technology

As I may have mentioned in a previous post, I've got a great friend who is looking for a career change, and is interested in getting into the IT field, specifically, in the capacity of a Java developer, programmer and architect.

Build Your IT Credentials

Of course, to get a job in any field, you need knowledge, AND you need credentials. Your credentials can be anything from university degrees, technical publications, work history and college diplomas. The better your credentials, and the better your resume looks, the better off you'll be when you finally hit the job market.

Think About Your Fantasy Resume

That's why I always say that when you're starting off, you should put together a fantasy resume. You know, put together a resume that you'd love to have in two, three or four years time. Stack it with all sorts of Java, IBM, Sun and Microsoft certifications. Put a computer science degree from your favorite university down in there, and even throw on a few college certifications. Then, work towards it! Think about all of the things you'll need to do to obtain those credentials that would make up a fantasy resume.

Work Towards Bringing Your Career Dreams to Fruition

Take little steps everyday towards making that fantasy resume your own. That could mean signing up for a Java course at the local college, or it could mean doing some mock Java certification exams online. Every time you do somthing that gets you a little bit closer to making that fantasy resume your own, it's a victory, and you can feel proud of yourself about the fact that you've moved yourself to where you really want to be in life. Each little step is a victory.

If You Build It They Will Come For You

Put together that fanstasy resume. It's a great motivator, and one day, if you really work on it, that fantasy resume will come to fruition, and every employer in the job market will be fighting over you!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What is the best Java Certification to get? SCJA vs. SCJP vs. SCEA vs. SCWCD vs. SCBCD vs. SCDJWS vs. SCMAD Job Trends

So, which Java certification is the best one to get? That's a question that people are always asking me and debating. So, I figured I'd go to the job posting board and graph the demand for the various Sun Java certifications from various job want ads. The results are pretty surprising:

SCJA vs. SCJP vs. SCEA vs. SCWCD vs. SCBCD vs. SCDJWS vs. SCMAD Job Trends

As you can see, the demand for SCEA professionals is sky high. Makes me wonder if there's a second meaning to SCEA of which I don't know? I've always said that SCEA was the most respected of all of the Sun and Java certifications, and the demand for that particular designation demonstrates just that.

Of course, taking SCEA out of the graph, you get a slightly different picture of current Java skills demand in the industry:

SCJA vs. SCJP vs. SCEA vs. SCWCD vs. SCBCD vs. SCDJWS vs. SCMAD Skills Trends

As you can see, SCJP demand is high, as you would expect, with it being a requirement for all other exams except the SCJA and SCEA exams. SCJA demand is obvioulsly lower than many due to the fact that it is a new exam, and employers are only starting to ask for it, but you can clearly see that demand is rising.

SCWCD demand is strong, as web development is always a priority. EJB certification demand has its ups and downs, and web services certification seems to be going down. Of course, the fact that there hasn't been a web services certification book ever released can't help things.

And sadly, micro-device certification is nascent. That's too bad. :(

Which IT Skills are Hot? What Job Skills Are in Demand? Is Java Dead?

Getting a Great Java Job

A good friend of mine is interesting in changing careers, and getting a good, solid job in the Information Technology (IT) industry. Being a technical trainer myself, my buddy Kev and I are going to work together to help him develop all of the key technical skills that he needs to land a great job in the Java programming and development industry.

Should I Learn Java or C++ or .NET or C#...

Of course, sitting over a Tim Hortons cup of coffee, Kev asked if he should be learning C++ (pronounce C plus plus), or if learning Java was a better path to take. He also mentioned C# (pronounced C Sharp) and he's also got friends that program in .Net (pronounce 'dot net'). Of course, Kev doesn't want to waste any time learning skills that aren't in demand, and I think that's a good strategy.

Anyways, the discussion reminded me of a post I made on the Big Moose Saloon at the JavaRanch. You see, there's a great website that allows you to query various skills that are requested in job postings - everything from garbage picker to WebSphere Admin (which some might actually argue is the same thing), and you can get a kewl graph of what the demand is, and how the demand is changing. The graph for plotting job skills demand over time is at

.Net vs. J2EE: Sun vs. Microsoft

An interesting statistic is that .Net has a much higher demand for jobs than J2EE, with .Net sorta being the equivalent of J2EE for Microsoft.


Job Demand for C vs. Java vs. C++ vs C# Skills

Of course, what my buddy asked was really about C programming skills demand vs. Java programming skills demand. Here's the graph:


Interestingly, demand for C skills remains high, even growing in Sept. 2006, so there's clearly alot of C code hanging around, which really doesn't surprise me at all. But the demand for Java skills is steady, and almost looks like Java skills is equal to C++ and C# skills combined.

I could just play with this required job skills graphing program all day. Here's a neat graph I created comparing various Java development technologies:

JSF vs. Hibernate vs. EJB vs. Struts vs. Seam vs. GWT Job Skills Demand

I'm really actually surprised to see the demand for Struts to be so high, and JSF so much lower, but I guess it's similar to the C programming scenario - Strtus, like C, has been out there for a long time, and as we can see, even if more people are chosing Java, there will always be lots of C, C++ and Fortran or Cobol code that needs to be maintained and updated.