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109 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 1

Topic # 112560 12-Dec-2012 17:33 Send private message

I've been doing freelance programming in web technologies (HTML,CSS,Javascript,PHP,MySQL etc) for about 4-5 years now and I am looking for my first full time (not freelance) job. Of course nobody even gives my CV a second look given I've been freelancing instead of pursuing a university education. My question is, what do you GZers in this industry think my chances are of finding a junior (apprentice?) job to get me rolling in this workforce. I'm flexible, willing to learn, have plenty of time available, transport, etc.

Does the apprentice thing ever happen, or not in this industry? Would anybody on GZ be interested in working with me in an apprentice or beginner option (at a pay that reflects such)? Looking for feedback


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3346 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 731550 12-Dec-2012 19:10 Send private message

Please PM me your CV or post it here. Once you get your foot in the door and if you can show you are really talented you will find it easy with experience under your belt.

109 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 1

  Reply # 731580 12-Dec-2012 20:22 Send private message

Thanks for your response Zeon, I've private messaged you my CV to have a look at.

I agree with what you've said, and I know it's true for any industry...the trouble around here I think is getting that first job ! lol :)



302 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 8

  Reply # 731586 12-Dec-2012 20:35 Send private message

from what alot of people have told me, you have to work your way up.
Start from the bottom, then move into your field . Eg : help desk.

I guess they want some level of work experience first :)

Sorry Im a university student myself , so thats all i know at the moment :)

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109 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 731637 12-Dec-2012 22:08 Send private message

thanks for your input mate, I'll look at the option of helpdesk or something to work up. :)

Phil Gale
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Uber Geek
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Red Jungle

  Reply # 731768 13-Dec-2012 08:39 Send private message

Where are you based?

We have previously offered short internships to talented, self-motivated people who have shown great promise but needed to come up to speed with things prior to being 'employable'. These internships have turned into full time positions in each case.

You could try approaching some smaller development companies on this basis to gauge interest. I would stress that it was only because we could see great promise in these individuals based upon their own personal interest/work done off their own backs.

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109 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 1

  Reply # 731795 13-Dec-2012 09:31 Send private message

Hi RedDragon,
I'm based on the North Shore.

I know that, given the opportunity, I could demonstrate to a company a lot of skill in this. Every single Freelance client i have had has come back to hire me again, and has made comments such as "best programmer ive ever hired" "mind reader" and more as a good compliment to my ability... now to make somebody see that without a degree to back it :)

387 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 31

  Reply # 732140 13-Dec-2012 16:32 Send private message

It's always hard to get into a position where you don't have a degree. HR just aren't flexible enough to know that you don't always need to be that A+ student with a masters degree to be the perfect fit for a job (especially in IT).

Some things you could possibly do is to get a personal website up and running with a blog/portfolio writing about and showing off certain pieces of work you've done. It's not always going to work and it will mean someone has to sit down and read it, but it wouldn't help to be able to say "I've have experience in X and I can show you <this site> that I created and you could always read <this blog post> to see some of the problems I overcame.

Another thing would be to get on LinkedIn and join in on some IT groups (specfically NZ groups) and get involved on topics/posts to get your name out there. You never know who might see it and be impressed. A lot of job offers come through LinkedIn as well.

Possibly doing a walk-in and offering your services as a free intern might be another option. I don't know how successful this would be but even small time contracts (3-6 months) will look good on your CV.

I was lucky enough to be one of those A+ students so I got a foot in the door 4 out of 5 times. I can tell you though that good marks don't get you the job. I failed several interviews before I landed my current job.

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109 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 1

  Reply # 732983 15-Dec-2012 21:41 Send private message

Thanks Kingy, the LinkedIn suggestion interests me... I'll give that a go. I have tried a personal website but never got it finished because, as it was my own, I never could satisfy myself it was good enough. :)


8550 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 1063

  Reply # 733229 16-Dec-2012 19:23 Send private message

You will find most but not all recruiters operate almost to a formula containing a profile of a high value candidate their clients are looking for. Many recruiters will not have technical experience in the position being offered.

Being interviewed directly by a potential employer at the technical level is different. Skills are usually respected in this industry. If you have the experience and can easily handle a range of technical and architectural questions that come with that - you will be seriously considered by many development houses. If you have that kind of desirable experience your CV needs to reflect it. On that count you need to work on your CV with someone technical who understands the commercial requirements of the industry and can see how your experience and skills fit into current practice.

For what it is worth I know several kinds of commercially successful developer who are without a computer science degree. Those who have math degrees, and those who have Microsoft developer certifications. A third kind have created a successful product but work for themselves. I'm sure there are more kinds, those are just people I know.

I can see you took the non-Microsoft route to a large extent. My guess is there is small/medium bespoke web site developer out there not fully committed to Microsoft technologies who could use your development skills in house and assisting on support and implementation tasks from time to time.

109 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 1

  Reply # 734987 19-Dec-2012 15:26 Send private message

Yes, I've opted for the non Microsoft route. I have practiced with Windows server setup, PHP on windows, some .net, some MSSQL etc. but I find these methods less the development area I'm interested in. After all, a server should not have a GUI in my opinion. Waste of memory


1241 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 134

  Reply # 735020 19-Dec-2012 16:07 Send private message

Smaller NZ businesses might consider experience over qualifications. The sad fact that the qualification gets you to the interviews. If you can make it past that, you are in really good shape.

I've never got a shadowing opportunity simply because employers are interested in raking in the cash rather than the employee welfare and retention. More often than not you are thrown into the deep end to sink or swim. You will be sold as a developer with 4-5 years experience to the client. No employer would be upfront to the client in saying that you'll be shadowing a senior developer so you can be billed to them at the full rate.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 735029 19-Dec-2012 16:27 Send private message

danielm8: Hi RedDragon

Getting the other party's name wrong will also encourage them to bin your CV ;)


8550 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 1063

  Reply # 735093 19-Dec-2012 17:50 Send private message

khull: I've never got a shadowing opportunity simply because employers are interested in raking in the cash rather than the employee welfare and retention.

I'm sure that is correct a lot of the time but overall that may be a simplistic view. I have seen the apprentice/shadow thing happening but IME it tends to happen where there is a strong personal relationship already existing like good friends or migrated together etc and that type of strong personal commitment is what provides the structure to it. Secondhand I have also heard of it happening in large and stable enterprises where good relationships have developed over time.

The Green Party has a draft policy to include ICT in the apprenticeship/training scheme. That approach is not suitable for every instance but that is the kind of structure which needs to be in place for employers to see consistent value in that approach. It would certainly run concurrently with a course of study approved by the employer. It is different from a graduate program in that graduate programs start only after study is almost complete in most instances. A lot is dependent on the details but it is an interesting idea which could increase the total value of skills available in NZ and the value of our enterprises.

None of that helps the OP's position. Maybe the best move for the OP is formalise the existing skills to some extent with inexpensive PHP and MySQL certification. It at least provides an easy index for HR types showing knowledge measures up to an identifiable standard and might help getting across that part.

109 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 1

  Reply # 740785 6-Jan-2013 22:06 Send private message

Hi everybody,
Thanks for your responses, I have carefully read them each over and taken on board the advice. I have booked myself out for freelance for 6 months and after that will be in a better timeframe to look at employment opportunities/certification possibilities after the busy christmas period is over.

Thanks :)

387 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 31

  Reply # 740924 7-Jan-2013 10:53 Send private message

Not a bad idea. The more experience you have (especially if you can show off the work you do) the more chance you'll have of getting your foot through the door. Good luck.

Web development blog:
Follow me on twitter: @JAGracie

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