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5 posts

Wannabe Geek

#214618 20-May-2017 23:14
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I'm trying to help out a friend who graduated with a Bachelor of Computer Science (Uni of Auckland) last year and has had no luck with over 100 job applications for entry-level/graduate developer roles. He got average grades overall but has a really mature personality and quite a lot of customer service experience.  We've been re-doing his CV which wasn't too bad, but should hopefully be more appealing now.  


I've been reading on this forum that one important aspect for someone like his is to continue upskilling even while out of a job.  


For someone who wants to be a programmer, what industry certifications are the most sort after or the best to get for a new graduate?  Or is it better for him just to get on and write more programs with what he already knows?   



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348 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #1785358 20-May-2017 23:49
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So for me, I don't pay any attention to vendor certifications, except to check that it doesn't look like the candidate has tried TOO hard - too many certifications is a sign that they've really spent more time memorising answers and not enough time coding.


Sorry for sounding cynical but vendor certs are useless. I've held them in the past and even if you DON'T just memorise the answers using things like braindump, they only test that you know one specific answer to each scenario, and as we all know there's usually more than one way to do things. 




Far, far, FAR better for your friend to code up some personal projects, put the code in github and show that off. If I, as a hiring manager, can look at some of your code, and even better get my hands on a working example of it, then that shows me so much more than a few vendor certifications would. 

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Ultimate Geek

  #1785425 21-May-2017 11:11
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I hire maybe 5 developers a year. Vendor certifications are totally irrelevant to my decision-making process. For limited-experience people I do look at the academic transcript; it's a buyers market. After about two years I focus on work processes and evidence of problem solving skills. The biggest issue with developers is poor problem solving skills; which certifications don't at all address.

The biggest barrier to getting a job is a) a poorly-written CV and b) poor verbal communication skills. I strongly recommend sending a customised covering letter when sending in an application. Convince me, in that letter, how you will add value to my business. A good cover letter will go a long long way towards compensating for
It's gotten to the stage that my thought process goes: no cover letter = lazy; poorly-written CV = lazy with no attention to detail; poorly-written CV and no cover letter = bin.



5 posts

Wannabe Geek

  #1785503 21-May-2017 15:44
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Thanks for the replies.  It seems then, that vendor certifications are not particularly useful for a developer then.  Like an artist or designer its better to show you finished work than just what certificates you have.  



332 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #1785540 21-May-2017 17:43
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It I were to hire a developer it'd be more interested on his/her github repositories than certifications.


Anyway, to differentiate from the competition cloud (AWS,Azure) skills could be very useful, as many small companies don't have a dedicated sysadmin person but is usually a developer who wears the operations hat.



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