I have 5 years of experience and have been unable to get a job after attending a web development bootcamp? 

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The question for today is I have five years ()I'm reading this off my phone () I have five years of working experience as a software developer and I've been unable to get a job after attending a web development boot camp. What happened?" And he goes on to say, " my prior experience is with Java as a programming language and entering that web development boot camp, I learn Ruby on Rails. Now, I'm 29 and one year unemployment."
Now, the typical answer is going to talk about removing that experience from your resume. And, as someone wrote in response, recruiters are kind of looking at cookie cutter backgrounds in order to assess people I think that's only a tiny part of what happened. After all, this guy's writing and he's been out of work for a year.
So, what did happen?
I can't tell for a fact but I've observed other people and what they do after they attend a boot camp or workshop where they learn new skills, and this could even go to the Executive MBA program scenario. Someone… I've had this happen many times…they are a middle manager and it they go to an Executive MBA program. They want a $30,000 raise and a new type of job and they wonder why they can't get it.
And that's, I suspect ,the pattern that happened with this individual. He attended this boot camp. Learned Ruby on Rails and, lo and behold, he's out there trying to find a job at his old salary, even though he has no work experience in the tech that he's involved with now. I suspect he was out of work at the time he went to this thing and was hoping to reposition himself and make himself more valuable . . . Worthy goals, but his real experiences around Java development and not Ruby.
So, I think what happened, was he shot himself in the foot and put Ruby all over his resume, marketed himself to Ruby jobs, may have been in a part of the world or part of the United States where the wasn't a lot of work or there were a lot of Ruby developers and he was competing with very talented people.
Any way you slice it, he overshot himself and has lost his marketability for Ruby () obviously, he didn't have any, certainly at the price he set for himself. () and now, has to go back to Java.
So, here's the lesson out of this. Training does not replace actual experience and unless you attend a program where you get actual experience or they give you an opportunity to be interviewed by firms who are hiring people, you know, it's going to be an expensive program for you because you'll take this information, not be able to apply it once you get out of boot camp.
So, when push comes to shove ,I want to encourage you,recognize that employers have a problem that needs to be solved. They look for people with certain types of experiences to solve it. Not training unless that's in support of the primary experience, but,again, like inthis particular case, I suspect this person wanted his old salary, was out of work for a while, went through a boot camp. We don't know how long it lasted. It could have been one week and he now thinks he's a Ruby guy who should be commanding $125,000 a year and clearly doesn't.

ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

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2 Responses
  1. BJFA

    I have high education and certification, I have been in more than one company, I found most of the companies didn’t employ methodology correctly, and that’s why too many projects end up failing. The words experience is an excuse to keep some people in power. Nothing call experience since knowledge management exist, that why there is knowledge management as it harvests the knowledge of people who are decades in business if you are certified, you have decades worth knowledge, the new research are how to codify the tacit knowledge, which means the explicit knowledge are already codified.

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