Job Market Crisis: Trouble with TrainingBy Channel Insider Staff | Posted 2008-09-14 Email Print
Many respondents believed the training process and cost of training system was broken. The following comments were posted by job seekers and hiring managers about tech training and job requirements. The comments are only slightly edited for publication.
- Simply put, training should be absolutely implicit in the cost of tech business. Your own people will be irrelevant in two years without it. The technology practitioners on the ground are chasing the fastest moving employment skill set on the planet—doctors, lawyers, accountants. Who else has to maintain the pace of the tech industry? Today's Java will be tomorrows Cobol; hardware is changing constantly; the life of any tech product today can be measured in months.
- And whenever you hire, ramp-up is implied. Few organizations or even jobs within an organization share much similarity. It is delusional to equate knowledge or experience as a substitute for problem-solving skills, discipline, and a can-do attitude.
- I have seen hiring companies completely waste my time and their own over and over by asking that I recite what a compiler provides instantly or what Google provides in a heartbeat. Some things belong to machines and encyclopedias. These same companies can't ask a behavioral question or come up with a designer challenge to save their life, so they test on knowledge that it makes no sense to retain. The most capable person in the room is the one who has seen problems and adapted over and over, not the one who has invested his mind instead in current syntax and libraries. I don't want the guy who recites or uses a technology, I want the one deep and creative enough to choose between alternatives, to invent, and perhaps to create the next wave of performance gain.
- As a hiring manager, I have to interview 200 people to find 5 qualified candidates. The truth is that even though technology changes quickly, developers don't always keep up with it. Many do not do any learning on their own and only "learn" when their current employer starts using a new technology. It's easy to find people that can do five-year-old technology, but it's tremendously difficult (and expensive) to get people that are already capable of doing one-year-old technology. I'm not going to gamble with top-level salaries and have to train someone who assures me that they are "fast learners." So the truth is that there is a shortage, a shortage of people who are above-average in qualifications.
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