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dot.com Bust Gotcha Down? Try the Gubmint! 291

dsoltesz writes "This coming week is the Government's first Virtual IT Job Fair. A number of agencies are participating, including NASA, the Smithsonian, and the National Gallery of Art. While government jobs aren't exactly the highest paying in the nation, IT positions do rate in a special pay category (see tables 999A-F depending on where you want to work). The online job fair lasts from April 22 to 26, and hopes to fill 230 positions. Here's a quick list of IT Series 2210 specialties, or if you want a little light reading, try the 155 page, 1.7 MB detailed spec."
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dot.com Bust Gotcha Down? Try the Gubmint!

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  • Wow, way to slashdot the poor saps who found the site on their own and were actually hoping for a shot at a job...

    • Thats exactly what i was thinking. Great timing to come off my zoloft. now all i need is a clock tower and sniper rifle.
  • Now 30,000 slashdot readers in search of jobs will apply for these 300 jobs. ::Sigh::


    • One thing that I do not understand is -

      Why _searching_ for a job while there are LOTS OF CHANCES that you can create YOUR OWN JOB ?

      I mean, the slashdotters who are "unemployed" due to the "dot_com_bust" are people who have the SKILLS 99.999% of the human race don't have - in other words, they are TECHIES, right ?

      Now, why waiting for someone to employ you, or even searching for a job, while THERE ARE LOTS OF THINGS you can do now !

      For instance - CREATING YOUR OWN JOB !

      Please do not try to think like the rest of the human population - you are NOT those run-of-the-mill, garden-variety type - you are the one who possess the SKILLS to create.

      Why don't you utilize your skill to CREATE your own job ?

      If you are skilled in doing 3d animation, for example, instead of waiting for the movie industry or whoever to employ you as their animator, you can START creating VIBRANT ANIMATION, in EXCITING SEQUENCES, share the thing with the world, and you will see people flock to what you have to offer, and they WILL offer you lots of options - including, but not limited to, STARTING YOUR OWN ANIMATION FACTORY !

      The above is just an example.

      I am speaking from experience here. I'm in the field - the tech field - since early '80s. First I was involved with programming - it was hot then - and when uni started to churn out millions of programming wannabes, I branch into graphics, and when there's too much competitions, I then went into dot-com, and when that's busted, I went into consultation, and so on and so forth.

      Don't just wait for others to employ you. EMPLOY YOUR OWN SKILL and CREATE YOUR OWN CAREER !
      • Sorry... had to say it.

        But Taco Cowboy has a good point. A software company costs about $75 to start (that's the corporate registration fee in VA), plus the costs of your hardware, food and drink. Shareware is a competitive market to be sure, but all you have to do is sell a relatively small amount in a given month.

        If you have the skills, you should really consider this as an option.

        Damn it's hard to not sound like a friggin commercial.

      • It would be nice to just create my own job, but when you're scraping by on temp jobs and avoiding creditors, you can't.

        Look, the deal was, I do good in school, graduate, and then I could get a job. If I knew it was going to be like this I'd of dropped out of H.S. and started working on my own.


        • You said:

          "It would be nice to just create my own job, but when you're scraping by on temp
          jobs and avoiding creditors, you can't."

          You think I was borned with silver spoon in my mouth ?

          You think I never suffer any financial setbacks ?!

          I never let my creditors or my present income prevent me from doing what I want to do, especially, if that thing is what I _REALLY_ want to do.

          Doing temp jobs is TRANSITIONAL thing, it's NOT permanent. Your sight should not stay within the limit of your nose, rather, you should look BEYOND THE HORIZON.

          I mean, this is YOUR LIFE, you get to decide to do with YOUR LIFE. And if you think it's better to WASTE your life on satisfying your creditors' needs, then your life will be just that ... - you live NOT for yourself but for your creditors.

          And another thing, STARTING a business does NOT cost millions, if you know how to do it.

          My advise to you and to all - PLEASE STOP BEHAVING LIKE THE REST (99.999%) OF THEM, because you just ain't them !

          Use what you have - your skill, your talent, your will to success, and start doing whatever it is necessary to re-make your life.

          Worst come the worst - and I am NOT recommending it, this is just for educational purpose - RUN AWAY FROM YOUR CREDITORS, RUN TO ANOTHER COUNTRY, AND START AFRESH !

          After all, whichever country you re-start your life, IT IS STILL YOUR LIFE !

          There are LOTS OF PLACES in this world - and there are places in the world where YOUR TALENT and what you know STILL MATTERS A LOT !

          If you can't do it in the States, go to China or Bangladesh or Turkey or wherever, where the NEED for your skill is TREMENDOUS, and THEY WILL PAY for what you know !

          Trust me - I am speaking from experience - NOT the run away thing, but go OUT of the States to FIND PARADISE elsewhere thing.

          • You think I was borned with silver spoon in my mouth ?

            Actually, I think it's been lodged in your brain from all those self-empowerment books you've been reading. My parents raised me on this crap, I recognise it a mile away.

            You think I never suffer any financial setbacks ?!

            This is not a setback. I am poor. I've always BEEN poor. There are no reserve cash deposits to tap. No rich friends or relatives to borrow from.

            I'm not complaining, I'm telling you that I don't have any wiggle room when it comes to starting my own business. I was counting on getting a real job after going back to college and getting my degree.

            I never let my creditors or my present income prevent me from doing what I want to do, especially, if that thing is what I _REALLY_ want to do.

            Ok, please let me know what I really want to do. The problem is, even though I have a broad range of life experience and computer experence, my working experence with computers has been limited to an internship and some part-time work. How am I to know what I really want to do from that? I need more exposure to a working enviroment, and I need to work with people more experienced than I.

            Doing temp jobs is TRANSITIONAL thing, it's NOT permanent. Your sight should not stay within the limit of your nose, rather, you should look BEYOND THE HORIZON.

            Looking to the future is great and all, but I live in the here and now. Look, I've been "Paying my dues" for the express purpose of having a better life, later in life. I'm sick of it. My dues have been paid YEARS ago. I refuse to go to one more damn training class until I get some results from the investments I've already made in myself.

            I mean, this is YOUR LIFE, you get to decide to do with YOUR LIFE. And if you think it's better to WASTE your life on satisfying your creditors' needs, then your life will be just that ... - you live NOT for yourself but for your creditors.

            Uh, those creditors paid for my food and heat when I couldn't even find a Temp job. I am living for myself, but picking up the habit of screwing over people who lend you money is a "Bad thing".

            And another thing, STARTING a business does NOT cost millions, if you know how to do it.

            Does it cost a thousand? A hundred? I can't afford that. The money is going for food and rent.

            How about time and effort? When exactly should I talk to my customers, while I'm working in the warehouse in my temp job? I know, After a day of manual labor, I'll come home refreshed and productive and bang out the next great program!

            My advise to you and to all - PLEASE STOP BEHAVING LIKE THE REST (99.999%) OF THEM, because you just ain't them !

            I've noticed. They couldn't modify an excel spreadsheet without help, but They are still employeed.

            Use what you have - your skill, your talent, your will to success, and start doing whatever it is necessary to re-make your life.

            Get it though your extraordinary thick skull. Whatever "Changes" I do will require me talking to clients which I can't do because I'm working my ass off in temp jobs just to scrape by.

            Worst come the worst - and I am NOT recommending it, this is just for educational purpose - RUN AWAY FROM YOUR CREDITORS, RUN TO ANOTHER COUNTRY, AND START AFRESH !

            Heh, run away from the most technologically advanced country in the world, and my skills are technical. Life is a game of odds, and the odds are best here. Also, I don't run away.

            After all, whichever country you re-start your life, IT IS STILL YOUR LIFE ! There are LOTS OF PLACES in this world - and there are places in the world where YOUR TALENT and what you know STILL MATTERS A LOT !

            Then why are the techs in those countries moving HERE?

            If you can't do it in the States, go to China or Bangladesh or Turkey or wherever, where the NEED for your skill is TREMENDOUS, and THEY WILL PAY for what you know !

            I'm starting to wonder if this is a troll.

            Trust me - I am speaking from experience - NOT the run away thing, but go OUT of the States to FIND PARADISE elsewhere thing.

            You know, a story on how you became successful would be far more inspirational than all that BS you've been spouting.

  • by damu ( 575189 )
    The beauty about gov jobs is that first, there is some stability, second, it is hard to get fired, unless youre a complete dumbass, and last, you have a chance to "move up". cons: bad pay, youre working for the "man". dam()
    • Precisely.

      And it's not just that either. Government jobs are usually free of the corporate whore mindset of big business. That is, you don't have to be the 'company man'. You can just go to work, do your job and come home. You don't have to attend stupid 'bonding' weekends in the mountains or similar nonsense.
      Morover, government has a better sense of respect for their employees wellbeing. I've generally observed more consideration given to workplace health and safety, and just generally valuing people. Whether you're working for the gov, or for the company, either way you're working for "the man". Just, in gov, the man is often nicer to you.

      Sure, it generally doesn't pay as well. I'm slightly disturbed to think that this is what us geeks have sunk to though.
      Has the IT "boom" of previous years got us so used to thinking of ourselves as the new elite. Sure, we all deserve to be paid well. But I think what we're talking about here is the difference between being paid well, and very well, or obscenely well.
      I think it's time to stop trying to prove something and look at things realistically. There is more to life than work, and how much you earn. But we're all smart people right (trolls excluded)? We should know that already!

      I don't know about the rest of you, but I've got no desire to end up an old man with acute RSI, no friends or family, a caffiene addiction and a lot of money/toys.

    • second, it is hard to get fired, unless youre a complete dumbass,

      Great for dumbasses, not so great if you've been promoted to be in charge of a department full of dumbasses.

  • Err (Score:2, Insightful)

    by NiftyNews ( 537829 )
    No offense, but since when does a posting for 200-odd IT jobs qualify as a decent news item? Heck, most state govt's are looking for IT people every day.

    What's next, McDonalds on 4th St needs 3 new fry cooks?
    • Re:Err (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Wiggins ( 3161 ) on Sunday April 21, 2002 @03:20PM (#3383996) Homepage
      It qualifies because there are plenty of us in the /. crowd (I would think) who are sitting here unemployed despite having applied to hundreds of IT related positions across the country in the last 6 months and not found something despite 3-5 years of experience, a college degree, and more than half a brain.
      • That is the total, utter and absolute failure of corporate business. It is a tragedy of near epic proportions for this nation to have so many hundreds of thousands of qualified, educated, capable people sitting unemployed.

        Corporate America should hang their heads in shame.
        • Oh shut your mouth. Business does not exist for the sole purpose of keeping you employed. They exist to profit from selling products. Should they need you they will hire you. During times of slow sales all comapnies layoff and stop hiring. You want a job? Start buying some stuff.
          • Re:Stuff it (Score:4, Funny)

            by jeffehobbs ( 419930 ) on Sunday April 21, 2002 @04:19PM (#3384135) Homepage

            You want a job? Start buying some stuff.

            President Bush? I would have thought you'd have a higher User ID!

            ~jeff

            • Going into debt and buying more stuff is not the answer. Although that'd produce a short upturn in the economy the long term effects are not good.
          • They exist to profit from selling products

            To whom? All those unemployed people?

            Businesses have no responsibility anymore. Just hire and fire whenever they feel like it. Pay a non-living wage. Work people 60 hours a week. Cut benefits. Increase overtime (on salary of course) and make people as miserable as possible while they are there... until they are fired.

            This isn't just one opinion. There are thousands of people out there, many of which have been sitting unemployed for OVER A YEAR NOW. The economy is recovering. WHERE'S THE JOBS? NEWSFLASH: THERE AREN'T ANY.

            Managers: Employed (for years)
            HR: Employed (for years)
            Admin Assistants: Employed (for years)

            IT and Engineeers: FIRED (after a few months)

            Should they need you they will hire you.

            No they won't. There are people with 10 TIMES my qualifications who have answered THOUSANDS of ads for work and gotten ZERO. THAT IS A FACT. I've applied for jobs I was PERFECTLY qualified for and gotten ZIP. I know a guy with an MA in English who applied for a part-time job at a bookstore.

            "Got any experience selling books?"

            "Uhhh.. well, I did my Master's Thesis on Library Science and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Graduate Degree in English."

            (Translation: I've forgotten more about books than you, or anyone in this entire company put together will EVER know)

            "Sorry. We need qualified people."

            So, a guy with a MASTER'S DEGREE IN ENGLISH is unqualified to sell books. That's the reality of the job market now.

            Even if they do hire anyone, they'll fire them in a week.
            • Surprise! There is no great crisis here (in an economic sense rather than individual personal crises)... it's a recession, a normal event in the economic cycle. People lose their jobs, and find a dry job market when they go looking.

              Look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics page [bls.gov] and see what the unemployment rate is. As of March 2002 , it was 5.7%. From 1974 through 1988, the US unemployment rate did not fall below 5.6%. 14 years. That's the job market I came into when I got out of college. The 'recession' of the early 90's wasn't one; it was merely a pause in the boom times.

              Depending on who you listen to, it may even get worse before it gets better. So my only advice would be to hang in there and keep printing those resumes, and be prepared to ride this recession out; don't be discouraged because nobody wants your previously marketable skills, all that gets thrown out the window when times are like this.

              • Surprise! There is no great crisis here (in an economic sense rather than individual personal crises)...

                Surprise! I don't care about the economic sense! This is the longest I've been unemployed in 18 years! I'm not the only person having trouble getting ANY JOB either.

                be prepared to ride this recession out

                Well, it's been 14 months now. Granted I haven't been out of work the whole time, but 14 months? Are businesses REALLY that bad off? I doubt it.

              • This is NOT a normal recession. If you read ANY of the business rags, you'd find out that a normal recession lasts, at most, a couple of months.

                People have had a hard time finding a job for over a YEAR.
                • A recession by definition is two consecutive quarters of negative growth. 6 months. Not two.
                  • Hey, I'm just telling you what I read. They've been saying that there's normally a really bad month or two, and then things adjust and start going back up.

                    Growth can go down, businesses are hiring. Mutually exclusive?
                • I think the average period is cited at more like 9 months. Now as some have noted, this might not be a 'normal' recession... true! It could be worse than normal, due to the effects of the dot-com bust, overcapacity in key industries (notably the telecom sector), and previous overspending by the US consumer (i.e. consumer debt has grown to historic proportions).

                  A couple of sites that are useful in following this bear market and associated economy:
                  Fiend's SuperBear Page [fiendbear.com]
                  FallStreet.com [fallstreet.com]

                  P.S. The last time I was laid off, I went 5 months with very little money... and ended up in a state (yes, govt.) job for the next 10 years. And I learned more in that job than I have in the private sector since then. Keep an open mind, and good luck.

          • Then what do others mean when they speak about "efficiency" in capitalism? What do YOU think efficiency means?
      • by Zarf ( 5735 )
        ...unemployed despite having applied to hundreds of IT related positions across the country in the last 6 months...

        I had exactly the same experience. So I started applying for jobs in other countries. I'm currently working for the US Gubernment in another country... kind of sad on the pay scale but thankfully the dollar is strong enough to make up for that when I have to go buy stuff. (come on dollar! pull up! pull up!)

        So, maybe you can luck out and go overseas for a few years.
    • Re:Err (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ThomasMis ( 316423 )
      Like many of us here, I'm young, unemployed, and have a computer science degree from a private mid-western university. Last week I sent my resume along to a IT recruitment firm which led to this somewhat humorous, but mostly depressing phone conversation:

      IT Recruiter: Hello, I got your resume here, but I can't seem to open it.

      Me: I sent it as a PDF.

      IT Recruiter: Uhhh... can you send it as a Word file?

      Me: sure *fires up VMWare*

      IT Recruiter: your cover letter says that you have experience in web ecommerce application. But I don't see ASP on your resume.

      Me: The last two contracts I was on used a hosting company that provided PHP and MySQL, therefore, I implemented their web based systems in PHP.

      IT Recruiter: Uh...

      Me: Nevermind...

      There has got to be a better way to land full time work in this country? Has anybody left the US to work elsewhere? Is it worth it?
      • No.

        99% of companies and recruiters are unqualified to evaluate, hire, manage, or otherwise employ software engineers.

        Of course, they have no intention of hiring anyone anyway, and even if they do, they'll come up with some reason to lay them off in a few months. What's the point again?

        Outside the U.S.? Lookin better every day.
        • The real problem is HR departments performing pre-screening of candidates' resumes and making final hiring decisions based on *perceived* qualifications without thorough drilling and poking of applicant.

          Where i work, all potential resumes go to managers of my department. HR may review candidates for basic things such as interpersonal skills and check background information but they are largely inconsequential in the final decision-making process. In the end it's the manager you have to impress.

          Managers in my department, guys who make the hiring decisions and throw projects, schedules and timelines at us, shield us away from inter-departmental bullshit and stupid-ass corporate politics, are *ALL* guys who pretty much know every aspect of our jobs. In most cases they could do parts of our jobs. They've got a pretty close idea of what it takes to do anything, build any application, and if they don't have the answers themselves, they know exactly who to go to in their team to get the info they need, while asking precise, well-defined questions which make sense to us geeks.

          They are also the ones who came up with a cool concept for the process of hiring programmers: each candidate is interviewed in a room with all his/her potential future peers. Questions are thrown-out, geek-off sessions are spawned, but in the end, before any hiring decision is made, the whole team knows what the guy/girl is made of.

          i am lucky to enough to not have a family to care for right now. But it is true, being in the IT field is demanding. It has broken/hurt some of my past relationships. I get made fun of. But this is what i do. This is what i like, this is what i breathe, this is what i love to do. Don't get me wrong i do have many other hobbies, but i like what i do. i don't do it to make money. i do it for the love of the game and at times, i get money for it.

          Heavy cat: it is kids like me (born 76) your ass has to compete with in the IT field. Dedicated motherfuckers who love what they do. Is it fair to you? No. and i'm sorry for that. But in the end, my manager will look at two possible candidates: you, the guy with a degree and a big mouth, who got into this field because it meant money, me the guy who just drank the internet cool-aid 7 years ago and got addicted to it and who is just happy making the 'net a better place. I just go to work every day and i'm happy making shit happen, code shit, build shit, all-the-while aching for my boss to point out the next mountain he thinks i won't be able to move, anticipating the exhultation of once again proving his ass wrong.

          those are harder times. but that's the attitude you have to project in both your resume and your interviews. i dunno how much longer i'll have my job but hey, ill take an entry-level position related to what i do tomorrow if i have to. ill go to employers and tell'em ill fuckin' pay'em to let me code for them. that losing my previous job was the worst thing that ever happened to me because i don't get to make a difference in the world anymore. they took my crack away. mmuust code. heh.

          of course this plan may interfere with those mortgate payments i have to make. well that's why i'm *trying* to save the shit out of yearly bonus'es (whenever they come) and tax refunds. im thinking severance pay and my savings might keep me going for a wee while, 'til i find a way to get out of less-rewarding job.

          the IT game can be a real hustle man. it is the sad, bitter truth. of all higher-paying fields you could ever get in, it is the one where a degree means the least. You leverage a degree when you have nothing else to show for. Otherwise it's how good of a "dedicated motherfucker" you come accross as that will land you the job, along with impressing potential peers with mad coding skillz. until you realize those simple truths, you will have to wait for the next IT bubble to grow to get a good job.

          The whole concept of IT defeats the very notion of "stable career". New technologies come out every 6 months, depracating many others, you have to constantly know, learn new things, constantly re-adapt, re-evaluate yourself. It is that ability that will keep you employed. You must always watch your back. the *second* you lose your edge, man, you're gone. SAYO-FUCKING-NARA.

          Again, it is the sad, bitter truth. But i don't see this as a failure or our society. I see I.T. as a different world with its own rules. A dangerous one. You must walk into it very carefuly, well-prepared and never, *EVER* get comfortable, complacent or fall asleep.

          Look into being a banker, a mortgage broker, a restauration specialist. Look for professions and fields where things don't change too much. you can make decent money there too. you can have a career. stability.

          or get ready for some serious hustling in the IT field.

          i empathize with your pain man. i too have many unemployed friends.

          • my manager will look at two possible candidates: you, the guy with a degree and a big mouth,

            Yep. Can't have anyone who speaks their mind, and be sure to belittle their education along with it.

            who got into this field because it meant money,

            Where did it say that? I got into this field because I was ASKED to do so, and I, unlike others, had the knowledge and background for it.

            If managers are jumping to wrong conclusions that easily, then that is part (or all) of the problem. Managers don't take the time to know anything about their applicants, even though it is arguably their HIGHEST JOB PRIORITY. Managers that took the time to understand the background, knowledge and accomplishments (and dedication to programming) of an applicant like myself would have a very, VERY difficult time justifying not offering them a job.

            But, they never get to that point. They scan the resume, find a word they don't like and throw it in the trash.

            You leverage a degree when you have nothing else to show for.

            I know eight programming languages. I started in IT in 1994. I've done the all-night coding sessions. I've worked at 3-person companies and Fortune 500 companies. 2-tier, 3-tier, n-tier, databases, GUIs, object-oriented design, web, CGI, sysadmin work, technical writing, and so on.

            Of course, nobody is impressed with any of this, so what's the point? It's never enough anyway. The company WILL find a reason to disqualify you, and if they slip up and hire you, they can just lay you off in a couple of months (or weeks).

            So, I suppose that's the way it is. Companies will continue to deliberately destroy people's careers and inflict pain on their families, and everyone will jump to the company's defense if anyone complains. "Well, that's just the way it is. They're only in it to make money."

            I just hope too many people and families don't suffer. If nobody seeks to improve this, it will only get worse.
        • I do not know just where you are looking to get hired abroad. But i'll tell you that U.S. *is* the place to be.

          Europe? I would know first-hand. I spent the first 19 years of my life in france. Many european countries there are still struggling to recover from extreme implementaions of socialism which led all companies and corporations to just shy away from hiring anyone. Now i am aware that published unemployment statistics can be largely fucked with by governments but usually it is to make themselves look better. duh right? I know france is well into the double-digit, with a published rate of around 13/14% last i checked.

          from growing-up in france, ive learned a few things.

          it used to be a country where a wealthy class would exploit the shit out of a working class. Go read "Germinal" if you think you're having it bad. ugh. sad shit. Then came socialism to fix all that. The concepts of humanity was finally introduced in the work-place. woohoo. that taught those evil money-grubbing companies of the early industrialism era. Jump a good 50-60 years ahead. post world-war 1 and 2, all the way up to mid/late 70s. france is going back to that tradition of socialism. but this where "extreme implementation" comes in. worker unions become such powerful lobbying forces of the government that new laws keep getting passed restricting most freedoms companies may have as they struggle thru recessions to stay afloat, and cannot afford to lay ANYONE off without INSANE costs. What do those companies do? they say fuck this shit, i'll out-source all my labor to china, india and any other country where people are willing to work for peanuts. and you thought the U.S. was doing bad as a country because we'd hire I.T. workers on H1B visas from india? shieet man.

          As another poster so rightfuly pointed out, there are reasons why our economy is overall sounder than that of other countries.

          it's the land of opportunity. opportunity doesn't mean easy. it means risk. pain. hardship. it means working your ass off to get what you want. it means falling on your face many times. but it means being able to get back up if you have the spine for it.

          but in the end, in this country, you have FAR MANY MORE chances of "making it" than anywhere else in the world.

      • IT Recruiter: Hello, I got your resume here, but I can't seem to open it.
        Me: I sent it as a PDF.
        IT Recruiter: Uhhh... can you send it as a Word file?

        Try sending your resume as an HTML file. Word users can open 'em; browsers can read 'em; and, worst case scenario, the recruiter can cut-and-paste.

        Not that it's helped me get a job, but it's worth considering.

      • It really would be a good idea to check with the company first to see what format they want for the resume. I spent 3 very long months looking for a job before it even occurred to me to ask. If they want it in Word format, then give it to them in Word format. It may not be right to some, but the company has the advantage at that point and you have to play by their rules.
      • Re:Err (Score:3, Insightful)

        by SCHecklerX ( 229973 )
        Rule 1. Any job you get from a recruiter probably isn't worth having. Really. See if you can find that company's ad in the paper DIRECTLY.

        I had the same thing (requiring word). You know why they want that? So they can FSCK it UP WITH THEIR OWN COMPANY LETTERHEAD! No thanks! I'm not representing YOU mr. headhunter, I am representing MYSELF. Likewise, I would hate to be a consultant through any company that is too stupid to figure out how to open a .pdf (I made mine, as I assume you made yours, using ps2pdf from ghostscript?)

        I got very lucky and landed a great job that I never even expected (I had applied several months prior and heard nothing back). This was after 6 months of unemployment (UC benefits running out, Uh Oh!).

        The other option is to go into business for yourself. Pennsylvania seems to have finally gotten some USEFUL (imagine that!) information about running your own small business in the state. I was very close to doing that before landing my current job.

    • by oGMo ( 379 )

      ...I said the same thing yesterday about JPEGs. ;-)

    • Re:Err (Score:2, Informative)

      by dsoltesz ( 563978 )
      What makes this newsworthy is that it's an event. Applicants are applying for a wide range of jobs, which is not the norm for USA Jobs, where applicants apply for individual positions. And, unlike Monster.com, applicants who get through the application process will be seen by real employers with real positions to fill.

      I posted the news because I wanted to make sure /.ers to raise awareness of the job fair among those who are most likely qualified and possibly looking for new work since the dot.com bust and 9/11. Statistics show a rise in IT workers interest in government jobs -- this may not describe you, but it certainly describes a number of the /. readership.

  • jobs.faa.gov (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Casca ( 4032 )
    Another nice place to look is jobs.faa.gov [faa.gov], as long as you don't my working for the FAA.
  • H1-B (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 21, 2002 @03:13PM (#3383981)
    You know if they are hiring H1-B visa holders??

    >
  • The Coast Guard's Direct Commission Engineer program is looking for US citizens between the ages of 21 and 34, with a bachelor's degree or higher in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science or Engineering, Information Systems or Technology, Telecommunications Engineering or Management, Systems Engineering, Marine Engineering, Naval Architecture, or Mechanical Engineering. This site [gocoastguard.com] has all the details. Being in an armed service for 3 years makes you a prefered hire for other federal jobs, as seen on the IT Category survey [opm.gov].
    How often do IT people get to go on a general tour of duty, and help save lives or bust drug smugglers?
  • Site doesn't work (Score:3, Informative)

    by Animats ( 122034 ) on Sunday April 21, 2002 @03:45PM (#3384040) Homepage
    Try to apply. [opm.gov] The instructions read "When you are ready to begin, click here to start your On-line Application and enter Vacancy Identification Number WA139180 and press the SUBMIT button. Then follow the instructions in the On-line Application."

    Now, having to copy a number from the page into their own form is dumb enough. But worse, the number is rejected with "This vacancy is not currently open." Bozos.

  • Good chance (Score:3, Funny)

    by The Cat ( 19816 ) on Sunday April 21, 2002 @03:51PM (#3384053)
    230 jobs

    230,000 applicants

    Hooray!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    A guy walks in to apply to a government job. Fills out the application, and then is taken to a room by an interviewer.

    The interviewer says "hmm, so do you have any special needs or disabilities before we hire you?"

    The guy says "Well, it's kinda embarassing, but I lost my testicles in a grenade explosion when I was in the military."

    "Hmmmm..." says the interviewer, pausing a minute and flipping through papers. "Looks great. You start Monday, your hours are 11am to 5pm. Congratulations!"

    "But I thought government workers start at 9am?" asks the guy, with a puzzled look on his face.

    The interviewer replies "Well, normally I'd put you on normal work hours, but since you lost your testicles, you won't be sitting there scratching 'em for 2 or 3 hours a day bored and trying to figure out what to do."
  • By 'First', I'm hoping they make this an annual thing, so when it's time for me to graduate I can apply for a job then.

    Who cares about low pay? Benefits and stable job are all I need... And what're the odds the government will try to claim my hobby programming as their own IP?
  • by Lucas Membrane ( 524640 ) on Sunday April 21, 2002 @04:13PM (#3384121)
    The government agencies are overloaded with resumes since they started posting on-line. They don't have adequate staff to evealuate all the applicants. They are screening by buzzword bingo just like all the private sector employers.

    Most (ca 95%) of the government tech jobs open are in defense-related areas and with the DoD being the biggest poster of jobs. If you are out in the boondocks (more than 100 miles from DC) with no big military base around, not much chance of a good local job with the feds for you.

    Note that this job fair is for applicants around DC or for applicants who figure that they can relocate anywhere and often.

    The Bush Administration is also trying to cut government employment by using a process called "competitive sourcing", because it is a good way of replacing unionized federal employees with non-union private sector wage earners. (Union employees seem to vote Democratic all the time, you know.) Competitive sourcing goes back over 40 years, but it is now being cranked up more aggressively. Competitive sourcing means that government employees have to write up their own jobs as if they were up for bids, because they are, and then bid on them in competition with private contractors. About half the time the private contractors win and the government employees lose their jobs or get offered a new job at a different "location nationwide". Currently, the entire Interior Department is scheduled to go through competive sourcing procedures over the next two years, so not all federal government jobs come with the job security that many people associate with joining a bureaucracy.

    In addition, the old "double dip" benefits to those who spent part of their career in the government and part in private industry (being covered by and getting separate pensions from both Civil Service retirement and Social Security) have been eliminated by coordinating the benefits from the two plans. You might know some retirees who are very happily receiving the double dip, but it doesn't happen anymore.

  • the pay scales on the site are a joke.
    no wonder then that the feds are such a
    bumbling batch of baby-burners!
    • most it jobs start you out as at GS7, probably in mid 40s-51k

      you have decent advancement options and good benefits. you won't get rich working for the government, but they will TRAIN you a lot which is good if you ever want to work elsewhere. the training oppertunites alone are probably worth it.
  • I'm a work study for the VA and work in a VA Medical Center...We've got some nurses who have made mistakes that have nearly killed patients, yet they still work there. As one nurse put it, it takes an act of God AND an act of Congress to get fired from the government...And that whole seperation of church and state thing makes it a bit hard for the two to get together.

    Anyways. Let's see here, what's my experience with the computer people at my work...I need computer access to do my job, so I walk down to the building the computer people are in, and say I need access. They tell me I absolutely have to make an appointment and that I have to call a certain person's extension to do so. So I call that extension, leave a message with my name and phone number. I wait two days, nada. I call again. I end up calling 10 times in two weeks. NOTHING. My supervisor is getting pretty annoyed by now at having to let me use the computer while it's her logged in, and calls over to that extension and FINALLY gets a real person. She says my full name and how I need computer access NOW. The computer person says that she gave me computer access a week and a half ago. I say that if she did, she certainly didn't tell ME about it. Turns out the clueless person had given another person who had the same first name computer access, and didn't bother to see if the person calling (after she had supposedly given access to that person) had the same last name as the person who she'd given access to. Ugh.

    -Jenn
  • I even tried the same search in several salary categories, and the same one came up under three of them, but it was the same ONE job. Sure looks like the gubmint is a Microsoft shop.

  • by mrm677 ( 456727 ) on Sunday April 21, 2002 @07:03PM (#3384649)
    Reading some of these posts is depressing. I'm currently finishing up my M.S. in Computer Science. I've got an Electrical Engineering degree and 2 years of work experience for a Fortune 50 company. Is it that bad out there? Are there people educated similarly to me who can't find a job? And to think I left a great job to go back to school....I'm starting to regret that decision after reading these posts! Someone tell me it isn't true!!
    • It's not bad just on the IT side of the house, but other engineering disciplines, too. I graduated in December with a degree in "hard core" electrical engineering. You know, 65,000 volt three phase zapping, big motor turning, logic controller programming, microwave transmitting real engineering of the type where you have to take that grueling 8 hour motherfscker of a test at the end to prove you're worthy of an Engineer-in-Training [ncees.org] certificate.

      For four years, I was hearing where even the bottom of the class graduates were getting jobs at Motorola and Lockheed, and their hiring bonus was the company paying off their student loans in full. But guess what? It took me five years. I graduated a day late and a dollar short. All those big ticket engineering jobs vanished. I did manage to have a job waiting for me upon graduation, a "cushy" government job as a DoD civilian with the Air Force, but the entry level salary of $28,535 (GS-5) turned me off, as well as having to relocate to a base smack in the middle of Georgia. I turned it down in hopes that I could catch a bigger fish closer to home... EE-YONK! EE-YONK! is the sound of a disillusioned electrical engineer who feels like a jackass.

      Sure, there's EE jobs available, but the requirements are so pointed and specific that it looks like they are trying to attract back the same people who got laid off (or jumped ship) when the economy tanked. "Wanted: B.S. Engineering EE, ME,or CE & PMI Certification preferred. Project Engineer in power Distribution Substation Dept. Plan, design, & assemble project staff for Engineering Programs. Responsible for development, implementation, & maintenance of projects. 10+ years experience with demonstrated work experience with distributed control system hardware and software, preferably Honeywell TDC/TPS platform, work experience in applying ANSI/ISA S84.01 to safety shutdown systems, ability to manage multiple projects over $3 million." Not hardly the type of experience someone who is still wet behind the ears out of college has. The best I've been able to do is whore [roadwhore.com] myself out for temporary work.
  • Some people seem to be suffering from an illusion that government is actually growing right now - why else would they be hiring? The simple truth of the matter is that most government IT workers are OLD. And I'm not talking, old like 30. They're old like 50, 60, 70. Yes, I used to work with a guy that was 70. Used to because he was diagnosed with cancer and died about a month later. Add to that the fact that like 1/4 or 1/3 (I can't recall the exact number) of government IT workers are retirement eligible.

    The other issue is that not a lot of people want to work for the government. The government is pretty much 180-degrees from any sort of hacker ethic. No reward for risk, HUGE levels of red tape and you're pretty much surrounded by frickin idiots. Case in point, another person I work with just got a promotion and raise of around $10,000/yr... why? not because she was qualified or an outstanding performer, but because the position was open.

    If you're out of work, you have to take what you can get... but the mediocrity of government is killing me.
  • [anger]Thank you, i *NEEDED* one of those jobs. Now it's going to some lets-implement-an-unsupported-os-on-the-worlds-des ktops half-assed i-admined-my-friends-personal-websites joke of a sysadmin [/anger] sorry about that.. out of zoloft, lithium, and i chewed through the straps... [er, just kidding about the drugs and straps.. k]

    :)

    More realistically, its going to a i-used-to-be-in-the-military-so-i'm-used-to-shitty -pay-and-i-have-a-security-clearance type.

  • Wife and I laid off right before Christmas 2001...

    Wife: Despite slowdown, she finds architecture job in one month from AIA web site.

    Me: Finds Internet/broadcast engineering crossover job in three months from employer web site. Definately not my last job (which was Product Manager, streaming media), lots of new stuff to learn, is fun so far.

    Four months later: Government job I applied for in January contacts me in mid April. Doh!

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