2004-07-29

Job News

I heard last week that the company I'm working at has decided that the department I work in and related groups are going away. They have 'funding' until the end of the year. But they have decided only to work on projects that have direct impact on income. Which means that in short order I could have nothing real to work on.

So I started looking around a bit. Not a huge amount to choose from. A lot of positions that require pre-existing security clearance. I don't have that. Others that want years of .net or years of Java. While I'd love to do those, I know I'd never get past a tech interview on these subjects, at least right now.

I did, however, get a line just yesterday on a position up in DTC. That means about an hour commute each way. I've done it before. I did it for a year an a half. The position was Cobol, SQL and Unix. How many people are they going to find with both Cobol and Unix? Well I think I'd be a fantastic match. The consulting group sent me a brainbench test. For Cobol. While I've been doing Cobol as my primary position for the last 9 months, I was still a little nervous. I knew brainbench could come up with some tough questions.

I took the test late in the day yesterday. The test seemed pretty hard. With a maximum of 3 minutes per question, it was real tough to get through some of the test. I mean, the number of lines of code, then the scenario, then going through the logic - it meant there time was very tight to figure out which answer was correct. And they threw in 2 or 3 questions on merge, which I have never coded before!

Well, I got my results back from the test: 4.34 out of 5. Higher than 92% of all previous test takers. Pretty good. That was a nice ego boost. It was interesting that it rated me weak in file processing though! I would have bet that was one of my higher areas. It was probably those dang merge questions. :)

So I spoke more with the representative in the consulting agency today. He said that they finally got more information from the hiring company. It seems the rate for the positions was about 5 dollars less than I am earning now per hour. I should get at least 5 dollars more an hour than now for the commute to Denver. But it seems they are pretty set on the price. The consulting company got the contract because they were willing to come in with some low numbers. I would seriously consider it at my current rate.

It was a tough choice. If I am out of work soon, that means I will be bringing in a whole lot less with unemployment. And we could make it work with the amount they are paying, especially with my wife working. But it doesn't really make sense. Because they know and I know that I would be hot to find a better paying job. And they would rather have someone who will stick around.

I tried to convince them to let me meet the company, and let them see if they would be willing to bargain up for my skills. The kind of people they will get in for the positions will be pretty much Mainframe or Unix. Not likely to find many who know a lot about both. So I pointed out the value to having someone like me who not only knows both sides, but has worked on a number of projects that integrated both Mainframe and Unix. If they don't have someone like that, they could wind up hitting stumbling blocks, and have to re-invent solutions. Solutions I already know about.

But I got no reply, so I guess they are sticking with the tight budget. Oh, well. Oh yeah, it was interesting to note that they said the project was being brought back from overseas. A case of reversing offshoring! Finally starting to happen. Good to know there are some smart people left in this country.

2 comments:

Dajen said...

I'll think positive for that job. Five bucks difference? That stinks, but, like you said, it's better than being out of work.
I love all of you outdoor pictures.

Digichrome said...

Good luck with this, Keith. Re: the $5/hr....look at the big picture. Sometimes if you need a life raft you can't be too picky about the size. Maybe jump on it and grab ahold of a bigger ship when one comes along.