So How Was The Big Apple Job Fair?

Written on 2:13 PM by Robert

CUNY Big Apple Job Fair

I got to the Jacob Javits Convention Center at around 10:30 - a full half-hour before the beginning of the Big Apple Job Fair. Registration was in the lower level and there was already a good sized line ahead of me. We were told immediately that we would not be allowed in if you weren't in a suit and tie (for the men) or didn't have your CUNY id card. By the time the organizers started to let people in, the line behind me stretched WAY down the long corridor. Local news crews were filming us on line, and photographers were taking pictures of the crowd as well. At 11:00, the line started to move and in no time I was at the registration desk, handing in a copy of my resume and receiving a bag full of brochures and a layout of the floor plan.

After registering, we followed the signs to the upper level. I had done my homework a few days ago, so I knew which employers I wanted to visit. The floor was fairly crowded, but I managed to visit all the employers I wanted to see, and even visit one that wasn't on my list - which was a waste of time. Lesson: Only visit the employers that are hiring for your field. Otherwise you will be wasting time.

Some employers, namely the NYC DOITT, weren't even taking resumes because of economic problems. However, I did get a good lead on openings in programming for a particular employer. Sorry - no details about that until I get an interview - the less competition I get, the better! Ha! The only problem was that I couldn't find where Eric Barron's workshop was. Those workshops are awesome.

All in all, it was definitely worth attending. I will follow up with my leads later today, including researching LinkedIn for any members in those companies who may want to discuss those positions. Wish me luck! Edit

Online Portfolios

Written on 11:17 AM by Robert

I have learned that it is important to create an online portfolio if you are a programmer - and probably for most other creative careers as well (like graphic designers, for example). When you apply for a job, it is important to show off your talents.

Without an online portfolio, your potential employer will be forced to take your word that you are skilled at what you do. They have no choice but to take a chance on you based on your resume and if you don't live up to expectations, they may need to let you go - wasting their time and money in hiring you. This is their fear. To alleviate this fear, you should set up an online portfolio showcasing your talents and accomplishments in a visible way.

1) Get your own web domain. Remember, the ".com" suffix for a web site is for companies who are making money from the site. A popular suffix to use now for your own personal information is ".me". Pick a site name that means something to you - maybe your name. If you are new to setting up web sites, head to and see how much it would cost for the domain name and hosting. The fee is worth having your online brand personalized.

2) Create the site. You can use GoDaddy's online web designer or use software like Microsoft Expression Web, which already comes in Microsoft Office 2007. There are tons of web design programs out there. Use something you feel most comfortable with and is easy for you to use.

3) Show off the goods. Use plenty of screenshots of what you want to show off, and describe exactly what you are showing. Make it very easy for an outsider to understand.

4) Get people to see it. Give people your link. Include it in your email signature. Include it in your professional and social profiles. Once you've done that, you can do the advanced work on how to get more traffic to your site by Googling those tips, but that may not even be necessary if you send people to that site from your other profiles.

A potential employer will see your handiwork with his/her own eyes and will feel very comfortable that if you are hired, you will provide the kind of results that you have shown off - and increase your chance to be hired.

Do you have an online portfolio set up yet? If so, share the link in a comment below so we could check them out as examples (and generate some traffic to it). Edit

Programming vs Software Engineering vs Software Development

Written on 10:38 AM by Robert

Now that I've been out of work for a few months, I've been amazed at the changes that has transpired in the IT landscape since the last time I've been out of work. The term "programmer" is declining in popularity, while "software engineer" and "software developers" are more commonplace. So, is there a difference? Apparently there is.

The IEEE defines software engineering as "(1) The application of a systematic, disciplined, quantifiable approach to the development, operation, and maintenance of software; that is, the application of engineering to software. (2) The study of approaches as in (1)"

However, that didn't satisfy my questions. Why do we see so many programming jobs posted with all different job titles? After tons of research, this is what I concluded:

Programmer - someone who writes code, and that is it

Software developer (or web developer or application developer) - someone who writes code, takes care of graphics or GUI requirements, handles testing etc...

Software engineer - the one who designs, composes specifications for, and plans tests for, software

Based on these definitions, maybe I should change the name of this blog.
Any thoughts or corrections? Edit

Upcoming Career Fairs

Written on 1:39 PM by Robert

career fair

I compiled a partial list of upcoming career fairs in the New York City area in the next few months. I hope this helps people who have been scrambling to find a complete list of these events as I have been.

CUNY Big Apple Job Fair
- March 20 (11am - 4:30pm) at Jacob Javits
City Career Fair
- March 26 (11am - 4pm) 102 North End Avenue
Brooklyn Diversity Job Fair
- March 31 (10am - 1:30pm) Brooklyn Academy of Music, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn
NYC Career Fair
- April 2 (10am - 3pm) 125 W18th Street
NY Career Fair - April 14 (11am - 3pm) 49 W32nd Street
Bilingual Job Fair
- April 16 (10am - 3pm) 125 W18th Street
Job Expo
- April 23 (10am - 3pm) 371 7th Avenue
Diversity Job Fair
- June 3rd (10am - 3pm) 371 Seventh Avenue

Do you have any more to add to this list? Please post them to share! Edit

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