[Baypiggies] Career Advice

Bryce Verdier bryceverdier at gmail.com
Tue Feb 15 19:07:14 CET 2011

Hello Fellow Bay Piggies,

I would really appreciate the help as I have an interesting situation 
that I can't seem to figure out.

My current job title is System Engineer. Although I do a fair amount of 
script writing (in python) I am performing a Systems Administrator job 
role. I took this job a little over a year ago because I had experience 
as such before I went back to school and I graduated during a pretty 
rough economy. I do not regret taking this job as I've learned some 
pretty cool things. However, I'm at the point where I realized I want my 
first programming job and I would really like it to be a python based job.

Somehow my resume looks good enough for me to get the occasional 
programming interview. But this is where the problem starts. While I do 
believe that scripting has helped me keep my programming skills from 
going completely dull, I don't spend forty plus hours a week doing it. 
Thus when I do enter an interview, the interviewer is asking me 
questions that I haven't seen or even thought about since I was in 
school. Or asking me about the esoteric aspects of a language that I 
don't get exposure to as scripting doesn't required them.

I realize that the economy still isn't great and that most companies 
aren't hiring junior level programmers right now, as there are enough 
mid-level programmers unemployed and willing to work for the same salary.

My question for the group is, what can I do to position myself better 
towards getting a junior developer job when those start to open up 
again? Or what should I prioritize in my studying to help me cross over 
from sys. admin. to developer? Are there any jobs that you guys are 
aware of that a hybrid job between these two roles that would help 
facilitate the cross over? I am aware of the option to program for an 
open source project, but I'm not sure which one. Though I am looking. ;)

Thanks in advance for your time and any thoughts you may share,

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