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'[AD]: Co-op student for hire (me)!'
2003\04\08@213953 by Jai Dhar

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Hi everyone,

Just before I write the rest of this, I'm sorry if this is not appropriate
[AD] material. Going by some of the other posts that involve companies looking
for Engineers, it seems appropriate, but I'm not sure. This is more a case of
an Engineer looking for a company :-)

Anyway, I am currently attending the University of Waterloo in Canada, and am
in their co-op program for Computer Engineering. I will be returning to study
this summer for 4 months, and will be going through the co-op process to find a
job in September. Unfortunately, as a lot of you may know, the market is
horrible right now, especially here in Ontario. The last place companies seem
to be looking now are for co-op students, even from Universities who offer
quite reputable Engineers (Waterloo).

Although I will be going through the co-op process, I thought I would give the
list a try to see if anyone in the Ontario region (preferrably) is willing to
hire a co-op student.. or if they know anyone who does. I won't bother the list
with boring details to sell myself, but if anyone would like more information
about me, please email me offlist.

Just as a last word, I don't understand why co-op students aren't sought out
more. Generally, we offer very cheap labor (relatively), and are capable of
learning very quickly. While it's true that the first few weeks/months are
usually 'wasted' from a companies perspective, training the student that is,
the student can become a valuable resource to the company in the future. Maybe
there is more to it, I obviously haven't seen the whole world yet, but these
are the points that stick out the most to me.


Thank you, and I apologize again if this is inappropriate.

Jai


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2003\04\08@214424 by Neil Bradley

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>  Just as a last word, I don't understand why co-op students aren't
> sought out more. Generally, we offer very cheap labor (relatively), and
> are capable of learning very quickly. While it's true that the first few
> weeks/months are usually 'wasted' from a companies perspective, training
> the student that is, the student can become a valuable resource to the
> company in the future. Maybe there is more to it, I obviously haven't
> seen the whole world yet, but these are the points that stick out the
> most to me.

Once you get more experience under your belt and have a few co-ops work
for you, then you'll understand. A great majority of them need more hand
holding, reverification, and reworking effort than it would take to do the
job in the first place, and most companies aren't willing to invest the
time/energy. But then again, I've had the same general experience with
many recent college graduates, too.

-->Neil

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Neil Bradley            In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is not
Synthcom Systems, Inc.  king - he's a prisoner.
ICQ #29402898

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2003\04\08@222407 by john chung

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Neil Bradley wrote:

> >  Just as a last word, I don't understand why co-op students aren't
> > sought out more. Generally, we offer very cheap labor (relatively), and
> > are capable of learning very quickly. While it's true that the first few
> > weeks/months are usually 'wasted' from a companies perspective, training
> > the student that is, the student can become a valuable resource to the
> > company in the future. Maybe there is more to it, I obviously haven't
> > seen the whole world yet, but these are the points that stick out the
> > most to me.
>
> Once you get more experience under your belt and have a few co-ops work
> for you, then you'll understand. A great majority of them need more hand
> holding, reverification, and reworking effort than it would take to do the
> job in the first place, and most companies aren't willing to invest the
> time/energy. But then again, I've had the same general experience with
> many recent college graduates, too.
>

  Well, we started from the same situation too! It really depends whether the "worker"
is willing to learn or not and must be open to criticism.

John

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2003\04\08@223027 by Jai Dhar

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Quoting john chung <spam_OUTjohncTakeThisOuTspamXYBASE.COM>:

{Quote hidden}

These are things that for the most part, you can't prove until you are actually
hired ;-) This seems to be the problem in the first case, heh.


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2003\04\08@235301 by PicDude

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What are your strengths? -- PICs?  Other programming?
Digital?  Analog?  General computer engineering?

Cheers,
-Neil.



> {Original Message removed}

2003\04\09@082432 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
>  Just before I write the rest of this, I'm sorry if this is not
> appropriate [AD] material.

Seems quite appropriate to me.

>  Just as a last word, I don't understand why co-op students aren't
> sought out more. Generally, we offer very cheap labor (relatively), and
> are capable of learning very quickly.

I think coop students are attactive deals for some companies, especially
larger ones.  The problem is that it takes more than a one or two man
project, or many such small projects, before there is room for a junior
person.  I was at Hewlett Packard in the early 1980s, and we always had a
few coop students in engineering.  However, there were something like 50
engineers, so there was always something to do for a junior person.
That's may not be the case when there are only 5 engineers, and the
company makes a point of selling top expertice for top dollar.


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2003\04\09@084056 by Jai Dhar

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Neil,

I would say my strengths at this point are mainly related to my motivation to
learn by myself. Since I am only in the second half of 2nd year, we haven't
done much related to real Engineering application yet. For example, the only
really applicable skills we have learnt so far include VHDL, basic digital
circuitry, basic analog and then some programming and algorithm development.
Since we haven't gone too much in depth yet, I have been taking the initiative
over the last few terms to start learning the practical side of engineering on
my own. These last 4 months have been mainly focusing on PIC's and ASM for me,
though through the list and through my projects, I have learnt tons of other
skills.

So right now I would place my strengths definitely in the digital field. This
is what I have been most interested in, along with interfacing to computers. I
have always been quite strong in computers and programming (I know quite a few
languages), so ever since I picked up digital hardware, I thought meeting the
two through interfacing would be a good experience. I'm also very experienced
in working with linux and *BSD variants as they have been my primary OS for as
many years as I can remember. This definitely helps in interfacing since it is
much easier to write low-level code for the *NIX os's than it is for Windows.

Since Analog seems to be my main weakness, I would love to find opportunities
to strengthen myself in that area if possible. The reason I haven't dived into
Analog too much is because it involves much more theory, and math. Digital
electronics are very easy to pick up by yourself since a lot of it can be
learnt on-the-fly. I have found that analog tends to be a bit more difficult to
pick up by yourself since some background is needed on the math involved.

As a last point, I pick up skills VERY easily. Whether it be in school, or in
the workplace, I pick up new ideas and concepts very quickly. What I don't pick
up immediately, I make it a point to learn on my own to re-inforce the concept.
This is why I feel I would be good in any work environment - I have a lot of
motivation to learn. When looking at class-mates, most of them don't take any
initiative to learn anything about Computers or electronics on their own. Most
of them stop their learning when the bell rings, whereas I will even sacrifice
a bit of studying time to work on the practical side of Engineering.

Hope this answers your question :-)

Jai

Quoting PicDude <.....picdudeKILLspamspam@spam@NARWANI.ORG>:

> What are your strengths? -- PICs?  Other programming?
> Digital?  Analog?  General computer engineering?
>
> Cheers,
> -Neil.
>
>
>
> > {Original Message removed}

2003\04\09@092022 by Chris Loiacono

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As for the remarks below,
I am with Olin on this, with a minor adjustment...
I worked in major Aerospace firms in the '80's and we saw no students
whatsoever. The reasoning was the estimating and contracting process with
the Gov't - which did not have any provisions for co-op or intern
hour-costs. This may be different now.
We regularly quote development jobs with different hourly rates for
different people's efforts. Clients seem to appreciate that not every hour's
work done will be billed at $150 or $ 175.

I have hired co-op students back when I had a total ofonly 5 or 6 employees
and found that some had a level of practical understanding that made them
productive contributors right away - while others were a constant burden,
tying up others who had to constantly teach and explain things to them.

I suggest that you show any prospective employer that you are not like the
latter kind and you should do well. This is a tough time for emerging
engineers - perhaps the greatest thing in your favor is the allure that you
might actually contribute a needed skill at a reduced cost...

Best sucess..
Chris

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2003\04\09@095122 by Micro Eng

picon face
I'd watch the paper...see who is hiring.  Talk to the local rep's (if you
don't know them now, its a good time to find out who they are, what lines
the carry, and the accounts) as they usually know who is busy, and doing
what things.  It comes down to networking, and once you graduate it will be
a huge thing to have on your side.

Understand that you may not get a coop position directly in engineering. As
others have said, in this economy, its hard enough for a seasoned engineer
to find work, let alone someone that needs training. But who knows what you
might find. But as mentioned, don't limit yourself to engineering.  Look
also into manufacturing as well. Some of the best engineers have a practical
sense of design, but no clue on the best way to build a product.  If you
understand the build process, it allows you to engineer a better product in
the end, and perhaps saving your employer $$ in the end.  Its a good thing
to put on the resume.



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2003\04\09@104535 by Dal Wheeler

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Yes, but not totally.  I got my first internship based on enthusiasm and
some of the home projects I was working on.  Tinkering isn't a waste of
time.  I had many classmates that thought the hours spent in  EE lab were
unproductive; I didn't think they were enough, so I supplimented them with
other projects.  The fact that you enjoy doing this kind of work enough to
pursue it in leasure hours can go a long way to this "proof".
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jai Dhar" <jdharspamKILLspamENGMAIL.UWATERLOO.CA>
> These are things that for the most part, you can't prove until you are
actually
> hired ;-) This seems to be the problem in the first case, heh.

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2003\04\09@131158 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
> Yes, but not totally.  I got my first internship based on enthusiasm and
> some of the home projects I was working on.  Tinkering isn't a waste of
> time.  I had many classmates that thought the hours spent in  EE lab
> were unproductive; I didn't think they were enough, so I supplimented
> them with other projects.  The fact that you enjoy doing this kind of
> work enough to pursue it in leasure hours can go a long way to this
> "proof".

I agree.  I've occasionally interviewed EE students coming out of school.
One of the things I always look for is what kind of projects they did on
the side that weren't required in school.  Any kid truly interested in EE
will have done a number of personal projects.  Any EE graduate that didn't
is trying to go into the wrong career.  I've actually had students tell me
"but I did all the required work and got good grades, what more was I
supposed to do".  Those were short interviews.


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2003\04\09@135243 by Jai Dhar

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This is exactly the type of student that I figured companies would want, but
having gone through two interview processes already, it doesn't seem that way.
Even though I have landed two jobs so far, companies seem to be going for the
students with good grades. The type of student who you described ("but I did
all the work and got good grades etc...") is EXACTLY what the majority of my
class (and a lot of EE classes now) is like, and is rather depressing quite
frankly. Hardly any of them are interested in pursuing projects on their own
time... yet some of them have landed considerably better jobs (could be also
because lying on resumes seems to be a common practice now). It makes me wonder
what kind of Engineers we are producing for tomorrow.

Quoting Olin Lathrop <.....olin_piclistKILLspamspam.....EMBEDINC.COM>:

{Quote hidden}

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2003\04\09@145525 by Stuart Meier

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I'm a bit old for this, but my son graduated a year back.

HIS approach (his field was computing not EE) was to become VERY expert at one
tiny niche, so he was valuable to folks for his specialist knowledge on this
little area. He ended up acting as an independant consultant troule-shooting for
other consultants on this little aspect, and in return learned a broader field
off them .

Stuart

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2003\04\09@151630 by Chris Loiacono

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All in one year?!

> my son graduated a year back.
He ended up acting as an independant consultant
> troule-shooting for
> other consultants on this little aspect, and in return
> learned a broader field
> off them .
>
> Stuart

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2003\04\09@152635 by PicDude

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Jai,

>  I would say my strengths at this point are mainly related to my
> motivation to learn by myself.

That's the answer that you shouldn't have for the question,
at least IMHO.

Being motivated to learn is excellent, expecially by yourself,
but putting yourself in the shoes of an employer, think of why
you would hire someone like that.  Everyone claims that they're
a fast and motivated learner.  So how does an employer know which
ones to believe?  I can assure you from people I've hired in the
past, that some definitely are and some definitely aren't.

Not doubting that you aren't, cause you're on this list having
discussions that are not required for a class grade, but you
need to figure out how to get prospective employers to know
that.

Also, when I've hired/looked-into-hiring co-ops, interns or
fresh-out-of-college students in the past, I look for some
immediately useable skill.  This person went to college for
training so I don't have to do that, completely.  They should
be able to perform some useful function while learning others.
Yes, I expect to shuffle around some of the other employees
to help bring this person up to speed with not just specifics
within my organization, but from a general education perspective
as well.  But I shouldn't have to do it all.  The candidate
must be able to add some value to my organization.  Especially
in this economy nowadays.

I think larger companies have co-op & intern programs more
than smaller companies since they can afford to take time off
other employees to assist the interns.  And they get value out
of letting the public know that they have a co-op/intern
program where they are doing some good, etc.

If you really are a self-motivated and fast learner, then why
not use some of that right now and develop one skill that you
can pitch to prospective employers as a strength.  For example,
come in and say "I excel at PIC programming in assembly, and
I've done .... to date".  It's very learnable on your own.

Cheers,
-Neil.




> {Original Message removed}

2003\04\09@161009 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
> This is exactly the type of student that I figured companies would
> want, but having gone through two interview processes already, it
> doesn't seem that way.

That is common when you get interviewed by some personell lacky instead of
real engineers.  Some engineering managers also have this problem (some of
them got there because they were more interested in management than
engineering, often because they were incompetent at engineering).

> Even though I have landed two jobs so far,

Um, then what's the problem?

> companies seem to be going for the students with good grades.

Good grades are always an advantage.  I wouldn't hire a C student
regardless of whatever else they tell me.

> The type
> of student who you described ("but I did all the work and got good
> grades etc...") is EXACTLY what the majority of my class (and a lot of
> EE classes now) is like, and is rather depressing quite frankly. Hardly
> any of them are interested in pursuing projects on their own time...

I call them drones.  Yes, some of the people can get away with it some of
the time, but eventually the better engineers will bubble to the top.  We
had a few people like that when I was at HP.  They kind of floated along
and eventually got projects done, but needed a lot of help from others.
Everyone knew who the smart and dumb guys were, and the dumb ones had
little chance for advancement although they didn't know it (Who's going to
tell them, it's easier to laugh at them behind their back).

You should also consider what the work environment will be like at
companies that hire those you know to be drones.  When I entered the job
market in 1980, a lot of drones went to Raytheon and Honeywell.  These
companies were deliberately avoided by others as a result.

I know none of this is consolation for your coop job problem, but maybe
helps put it in perspective.  Hang in there, you will eventually be
rewarded.

> yet some of them have landed considerably better jobs (could be also
> because lying on resumes seems to be a common practice now).

Whatever happens and no matter how desparate you are and how many other
people are doing it, don't ever ever lie on a resume.  I've actually
thrown people out of an interview for doing that.  I may not be able to
tell what the truth really is, but I (and you should assume any
interviewer) can spot the BS a lot better than you probably think.  Once I
see something suspect, I'm going to drill down until you either adequately
explain it or you are proven to be a lier.  There is no recovery from the
latter case.


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2003\04\09@162007 by Jai Dhar

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Quoting Olin Lathrop <EraseMEolin_piclistspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTEMBEDINC.COM>:

> > This is exactly the type of student that I figured companies would
> > want, but having gone through two interview processes already, it
> > doesn't seem that way.
>
> That is common when you get interviewed by some personell lacky instead of
> real engineers.  Some engineering managers also have this problem (some of
> them got there because they were more interested in management than
> engineering, often because they were incompetent at engineering).
>
> > Even though I have landed two jobs so far,
>
> Um, then what's the problem?

The problem is that I was answering phones for government employees the first
term... with problems such as not being able to connect to the network when
their cable is unplugged, and not being able to change their password
successfully when it CLEARLY states it has to be at least 6 characters - yet
they insist on using less. And second term (now), I have been addressing
similar problems, except on an on-site basis rather than through the phones. I
will be leaving the Ministry after this term, which is why I was hoping to
obtain a much more applicable job to my field (possibly through the piclist or
anywhere else). I'm well aware that I shouldn't expect a great job the first
few times around, but I feel that if I get any more jobs like this one, what
talent I have will only go to waste. Then again, on the upside, the (lack of)
difficulty associated with this job has given me PLENTY of time to read about
pics and read/write from the Piclist :-)


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2003\04\09@180353 by Herbert Graf

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> This is exactly the type of student that I figured companies
> would want, but
> having gone through two interview processes already, it doesn't
> seem that way.
> Even though I have landed two jobs so far, companies seem to be
> going for the
> students with good grades. The type of student who you described
> ("but I did
> all the work and got good grades etc...") is EXACTLY what the
> majority of my
> class (and a lot of EE classes now) is like, and is rather
> depressing quite
> frankly. Hardly any of them are interested in pursuing projects
> on their own
> time... yet some of them have landed considerably better jobs
> (could be also
> because lying on resumes seems to be a common practice now). It
> makes me wonder
> what kind of Engineers we are producing for tomorrow.

       Unfortunately, having been on BOTH sides of the interview table I can say
that if you don't have good grades, no matter what else you've done, many
companies will not hire. The market is VERY bad right now in Ontario,
companies are only considering students who are the best of the best, and
their FIRST criteria is grades.

       FWIW I'm in a similar situation to you, I'm graduating in a few weeks and
don't have a job. I did a 16 month coop with a LARGE company and they
unfortunately haven't been able to offer me a position to come back (my
former boss has tried very hard to get a position for me). In my case it
isn't grades that are the issue, it's simply a lack of positions.

       So, if anybody out there is looking for a recent grad EE student (from
University of Toronto) with extensive "out of school" experience I'm
available! :) TTYL

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2003\04\09@180405 by Herbert Graf

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> > yet some of them have landed considerably better jobs (could be also
> > because lying on resumes seems to be a common practice now).
>
> Whatever happens and no matter how desparate you are and how many other
> people are doing it, don't ever ever lie on a resume.  I've actually
> thrown people out of an interview for doing that.  I may not be able to
> tell what the truth really is, but I (and you should assume any
> interviewer) can spot the BS a lot better than you probably think.  Once I
> see something suspect, I'm going to drill down until you either adequately
> explain it or you are proven to be a lier.  There is no recovery from the
> latter case.

       Hehe, this reminds me of a case where a person being interview had made a
typo on their resume. When pressed it was obvious the person had no idea
what the CORRECT word was. After some drilling it was determined the persons
FRIEND wrote THEIR resume!??! Very funny...

       And then, of course this might sound obvious, but... NEVER GET ANGRY during
a interview! One person got angry at the interviewer because he/she felt the
question was "unfair"??

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2003\04\09@184341 by PicDude

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>         Hehe, this reminds me of a case where a person being
> interview had made a
> typo on their resume. When pressed it was obvious the person had no idea
> what the CORRECT word was. After some drilling it was determined
> the persons
> FRIEND wrote THEIR resume!??! Very funny...

It is especially important to dig deep on resumes that from
from contracting agencies -- I had a contracting company put
me up for a position, and in the interview I was asked things
I didn't know, nor claimed to know.  Apparently the contracting
agency significantly adjusted my resume to the point of blatant
lying.  Not only do I not want to be misrepresented, but I
don't want to land a position where I don't know the subject
matter I'm expected to.

On the flip side, I now delve deep into contractors' resumes
and have caught many lies.



>         And then, of course this might sound obvious, but...
> NEVER GET ANGRY during
> a interview! One person got angry at the interviewer because
> he/she felt the
> question was "unfair"??

Funny story ... back at Nortel some years back, I asked a SQL
programming "expert" to tell me  the output of a query (with
tables/data listed) and of course used an outer join.  He tried
for 5 seconds, got pissed off and got up, claiming that it was
unfair and was not expecting to have a pop quiz.  !?!?!?

Guess I've been around too much. :-)

Cheers,
-Neil.

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2003\04\09@190559 by Chuck Rice

picon face
You could also consider working for the government, perhaps in the DoD.
There is a hiring phase going on right now. You won't exactly get to
work on anything for the first six months or so until you get cleared.
After that you'll have enough work to make your head explode. It is on
the analysis and testing side for the most part, little or no design.

It is not all engineering either, remember unless you have a 3.5 or
above you are not going to find it easy to get a job you would probably
consider good. Certainly not one in design. Hell it can be tough to find
a job just in your own major.

Stick to it and don't be afraid to take a job lower on the totem pole if
it means getting in the door for something you do want. Those look a lot
better than retail on a resume.

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2003\04\09@190807 by William Chops Westfield

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The problem with co-ops, even the ones that really ARE "fast and motivated
learners", is that you have to spend the time teaching them all that stuff,
and then they go and work permanantly somewhere else!  Unless you have a
task that they only need minimal training for, that can be completed during
the timeframe of the co-op period, this can be a net drain on resources.

BillW

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2003\04\09@191435 by Neil Bradley

flavicon
face
> It is not all engineering either, remember unless you have a 3.5 or
> above you are not going to find it easy to get a job you would probably
> consider good. Certainly not one in design. Hell it can be tough to find
> a job just in your own major.

I've encountered two types of interviewees:

1) "Look at my GPA/Degrees/Schooling"
2) "Look at my accomplishments"

When I see a resume from someone who has #1, it's an immediate red flag,
and most often those who tout their schooling above and beyond any of
their accomplishments wind up not being worth a damn. I ask the question
"Besides school, what have you successfully accomplished?". If they act
shocked that I'm not interested in their schooling, they aren't the right
person.

As an employer, I'm far more impressed with #2. If they show a steady
amount of learning, open to new ideas, trying new things, that's the kind
of person I want working for me. Throwing away someone with a great amount
of technical expertise only because they don't have a degree is short
sighted and a major missed opportunity. I'm not stating that you should
hire someone if they aren't qualified, only that there are plenty of
degreeless individuals who are outstanding, and they should not be
discounted.

Really, I'd like to see a balance of solid engineering schooling (even if
they don't have a degree) and lots of practice, either professionally or
as a hobbyist. The last thing I need is another stuffy master's degree
holder who thinks the world owes them something and can't think outside
what a book has taught them.

-->Neil

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ICQ #29402898

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2003\04\09@194159 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
Companies that send recruiters to major universities are:

1) used to dealing with the type of graduates that university produces.
  Usually this means providing "practical" training to "bright"
  theoretically trained newbies.

2) Have adjusted their interviewing personelle and techniques to filter
  out the people that will work well withing the training framework they
  provide.

This is generally what recruiting from universities MEANS.  If you
wanted to get people with practical experience in XXX, then there are
other ways.  OTOH, this way you get people that you can train to do
things YOUR way, instead of having them argue.

If you've been doing significant non-accademic projects while at school,
you should have other contacts for getting hired based on THAT knowlege.
I got my first job based largely on stuff I had published to the ARPANet
(some were class projects, some totally non-accademic.)  My GPA wasn't
high enough to spark interest from the recruiters (not that I could
tell, anyway.  Those jobs didn't sound that interesting to me, either.)
On the other hand, it wasn't low enough to disqualify me from "other
considerations."

On the third hand, the job market at the moment really sucks.  People
with 20 years of experience are getting laid off and aren't able to find
new jobs.  It might be a good time to look at getting a masters degree.

BillW

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2003\04\09@201533 by cdb

flavicon
face
This isn't a go at Olin, I just couldn't contain myself any longer!

I'm concerned and disappointed with the way many companies large and
small, especially outside Europe view training of their workforce.

It seems to me that companies certainly here in Australia, often
think of training as a burden and cost to their bottom line, rather
than an investment for their future viability.

Due to this fact I've known several people who have indebted
themselves to the system received their Engineering degrees in
various disciplines and then found no one will hire them, because
they now need practical training. So far out of 5 people Io know, two
have taken up apprenticeships with electronics manufacturers in
Germany, one got a job with a GSM company in Australia and the other
3 are doing work for the dole.

There seems to be a different approach in Europe, or certainly was 5
years ago when I left. Rhone Poulenc for example (paper manufacturer)
would take people on on a 18 -24 month contract, train these people,
teach them French (helpful if your in France), provide lodgings, and
at the end of the  training if you got your degree , would offer you
a job if one was available, if not bye bye.

Germany used to have a strong indentured system which meshed
secondary school with industry. The UK just can't seem to make up
it's mind which way to go.

Here in Australia the thing that struck me was the amount of
companies who advertise 'We will give you a $800. worth of training
free'  and then outsource it to another company. Personally I'd never
expect to have to pay for  company based training. Perhaps I just
have strange views and live in a time warp.

Colin
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2003\04\09@232948 by Chuck Rice

picon face
Agreed, but I got the impression this was a first time sort of thing.
Even co-ops are getting put through a finer screen these days. GPA and
an empty shirt is absolutely a red flag, but the market is funny atm.
You have guys with 20 years experience taking entry jobs because it is
all they can get. If the market weren't so glutted there would be a more
solid distinction.

Forgot to mention something. If you find listings in the US, throw in
for them. Work is work, location is secondary.

Most of all, do not give up. It can be disappointing to send out 100
resumes and get nothing back, but it only takes one going to the right
place to land something. Use all resources available to you, career
center, career fairs, etc. You will get practice interviewing, find out
what companies want, find out about companies you may have never heard
of, etc. DO NOT FILL OUT ONLINE RESUME DATABASE FORMS AND EXPECT
RESULTS, YOU WILL NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT GET THEM. Look for resources that
allow you to submit that form to hirers directly.

Also, START EARLY. If you are graduating in a semester and are just
starting to look, you are starting about a year too late.

http://www.campuscareercenter.com is a decent example
http://www.cpol.army.mil   (forgot to link ours, oops)

Did I mention that you shouldn't limit yourself to a geographic area?
Yup? Ok well I mentioned it again.

{Original Message removed}

2003\04\10@021237 by jim barchuk

flavicon
face
Hi Jai!

You've gotten tons of fantastic comments. I'd add only a little.

> The problem is that I was answering phones for government employees the
> first term... with problems such as not being able to connect to the
> network when their cable is unplugged, and not being able to change
> their password successfully when it CLEARLY states it has to be at least
> 6 characters - yet they insist on using less. And second term (now), I
> have been addressing similar problems, except on an on-site basis rather
> than through the phones.

Internship by definition is temporary. There is no time for 'getting up to
speed.' Employer says 'what can this person do for me right now.' What you
described above was actually pretty good -advancement-. First was phone
only. Second allowed for a little freer decision making instead of just
reciting from a menu, and getting your hands dirty out in the field.

Don't worry about ratty work for quite a while. As has been mentioned
there are LOTS of people out there, far more qualified than you, (no
disparigement intended, simply a matter of experience, who are suffering
'lower level' stuff. It'll take -time- and eperience before you can get to
the cool stuff.

I thought the niche trick was a cool idea. But it can bite you as easily
as not depending on what you nichify. <-- Yes, I just invented that word;
remember where you heard it first. :) In any case the trick is to pick the
right niche. In terms of 'what'll be happening 10, 20, 30 yrs from now?'
Automation, (home, industrial, etc.,) nano, AI, etc. Example, when IPV6
comes around, Mom can buy the kids a neworked toothbrush, and the 'daily
life chores' cron job will email her if sonnyboy -fails- to log an
appropriate amount of t-brush time. Yeah, that's now far in the future I
think. :)

> which is why I was hoping to obtain a much more applicable job to my
> field (possibly through the piclist or anywhere else). I'm well aware
> that I shouldn't expect a great job the first few times around, but I
> feel that if I get any more jobs like this one, what talent I have will
> only go to waste.

There're two ways to get promoted. One is to screw up, only occasionally,
but very badly. They'll find something else for you to do, but with red
flags. The other is to do the most trivial job excellently, with
enthusiasm, teamwork, and an eye to *improving* whatever standard
procedures/processes you're handed. They'll think, 'hey, not only can this
guy do the job well, he can -think- too, and has *improving* the *company*
in mind.' You cannot imagine how uncommon that is in RL. Again, it's a
matter of 'what can this employee do for me?' The more they perceive you
have the -capability- of doing the more they'll -give- you to do. But you
must 'demonstrate' future capability by present productivity.

> Then again, on the upside, the (lack of) difficulty associated with this
> job has given me PLENTY of time to read about pics and read/write from
> the Piclist :-)

Night watchman? :) Not kidding. You can fit a whole micro lab in a
'salesman's samples' size briefcase. They do't care what you do as long as
you're not asleep.

Olin said:

> > Whatever happens and no matter how desparate you are and how many
> > other people are doing it, don't ever ever lie on a resume.  I've
> > actually thrown people out of an interview for doing that.  I may not
> > be able to tell what the truth really is, but I (and you should assume
> > any interviewer) can spot the BS a lot better than you probably think.
> > Once I see something suspect, I'm going to drill down until you either
> > adequately explain it or you are proven to be a lier.  There is no
> > recovery from the latter case.

I have *never* lied on an application or resume, but I *have* lied at
interview. I was asked 'can you do this?' And having seen it done but
never done it I just sat down and did it. I was asked 'have you used this
software?' Having used other of the same technology/family, but not that
particular brand, I said yes. Then on day one I said 'hey that version
isn't what I used, lemme borrow the book overnight to review any
changes/updates/whatever.' Went in the next day and made it sing and dance
like I'd been using it for years because the -technology- doesn't change,
only the dippy -menus-. :) Oh don't gt me wrong, I didn't make a regular
habit of doing that, only in emergency. I said 'no' many many times more
than I ever 'lied yes'. And I DO NOT RECOMMEND it unless you are
**ABSOLUTELY** sure of your capabilities, because if you get *caught* you
are *dead* *frigging* *meat*. Another way to say it is that pushing the
envelope is fine as long as you know exactly exactly exactly what the
limits are.

Have a :) day!

jb

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2003\04\10@035413 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>I will be leaving the Ministry after this term, which is why I was
>hoping to obtain a much more applicable job to my field (possibly
>through the piclist or anywhere else).

Having a job like these need not be a disadvantage. On your resume it can
show that you are prepared to get stuck in, despite not necessarily liking
the position. It also shows you were prepared to go out there and work
instead of just going to the beach and hitting the surf or laying in the
sun.

with regard to experience, my original employer that I did my apprenticeship
with ended up having a basic electronics questionnaire to see if they could
find the prospective apprentices applying for positions, who had done things
like built a crystal set, or other basic attempts at learning the trade as a
hobby, to get the most interested ones to float to the top of the selection
list. Do spend some time to build little projects as a hobby, or at least go
through the design processes, even if you have not built them. It is all
experience that adds to the glow that gets you noticed.

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2003\04\10@055438 by Alex Holden

flavicon
face
On Thu, 2003-04-10 at 07:12, jim barchuk wrote:
> There're two ways to get promoted. One is to screw up, only occasionally,
> but very badly. They'll find something else for you to do, but with red
> flags. The other is to do the most trivial job excellently, with

A syndrome I've noticed occasionally, especially in larger companies, is
for people to keep getting promoted whenever they show a flair for a
particular job, until they reach a level that they're no good at and get
stuck there (unless they really screw up they rarely seem to get demoted
back to the previous level). A typical example of this is that of first
class engineers with no management skills suddenly being given roles
where they're expected to manage dozens of people.

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2003\04\10@074646 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
> It is especially important to dig deep on resumes that from
> from contracting agencies -- I had a contracting company put
> me up for a position, and in the interview I was asked things
> I didn't know, nor claimed to know.  Apparently the contracting
> agency significantly adjusted my resume to the point of blatant
> lying.  Not only do I not want to be misrepresented, but I
> don't want to land a position where I don't know the subject
> matter I'm expected to.

I had a similar experience with a head hunter.  I went to a job interview
that the head hunter had arranged.  After a few questions like "How
exactly did you turn that lead into gold?", "I didn't know anyone could be
an NFL quarterback, a head of state, and an astronaut, all at the same
time.", and "What do you find more challanging, arranging the weather a
week in advance, or your daily walks on the lake?", I asked to see the
resume the head hunter had sent them.  Needless to say, it had been
"enhanced" a bit.  Ever since then I always bring a copy of my own resume
to an interview.  If someone else previously sent a resume I always start
out by giving the interviewer my version.

By the way, it's a real good idea to bring several copies of your resume
to an interview.  Even if you sent your version previously, they get lost,
don't filter down to the right people, etc.  I heard of a case where an
interviewer had lost a resume and didn't want to tell his boss.  He
searched the internet and found the guy's resume just in time.
Unfortunately, it was the resume of someone else with the same name in the
next town over.


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2003\04\10@083632 by Dave Tweed

face
flavicon
face
Alex Holden <RemoveMEalexspamTakeThisOuTLINUXHACKER.ORG> wrote:
> On Thu, 2003-04-10 at 07:12, jim barchuk wrote:
> > There're two ways to get promoted. One is to screw up, only occasionally,
> > but very badly. They'll find something else for you to do, but with red
> > flags. The other is to do the most trivial job excellently, with
>
> A syndrome I've noticed occasionally, especially in larger companies, is
> for people to keep getting promoted whenever they show a flair for a
> particular job, until they reach a level that they're no good at and get
> stuck there (unless they really screw up they rarely seem to get demoted
> back to the previous level). A typical example of this is that of first
> class engineers with no management skills suddenly being given roles
> where they're expected to manage dozens of people.

It's called "the Peter Principle", and it's well-documented. "People rise
to their level of incompetence." Look for the book with that name.

-- Dave Tweed

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2003\04\10@090038 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
jim barchuk wrote:
> I have *never* lied on an application or resume, but I *have* lied at
> interview. I was asked 'can you do this?' And having seen it done but
> never done it I just sat down and did it. I was asked 'have you used
> this software?' Having used other of the same technology/family, but
> not that particular brand, I said yes.

I'm going to disagree with Jim on this one.  I know Jim highly qualified
this advice, but I still disagree with it.  NEVER do this.  If the
interviewer asks if you've ever used this particular software, and you
haven't, the only correct answer is NO.  However, then you quickly add
that you're quite proficient at this and that similar software, what
you've done with it, and show that you understand the underlying
technology.  You could also add (if you believe it) that the software in
question is similar enough that you feel quite confident that a night of
manual reading would make you proficient.  Then offer to take the manual
with you right then and bring it back your first day on the job!

If they truly want someone with previous solid experience on that
software, that's their call, whether you agree with it or not.  In the
end, misrepresenting yourself is just plain wrong, and may come back to
haunt you in unexpected ways.


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2003\04\10@114522 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 04:06 PM 4/9/2003 -0700, you wrote:
>The problem with co-ops, even the ones that really ARE "fast and motivated
>learners", is that you have to spend the time teaching them all that stuff,
>and then they go and work permanantly somewhere else!  Unless you have a
>task that they only need minimal training for, that can be completed during
>the timeframe of the co-op period, this can be a net drain on resources.

Especially for large or fast-growing companies, this can be a period of
mutual introduction for the student and the company, at relatively low
risk. Getting rid of an employee who doesn't work out can be expensive.

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
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2003\04\11@203519 by Jai Dhar

flavicon
face
Hello again,

I thought I would post my resume online just to receive some feedback from any
of you that have a few spare minutes on your hand. I am really open to any
criticism/hacking/insults/compliments/job offers :-) I have it up in 3 formats,
so hopefully you will be able to read at least one:

http://www.eng.uwaterloo.ca/~jdhar/resume.txt  (plain ol' text)
http://www.eng.uwaterloo.ca/~jdhar/resume.doc  (word XP)
http://www.eng.uwaterloo.ca/~jdhar/resume.rtf  (word XP converted to rtf)

As I said, feel free to express any good/bad things about it, what I might want
to change or remove etc... don't hold anything back, because employers
certainly won't :-)

Thanks all!

Jai

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2003\04\12@082946 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
> http://www.eng.uwaterloo.ca/~jdhar/resume.txt  (plain ol' text)

It's nice that you supplied a plain text version.  That makes it much
easier to reply with comments over email.  However, you didn't spend any
time formatting it in a reasonable way.  It contains very long lines,
which would have made replying to it difficult again.  Plain text
documents should not exceed 80 columns unless absolutely necessary.


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2003\04\12@084642 by Sean Alcorn - PIC Stuff

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On Saturday, Apr 12, 2003, at 22:29 Australia/Sydney, Olin Lathrop
wrote:

> It's nice that you supplied a plain text version.  That makes it much
> easier to reply with comments over email.  However, you didn't spend
> any
> time formatting it in a reasonable way.  It contains very long lines,
> which would have made replying to it difficult again.  Plain text
> documents should not exceed 80 columns unless absolutely necessary.

Olin, I am curious why you have such an issue with insisting that
people use archaic formatting techniques in their text an emails. You
are using Microsoft Outlook Express v6.00.2600.0000 - surely it must
wrap text for you?

The internet and email has evolved, Olin. If we all want to stick to
how it was done in the good ol' days of the internet, then we may as
well stick to carving messages into clay tablets!

Perhaps we could FedEx them to each other! :-)

Sean

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On Saturday, Apr 12, 2003, at 22:29 Australia/Sydney, Olin Lathrop
wrote:


<excerpt><fixed>It's nice that you supplied a plain text version.
That makes it much

easier to reply with comments over email.  However, you didn't spend
any

time formatting it in a reasonable way.  It contains very long lines,

which would have made replying to it difficult again.  Plain text

documents should not exceed 80 columns unless absolutely necessary.

</fixed></excerpt>

Olin, I am curious why you have such an issue with insisting that
people use archaic formatting techniques in their text an emails. You
are using Microsoft Outlook Express v6.00.2600.0000 - surely it must
wrap text for you?


The internet and email has evolved, Olin. If we all want to stick to
how it was done in the good ol' days of the internet, then we may as
well stick to carving messages into clay tablets!


Perhaps we could FedEx them to each other! :-)


Sean
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2003\04\12@085700 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
> Olin, I am curious why you have such an issue with insisting that
> people use archaic formatting techniques in their text an emails. You
> are using Microsoft Outlook Express v6.00.2600.0000 - surely it must
> wrap text for you?

This was a .txt file, not an email message.  I was going to bring it into
a text editor, add the "> " in front of the original lines, then reply
where I had something to say.  When done, I would have sent it as an email
message, or maybe attached the replied-to file.  Outlook Express has very
little to do with this process.

> The internet and email has evolved, Olin. If we all want to stick to
> how it was done in the good ol' days of the internet, then we may as
> well stick to carving messages into clay tablets!

But there's no upside at all to using long lines in plain text
**especially** in a resume where you want to do everything possible to
minimize the chance of it looking like a mess at the other end.


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2003\04\12@091435 by Sean Alcorn - PIC Stuff

flavicon
face
Olin,

> This was a .txt file, not an email message.  I was going to bring it
> into
> a text editor, add the "> " in front of the original lines, then reply
> where I had something to say.  When done, I would have sent it as an
> email
> message, or maybe attached the replied-to file.  Outlook Express has
> very
> little to do with this process.

Why not simply grab the text, paste it into the email and go from
there. You know the email client at the other end was probably coded in
the last decade and could probably display it without any problems.

> But there's no upside at all to using long lines in plain text
> **especially** in a resume where you want to do everything possible to
> minimize the chance of it looking like a mess at the other end.

Well I don't agree. It cuts both ways. There is absolutely NOTHING
worse than taking a piece of text that has carriage returns or any
other line feed character at the end and try to bring it into a page
layout application, word processor or html editor.

Sure there are utilities that can strip these out, but if you've only
got a few pages to do, you figure you may as well sit there and try to
do a search & replace or edit them out manually. Then you have to edit
anyway.

But to beat the guy up that gave me the text would get me nowhere. :-)

Sean

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2003\04\12@102214 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
> Why not simply grab the text, paste it into the email and go from
> there. You know the email client at the other end was probably coded in
> the last decade and could probably display it without any problems.

Yes, but it still looks like a mess on my end.  And, then there's no easy
way to put the "> " in front of every line.


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2003\04\12@104843 by Sean Alcorn - PIC Stuff

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       charset=US-ASCII;
       format=flowed


On Sunday, Apr 13, 2003, at 00:13 Australia/Sydney, Olin Lathrop wrote:

> Yes, but it still looks like a mess on my end.

Hmmm. It's been a while since I used Outback Express! But I could have
sworn I never had these sorts of problems!

> And, then there's no easy way to put the "> " in front of every line.

Ah, get a Mac, Olin! I just grab the text and choose Format, Increase
Quote Level.

Don't know what it looks like your end, but it looks fine to me before
I click send.

Just doing my bit to help you lighten up, Olin! :-)

Cheers,

Sean


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Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Content-Type: text/enriched;
       charset=US-ASCII



On Sunday, Apr 13, 2003, at 00:13 Australia/Sydney, Olin Lathrop wrote:


<excerpt><fixed>Yes, but it still looks like a mess on my end.

</fixed></excerpt>

Hmmm. It's been a while since I used Outback Express! But I could have
sworn I never had these sorts of problems!


<excerpt><fixed>And, then there's no easy way to put the "> " in front
of every line.

</fixed></excerpt>

Ah, get a Mac, Olin! I just grab the text and choose Format, Increase
Quote Level.


Don't know what it looks like your end, but it looks fine to me before
I click send.


Just doing my bit to help you lighten up, Olin! :-)


Cheers,


Sean



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2003\04\12@112517 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
> Why not simply grab the text, paste it into the email and go from
> there. You know the email client at the other end was probably coded in
> the last decade and could probably display it without any problems.

       Because it would be difficult to differentiate what Olin was quoting and
what he was writing. You want to spend the time to add a '>' in front of
every line??

{Quote hidden}

       There is a "convention" when it comes to plain text: 80 columns or less.
Whether you AGREE or not doesn't matter, you'll piss off alot of people by
giving them a text file with text that goes beyond 80 columns. And when you
are looking for a job, pissing off people is never a good idea.

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2003\04\12@112931 by Herbert Graf

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Ya great idea, get a Mac, this coming from someone STILL sending messages in
HTML format. Sorry to be so harsh but criticizing others might not be the
best idea for you.

{Original Message removed}

2003\04\12@114456 by Sean Alcorn - PIC Stuff

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Herbert,

>         Because it would be difficult to differentiate what Olin was
> quoting and
> what he was writing. You want to spend the time to add a '>' in front
> of
> every line??

No! And I don't!!! I simply grab the text and choose Format, Increase
Quote Level. I have the tools I need to reply to any email (or file) in
any format from anybody and I just do it!

>         There is a "convention" when it comes to plain text: 80
> columns or less.

You mean there WAS a convention. Back when monitors only displayed 80
characters and printers only printed 80 columns. Build a bridge and GET
OVER IT. Move on! This is supposed to be an engineering list and I get
tired of people chastising others (especially newbies) on their email
(and now text file) etiquette.

> Whether you AGREE or not doesn't matter

To you maybe. I didn't know I had to leave my opinions off the list.

> you'll piss off alot of people by
> giving them a text file with text that goes beyond 80 columns.

Only people that have blinkers on will get pissed off. All I am saying
is that in this day and age it is easier to deal with wrapped text than
text that has a line feed at the end of every line.

>  And when you are looking for a job, pissing off people is never a
> good idea.

I'm not looking for a job. I read his "incorrectly formatted" plain
text resume without a problem and offered him a job!!! There's nothing
wrong with text that is wrapped.

Sean

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2003\04\12@114925 by Sean Alcorn - PIC Stuff

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On Sunday, Apr 13, 2003, at 01:28 Australia/Sydney, Herbert Graf wrote:

> Ya great idea, get a Mac, this coming from someone STILL sending
> messages in
> HTML format.

EXACTLY my point!!!!'

Why is HTML such an issue? If it such a problem for the list, then the
list server should be geared to simply strip it out.

> Sorry to be so harsh but criticizing others might not be the
> best idea for you.

Why? Still not entitled to my opinion?

You still using PINE Herbert?

Sean

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2003\04\12@115130 by Herbert Graf

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> Herbert,
>
> >         Because it would be difficult to differentiate what Olin was
> > quoting and
> > what he was writing. You want to spend the time to add a '>' in front
> > of
> > every line??
>
> No! And I don't!!! I simply grab the text and choose Format, Increase
> Quote Level. I have the tools I need to reply to any email (or file) in
> any format from anybody and I just do it!

       Good for you, many don't. Remember, this is a resume, you want the person
reading it to have to do AS LITTLE work as possible, few people out there in
the business world are as competent as many of us here when it comes to
stuff like this.

> >         There is a "convention" when it comes to plain text: 80
> > columns or less.
>
> You mean there WAS a convention. Back when monitors only displayed 80
> characters and printers only printed 80 columns. Build a bridge and GET
> OVER IT. Move on! This is supposed to be an engineering list and I get
> tired of people chastising others (especially newbies) on their email
> (and now text file) etiquette.

       Sorry, this convention still exists. Remember, with a resume you must make
things as easy as possible.

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2003\04\12@120626 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
> On Sunday, Apr 13, 2003, at 01:28 Australia/Sydney, Herbert Graf wrote:
>
> > Ya great idea, get a Mac, this coming from someone STILL sending
> > messages in
> > HTML format.
>
> EXACTLY my point!!!!'
>
> Why is HTML such an issue? If it such a problem for the list, then the
> list server should be geared to simply strip it out.

       Two reasons I can see. One is bandwidth, the other is common courtesy.
       Let's start with bandwidth. If you check the size of some HTML mail you may
notice that the HTML version of a message can be 2 to 3 times the size of a
plain text message. So, you might say: so what, my 2k message is now 4k, no
biggy. Remember though, this list has roughly 2000 subscribers. All of a
sudden your extra 2k of useless HTML has become 4MB of extra bandwidth used
by the list server. Now imagine if everybody did that? Remember, the
bandwidth the list server uses is given to us, if our traffic starts getting
to big we could loose it. Do you think sending HTML messages is worth the
possibility of loosing the list? Perhaps a little dramatic but hopefully you
get my point. Also, remember, no everyone here is as fortunately as many of
us North Americans when it comes to bandwidth charges. Some people out there
pay money for every since k that comes to them.
       Two: common courtesy. Do you have ANY right to tell anyone here what email
client they should use? What if I was using pine, what's wrong with that?
Many universities still use pine, and they aren't stupid. Pine is a
wonderful program. On top of that, I have my font sizes set for reading
email. By sending HTML you override those settings an make me view your
message at a font type, size and colour that might make it complete
unreadable on my PC. Do you know what usually happens when that happens? I
delete the message.

> > Sorry to be so harsh but criticizing others might not be the
> > best idea for you.
>
> Why? Still not entitled to my opinion?

       Sure you're entitled to your opinion, however you are not entitled to force
your opinions on others.

> You still using PINE Herbert?

       At home no, at school yes, you have a problem with that?

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2003\04\12@120645 by Sean Alcorn - PIC Stuff

flavicon
face
On Sunday, Apr 13, 2003, at 01:51 Australia/Sydney, Herbert Graf wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Interesting. Most people in the business world would be using a
computer no more than a few years old. On that machine, they would have
a browser and say, Outlook Express.- even the 6% of us on Macs have
these 2 basic tools.

His plain text resume could be viewed perfectly in any browser. If this
hypothetical employer was so useless that they could not do a Ctrl-C
and a Ctrl-V into an email and then simply format the text in such a
way to indicate it as the original message, then perhaps that's not the
sort of employer that Jai is looking for anyway.

>         Sorry, this convention still exists. Remember, with a resume
> you must make
> things as easy as possible.

I'll *try* to remember that. It was a no brainer for me.

Sean

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2003\04\12@122337 by Sean Alcorn - PIC Stuff

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face
Herbert,

>         Two reasons I can see. One is bandwidth, the other is common
> courtesy.

Oh, give me a break! I strip all unnecessary text out. Many users do
not. I am not going to reconfigure my email client simply so that I can
post the occasional reply to this list.

> Remember, the
> bandwidth the list server uses is given to us, if our traffic starts
> getting
> to big we could loose it. Do you think sending HTML messages is worth
> the
> possibility of loosing the list?

What about the extra two 'o's in "loose" and "loosing"? :-)

Don't panic Herbert. If we "loose" or lose the list, I'll be happy to
host it.

>         Two: common courtesy. Do you have ANY right to tell anyone
> here what email
> client they should use?

Did I? Please feel free to quote me!!!!

> What if I was using pine, what's wrong with that?

Nothing? What's wrong with wrapping text?

> Many universities still use pine, and they aren't stupid. Pine is a
> wonderful program. On top of that, I have my font sizes set for reading
> email. By sending HTML you override those settings an make me view your
> message at a font type, size and colour that might make it complete
> unreadable on my PC.

LOL! This is priceless! :-)

> Do you know what usually happens when that happens? I
> delete the message.

Well bravo for you, Herbert.

>         Sure you're entitled to your opinion, however you are not
> entitled to force
> your opinions on others.

I never tried. In fact the entire point of my post was to say exactly
that!!!!

>> You still using PINE Herbert?
>
>         At home no, at school yes, you have a problem with that?

No! Not at all!!! :-)

Sean

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2003\04\12@125943 by M. Adam Davis

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face
Sean Alcorn - PIC Stuff wrote:

>
> Why is HTML such an issue? If it such a problem for the list, then the
> list server should be geared to simply strip it out.
>
Well, sometimes the best response is, as you suggest, to assume 'dumb'
clients, and simply build a 'smarter' server.

But the instant you build a smarter server, someone else builds a dumber
client.  Since the list server and the bandwidth (which would max a 128k
internet connection full time for just this list, or ~40GBytes of
bandwidth (outgoing) each month) are donated and administered by MIT,
list administrators have very little control over the relative smartness
of the list server.

Since ALL email clients can send a common denominator standard email,
lines set to a specific width (usually 70-75 so quotes don't go to
another line), and send text without markup then general ettiquite has
evolved to these standards.

Furthermore: SMTP servers are not required to send extremely long lines
of text.  We had this discussion in the past on the list (perhaps you
were part of it at the time) and the SMTP RFC is available for all to
read.  While most don't have a problem with long lines, several
subscribers have their email processed by old or poorly designed SMTP
servers which follow the spec exactly, rather than going above and
beyond the spec.  In their case the lines are truncated, not wrapped.  I
don't mind line wrapping on email, my client takes care of it and it
makes certian my lines are never more than 72 characters long outgoing.
But text files are meant to be line wrapped.  Most text viewers assume
that a dos formatted text file does not require line wrapping, so when I
run across one which does I have to manually change it.  Not a big deal,
but enough of a problem that I'll throw it out if I'm not all that
interested.  In the case of a resume, especially one where he's asking
for recomendations it's a bad idea to ask the volunteer to do any more
work than absolutely necessary.

Sure, lots of new email clients allow their users to abuse these common
courtesies, and that's good - put the power in the user's hand so when
they need to use it they can.  But it also means that everyone else has
the right to chastise someone who isn't following these so called common
conventions.

My personal feeling is that HTML email is a kludge on top of an already
kludgey email system.  It increases message size for no additional
information.  Everyone uses different styles, so when I go from message
to message there is a very short period of adjustment when one of the
messages in in a different font/style/size/color/layout/etc.  I use a
high resolution screen, and some people choose small fonts for their
small screen, which are nearly unreadable on my display.  I'm partially
colorblind, and /very/ few people in the *world* pay attention to color
contrasts with respect to varying degrees of colorblindness.  Screen
readers for the blind, braille displays, etc have to become more and
more complex to parse even simple HTML layouts because the HTML editors
common today produce such disgusting HTML - all in the name of WYSIWYG.

To combat this I have a smart client which handles a lot of these issues
(mozilla).  Pine isn't so smart, but it's one of the most common clients
in use at the University of Michigan.  I imagine this is because it's
one of the few clients in the world which gracefully handles IMAP email,
and is a good common denominator for support issues.  Mozilla, outlook,
netscape, etc handle imap, but there are still 'issues' with their
compliance with the standard, and supporting them campus wide is not a
good idea, especially when you consider there are dozens of platforms
and operating systems that are supported, and PINE exists in the same
exact form for each one.

In short, sure, do what you want.  Just don't complain about our
grousing.  We have every right to abuse those who abuse common
conventions.  If you have any questions what common conventions are, ask
the list administrators.  If you want to change a common convention, you
probably only have to convince 10-20% of the list population to start
following it, while ignoring the 1-5% that care enough to complain about
it.  Oh, and if it uses more bandwidth you'll have to convince MIT to
ignore it.

-Adam

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2003\04\12@133124 by Herbert Graf

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face
> Hello again,
>
>  I thought I would post my resume online just to receive some
> feedback from any
> of you that have a few spare minutes on your hand. I am really open to any
> criticism/hacking/insults/compliments/job offers :-) I have it up
> in 3 formats,
> so hopefully you will be able to read at least one:
>
> http://www.eng.uwaterloo.ca/~jdhar/resume.txt  (plain ol' text)
> http://www.eng.uwaterloo.ca/~jdhar/resume.doc  (word XP)
> http://www.eng.uwaterloo.ca/~jdhar/resume.rtf  (word XP converted to rtf)

       Just a minor thing, but try and have a PDF version. I don't open unknown
.doc files, .txt files loose all your formatting, and .rtf files can have
lots of compatibility and "doesn't look the same on a different computer"
problems. PDF OTOH avoids all these problems, plus there is a reader for
pretty much platform that exists out there. TTYL

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2003\04\12@134609 by

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face
Herbert Graf wrote:
> PDF OTOH avoids all these problems, plus there is a reader for
> pretty much platform that exists out there. TTYL

I fully agree on the usefullness of the PDF format, the only major
drawback is that the PDF *writer* isn't free...

Jan-Erik.

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2003\04\12@135412 by Herbert Graf

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> Herbert Graf wrote:
> > PDF OTOH avoids all these problems, plus there is a reader for
> > pretty much platform that exists out there. TTYL
>
> I fully agree on the usefullness of the PDF format, the only major
> drawback is that the PDF *writer* isn't free...

       Yes it is, just not from Adobe. On Windows you can use ghostview to convert
ps to pdf, (you can get ps output out of ANY program by installing a ps
printer driver, ie. an HP laserjet ps printer driver, and printing to file).
On other platforms there are other free options, I think the latest redhat
has pdf writing installed by default. TTYL

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2003\04\12@140039 by Sean Alcorn - PIC Stuff

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Jan-Erik,

> I fully agree on the usefullness of the PDF format, the only major
> drawback is that the PDF *writer* isn't free...

There are a couple of third party free and "almost free" writers out
there.

There is one called "RoboPDF" (not free) and quite a few others. Ashley
Roll (also on this list) uses one, but I can not remember the name.

I've already sung the praises of Macs once tonight, but one of the
neatest things about OS X is the ability to save any file as a PDF -
direct from the Print Dialog box - so you no longer need Acrobat
Distiller to generate a PDF.

I have some info in the office on those third party PDF Writers. I'll
try to post.

Cheers,

Sean

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2003\04\12@140234 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
Sean Alcorn - PIC Stuff wrote:
>> By sending HTML you override those settings an make me view your
>> message at a font type, size and colour that might make it complete
>> unreadable on my PC.
>
> LOL! This is priceless! :-)

I don't know why you are ridiculing this, Sean.  This does happen to me on
most of the HTML message I receive that really just contain text.  I have my
browser and screen configuration set for real work I do, which is 1600 x
1200 pixels on a 19 inch CRT monitor, Internet Explorer text size set to
"larger".  Over half of the text-only HTML messages I get are nearly
unreadable.  This is a hassle, so I usually just delete them unless its from
someone doing me the favor instead of the other way around.  Remeber the
golden rule: He who has the gold makes the rules.

And please don't tell me I should use a different screen resolution or
monitor size, just to make it easier to read email from people that are
either too arrogant or too stupid to send text in a simple and universal
format.

Whether you like it or not, plain text with lines not exceeding 80
characters is still the only format that you *know* everyone can easily read
and manipulate without having to do anything special.  When you're asking
someone else for a favor, it's a good idea to make it as easy for them as
possible.


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

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2003\04\12@140439 by Scott Dattalo

face
flavicon
face
On Sat, 12 Apr 2003, Jan-erik Svderholm (QAC) wrote:

> Herbert Graf wrote:
> > PDF OTOH avoids all these problems, plus there is a reader for
> > pretty much platform that exists out there. TTYL
>
> I fully agree on the usefullness of the PDF format, the only major
> drawback is that the PDF *writer* isn't free...

Then don't buy it.

If you're using windows, then configure your system to print to a
postscript printer and then select the Print-to-file option from your word
processor. Then get the Ghost Script tools. Now, I'm not sure which
program in the tool suite does the conversion, but in Unix it's:

ps2pdf resume.ps > resume.pdf

I wouldn't be surprised if OpenOffice had this feature built in.

Scott

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2003\04\12@150704 by Jai Dhar

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face
I have received exactly ONE useful response on this thread, and countless other
flame emails. Guys, I really didn't intend to start a completly ridiculous
flame war because of my text formatting. I apologize, I really didn't mean to
cause any harm to you guys, can we please leave it alone now? I really don't
understand how you guys can just send this many emails back and forth over
something that is COMPLETELY irrelevant to the thread, while only manage to
send ONE that is?? I figured I would get very few responses since all of you
had little time on your hands...

I really didn't mean to start any of this up, so please leave it be. I will
format my text better for next time, lol.

Jai

Quoting Scott Dattalo <EraseMEscottspamspamspamBeGoneDATTALO.COM>:

{Quote hidden}

----------------------------------------
This mail sent through http://www.mywaterloo.ca

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2003\04\12@163353 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
>    Why not simply grab the text, paste it into the email and go from there.

It was a RESUME.  A nominally formatted document about which the author was
specifically asking for comments.  You really don't want your resume looking
sloppy, whether that's because the lines are 160 characters long, got cut
off when the HR drone printed it out, or because outlook reformatted it in
obvious ways that were completely incompatible with the way the rest of the
resume was formatted.

I'm a bit ambivilant about long lines in normal emails.  The way my mail
reader tends to wrap lines doesn't look very good.  I suppose it all goes
back to whether the author or the reader should have more control over the
formatting of a "document."  HTML was designed for reader-based formatting,
and authors go to great lengths to defeat that.  Go figure.

BTW, in this case I looked at the .txt file with netscape (the browser, not
the mail reader), and it DIDN'T wrap the lines.  I got a nice scroll bar at
the bottom of the page so I could look at the extra stuff if I was so
inclined.  Really icky...


   There is absolutely NOTHING worse than taking a piece of text that has
   carriage returns or any other line feed character at the end and try to
   bring it into a page layout application, word processor or html editor.

Hmm.  An interesting point.  I wonder why - I can't think of any reason
that it should HAVE to be that way, technically speaking.  Unwrapping
text is much easier than wrapping it.  I guess lousy text import
functions date back to the early days of microsoft word and are
continued for backward compatibility reasons...   :-)

BillW

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2003\04\12@165457 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
>> You still using PINE Herbert?

I'm still using the email program that pre-dated PINE, thank you very much.
I find the entire crop of GUI-based mail readers to be woefully insufficient
when it comes to doing the kinds of things I do with my email, such as:
       read last 1000 to billw subject review text DCD
to find the recent code review comments on that DCD problem...

It doesn't do HTML at all.  It doesn't do MIME, although I can pipe things
through a MIME filter if I need to.  It doesn't like "Rich text format" or
PC-font characters.  It doesn't do text wrapping (but leaves that to "more"
or the tty drivers.)

Every once in a while I look at the new clients, but they seem to lack the
distinction between ornamental appliances and REAL tools...

Grr.
BillW

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2003\04\12@171955 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
>> His plain text resume could be viewed perfectly in any browser.

You're just wrong.  On MY mac, both explorer and netscape failed to display
the text resume in a readable manner, even when I widened the screen to
fulll width and shrank the text font.  The same was true on a PC.  Sure, I
could scroll horizontally, but that's not the point, is it?  Perhaps you
have an unusual browser configuration that wraps text files for you - some
percentage of the time I'm pretty sure I consider it a feature that text
files AREN'T wrapped by the browser.  OTOH, I'm just an engineering manager
type running the packaged configuration provided for me - maybe ITS weird...

BillW

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2003\04\12@175316 by Bob Barr

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face
On Sat, 12 Apr 2003 13:53:58 -0400, Herbert Graf wrote:

>> Herbert Graf wrote:
>> > PDF OTOH avoids all these problems, plus there is a reader for
>> > pretty much platform that exists out there. TTYL
>>
>> I fully agree on the usefullness of the PDF format, the only major
>> drawback is that the PDF *writer* isn't free...
>
>        Yes it is, just not from Adobe. On Windows you can use ghostview to convert
>ps to pdf, (you can get ps output out of ANY program by installing a ps
>printer driver, ie. an HP laserjet ps printer driver, and printing to file).
>On other platforms there are other free options, I think the latest redhat
>has pdf writing installed by default. TTYL

Another option for occasional pdf conversions is this website:

http://www.ps2pdf.com

As long as you aren't worried about uploading your postscript file
over the internet, the conversion is done quite quickly.

I find that Ghostscript and the gsview GUI for it are much better for
more frequent use.


Regards, Bob

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2003\04\12@212552 by Sean Alcorn - PIC Stuff

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--Apple-Mail-2-1022885215
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Content-Type: text/plain;
       charset=US-ASCII;
       format=flowed


On Sunday, Apr 13, 2003, at 07:18 Australia/Sydney, William Chops
Westfield wrote:

> You're just wrong.  On MY mac, both explorer and netscape failed to
> display
> the text resume in a readable manner, even when I widened the screen to
> fulll width and shrank the text font.

Well, maybe I do have everything wrong! I could view it fine in both
Explorer and Safari - now my preferred browser. I don't have Netscape
installed.

I'll just shutup and be happy that I have the tools to read just about
anything anybody can throw at me. :-)

Regards,

Sean

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On Sunday, Apr 13, 2003, at 07:18 Australia/Sydney, William Chops
Westfield wrote:


<excerpt><fixed>You're just wrong.  On MY mac, both explorer and
netscape failed to display

the text resume in a readable manner, even when I widened the screen to

fulll width and shrank the text font.

</fixed></excerpt>

Well, maybe I do have everything wrong! I could view it fine in both
Explorer and Safari - now my preferred browser. I don't have Netscape
installed.


I'll just shutup and be happy that I have the tools to read just about
anything anybody can throw at me. :-)


Regards,


Sean


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2003\04\13@141254 by Neil Bradley

flavicon
face
> >> His plain text resume could be viewed perfectly in any browser.
> You're just wrong.  On MY mac, both explorer and netscape failed to display
> the text resume in a readable manner, even when I widened the screen to
> fulll width and shrank the text font.

Might be because the text file used tabs instead of spaces. Also, you need
to make sure you're using a fixed width font (like courier or something).

-->Neil

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Neil Bradley            In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is not
Synthcom Systems, Inc.  king - he's a prisoner.
ICQ #29402898

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2003\04\14@035028 by Eric Bohlman

picon face
4/12/03 10:51:36 AM, Herbert Graf <RemoveMEmailinglistKILLspamspamFARCITE.NET> wrote:

>        Good for you, many don't. Remember, this is a resume, you want the person
>reading it to have to do AS LITTLE work as possible, few people out there in
>the business world are as competent as many of us here when it comes to
>stuff like this.

It's not even a question of competence.  It's a question of time.  The general rule of thumb is that
a resume has about 30 seconds to convince its first reader that the candidate is worth pursuing.
And that it's competing with *lots* of other resumes being read by that reader.  If the reader has
to spend even a few seconds formatting a resume, it's lost a big chunk of that window of time.

Note that the same considerations apply to press releases.  Too many people are unable to get
reporters interested in their stories because they try to tell their stories in their press
releases.  That's not the purpose of a press release; the purpose is to convince a reporter who's
got a ton of press releases in front of him that there's a possible story and he should try to find
out what it is.

Both resumes and press releases have to pass a "glance and skim" test.  They have to tell the reader
*right away* whether or not it's going to be worth his/her time to read them in depth.  If the
reader can see that he'll have to do the in-depth reading first and then decide afterward whether or
not the time was worth it, he/she *simply won't do it*.

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2003\04\14@035455 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
> I have my font sizes set for reading email. By sending HTML
>you override those settings an make me view your message at a
>font type, size and colour that might make it complete
> unreadable on my PC.
>
>LOL! This is priceless! :-)

Actually not as priceless as it might seem.

I get a certain number of emails sent in html format which are totally
unreadable, as my monitor is set to 1600x1200, and it looks like the font
was chosen by someone using standard VGA settings. The lettering comes out
about 3 or 4 pixels high, and just becomes a series of miscellaneous dots on
the screen. At least when the email is sent in a text format my email viewer
uses the font size I set that I can read on my monitor.

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2003\04\14@041816 by dr. Imre Bartfai

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Except ps2pdf, which, in turn, runs on Linux...

Imre


+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
| The information transmitted is intended only for the person or entity |
| to which it is addressed and may contain confidential and/or          |
| privileged material.  Any review, retransmission, dissemination or    |
| other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon, this                |
| information by persons or entities other than the intended recipient  |
| is prohibited. If you received this in error, please contact the      |
| sender and delete the material from any computer.                     |
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+

On Sat, 12 Apr 2003, [iso-8859-1] Jan-erik Söderholm (QAC) wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2003\04\14@045812 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
I responded privately at some length on the resume in question, and I
thought I'd summarize my comments for for the list as well...

1) If you're going to provide a text resume, it should be formatted
  appropriately for text (yeah, less than 80 characters wide.)
2) The resume of a student, applying for co-op or summer job, should
  go into some detail as to the sort of material covered in the classes
  they've take so far.  Whether or not you got good grades.  Especially
  if you manager to take any exceptional classes.
3) Even if you're hoping that your hobbyist work will make you stand out,
  it shouldn't dominate the resume at the expense of education/previous
  jobs.  Say enough to make it clear you have "extra" skills, but the
  actual details are more of an interview subject than resume subject.
  The ability to solder is an "extra skill", BTW - you don't have to
  be designing 4 layer circuit boards to stand out - there are far too
  many CS/EE students that have never put together a KIT...
4) You should be modest and avoid overuse of terms like "excellant", unless
  you're an industry-recognized expert.  "Boast modestly."  Be honest
  about the sorts of differences you get between "most classes used fortran",
  "one class used pascal", and "I read about Forth and lisp" and similar.
5) Resumes should be "keyword/trademark rich", so as to get attention from
  the first-level screeners.  Instead of "I program 16F PICs", you should
  say you "have experience doing SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT for EMBEDDED SYSTEMS
  based on the MICROCHIP PIC MICROCONTROLLERS."  Instead of "windows and
  unix", you should say "MICROSOFT WINDOWS XP, WINDOWS NT, WINDOWS 98,
  Linux, FreeBSD and NetBSD Unix."  I'm not sure about the highlighted
  text thing (all caps, here.)  I think it looks bad, but it's not obvious
  to be that it's a bad idea.  Seems a bit like it would help the first
  level screeners and not really bother actual hiring managers/etc, but
  (ahem) some people have strong feelings about formatting irregularities.

BillW

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2003\04\14@122424 by Herbert Graf

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face
> 3) Even if you're hoping that your hobbyist work will make you stand out,
>    it shouldn't dominate the resume at the expense of education/previous
>    jobs.  Say enough to make it clear you have "extra" skills, but the
>    actual details are more of an interview subject than resume subject.
>    The ability to solder is an "extra skill", BTW - you don't have to
>    be designing 4 layer circuit boards to stand out - there are far too
>    many CS/EE students that have never put together a KIT...

       I hear you there, during a lab in 3rd year of my EE program where we were
building an AM transmitter I became a sort of TA, had to help a few students
with figuring out which side of a diode was the cathode, and another student
asked me to solder their wire to a binding post. You can't blame them
though, up until that point we hadn't been required to do ANYTHING without a
breadboard. A 4th year course I took did what should have been done in first
year: we had to build a circuit completely with a "permanent" technique,
wire wrapping, point to point wiring, PCB, anything but a breadboard. Comps
I can understand, most of them will never touch real hardware, but EE's?
TTYL

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2003\04\14@134405 by Jai Dhar

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[snip]

> Comps
> I can understand, most of them will never touch real hardware, but EE's?
> TTYL

I beg to differ. In 2nd year Comp (not EE), we have already done wirewrap (and
breadboard), and have PLENTY of real hardware to go. Maybe the programs have
changed over the years (I am sure they have somewhat), but our program is
focused around mixing software and hardware, not just computers... so we still
have plenty of "real" hardware exposure ahead of us.


----------------------------------------
This mail sent through http://www.mywaterloo.ca

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2003\04\14@181322 by Marc Nicholas

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Jai...

Don't forget that you happen to attend one of the best EE/comp sci schools
in North America ;-)


-marc

On 14/4/03 13:16, "Jai Dhar" <jdharSTOPspamspamspam_OUTENGMAIL.UWATERLOO.CA> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2003\04\14@221314 by Mike Singer

picon face
Olin Lathrop wrote again:
> Remember the golden rule:
> He who has the gold makes the rules...

  Yeah, you're right, of course. These ten basic rules
described in The Most Popular Book are often get
overridden by your made-in-USA rule.

  Mike.

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2003\04\15@084109 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
Comrade Singer wrote:
>> Remember the golden rule:
>> He who has the gold makes the rules...
>
>    Yeah, you're right, of course. These ten basic rules
> described in The Most Popular Book are often get
> overridden by your made-in-USA rule.

At least it's better than "He who rules takes the gold", which was popular
in your neck of the woods not to long ago.


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

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2003\04\15@192949 by Mike Singer

picon face
Olin Lathrop wrote:
> >> Remember the golden rule:
> >> He who has the gold makes the rules...
> >
> >    Yeah, you're right, of course. These ten basic rules
> > described in The Most Popular Book are often get
> > overridden by your made-in-USA rule.
>
> At least it's better than "He who rules takes the gold",
> which was popular in your neck of the woods not to long ago.



I'm not sure you are right. This sentence seems to
be a variation of your golden rule.

Here was popular "He who rules, takes all", I think.

Mike.

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