Not at Dead Wood Stage
I saw your article from one of your readers which said that the last downturn in the IT market shook out some of the ‘dead wood‘ from the contractor market.
So, I feel I must object to this and put my case for why I am not at the dead wood stage. I am not over the hill.
Furthermore, I have more than twenty years experience of the IT industry and I‘m in my forties. I have around fifteen years experience of contracting.
Now, I have been out of work for over a year. I have not even managed to get an interview.
I keep replying to ads on the main job boards, but I seldom get any response.
Even when agencies call they don‘t seem to want to know anybody who has been out of work for more than six months.
Sometimes I‘m tempted to give up. However, knowing that I did good jobs for people before and knowing that I could do it again keeps me going.
Recent Skills in Project Management
I have worked at various levels in companies, and my most recent experience is in the project management area. My skills are not particularly out of dat. I have managed projects with Java, C++, SQL, Oracle etc. although it is not hands on experience.
Nowadays though, for some reason, agencies are asking if I have hands on experience of those skills when they are looking for a project manager to work on projects with these skills.
I point out that project managers lead projects and don‘t actually write programs. However, this seems to have no effect on them.
I reckon that I was one of the best project managers around.
Always I learned from all the mistakes on the projects that I had worked on as a developer or an analyst. Most projects that I led came in pretty much on time and not much over budget. There were quite a few which came in on time and to budget.
Could Run Projects Successfully Again
I know that if I got a chance again I could run projects successfully for clients. I know that they are likely to choose people in front of me who will screw up their projects for them.
If they have hands on experience of the skills then they must be fairly recently into project management. Either that or they worked on small projects where everybody had to muck in. Or perhaps they are really project leader / developers passing themselves off as project managers.
It seems a shame!
I am here, I am ready, and I definitely could do a very good job for somebody.
It seems a shame that all the years of experience that I built up are now going to waste. I‘m currently on the bench.
Victim of Agencies
I don‘t consider myself to be dead wood like your writer said.
I consider myself to be a victim of agencies who could not tell a good project manager from a bad one. Also, I would say I am a victim clients who think that a hands on project manager is better than one who has spent more of his time project managing rather than doing development.
If and when I ge tback to work, I‘m looking forward to showing that I can do it again.
I would also hope that those who talk about the dead wood being shaken out of the IT profession during this downturn will experience a sustained spell of unemployment during their careers so that they know what it is like. It happens to most of us at some stage.
Even when the market recovers at some stage down the line there is going to be another downturn. And those that are talking about dead wood now may well be out of work during it.
That‘s all I have to say!