System Programmer 

(Male, Age 59) from Omaha, NY

This is a REAL-LIFE job profile written by a Male aged 59 who works as a System Programmer in Omaha, NY. We have removed all names and personal information in order to protect privacy. This professional kindly spent a bit of their time to complete one of our job profile surveys so that prospective job seekers like you could read their insights. Please excuse any punctuation or grammatical errors in this profile.

At a Glance

Current Job

Basic data on your current job

Job Title System Programmer
Salary $20,000
Other Compensation None Set
Hours/Week 40
Company Size (not answered)
Location Omaha, NY
Years Experience 2 years

Career Ratings

Opinions on your CAREER overall (i.e. not just your current job)

Years in Career 0
Education (not answered)
Income Rating 0 / 10
Interest Rating 0 / 10
Work-Life Rating 0 / 10
Fulfilment Rating 0 / 10

Current job Q&A

Describe the type of organization you work for.
Collection Company.

Small company with some 20 employees.

Describe your job role and responsibilities.
Develop IBM assembler programs for the company as well as intranet and Internet web sites

Please list an additional benefits (beyond compensation) that you receive.
2 weeks vacation, 1 week sick leave, Blue Cross insurance, 401K not active.

Do you feel you are under/over or well/fairly compensated at your current position?

Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Please explain.
Yes. I like all the work I do and have no problems helping out other people with computer trouble.

Do you work collaboratively with supervisors/managers?

Do you work collaboratively with your co-workers?

Describe your work location (e.g., office, home, theatre, in the field) and what you like/dislike about working in it.
Office. Nothing here to dislike. Very nice company.

Please rate each of the following aspects of your current job on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest/best):
Income: 1
Benefits: 3
Hours: 8
Co-Workers: 1
Supervisors: 1
Job Title: 2
Level of Responsibility: 1
The Actual Work: 2

A day in the life of…

Please describe a typical workday for you in your current job:

5am to 6am
6am to 7am
7am to 8am Prepare myself to start another day of work. unless is Saturday or Sunday.

Id I’m oncall then one of these two days might be shot to hell.

8am to 9am Check emails, answer them whenever a reply is needed.
9am to 10am Start normal work day ether developing website or writing assembler IBM (for PC) program requested by the president of the company.
10am to 11am Programming, searching for answers on the web for answers related to website development or continue to develop assembler program.
11am to 12pm if finished, test the program, debug.

If working with web, check pages, links, looks, and apply changes where needed.

12pm to 1pm Lunch. Walk aimlessly around.
1pm to 2pm New programs development if needed or continuation of what I was doing earlier.

If nothing else, then I go looking for something exciting to do, like a new program.

2pm to 3pm Programming or developing web site. There is not much to say here. Always something to do as long as it is not finished.
3pm to 4pm Programming or developing web site. Sorry, but there is no way to explain again and again what has already being said. No point to this.
4pm to 5pm Programming or developing website. Search web for news in the data processing area.

Happy me. I keep repeating myself.

5pm to 6pm 5:00 end of work day. Close laptop, clear the desk for tomorrow (assuming it is not a Friday) and go home.
6pm to 7pm Family time.
7pm to 8pm Family time.
8pm to 9pm Family time.
9pm to 10pm Family life.
10pm to 11pm If there is nobody bugging me from the work place I might even think about getting me some sleep.
11pm to 12am What do you do up so late? No work tomorrow or you are unemployed? Tough luck.

And by the way, could you please remind me what this questionnaire is all about? Just found out today that this was incomplete. Sorry.

Table of Contents

How you got your job

How did you get your current job?
Through a friend.

What was the application process?
An interview, and my resume.

Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail?
The interview was directly with the company’s owner.

If you can remember, what questions were you asked during the interview?

Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain.
Not exactly. The employer opened a new position within the company for me.

Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
NO. I had to learn from books and smashing my nose into brick wall from time to time.

On the tecnical side I’m expert in, I had no problems at all.

Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes for the IBM side. No from the lower platform side.

If applicable, do you feel your internship experience helped you prepare for your job?

If someone wanted to go about getting a job similar to yours, what would you recommend for him or her to do?
Depends. If the person is highly technical and seasoned there is not much to say.

To a newbie:

1. Be timely on arriving and on leaving the workplace.

2. Be organized.

3. Leave your personal problems at the workplace doorstep. Pick it up when going home.

4. Be proactive instead of reactive.

5. Plan ahead.

6. Avoid stress by self-stressing yourself. There is too much stress all around us. No need to add your personal stress to that. It will only make matters worse.

7. Never use EXCUSES. Tell the truth.

8. With superiors, be non-technical when explaining something. Not all managers are technically wise people.

9. Be sociable and accessible.

10. Avoid any possibility of confrontation with anyone inside the company

11. Gossip is a no-no.

12. When fighting a problem, stop. Let it go, do something else and then come back to the problem. Sleep over it if that helps. Works for me.

13. Keep your desk neat. The only things in front of you should be related to the work at hand.

14. Avoid multitasking. There is no way to have the brain doing more than one thing at a time.

Compare that to driving a car at 60 miles/h and reading a newspaper at the SAME time. Get the picture of what’s going to happen? It doesn’t take a genius to figure it out.

15. One work (at a time) well done talks by itself. Two or more badly done talks about you. Not good.

16. Change multitasking to prioritizing. See what nice things happens.

17. Plan ahead for work and specially for meetings. Try to find out what the meeting is all about and question yourself on what might be asked to you. This way you will have the answers without wasting time.

18. Learn to say “NO” to the boss for new assignments whenever you are overloaded. The impossible you do it now, the miracles will take a bit longer.

19. Never ever lie or try to outsmart your boss. Chances are that he/she already knows the answer before asking it to you.

20. If you have some explanation do do, do it non-technically(to a non-technical person) and keep it short. You have two ears and one mouth. Why? To hear twice as much as you talk.

21. Never go to a meeting unprepared. Two “I don’t know” is sure bad news for you.

22. Be sure to have proof of what you say. If you can’t back it up with data the you are dead meat.

23. Never antagonize the boss, no matter how right you are and how wrong he/she is. He/she can fire you but it doesn’t work the other way around.

24. Work smart not necessarily hard.

25. If you are working too hard it means that you are missing something. Work should be fun and not a day in the Holy Inquisition chambers.

26. Learn new technologies, keep in sync with your technical knowledge.

27. Never sit idle. Do something when you have some free time in your hands. Excellent opportunity to learn new stuff.

27. Be cooperative. Do not enclose yourself in a cocoon.

28. Have n mind hat more often than not, promotions come from the social interaction rather than technical knowledge. This doesn’t mean that technical knowledge does not have it own weight.

29. Never “ASSUME” anything. When in doubt, ASK. Better waste 5minutes n an explanation than 30 minutes explaining yourself why you did things wrong in first place.

30. Read people. Be aware of their body language, seek out the “forces” and “weaknesses” of each person in your group.

31. Do not capitalize on other people “weakness”. Possibly he/she need more help than willing to ask.

32. Always keep a ‘Win-Win” situation in sight.

33. Always keep in mid that there is a HUGE difference between an EXCUSE and an EXPLANATION.

I guess this should do for now.

What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours?
Computer knowledge- IBM mainframe and/or lower platforms.

Personal skills are what leads you upwards most of the time so make friends and not enemies. In some companies you are looked at as a rival instead of a help. Again social interaction is the key to overcome and change hearts and minds.

Be neat in your presentation (if applicable). Talk smoothly, give credits to those who deserve it. There is no “I” in TEAM.

Work looking up, to higher positions within the company. it’s hard but a must.

Try to be “indispensable”.

Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
Yes. For IBM area, a vast amount of knowledge is needed. For Other types of data processing, books,classes might help.

What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
The same ones I would give as above (PART 3 BOX 1).

Long-term career plans

Is your current employment part of your overall career plan? Why or why not?
Yes. Because I’m learning low platform work and the software that comes with this kind of work.

What are your current career goals?
Basically earn more. At FDR I was worth $71.000.

In the current job just a fraction of that.

I have the blessing of my boss to find any other better paying job that reflects my education and experience (30 years with IBM mainframes)

Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?
Yes, I’m seriously limited by age.

Currently 59 but I have no plans for any early retirement.

Probably I’ll never retire unless I hit jackpot in the Powerball but even then I might consider continuing to work. I have lots of years ahead of me.

Prior work history

Please list your most recent jobs prior to this current job:

Title Length Salary Description
Prior Job 1 System programmer 2 years 18000/year Write programs to read input information to be used by collectors within the company

Create intranet facility for the collectors.

Study end develop company’s Web site but not finished yet.

Prior Job 2 Credi Crad Processing 7 year 71000/year Worked with IBM mainframes in the Online technical support developing, implementing all work related to the Online System (CICS).

Assembler programs, Third-party product maintenance at First Data Resources in Omaha Nebraska.

Educational background

Please list your educational background:

High School GPA:N/A

GPA School Degree
College (Undergraduate)
or Technical/Vocational
Not Applicable Pontificia U. Catolica do Rio de Janeiro- Brazil Bachelor in Computer Sciences
Graduate or Professional
(Masters or Doctorate)

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