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High-Tech Careers for Low Tech People

William A. Schaffer

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Ten Speed Press

Published : 1999

Copyright : William A. Schaffer 1999

ISBN-10 : PB 1-58008-039-1
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-58008-039-2

Publisher's Write-Up

It's no secret that the high-tech industry is one of the most vital segments of our economy. Now, is it fair that just because you preferred reading Shakespeare in college to studying microprocessors you should miss out on a high-paying job in this industry? Enter William Schaffer, a manager at Sun Microsystems and a self-confessed former technophobe who's convinced that even if you think Wintel is a glass cleaner, there's still hope.

In clear, concise language, the author demystifies the industry for the uninitiated, discusses the jobs that are available to those without a background in technology, and details successful strategies for getting hired. Over 100 interviews from industry insiders round out the book, making this one-of-a-kind resource truly indispensable for anyone eager to take advantage of the limitless opportunities in technology.

A self-confessed former technophobe, author William Schaffer parlayed a B.A. from Columbia into a job in Silicon Valley, and he hasn't looked back since

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Paul Lappen (151003) Rating (9/10)

Review by Paul Lappen
Rating 9/10
You would like to get a job in the high-tech field, but there is a problem. You're convinced that you are unqualified because your college degree (if you even have a degree) is in something like Early French Literature, or you don't know the difference between a gigabyte and a trilobite. Fear not, help has arrived.

The average high-tech company consists of more than just engineers and computer programmers. It also consists of contract negotiators, customer service people, finance people, project coordinators, technical writers, web page designers and human resources people, among many others. These are positions where abilities like analytical thinking and clear written and verbal communications are more important than having a degree in a certain subject.

The usual rules about resume writing, networking and how to do a job interview still apply. Go to the corporate headquarters, where the hiring occurs, not to a branch office. The most important thing is to get your foot in the door, so take any job that is available. From there, you can transfer to the preferred area. The high-tech employee who stands still risks getting run over by fast-changing technology. Always look for ways to expand your abilities and knowledge base (and increase your value to upper management). Read the company's web site. Read professional publications in the field. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Constant re-education is a must.

High-tech is a very different sort of industry, so the author looks at what to expect. Can the applicant work long hours, in a demanding atmosphere with little or no supervision from above? If not, maybe another career is the answer.

If the opportunity comes along, consider working for a startup, even though the huge majority of them are destined to fail. If it does fail, don't worry about it. Putting a failed startup on a resume is a good thing, because it shows that you're a risk taker.

This book is excellent. It's easy to read for non-technical types (like yours truly), and it's written by an industry insider. It allows the reader to pinpoint areas of interest, and areas to which their backgrounds are best suited. It gets two strong thumbs up.
Paul Lappen (15th October 2003)

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