Nov 22 2020

Avoid COVID scams

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 13:44

The virus that is wreaking havoc in civilized societies has been here for a while. The measures taken by politicians to stop the spread did not really help much. If we are lucky, maybe we will document our failures well enough so that a future generation dealing with a pandemic would learn from them.

When we think of the near future after this terrible time, for most of us the thoughts are grim. Because the nature of our society, businesses are collapsing, which means there will be a lot of people looking for a job. Looking for a job is difficult in normal times, because of inept recruiters and AIs deciding if a CV matches a job description or not. But now, there will be people that will try to take advantage of those desperate to feed themselves and their families.

Because of the nature of this pandemic, people will try to retrain themselves for jobs that can be done from home. One of the well payed remote job is that of a software developer. And I’ve already noticed companies selling programs that will turn you into a software developer in three months. As somebody that has trained for this job between 1997 and 2007 (high school + university), I am telling you three months is not enough. And taking one of those classes will not guarantee you a job. You have as many chances of getting a job as a software developer after a three months class, as you have at winning the lottery. And the lottery ticket is definitely cheaper. There are no shortcuts to becoming a software developer and those selling you one, are conning you. I’ve had a few interviews with people “graduating” these courses and it broke my heart to tell them that they are not ready to handle the job of a junior software developer.

There are no shortcuts to being a good professional in most jobs. Just like there are no shortcuts to get in shape. Anything  truly valuable, requires hard work. If you want to become a software developer, there are so many free resources on the internet, that you probably could do it without one of those classes, you just need a roadmap. And guess what, you could find free roadmaps on the internet too.

The second thing I’ve noticed recently, and I think is a con is people trying to teach you how to present yourself at interviews, how to sell yourself better so you get a job. I’ve received a few emails from people trying to sell me this kind of “service” and I’ve become worried because there are people desperate enough to get a job that will pay charlatans like the guy in the following image.

Let’s discuss this snippet:

Therefore we are launching a coaching program to help international candidates to get their dream job, to provide tips&tricks to get hired by Western Europe corporates.

And he sells coaching, so he can provide them “tips&tricks” to get an interview invitation. Also, I’ve followed the links, there is no we. It is just one guy.

So… tips and trick to bypass those inept HRs and silly AIs? So, I have to pay because an HR is too lazy to do its job properly and because a company rely on an AI to evaluate the potential of a HUMAN candidate. All for the privilege to be invited to an interview. Which, I cannot believe I have to stress this again: will not guarantee you a job.

Think about it like this: If you have a burst pipe, do you start interviewing plumbers? Nope, you just get the first one in your area returned by a Google search.  If you would rely on an HR company with inept HRs and a stupid AI designed to make their job easier, your house would be destroyed. Also, the plumber would be starving too. Thus, two parties have been affected by the greed of one, that wanted to tax you both for putting you in touch with each other.

So yeah, if somebody sells you coaching and “tips and tricks” to get a job, make sure you are not being conned.

If you are aiming to get a job as a software developer, guess who makes the decision of hiring you? In 90% of cases this decision is made by a person who will work with you. And they will evaluate your technical and social skills, and make sure they will be able to work with you and trust you to do your job. And since we are in the middle of the pandemic, you have to be pretty autonomous too. So, unless you are sure you will pass the technical interview, investing in tips and tricks to get to the technical interview is yet again, a lottery.

The bitter part of the email of that guy is this one:

Every crisis is a chance – the Covid-Crisis especially for Tech-Professionals!

So, there’s a crisis prople and here I am to … help profit!!!

It is so obvious he is trying to con people, it makes my skin crawl with disgust. So, be careful out there! In times of crisis, not many people will sacrifice their time and other resources for the survival of a community. Most will try to take advantage of the desperate and the weak.

I’ve hidden this guy’s identity, because it is not that important. What he and others are trying to do is wrong on so many levels and quite unethical from my point of view. But I cannot blame somebody for trying to survive and feed his family.(Yeah… a few internet serches told me everything I needed to know about the guys, including how many kids he has, where he lives, etc.) The pandemic and the incoming crisis might make some people think like his: “In love and war everything is allowed“. I wrote this entry, because I just wanted to make sure some people will keep their eyes open to avoid becoming victims of those that are willing to put their morals, empathy and humanity aside to survive.

Stay safe, stay hopeful!

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