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Old 25.02.2013, 14:12
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Part-time jobs in software development

Hello everyone,

I am planning to go back to work after a 3 year gap. My plan is to find a 60% job to be able to spend some time with my children.

I am just not sure if part-time jobs are easy to find in the area of software development, specifically Java/ Java EE development (10 year experience in this area) or iPhone app development (something I have recently gotten into). I have done German up to C1 level but I still cannot speak it well enough to discuss complex matters one would have to talk about in meetings etc.

I thought I would ask here before setting realistic expectations for myself.
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Old 25.02.2013, 14:34
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Re: Part-time jobs in software development

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Hello everyone,

I am planning to go back to work after a 3 year gap. My plan is to find a 60% job to be able to spend some time with my children.

I am just not sure if part-time jobs are easy to find in the area of software development, specifically Java/ Java EE development (10 year experience in this area) or iPhone app development (something I have recently gotten into). I have done German up to C1 level but I still cannot speak it well enough to discuss complex matters one would have to talk about in meetings etc.

I thought I would ask here before setting realistic expectations for myself.
Hi,
I have an answer from my own personal perspective but first of all, ask yourself this question if you were the Project Manager with a Java program as a deliverable and a hard time deadline, would you hire yourself as a part-time programmer?

I believe it is easier for a PM to hire a full time or almost full time programmer. PM's on the other hand, can be part time.

Just my analysis, hope you appreciate an honest feedback to your question.

HAT
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Old 25.02.2013, 14:50
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Re: Part-time jobs in software development

Sorry, can't exactly say if Swiss hire willingly part time programmers, but I have read that the idea of home office is becoming more popular in Switzerland. You could try to offer full time, but agree that 2 days you work from home...
Also your profession sounds like an ideal for the remote work.. And then you are not limited to the country. You could find a job in Australia or wherever ..
I myself have worked as a technical writer for many years. That is exactly the job for remote or part time work. Having your C1 certificate and technical knowledge , you should be able to find a job translating programming kits or software manuals. I v done that ( but not in CH)
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Old 25.02.2013, 15:06
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Re: Part-time jobs in software development

I don't understand why you don't just search on somewhere like jobs.ch.
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Old 25.02.2013, 16:08
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Re: Part-time jobs in software development

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I don't understand why you don't just search on somewhere like jobs.ch.
Well I AM searching but looking at job ads at a certain time does not give you a a very good idea if such jobs are widely available in general.
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Old 25.02.2013, 17:02
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Re: Part-time jobs in software development

Some people start working 100% and after being well integrated into the project request to reduce to 80% or 60% working time. There are also job ads that sometimes specify part time work, keep checking and good luck.
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Old 25.02.2013, 17:36
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Re: Part-time jobs in software development

It's perfectly possible to get a 60%-80% software development job. I had two in my previous team in my company (both female Java developers who had young kids).

That team was sadly disbanded (our evil US employers decided to move out of that space...), but at least one of them (actually my ex-gf) now has a 60% position with an electronics company.
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Old 25.02.2013, 17:43
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Re: Part-time jobs in software development

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Hi,
I have an answer from my own personal perspective but first of all, ask yourself this question if you were the Project Manager with a Java program as a deliverable and a hard time deadline, would you hire yourself as a part-time programmer?
That's what project managers are for! They look at the resources available and budget the time required accordingly. In may even be the case that an additional 60% worker can increase the project resources (and shorten the deadline) because that's all you could hire for the remaining budget.
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Old 25.02.2013, 17:59
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Re: Part-time jobs in software development

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Well I AM searching but looking at job ads at a certain time does not give you a a very good idea if such jobs are widely available in general.
Looking for a job is a long term proposition. Why would you even think that the market at any point in time is representative? All we can give you here is anecdotal answers. Some people will say they don't know of any, other people know people who have done it. For sure there are 60% jobs, but not as many as fulltime. The only way you will find out how many there are though is to look at the evidence, not guess based on the random answers on here.
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Old 25.02.2013, 18:07
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Re: Part-time jobs in software development

No doubt such jobs exist. From the perspective of a PM I find it difficult to plan work around part time staff - based on experience.

No doubt a reflection my ability as a PM.

Cheers,
Nick
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Old 25.02.2013, 18:42
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Re: Part-time jobs in software development

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It's perfectly possible to get a 60%-80% software development job. I had two in my previous team in my company (both female Java developers who had young kids).

That team was sadly disbanded (our evil US employers decided to move out of that space...), but at least one of them (actually my ex-gf) now has a 60% position with an electronics company.
Thanks speakeron, I was actually looking for answers like yours : From people who have actually worked part-time or those who know people who have worked/are working part-time. Of course in case no such jobs exists, it is good to hear that too!
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Old 25.02.2013, 19:00
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Re: Part-time jobs in software development

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Thanks speakeron, I was actually looking for answers like yours : From people who have actually worked part-time or those who know people who have worked/are working part-time. Of course in case no such jobs exists, it is good to hear that too!
Good luck with your search.

BTW, since you're experienced with Java, look into learning Android (lots of jobs in that at the moment); you can download the free SDK from Google. It runs in Eclipse and even includes an emulator if you don't have an Android device handy.
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Old 25.02.2013, 19:05
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Re: Part-time jobs in software development

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No doubt such jobs exist. From the perspective of a PM I find it difficult to plan work around part time staff - based on experience.

No doubt a reflection my ability as a PM.

Cheers,
Nick
I agree. That's my point too.

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That's what project managers are for! They look at the resources available and budget the time required accordingly. In may even be the case that an additional 60% worker can increase the project resources (and shorten the deadline) because that's all you could hire for the remaining budget.
This seems to edge along a part-time, delivery-based time-limited contract arrangement. A permament job for 60% for a developer is not a doh-doh, but it is very difficult to convince a PM that this resource can be utilised easily. Most PMs will avoid such resources, unless you are only talking about maintenance work.

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Thanks speakeron, I was actually looking for answers like yours : From people who have actually worked part-time or those who know people who have worked/are working part-time. Of course in case no such jobs exists, it is good to hear that too!
It seems you want some one-sided opinions, and therefore I should cease to give you my objective opinions. I do see the "hardness" of reality of part-time work, but it is not easy to find such an arrangement unless you already worked for that company or PM for some time, and have "proven" yourself and your time management.
To look for a new job with such arrangements, is not easy.

Good luck.
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Old 25.02.2013, 19:23
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Re: Part-time jobs in software development

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No doubt such jobs exist. From the perspective of a PM I find it difficult to plan work around part time staff - based on experience.

No doubt a reflection my ability as a PM.

Cheers,
Nick
Most project management tools will allow you to specify an individual resources ours or what percentage they are assigned to a task, I know for certain that Microsoft Project does. I guess it depends if you have access to those tools or are just limited to excel spreadsheets and the like.
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Old 25.02.2013, 19:46
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Re: Part-time jobs in software development

You can do all you want with MS Project and the like....however if a requirement to fix something comes in...and the person who worked on it is OoO...it generally falls on to yours truly if it is holding up the project.

Cheers,
Nick

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Most project management tools will allow you to specify an individual resources ours or what percentage they are assigned to a task, I know for certain that Microsoft Project does. I guess it depends if you have access to those tools or are just limited to excel spreadsheets and the like.
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Old 25.02.2013, 20:43
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Re: Part-time jobs in software development

Thanks everyone for your input. It seems there are part-time jobs although they are not as many as full-time ones. I might still have a chance as I am OK with contract-based jobs.
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Old 22.05.2013, 13:17
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Re: Part-time jobs in software development

I thought I would come back and tell any future readers of this thread about my experiences. Less than three weeks after I posted this question I got my first invitation for an interview followed by 2 more in quick succession. In total I have been interviewed by 3 companies (a 4th one invited me after I accepted an offer). After a long interview process I now got a part-time job. My advice to anyone who is looking for a part-time job (or any kind of job in the software area) is:

1. Scour job search/carreer websites. Don't limit yourself to jobs.ch and the like but go to others like teilzeitkarriere.ch or USZ Alumni jobs. .

2. German knowledge definitely helps. All 3 companies I have had interviews with were Swiss companies (no multinationals). My CV was in English but I wrote cover letters in German and did the interviews in German. Well, at least partly. They were OK with me answering some questions in English when it became too difficult to express myself in German. I always stated that my German wasn't that fluent at the beginning but people are usually fine if you are up to B2-C1 level and if you say you commit to making the effort to improve your language skills.

3. Do not wait for a job perfectly matching your background to come up. None of the positions I was interviewed for were a perfect match for me. So apply if you meet some of the criteria. If they see you are good in what you have so far done and you have potential, they give you a chance.

4. Be patient. They don't invite you for a first interview until about 2 weeks after you application and they usually give you a date for 2 weeks after.

5. Prepare for the interview. I even looked at some German Software terms. That helped me understand what they were asking me even though I couldn't answer some questions in German.

6. Recruitment agencies are no good. At least they were useless in my case. They were really interested in my CV until I told them I was looking for part-time jobs. All 4 interview invitations came from companies I had directly applied to.

7. Be honest. Tell them what you know, admit what you don't. They really value attitude more than acquired knowledge.

8. Expect a question about your salary expectations even in the first interview.

9. Last but not least, all three of my interview experiences showed me that Swiss people are really nice and can be very warm and welcoming.
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