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I'm right at the age he was talking about. Does 3.5 years at my first job sticking through two short-term paycuts to be laid off make up for the now (6 employers) that have followed?

* 1.5 years, left after the group was split in half and I was forced into full time testing (I enjoyed part time testing and the first year in that role was outstanding, the new position and team was not a good match).

* 1 year, taken over, got J2EE experience and worked with a great team, too bad the office was scheduled to be closed and that we were given no work to do.

* 6 months, layoff, worked with the full cutting edge J2EE JBoss (Seam) stack but was let go as one of the newest employees and the only one that didn't know C# (15% of IT laid off) when the budget was shifted.

* Short stint at a failed startup, learned some PHP

* New stint at a promising startup

Technically, with the take over, that's now 7 employers. I think the new job looks quite promising, and I don't regret any of those experiences, as I now have a lot of breadth.

I freely admit that I had to work to avoid appearing as a job hopper, and that hurt in the recently ended job hunt. I still think (hope?) that I've ended up at my best work place since that year learning J2EE.

*editted for clarity and inserting some more details in the first few minutes

Anyone who spent at least 2 years at their first job is going to look good to those with a clue.

As you discovered, with all your recent jobs being short(er), you needed a good story, etc., but post dot.com crash I hope it wasn't too difficult. I wouldn't remove you from a job search for the above history.

Getting the first job was the hard one. (911 with the post .com crash.) If you know what you are talking about, once you have a couple years programming experience, you can generally find something.

In this case, the J2EE, Hibernate and Seam (usually in place of Spring) experience has opened up a lot of interviews at places that wouldn't have looked at me before.

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