||I worked for a tiny company for four years doing back-end programming in Java and SQL for financial applications. But then I took two years off, living on savings, pursuing a serious interest in opera singing. Now this puts me in an unusual situation, and I am having an extreme difficulty finding any sort of programming position at all.
The job sites are positively littered with intermediate Java/J2EE positions, but the trouble is that I have no working experience with the J2EE world. I've had several phone conversations and just one long in-person interview, but they went nowhere, and I had the feeling that not having any professional experience with J2EE was a complete non-starter. And I am finding almost no junior positions at all.
Can anyone offer me any tips for how to translate programming talent into breaking into the J2EE and advanced web programming universe? I am certain now that programming is what I want to do for the rest of my life, as the main focus of my life, I am extremely sure that once I get a chance I can excel in any such position, and I am also willing to work any position right now for literally any pay at all. I live in Toronto and moving is not an option for me right now.
Will having a demo or a portfolio help me a lot here?