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Showing posts from December, 2021

The Hustle

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15 years ago job hunting for entry-level jobs was not as tough as it is today, but it still wasn't easy. Here's a screenshot of my Gmail when I was first starting out. In addition to job hunting on Monster, and other job boards, I'd scour Craigslist looking for any job or gig that just gave me something to add to my resume/portfolio - for whatever cash they could afford. I cast a wide net (as you can tell by some of the subject lines...somehow I was a "photographer" who didn't even own a camera). My hope was with enough projects, I could eventually build up enough experience to land a job, and (eventually) it worked out. Here's the bit worth noticing: There's a lot that never replied. Some did, but still went nowhere. Eventually just 1 of those emails (the top one) turned into a project. That project helped me get interviews. The many interviews turned into 1 just one job offer. Things quickly got easier from there. So while today may be even harder, I

Break Projects Apart

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If you're looking to showcase your skillset to hiring managers, consider: large projects can be diluting your skillset. Unless you're trying to look entrepreneurial, structure your projects so each of them shows a different technical skill.

Track Your Applications

Seeing some Entry/Jr Coders talk about submitting 200+ applications - I mentioned this in my infographic thing I posted yesterday, but want to emphasize it more: If you're not tracking where you've applied you absolutely , 100%, need to be. It's not about creating a list to keep count - there's important data in there. If you've applied to the same company 5x and they're bad about getting back to you, save your time. Or maybe it helps you save face from applying twice to the same place. If you're bad about remembering when you should follow up - tracking your next actions will help you. You can even get more analytical with it: Say you just updated your resume, and suddenly you are getting more responses (or less responses) - you'll be able to track that. Lastly - you 100% absolutely should mention this in the interview. From my vantage as a hiring manager, hearing how someone organizes their job hunt tells me so much about how they'll organize their

Tips about Job Hunting

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I've never made an infographic, but thought I'd try my hand at it. Anyway, here are some tips for all those coding bootcamp grads who are about to start their job hunts.

If you're feeling burnt out from the job hunt...

If you've been looking for a job for months and haven't had traction, know that  interviewers can sense desperation, bitterness and frustration. It's hard to fake enthusiasm. If you're feeling burnt out, it's going to spill into the interview, and even if you land the job - it'll spill into your first few weeks. Try this: Pause: Recharge. Give yourself a few days away from it. Seriously. Don't cheat. Do something you enjoy doing - and do it because you enjoy doing it, not because you are frustrated. Nothing ruins a hobby more than having a cloud hang over you. Give yourself the opportunity to relax. Give yourself a break. Revamp: When you're ready to start again, update it all. Your resume, your portfolio, your LinkedIn profile. By having a new resume, portfolio, YOU will feel fresh, new, re-invigorated, motivated. Maybe you'll spot things in your old resume that may have worked against you. Even if you fix something trivial like an extra comma, you&

We've All Been There

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This awkward picture of me was taken more than 15 years ago - 1 day after my last college final, and 1 day before my first professional interview. I spent the last of my student loans at Sears to buy a poorly fitted shirt, flowy dress pants and tie that the salesman had to tie it for me. I was nervous because I was graduating with a Physics degree but ultimately just wanted to code, code, code. These were the days before bootcamps, when almost all coding jobs expected you to have a CompSci degree. I was thrilled when I got the offer. The 3 people who interviewed me will always hold a special spot in my heart. They saw past a lot: the lack of experience, the wrinkled shirt, the general naivete, the lack of a CS degree. They got to know me and what I was hoping to do. They knew I was begging for a chance, and they were willing to give it. As a result, I never wanted to let them down (and still don't to this day.) They forever influenced my own approach to hiring because they showed m

What if candidates spoke like interviewers?

- I can't disclose my level of talent until the offer stage, but I can assure you my talent and effort are certainly competitive. - As a rock star dev, I'm looking for a Madison Square Gardens place to work. But on a more serious note - you can take any standard interview questions and redirect it to ask some very interesting questions: - How do you stay current with the latest tech trends, and keep your code base from growing stale? (Honestly: Why does anyone expect candidates to be more up to date than their own code base?) - Tell me about a time when the team had a conflict. How was it resolved? - It looks like you this role has been open for a few months. How has the team adapted? (You'll get asked about gaps in your resume, you should definitely ask about gaps in resourcing.) - If this role is a backfill, why did the last person leave? - I'm curious to know about a recent challenge the team faced, and how they overcame it.

Advice on Applying

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Over the last year, I've seen many struggle to break through the Entry-Level Coder barrier. It's a tough challenge, and it's easy to lose confidence. What I wanted to do is offer perspective by describing the process (for better or for worse) from the hiring manager's perspective and *why* it can be so tough for job seekers. What's described below is not specific to one place but generalized across companies of various sizes. I think the industry can do better and this is an attempt to highlight the tricky parts of hiring so we can make the process better and do right by those entering the industry. This next one's dedicated to people like DeVontae Moore, Joseph Edmonds, and Dakota Coppage who have tons and tons of grit. If you're a hiring manager with an open spot, you should keep an eye out for those who are persistently grinding away to land that first job.

code / collision Tournament #1

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Hosted the first ever code/collision tournament last week - it was really exciting to see the strategies come together and duke it out. Big thanks to Connor Ellsworth, Gabrielle Tobermann, Nathan Baldwin, and Jason Garey for participating!

Advice on Resumes

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After covering portfolios, and interviews - and realized I should cover resumes. This stuff is based on 10+ years hiring devs and what I and many hiring managers typically look for. (It's also the format I use for my own resume!)

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