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Showing posts from July, 2022

Entry Level Job Hunter

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I made a fun little Snake game with a twist. I call it Entry Level Job Hunter... I think it captures what everyone chasing an #entryleveljob right now is going through. If you're in a spot where you can lend someone a hand, please do so. Change your badge to #OpenToHelping so you're easier to spot. If you're in need of a hand, don't hesitate to reach out! You can also play the game here:  https://alishahnovin.com/entry-level-job-snake.html

Gravity Hearts (Flash Experiment)

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In 2006, I wanted to build a gravity simulator in Flash. It worked fairly well - what started as Planets eventually became Hearts when I entered a Valentines Day themed coding contest in 2007. I didn't win the contest, but it was fun pulling it together - but also a learning experience: One thing I hadn't accounted for was how every object calculated the gravitational pull independently. This seemed like the right choice - it's how nature works, after all. Then I realized that, with my application being single threaded, by the time the last object in the collection would calculate the force felt from an earlier object, the earlier object was not in the spot from where the force was being exerted. Without getting into Einstein's theories on relativity, the resulting effect didn't look quite right. While I eventually solved for it, I'll intentionally leave the solution as an exercise for the reader. The exercise made me a better coder - not because of the code its

Interviews and Enthusiasm

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Interview advice from one hiring manager to another: Only include enthusiastic interviewers in the interview. Someone who had to be dragged away from their work and is treating the interview like a painful chore is not going to reflect well on your team. That lack of enthusiasm will rub off and candidates will not want to join your team. Enthusiasm is contagious. You don't need overly energetic cheerleaders - just people who are happy to step away from their work for the opportunity to involve others in that work.

Spreadsheet Resumes

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Excel and PowerPoint have a bad reputation for being used in ways beyond their original intent and purpose. And...in an on-going desire to exercise in the absurd, I've taken my popular  Resume Template  and created it in Excel. Because, who says spreadsheets can't make great resumes ? It actually makes formatting a lot easier, and because you can save to PDF ... well ...  they'll never know... (Though I'd argue, if you've made your resume in Excel - that should earn you some bragging points...) Check out my  Resume Template as a Spreadsheet... #JustBecauseYouCanDoesntMeanYouShouldButDoesntMeanYouShouldntEither

Feeling Accomplished

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Whenever I launch a new website, I'll proudly visit it about 50 times that day, reinspecting my work. I just installed a lighting fixture and switch in a closet... and keep going back to the closet and proudly turning the light on and off, reinspecting my work. It's important to take time and enjoy the sense of accomplishment.

Programming Motivation

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Be the change you want to change control. Whatever doesn't overflow your stack, makes it grow. How you were initialized does not define you. Every statement breaks at some point. Be the unhandled exception to the rule. Every 0 becomes a 1 eventually. Every merge starts with ME. #DadCodersDadJokers

Data Structures Preparation

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If you're prepping for your coding interview by reviewing data structures here's something to consider: Apply those data structures to real world scenarios. Build (small) projects and implement the structure. If you don't have time to build projects, look for those data structures in live examples and think through the implications and how you interact with them. Applying concepts beyond the theoretical space not only helps with retention, it helps you better understand the structure's value and limitations. This will better help you in an interview. As an example, it's one thing to create a simple tree structure that holds integers...But HTML is a "real world" tree structure you encounter all the time. JavaScript does an amazing job of hiding the complexity of that tree. There's the lovely document.getElementById , but elements also have a  .children array. But what about the document.all array. What's that about? Why is it helpful? How does t

"Where do you see yourself in 3 years?"

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What a strange coincidence that most people stay at a company an average of 18-24 months (halfway towards their 3-year goal) before leaving... And often the reason they give is stagnation. And you'll often hear: "People don't leave jobs, they leave bad managers." It seems like the answer is right there, doesn't it? If you want to retain talent: Continuously find out people's goals If they don't know them/don't have them, guide them through what growth looks like and what opportunities lay ahead. Track things in your 1:1s; That is their purpose. Not to discuss projects & status. Once in a while, along the way, expose them to what the end result looks like. Help them experience the ups and downs so they can determine whether to adjust their goals or pace. Ensure their goals & timeline will align with your needs; If they don't (which happens - and that's OK) have a candid but amicable discussion on what their eventual exit would look like.

FAQs for a Software Engineering Hiring Manager

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Technical Interviews have evolved a lot since the early I transitioned from being a Software Engineer to an Engineering Manager. Particularly in the post-Covid era, there's been a greater emphasis on the person, which I think is an important and welcome change. Over the decade of interviewing hundreds of coders, I've also had the pleasure of working with various bootcamps, colleges, and hundreds of individual job seekers on LinkedIn. Across all the changes over the past years, across the various locations and mediums, something remained consistent throughout: The questions I get asked.  With that in mind, I thought - why not make a FAQ from my perspective as a hiring manager? While this is my perspective, it's based off years of observation and supporting data. But that being said, advice is not fact. You may disagree with certain points, and that's OK. Opinions we disagree with allow us to better understand our own views. At best, I hope these responses help you

On Taxonomy & Roads

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I never really thought I cared much about taxonomy until someone recently pointed it out to me. They observed that I like to be precise with certain terms (which, I'm not sure I necessarily do. I think it's mostly when I'm trying to make sure I've fully understood something I'm learning). But it made me think how strange it can be to not know qualities about yourself until someone else points then out. Anyway, with that in mind, here are the different terms for roads and what they mean. A Road is anything connecting two points. A Way is a small side street coming off a road. Streets are Ways with buildings on both sides. Avenues are like Streets but run perpendicular. Alleys are narrow roads that run between buildings. Boulevards have trees on both sides, and often a median. The opposite is a Lane , which is a narrow road more often in rural areas. Crescents are roads that represent a U shape/crescent, attached to roads at both ends. Drives wind and turn based

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