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Justin Searls

How to tell if AI threatens YOUR job (and 3 simple rules to keep it)

Justin Searls dives deep into whether AI tools like ChatGPT actually threaten knowledge worker jobs and provides helpful ideas around what to do about it.

Having spent months programming with GitHub Copilot, weeks talking to ChatGPT, and days searching via Bing Chat as an alternative to Google, the best description I’ve heard of AI’s capabilities is “fluent bullshit.” And after months of seeing friends “cheat” at their day jobs by having ChatGPT do their homework for them, I’ve come to a pretty grim, if obvious, realization:

The more excited someone is by the prospect of AI making their job easier, the more they should be worried.


Hired’s 2023 State of Software Engineers report

Hired CEO, Josh Brenner:

We create this report every year to help talent professionals and software engineers understand the hiring climate, as well as what’s top of mind for employers and engineers.

Here’s some of their key findings:

  1. Attracted to the field by new challenges and continuous learning, software engineers remain optimistic about the future.
  2. Layoffs (from May to December 2022) had the greatest impact on salaries and interview interest for junior and non-traditional engineers.
  3. Despite high-profile calls for return-to-office (RTO), demand for remote engineering talent remains high. Remote roles command higher salaries than local roles, especially in smaller markets.
  4. The most in-demand coding skills and software engineering roles shifted this year.

There’s a lot to digest here. Worth a read, especially if you’re on the market.

Petros Amoiridis

Being a programmer again

I was a programmer for 12 years. I then switched to support and people management for 12 years. I now want to go back to programming for the rest of my career. I started working at Zed Industries on January the 17th, helping build the Zed editor and be a Rust programmer wannabe. End of June is going to be the judgment day. Will I remain part of Zed?

That’s right. I have a six month contract with the company my ex-GitHub colleague founded. They are trusting me to become productive in Rust within 6 months. With no prior experience in Rust, this feels like a Herculean feat. The interesting part is that I abandoned a high-paying job to do this. And by the end of the six month contract, Zed Industries and I may decide to part ways and still be friends.

And I am blogging about my experience so far. It’s a mix of personal learnings and small technical bits and pieces sprinkled here and there. But it’s mostly about my personal experience.

Chip Huyen

What we look for in a resume

Chip Huyen:

When we actively hire, our startup gets 150 - 200 applications each month. I read every single one of them. Sometimes, I’d talk to a candidate and see that what we perceived as their strongest aspects actually weren’t included in their resume. Occasionally, a candidate would tell me that they didn’t expect their resume to still be screened by humans – had they known, they would have written their resume differently.

The resume evaluation process is pretty much a black box for most candidates. And it is so because few hiring managers have publicly discussed this. I thought I should start the conversation.

Chip’s team mostly hires for infra and ML roles, so some of the advice here will be catered towards those positions. Still, if you’re on the job market you’d be well-served by spending 15-20 minutes reading this post and tweaking your resume where applicable.

Seán Barry

Seán Barry is quitting the rat race

I’m currently working at a top tier investment bank as a software engineer. I’m an insignificant cog in a machine that skims the cream from the milk. I’m earning the most money I’ve ever made and yet I’m the least fulfilled I’ve ever been.

Right now in the UK and across the world, things are uncertain. Companies are laying workers off, there’s a cost of living and energy crisis. I’m excruciatingly lucky to have been in the right place at the right time to develop the skillset I’ve got. In times like these every signal is telling me to stay on the path I’m on, enjoying the comfort and safety of a high paying job.

I’m not going to listen. I’m quitting and I’m leaving this place. I’ll see you in the mountains.

After this post blew up, Seán wrote a follow-up on what quitting the rat race means to him.


83% of developers suffer from burnout

Burnout has reportedly reached a critical point in the software developer circle since the onset of the Covid-19 health crisis. A recent study by Haystack Analytics, a company specializing in productivity of engineers, found that 83% of software developers suffer from burnout. The main reasons given by the latter to explain this exhaustion are high workload (47%), process inefficiency (31%) and lack of clarity of objectives and targets (29%).

That few?! 😏

Changelog Interviews Changelog Interviews #516

This !insane tech hiring market

This week we’re back talking to Gergely Orosz — this time not quite about the insane tech hiring market, but more so the flip side, the 180, the not so good tech hiring market, the layoff market and what you can expect. There’s a lot of FUD out there, so hopefully this show gives you a lens into what’s really going on, and what to really expect. Maybe more so, how to keep your job or find a new job. We come to this topic with great compassion and great understanding, so please…there is a community here for you. There’s a lot of people in our Slack. Call it your home, it’s free to join and everyone is welcome.

Andrew Ste Smashing Magazine

How to search for a developer job abroad

While obtaining a job internationally may seem daunting, this guide will walk you through all the steps you need to find and secure a developer job abroad.

In this article, I share how how to prepare your resume for getting a developer job abroad, how to search for international opportunities, application strategies, important considerations to make when applying, the do’s and don’ts of successful interviews, and more!

Rachel Stephens RedMonk

Kindness, tech staffing and resource allocation

Rachel Stephens, trying to reconcile the claims that the tech industry is vastly overstaffed with other claims of vast resource scarcity:

Both things can be true: it’s not a clear over- or under-staffing problem. It’s a problem of proportionality. There can definitely be organizational bloat… At the same time, there are also areas in tech that remain chronically understaffed and under-resourced: OSS project maintainers, people working on-call support, and people writing documentation to name a few.

An interesting analysis with a much-needed call for kindness to our fellow nerds as they face these tumultuous times.

And (I can’t believe I’m writing this, but the jokes about Twitter layoffs in particular keep coming at a surprising rate) be kind to people facing layoffs. Losing your job is awful in the best of circumstances; going through it in such a public and charged situation must be emotionally grueling. Be kind.

Jamie Tanna

Lessons learned since posting my salary history publicly

Just over a year ago, I did something quite “out there”, even for me, and I posted my salary history publicly. This was accompanied by a blog post to explain why I was doing it, and it’s certainly been popular.

When I first posted it, I made a note to myself to come back in a year, and see whether anything had changed, as well as to look back on some of the events that happened immediately after my posting, as it certainly made life interesting in the month or so following the post.

Miłosz Piechocki

What makes a senior engineer? Writing software vs building systems

A lot of ink has been spilt over the years trying to elucidate the divide between junior and senior. Miłosz Piechocki makes the distinction this way:

Junior Engineers care about writing Software. They value code quality, employ best practices, try to adopt cutting-edge technologies. They invest a lot of time into learning new technologies. To them, the ultimate goal is to create elegant, performant, maintainable software.

Senior Engineers care about building Systems. To them, creating software is just one of the steps. First of all, they question whether the software needs to be built in the first place. They ask what problems would it solve and why it’s important to solve them. They inquire who will be using the software and on what scale. They think about where the software would run and how they’re going to monitor whether it’s working properly. They also decide how to measure whether the software is actually solving the problems it was supposed to solve.

He goes on to describe how hard it is to build Systems and lists activities that are part of that process.


FizzBuzz is FizzBuzz years old

Tom Wright:

This year marks 15 years since FizzBuzz was popularised as an interview tool for developers. I’m a big fan and have watched over 100 candidates try their hand at my version of the task. In today’s blog post I’d like to take a moment to celebrate what makes FizzBuzz so helpful, discuss some common patterns I’ve observed in the many attempts I’ve witnessed, and finally explore some tweaks that can be deployed to keep the challenge fresh.

Tom’s version of FizzBuzz is a pair programming task that follows strict TDD:

In proper pair programming style, the candidate is encouraged to discuss their approach with the interviewer. Likewise, they are free to use any online reference materials if they forget a method name or some syntax.

In this post he shares 3 common variants of the challenge including one that requires a pair of Azure Functions?!


Really important job interview questions engineers should ask (but don't)

James Hawkins, after being on a team that’s interviewed over 725 people:

It’s normal for candidates not to ask harder questions about our company, so they usually miss out on a chance to (i) de-risk our company’s performance and (ii) to increase the chances they’ll like working here.

Does the company have product-market fit? How much runway does the company have? Does their spending look within reason? What’s the culture like? And more tough questions that you really should be asking before accepting that offer.


No-one knows what they are doing

Wise words from Andy Brice:

When I was a child I assumed that all the adults running the world knew what they were doing. Now that I am an adult, I am under no such illusions…

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Most of us who are running businesses had no real idea what they were doing when they started, and still struggle with decisions now.

I tell people this all the time when they ask me for advice. I’ll still give them my advice. But it comes with the disclaimer that I really have no idea what I’m doing. 😆

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