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The Changelog The Changelog #422

Growing as a software engineer

Gergely Orosz joined Adam for a conversation about his journey as a software engineer. Gergely recently stepped down from his role as Engineering Manager at Uber to pursue his next big thing. But, that next big thing isn’t quite clear to him yet. So, in the meantime, he has been using this break to write a few books and blog more so he can share what he’s learned along the way. He’s also validating some startup ideas he has on platform engineering. His first book is available to read now — it’s called The Tech Resume Inside Out and offers a practical guide to writing a tech resume written by the people who do the resume screening. Both topics gave us quite a bit to talk about.

Jaana Dogan Medium

What did I forget by working for the same company?

Jaana Dogan, now working at AWS, reflects on her (long) time at Google:

My time was up for one exact reason. I no longer had no clue what the life outside Google felt like. My actual superpower was gone. I remember sitting in meetings only bringing insights from what I hear from customers without truly understanding how things worked outside of our bubble end-to-end.

Thoughtful reflection is a powerful tool in your life. Sharing that reflection with others, like Jaana does here, can be a powerful tool in other people’s lives. 💪

Vishnu Bharathi vishnubharathi.codes

Rejections

We are currently in tough times. With a lot of people losing jobs and struggling to get back one. I sailed the same ship and just got back a job. I wrote this post to help people who are currently in the job hunt and are facing rejections (by writing about all the rejections I had so far).

I want you to know that job search might be stressful (at times), but you got this! Prepare yourself and go out there; Don’t get hurt by rejection.

While writing the post, I just realized how common the culture of ghosting a person during the interview process has become.

I wish that we get better at not ghosting people as an Industry.

Chris Coyier CSS-Tricks

The widening responsibility for front-end developers

Chris Coyier:

This is an extended version of my essay “When front-end means full-stack” which was published in the wonderful Increment magazine put out by Stripe. It’s also something of an evolution of a couple other of my essays, “The Great Divide” and “Ooops, I guess we’re full-stack developers now.

This is a lengthy, sprawling piece on the evolution of frontend development by someone who really gets the web. It also has its own art-direction and design so you’ll want to read it onsite vs in an Instapaper-alike.

WFH seanblanda.com

Our remote work future is going to suck

This the first majorly bearish case I’ve read on remote work:

… remote work makes you vulnerable to outsourcing, reduces your job to a metric, creates frustrating change-averse bureaucracies, and stifles your career growth. The lack of scrutiny our remote future faces is going to result in frustrated workers and ineffective companies.

Let’s tackle these issues one at a time.

Career news.ncsu.edu

Tech sector job interviews assess anxiety, not software skills

A new study from North Carolina State University and Microsoft finds that the technical interviews currently used in hiring for many software engineering positions test whether a job candidate has performance anxiety rather than whether the candidate is competent at coding. The interviews may also be used to exclude groups or favor specific job candidates.

What’s more, the specific nature of the technical interview process means that many job candidates try to spend weeks or months training specifically for the technical interview, rather than for the actual job they’d be doing.

Be careful out there.

Ryan Choi Y Combinator

Get advice on your resume and reaching out

Looking for a new gig? Ryan Choi helps YC startups hire great people and he’s offering free advice to job seekers on their resumes and how to reach out. You can email him your resume at ryan@ycombinator.com if you want feedback or pointers.

In this post Ryan says to be sure to cover what, how and impact for each position on your resume.

What did you work on? How did you get your work done? What impact did you have?

Matt Mullenweg ma.tt

On distributed work: gradually, then suddenly

Matt Mullenweg:

The two main theses of my professional career have been that distributed is the future of work, and that open source is the future of technology and innovation.

On the distributed front, the future of work has been arriving quickly. This week, a wave of companies representing over $800B in market capitalization announced they’re embracing distributed work beyond what’s required by the pandemic…

Change happens slowly, then all at once.

There are few people on Earth that have been thinking about this longer (and more deeply) than Matt.

Eduards Sizovs sizovs.net

Developers don't need ping-pong tables

Some of the particulars in this article don’t feel relevant during the coronavirus-lockdown phase of history, but the overarching message is solid:

Companies waste millions on building the environment they think makes developers happy, without understanding what actually makes developers tick.

What does make developers tick? What motivates us? The answers aren’t always the same, but they often aren’t all that different either. Eduards argues that autonomy, mastery, and purpose are at the heart of it.

Career dfrieds.com

Data Science: reality doesn't meet expectations

After taking a 12-week data science bootcamp and in 2016 and then launching into industry, Dan Friedman’s expectations weren’t remotely met:

Over the past few years, I’ve worked as a Data Scientist, a Data Engineer, and as an industry consultant. I’ve also learned from the stories of dozens of data scientists and similar professions, actively read articles on data science and followed data science thought leaders on Twitter.

Across these diverse data experiences, I have noticed common themes.

Below are seven most common (and at times flagrant) ways that data science has failed to meet expectations in industry. Throughout each section, I’ll propose solutions to these shortcomings.

Maybe I’ve been listening to Practical AI too much, but I am not surprised that one of his seven shortcomings is that most of the job is spent cleaning data. That being said, there’s a lot here that is surprising to me and worthy of consideration for anyone thinking about entering the industry.

Productivity letterstoanewdeveloper.com

Cultivate the skill of undivided attention, or “deep work”

Dear New Developer,

You know that there’s a chasm between your skill level and that of the mythical “senior software developer”.

If you build a list of topics you encounter on your job that, if learned to a deep enough level, would put you on the same level as a senior developer, you’ll end up even more demoralized than before compiling that list.

No need to assemble this list yourself! I’ve done it for you.

I’ve heard many people recommend Deep Work over the years. Add this one to the list.

(I like this style of writing where you imagine a hypothetical new developer –knowing full well they real thing is out there– and tell them things you wish you’d known when starting your career as a dev.)

The Changelog The Changelog #386

Engineer to manager and back again

Lauren Tan joined us to talk about her blog post titled “Does it spark joy?” In this post Lauren shared the news of her resignation as an engineering manager at Netflix to return to being a software engineer. We examine the career trajectory of a software engineer and the seemingly inevitable draw to management for continued career growth. The idea of understanding “What are you optimizing for?” and whether or not what you’re doing truly brings you joy.

Practical AI Practical AI #81

Building a career in Data Science

Emily Robinson, co-author of the book Build a Career in Data Science, gives us the inside scoop about optimizing the data science job search. From creating one’s resume, cover letter, and portfolio to knowing how to recognize the right job at a fair compensation rate.

Emily’s expert guidance takes us from the beginning of the process to conclusion, including being successful during your early days in that fantastic new data science position.

Matt Mullenweg ma.tt

Coronavirus and the remote work experiment no one asked for

Matt Mullenweg, on the potential industry-changing affect that Coronavirus is having:

This is not how I envisioned the distributed work revolution taking hold.

For those asking for tips, my Distributed Podcast has a wealth of advice and stories about how we operate. But here are four good ones to start with

TLDR: Minimize real-time meetings, invest in audio/video quality (yes!), your blog is your new office, and chat tools like Slack and Matrix are a must-have.

Culture commoncog.com

To get good, go after the metagame

I absolutely loved this piece by Cedric Chin about games and their metagames. Fascinating stuff to think about.

Every sufficiently interesting game has a metagame above it. This is the game about the game. It is often called ‘the meta’.

I’m a fan of games (who isn’t?), and every game I’ve ever really gotten obsessed with has had an even more interesting meta. Oh, and if you’re looking for some kind of a direct link to software development, here you go:

My closest cousin is a software engineer. Recently, his frontend engineering team hired a former musician: someone who had switched from piano to JavaScript programming with the help of a bootcamp. He noticed immediately that her pursuit of skills (and the questions she asked) were sharper and more focused than the other engineers he had hired. He thought her prior experience with climbing the skill tree of music had something to do with it.

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