RR 322: Finding a Great Job
This episode of Ruby Rogues the panel is Dave Kimura and Charles Max Wood. They discuss finding a good developer job. Tune in to learn more about this topic!
[00:02:08] Internal Clock With Jobs
Dave believes that within the developer community, people have a one to two year internal clock. This clock tells them it is “time to find another job.” It confuses him that people go through jobs in a short amount of time. He explains that this is largely due to the on boarding time: it takes a while for developers to go through this process.
Charles has switched jobs more frequently than Dave. He explains that his internal clock has been set of either by necessity or simply it being time to move. His reasons for switching jobs have been due to him not being happy and there being a substantial pay raise that he could not afford to turn down. He believes employers need to do more to keep people engaged because it is a loss to get somebody up to speed then have them leave.
[00:08:30] Developers Want Challenges
People he knows that are in the development career are there for challenges. A lot of them he speaks with state they get to where they aren’t being challenged. Their employer won’t invest in helping them get to the next level, whether it is paying for trainings or conferences. People he has interviewed said that when they are starting to switch, it is for growth.
[00:11:12] Are you encouraged to or allowed to figure out how to do things better at work?
Dave said that because he’s over the project, he is able to do so. He tells others he works with to do the same. He doesn’t look at it as wasted time, but as time that is spent getting better. This time will be made up when the information learned is used later on with different projects with the company.
Some companies are short sighted and want employees to spend the least amount of time possible doing things. Most successful teams are developers that want to feel like part of the team. You need developers to believe in the mission and the team. If your manager is telling you to work 80 hours a week something is wrong. It is healthy for a company to recognize limitations.
The humane development principle that Ernie Miller that says developers are humans, not machines. Often managers forget developers are humans. They need to be treated as people. Companies have to give them downtime. They have to take care of themselves.
[00:20:00] What do you tell people to do if they feel burnt out?
First look and assess the situation. Is the issue a self induced issue? Or is the employer forced this issue onto you? Misunderstandings can occur. Communicate with your boss to discuss the issue. Sometimes, it’s a simple that you like your job and push it too far.
Learning boundaries are important. There needs to be a physical separation between work and relaxation area. There also needs to be boundaries around your time. Schedule work time as well as family time. Don’t break your own boundaries!
Planning is important. What can you fit into the schedule? There is almost a guarantee that you will work too much if you don’t schedule. Backlog items that you want to accomplish. Meet with your team about it. Once you have a plan, don’t exceed what you plan. This will show you whether you are working too much or not enough.
It is important to find a mentor. Learning is your responsibility. It only benefits you and your career. The company’s benefit is a side affect of your effort. Your company may not have the resources to help you. Where you will find a mentor is worth considering when you take a job. There are many resources for finding good mentors. railsmentor.org is one for the Ruby community.
Dave doesn’t have a mentor but highly advises getting one. He believes that you can be your own mentor if you have a self-teaching capability. It is just a harder way to go. Charles has a mentor. Business people will pay for coaching. He suggests eventualmillionaire.com to check out a business coach he recommends.
[00:36:54] How to Get Hired
Dave suggests forgetting about job titles when looking for jobs because they are meaningless. Instead, focus on the skill set that the company is looking for. If you expect a company to continue your learning, you’ll always have a junior mentality: you will be a “professional junior.” Development is a career that requires constant education because there will always be new stuff. Companies want someone useful to them who will turn a profit. They want to use you. Sell yourself to them.
Companies have a problem and they want you to solve it. You have to show them that you’re the person who can solve the problem in a way that makes it work for them. There is a wish list of technical skills companies have, but that doesn’t mean you have to check every box. They want the right person to solve the problem efficiently and quickly, and be a pleasant person.
There is a list of questions that Dave prepares to ask in interviews that he tailors towards each candidate. He doesn’t want to make candidates feel attacked. If they are hired for the company, they’ll have a bad taste in their mouth. He also doesn’t like tests given. Instead, he wants to know how a candidate thinks. He makes sure to ask, “What is your process in coming to an answer?”
[00:49:50] Third-party Recruiters
They do not pay attention to resumes they see. They use different tactics to try to suck you in – one is to insult you, while another is to try to hire another person through you. Dave has a policy to not talk to third-party recruiters. They do not know the client they are working for.
Get to know other people in the field. People will help you get jobs. Can hunt job boards but it is not as effective as having contacts. Know someone who works at the company doing the thing that you want to do. A personal referral goes a long way. When someone goes to bat for you, it’s because they believe you will do a good job. Companies will not take that lightly.
Take the time to do your resume right. It is the first impression you make on an employer. That first opinion they have about you will be hard to change. A resume should be grammatically correct, relevant, and updated. Customize and personalize your resume to the company that you are sending it to.