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Getting hired as a developer Episode 10

Getting hired as a developer

The podcast discusses various ways to go about finding a job, with a focus on the tech industry. We'll talk about making a list of the tools and companies you're interested in, doing outbound and inbound outreach, networking, and preparing for interviews. We'll also get into some resources for practicing algorithms and communities to join.

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Colin: Welcome to Build and Learn.

My name is Colin.

CJ: And I'm cj and today we're
talking about getting hired.

Colin: That's a pretty important topic
these days with a little bit of a

twist in the economy that we're seeing.

Unfortunately a lot of people getting
laid off or maybe even looking for their

first engineering role in the industry.

So we figured we'd
break it down this week.

CJ: Yeah, lots of folks are I've
seen tons of layoffs, but I've also

saw, like the jobs report was showing
that we're at pretty good unemployment

rates, at least in the United States.

But there was this like great
resignation and also there's this

like meme about our generation
not staying in jobs for super long

Colin: Yeah.

Or quiet, quitting.

CJ: Yeah, quiet, quitting,
all of these different things.

But yeah, at the end of the day, if
you want a new job that can make you

happier or make you more fulfilled or
make you you know, more financially

stable, there's lots of tips and tricks
that I guess that we've figured out

maybe over the last couple decades.

And I'm excited to learn about your
story and your process for getting hired.

Colin: Awesome.

Yeah.

Before we do that, you
just got off of vacation.

How'd it go?

CJ: Oh my gosh, this was the longest
vacation I've taken in a long time.

It was almost three weeks and we
did that episode about burnout and

taking time off and PTO and all this.

And so I was like, okay I
really have to follow

Colin: Walk the walk.

CJ: Yeah, lock the lock and
do follow our suggestions.

And so I deleted Slack and I logged
out Gmail and I logged out of the

work Twitter accounts and so I was
getting like zero notifications

about work for three weeks or so.

And gosh, It was glorious.

Colin: I was wondering because I
think you must, do you schedule some

of your content releases and stuff?

Because I was like, CJ's this is
not work stuff, but I think it was

your personal YouTube channel that
was like dropping shorts and stuff

CJ: Yeah.

Colin: I was like, is CJ actually working
or is he taking time off right now?

CJ: I had recorded a giant series
over the course of a week, and then

I was dripping that content out over.

Several months, and I do have shorts
that are in the bag through December,

so we're recording this in October, and
every Friday through December, you'll see.

You should see a short pop up, but

Colin: See, and I mean, even this
podcast, we were just talking

about how we, so the way we record
is we try to record every week.

And then we release every other week,
which means that we have a very long back

list of episodes that we can put out and
it allows us to take time off, right?

Like we didn't record for three
weeks and the show still went

on and it still got released.

And you know, we've got some
travel and some conferences

coming up and it's very nice.

Like I've been doing podcasts where it
feels like you're under the gun to record.

And you're like, oh my God,
we gotta get an episode out.

We gotta get the recording.

And it's just nice to have
that backlog of episodes.

It does make for some timey, yme,
like when we mention certain dates

or conferences we're going to,
the episodes don't always come out

before those events, but you know,
it's an archival of our history.

It works.

CJ: Exactly.

Yeah.

And I think like it's to the
benefit of everybody, right?

Like it's it makes it so
that we don't burn out.

Because we're going at a sustainable pace.

And it also benefits you know, the
listener because you can actually like,

continue listening to a podcast because
we didn't record five episodes and

then, you know, fizzle out or whatever.

So hopefully it's a win-win all around

Colin: Yeah, I just found a
new podcast that I like binged.

And then of course, like the last
episode I listened to was like,

this is gonna be our last episode.

And I was like, oh no, I just found
this and it was still binge worthy.

And I'll try to link to it cuz
we're gonna talk about a little bit

of it today, but pod fading is real.

It happens to content
creators, definitely podcasts.

I think people think it's just super
easy to jump in and do this, but it's

like working out or doing anything else.

It's like consistency is key and We talk
about atomic habits and James Clear a

lot, but there's the whole idea of you
fall to the level of your systems and

we have a system where we can have a
bad day and the system is always there.

We can have a bad week and
the system's always there.

I think we can take some of that system
and build a system out for getting hired

and thinking about how you putting the
reps towards getting a job, whether

it's, your first job in the industry
or maybe you're looking to change

roles whether it's the same ladder
or a different one, if you wanna

become a manager or a product person.

We're gonna dig into that today.

CJ: As part of the context for this
episode and the framing for it, We're

mostly gonna focus on getting jobs as web
developers, but some of these concepts

will be applicable no matter, you know
what job or role you're looking for.

Colin: And I would say we're also, we
were gonna do an episode on hiring,

getting hired, and engineering levels.

We decided to turn this into three
different episodes, so we're gonna

focus on getting hired today.

Then we'll flip the table
because we've both done hiring

as well and do the hiring side.

and then we'll jump
into engineering levels.

I think freelancers and smaller agency
type developers are probably not as

familiar with engineering levels.

But we can dig into
that and expectations.

And you know, why I think
levels are a really good thing.

I think some people
don't really like them.

But we'll have a whole episode where
we can talk about the pros and cons of

trying to put people in a little box.

CJ: When you were changing jobs
just recently to get hired at

Orbit what was your process?

Colin: I guess some background,
I've mostly worked in either

my own companies or freelance
contract to hire type things.

And so I, at the time was working at
another startup that was winding down.

Wasn't really looking.

So I think that this list that we're gonna
talk about today is useful if I, you know,

found myself without a job through a
layoff or a riff or something like that.

And I needed to like bounce back
quickly and it's like, where do I start?

But for me, usually what I
do is I compile a list of.

Tools, apps, companies that I
like, love to use every day.

In part because almost everything I use
has been built by some developers, right?

And so I'm like, if I like using this
thing one, I'm gonna have, I think

I'm gonna be able to speak well to
it in an interview because I use it

and, I don't know that you get fanboy
points, but knowing it in and out

is only going to help in interviews
and you can get a sense of the

culture behind the team that builds.

You can see how their support works.

Like you, it's very easy to almost
interview them just by using their tool.

And so that's kind of where I start.

With the case of Orbit, I
was not a user of Orbit yet.

But I had friends who went to go
work there and, you know, at the

time, orbit was hiring developers
and it was kinda like I, I know for

a fact like we would have sourcing
events in orbit where we would.

Go through our own social networks to
look for people who were looking for jobs.

mining our own network to find people.

And shout out to Erin for being the one
who brought me into, literally into orbit.

CJ: Bringing you into orbit.

Yeah.

Before I decided to join Stripe,
I was working at a startup.

I was pretty burnt out.

and Stripe reached out.

And that kicked off a whole job search
process where I was like, okay, if

I'm going to consider changing jobs,
obviously Stripe is has it been on

my top 10 list for years and years?

But if I'm gonna make the,
a shift away from this other

job, then I want to try and.

Increase my optionality
as much as possible.

And so I'm gonna look at and interview at
and try to get offers at as many companies

as possible at the same time, so that I
can have the most optionality basically.

Colin: But you weren't looking
until that happened, right?

You had an inbound request and then
you're like, I wasn't looking, but

now I'm thinking about looking.

CJ: Yeah.

Yeah.

It was like one, you know, one you
have an off day and someone says

something like to you on Slack
and you're like, you know what?

Yeah, sure.

I'll respond to

Colin: Let's see what else is out there.

CJ: Yeah.

So

Colin: like you have a list though, that
you've kept in terms of a top 10 list of

companies that you would wanna work for.

CJ: Yeah, and very similar to you,
it's tools and apps and companies

that I've used or liked to use.

And for me, I really like
this, the niche space of like

developer tools and API products.

And so the list isn't like super, super
long, but also like on top of that, I.

I don't know.

There's, you know, Netflix is always one,
one of the list and Dropbox and there's

a bunch of things that I use every single
day where I'm like, okay it would be

pretty cool to work at this place, or it
seems like it'd be cool to work at this

Colin: I have some friends and we joke
about it cuz some of them have been at

almost all the fang companies and we
joke about them being like the infinity

stones on like the Infinity gauntlet.

It's okay, you've got Netflix,
it's the red one, you've got

Facebook, that's the blue one.

and they're just kind collecting all
of them and they've also spent like

a good deal of time at each of those
companies before they moved over.

But it is good to have a
list of, I would say, like what

companies you'd wanna work for.

Because when you're looking, there's
gonna be no shortage of jobs out there.

So really knowing like what you're gonna
enjoy, you know what's the company

stage, how many people are on the team.

These are things that you may.

To know just by using their tools.

So you might have to do
a little bit of research.

You might get inbounds like
you did through LinkedIn.

Sometimes it's a recruiter, sometimes
it's directly from a hiring person.

You might be in a Slack group
or a Discord group with other

industry folks conferences.

We've talked about
conferences in the past.

Another great way to get hired.

There's usually like a, who's
hiring and who's looking to be

hired board at a conference so
you can put your stuff up on.

that's a little bit of the
networking aspect of it.

Sure.

Going to a conference might cost you
something, but you could probably

find some scholarships or things to
go to, like a rails conf and then

just get into where the people are.

Yeah.

CJ: Yeah, exactly.

And I think the whole, I mean,
so in earlier when you said that

Erin brought you into orbit, right?

That was like you using your network and
like leveraging your network into a job.

And so I think this is
actually very common.

One of my students.

Worked at my vr and that's
how I got connected to my vr.

And that was a job.

My wife just started a new job and
when she was looking for these support

roles, I was like, oh, let me connect
you with some other people who I

know who do these support things.

And so I was like, oh, it would be
great if you had like a call with

Lindsay our, you know, our shared friend.

From here in Reno and I was like, oh,
if you, what if you like met up with

Lindsay just to ask about like how
tips and tricks for how to get a job.

And Lindsay knew about a Slack group and
so then she joined like this Slack group

and then like through the Slack group
there's, yeah, there's all of these

different opportunities that come up.

And so it really, like
networking is a super power.

And I think you know, in bus, in
business school and stuff, they're

like, oh, you know, networking
is so valuable, this and that.

But really at the end of the
day, if you know people.

and they work at companies and they have
a positive image of you in their head,

and they're willing to have a coffee
chat with you to just tell you about

what it's like to work at that company,
but then also maybe refer you in.

Then that's a huge leg up.

Colin: Yeah, we actually, we have a cool
Slack group that we'll mention at the end.

So if you stick around for the end
of the episode, we'll be sure to

give you some details on places.

Cuz when you talk about it's who, you
know, it sounds a little bit like nepotism

and things like that, but it's more
Because we're in the same community, I'm

going to give a little bit more weight.

Right.

It might be a community or like the
support Slack that you're talking about,

where it's like people who gravitate
towards being in the support community

are probably also doing a bunch of
extracurriculars to level up their

skills and therefore we wanna hire
outta that Slack community because

they're just higher quality leads
and candidates and things like that.

If you don't have an existing network,
you don't have to have gone to school

with these people or, you know, all these
things that you hear about oh, we've

been, you know, like you hear a lot of
the startups, you're like, we all went to

the Stanford together, or whatever that.

Does happen, but it's
not the norm anymore.

Like we talked about traditional
and non-traditional backgrounds,

that's not necessarily the case, like
the Slack that we'll share later.

You don't have to necessarily know the
person super well, but they still know

that by you being a part of this community
that again, you're going to be like

the one of the top, you know, candidates
for them if you're even looking.

So for me, I was trying to decide do I
want to go get a job again or go back

down the freelance rabbit hole or, you
know, do something like fractional, you

know, tech engineer, something like that.

It was timing and Erin was, you know,
insistent and it turned into interviews

CJ: Yeah, totally.

I think the other thing is that if
you don't have a network and you don't

have a list of companies and you don't
have these inbound requests, then you

can do cold, you can do cold outreach.

And what I mean by cold outreach is
just like finding jobs to apply to.

And we've got a whole bunch of,
job boards and communities that

will mention a little bit later.

But basically just
finding those jobs that.

Posted online, the job description
is online and usually there's some

way to apply through whatever,
it's like a level, I can't

remember the like levels.co thing?

Yeah.

Or like green, yeah.

Greenhouse and all these
different like tools.

I know LinkedIn has a quick apply.

Indeed has quick apply like all
these different places, right?

But what I have found is that if.

Are resorting to cold outreach,
then it becomes a numbers game where

like you just have to apply to like
just a ridiculous amount of places.

That is one way that you can get your foot
in the door is just like spray and pray.

Apply to a hundred places and
get your, get an entry level job.

Get something started where
you can start to build a.

Build relationships, build partnerships
with other companies that you're

integrating with or working with,
and that will be the start of your

network that you can then use to
build into like your next role.

Colin: And you'll see this a lot too
as you've been in the industry longer.

Like we all, we'll use the orbit analogy
here, like we literally will be in

each other's orbits, whether we're
working at the same company or not.

We may end up at the same
company like you and I.

Were like never working together for
a long time, and then we interacted

together on a bootcamp and there's
like all these interactions that

then ended up turning into us
working on the same project together.

And then now, you know, we'd
split off and you went to Stripe.

I went to Orbit, and then who knows?

You know, what's next?

There's a phrase in startups and raising
money where when you're going out to like

VCs if you want advice, ask for money
and if you want money, ask for advice.

This can apply as well to jobs.

Like we were mentioning about
coffee chats and things like that.

It's like you can just reach out
to a company and ask them, do you

just wanna have an informational
or something like that?

And it turns out they might be
looking for the kind of person.

That you're looking to get hired on as
and you know, asking for advice, going

in without these stakes of you don't
even need to think about algorithms and

practice interviews and stuff like that.

You just asking for advice and then
they might be in a place where they're

looking for a person like you.

If you go in looking for a job,
they're gonna probably give you

advice, you know, the other way around.

Which is also good, like you're
gonna get information that you

can use in your job search either.

CJ: So when, one of the things we talked
about was inbound, where like a recruiter

reaches out to you, and I think a lot
of your inbound depends on sort of

maybe the search engine optimization
of your social profile, your LinkedIn,

even like your GitHub profile, your
web, like your personal website where,

you know recruiters are gonna have
some search query thing where they're

saying I'm looking for a web developers
that are based in, The United States,

but not San Francisco and not New York,

Colin: Which is really interesting cuz
remote work has changed so much that

it's interesting try to find people.

Cause I've been getting inbound from
people who are in Tahoe and Reno

and it's like, I don't know that I
really, I mean, it doesn't, to me

it's not a benefit that they're here.

Like Cool.

Great to know that you exist.

And the one that I got that was a
stranger one was, that was, The name

of the founder was in the subject line.

It was like a founder name company.

And I was like, I have never heard
of this person before, so why would

I ? And it's just okay, cool.

And it turned out they were
like a famous founder from

the early Silicon Valley days.

I was like, I.

I don't know that tactic's gonna work
these days if they aren't like, the head

of either Stripe or Dropbox or something
that we've actually heard of today.

CJ: I mean on both ends of this, right?

Whether you are trying to get hired or
you're trying to hire somebody, it is a

giant exercise in sales and marketing.

And so you'll see the recruiter emails
that they're sending you are all just

okay, how can I ab test this copy
and this subject and, you know, as

Colin: I literally wanted to be like, who
the hell is this person as my response,

but I just didn't respond at all.

CJ: Yeah.

going back to like your LinkedIn, your
social, your website, your whatever.

Like I would say it is important
to have these reviewed by folks.

Just, you know, people are gonna be
critical and they're gonna nitpick

and you're, you wanna make sure that
you're putting your best foot forward.

And so having someone review it and
help you with, you know, spelling

mistakes and grammar and, you know, just
cleaning up and making sure that it's

positioned well so that you end up with
the role that you want is important.

Colin: What's like when
you go to apply for a job?

I think it's an unfortunate reality
that we still have to do this, but what

are the two primary things that you
have to submit when you apply today?

CJ: Yeah, I mean, I think it's the
resume and the cover letter, right?

Like cover

Colin: bit harder to do spray and
pray when a cover letter is involved

because you gotta craft it.

CJ: Going back to the top 10.

I actually made separate resumes
and separate, like cover letters,

like everything was customized
and tailored per company, and

it's based on the job description.

So I'll look at the job description, pull
out the keywords from the job description

and use like whatever translation that was
to whatever I had on the resume already

to make sure that it aligned as perfectly
as possible to the job description.

And yeah, that, that was,
you know, high conversion.

Colin: For a lot of these companies
that have a lot of applicants,

unfortunately, they can't read all of
the resumes, what they will use is some

of these applicant tracking systems to
identify keywords, pull out keywords.

There's some people who I've seen
have made resumes and they're like

graphic designers, and they'll
include all the logos of all the

apps that they know how to use, but
they don't have the word in it, right?

It's like you want, if you want Photoshop
and Illustrator to pop up, you better

write those out as words, right?

And still you can have a beautiful design,
but a lot of these ATS systems will pull

out all the text and throw away the pdf.

And you can read it later if you
want, but it's just the text.

So all of the pretty
stuff is gonna go away.

And then they can say, give me everyone
who's mentioned go lang and Photoshop

as their two things that they love.

And then now you take like thousands
of applicants down to a couple hundred,

and then they're gonna maybe review
those by hand and then reach out.

So like you said, like it's a
little bit of SEO in your resume,

tuning it to the job description.

Maybe if you're applying to Netflix and
you have experience, at your local,

pet store, probably not a relevant
information to put on that resume, right?

So make it relevant if there's
holes in your job history that just

make sure that things you can explain
yeah, you know, I worked at Pet store

while I was learning to code and I
just didn't feel like I should put

that on this resume type of thing.

CJ: Yep.

Colin: But definitely put down
things like your boot camps or your

trainings, projects that you've built.

Those kinds of things are super important.

CJ: Yep.

Totally.

Yeah.

I would say if you're very
early and you don't have.

Job experience as a software developer,
instead of putting your job experience

working at wherever you worked before,
Starbucks or whatever, I would put

each of the projects that you've
built on your own and anything that

was interesting about those projects.

Oh, I solved an n plus one query
here, or, I did this interesting

caching thing over here, or I deployed
it to this really fancy place.

So yeah, highlight, highlight
the work that you've, in those

side projects as if it was a job.

Like I think that's a good
way to highlight your skills.

Colin: So you also put
here cleanup social.

You wanna explain that a

CJ: Yeah.

This maybe pertains a little bit more to
my specific role as a developer advocate,

and that is that like your social profile
is representative of like how you will be

presenting content related to the brand.

In the future.

And so if you have a bunch of stuff on
there that has, profanity or if you have

a bunch of like political hot takes or
if you have a bunch of, stuff that is not

related to, a professional atmosphere.

At Stripe we have this thing
called the front page test, and

that is like whether or not.

You would be comfortable with
something being published on the

front page of the Wall Street Journal
or whatever, the New York Times.

Yeah.

And so if you look at your social media
and you have I don't know, things that

you just wouldn't be proud of, then you
can go back and delete all of those.

Colin: I mean I treat even text messages
and things like the front page test of

you know, especially we've been seeing.

Very famous people's text messages
and threads being leaked lately, and

it's like a little cringy, thankfully.

Nothing too bad, right?

Just some cringe, which I'm sure we
all have in our text threads and stuff,

but that's a good thing to think about.

I think there's, this is interesting when
a lot of people right now, will put in

their profile my views are not, expressed
by my employer and things like that.

But you're right in a job like
yours where your Twitter kind

of is your work and you also.

You know, non-work things there,
but it's very not curated.

Like you're still bringing yourself to
work and showing up and things like that.

And maybe there's some social networks
that aren't public facing that are, for

friends and family and stuff like that.

But definitely something to consider.

I would think of this as also just
looking into the company's culture

too, is like look at their social
presence how they show up in social.

A lot of companies have this job page.

That's trying to sell you on
all the perks and the culture

and all that kind of stuff.

And again, maybe even going and
looking at some of the employees

socials to go see, just like how
they show up at work and online

CJ: Totally.

Yeah.

I would say if you
don't want to clean up.

Or if you don't wanna tie it at all to
work, then don't put it on your resume.

Colin: Yeah, or maybe make it private
too so you don't necessarily have

to hide, but don't point it out
as the first link on your resume.

So let's just assume we get
through the applicant tracking

system and we get first interview.

What are we, what are you gonna do here?

Now as you start to think
about preparing for, I.

CJ: So I always assume that every.

Phone screen is going to have a
technical coding component to it.

There's always gonna be a chance that
you're gonna share a screen and someone

is gonna throw an algorithm question
at you and you'll have to code live.

And so I always prepare, even if it's
just for the phone screen, I always try

to prepare the same way, and that is to be
ready to write some code live in front of

somebody, whether that's on a whiteboard.

Which is not fun.

And I think less of that is happening
now that we're all remote . But yeah.

The, yeah, I think prep, prepping
for the Google interview was really

intense because I know that they're
really adamant about making sure that

you have error handling and, you know
testing and like all this stuff, like

even in your whiteboard code, which
was like super, super intimidating.

Anyways, so yeah, like I would
say trying to go through a bunch of

algorithms, practice and you know,
practicing interviews with friends.

So just jump on a call and have your
friends just throw a couple softballs

at you just so you can sort of loosen
up and get comfortable with talking

about code in front of other people.

In my role right now, I do a ton of live
streaming and a ton of just like recording

with my editor open, and so I'm pretty
comfortable talking as I'm writing code,

but if your day to day job is writing
code, With your mouth shut and your brain

going, and you're not actually saying
these words out loud, then it can be

uncomfortable to say oh, you know, right
here I'm gonna use the I don't know,

facade pattern to do blah, blah, blah.

So it can be, yeah, it can be
tricky to just whip those words out.

Even though you kind know
them in your brain.

Colin: Yeah, and we'll talk more
about what the hiring person

is looking for when you're doing
those things in the next episode.

But um, you know, there's things like,
you're talking about live, live coding

We've done in at Orbit a project that.

It's more realistically like what the
work looks like, which is we're giving

you like five different potential
features to implement and we gave you.

A new Rails app that already has a
bunch of stuff and has a broken test

so that we can see how you think.

But we'll talk about
that in the next episode.

A little bit more about what are
they, what are we looking for?

Are we looking for you to drop like,
you know, pattern names and be the most

brilliant person or are we just looking
to see how you think and all of that?

I like to research the company.

We mentioned this already, but like
you don't wanna really be on an

interview and not know what they do or
what the job description is, right?

So I don't think this is gonna be the case
as much with web development jobs, but

if you do there are some services that
will mass supply you to a lot of things.

So if you get an I.

Make sure you spend a little bit of
time going reading, finding out, again,

stage where they at, what do they make,
what languages, what stacks do they use?

Are they hiring for you to know the
stack already or are they open to

you moving sideways into from Python
to Ruby or whatever it might be.

CJ: Yeah.

And I think also some companies
will publish like a culture deck

or at least like some principles
or values or these kinds of things.

And those can be useful going in.

And I've even seen that be a
pop quiz question oh, hey, you

said you looked at our website.

What can you name like two of our
10 values or whatever probably,

I don't know, hard work and

Colin: I'll just list the
Burning Man principles.

CJ: Yeah.

The burning Yeah.

Colin: Awesome.

So I think the thing that most people
dread in interviews is you might have

a phone screen, you then might have
a project, but there's this idea of

algorithm grinding and I think this
is like, it depends on the jobs and

depends on the companies, but things
like hacker rank and leet code, like in

some cases when you do have a job that.

Thousands of applicants.

Just your hacker rank or your leet code
score is gonna be what's used to separate

you from the bottom half so that they
don't have to go through all of those.

And so have you had to do any
of these in your searching?

CJ: Yes.

And.

I have seen where some companies will
have partnered with leet code and so as

instead of a phone screen, they'll be
like, do these three leak code problems.

And if you don't score high enough, then
you just don't make it to the next level.

In the past I've done like just a ton
of these, but for fun I just think

they're really fun to go through.

The other thing that I would say is if
you have the opportunity to write,

Even just like the most basic automated
tests even if your test is just run

the function call and then assert based
on the output of some input, then you're

automatically gonna like win points.

And something that I like to do before
going into an interview is making

sure that I have memorized the rspec,
like shortcuts so that I can run an

rspec test in the same file so that I
can just say okay, I want my runner.

And then at the bottom I'm just gonna
say rspec.describe do, and then

write my automated tests so that
I can just run them immediately.

That way when you're writing
your solutions to your algorithm,

then you have immediate feedback
and you can move much faster.

Colin: And then it also shows
the hiring manager that you write

tests first, whether you do or not,

CJ: Yep.

Exactly.

Exactly.

Colin: They're like, Ooh, I don't actually
do this usually, but it's gonna help here.

It's oh, this is where tests are useful.

So yeah, we mentioned hacker rank.

We mentioned leet code.

I really like one called exercism.

It's very mentor driven, so you can go
through different paths for each language.

And then you can actually sign up to
be a mentor or have your code mentored

essentially reviewed by someone and
they'll give you tips and things.

So there's definitely a grind and
you're gonna go through the easy ones,

the moderate ones, the harder ones.

It's just good to get exposed
to a bunch of different things.

It just makes you a better programmer.

I was trying to do a little experiment
in our, we have a local developer meetup,

slack, and I was trying to post like
daily code problems there and I just

forgot some days and then I fell off.

Kind of like pod faded there.

CJ: Yep.

Colin: it was fun to do just because it's
like I don't, most of our jobs are not

actually generating like an algorithm or
inverting a Petri and stuff like this.

Right.

But knowing how to do it, cuz it's
probably gonna be on an interview.

Is important.

So just a fact of the job.

And you have a mention here
of cracking the coding interview

book which is cracking the coding
interview.com from Gail McDowell.

I have not read it, but have you.

CJ: This is a good one that will
again, go through a bunch of algorithms

and data structures, but also we'll
talk through Amazon is gonna look for

this and Google's gonna look for that.

And you know Facebook
might look for this.

And so it's, yeah, it's one of
those books that I'll read probably

every time I'm going through the
hiring process just to stay fresh.

Yeah.

Another great resource is this
interview cake interview cake.com.

This one is a paid resource, but
I, yeah, I've paid for it twice now

because every time I go through
the hiring process, they'll give you

like, here's the interview question,
and then you can sort of reveal.

Hints or sort of like parts
of the answer as you're going.

So if you're like not sure how to
proceed with some dynamic programming

exercise or something, then it'll
be like, oh, try this or try that.

Or, what about this?

And so in, in a real interview, as
you, if you get stuck or if you have

questions, it's really important
to like also be comfortable just

asking your interviewer for tips.

And so that I think feels a little
bit more realistic towards what

a real interview is gonna be like.

Colin: What I like about that too is
if you're not sure how to think out

loud, Those hints almost help you think
about how to approach the problem.

And if you get good at deconstructing a
problem and then doing that live on an

interview, again, we'll talk about it
more, but like that proves to me that

how you think and how you approach the
problem, which usually ends up being more

important than having the right solution.

It's like we know you're gonna get
there if you had enough time, but

I'm really curious how you think.

So yeah, those are resources.

I think I might even just join
that interview cake one cuz I was

reading through it and like some
of the algorithms and like just

examples are like things I've been
trying to brush up on in general.

And it just helps to do that.

I think once you get through that,
you're gonna have probably some other

interviews around like meeting with
potentially the team that you're gonna be

on, and then potentially their manager.

And then like usually the last interview
is someone that's like in people ops

or depending on how big the company is,
the ceo, cto, whoever that might be.

And they're like just the last thumbs.

You've gotten through the,
are you a serial killer?

Questions with the phone screen
and gotten through your algorithms

and now it's really just making
sure there's a culture fit and you

know, having the final sign off.

CJ: Okay, so some places will
have really interesting interview.

Cycles too.

As part of the job that I'm in now,
we actually ask people to come in

and do a presentation because a lot
of our job is presenting content.

And so we ask them to come
and teach us about something

that they're familiar with.

And so that maybe that means you
have to like, prepare a deck or you

have to prepare like a live coding
thing that you're gonna show off.

I've also seen interviews for if
you're applying for like a sales.

Or a solution architect or like a sales
engineer or even like a partner engineer,

these kinds of roles might, you might end
up in a in a role playing scenario where

okay, I'm gonna pretend that I'm the
client and you are the partner engineer

and I'm coming with like a bunch of
issues and now we're gonna present those

issues and you have to solve them for me.

I also ha as part of joining this
company, there was a writing exercise

and it was like a let's it's, it
was just like a persuasive writing

exercise, so that's like another
potential thing that you might see.

So lots of different kinds of interviews.

I think the ones that people get
stuck on are most hung up on are

the live coding ones, though.

And so I would say, yeah, the resources
we've added here should be pretty solid.

Again.

Yeah.

Going back to these communities
too, we've got a bunch of

communities that you can join.

I think this is like sort of a hack to
getting a job is like knowing where to

hang out , where other people are hiring.

So Colin and I both work remotely
and so I think a lot of these are

leaning a little bit more remote.

But yeah there's a ton here.

So what, actually, I don't
know what this top one is.

Rand's Leadership Slack.

What's yeah,

Colin: Yeah, so the Rand's leadership
Slack, I don't remember his background,

but he wrote a book called Managing
Humans the Art of Leadership and the

Software Developer's Career Handbook.

This slack is amazing no matter
what stage you're at, because

there are Slack channels for.

Every level, there's like
director level Slack channels.

There's entry level slack channels,
there's remote jobs channel, there's

specific region jobs channel.

I've been hanging out in a lot of the
staff engineering ones just because I'm

heading that way on my ladder and just
being around the community of people and

seeing what things people are posting.

But what's nice is that like the quality.

of job posts of opportunities or even
an opportunity, again, like I said,

like just offering advice to people.

They might then reach out later when
they're looking for somebody to hire.

And so it's one that, there's so many
channels I would not advise joining.

All of them like I'm in like a running
channel and then a bunch of staff ones,

I'm in a Dungeons and Dragons channel.

There's literally, it's just lots of
very leadership minded people in there.

Highly recommend there's a, we'll
put a link in the show notes

with how to get invited to that.

And then there's a bunch of reverse
job boards where instead of a job.

Being posted, you're being posted and
or being sent out to a list of companies,

that are paying to have access to that.

Rails.

devs.com is one that I'm blanking
on his name right now, but he's

very involved in the rails world.

CJ: Joe Masilotti?

Colin: is.

Yeah, Joe.

And so I think a lot of rail devs
specifically, so it's like a very niche

job board where it's rails specific,
but there are probably things like data

scientist ones and you know, whatever
insert job that you're looking for there.

CJ: Totally.

Yeah.

And then we've got remote.

Okay.

This one is like a bigger grab
bag of different kinds of roles

that are all remote roles.

This was a place where we
found a lot of potential.

openings for Nicole when she
was looking for a remote job.

So that is, is really cool.

And I think this might be based on
the same folks as the nomad list,

which is okay, you can work and
live anywhere you want in the world.

And so this was like the
job board version of that.

We work remotely.com, another great one.

And.

The Hacker News on the first of
every single month, there is a

who's hiring post, and you'll just
see like tons of threads of okay,

here's my company I'm hiring.

It's, you know, we're remote friendly
or we're not remote friendly and

this is what we're looking for.

But also the Y Combinator.

Y Combinator has their own job
board for any of the YC companies.

So if you go to y combinator.com/jobs,
there is listings for all of the

different YC companies that are hiring.

This is definitely one of the
places I would go because when

you're looking to get a job at a
small startup It can be really fun.

You can learn a ton, you can
wear lots of different hats.

You can, you know, enjoy the
scrappiness of a small team.

And one of the things that you wanna
make sure of though is that your company

is somewhat vetted, like the startup is
somewhat vetted and why Combinator is,

you know, a well respected incubator.

And so they're gonna do
some of that vetting for you.

I've also used.

seeddb.com, which is basically just
like a giant database of all the

companies that have had funding.

And so you can it's not just Y
Combinator, but also Techstars

and all the different startups.

So you can go down all the accelerators
and look at all the companies that

they've invested in, maybe can sort
by like when they were founded and

how much funding they have, and
then check out their job boards.

So that's like another great way
to just go and find like tons

and tons of companies to apply.

Colin: Absolutely.

Yeah, we didn't talk about it much, but
I would say this falls under the doing

the research of the company, right?

Because even on the who's hiring
Hacker News, you'll sometimes find

these companies that are one person,
sometimes an I, you know, a business

person who wants to hire for equity
with a little bit of money on the side,

and it's like really depends on where
you're at in your stage of life and

how much of a gamble you want to take.

But having.

Companies that have just come out of
YC or have just raised around, it means

that some other people have said, yes,
there's some sort of traction, something's

going on here that, signals that it's,
this is, maybe a place you can go hang

your hat for a while especially in
the early days, you might actually be

one of those founding engineers on a
team that turns into the future stripe.

Things like that.

So it really depend.

Where you're at in your career also
might depend on your kind of personality.

Do you wanna be in a startup?

Do you wanna be at a Microsoft GitHub?

Whatever that looks like.

So yeah, hopefully those will help you
out in, if you're looking to get hired.

Some tips, some tricks, some
places to, to get started.

CJ: Totally.

Yeah.

And I think also, like if you are
having a hard time getting through

to that first phone screen.

I'd be down to look at your
resume and your like, website

and social profile and stuff.

Yeah, feel free to hit us up on Twitter.

Colin: Absolutely happy to do it the same.

So thanks for listening this week.

Next week we're gonna be talking
about the other side of the table and

what it looks like to hire people.

So maybe you're a developer
that's been doing some of the

interviews and some of the hiring.

We'll talk about that a little bit.

And as always, you can head over to
build and learn.dev to check out all

of our links so you can reach out
if you want us to review anything.

Maybe one day we'll get like a Discord
community together or something so that

we can have yet another place people
can hang out and get jobs and things.

But yeah.

CJ: All right.

That's all for this episode, folks.

Thanks again.

We'll see you next time.

Colin: See ya.

View episode details


Creators and Guests

CJ Avilla
Host
CJ Avilla
Developer Advocate @StripeDev. Veteran. 📽 https://t.co/2UI0oEAnFK. Building with Ruby, Rails, JavaScript
Colin Loretz
Host
Colin Loretz
I like to build software and communities. Building software at @orbitmodel 🪐 Coworking at @renocollective 🎙Sharing software learnings on @buildandlearn_

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