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Skandranon
Sep 6, 2008
fucking stupid, dont listen to me

Loutre posted:

Here's a new one for me: my video interview went so well I have to take a new test and more interviews for a senior level position instead.

I'm at 4 years experience, and would be senior level amongst a team of mid-levels who nearly all have more years than me. My understanding of senior level is a greater focus on mentoring, design decisions, and business partner engagement, which I'm comfortable with.

The last test I took from them was half C#, for a position that's entirely in SQL, and I had to bullshit half my answers. I really hope that bombing a senior level test won't preclude me from the original, mid-level position. Anyone had this happen before, or have any tips for prep for a higher level position like this? I appreciated the advice on my last interview.

I guess it depends how you bomb it... but probably not. They like something about you. Make a good effort. It's entirely possible to not fully answer any of the questions and they still make an offer, they're more looking to see how you solve problems, and you don't find that out by giving people easy problems.

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Ghost of Reagan Past
Oct 7, 2003

rock and roll fun


Take-home for a job that sounds worse and worse: build a classifier for a problem (fine) that we don't give you a data set for (not fine, but not a deal-breaker) but will suggest you use a similar data set and scale it (definitely not fine) and, oh, by the way, deploy it as an API on a cloud server, you're paying (hmm...).

None of this is particularly difficult or time-consuming but it's all raising alarms. Should I be worried and just call it off? After I asked the guy for the data set he said "it's part of the assignment, I would suggest starting with [SIMILAR DATA SET] and see what results you come up with," I almost replied that I wasn't interested in continuing with the process -- because if their concern is that you can't plagiarize the code, they've done nothing to stop that, and if their concern is that you use a data set you've never touched before, this is also a data set basically everyone's worked with. And because I know the data set and the scaling dimensions, I know that it would produce awful results, and I'm unwilling to track down or construct a data set for this task.

Should I just spend an evening or two doing the task and pay for the server (jesus that's awful, though it's not a financial burden at all) or just back out? Not sure where this stands in the "bad job ahoy" camp--there's like 2 data scientists and 2 engineers, I'd be the third data scientist.

Ghost of Reagan Past fucked around with this message at Feb 3, 2018 around 02:58

TooMuchAbstraction
Oct 14, 2012

My fingers are set to vibrate


No, gently caress 'em, if they can't be professional to their candidates then they sure won't be professional to their employees. You don't want to get involved with an outfit like that, so early.

ultrafilter
Aug 23, 2007

It is time for your viscera to see the light of day!

That's ridiculous. Be sure to explain why you're turning them down.

Ghost of Reagan Past
Oct 7, 2003

rock and roll fun


I figured it sounded stupid but I haven't job hunted in a while .

As a data scientist that task makes me shudder even if it's extremely straightforward and simple, but the whole thing together struck me as totally ridiculous.

I've got a pretty good job where pay's the only sticking point, so I can definitely hold out -- I once interviewed for a position that wanted to pay me less than what I get paid now because I lack experience, which was pretty funny, and the recruiter got mad because I was looking for more money than I was worth; itself funny, because I'm underpaid for NYC.

Ghost of Reagan Past fucked around with this message at Feb 3, 2018 around 03:10

Good Will Hrunting
Oct 8, 2012

Fly on these secondhand wings
Willing to find out
What impossible means
I'll climb through the ladder
On feathers and dreams


That sounds on par in terms of complexity with my take home assignments in NYC though I'm not a data scientist. Are you looking in NYC at the moment? Might have a few DS leads...

Ghost of Reagan Past
Oct 7, 2003

rock and roll fun


Good Will Hrunting posted:

That sounds on par in terms of complexity with my take home assignments in NYC though I'm not a data scientist. Are you looking in NYC at the moment? Might have a few DS leads...
The thing is, the code wouldn't be all that complicated or difficult to write. Probably around 50 lines of bog-standard boilerplate Python plus some HTML and Javascript. It's the poorly designed classification task plus running it on a server that I pay for somewhere that bugs me. Also, I totally forgot about the front end component until now--gotta be able to upload files!

This is basically the MVP for a reasonably complex product (though the classifier is hella stupid).

Not doing this, it's too much for a loving take-home assignment.

I don't have PMs now but I'll send you a PM sometime next week once I buy them .

Ghost of Reagan Past fucked around with this message at Feb 3, 2018 around 04:20

Che Delilas
Nov 23, 2009
FREE TIBET WEED

Welcome to SketchyCo, Ghost of Reagan Past. Here's your work area. You may notice that it's an empty section of concrete floor in the middle of a warehouse. We're going to need you to purchase your desk, chair and computer from the company store. You don't have any SketchyCo scrip yet? Don't worry you can apply for an advance at a remarkably low 10% interest rate!

You'll also need to rent the space in the warehouse, as well as power and internet bandwidth. Don't worry, you can use scrip for everything. So convenient!

Pollyanna
Mar 5, 2005

Milk's on them.


Well obviously you should take the job because you need the job you fuckin' loser. Duh. Duhhhhh. ddddduuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

Blinkz0rz
May 27, 2001

MY CONTEMPT FOR MY OWN EMPLOYEES IS ONLY MATCHED BY MY LOVE FOR TOM BRADY'S SWEATY MAGA BALLS

Pollyanna posted:

I don't actually know anything about the field but damned if I don't have an opinion that's not based in any kind of fact because I, Pollyanna, am extremely knowledgeable about the software industry with my 2.? years of on and off employment across ?? employers.

Pollyanna
Mar 5, 2005

Milk's on them.


Hey at least I'm learning.

Blinkz0rz
May 27, 2001

MY CONTEMPT FOR MY OWN EMPLOYEES IS ONLY MATCHED BY MY LOVE FOR TOM BRADY'S SWEATY MAGA BALLS

Are you though?

Pollyanna
Mar 5, 2005

Milk's on them.


Slowly? Maybe? gently caress, fine, let’s recap:

- Wanted to leave 1st job of ~10mo because manager was a sexist jerk and I wasn’t taken seriously, then told to go find a new job after two junior engineer l-level mistakes
- Left 2nd job of 2yrs because management and executives changed organization so drastically and laid off so many for such bullshit reasons that they alienated the remaining engineers and we all left, plus 3rd job offered better salary and remote work
- Let go from 3rd, remote+cross-coast job (that I honestly did not enjoy) for vague culture-fit-related reasons after 2 months

Can you seriously look at that and say that I, specifically, am a fuckup? Instead of maybe having a string of okay-to-bad workplaces? Is it really so hard to believe that I am not the problem here?

You know what, this is stupid. Relitigating my career every time I post is irritating for everyone involved. We ought to be better than that.

CPColin
Sep 9, 2003

Big ol' smile.

Grimey Drawer

Blinkz0rz posted:

Are you [learning] though?

Pollyanna posted:

Well obviously you should take the job because you need the job you fuckin' loser. Duh. Duhhhhh. ddddduuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

Sounds like a learnèd programmer to me!

B-Nasty
May 25, 2005



Pollyanna posted:

every time I post is irritating for everyone involved

Sounds about right.

I'm actually kidding... mostly. It's not schadenfreude exactly, but I do feel somewhat better about the places I work after hearing your horror stories.

Pollyanna
Mar 5, 2005

Milk's on them.


A lovely job is worse than no job if all it ends up doing is making you feel bad. That's all I'm saying.

B-Nasty posted:

Sounds about right.

I'm actually kidding... mostly. It's not schadenfreude exactly, but I do feel somewhat better about the places I work after hearing your horror stories.

Good Will Hrunting
Oct 8, 2012

Fly on these secondhand wings
Willing to find out
What impossible means
I'll climb through the ladder
On feathers and dreams


Pollyanna posted:

A lovely job is worse than no

Incorrect, we feed the capitalist machine at every cost in this thread.

Blinkz0rz
May 27, 2001

MY CONTEMPT FOR MY OWN EMPLOYEES IS ONLY MATCHED BY MY LOVE FOR TOM BRADY'S SWEATY MAGA BALLS

Pollyanna posted:

Slowly? Maybe? gently caress, fine, let’s recap:

- Wanted to leave 1st job of ~10mo because manager was a sexist jerk and I wasn’t taken seriously, then told to go find a new job after two junior engineer l-level mistakes
- Left 2nd job of 2yrs because management and executives changed organization so drastically and laid off so many for such bullshit reasons that they alienated the remaining engineers and we all left, plus 3rd job offered better salary and remote work
- Let go from 3rd, remote+cross-coast job (that I honestly did not enjoy) for vague culture-fit-related reasons after 2 months

Can you seriously look at that and say that I, specifically, am a fuckup? Instead of maybe having a string of okay-to-bad workplaces? Is it really so hard to believe that I am not the problem here?

You know what, this is stupid. Relitigating my career every time I post is irritating for everyone involved. We ought to be better than that.

So in about 3 years what have you actually learned?

More specifically what have you learned about edtech such that you had the reaction you did up-thread?

You're full of judgement for parts or the industry that you don't know anything about then fall back on lovely startup jobs that you have a bad time at.

Maybe try something new instead of repeating what you've already done unsuccessfully.

Blinkz0rz
May 27, 2001

MY CONTEMPT FOR MY OWN EMPLOYEES IS ONLY MATCHED BY MY LOVE FOR TOM BRADY'S SWEATY MAGA BALLS

Good Will Hrunting posted:

Incorrect, we feed the capitalist machine at every cost in this thread.

Feel free to opt out but until we have the glorious socialist revolution you're kind of trapped. Try to make the best of it!

Munkeymon
Aug 14, 2003

Motherfucker's got an
armor-piercing crowbar! Rigoddamndicu𝜆ous.



Pillbug

Ghost of Reagan Past posted:

running it on a server that I pay for somewhere that bugs me.

Other weirdness around the take-home test stuff notwithstanding, I'm reasonably certain you could could get enough hosting for free to not have to pay anything. AppEngine, Cloud9 and possibly Heroku would be good to check out.

Mniot
May 22, 2003
Not the one you know

How about some salarychat: I'm in the Boston area, making $180k base and okay benefits, as a back-end programmer. I've been in the industry ~10 years.

When I was job-hunting ~4 years ago, it seemed like all my offers were fairly comparable. I might get $140k or $120k but I'd be able to push that up to about the same number. Now it seems like my offer range is $130k - 200k and I'm less confident with the conversation "you think I'm worth 130, but let me suggest that you're off by 1.5x." Is this a sign that I'm not being picky enough in where I apply, or that I should be giving a salary figure to them instead of waiting for them to low-ball me?

Second, I've been interested in moving into a management role. As far as salary goes, what should I expect there? Something equivalent to what I'd make as an IC? Or more? (Or less?)

Pollyanna
Mar 5, 2005

Milk's on them.


Blinkz0rz posted:

So in about 3 years what have you actually learned?

More specifically what have you learned about edtech such that you had the reaction you did up-thread?

You're full of judgement for parts or the industry that you don't know anything about then fall back on lovely startup jobs that you have a bad time at.

Maybe try something new instead of repeating what you've already done unsuccessfully.

Like I said, I've heard a lot about edtech being a grift machine. NPR ran an article and a piece on it. I also am just not convinced about it from a personal point of view, that and reviews for edtech companies on Glassdoor are typically -quality.

I've had a poor experience, and I don't mean to cast judgment on the entire industry, but I've just become very suspicious and guarded as a result. I understand that not everything is like that, but...

And I feel like I haven't learned poo poo in 3 and a half years. I haven't suddenly become integral to anyone's success, I haven't had any technical epiphanies or published any whitepapers or anything. I understand that it takes time, but I feel like I should be further along than this, right?

As for trying something new, I am actually considering going back to school and getting a Masters in a deeper discipline like machine learning or AI or something, or maybe even getting a CS Bachelors. This is because I'm not entirely sure how career progression works in this industry, and what I need to do in order to "get good". From what I understand it's a matter of just keeping at it and learning as you go, but my parents aren't happy with that answer and they kind of have a point in that without an advanced degree a lot of long-term opportunities are closed to me. That said, I can't really justify getting further education without being genuinely motivated to do it, and right now I don't really feel the need to do a Masters or something.

Mniot
May 22, 2003
Not the one you know

Munkeymon posted:

Other weirdness around the take-home test stuff notwithstanding, I'm reasonably certain you could could get enough hosting for free to not have to pay anything. AppEngine, Cloud9 and possibly Heroku would be good to check out.

Or you could troll around https://lowendbox.com/ and find a VPS for $3/year. The cost of hosting isn't a big deal, treating candidates like poo poo is.

Like, if they ask you to spend a lot of time on a take-home assignment, that's bad. But if it's a start-up or little company with nobody who understands computers (like where CPColin seems to be?) then you could give them a pass -- maybe they don't understand how long the assignment takes and they're hiring someone who will be able to set them straight (I wouldn't recommend it, but maybe they seem worth it).

But obviously they know that hosting costs money. So this is like places that don't reimburse you for travel to their interview -- they're selecting for candidates who don't understand which direction the money is supposed to move.

It's also a bad test design, because why do they care about Ghost's ability to buy server time? OTOH, if it was an ops role, it would be pretty cool to say, "here's some code and instructions on getting it running. Here's $200. When you've stood up the code, we'll connect with a client and you can tell us how the app performs."

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

Pollyanna posted:

I haven't had any technical epiphanies or published any whitepapers or anything.
Is this actually what you want?

Pollyanna
Mar 5, 2005

Milk's on them.


Star War Sex Parrot posted:

Is this actually what you want?

I'm not dying for a whitepaper specifically, but it would be good proof that I've advanced in my career. And I think technical epiphanies should come with working on something challenging, right?

And I know that I obsess too much over trying to build a career and making sure that I have long-term prospects and all that, yes, I know. I just get poo poo for it from my parents, who are doctors and are utterly terrified that working at startups and changing jobs every few years means that I don't have a future, so keep in mind that I gotta deal with them.

It's entirely possible and actually rather likely that I have a very warped point of view on this.

Pollyanna fucked around with this message at Feb 5, 2018 around 14:18

Mniot
May 22, 2003
Not the one you know

Pollyanna posted:

Like I said, I've heard a lot about edtech being a grift machine. NPR ran an article and a piece on it. I also am just not convinced about it from a personal point of view, that and reviews for edtech companies on Glassdoor are typically -quality.

I've had a poor experience, and I don't mean to cast judgment on the entire industry, but I've just become very suspicious and guarded as a result. I understand that not everything is like that, but...

Some of the poo poo you're getting is because you go "edtech?? No thanks!!" which comes off as ignorant. I think you'd get more sympathy if you were like "I got an interview request from Blackboard, but that was the worst part of school so I said 'no'". Or "I went for an interview with this e-learning company, but they showed me the product and it actually crashed 4 times during a 2 minute demo and they seemed to think that was normal."

Even when you aren't into a company, interview skills are the skills you need most for getting a job. I would be taking every single interview I could get, just for the practice. Like, I have no interest in adtech. But if I was out of work I'd at least try to get a job-offer from an adtech company. Practice the interview, practice the salary negotiation, get an idea of what's a good number. If I got lucky I'd get an interview with a company that I wanted to work for and then I could push them along: "I'm also talking with HubSpot and just wrapped up my last interview with them. I think it went really well. When do you think you'll be able to make a decision?"

quote:

And I feel like I haven't learned poo poo in 3 and a half years. I haven't suddenly become integral to anyone's success, I haven't had any technical epiphanies or published any whitepapers or anything. I understand that it takes time, but I feel like I should be further along than this, right?

Lol, no.

At my office, we just hired a senior dev. He fixed a couple minor UI bugs that we were planning to leave in the release because we didn't have time to fix them. Also he tracked down a difficult bug but got the fix wrong. He's earned his keep.

Part of interview skills is learning how to brag about your accomplishments correctly. Talk through your resume with a friend and get them to help you frame the things you've done so they sound appropriately impressive. (For a junior dev, they should not sound too impressive.)

quote:

without an advanced degree a lot of long-term opportunities are closed to me.

As far as CS goes, I can't think of any long-term opportunities that need an advanced degree. Except for "being a tenured college professor". I missed that one too.

Munkeymon
Aug 14, 2003

Motherfucker's got an
armor-piercing crowbar! Rigoddamndicu𝜆ous.



Pillbug

Mniot posted:

But obviously they know that hosting costs money.

I'm just trying to point out that it really doesn't if all you need is a POC toy thing to prove you're not totally incapable of making a thing that works. If they're gonna do that for the test they should really do the legwork for the candidate and maybe provide a skeleton project that'll just work on some service with a free tier, so they're still failing in ways that'll filter out qualified candidates, but not by assuming hosting is free.

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

Pollyanna posted:

I'm not dying for a whitepaper specifically, but it would be good proof that I've advanced in my career. And I think technical epiphanies should come with working on something challenging, right?
How have you prepared yourself for an employer to put you into a position to solve these "challenging" (let's say publishable or patentable, but others will define it differently) problems? Why would anyone hire you for that? They're generally not gonna let you learn on the job for that sort of stuff. You have to bring something to the table.

As best as I can recall, you have a BS in BME, an online MS (incomplete?) in Bioinformatics, and 3 years of spotty web-dev experience. I'm not doing this to poo poo on you, just trying to evaluate you from the perspective of a large company (which you've said you want to work for now) solving interesting problems.

What are you doing to work toward these sorts of problems? They're not going to come to you because you're not an expert. Let's put aside the idea of going back for more school right now. What else are you doing to prepare yourself to solve interesting problems? Are you reading white papers in the field you're interested in? Do you know what field you're interested in? If you went to a relevant conference, are you prepared to have a deep conversation about the topic and maybe impress someone enough to hire you?

Your situation isn't hopeless, but at this point I don't know what you want. Maybe you don't know either, which means you're unlikely to get it.

Mniot posted:

As far as CS goes, I can't think of any long-term opportunities that need an advanced degree. Except for "being a tenured college professor".
In Software Engineering, probably not. The ceiling is determined usually by what your capabilities and experience are. In CS, academic barriers still exist for good or bad. Public and private labs (Microsoft Research, etc.) are usually still selective enough to only talk to applicants with PhDs. True, that's a very small segment of the market, but they exist. Those applicants generally know what they want and though don't just stumble into it.

Star War Sex Parrot fucked around with this message at Feb 5, 2018 around 15:02

ultrafilter
Aug 23, 2007

It is time for your viscera to see the light of day!

Pollyanna posted:

without an advanced degree a lot of long-term opportunities are closed to me.

There are a handful of very specialized roles where an advanced degree is by far the easiest way to get in, but there's nothing out there that absolutely requires one. And the vast majority of working software developers have at most a bachelor's, so this really isn't a limiting factor.

Gildiss
Aug 24, 2010

That's downright discourteous. So be it, we'll improvise.


Grimey Drawer

Hmmm, yes. All valid advice... I guess.
But has NPR done an article on it?

Jose Valasquez
Apr 8, 2005

Bzzt Bzzt!

Pollyanna posted:

I'm not dying for a whitepaper specifically, but it would be good proof that I've advanced in my career.
Most developers will never in their lives write a whitepaper.

quote:

utterly terrified that working at startups and changing jobs every few years means that I don't have a future, so keep in mind that I gotta deal with them.
I mean, based on the way you've described your experiences in this thread they may not be wrong for worrying. Working at startups and changing jobs every few years isn't inherently bad, but you seem to be doing it without getting any big wins along the way. I really think that you would benefit from working at a larger established company that has more flexibility to learn on the job. I'm not talking about Google or Facebook, I'm talking about a large company that does its software in house but treats its developers well. It isn't always going to be the most glamorous work, but it's a steady job where you can get actual experience instead of trying to hit the jackpot by finding the one Boston area startup that isn't a complete poo poo show and will hire you. Spend 5 years doing that and get some solid experience and then worry about finding the perfect job at the perfect company when you have more to offer.

Pollyanna
Mar 5, 2005

Milk's on them.


Star War Sex Parrot posted:

How have you prepared yourself for an employer to put you into a position to solve these "challenging" (let's say publishable or patentable, but others will define it differently) problems? Why would anyone hire you for that? They're generally not gonna let you learn on the job for that sort of stuff. You have to bring something to the table.

I basically haven't. I've just worked on what I've been given and never really done a deep dive into anything. That's all on me.

quote:

As best as I can recall, you have a BS in BME, an online MS (incomplete?) in Bioinformatics, and 3 years of spotty web-dev experience. I'm not doing this to poo poo on you, just trying to evaluate you from the perspective of a large company (which you've said you want to work for now) solving interesting problems.

Yes, I am aware of how that looks (also the MS is incomplete). That's part of the reason why my parents have been clamoring for me to finish a Masters in something, believing that big companies use that as a gatekeeping strategy and will not discount me out of hand if I have it.

quote:

What are you doing to work toward these sorts of problems? They're not going to come to you because you're not an expert. Let's put aside the idea of going back for more school right now. What else are you doing to prepare yourself to solve interesting problems? Are you reading white papers in the field you're interested in? Do you know what field you're interested in? If you went to a relevant conference, are you prepared to have a deep conversation about the topic and maybe impress someone enough to hire /you?

I...don't really know what I want to work in, or what I find interesting. I don't have a particular passion or pet subject, and there isn't really anything that I can have a deep conversation about. I don't even know what field I'm interested in. I feel like I should know in order to "have a future" and "have long-term prospects", but I can't really justify that.

quote:

Your situation isn't hopeless, but at this point I don't know what you want. Maybe you don't know either, which means you're unlikely to get it.

Honestly, at this point in life, I just want a steady but engaging job that lets me live well and focus on other parts of my life (building a social life, settling down, chilling). I'm a Type B personality, I don't climb mountains for the hell of it. Maybe in the future I will find something to devote my life to, but if that happens it will come in time and I don't believe I should force it.

quote:

In Software Engineering, probably not. The ceiling is determined usually by what your capabilities and experience are. In CS, academic barriers still exist for good or bad. Public and private labs (Microsoft Research, etc.) are usually still selective enough to only talk to applicants with PhDs. True, that's a very small segment of the market, but they exist. Those applicants generally know what they want and though don't just stumble into it.

That's been my experience as well, I don't think there's a way around building capabilities and experience with a piece of paper. It'd just be a matter of soldiering on and continuing to do a good job, right?

As for CS and academia, that assumes I have a particular passion or interest that I want to hone in on. Right now, I don't have that, so there's really no compelling reason to go for it. I'm a stumbler, I don't think I fit that mold.

ultrafilter posted:

There are a handful of very specialized roles where an advanced degree is by far the easiest way to get in, but there's nothing out there that absolutely requires one. And the vast majority of working software developers have at most a bachelor's, so this really isn't a limiting factor.

The argument I hear from my parents is "the companies that you really want to work for will not select you without a Masters or a PhD", so their response to your point would basically be "the very specialized roles are the only good ones". Which is pretty lovely.

Gildiss posted:

Hmmm, yes. All valid advice... I guess.
But has NPR done an article on it?

brb sending resume to npr

Jose Valasquez posted:

Most developers will never in their lives write a whitepaper.

And that's perfectly fine. We have fulfilling lives without having to write whitepapers. But I've got it in my head that whitepapers somehow equal success.

quote:

I mean, based on the way you've described your experiences in this thread they may not be wrong for worrying. Working at startups and changing jobs every few years isn't inherently bad, but you seem to be doing it without getting any big wins along the way. I really think that you would benefit from working at a larger established company that has more flexibility to learn on the job. I'm not talking about Google or Facebook, I'm talking about a large company that does its software in house but treats its developers well. It isn't always going to be the most glamorous work, but it's a steady job where you can get actual experience instead of trying to hit the jackpot by finding the one Boston area startup that isn't a complete poo poo show and will hire you. Spend 5 years doing that and get some solid experience and then worry about finding the perfect job at the perfect company when you have more to offer.

I guess my question is, what are those "wins" I need to get? What am I trying to do early on in my career to set myself up for success? Write a popular library? Manage a team or project? Become pointperson for a particular system? Just do a good job for a few years? I understand that I need to do something, but I don't know what.

Pollyanna fucked around with this message at Feb 5, 2018 around 15:38

Jose Valasquez
Apr 8, 2005

Bzzt Bzzt!

Pollyanna posted:

I...don't really know what I want to work in, or what I find interesting. I don't have a particular passion or pet subject, and there isn't really anything that I can have a deep conversation about. I don't even know what field I'm interested in. I feel like I should know in order to "have a future" and "have long-term prospects", but I can't really justify that.

This is completely normal. You're only a few years into your career you don't have to know what you want to specialize in.

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.

Mniot posted:

Some of the poo poo you're getting is because you go "edtech?? No thanks!!" which comes off as ignorant. I think you'd get more sympathy if you were like "I got an interview request from Blackboard, but that was the worst part of school so I said 'no'". Or "I went for an interview with this e-learning company, but they showed me the product and it actually crashed 4 times during a 2 minute demo and they seemed to think that was normal."

Even when you aren't into a company, interview skills are the skills you need most for getting a job. I would be taking every single interview I could get, just for the practice. Like, I have no interest in adtech. But if I was out of work I'd at least try to get a job-offer from an adtech company. Practice the interview, practice the salary negotiation, get an idea of what's a good number. If I got lucky I'd get an interview with a company that I wanted to work for and then I could push them along: "I'm also talking with HubSpot and just wrapped up my last interview with them. I think it went really well. When do you think you'll be able to make a decision?"


Lol, no.

At my office, we just hired a senior dev. He fixed a couple minor UI bugs that we were planning to leave in the release because we didn't have time to fix them. Also he tracked down a difficult bug but got the fix wrong. He's earned his keep.

Part of interview skills is learning how to brag about your accomplishments correctly. Talk through your resume with a friend and get them to help you frame the things you've done so they sound appropriately impressive. (For a junior dev, they should not sound too impressive.)


As far as CS goes, I can't think of any long-term opportunities that need an advanced degree. Except for "being a tenured college professor". I missed that one too.

There are a bunch of positions in the defense industry that require a CS/math/physics PhD where you write a bunch of proposals. And positions around those that don’t where you write code. Wouldn’t strongly recommend them though. Unless your goal is actually publishing papers, because they do a lot of that and it’s easier to get one of those than a tenure position.

Jose Valasquez
Apr 8, 2005

Bzzt Bzzt!

Pollyanna posted:

I guess my question is, what are those "wins" I need to get? What am I trying to do early on in my career to set myself up for success? Write a popular library? Manage a team or project? Become pointperson for a particular system? Just do a good job for a few years? I understand that I need to do something, but I don't know what.
Spend time working on a project where you do a good job as a developer and are a better developer when it is done than when you started. Bonus points if the project is successful

mrmcd
Feb 22, 2003



In my experience, CS masters programs are useless, and exist only as cash cows for milking foreign students, or for people with non-technical degrees to get academic cred. PhD programs can be legit but not necessary if you don't want to work in academia or some corporate research labs.

I only have a BS and have been gainfully employed for almost 13 years and no one has ever asked or cared about not having advanced degrees.

Pollyanna
Mar 5, 2005

Milk's on them.


Jose Valasquez posted:

Spend time working on a project where you do a good job as a developer and are a better developer when it is done than when you started. Bonus points if the project is successful

I can do a good job, and whether or not the project is successful is up to the project. What constitutes being a "better developer"? Based on the demands that companies around here are looking for, that can be anything from "can lead a whole team of engineers", "can mentor junior engineers", "can deliver an entire product/project on their own" (that's more of a startup thing), and "can take ownership of an entire codebase quickly" (maybe I misunderstood that one company IDK). I can sort of mentor engineers more junior than I and answer some questions, but I'm nowhere near good enough to lead a team of engineers or deliver a product on my own (that's a hell of a thing), and taking ownership of a codebase takes more time and effort than some places realize.

Good Will Hrunting
Oct 8, 2012

Fly on these secondhand wings
Willing to find out
What impossible means
I'll climb through the ladder
On feathers and dreams


mrmcd posted:

In my experience, CS masters programs are useless, and exist only as cash cows for milking foreign students, or for people with non-technical degrees to get academic cred. PhD programs can be legit but not necessary if you don't want to work in academia or some corporate research labs.

I only have a BS and have been gainfully employed for almost 13 years and no one has ever asked or cared about not having advanced degrees.

i did info systems undergrad and so i did a CS "masters" and it worked out pretty well*

*im paid to write code somehow

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

Jose Valasquez posted:

This is completely normal. You're only a few years into your career you don't have to know what you want to specialize in.
In isolation, yes this is completely fine. Combined with this however...

Pollyanna posted:

I basically haven't. I've just worked on what I've been given and never really done a deep dive into anything. That's all on me.
...she's stuck in a loop. If she's doing nothing to broaden her horizons and discover what she likes, she's unlikely to discover it. Expecting an employer to hand it to her is foolish.

Pollyanna posted:

As for CS and academia, that assumes I have a particular passion or interest that I want to hone in on. Right now, I don't have that, so there's really no compelling reason to go for it. I'm a stumbler, I don't think I fit that mold.
Do not pay for more grad school. This sounds like a recipe for failure.

Pollyanna posted:

The argument I hear from my parents is "the companies that you really want to work for will not select you without a Masters or a PhD", so their response to your point would basically be "the very specialized roles are the only good ones". Which is pretty lovely.
Get a job that pays the bills, and seek therapy.

Pollyanna posted:

But I've got it in my head that whitepapers somehow equal success.
Get a job that pays the bills, and seek therapy.

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Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

mrmcd posted:

In my experience, CS masters programs are useless, and exist only as cash cows for milking foreign students, or for people with non-technical degrees to get academic cred.
This is hyperbole and an over-generalization. Different employers value different things, and lots of people have different backgrounds. Good programs exist and serve a useful purpose for some people.

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