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Love Stole the Day
Nov 4, 2012


TooMuchAbstraction posted:

I'd characterize this thread as being 50% life advice and 50% venting / sharing life experiences. Not every post has to be helpful to some hypothetical average reader.

Agreed. Also here's another:

Lifelong hobbyist modder and scripter here. Pretty much all of my programming achievements are in the context of making stuff for PC games. Past few years, been trying to transition to a career in doing programming because Software Engineering is supposed to be one of the top paying jobs under the Sun right now. Been devouring book after book. Couple hundred applications later, though... it's all one big black hole: resume goes in, nothing comes out. Paid for that goon resume service in SA Mart, but it never lead to any interviews.

Got coffee with a data guy who works for Facebook. His opinion was that despite all of my effort to follow the advice I'd read up to that point (e.g. read a book about algorithms, do a bunch of those programming challenge puzzles), my best shot is to just try applying for only game dev jobs and that I should specialize. Also try changing X, Y, and Z on the resume. Maybe rearrange this and that. Since the Unreal Engine had recently come out as 'free' to use a la Unity I decided to specialize in that. Book after book. Every tutorial I could find. Game jam after game jam. Nowadays I'm usually the most experienced guy on my team in game jams and I'm helping new people all of the time improve with it. Still, though... it's a black hole.

Got coffee with a millionaire, self-employed guy who also works at Stripe. His opinion was that I should try getting into web dev because right now that industry is relatively easier to get into. So I dove into that. Did a data analysis thing on a bunch of job advertisements to see what technologies were the most in demand and invested time into trying to specialize in using those things. Book after book. Every tutorial I could find. Made a couple of small things nobody cares about to demonstrate that I know a little bit about X, Y, and Z. Once again, though... a black hole.

Talked to some hiring manager goons and employed goons in the industry. Showed them my resume. They said it was fine and if it was on their desk they'd at least give me a call. Maybe try changing X, Y, and Z? Also maybe try rearranging this and that. Tried using the revised stuff to apply... still a black hole.

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Love Stole the Day
Nov 4, 2012



Thank you for your thoughts. When you say "proof of work, not proof of learning", do you think that the lack of responses implies whatever work I have done probably just isn't good enough?

As for finding startups which are hard-up for engineers or desperate enough to take a risk... where do you find those, exactly? How do you identify if a company is like that? Because I can look on a random job site for job titles at companies whose name I don't recognize, but I have no way of knowing how badly they're looking for people.




I actually keep a tally on a post-it note of how many jobs I apply to each year, how many interviews/callbacks I get, and how many offers I get. Starting next year, though, I'll probably make this into an Excel sheet so that I can keep track of the company names for situations like responding to posts like yours here. I'm pretty sure that all but maybe 2 or 3 of the jobs I've applied to so far this year, at least, have been at small firms. And by small firms, I mean companies whose name I don't recognize and aren't publicly traded. I don't know of any other way to define that.

As for networking with people at smaller companies, the people who I described in my post were a (friend of a)^4 and a guy who explicitly said "hey, i'll meet irl with anybody who sends me an e-mail." I don't really know how it's possible to meet and talk to people in smaller companies especially when I don't know anybody in common with them.

As for web dev meetups, I know that there is a thing for that Go language in my city, but when I went around looking for which technologies to learn as I described in my previous post I'm pretty sure I never saw Go mentioned anywhere. So I hadn't even considered it. As far as I can tell, that's about it in terms of local meetup groups. Am I wrong about this?

There's also an annual Unreal dev convention every year in my city, but despite trying to go there every year for the past 3 years it always somehow ends up being announced on the same day that the GF and I are leaving on a vacation that had been planned months before the event dates were announced. They always seem to schedule it during the big holiday breaks in this country.

As for the "move for/work remotely" part, you've probably hit the nail on the head there I'd imagine. Moved overseas after University because it was the only job I could get back after graduation in '10. Part of trying to transition to this career involves repatriation or otherwise settling in yet another country. It's not feasible to just go back to the US and sit around in some Motel looking for a job there because the cost of living whilst looking for a job is much higher.




It made sense at the time, though: all of my programming achievements have been in the context of creating stuff for PC games... so if I'm going to get a programming job, I'd most likely be able to get something related to what I've already done, right? But then I wonder how people who do more niche programming stuff (NLP, CV, Blockchain) get their feet in the door, so to speak, if that's really how this is supposed to work.




Thanks so much for your point-by-point advice. Tried looking up the USDS in the US on the USAJobs.gov site but unfortunately I don't see any openings there.

As for revising the resume further to word things in a better way, isn't that kind of what I've been going through all of this time? Every time I reach out and get advice, it always makes sense when they explain their reasoning but it never seems to have any effect on my actual results. Sometimes the advice is even contradictory.

As described in my previous post, my Web Dev stuff isn't anywhere near as plentiful and so I'm sure my latest CV iteration for web stuff definitely won't have anything to be impressed about because like I said, most of my programming achievements are related to modding and scripting and whatnot for games. I'll try to send you something soon, though.

Love Stole the Day
Nov 4, 2012


Re: $$$
A relevant comment on HN:

quote:

As a general rule, the people getting outlandish half-mil-a-year offers from big tech companies are domain experts, and the people on Twitter shocked and upset that they're never seeing these offers are either (a) generalists or (b) people who have chosen to specialize on the craft of programming, rather than a domain to which programming can be applied.

Love Stole the Day
Nov 4, 2012


minato posted:

I was in awe of some of the engineers I worked with. But over time I realized they were far from perfect either. The one-man-SWAT-team guy who could debug and fix any breaking system in record time also wrote the most atrocious code and tested everything in prod. The guy who wrote long complex bash scripts using all manner of esoteric bash features did that because he'd never bothered to learn Python. The self-taught genius who was an oracle of knowledge about every language never delivered on anything.

(The rare engineers who seemed to be great at everything often turned out to be socially awkward or obnoxious)

Ultimately I found that it was unhealthy to be comparing myself to everyone else. I'd wanted to know what was "normal" to check that I was at least reaching that level, but I couldn't get a grasp on it. People just have strengths and weaknesses, end of story. It's better to self-assess and work on improving yourself than to be anxious that you're not comparable to a "superhuman" engineer.

Your post rings really true for me. I had a loosely similar experience, but in a very different context: growing up and getting involved in the modding and scripting communities for all of the various games that I had played over the years.

My problem, in hindsight, was that I looked up to absolutely everybody around me in whatever community/chatroom I found myself because I was always the youngest person there. I had felt like everybody around me were 20 and 30-somethings who were way better at this stuff than I'll ever be. So when I'd show something that I had made, there'd always be a few people looking down their noses and making off-hand comments like, "Ugh your scripting is poo poo, get off my lawn. You made this with X language/library/technique? Rofl, Y language/library/technique is way better. Do you not even know what [__programming concept__] is?" you can bet that young, impressionable me would take the feedback super duper seriously like Bill Gates just gave me career advice and so I'd just drop everything to go try and re-learn how to do the exact same poo poo but now in that new language or library flavor-of-the-month bullshit. Then I'd come back with the new thing, someone else would give the same "feedback", and of course young, impressionable me would start running another lap all over again.

In hindsight those people were a bunch of obnoxious assholes but they had childhood me running in circles for years. I didn't know anybody who did programming/computer stuff irl at all where I grew up (i.e. rural suburb, where anything computer-related is just goofy nerd poo poo) and so I looked up in awe at anybody I met online who pretended to know stuff about it. It wasn't until one particularly bad incident with a guy in one modding community who was really mad that I had fixed an important bug for a popular mod that he had made in the past but was being lazy about fixing that I sort of broke out of the spell and realized what kind of people I had been actually looking up to for all of these years. It's one of those "wish I had a time machine" situations.

Then in University, which was the first time I had ever met anyone irl who knew anything about programming, they wouldn't even consider giving me any placement credit. I took their "CS 1" course and felt like they were teaching me how to bang rocks together whilst somehow managing to be smug assholes about it, so I never even considered CS as a major and just chose Math instead. Then when I graduate, I apply for programming jobs... but it's 2010, there are no entry-level jobs for recent graduates, and every relevant job advertisement has "CS major" in the requirements. Welp, looks like it'll never happen. It's only now, years later, that I'm trying to give it another go.

If I could go back and do it again, I would just ignore that entire scripting/modding scene altogether and just focus on making lovely software with one particular language or library without ever looking back. I would probably have been way better off.

Welp, that's my wall of text. Thanks for reading!

Love Stole the Day
Nov 4, 2012


baquerd posted:

GWH, you're on your way to Goon_in_a_well.txt. Take the rope ladder that's being lowered to you by HR.

They had one of those in the Navy thread in the GIP board a couple of weeks ago, it was one of the best few pages I've ever read on this forum, pissing and everything. Your post reminded me of it.

Love Stole the Day
Nov 4, 2012


Is November hiring season or something for this tech industry? Because after many months of being black hole'd I got two interviews off of random LinkedIn messages. Both went past initial and second interviews but fell apart between the interviewing and the offer. Was also my first tech interview -- they were a lot easier than I thought they'd be! Although I imagine for big companies they'd make you do that hard stuff that I keep reading about.

Back to the black hole, though. It's really strange that my only responses came from when they initiated the contact with me via LinkedIn. It makes me feel like I should just stop applying and invest that time and effort into make my LinkedIn more appealing to recruiters instead.

Love Stole the Day
Nov 4, 2012


Here is how trying to change careers to the tech industry went in 2017 for me...
  • # Job applications filled out: 80
  • # Interviews: 4
  • # Offers: 2

(both were only verbal, both were very much below the average salary for the region, and both of them fell through shortly after the offer)



edit-- this year I will try to keep track of the company names and titles I apply for as well.

Love Stole the Day fucked around with this message at Jan 3, 2018 around 04:33

Love Stole the Day
Nov 4, 2012


The more I apply for these tech jobs and get Black Hole'd, the more I feel like the only way I'll find a tech job is if I create it for myself (i.e. entrepreneurship). The entrepreneurship books I've looked at read more like self-help books than anything else, though, and Indie Hackers seems full of confirmation bias.

Love Stole the Day
Nov 4, 2012


Sometimes commiserating is just as useful as trying to find solutions.

edit -- i wrote a bunch of that would probably have been better posted in e/n or whatever so nvm

Love Stole the Day fucked around with this message at Jan 6, 2018 around 16:28

Love Stole the Day
Nov 4, 2012


kitten smoothie posted:

This, because SF/NYC money with St Louis cost of living.

At this point I've priced myself into a situation where I work remote or I take a $40-$50K pay cut.

I read in this book last year that the only way to have steady work when becoming a freelancer is to already have a reputation when you go into it so that there are already people there willing and able to work with you at the prices that you want. Is this true for your situation? How did you come across your first 10 or so clients or whatever? Did you start with a super low fee just to get work and then increase it as your network grew, or did you maybe start with a high fee because your initial few clients already knew you well enough through word of mouth somehow?

Love Stole the Day
Nov 4, 2012


HardDiskD posted:

)])))))))))

Sorry, I'm not hip enough to get this joke. Can someone explain?

Love Stole the Day
Nov 4, 2012


vonnegutt posted:

I've usually heard to create an LLC for independent contractors. What's the advantage of an S-corp vs an LLC?

S-corp is what you want to do when you want to eventually sell your company. The difference is in how the enterprise value is calculated (because of a slight tax difference), which is relevant for mergers and acquisitions.

Source: I read a bunch of entrepreneur books last year along with all of the programming books and video courses.

Love Stole the Day
Nov 4, 2012


ultrafilter posted:

They'll hire anyone who can pass their coding interviews.

Love Stole the Day
Nov 4, 2012


The March Hare posted:

I'm (and this part is critical) doing it in my spare time while earning (again, critical, earning > paying) more than twice that number of dollars by doing the job I would be doing anyway if I had the degree.

All of my envy

Love Stole the Day
Nov 4, 2012


I for one am empathetic to Pollyana's predicament because I know how it feels to be abused by particularly nasty bosses or coworkers.

Just wanted to add at least one post here that isn't harsh or critical since everyone here is taking a position on the matter.

Love Stole the Day
Nov 4, 2012


The Fool posted:

I'm going to get a 100% remote job and then move to a 3rd world country so I can live like a literal king.

Did this for a while. It's pretty nice if you have the personality for it. A lot of people burn out or get cynical over the years due to language barriers. It comes and goes in phases.


edit-- vvvvv will PM

Love Stole the Day fucked around with this message at Jan 31, 2018 around 01:53

Love Stole the Day
Nov 4, 2012


I worry that this thread is drifting toward D&D, so here's an attempt to re-rail the thread:

15 applications this month. Got two callbacks and interviews. Just like with the previous month (Dec '17), there seems to be a trend where all of the jobs where I actually manually apply myself just go into a Black Hole™. All of my 4 interviews over the past 12 months have been as a result of random recruiters messaging me on LinkedIn asking for a resume and when I'm available for an interview. Of those 4 interviews, only 2 of them were with recruiters, one of which escalated to a second and third interview with people at the actual company. The other two were immediately with company people from the get-go.

This trend makes me think that I should just stop applying for jobs altogether and instead just improve my LinkedIn profile to be more of a honey trap for recruiters because that seems to be the only thing that actually yields any results.

Love Stole the Day
Nov 4, 2012


Jaded Burnout posted:

I'm sorry to hear you're still having this issue. Is it the same when you apply to a recruiter proactively or is it just when you're applying to the employer directly?
Applying to a recruiter proactively seems to be the default method of applying when you do it through LinkedIn, which has been where I've been finding things to apply to for the past few months. There doesn't seem to be any difference in results between reaching out to recruiters or reaching out to employers.



Good Will Hrunting posted:

Where are you located? You should post your resume and let us look.
Will PM.

Love Stole the Day
Nov 4, 2012



Just to let everybody know, there is also an alternative thing that focuses only on finance parts of the MBA program, is wayyyy cheaper, is entirely self-taught, and is equivalent to a Masters Degree in some countries for visa purposes (e.g. UK, Aus, NZ). It's called the CFA and all you have to do is pass their 3 exams. I passed the 1st one a couple of years ago despite absolutely zero finance background at all and am currently preparing for the 2nd one in my spare time along with working on this programming job stuff. They're pretty hard (~40% pass rate), which is why they're so much cheaper to do compared to the MBA.

Love Stole the Day fucked around with this message at Feb 6, 2018 around 12:31

Love Stole the Day
Nov 4, 2012


Skandranon posted:

Bullies are not like kung-fu masters looking for the ultimate challenge, they are like hyenas looking for easy prey.

qft


On a related note, here's a cool essay I found on HackerNews last year that was written in 1922: https://mikecanex.wordpress.com/201...-accommodating/

Love Stole the Day
Nov 4, 2012


LinkedIn thread seems dead so I'll repost here since this one is alive and well:

A Udemy course I did last year recommended keeping your LinkedIn profile as "on brand" as possible. So if you want a job doing X, then you need everything in there to be all about X and just leave out the unrelated stuff. Include tangentially related stuff, though. What do you guys think about this? Because I won't be applying for only one particular job title or niche. Should I include everything, like a European CV, or should I stick to the advice given and keep it "on brand"?

Also, do you guys keep a "personal projects" part in your experience category where you place Media screenshots, links, and whatnot? Because normally you have to click that down arrow in order to see the links and screenshots but if you put them in the Experience section then it's right there in your face when you scroll down.

Love Stole the Day
Nov 4, 2012


Fun fact: the slang word that women use for husband in Korean is 평남, which literally means "below average"

edit I am below average

Love Stole the Day
Nov 4, 2012


In my goon fan fiction, Blinko is secretly Shirec's boss

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Love Stole the Day
Nov 4, 2012


53 applications for February. 2 responses, no interviews.

Both responses were from LinkedIn. One was for a web development company in Utah. Stayed up until 2am for the phone call but it never came. The other was a recruiter in NYC responding to everybody and using his fake LinkedIn job post as a way to find more candidates for the stuff on his desk.

Job applications were mostly for financial tech companies and game development companies and only a few were for web development companies. Received a bunch of feedback on the resume and job search from people I've reached out to in this and other communities. Most of it is just reassurance that I'm doing the right stuff and it's just a matter of numbers and time.

Got in touch with a goon in Latvia who works for a Data Science company. He was very kind and helpful with laying out the road map for what it would take to get a job in that field. Am wary of adding yet another field to try and learn the ropes of in the hopes of getting interviews, but since none of the other ones are working out anyway it's a question of which prospect appears to have the most potential.

One goon in the SA game development Discord recommended reaching out to previous interviewers to ask what the "mismatch" may have been. Tried it out despite advice saying it's a bad idea and thankfully one person at a game development company was kind enough to respond with this:

quote:

hi no worries ${name_here}, in case it helps I think it was simple a matter of experience level for us. I appreciate your interest, and I'd encourage you to keep learning as much as you can about Unreal in case we have positions open up again in the future.

Naturally, this only feeds into that Gen Y curse mentioned in the OP of this thread (i.e. no job b/c no experience, no experience b/c no job).

Since there was pretty much zero luck with anything for February, the current plan is to just stop applying for things for this coming month of March and instead try to spend all of my non-studying productive time on polishing my projects more and finding repos on Github where I can maybe contribute and therefore have things with name brand recognition in the Experience section. The idea being that seeing a name brand repo or whatever would give someone looking at the resume more of a reason to want to schedule an interview. The trend of only ever getting interviews from recruiters cold calling via LinkedIn to ask directly for one seems to be the norm, so improving the LinkedIn profile seems to show the greatest results over anything else.

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