Re: [NYC-rb] Looking for career guidance on bridging the gap...

From: Oliver Azevedo B.
Sent on: Friday, August 9, 2013 12:46 PM
+1 on open source projects. choose one that you can relate to, read the contribution guidelines, and then pick an issue! Diaspora for instance has issues tagged 'newcomer' that are good entry points.

You'll get constant peer reviews, and will dive right into a team dynamic, minus the political overhead that companies always have.

Not to mention it makes for a great portfolio :) Future employers will be able to review your code there, and even your team interactions.




On Fri, Aug 9, 2013 at 11:21 AM, Vietnhi Phuvan <[address removed]> wrote:
I am already a member of this Meetup - In fact, I'll have to talk to the organizer, Adrian, about creating an escalation structure for those who need help. At the moment, he is a one-person show, which means that once he is tied up helping somebody, everybody else has to wait in line until he gets to them - I think I can help take some of the load off him so that I have a better chance to ask him for help when I need it :) Even though I have to make it back to Rails, I can give most a run for the money when it comes to Mongodb and I believe that I am getting at the point where I could take a bite out of somebody's butt in javascript. And that includes node.js :)


From: Karl Baum <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Friday, August 9,[masked]:58 AM

Subject: Re: [NYC-rb] Looking for career guidance on bridging the gap...

If you guys need help with anything, come by hacker hours on Thursdays or Sundays each week.


It's free and a great place to learn from experienced devs and other junior devs in the same boat.  

Sent from my iPhone

On Aug 9, 2013, at 10:41 AM, Vietnhi Phuvan <[address removed]> wrote:

I have had no luck finding someone to pair with let alone someone who is good enough and serious enough to pair with. In default of that, I have been falling back on my personal plan B, the video/reading materials option - The Programmatic Library is great. Michael Hartl's tutorial sucks because it tells again and again how important TDD is and then not only explains nothing about his TDD;s but the also pulls TDD framework after TDD framweork out of his butt with practically no introduction  - I hate the guy. I found a bunch of great videos on TDD and I'll be back at what he calls his "tutorial", though. Unfortunately, I have a couple of things to do first.

In general, if the videos/reading are good, it's almost like having a good pair to work with. Almost. Unfortunately, I have to work with what I have. And yeah, I learn by coding - writing code, tweaking code, making a ton of errors and getting myself into as much trouble as I can (I excel at that part :)) I'd love to work with someone who knows what she is doing. Nothing like watchingt an expert on the job at times.


From: Bojan Simic <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Friday, August 9,[masked]:20 AM
Subject: Re: [NYC-rb] Looking for career guidance on bridging the gap...

Hey Frank,

Here is the top thing that I can recommend.

Join a few open source projects! There are thousands on Github that are always looking for help. Fork a repo and start coding. You'll gain valuable experience. Make sure you keep up with your TDD best practices while doing so. Making meaningful contributions to open source projects is a great resume builder and shows that you're involved in the development community.

As far as getting a dev job in NYC, it seems like there are infinite opportunities out there for all skill levels. Even if you are green, you should be able to find something. Don't get discouraged! Your enthusiasm and eagerness to become a skilled programmer carries a lot of weight. Another important aspect is to know the development language. Read a few books on not only coding but also design patterns, programming methodologies, best practices, etc... They will help you to communicate with your peers during interviews and eventually at the office.

Good luck!

Bojan


On Thu, Aug 8, 2013 at 9:31 PM, Frank <[address removed]> wrote:
Hello Ladies and Gents,

My name is Frank. I'm an aspiring Ruby developer, and I would sincerely appreciate some career guidance. Thank you so very much in advance! I'm proud to be a part of this fantastic community.

Some background: Earlier this year I decided to focus on becoming a full-time web developer. I did some self-teaching, and then tried to get an internship at a dev shop in NYC. I was asked by their lead dev if I could build Kickstarter on my own. "Probably not right now, no." was my honest response (looking back, maybe it should've been "With enough time, sure.").

So, I took a Rails class with Avi Flombaum (who's wonderful btw). I kept on with the self-teaching, and then contacted Obie Fernandez. Long story short, I convinced him to let me apprentice with him while he was in NYC for TechStars. That was a wonderful experience that wrapped up at the end of June.

I now feel stuck though as far as my optimal next step. I'm still fairly green and need to keep working on my Ruby/TDD/Agile skill set, but I'm tired of building my skills in isolation. I want to be a part of a team with some sort of mentorship in place. 

I applied to a shop well known for its pairing and Agile development practices, knowing full well I was probably way under-qualified. Surprisingly, I got an interview. Not surprisingly, I didn't make it past the first round. Here was the feedback that I got:

"Unfortunately, <name removed> felt that, on a technical level, it wasn't quite a good enough match to merit going forward at this time. However, he asked me to strongly encourage you to re-apply in another year or so, if you're still interested and available. He really loved your enthusiasm, and said that, with some more TDD and experience coding in Ruby, you could be a great fit for us.

My Questions:

What are some potential ways for me to bridge this rather large gap? Should I just find whatever job I can, and keep cranking in my spare time until I'm a solid junior dev, or do you think there are opportunities out there for someone who's hungry to learn, hungry to work, and hungry to do things the right way? If the latter, who are some companies you think I should contact?

Also, am I expecting too much in my desire to be a junior guy on a team where mentorship, pairing, Agile, and TDD are business as usual? Or should I expect to take whatever job I can get that's related to programming, and keep patiently honing my craft on my own?

Thank you again!

Best,
Frank




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