Re: [ruby-112] A round up of rails and ruby jobs in around Vancouver

From: Simona B.
Sent on: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 11:44 AM
I don't think this is unique to Rails developers. It's a general problem in Vancouver. I'm working for a .NET startup. The company has been around for a year and half or so. When I got hired, they were desperate for developers so they hired anyone they could find, including quite a few junior developers. 
And some of those junior developers ended up being a great asset to the company. Really talented people that learned super fast and within one year are at the intermediate level. But now, that they have a good team, they've become extremely picky about new hires. They require developers to be intermediate towards senior. So, take our back-end team for example. There are 5 developers: 3 senior and 2 intermediate. Plenty of potential leads to train junior devs. And yet, as Ian said, junior devs are treated as a hot potato. No time to babysit.

It's quite sad to see that developers with little experience but amazing potential just get ignored by companies here. 

Simona

  


On Wed, Apr 9, 2014 at 11:22 AM, Ian MacKinnon <[address removed]> wrote:
"we don’t yet have enough senior devs to bring on juniors"

Forgive me; but bullshit. Unbounce is know in the community as one of the worst perpetrators of requiring a level of experience that they don't train people up to. Given the amount of effort that the company puts into recruiting and that ridiculous 10k referral bonus (which, I wonder, if has ever actually been given out), the inability to balance product milestones with training ones becomes a red flag. I know first-year startups that take on Junior devs so I can't believe a company that large can't figure it out. This is a problem that every company in every industry has to deal with. I guess it's just easier to open a new office than turn intermediate devs into senior ones: (http://www.techvibes.com/blog/unbounce-lands-office-in-montreal-2014-03-07).

Don't mean for any of this to be directed at you, but I don't like companies that treat junior developers like a hot potato then complain about a lack of talent.

Ian





On Wed, Apr 9, 2014 at 10:17 AM, Christopher Cummer <[address removed]> wrote:
These are some fantastic observations Eric. From my perspective at Unbounce this is also a source of frustration for us. We’re currently heavily focused on hiring seniors in large part because our ability to bring on juniors is rate-limited by the number of senior devs (Ruby or otherwise) available to help on-board and mentor. Every new employee, at any level and in any position, slows someone down for a bit while they get up-to-speed, perhaps nowhere more so than in development. 

It’s a constant source of frustration for us at Unbounce that we don’t yet have enough senior devs to bring on juniors at the rate we’d like to, because we recognize that there is a huge shortage of experience in Vancouver right now and we do want to help change that. In that regard I suspect we’re no different than most of the companies you listed.

None of which addresses any actual solution, because sadly I don’t have one. Just know that this is felt by everyone right now.


On Apr 9, 2014, at 8:35 AM, Eric Brooke <[address removed]> wrote:

Thanks Brendan.  Happy to share.  It appears to be a lot of jobs but there is a couple problems that affect us all.

1. Not enough senior Rails/Ruby developers

There are a lot of jobs for senior Rails/Ruby developers and it seems that all the seniors are happy in their current roles.  Everyone is chasing the unicorn.. The only solution seems to import from other cities and countries.

2. Too few Vancouver, BC companies are employing juniors and intermediates rails/ruby developers

Which means no one becomes a senior, of course you can import from outside of Vancouver.  Which does not give us a sustainable tech ecology.  And all the graduates from CodeCore and Lighthouse Labs who are starting to fill the gaps that BCIT/SFU/UBC/UVic left, are probably going to have to leave Vancouver to get a job, (because both end with internships, some may be saved). We need these interns, to stay to build the community and create new stuff.

3. Tech Interviews

In all of the Tech interviews for a Rails job, I have done in Vancouver, I have had only one actually test me on Rails (and thats because I pointed it out).  

Most start with fibonacci, work through this binary tree(in whatever language), then a couple questions on Big O Notation, couple sort comparisons, and then maybe a Ruby work through an array questions.  Sometimes SQL is thrown in. Most of the tests are on things I do not do on a day to day in coding Rails. Most of the tests are things that Rails takes care of, so tend to favour a recent com sci graduate, not the self taught.

The irony is all the interviews with companies outside of Vancouver (e.g.in the Toronto and US) start with a Rails App, tell me what is going on here, a bunch of questions about activeRecord and a couple other modules, where I look for bugs, how I solve errors, go through a refactor exercises.  A bunch of code smell question i.e. callbacks good or bad, Eager loading what is it. Then they branch to Ruby questions, SQL, Gems I have used, APIs I have worked with. Stuff I have done day to day. After some push to see how much computer science you may know.

4. Are you really senior/intermediate if you cannot coach?

Most articles when discussing Seniors state they should know the code, but also the business and how to communicate. We need seniors/intermediates to step up and start coaching/mentoring juniors/intermediates.  The reality I have seen is when an intern comes on board it is the juniors/intermediates that coach them and the seniors coach the Intermediates. Lion King ‘Cycle of Life Song’. When this happens we start to have a sustainable tech ecology for Rails and Ruby…

5. Is the problem devs or business leaders?
Some consider this a problem for the future, but you will hit a time when you cannot get the devs you need, and then you are paying a lot more to solve that problem that appeared medium term and shit hurts now.

My Journey

For my journey I am nearly immediate, but I am still looking and I am now considering options outside of Vancouver, because everybody wants a Senior.

P.S. I think I will turn this into a blog post now!




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