Monday, October 14, 2013

Ruby on Rails Interviewing: Final

I've mentioned him many times before as one of the instrumental people in helping me on my learning to code journey Jason Wieringa. Jason is located here in Northern Virginia and is an excellent RoR developer who is looking/exploring his options looking for a good fit to be part of an awesome development team. If you would like to know more, contact Jason on Twitter at @jwieringa, +Jason Wieringa  or his email:

How many of our most important or break through moments come unexpectedly or not how we thought they would? 

I was given the opportunity to apprentice with a really skilled highly respected farrier because I made his friend's "Triple shot White Mocha" "the best", while I was working as a supervisor at Starbucks.

 I was able to shoe for an Olympic equestrian rider because a client said: "Oh, Josh he's the best at shoeing Dressage horses!"…boom, I'm shoeing for an Olympian! 

I was hired not by replying to every email and answering the phone for every recruiter that called, but by getting lost in the wrong building and bumping into Kalimar Maia who was also in the wrong building =)

Yes, that's it no secret technique, I was lost and introduced myself to Kalimar and asked if he was going to the Ruby Meetup group as well, and he said yes. We talked a little and hit it off well. We found the right building and I happened to give a short 5 minute presentation that night. Kalimar said I did a good job and that we should get coffee some time.

Kalimar emailed me the next day and I said I'd love to meet for coffee and get some advice on how to get hired or just about development in general. Anyway long story short I had no idea that ZipList was thinking of bringing somebody new onto their team. We met for coffee and towards the end of the conversation mentioned the idea of applying to ZipList. Just over 1 month later I started my first day at ZipList on August 1st!  2 weeks later I completely finished up with all of my shoeing practice and have not touched a horse since!

The moral of the story is: BE NICE TO EVERYONE!….especially when on an elevator =)  Seriously though the "secret" to getting hired as a junior developer is to simply go religiously to local Meetup groups, give short 5 - 10  presentations as often as possible without being obnoxious, and finally after the meetup has finished, go to the local "hangout" afterwards.

From all the emails I receive, I find there are 2 types of people who want to get hired as junior developers. Those who are highly talented/skilled yet never attend any local events or meetups. Then you have the people who basically want to get hired after 2 days of "learning to code" and think they should be making $100K a year and can't believe it actually takes a lot of work to get good enough to get hired.

I know 5 people who are really talented developers (who I won't embarrass here) that no company even knows exist or else they would snatch them up in a heart beat. The reason these 5 developers aren't hired is simply a lack of networking/marketing. You don't have to be a butt hole to get your name out, just be nice and have something interesting or helpful to share and do it consistently.

Yesterday's Google Hangout with +Dustin James  went well, the guy has made fantastic progress putting in 18 hours with still 2 days left in his week! I love working with someone who doesn't mind a little hard work. Watch out for this guy, he is going to knock the coding world's socks off! I am VERY impressed!

Note: Dustin is studying 21 hours per week and lives in Canada, if you want to pair program with him, to learn from him or help him learn faster, hit him up at @codestoic. He is currently in Chapter 11 of Chris Pine's "Learn to Program", so if you've gone through the book before, maybe a Google Hangout is in order :-)

Keep coding peeps!