Sunday, August 2, 2015

How come nerds can code, but can't actually land a coding job???

I love coaching people and helping them land jobs.  My dream is to to switch to coaching full time down the road :-)

I mainly get questions and emails from 2 different types of people.  1 group is brand new to coding, and has only ever written the command:

'rails new <app_name_here>'

and now would like to get hired making $80K.

The other group is the 'nerd group' they are amazingly talented and gifted people who can really code.  Unfortunately this group tends to be living in their parents basements, and working low paying jobs.

Why is that???

 The reason is simple and actually a fairly quick fix.  50% of landing a coding job is technical ability.  The other 50% is a combination of these skills:

People Skills
Interviewing Skills

I have a couple of clients that I am coaching that I think will be landing a job very soon.  I will post about it on the blog when they actually land their first coding job!  I really would love to talk to and help more people who are in the nerd category.  They are honestly easier to coach and to get hired.  Once I show them the above non technical skills and how to actually implement them in real life, they are a quick hire.

I have a really good friend who is a full blown nerd, he has 20x times the coding ability and aptitude that I have, yet makes $21K less than I do.  Nerds typically have a very hard time getting interviews, and when they get an interview have a difficult time, socially navigating the interview process.  When nerds fail an interview, they inevitably focus on improving their technical skills to an even higher level.  In reality they really need to focus on the social non technical skills.

Also coding ability is all relative, each company is different.  I've been told I suck at coding, I've been told I was at a "mid level" coding ability by a hiring manager, after breezing through their technical interview.

If the goal is to actually land your first paying coding job, then don't worry about being the best at coding.  Be proficient at what you do, and then focus on the above 3 skills.  If you know how to code but keep failing the interview process, this is what you need to fix.

On this note I am going to be putting my money where my mouth is.  I've mentioned in the past how talented my younger brother Cody is, and how he is a real life coding savant ( he laughs at coding challenges that I think are difficult ).   I've tried for years to help him and give him advice on how to land a coding job, all to no avail.  He has always worked a crappy retail job by day and then by night codes.

I've finally convinced him to come move into my apartment in North Carolina and let me coach him into landing his first coding job.  He won't be starting coaching until the 16th of August.  Follow along to see him finally break through and land a coding job :-)

I've given myself only 30 days to land him a job, so my deadline is September 15th, 2015!

If you are a nerd and can code, but haven't been able to actually land a coding job, send me an email at:

Keep coding peeps, you can do this!