Friday, August 7, 2015

How to know if you are good enough at coding to get hired?

I still suck at coding.  Yes, I'm hired at a "mid level" Software Engineer in Test position, but what does that really mean?  I got addicted to fishing on my 12th birthday.  I couldn't stop, I would do anything to go fishing.  Whatever it took to get my parents to take me fishing I would do, no questions asked.

I sucked at fishing.

All day, I'd hardly get a bite.  I didn't care, just seeing other people catching fish told me that I could do it too.  Without bragging I can honestly say that I am in the top 5% - 10% of people who fish.

What happened?  How did I get better?  How did I finally know I was good enough???  I didn't.  I just slowly started catching fish.  By my 16th birthday, I placed 7th in a fishing tournament with over 100 other contestants.  The truth is you will never feel ready.  Someone will always be better than you, faster at coding and quicker at solving problems, so what?!!

Do you like coding?  

Do whatever it takes to code.  Write lots of terrible bad code, make every mistake you can possibly make as soon as you can.  Start interviewing, you will never be ready for that either.  You will never not be nervous interviewing.  You need to have a hiring manager laugh at you when he reads your resume.  You need a senior developer to laugh at you because your brain simply stopped working and you can't write a for loop .

You know how to tell if you are good enough??? 

When a company hires you.

You don't have to be good enough for every senior developer who has been coding for 20 years.  I've never been "qualified" on paper for any position I have ever gotten.  I have had 50% of the skills the company needed so I interviewed, that simple.

I've failed interviews because I didn't draw a 3D cube like the interviewer wanted.  Who cares.  If in the back of your mind you wonder if you are good enough, start interviewing!

If you fall on your "coding face" in 3 interviews, learn what areas you are weak on and then try again.

Everyone in their minds is amazing.  Everyone has hit the game winning home run.  How do you know if you are any good at coding?  How do you know if you are ready to interview?

Everything is simply theory until you make it happen.