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Discussion of the Week - v8

In this weekly roundup, we highlight what we believe to be the most thoughtful, helpful, and/or interesting discussion over the past week! Though we are strong believers in healthy and respectful debate, we typically try to choose discussions that are positive and avoid those that are overly contentious.

Any folks whose articles we feature here will be rewarded with our Discussion of the Week badge. ✨

The Discussion of the Week badge. It includes a roll of thread inside a speech bubble. The thread is a reference to comment threads.

Now that y'all understand the flow, let's go! 🏃💨

The Discussion of the Week

This week we're spotlighting Dominic (@magnificode) for dropping the discussion "The Web Industry Has A Hiring Problem 😬":

Dominic's post shines a light on the disheartening situation many beginner devs face when applying for entry-level positions. These positions are competitive and often have high expectations of those applying. As Dominic notes, many junior-level job descriptions are not-so-junior sounding and sometimes require formal education. Also, these days it's the norm for applications to ask folks to participate in lengthy take-home projects.

The discussion that follows is complex, folks chiming in to agree that there are plenty of challenges new devs face as they apply for those entry-level roles. @pterpmnta brings up the difficulty of trying to land a role at a place that requires C1 or C2 English level:

I going to add and give some opinions about your. First, the post is great, because it covers many problems with contracts and companies looking for developers.

  • The first point you talk about, is not simple, because so many companies are looking for people who at least have an engineering degree. Obviously, today, there are so many people that know how programming and they are not for the system program.

  • That's one of the pints most important in all world. For example, I am from Colombia and live there, and my native language is Spanish, but some companies looking for C1 or C2 English level, which to me is a crazy thing, because, so many developers have a maximum of B2, and these must be sufficient for me.

  • I had been involved many times in this test, and in the end if the test was not finished at all, the company did not check the code, or the process, just said, it if is not finished, goodbye.

I will add one more, the tech lead or some developer of the team, should check the employee publication, because sometimes there are so many skills in the publication, that in the end, just need three or maybe just two, and the others, could be learning during the job.

Not to mention, there are also some thoughtful, respectful counterpoints brought forth from @theaccordance in this comment:

Hey Dominic,

First off, excellent article. I'm going to dissect it in this comment, but I still encourage you to share your thoughts as it will make you a better professional in the long run. I've been where you're at (struggling to break into the industry), and while that was a decade ago, many of your points reflect my own experiences. Since that time, I've gained a significant amount of experience, not only as an engineer, but also as a hiring manager. Here's my thoughts to points you've laid out in your article:

We need to stop prioritizing formal education or experience when hiring entry level developers.

I empathize with this point but unfortunately it's not a practical in reality. The plain truth is that an overwhelming majority of businesses have finite time, money, and resources to deliver on its purpose (product or services). Hiring the wrong candidate can have tangible down-stream implications on the health/longevity of a business. Not only would a bad hire subtract diminish those finite resources, but they could have other consequences. For example, if a bad hire caused the company to miss an important deadline, it could result in lost or deferred revenue for a business, which may force the business to shrink its workforce since it can't pay everyone. That may seem a bit dramatic in the context of a junior role, but I have witnessed it - both inside and outside of software development.

Additionally, as someone who's taught bootcamp courses in software development, I have learned that while anyone can learn to code, not everyone is capable of doing it when they think they can.

We need to stop writing job descriptions for juniors that include responsibilities that mid level developers wouldn’t even qualify for

I don't disagree with this point, but I do think it's important to point out that there is no agreed-upon standard for what makes a Junior/Mid/Senior/etc software engineer. A senior level engineer at a small startup may be considered a junior-level at a FAANG type company.

We need to stop wasting human beings time by requiring them to complete a take home project to “assess their skills”

As much as I loathe the frustration when I fail these tests, I disagree with the premise that we should abolish this type of screening tool. They are very important tool when building teams as it enables hiring managers to onboard team members with a baseline set of skills. While I may not be a fan of abolishing these tests, I do believe we need to make significant improvements to this process across the industry to make these tests more equitable.

All in all, it was a solid discussion well worth having. If anybody has any thoughts on the state of entry-level hiring or perhaps some advice for junior devs who are busy job searching, hop into the thread of Dominic's post and share them with us!

What are your picks?

The DEV Community is particularly special because of the kind, thoughtful, helpful, and entertaining discussions happening between community members. As such, we want to encourage folks to participate in discussions and reward those who are initiating or taking part in conversations across the community. After all, a community is made possible by the people interacting inside it.

There are loads of great discussions floating about in this community. This is just the one we chose to highlight. 🙂

I urge you all to share your favorite discussion of the past week below in the comments. And if you're up for it, give the author an @mention — it'll probably make 'em feel good. 💚

Top comments (1)

jodoesgit profile image
Jo • Edited

I feel like I am a dog, standing on my hind legs, when I consider future coding interviews. They're abstract by nature, but perhaps the worst thing I can say is they're a combination of multiple failures of my own being. One being fantastic recall, because if we were being explicit - it's not something anyone with ADHD is known for. And that's not my fault, and it doesn't mean I'm broken by nature. Just different. The other being that I'm just a fantastic test-bomber. I mean, I'm practically bar-none *at that.

While I recognize I am still infant in my abilities, I hold a strong belief that I will ultimately be an asset to some team, somewhere. So that doesn't discourage me. I'm just not sure why this type of job that has been rapidly sliding down in compensation requires me to put on a tutu and curtsy. When ultimately a new hires portfolio and probationary work should speak levels about their sticking power and performance.

It just seems lazy and old-guard. Or perhaps some sloppy amalgamation of middle-management idealists and turn-of-the-millennium capitalism. Like the idea that people would rather have workplace features over benefits packages.

Then again, I only know what I'm talking about from afar. And I'm jaded and bitter. I just can't believe there's a world with anything comparably perfect in any capacity. You will never find the perfect candidate. Because any time people come together there will always be conflict. Even if someone is left silently smoldering, or burning themselves out due to an imbalanced workload. Likewise it's implausible to imagine those who hire, even the most objective, aren't biased in some way. Or at least influenced by some sort of corporate cog-in-the-*machine thinking.

I mean you can't even get into a position of power without compromising elements of self. For your workplace, your department, and your team. Let alone the influences we gain from our backgrounds, personal-relationships, etc.

It just seems asinine to imagine the only way to evaluate engineers is by making them perform on the spot, or within a timed examination. Versus like most other positions, where your work does the talking for you. I guess you could argue there's more on the line, but if that were the case I'd imagine more engineers would be treated better than the dehumanization that tends to happen with them.

Joji, out! Mic drop.