Great article; even though it was a bit lengthy you held my interest until the end. Thanks for sharing your experiences. It was particularly interesting hearing what it was like dealing with an agency when hiring.
The very first job I managed to get in IT was by literally walking in to a company and asking who I could give my CV to and then having it passed along by reception to the dev manager.
I have also found though my own experiences over the years that the less a recruitment agency is involved the better. Really is best if you can just talk with devs and managers at a company to see if you like each other and go from there.
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