Last week I completed a third interview for a company, a pair programming session with the company's lead developer. I completed the tasks in a reasonable time, and pushed myself to use the syntax the company prefers. All in all, I felt I had an decent interview and I stuck around to chat with the lead developer for ten minutes after the challenge was over. Within one hour I received an email notifying me I would not move on to the next round.
After trapping myself with my thoughts for a 12 mile run I came to some realizations, along with more questions.
I completed my coding bootcamp just over two months ago, and I've been aggressively job hunting since the first week of January. I've had trouble knowing how to spend my time, and what exactly I should be focusing on each day.
In no way did I feel I deserved a job so early in my job hunt, and I was clearly not the best technical candidate for this position, so why did this rejection crush all my hope of finding a job so easily?
By all standards this was an awesome job opening. The opening was a full-stack position at an up and coming company, the tech stack is mostly familiar to me, and there was lots of room to grow quickly. I would have been challenged in many ways in this position, and very happy to secure employment for my family's sack.
I would have been thrilled with this position, and happy to apply my knowledge.
But... Do I enjoy working on backend code for hours on end? No, not really. I enjoy keeping things organized, and solving problems but I rarely open up backend code to play around. Working on backend code is a means to an end for me, and my primary goal is to complete it so I can move on to the frontend.
When I have free time, I obsess over hex colors, about responsive designs, and font choices. I read about accessibility, and perform assessments on "cool" sites ( news flash - they don't pass many accessibility requirements ) then I rework my portfolio for the twentieth time. Maybe I never entirely kicked design school out of my system? Maybe that's ok.
I want to make sites that are really beautiful, and work really well - for everyone. I want to keep learning about CSS at a super granular level. I want to make sure websites are accessible, and easily understood. I want a job where they want me to become certified in accessibility and value passion for that. I want to take designs and make them into responsive layouts that look good on any screen size. Working on those issues every day sounds like a dream come true.
I suppose it's time I hang up the idea that I will be a full-stack developer. I clearly love working on the frontend, and I have been too afraid to admit that before. I was really mad that I was good enough for this position, but maybe I was never going to love it. I will continue to search for a job that I can sink my teeth into what I love to do.