re: What Am I Doing Wrong? VIEW POST


Here's the ugly secret about programming jobs, this experience never ends for some of us. I've been at this for 30 years and it's still rough to get hired. The only time it was different was for a brief time during the late 90's dotcom boom. If anything, the industry has become a lot more insular and a lot less diverse than it was in the past.

The why? Well, I think it boils down to 2 things, connections and fitting the mold (aka 'cultural fit'). I have had issues with these things myself and it is still the case in my current job search.

It sounds like you're self-educated to some degree. This means you most likely don't have the college connections to get your foot in the door and/or to get by the HR guardians. It's important to build connections where and when you can.

Not having a CS degree is also why you probably don't know all the CS 101 "secret handshakes". I still have the same issue sometimes myself. You can watch videos or take free online courses that can help somewhat.

The bigger issue I've found though is the nebulous 'cultural fit'. Basically, most places only want to hire people who are a lot like themselves. Of course, certain types of discrimination are illegal but terms like 'cultural fit' and 'team dynamics' are used to work around this. I'd guess this is part of what you're encountering.

Speaking of making connections, I looked at your portfolio noticed you are also in the Atlanta metro area. When (if?) I'm able to get a senior/lead job and if I'm looking for a junior level front end developer for the team I'll be sure to look you up.


Wow, the "cultural fit" aspect is kind of sad and a slap in the face. To be honest, I never thought of that until you brought it up. I do need more connections and figuring out the best way for me to do that can start a whole different conversation.

This is great advice and thanks for keeping me in mind if an opportunity for a junior role pops up. I'm going to change my website and presentation around to try to get past that "cultural fit" issue. Thanks again.

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