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Biggest questions getting a job

Ryan Latta
I help developers navigate their careers to the lifestyle they deserve. My full bio - https://sleek.bio/ryanlatta
・1 min read

Gang,

I've been thinking about what I should write about here and on my site to help devs get the jobs they want, but I wanna know what topics you're interested in.

So what are your biggest questions when it comes to getting a dev job?

And how have you solved them so far?

Discussion (6)

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perigk profile image
Periklis Gkolias

My biggest ones are about the engineering culture, the general culture and the respect to ones personal lives (do you still work of you leave the office, do they have high responsiveness expectations out of hours?).

Unfortunately, the recruitment material usually is marketing material and doesn't correspond to reality. So unless a glassdoor profile has serious information about that or you have inside info it is difficult to uncover them. Any tips here?

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recursivefaults profile image
Ryan Latta Author

This is a big deal the longer you stay in the profession. I think looking at glassdoor is great, but they recently started censoring poor reviews.

So there are two other ways I use to find out the scoop.

  1. Find someone who works there through your network and ask
  2. Build a list of questions to ask when you are interviewing

For two I like to ask things like

  • Tell me about the last time you had a production issue
  • Let say we need to learn more about blue-green deployments, how does this company support people learning to do that?
  • What's one thing you wish you could change today?

There are more you can come up with, but the idea is keep the questions open and put them to thinking of actual experiences they've had. You'll learn a lot about the place, but it is always a gamble.

One good thing though is that in our profession you can bounce to another job pretty quick once you know how. You don't have to suffer a toxic workplace for long at all.

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perigk profile image
Periklis Gkolias

Those are great questions, thanks

Any tips to spot lying in the answer?

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recursivefaults profile image
Ryan Latta Author

Hmm, I've never really given that too much thought.

I ask these questions to the dev managers and the peer developers who interview me. That cross-section helps me identify consistent messages or things that are way out of sync.

Also, most companies don't do any real preparation before they interview candidates, so when I ask these questions they don't have canned answers ready. They may not be completely forthright, but each person will expose parts of the whole truth. Especially the peer developers. They are usually thrown into an interview and don't have too much reason to cover things up.

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recursivefaults profile image
Ryan Latta Author

Those are all the right pieces, but there are two things I'd suggest at this point.

  1. Start applying seriously 6 months prior to when you want the job. It takes practice.
  2. Everything you publish will be judged, so move unfinished projects to private repos, check your portfolio for mistakes, etc.