jobs-discuss

Job hunting, interview process and anything related to the experience of a job writing the Clojure language.
naomarik 2020-05-12T04:13:51.278900Z

I've been doing fullstack things my whole programming career -- for about a decade. All the jobs I've found in past have been greenfield projects where I work more of a CTO role coding everything and helping make business decisions. Would giving people URLs of sites I've created be enough to show my skillset? My latest site is http://sayartii.com that uses datomic/elastic and of course clj/s. Just curious, if someone was in a role to hire a developer and I showed you this, would you still need to see github contributions and a well connected linkedin?

orestis 2020-05-12T05:15:14.281200Z

A portfolio page is always nice. Make short summaries to include in CV, link prominently to a portfolio page with longer descriptions, screenshots etc.

orestis 2020-05-12T05:15:34.281700Z

GitHub and LinkedIn : meh

seancorfield 2020-05-12T05:34:17.285700Z

@naomarik A well-written CV/resume, that describes the jobs/projects briefly, with your responsibilities and achievements. That's what is going to be read first, usually by several levels at a company before a hiring manager is going to take a deeper look. That person may follow links to more detail about the projects but a lot of hiring managers simply don't have the time to go off reading candidate's vanity pages/sites, given that they have to consider so many applications and decide who to interview.

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seancorfield 2020-05-12T05:37:24.288500Z

As a hiring manager myself for several decades, I would look at look at a portfolio for a design-related position but not for development positions: I want the facts laid out clearly on a CV/resume. If you provide me links to stuff like GitHub etc, I'm more likely to view it with a very critical eye to disqualify candidates if what they're presenting as their "best work" isn't up to scratch (i.e., I tend to use "portfolios" as disqualifying filters).

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seancorfield 2020-05-12T05:39:33.290300Z

If you're "full-stack" (a description I hate as a hiring manager) and/or CTO material, then nearly all of the important stuff you've been doing is going to be behind the scenes -- and, besides, no one is going to take a web site at face value and assume/accept you are responsible for "all" of it.

naomarik 2020-05-12T12:15:05.298200Z

This caught me off guard. If someone claimed they coded a website it's hard to believe they did all of it? I can understand there being a UX designer that took that part of the task and another person to take care of business development, but those aren't technical related tasks. Could you clarify this point?

seancorfield 2020-05-12T17:51:21.336600Z

@naomarik There's a general assumption of team work: someone claiming "I did all of this!" sounds like they don't work in a team and there are all sorts of red flags around that for a hiring manager. Are they unable to delegate? Are they making an exaggerated claim and/or taking credit for other people's work? Do they think they're an expert in all aspects of business/tech? At any company that is larger than "one man and his dog", the CTO should be busy doing CTO stuff which should not include every single development task as well as business. See also my comment in the main channel about becoming an expert meaning "10,000 hours" in each part of the stack.

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naomarik 2020-05-12T19:23:47.350200Z

Oh makes sense. In the context of what I've been doing, has literally just been me and my cofounder. If the company was larger and had multiple developers it would be a silly claim.

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seancorfield 2020-05-12T19:41:46.352500Z

Are you trying to move away from "technical co-founder" roles?

orestis 2020-05-12T06:08:16.292400Z

Yeah a well written cv, tailored to the role you’re applying, more detail for more recent roles. A well written cover letter that shows you know what you’re applying for and have did a bit of research about the role and company also works wonders.

orestis 2020-05-12T06:09:07.293600Z

For frontend development work, I still think a portfolio page makes sense, but indeed this will get looked at at a much later stage.

orestis 2020-05-12T06:09:51.294900Z

@seancorfield do you also disqualify people based on random stuff in their GitHub account? Or only if they pitch it as “look at this project I made”?

Prakash 2020-05-12T09:02:23.296800Z

@seancorfield I am a bit curious about your opinion on the full-stack term. care to explain a bit more? 🙂

naomarik 2020-05-12T12:15:05.298200Z

This caught me off guard. If someone claimed they coded a website it's hard to believe they did all of it? I can understand there being a UX designer that took that part of the task and another person to take care of business development, but those aren't technical related tasks. Could you clarify this point?

Maxim 2020-05-12T12:56:11.302600Z

What does “full-stack” mean? A person who knows and can touch everything beginning from chips and logic circuits to the latest version of Vue.js, including dev ops and administration, QA responsibilities, team lead responsibilities, etc.? I think the term “full-stack” is quite broad and to be an expert in all related fields, probably, requires a lot time and effort.

b-ryan 2020-05-13T15:49:15.378100Z

I have discussed this same question with people. My current definition is someone who can write APIs in the backend and implement UIs in the frontend. Their ability in the frontend may stop around the CSS and a frontend dev might be better there. In the backend, I wouldn't expect full stack to be as solid on data processing / pipelines or the devops sides of things.

naomarik 2020-05-12T13:00:30.302700Z

I always thought of it as someone who could take an idea/design and and technically execute on everything to make it a real working product.

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Maxim 2020-05-12T13:04:09.303100Z

That’s a nice definition, I like it. But I hear it for the first time within 10 years of my career, to be honest.

Maxim 2020-05-12T13:07:29.303300Z

I think the main thing here is that people have different definitions for the same term.

alexlynham 2020-05-12T13:50:54.303700Z

full stack = backend, frontend, ops

alexlynham 2020-05-12T13:51:19.304200Z

for like most of the places I've been, most of the devs I know, that's the definition

dharrigan 2020-05-12T14:26:03.305300Z

IMHO, "full-stack" is a marketing term created by businesses to get one person to do the job of several others, whilst paying one-person's salary.

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dharrigan 2020-05-12T14:27:22.306700Z

It takes years to really understand technology and become fluent/expert in it. Even although I dabble in Javascript and I know quite a bit about backend programming, and I've done network/systems admin stuff too, I would never call myself a full-stack developer.

dharrigan 2020-05-12T14:27:25.306900Z

imho.

Conor 2020-05-12T14:27:53.307Z

Overly cynical! I am bad at front-end stuff, but I think managing the ops and backend stuff goes together quite naturally

dharrigan 2020-05-12T14:28:25.307600Z

Oh, cynicism born out by close observation of experiencing lots of companies that do this.

dharrigan 2020-05-12T14:28:34.307800Z

You can call me a cynic 🙂

Conor 2020-05-12T14:29:10.307900Z

Simply stop working when you aren't being paid, problem solved

dharrigan 2020-05-12T14:29:32.308100Z

I don't follow

Conor 2020-05-12T14:30:16.308200Z

If somebody is trying to get you to do several jobs at once

Conor 2020-05-12T14:30:32.308500Z

There's only so many hours I get paid for in a day, so when that's up I stop working

dharrigan 2020-05-12T14:31:34.309600Z

Would you say you always do the precise hours you are contracted for in your employement contract? Never worked a few hours here or there, or weekends to ensure a project gets out the door successfully?

dharrigan 2020-05-12T14:32:09.310200Z

I have yet to meet a developer who works the precise hours in their contract. And I've been in this game for 20 years 🙂

Conor 2020-05-12T14:33:15.310300Z

I will work on weekends for 2 x rate 😉

dharrigan 2020-05-12T14:33:24.310500Z

🙂

naomarik 2020-05-12T15:01:22.310600Z

What else would it be? What did you have in mind?

alexlynham 2020-05-12T15:06:32.311600Z

yeah I think conor is broadly right

alexlynham 2020-05-12T15:06:58.312300Z

be conscientious, do a good job, don't let employers take the piss is a good motto

alexlynham 2020-05-12T15:07:45.313200Z

I have a second job so I don't work extra hours cos I've got other paid work that demands attention... but I think that's probably a good attitude to adopt for free time too... it all has a value

dharrigan 2020-05-12T15:10:27.315300Z

Broadly speaking - broadly speaking, what I've seen is that we (devs) are naturally inclined to "go that extra mile" in order not to let the team down. When deadlines are coming and deliverables have to be, well, delivered, mostly everyone I've seen are willing to put in a few extra hours here and there to help the team out. I think we're going off topic a bit here - i.e., what a full-stack developer is, but in general we're naturally alturistic and feel bad if we let the team down.

dharrigan 2020-05-12T15:10:50.315800Z

Of course, we could say "screw them, I'm outside my hours, I'm going home" - but I don't think I've ever witnessed that.

dharrigan 2020-05-12T15:13:33.318400Z

Bringing it back on topic a bit - if someone has skills in doing all the work, from configuring servers, to writing frontend code, to liasing with all the various components that to ensure it all gets done - that's great. But again, what I've seen is that people who are called upon to do many things, burn out very quickly and get stressed out quite a bit (I've seen people resort to alcoholism and substance abuse because they were being asked to do "all the things" since that is what the business perceived to be a "full-stack" developer")

dharrigan 2020-05-12T15:13:45.318600Z

.

dharrigan 2020-05-12T15:15:29.319400Z

I mean, why can't we just hire more people do to the work...give people a job - I'm sure they would appreciate it 🙂

dharrigan 2020-05-12T15:15:29.319500Z

.

naomarik 2020-05-12T15:17:06.321100Z

I've experienced that extreme burnout, but was hitting a tight deadline for a demo. I would imagine anyone that works too much on any part of the stack spectrum would experience the same thing though.

alexlynham 2020-05-12T15:20:24.321600Z

I think burnout is a natural cycle for any creative work and you've got to watch for it

alexlynham 2020-05-12T15:21:20.322700Z

as for what you describe there @dharrigan yeah I think you're right... on the pushing devs hard thing it's usually a mixture of costs and difficulty hiring afaict, but maybe I'm not being hard enough on the orgs 🙂

dpsutton 2020-05-12T15:48:48.324200Z

i don't see a connection between full stack and burnout and hours worked at all. I've been frontend and backend at the last several jobs and that's a completely independent axis from hours worked. And i've had great employers who have paid me well for 40 hours a week. If there were periods of longer hours they were immediately offset with time off to compensate

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dharrigan 2020-05-12T16:43:34.325800Z

This inherently is one of the problems. Different companies have different definitions of what a "full-stack" developer is. I guess some companies overload that definition - asking too much of people perhaps?

dharrigan 2020-05-12T16:49:07.329900Z

As a thought experiment, would people be comfortable hiring a single "full-stack" house builder? A single person who can do everything from drawing the house plans, acquiring the property to build upon, insuring all proper planning laws have been adhered too, to physically building it with bricks, mortar, cement and wood, wiring in all the electrics, plumbing it, sorting out all the legals and so on and so forth.

seancorfield 2020-05-12T17:28:49.330100Z

It seems others explained similar opinions after I went to bed 🙂

seancorfield 2020-05-12T17:30:15.331600Z

Yeah, what y'all have been saying (negatively) about "full-stack developer" fits with my (negative) opinion about the term. Since I mentioned my "hatred" for the term last night and then went to bed!

seancorfield 2020-05-12T17:34:15.334400Z

If a developer presents themselves as "full-stack", I generally assume it means either "jack of all trades, master of none" or "I do JavaScript on both the front end and the back end" since that's mostly been my experience with candidates who claim that (I know, I know, there are always going to be exceptions). If a company asks for a "full-stack developer", they're usually either asking for the latter (end-to-end JS) or someone who will just wear any hat the company wants at any time (sort of the former) and quite a few companies are genuinely doing it to get one person who will essentially work two jobs for a single paycheck 😞

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seancorfield 2020-05-12T17:35:47.335600Z

Given the amount of practice/work that it takes to become an expert at something -- the "10,000 hour rule" -- to truly be a full-stack expert, you're going to need to have about 15 years professional experience!

seancorfield 2020-05-12T17:51:21.336600Z

@naomarik There's a general assumption of team work: someone claiming "I did all of this!" sounds like they don't work in a team and there are all sorts of red flags around that for a hiring manager. Are they unable to delegate? Are they making an exaggerated claim and/or taking credit for other people's work? Do they think they're an expert in all aspects of business/tech? At any company that is larger than "one man and his dog", the CTO should be busy doing CTO stuff which should not include every single development task as well as business. See also my comment in the main channel about becoming an expert meaning "10,000 hours" in each part of the stack.

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orestis 2020-05-12T18:08:58.340600Z

I propose an alternative “full-stack” definition: someone who is motivated by building “things” and is eager to do any work necessary to get them done, learning along the way. In the times before SPAs, a web developer had to know HTML & CSS, and an HTML-rendering backend of their choice, plus some SQL, and if you wanted to get something live, some idea about web servers/proxy servers, domains etc. That certainly was “full-stack”. Now of course, SPAs add a ton of new things to master, and are still a moving target, but if you were doing web development back then, and you picked up React along the way, could you not claim you’re “full-stack”?

orestis 2020-05-12T18:10:06.341900Z

I’m not implying there’s something wrong with people being motivated to become experts in one area, BTW. As someone who kinda identifies as full-stack, I’ll be the first to say I’m not an expert in most of the areas I work on. But I’m working on it 🙂

Prakash 2020-05-12T18:35:31.342800Z

yes there are some good insights. Thanks

seancorfield 2020-05-12T18:56:31.346700Z

@orestis I think that "in the old days" when the web was a lot simpler, I agree that being "full-stack" was almost a given and so no one used the term. Now that the web front end has become so incredibly complex and, to be honest, the back end has also become a lot more complex, to be an expert in both is nigh-on impossible -- which is why I'm so skeptical of it 😐

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orestis 2020-05-12T18:59:00.349300Z

Being able to get things done is possible though, esp. if you’re familiar with the stacks, and the scale or scope is not in the extremes.

naomarik 2020-05-12T19:23:47.350200Z

Oh makes sense. In the context of what I've been doing, has literally just been me and my cofounder. If the company was larger and had multiple developers it would be a silly claim.

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isak 2020-05-12T19:25:41.351900Z

Full stack doesn't necessarily mean claiming to be an expert anything. It doesn't even mean you work with SPAs at all. For example, people who work with Ruby on Rails (emphasizing server-rendered HTML) can claim to be full stack, right?

porkostomus 2020-05-12T19:30:26.352Z

My parents actually did that, we hired Mennonites to build our house. Turned out great, but they did certain things so peculiarly that nobody else can work on it 😕

seancorfield 2020-05-12T19:41:46.352500Z

Are you trying to move away from "technical co-founder" roles?

seancorfield 2020-05-12T19:42:27.353100Z

@isak They can certainly claim to be full stack, yes 🙂

isak 2020-05-12T20:18:07.355200Z

@seancorfield I think they can get away with it without triggering most people, since they are not claiming to be an expert on SQL + distributed systems + React + CSS, just that they work on both the backend and the frontend