Well apparently all this studying has paid off! I’ve been interviewing with a few companies since before Christmas, and I’m pleased to announce that today I accepted an offer from Atlassian. I’ll be working as a junior front end developer on Stash, starting on Feb 23 (visa pending).
Last March I wrote a post about wanting to become a front end developer and I’m really proud of myself that I made it :)
I hope I can level up a bit faster this time around - I certainly feel that I have a better understanding of my programming knowledge with JS than I did with Ruby. My goal is to continue learning JS, but with more intention than I learned Ruby. I fell into Ruby when my company decided to switch languages, and I didn’t do a good job pushing myself to learn more. This time I want to do better - hopefully this blog will hold me to it.
How I got here
In case anyone is interested what I did to make myself more employable for a language I have very little experience with:
Started a study group
This was probably the most important thing - it showed that I was committed to learning JS. It also forced me to interact with the members of the JS community since they were mentors in the group. I met some people I would interview with at this study group.
As part of the study group I built a series of demo projects and put their code on github. This meant that people could see my level when they reviewed my resume. It also meant I had time to practice what I was studying.
Practice interview questions
This was actually far more valuable than I expected. I thought the questions would be more varied than what I found on some github repo, but those questions (and there are a lot of them) are a good representation of what I actually got. Most of the time I couldn’t remember the actual syntax to do something and the interviewer would help me through, but I usually knew the concept they were referring to.
There were a number of interview questions I hadn’t reviewed and didn’t know the answer to. When these came up I asked the interviewer to explain them to me and tried to then explain it back to them to make sure I’d understood (and to show them what I great learner I am, because I’ll be doing a bunch of that on the job!). I also wrote these questions down so I could review them (and write blog posts) in the future.
This wasn’t as useful as I’d hoped. I think I should have read it before my study group, and tried to put the theory into practice as I wrote my demo projects. In the end the book was a useful review of a lot of the concepts we’d talked about in study group or that had come up in my review of interview questions, but it wasn’t a great way for me to learn new concepts at this point.