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Discussion on: Being a middle aged junior

briedis profile image
Mārtiņš Briedis

I'm part of the hiring process at my company, specifically evaluating technical skills. The whole experience thing is really weird. There are people that apply with 2-5 years of experience, and then there are people with 10+ years in the field. 90% of the time the ones who state they have 10 or more years, write pretty bad code, like, really bad. It's like they learned the technology 10 years ago and that's it, they stopped learning new things, keeping up with standards, etc. What we always look for in candidates is that they have learned at least one modern framework, are reading about standards, best practices, patterns, that they are really passionate about coding and they try to expand their knowledge base constantly.

Once I gave a test task to a guy who said he has 30 years of experience. After looking in to the solution, he had basically wrote PHP 4 style code, nested tens of if's, loops within loops within loops, custom class autoloader. Well, yes, the code probably worked, but where have you been these years? There's Composer, there's PHP7 out for years now, there are PSR standards, there are good coding guidelines, etc. What has he read in the past two years, for example?

It's just a rant, I guess. The main suggestion from my side would be to stay humble, keep on grinding with those online tutorials, blog posts (I'm very skeptical if an actual school is worth it, there are so many free resources out there). The technology doesn't have to be bleeding edge, too. Somethings' that's out there for at least two years and is popular is definitely worth learning.

tomasforsman profile image
Tomas Forsman Author

Right now I'm working in react and graphql with Gatsby. I believe flutter is the best thing that has happened for mobile development. My personal favourite language is C#.

I kind of live by the sentiment that if I don't feel like a newbie at least a couple of times each week I'll have to admit I'm old. Still seems like a distance future.

Someone at IBM said that we've gone from iq to eq and now we are moving to aq, adaptability quote. The new standard is that your work will be totally different a year from now?

hdennen profile image
Harry Dennen

That insight about AQ feels right to me. I'm noticing a shift in that direction.

guruvan profile image
Rob Nelson

This is a very helpful response. Thanks. As a 50yo with some recent skills (self taught) and dated skills I understand better why career coaches are pushing to drop old experience from the CV. And I think I better understand how to emphasize skills that don't age and fresh skills.