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Discussion on: What it's *really* like interviewing as (and just being) a self-taught web developer

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christinavoudouris profile image
christina Author

I see your point, but employers need to do more research on their candidates. You can look up projects on Github easily - why don't they? Also it can be hard to explain programming concepts sometimes even if you understand what you did. At least I think so.

I don't think asking me how promises work is necessarily an unfair question, but "are you willing to dive into our codebase?" is a weird one. Clearly I am because I'm interviewing. I think there's a fair amount of projection by other workers who are a little "over it" sometimes. For context, this woman was also a bit older than me, has a background in animation, her own business (supposedly), but no projects up on Github. Interestingly enough, I'm pretty sure their back end developer was the only person on that team who seemed to like me. It's always the people who don't have to compete with you.

My dad's an enterprise architect and he doesn't like the fact that I'm getting hit with coding tests. He says he never had to do them, and they're basically "calling me a liar and saying they want proof." I tried to keep an open mind about it, but the more I've interviewed, the more I agree with him.

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0x12b profile image
Simon Aronsson

"are you willing to dive into our codebase?" is a weird one

Agreed. This is a really weird question.

He says he never had to do them, and they're basically "calling me a liar and saying they want proof."

I think your father is interpreting it as way more hostile than what's (likely) intended.

You can look up projects on Github easily - why don't they?

Not everyone is on GitHub or even has anything public to show. While some do, it's easier to just use the same process for everyone. Especially considering you sometimes might get hundreds of applicants for a single position.

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christinavoudouris profile image
christina Author • Edited

I don't think it's being interpreted as too "hostile"; what he's saying is completely accurate. I showed a manager examples of Promises and he asked me to explain them, i.e. implying that the code may have been copied, that I didn't write it myself. That IS basically calling someone a liar, or at least saying they MIGHT be lying and instead of hoping for the best, they interrogate.

As far as not everyone being on Github, I'm not applying for internships at the "0+ years of experience" level here, so I would imagine that everyone interviewing has SOME code samples, even if it's school projects and they send the links via email.

As far as having "the same process for everyone" ... that would be called GATEKEEPING, and how is asking more questions "easier?"

Feel free to respond, but I posted this article as a relatable story and also as a bit of a warning to people who think getting into this field is a piece of cake for everyone. Definitely not as troll bait.

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0x12b profile image
Simon Aronsson

I’m not looking to pick a fight. Rather tried to provide some encouragement. Sorry if it came off as flame.

I too come from a background such as the one you describe and have also had my fair share of frustrating moments while trying to find a job.

Wishing you all the best in your job search!

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christinavoudouris profile image
christina Author

Thanks, appreciate that. I just think we need to stop giving employers breaks. We give them the benefit of the doubt, but this is rarely given to us, or returned. They clearly have biases and use outdated processes to hire people. Maybe there isn't a whole lot we can do in the span of an interview to change all that, but awareness can help us going forward. I have wasted a lot of time commuting to interviews and having pointless conversations with people who apparently had already decided they probably weren't going to hire me anyway. I'm just done with it.

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