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Peter Kim Frank for The DEV Team

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Top 5 DEV Comments from the Past Week

This is a weekly roundup of awesome DEV comments that you may have missed. You are welcome and encouraged to boost posts and comments yourself using the #bestofdev tag.

In the What is your biggest 'red flag' when interviewing? discussion thread, @molly_struve points out how arbitrary and rigid "office hours" rules definitely don't work for everyone:

The biggest deal breaker for me is when a company has "set hours" where they expect you to be in the office. I personally am a morning person. I like to be in the office by 7:45am and I do my best work in the morning. Then I head home around 4/4:30pm. Some companies are rigid about the 9 to 5 in the office and that's never worked well for me.

@raviipradhan offered a great write-up in answer to What's your coding origin story?. It's always great to see different people's paths to programming:

Around the start of 2017 I started to grow quite weary with my job in commercial and social research. It just so happens at this time a mate from school was looking to improve his mentoring and coaching skills for programming. He was trying to find someone to serve as his humble guinea pig, and given my circumstances, I was happy to oblige. Pair programming and TDD via Codewars katas was therefore my entrypoint into the world.

I think what first struck me was how fun and accessible it all was. Beyond general IT classes, there wasn't a great emphasis on programming in the UK curriculum when I was at school; as a result I'd often considered it an esoteric career that only an exclusive few could do. So enjoyment in mind, I decided to carry on with the mentoring - largely consisting of weekly pair programming sessions after work over a few beers. Shortly after, I handed in my notice and, with some trepidation in April 2017, quit my job in research to focus on learning to code full-time.

At that point I had developed an interest in web development and was primarily working on mini projects, FreeCodeCamp and YouTube tutorials in tandem with the mentoring. I also went to meetups in and around London. There's a great community in the city, and I found it immensely helpful being able to bounce thoughts off people and listen to devs share their experiences.

I got into a rhythm of these activities and in late 2017, after sending a few applications out, I was offered a position as a junior frontend developer for a startup based in the city. That's where I'm currently based; it's all good fun, and with a great community of devs nearby, I feel comfortable working in programming. Definitely feel vindicated having taken the leap!

@abraham chimed in to talk about a recent editor switch. If you've recently switched code editors— How's it going so far? Be sure to check out the whole thread, where different commenters discuss their choices and how it relates to their computer specs, use cases, etc:

I've used Atom for the last several years and had been mostly happy with it. Over Christmas I switched to VS Code though and I don't think I'll be looking back. Code is faster and has a noticeably less lag. One of the reasons I moved was seeing new packages coming out on Code and leaving Atom in the dust.

For a month of Flutter I used Android Studio and found it a bloated and complex. I've since switched Flutter development to Code as well.

Decoding the Front-end Interview Process offered a great look at cultural interviews, coding interviews, take home challenges, and more. @httpjunkie jumped in with some experience from a few recent interviews at bigger companies:

Front End interviews are crazy nowadays, So hard to study for. I first started interviewing for Front End opportunities back in 2014-2015. At that point if you had a solid understanding of JS, CSS and HTML you would not have many problems.

But this last year in 2018, I interviewed with Paypal, Amazon, LinkedIn, Facebook, Airbnb, Cruise, Google and I'm sure I'm missing a few. The interviews were all different. Airbnb was truly tough, they got straight to the point, they have a very specific way of working with JS using classes and objects and despite all other front end skills I was kicked out of the process on my second interview because I was not as knowledgeable about their specific style of working with JS.

They could care less that I was very strong in the UI area, that I was a member of the JavaScript community, that I had worked with JS for 20 years and learned very quickly. They didn't care that I had full stack skills, Instead, it was only important that I be able to answer one specific question that was very specific to the way they did things in that one department.

I spoke with one person, and was also rejected by that one person.

Facebook actually has a good approach, they progressively get tougher as the interviews go and they are able to know exactly where you land as a front end developer and they have a good idea of what your strengths and weaknesses are and they are prepared to help and understand that you may not have trained all summer on their very specific way of doing things.

Today's front-end interviews can run the gamut. Great advice in this article, but I warn people that the front end is potentially more complex these days than it was only a few years ago. Good luck!

Asked to Describe Your Tetris Effect, @_morgan_adams_ brought up a phenomenon that I'm sure we're all familiar with in some form or another. The subconscious brain debugger is one powerful machine:

Sometimes I'm so deep in my flow that when I go to sleep, I still dream in code. Literally. I find bugs, wake up thinking that can't be right so I go and check. Sure enough... bug. I fix it, and get back to sleep.

See you next week for more great comments ✌

Top comments (6)

somedood profile image
Basti Ortiz

@httpjunkie 's comment on front-end interviews was just frustrating to read (in a good, thought-provoking way). I know that times are changing and all, but the fact that I've heard stories of front-end interviews including questions about sorting algorithms and computer science-related problems makes me feel like the whole interview process for front-end development nowadays is unnecessarily complex. It's truly frustrating!

I get that companies are looking for the cream of the crop (in accordance with their coding style and philosophy), but isn't it frustrating how someone who is really good at UI gets rejected just because, for example, they didn't know how to implement a bubble sort in JavaScript or some other related programming language to the job description? It's just insanity.

Anyway, that's my take on it. It just really bothers me that seemingly unrelated topics to the job description are prerequisites for a job that is unlikely to even encounter those topics. Don't get me wrong; I totally agree that learning new things (such as algorithms and whatnot) and improving as a programmer are great, but at this scale, it's just atrocious.

peter profile image
Peter Kim Frank • Edited

Congrats to @molly_struve , @raviipradhan , @abraham , @httpjunkie , and @_morgan_adams_ for making the list this week.

somedood profile image
Basti Ortiz

At least there's a silver lining for everything. 😁