What's your dream job?

helenanders26 profile image Helen Anderson ・1 min read

If you could write your own 'dream job' description what would you include?

... and more importantly, what would you exclude?


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My Dream Job is to land and lead small businesses web development projects and have a chance to work closely with people with ambitious goals and help them succeed.

It's should include constant client's communication and feedback and be able to create something that the client envisions and be part of that "boo yeaaah" when the project launches.

Don't want to treat this as just a job and work to complete the hours. Don't wanna make it all about money. and help to bring the brainy image of Pakistan. Wanna make it a public service as well.


Include: Pretty much everything I'm doing (my own thang, complete architectural control), but with more money for my bank account and budget to hire others.

Exclude: All the crap I've put up with in my career and job searches and/or been forced to impose on others in a hiring/lead role, including but not limited to:

  • Preemptive reference checks (protect the people you depend on from overexposure, devs)
  • Lying recruiters
  • Hiring process black holes/silent rejection
  • Pointless, timed, on-the-spot coding challenges which tell you nothing about developer candidates
  • Requiring degrees, which also tell you nothing about devs
  • Video interviews
  • Micromanagers
  • Onsite anything except conferences, getaways, possibly prospective client meetings (and I'll probably just take them out for food/drinks instead like I do now, cheaper than an office and more relaxed decision making)
  • Failing to shield devs/sprint backlog from issues which belong in product backlog/icebox

Well said! The hiring and interview process in our industry needs to be improved.


I might add. Dear HR specialists, if are doing screening process and you did not read the code of a massive testing task you don't respect a software engineer. Please be respectful, read the code :)


Greatly said all of the bad things related to job search as a developer.


I'm not very put off by silent rejection and in fact consider it a lesser evil than polite rejection or flattering rejection. Actual feedback is the only kind of rejection message that would be useful, but I can only assume that's categorically nonexistent because we live in a litigious society.

Requiring degrees is problematic, but I'm more harmed by aggressively-stated experience requirements. Admittedly, I'm generation X, so I got a degree before the real tuition hyperinflation set in. Which brings me to the subject of age discrimination. Surely IT is on the short list of industries that don't even pretend not to practice age discrimination. So age discrimination always figures prominently on my IT-industry shit list.

Maybe I date myself by saying "IT industry" instead of "tech." That's deliberate message discipline, combating erasure of general technology. Technology is synonymous with "applied science" or perhaps "engineering." Technology includes such diverse disciplines as civil engineering, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, agriculture, medicine, etc.


I don't call it IT (and I've been doing this 20 years overall) because I worked on the IT side of tech (where I got my formal start after many years of freelancing), and made a lateral move to the software side (again formally, being a freelance developer for years prior as well) after I realized the pay in IT would continue to suck no matter how many certs I got nor what an infosec rockstar I might become.


I agree that I'd rather get an automated rejection, or possibly even ghosted, than some BS passed back to a recruiter like "we just didn't feel like Mike was strong enough in [that language he's been writing in for the last 18 years, while keeping up with modern standards updates and frameworks/libraries]."


AI researcher and System Architect of AI systems.
AI for robotics and AI networking like for self driving cars.
If not that then some serious Software Engineer lvl 5 or lvl 6 role in google or a Lead System and Software Architect role in US based startup.


being a deep learning researcher would be awesome....


My dream job would be to work for myself which includes:

  • a SaaS product which generates enough income so I don't have to worry about working in a 9 - 5
  • freelancing
  • i'll have to work less than 10 hours a week
  • a blog which generates income from affiliates links
  • couple of e-book courses which generate income on the side

My dream job would allow me to teach and mentor Junior Data Scientists while working on interesting projects that make a positive impact on the world. It would allow me to work from home to support my family, and be flexible with hours and deadlines.

I am in my dream job


My dream job would not include a toxic workgroup or a company with no values. I need a positive experience at work to keep me going.

My dream job would not require me to be certain places at specific times or have short deadlines. Due to family circumstances I have a lot of emergencies come up and I get really stressed out if I have work deadlines that I cant make.

I am really good at getting my work done in the macro. If you look micro I have a lot of weeks that look like diddly squat, and some "dang I crushed it" weeks. If the job requires me to perform well in the micro I am not a good fit.


I love that you've mentioned the human side as well as the skills and tasks.

It's so important to me to be working for a company that is doing good for the world and the people I work with.


@helenanders26 Don't keep us hanging, Whats your dream job?


Like you, I want to teach, mentor, and feel like I'm part of a company that is bringing something positive to the world. It stresses me out if I'm working somewhere where the focus is 100% on bringing in sales. Which is why I'm not a salesperson I guess :D

As for what I'd like to be doing, I think I've almost found it with Product Management. I get to trawl through data sometimes, write technical documentation and blog posts sometimes, and work closely with the engineering team while being the voice of the customer. Proof that trying all kinds of different things on your career journey isn't necessarily a bad thing. All those skills can add up to a role where you draw on different experiences across projects.


Anyone who thinks broad/varied experience and wearing many hats is a bad thing definitely isn't ready for a startup.


I would love to be a teacher in the tech industry, learning pedagogy methods, writing materials for students, answers their questions and build projects together !
That seems like a dream job for me, it mixes up a lot of interesting concepts that I really want to learn (mostly pedagogy)

The satisfaction of helping someone is priceless


I agree! Seeing those 'lightbulb' moments when a tricky concept finally clicks for someone is the best feeling.


If you ever want to talk about it, let us know! We're doing that. We could share some of the things we've learned. The world need more (better) teachers!

  • Front End: HTML, CSS, Javascript, React, Redux (React and Redux optional training given)
  • Back End: Node, MongoDB (Node, MongoDB optional training given)
  • No lying scum recruiters
  • 1 Telephone Screen Interview
  • 1 Video or Onsite Interview (you choose)
  • No stupid take home tests let you portfolio/github speak for itself
  • 2 stage interview process that is completed in 2 weeks max
  • 1 Month Onboarding/Probation
  • Fully remote or a few days in an office its up to you

I'm a big supporter of the take home challenge (as opposed to timed, on-the-spot coding tests, which I think are idiotic, tell you nothing about developer skills, and paint you and your company as fostering a culture of micromanagement), precisely because some candidates are too busy working on proprietary stuff (or just had a college/boot camp experience that didn't emphasize GitHub/portfolio) to stand out without it. If a candidate does have a rich GitHub/portfolio, I may just skip the take-home challenge and do a code review interview over their prior code instead. Either way, I need them to defend their decisions in that follow-up interview (even if some of the solution came from Stack Overflow/other GitHub projects).


My issue with the take home challenge is that I feel like we are constantly being forced to prove ourselves. If you know that your skills match the job description then you should not have to keep being tested it's just another roadblock to deny you employment. Doing one take home challenge might not be too bad. But it's typical for a job seeker to be interviewing at multiple companies at the same time so you might have a combination of take home challenges and timed exams in addition to general interview preparation.

Thats a lot of work and stress and its very easy to not do too well on a test despite having the skills because of the added pressure and your busy diary. Plus you have to take into account the time that it takes for the company to give you feedback on the test. That requires more waiting and if you end up being rejected or ghosted which happens all the time then your confidence takes a hit and you start to get imposter syndrome. This leads to periods where you decide to take a break from looking for work because it feels like the bar is being set too high for something as trivial as HTML, CSS and javascript.

And the code you write for any new take home tests might not be at your best as you are feeling in a low state. Giving companies the impression that you are not the right fit when really you have just become exhausted of doing tests and having recruiters and hiring managers play mind games with you.

As you can see in my top level comment, I'm with you on almost everything you mention here - and I absolutely despise both the timed, on-the-spot challenge (as I said here and elsewhere, it's not going to tell me anything useful about you anyway, because that's not how devs work), and the way companies expect you to be perfect and do so much, but then can't so much as send a rejection email (even automated is better than nothing), is despicable.

And as for trying to complete a code challenge while you have a job (and a life), that's why I feel it should be limited to no more than a few hours of work max, and given ~1 week to complete. That way you can take your time working on it, reason about it as you go, and go at it in larger chunks on the weekend (or whatever your days off are) if you want/need to. And any candidate who meets (or comes close to meeting) the requirements of my code challenge will get a follow-up code review interview. It's only fair that I give them my time, even if only to give constructive advice for improving. I also check in every few days (just an email here and there to see how they're doing and ask if I can clarify anything, and if they may need more time), and let them know that I'm available to answer their questions at any time during the timeframe.

What sticks out to me in your last comment is:

I feel like we are being constantly forced to prove ourselves.

That's never going to change. You have to make the case to any prospective employer that not only is your code up to snuff, but that you can meet requirements and do so both in a reasonable timeframe (again, not an hour, on-the-spot, while they're looking over your shoulder) and with a personality that isn't going to be a detriment to others involved.

If you know that your skills match the job description then you should not have to keep being tested

You may know that, but the one trying to give you money (and not an insignificant amount, comparatively speaking) may not. That's the point of testing.

As I said before: There's a case to be made, if you have an outstanding portfolio and GitHub (I do not, due to lots of proprietary work, and I'm architect/CTO level), that you should be fast tracked through to an interview that is basically a code review of what you've already written, skipping the code challenge; however, you're still going to have to shine in your explanations and prove that you won't just rest on your laurels as having already proven yourself. You may have to others. That doesn't mean you've proven it to me.

Well fair enough I guess I can agree with that. I just think that the whole interview process is broken in general. Having to spend hours doing a take home challenge just to get ghosted with no feedback is soul destroying. It leads straight to imposter syndrome and self doubt you start to second guess the code that you write.

If all take home challenges had constructive feedback and no ghosting then it would feel like time well spent. And what I said about having to constantly prove yourself I just meant that occurs when you get burned out from a long and exhausting job search which has led to no job offers. It's fine for the first month or so but any longer and the imposter syndrome makes an appearance and that is destructive for any job seeker.

It was fun reading your discussion. But as we can all see — while some things we agree on, others we do not, and we all have different expectations of different perceived experience for a candidate whether it is ourselves or of others. Every tool has a scenario that it cannot cover. I’ve come to think that it’s reductionist to think that the entire industry and hiring in tech is just broken.

It’s just not perfect and there is something to be said about how much the bar has been raised with regard to algo problems at big companies. Don’t get me wrong, a healthy understanding and knowing what tools are available and being able to talk through a problem and how one might tackle it should lend a lot of insight already. The expectation of a working and near optimal solution is a little absurd.

I think a stupendous point was made about “not resting on laurels”. I’m a little shocked that we don’t do the following — 1. baseline capability of understanding and knowledge around some topics, 2. Evaluate quality of existing works, and 3. The desire to learn. I want to really emphasize that last point, because we used to be able to say that it isn’t measurable. But it is! For someone with experience, there is likely activity on their GitHub with a history of things they’ve dabbled in and a record of projects they’ve engaged with either by contribution, questions, or bug reports. Sure, there are stints where a particular person works on only proprietary software or even a completely different VCS, but as one of you had stated, such opacity lends itself to deeper inquiry


My current job as a C# and Azure developer. The interesting thing is that it was not my dream job at all only 9 months ago, that is before I started working here. I love Web development and I hoped to find a job that could make me an expert about HTML, CSS, JavaScript, web apps, service workers, frameworks and other related topics. I wrote an article in which I encourage the reader to question what he likes. I want you to try to exit from your comfort zone and test yourself; you could find your new dream job.


Great article! I enjoyed reading about how far you've come and what's next


What a great question!
At the moment, my dream job would be in a rather small company, building its own product, possibly solving ecological or ethical challenges, so that I would feel my efforts go for a good cause.
I would cherish a product that I believe in.
I'd work in a reasonably sized team, and have about 3 days remote per week.
The office location would enable me to live in the countryside.

I think that summarizes well what my dream job would be like at the moment 😁


Sounds great! I think it's so important to feel like you're solving problems that have a big impact on the world.


If was something other than I was doing right now, AWS Technical Evangelist.


Your recent AWS Hero status should put you in good standing for your dream role. :D


My dream job would be a job in academia, but unfortunately the world of academic careers is shrinking even as the number of PhDs is growing.

As to what I would exclude, what I do exclude, as a matter of conscience, is opportunities that require a security clearance. I shudder at the thought of how many opportunities that may have cost me, although of course one can only speculate about the path not taken.

Beyond a preference for academia and an antipreference for the military/industrial/intelligence complex, I don't much care. I'll happily adjust to anything in the way of workplace sociology, J.O.B. descriptions, etc. Right livelihood has always been more important to me than "do what you love." If anything, I'd rather leave my most beloved interests unmonetized, as monetization tends to ruin everything. I view paid employment as a means to an end, not an end in itself.


Given stories that have emerged during the pandemic, and outrageous requirements with ridiculously laughable pay I've gotten from recruiters during that time showing complete disdain and lack of consideration for contractors and employees (including requiring onsite a week after Tim Cook's "work from home if you can" memo was "leaked,"), I'd say, "No, you don't."


Read books, do R&D, practice fun stuff, play music, make movies, teach others, hang out with our best friends - and build a new school to train a new generation of designers: all day long/everyday.

Doing it! It's fun.

exclude: legal stuff / the more boring bits of marketing... cleaning the dishes...


To be an Autonomous Car Engineer (self driving car engineer)


Just to be my own boss...no job and no bosses. ✋


Making enough money to be comfortable always reminds me of this extreme case. He is such an inspiration to what he is able to do with his wealth.


To build more jobs for others.
Because i'm building a company


Working with programming and Marine biology. That's it, if we are talking about real dreams working with something more into robotics to explore the sea would be Holy Grail