How I Got Hired at DEV (and Every Other Tech Job)

Jacob Herrington (he/him) on November 01, 2019

On tech jobs There has never been a better time to join the tech industry. These days we have all kinds of resources for self-teaching (... [Read Full]
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This is fantastic, @jacobherrington .

To everyone else reading this, speaking as a former coworker of Jacobs, I can also attest that this is completely factually accurate with one exception.

His claim that he knows "more about Star Wars than 90% of the population" is a huge understatement. Do not get him started on the merits of "The Last Jedi".

In all seriousness, this article contains excellent advice for anyone trying to enter into this industry from someone I have seen, first hand, go to great lengths to create more diversity in the tech field.


lol thanks

for those wondering, i think TLJ might be as bad as TPM. 🙊 this is coming from someone who loves TFA, Rogue One, and Solo.


Thanks for the article Jacob. Think this is one of the most important pieces. "Getting in a room with someone who can offer you an internship is the most challenging piece of the struggle. The second step is finding a problem you can take off of their plate, which is easy to do if you come prepared with questions and thoughtfully consider the answers they give you."


That has been true for me, I'm glad you found some value in it!


There's a lot in this story that resonates with me, and we seem to have some similar experiences (college dropouts, modest background, etc.) I even followed a similar strategy to yours for a while, i.e. I never applied for a job at first.

I was pretty lucky since I started programming when I was 12ish and did quite a bit of open source stuff in the early 2000s, so jobs generally found me. I had to mix it up a bit when I started moving abroad (I'm in my 5th country now), but overall the approach still mostly seems to work. It led me to progressively better opportunities over the years, including lead developer, CTO and Engineering Lead at a "decacorn" startup.

That said, after leaving my last job I did run into one of the ugly truths of our industry a little bit: I turned 40 this summer, and a lot of hiring is biased towards younger people, even if it's "just" in the form of expecting you to spend a significant number of hours on hiring processes. Sorry, but if you contact me saying that I'm "a perfect fit for the role" and it's obvious that what you need is exactly what I've been doing for the last 10 years, I'm not gonna sit through 5 rounds of coding challenges and interviews. So it's back to contracting and consulting ¯\(ツ)


Thanks for sharing this Jacob. And just wow! I really like your story, it kinda' relates to how was/is mine, I'd love to talk with you about it hehe, but the key thing here is that you made the point and I'm sure that connects with many other folks stories. Networking is super important as mentioned, following down that path, I think people wouldn't take or apply to jobs, openings or opportunities will come along as they move forward. Really cool reading this 🚀

Un saludo 👋 🧙‍♂️


Always happy to answer a DM, I'd love to hear your story. 😁


Thank you for sharing!

I'm sorry to hear about the ROTC path, but I'd say it worked out. Life is funny sometimes.

I definitely agree that networking is the key to success in life, no matter the industry. All(most) of my freelance work has been through contacts. Besides, it's nice to ping ideas off like-minded people. Especially with the galaxy of options in web development these days haha


Some things end up better than you expect them.

I find most freelancers have that same experience and it kind of translates to those looking for fulltime jobs too.


When I first started looking for a job the networking aspect scared me the most. My thought towards cold-calling/emailing was that I was bothering whoever I was trying to contact. It took a long time for me to be comfortable with it, so I find your tenacity amazing.

The craziest thing to me now is how much I enjoy receiving cold emails or DM's asking for my advice or help. Now I always think to myself "maybe this person enjoys helping others like I do" which gives me incentive and confidence to press send.

Anyways, great post!! I'm really excited to listen to your podcast on my commute now!


Glad to hear that!

I'm the same way, I love being able to help people, so I hope that others have the same response. 😁


This, is loooong. But it's worth every second reading it.

Very enlightening I would dare to say, at least for me.

I've experienced some of what you said, since I started to become more involved with the community here in my city/country.

I have meet a lot of interesting people and got some nice opportunities from that.


A real story like this is so much more valuable than a list of "5 tips to hack your linkedin portfolio". Thanks for sharing with authenticity!


I always say yes when people ask me to coffee (or at least do a call), even if I have to schedule it weeks ahead because if people hadn't done that for me, I wouldn't be where I am.


Which is kinda the premise of this article, but I get what you mean.

That's the point Kent made about my podcast, having that conversation once with a microphone means he can answer those questions asynchronously for a lot of people.

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