Is rejection for a job becoming more normal or...?

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It seems more developers are being rejected for jobs they apply for and they're being rejected over longer periods of time. I'm seeing more posts on various platforms (including dev.to) from developers having a hard time finding work and being without work for longer.

I know a couple devs who are awesome and passionate and excellent coders. But they went without getting accepted for a job for months, sometimes longer.

Or maybe it's just that we have so many platforms to tell our stories that these stories seem more prevalent?

Thoughts?

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I’d guess that the various code schools popping up have, at the very least, created a lot of volatility in the job market. I think the positions are ultimately available but companies are less willing to settle for the wrong candidate.

 

I was under the same impression (seeing more people getting their application rejected). I don't usually read that kind of articles but it would be interesting to gather context from them (country, age, experience, etc...) and see if there is some kind of pattern.

What's shocking to me is that all the developers I know IRL (me included) experience the opposite: they all find nice jobs really easily, and most of them (including me once again) are clearly average developers, nothing fancy that would make it especially easy to find a job.

 

Yeah very interesting! What part of the world do you live in?

 

France, north-east of it, which is not even the best region to be in for tech-related jobs.

Other things that could be relevant: I'm 22 years old, most of the developers I know are between that age and late twenties, and most of them have less than 5 years of experience.

 

Some issues I've seen over the past year or so.

  • Non-existent roles for junior / entry level devs - This is a big problem, and not just for people trying to get their foot in the door. Where I currently work, our devs would love to get more experience training and leading a team of more junior devs, so they can focus on solving more challenging problems. But management does not see a benefit in investing in entry level positions or having students intern with us. This leaves our developers feeling overtasked while our numerous "senior" developer job listings sit on the website for 6+ months.

  • Broken, and sometimes questionably legal interview processes - I remember interviewing with a company that had a 24 hour test that required you to interact with a very specific api. The api required you register to use it, but would not allow you to use any FREE email service such as gmail... I just HAPPENED to have a private paid email account, but I can imagine how many other devs took this test and just gave up. I'm not sure it's legal to require someone to PAY to get a job... Anyway, I didn't get the job because their back end java developer didn't like my Android code; someone who had no experience with Android, criticizing the work of someone who was a lead developer for 3 years on a very successful photo sharing app.... I then joined a company where I was awarded my first patent for a custom OCR solution and have now transitioned into a full time machine learning role. This isn't meant to brag, but to highlight that these hiring processes are often highly flawed.

  • Irrelevant coding challenges - "Solve this graph theory problem." ... "Isn't this a front end web development position?" You see this a LOT with larger employers, such as Google, Facebook, etc. They don't really care if you're good at your job, they only care about weeding out false positives. They'd rather turn away a few good developers, as long as they can "guarantee" that those that ARE hired are competent. Unfortunately, this means those of us who are self taught often get weeded out, because we often only attempt to learn new concepts when we feel we can immediately apply them in a project, where as a student fresh out of college who just learned this information can get the job, without having any real world coding experience.

  • Impossible or unnecessary job listing requirements - "Must have 5 years experience with this technology that has only been around for 3 years." Or "Must have 15 years experience with this one tech stack." I just out right ignore these listings, but they are plentiful, and make it that much more difficult to find a real job listing.

  • Fear of inadequacy - This may just be me, but as someone with a pretty severe case of imposter syndrome, I am often too paralyzed with fear to apply for roles that I feel I may be a little under qualified for. I hate wasting peoples time, and I hate the idea of having a company fly my out for an interview when I'm pretty sure they won't think I'm qualified.

 

Finding any job today (even a developer one) is tough. I've applied to several developer jobs, but have never even gotten to the interview stage. Most of the times I get a rejection e-mail or I never hear back. I've had several people look at my resume and cover letters to see what I can improve upon, but nothing has really changed. I know plenty of devs who have found jobs and it seems what works for them is having a good network and using that connection to get them interviews. I'm starting to realize finding a job is becoming less about the skills you have and more about the people you know.

 

I'm starting to realize finding a job is becoming less about the skills you have and more about the people you know.

Sadly, yes :-(

 

In my experience, I get rejected from most job applications, and that's been the case for 20+ years so I see no personal change there.

As the years go by, however, I do see more and more people apply for jobs with the expectation of getting the role. Maybe that's just the appearance people like to present, but I hear more from people who have "never failed an interview" now than ever before.

 

I think another aspect of this is the mismatch between most interview environments and the working environment on the job. Even if you are prepared to do the job, you might not be prepared to succeed at the interview.

Very few people function the same way in a high-pressure evaluation as they would in an average working day. It is impossible to assess somebody's knowledge of such a wide field in such a short time. Interviewers know this, but I think they are put in a difficult situation too. I think a short-term paid working engagement on a small project or feature is the best way to assess a candidate's skills, and provides the best opportunity to the candidate to know what working there would be like. In my experience however, it's rare that companies with job openings are open to that.

 

I went on a job search recently. I applied to something like 74 different remote-only positions. I've still got the spreadsheet I used to track everything.

Me: iOS dev with self-published apps and 7 years experience in mobile.

Findings:

  1. Roughly 15% of cold job applications received a response.

  2. About half of those moved on to some kind of interview (I sometimes rejected companies based on their first email response to me. I don't take code tests without speaking to a human being first, and there are other details that sometimes don't work out).

  3. 3% of all applications resulted in an offer.

  4. No interview was the much-bemoaned "gotcha" whiteboarding interview. Most companies preferred to have me speak to a technical person on the team for an hour or so, and most places were looking for the standard skills you'd get while on the job or building apps yourself.

  5. Only a handful of particularly brazen companies tried to get me to take a code test without getting me through some sort of phone/facetime interview first. These code tests also seemed to be the least related to what I do. I believe these folks are just fishing and trying to see who can finish their test the fastest. They don't have a pressing need for expertise.

Thoughts:

  1. I think a few really rotten apples taint our perception of the market. There are good jobs out there, even if you're kinda demanding and want remote-only. Had I been willing to relocate, I probably would have had a better response rate and offer ratio.

  2. Go and apply for stuff! It actually works. I was skeptical about it, but I am not so skeptical anymore. It's just a numbers game. Force yourself to apply to five jobs a day, and even if it doesn't work out, it's still networking (and much less costly than paying airfare for a conference or driving to a meetup).

Classic DEV Post from Jan 30

What are "HTML-CSS-JS" and "CSS-in-JS", anyway?

There's a lot of debate around these frontend strategies! There's not a consensus definition of what they even are. Let's fix that, and add some nuance!

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