Be unapologetically you.

One Month Later...

First post of post-bootcamp life...let's go!

Good news: I have applied for a lot of jobs in the DC area. I have also received a few callbacks and first-round interviews. How did they go? Here are the ones that I remember in order. Of course:

  1. My first bite came two days after demo day. I received an email from the recruiter had received a code challenge to complete before the interview. I panicked throughout and didn't complete the challenge, but I sent back what I could complete in 3 days. The phone interview with the recruiter felt terse and I was forced to give a salary range. I didn't feel good coming after the interview. I received an e-mail about two hours later that we would not proceed. It knocked my confidence back a bit, but it was a good learning experience.
  2. Received a phone call from Contracting Firm #1 and they were supposed to send me information via e-mail about a position I was being considered for. Never heard from them after that initial phone call.
  3. I had a phone interview with the recruiter at Contracting Firm #2. This one felt different because the recruiter was very friendly and really wanted to share the good about the company. First phone screen went really well. Then, I had a phone call with the recruiter and two members of the technical team. They seemed to like me, so I received a code challenge. Completed that in about...3 days. They liked my code challenge, so I got to meet with the owner of the company and a member of the technical team. We discussed my code without a computer. That was weird. They liked me and I have one more step to complete. Fingers crossed that it goes well.
  4. During a meetup, I met someone who was looking for two front-end developers. I gave them a link to my github and then invited me into the office for an in-person interview. I walked through the code of my final project. We had a discussion about where the company will go next. We ended the interview agreeing that I would send an e-mail with my salary requirements. I heard back a week later saying that although I was qualified, I wouldn't get the salary I wanted and should instead try for a larger agency that would give me the training that I needed. I wished them the best and kept it moving. It happens.
  5. I had a call with two people at two different start ups. They let me know that it was not a full-time gig. Hooray for potential contract/freelance work in the future!
  6. A meetup organizer got me in touch with a recruiter. The recruiter passed my resume to the project team. Although they liked me, they had a requirement that they had to meet--two years professional experience. At least they were up front about it and the interview ended shortly thereafter.
  7. I had a call with a digital agency's recruiter. She asked A LOT of behavioral interview questions. I tried to source every answer with a project I did. I should hear back from that team soon. (I hope!)

So as you can see, no offer as of yet. So of course, I am still chasing leads, figuring out two code challenges, and applying to anything that looks interesting. But I have learned a lot from these interviews. First, you learn that the job interviewing process is a numbers game. I think it helped that I got up and got out there in the DC tech community, but did it mean that I got a job? Not really. With a month on the job hunt, I have taken the following steps to help me professionally and mentally:

  1. Leave the house. There were days that I was down. Very, very, very down. I felt a lot better after I went somewhere and came back to the hoping and waiting game.
  2. Talk to someone about what you are feeling. It can be a friend, family member, mentor, classmate. Make sure you let it out.
  3. Maintain a clean social media profile. I had employers look at my social media and that helped several recruiters in deciding that they wanted to talk to me.
  4. Keep going to your local meetups! I got a job interview after one meetup and even more recently, I was encouraged to apply to another company that I think would be really cool to work for.
  5. Keep your head up. Job hunting is HARD. Job hunting is frustrating. If you need to take a day off to keep yourself healthy, do it. It will pay off in the long run, but be like Dory and just keep swimming!
  6. If possible, don't just stop coding. You would be shocked at what you forget if you take a long time off, but I think it is important to keep thinking like a coder.

Hopefully I will have good news for my next update. I have a lighthearted post waiting in the wings that I want to tweak before publishing. It was something that kept me sane through this process. Oh well, onward!


Back to the real world: After Coding Bootcamp