March 19, 2014

Lessons from a Silicon Valley Software Engineer's Job Search

After 4 months of funemployment, 25 job applications and 6 weeks of constant interviewing, Iâm now an engineer at Stripe. It goes without saying that weâre always hiring.

The job search experience wasnât some epic, arduous, life-affirming quest in which I realised that the nerdy girl with glasses was actually both inwardly beautiful and outwardly smoking hot when she brushed her hair. But it was certainly non-trivial and did take a lot more work and time than I had expected. As with anything, there were some things I did that accidentally turned out to be pretty smart, many things that turned out to be boneheaded, and lots of basics and finesses about making applications, doing interviews and negotiating deals that I feel I understand far more now than I did when I started. Thereâs plenty more on these below, but there are 2 lessons I would particularly like to emphasise from the start:

Firstly, find the right level of confidence. Iâve spent a good deal of the last 6 months oscillating between (often multiple times in one day) the twin but completely contradictory beliefs that:

 

  • There are trillions of people who know hundreds of times more stuff about everything than me, and anything I can do could and should be done infinitely quicker and more effectively by these savvy supermen
  • I AM PROGRAMMER, KNEEL BEFORE ME AND BEG ME TO WORK WITH YOU

 Read more at Rob Heaton's blog.

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