Wednesday, December 16, 2015

My last coaching client just got a Junior Dev paid internship

Hey All, So I am either lucky, or good at getting people hired :-)  The last Coaching client that I currently have just got offered a paid 3 month junior dev internship at a company in Baltimore MD.  I really am sad to not have anymore coaching clients at the moment :-( 

I will update the testimonials section of my blog with each of the last 3 coaching clients stories by the first of the year. 

Here are some of the thoughts and things I have learned over the past 6 of months coaching:

1. I think that I could really help people who already know how to code but haven't been able to land a job.  I think I could help them land a job in 1 month.  Email me if you want to hear more.

2.  I love coaching people to land jobs.  I really get SO excited to help people break into the coding world. It's thrilling to hear how excited they are when they actually get the coveted job offer!  Coaching is my passion, I want to keep doing this for as long as people will keep hiring me to help them get hired.

3.  People don't value free coaching.  I offered to coach 4 people for free, to give back and help them land jobs.  All 4 of them quit within 2 - 3 months of starting coaching.  No matter how much I screened people, no matter how motivated and passionate they said they were, not one even completed the 4 months of coaching.  No matter how many emails I sent or how many hours I spent helping them they all quit.  I never would have guessed this would happen and this is something that shocked me.

4.   Every person who has paid me to coach them has landed a job and none of them took longer than 4 months.  Not bragging, just a true fact that I am proud of.

5.  The biggest problem I see is that there are too many resources and people just think if they take a ton of tutorials, some company is going to hire them.  They have no plan for how to actually get hired.  Everyone should read this article:

Why Emotionally Intelligent People Are More Successful

Basically it talks about what I have observed as the key to landing a QA or coding job:

The Carnegie Institute of Technology carried out research that showed that 85% of our financial success was due to skills in “human engineering”, personality, and ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead. They found that only 15% was due to technical ability. 

6.  The ultimate key to getting hired is being truly remarkable and standing out from the crowd, it's that simple.

Keep coding peeps, you can do this!!!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

If you are going to learn Javascript do this first...

I have stated many times that Ruby is the best programing language for beginner's to learn.  People continue to tell me that they absolutely must  learn Javascript.

OKAY, I give up!

If you are 'dead set' on learning Javascript as a beginner, then you need to help yourself and make things easier.  First, Javascript is not as easy as Ruby.  There are many more 'gotchas' in Javascript.  Javascript is 'less clean' than Ruby.  If you are learning Javascript right now, you will more than likely be learning it because of Node and SPA applications.   If you are learning it to use with Node, you will be writing asynchronous javascript, you will be dealing with promises, you will be scratching your head A LOT :-)

Get the Webstorm IDE.  When I only used Ruby I loved Sublime Text 3 text editor.  When you are dealing with Javascript, you should take ALL the help you can get.  Everything you can do with an IDE you can pretty much do with Sublime if you install enough packages and tweak enough of the custom settings.

I started noticing myself tweaking Sublime more and more, until I finally thought to myself: "Why am I making my text editor into an IDE???"  I think you pretty much need an IDE if you are a beginner learning Javascript, do yourself a favor and get Webstorm it is specifically made with Javascript in mind.  I use it everyday at work, it is really amazing and I wouldn't go back to Sublime.

Also if you are going to learn Javascript, learn how to leverage Javascript libraries like:




No company is going to have you writing triple nested loops, if you find yourself writing them, stop and learn how to use a library :-)

Yes, people will say you should spend your whole life learning plain Vanilla Javascript before ever using a library and leveraging their methods.  I say don't spend 2 years of your life coding in your parent's basement learning Vanilla plain Javascript :-)

Learn to use the libraries and built in methods. Again, no company wants you writing multiple nested loops, that some other poor developer will one day have to try and figure out after you've left.

If you can find a method, use it.  If you can't, then write your own it's that simple.  If people email me saying they want to hear more about learning Javascript, I will write a blog post on how to easily pass Free Code Camp's Bonfires.

Keep coding peeps, you can do this!


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Former Blacksmith helps people land coding jobs

Hey guys I just had to let you know that my coaching client in Denver just got hired as a Test Automation Engineer!  His first day is on December14th.  I'll probably give him a week to get settled in at his new job before 'spilling the beans' on his journey/story.  Expect another update near Christmas time.  I love coding and my current role as a Software Engineer in Testing, but I love just as much helping people land there first coding position.

I also think people who are learning how to code would almost be better off landing a QA role instead of a web development role as their first professional position at a company. 

Most companies are slowly moving away from manual testers and more and more will not hire QA Engineers unless they have at least some level of coding ability.  If you land an entry level QA role you will more than likely start writing automation scripts using Selenium early on in your QA career.

I think a great way for beginner's to move toward a development role is by learning QA well, and then writing automation for a web application.  Testing may not sound as 'sexy' as web development, but it makes you look at a web application in an entirely different way than a developer does.

There are also many hats that QA's can wear, for example you may start off doing only manual/functional testing of an application, until you have more product knowledge.  You may then start working on the automation team ( assuming you know how to code ).  Other QAs do some security testing of the application, using security tools and plugins like:  XSS Me, Burp, and Tamper Data, among others.

The point is if you are new to learning how to code, there is a lot to learn.  Why not take some of the pressure off of becoming a full blown web developer as your first position, and learn to code in smaller 'bite sized' chunks?  Learn how to code, then land a QA job.  If you still want to be a developer after 6 months to a year, talk to your company about moving into a junior developer position.  The key is learning to code, and then finding a good fit for want you ultimately enjoy doing with that coding skill set.

I personally like doing automation and find it challenging and fun.  I think 'noobs' should not turn there noses up at the idea of starting off in a QA position.  Who knows you just might love it :-)

Keep coding peeps, you can do this!