What is the difference between a graduate, a junior, a senior and What is the difference between a developer, engineer, a team leader and an architect in software development?

Let’s start with the obvious and correct answer.
There is NO A CLEAR LINE when you become junior, mid-level, senior developer/engineer. There is NO CLEAR LINE which decides when you are a developer and when you are an engineer.

So .. How to answer questions?

  • What is the difference between Junior / Mid / Senior Developer?
  • What is the difference between Developer and Engineer?
  • What does mean from a company point of view?

Well … My eyes start to bleed when I read some emails from recruiters with some cutting-edge vocabulary from ‘marketing bulls**t’ dictionary to tell me how great role and company are without the focus on the description of what is a Junior role I should apply for (I saw Junior role with 5 years experience in some technology that exists for 4 years and so on).

I know most recruiters (80%) do not care about what they talking about it as they care about commission and Christmas bonus so I can understand them but companies description can be super confusing too.

I did some pseudo-research about it and I realized that there are no clear definitions for junior, senior, developer or engineer. I mean there are many definitions and answer to these question on StackOverflow but … they feel incomplete and incorrect.

I decided to write this to show my ‘loose’ definitions of these word with some explanations and examples.

Let’s start with seniority. Seniority varies from Graduate, Junior, Mid to the Senior role.

The main reason why there is much confusion about distinguishing when you start to become mid-level or senior person due to blurry understating of “Seniority”. For me: Seniority role based on the variety of experience in problem-solving not on expertise in particular language, framework or technology. Seniority does not depend on time duration. For example coding, 5 years in Java do not mean you become a senior person. Yes, you may be an expert in the syntax of that language but still, struggle to solve a simple problem.
Whole life cycle looks more less like this:
  • Student when you learn about problem-solving through exercise.
  • The graduate is a first professional role after you finish learning (at university, at home or online course) where you learn about solving real problems, life cycle and methodology. They are guided by senior and tech lead on how to be a better gamer … I mean … programmer.
  • A junior role is a place in your career when you focus on having fun with writing software and get exciting when you get more and more experience with solving problems and get much help from senior people.
  • Mid-level is a sweet spot where you solve interesting problems and write lots of clever code.
  • Senior Role is when your focus more on leading and helping graduate/ junior developers to become an epic programmer by guiding them through solving the problem and help them to make decisions and trade-offs and you focus less on writing code (you usually solve most complicated problem cases and enjoy more and more meetings).

That’s all.

What’s difference between developer and engineer?

At university* where I studied it means in practice it usually means clever students are engineers and less gifted students are developers who in teamwork behave as engineer’s slavers that perform simple repeatable tasks. In real life is not like that.
(*) It sounds bit negative but my overall impression of study computer science in Aberstywyth was great. I highly recommend.
What it means in the real world? Well, I will start with a conclusion that for me it is the same thing and I can use exchangeably because I  didn’t see any pragmatic reasons to distinguish between developers and engineers. I did some research and I understood that both developers and engineers write software. The difference is that Engineers write software (framework, library and/or fundaments for the platform) that is used by developers to write software that is built on it.
That’s all.

Where is an architect in this?

Software architect* focus on leading architecture solution for the platform and contribute code like engineers (yes, I believe software architect role should exist and they should write software too).
(*I apologize for all ‘Agile’ orthodox for swearing here.)
    It does not mean it follows strict mediaeval hierarchy where that junior developer does donkey work by taking order from tech lead who is a senior engineer who took part of software development build on fundaments of the platform created by Veteran Architect because the success of delivering great software in given time depends on collaboration and knowledge share between all of them in the team.

What about Team/Tech leader?

    For me, It is a person who is most experience with project, domain and has the ability to provide a bridge between business (Product Owner), Software Architecture (Platform) and team.

Summary.

    When you describe your seniority and when company define who they are looking for then they should treat describe Seniority role based on the variety of experience in problem-solving and how this person will fit in the team. If you feel, you can distinguish between engineers who build core platform/ framework and developers that build functionality on your the platform.

Who am I in this context?

I am Sarcastic (mid-level) Java Developer. Why ? Because I have some experience with problem-solving using Java as my a primary language.
This is my view on what junior/mid-level/senior developer/engineer role means on the team.
What’s your point?
Share with me in comments her or on LinkedIn.

How looks process of finding a job as software developer part 8: PHONE INTERVIEW

WARNINGS:

This is a NOT a professional advice. It based on my personal experience only and resources that I read on the internet. It will contain many grammar mistakes. Please drink double espresso and energy drink as an article is long and boring.

It is part of series “How looks process of finding a job as a software developer”.

PHONE INTERVIEW

I hate talk over the phone. It is a most annoying way of communication for me. This is a reason, why it is always a big challenge for me to have a phone interview. Phone interview usually takes 20-75 minutes, so plan each for 90 minutes.

What is worth to remember:
  1. The company has a very limited amount of time to read your CV, so don’t feel offended, if they ask a question about things that you wrote in your CV. Actually, it is a good thing as you can add useful information about your experience that is relevant to a position that You are applying for, but you omitted in your CV.
  2. If an interview is not in your native language then I suggest … a bit of practice with answering typical questions and practice name of common technologies.
  3. Practice pronunciation (I still remember my embarrassment during the interview with the developer, who didn’t disconnect after my few attempts to pronounce “Atlassian” :).
  4. FIND a very QUIET place to talk. I actually have done one interview in noisy Costa coffee and my interview ended in 2 minutes! I guess you must be shocked to read that I haven’t been invited to next stage.
  5. FIND s place, where is a good range coverage.
  6. Don’t do a few phone interview one after another.  Ensure you have at least 45 minutes break between interviews. It is very stressful when during the phone interview to get a call from another company. It will increase the chance to messed up both phone interviews.
In my opinion phone interview helps you to figure out chemistry with people from the company. It helps the company to find are you the right fit for them before they invest time in other stages of the interview that are time-consuming.
For example, Travel Corp. rejected me as I didn’t have experience with working in the corporation. Some phone interviews gave me enough information that company didn’t suit me due for example during long working hours or using waterfall methodology. It can save your and company time. I believe doing the technical interview over the phone is a waste of time.

SUMMARY

  • Find a QUIET place to talk.
  • It must in place when you have GOOD phone range!
  • Practice PRONUNCIATION… before the interview (to avoid embarrassment).
  • THINK, before you answer! After a question, think about the question and then answer.
  • When you talk about skills REMEMBER to match with experience and vice versa.
  • Do not laugh, if somebody has a funny accent or behave weirdly.
  • It is a great opportunity for a phone interview to link skills in bullet points in your CV with experience.
  • Have a bottle of still spring water with you.
  • Don’t do phones interview marathon
Phone screening (optional)
If you have a limited amount of time for face to face interviews or you live far away from company location, then I suggest asking for a phone screening if they don’t have phone interview as the first stage. What is it? It is like an informal phone interview where you can find information about a role (and place) is suitable for you or not. What question for ask? Everything that u want and to know what company (In my cases, it was asking a question from COMPANY’S JOB SPECIFICATION section, plus I asked details about the role and required skills in details.
Phone Screening is a good technique to ensure that job is worth to apply and a great way to figure out is company for you and is it worth investing your time in the interview.
A little warning. Some companies refuse phone screening due to various reasons. If they said that they have strict recruitment process and they cannot change (typical for corporations), then it sounds reasonable, but if they don’t want because .. they don’t want, then it may indicate bad ‘company culture’.  I actually went for one interview to confirm my theory I and .. I was right :). It works quite well for me but it can be few exceptions to this rule.

 

How looks process of finding a job as software developer part 7: Recruiters

WARNINGS:

This is a NOT a professional advice.It based on my personal experience only and resources that I read on the internet.It will contain many grammar mistakes.Please drink double espresso and energy drink as an article is long and boring.

 

It is part of series “How looks process of finding a job as software developer”.

RECRUITERS

In last 4 years, I had a privilege to chat with more than 200 recruiters and my conclusion is one. The overwhelming majority of recruiters are useless and they nightmare to deal with in and make finding the right job for you much harder.


They make looking for a job much more difficult.
  • 5% of them are useful.
  • 10% OK’ish.
  • Rest of them ( just 85% ) is a pain in the ass.

MY EXPECTATION ABOUT RECRUITERS:

  • I told them, what I want and what I don’t want. They will contact me when an opportunity appears.
  • They will guide me through the process.
  • Helps me improve my CV and other forms.
  • Gives me useful tips and resources about the company before the interview.
  • Be friendly and professional.
  • Always respond in a timely manner.
  • Let me know the result as soon as possible with honest feedback.
  • Be personal. don’t use the shitty template we ‘crap recruiter’ keywords.
    I knew, that I was a bit ambitious about my expectations, but holy crap, I didn’t expect that dealing with recruiters will be like swimming in the septic tank.

Why? In most cases talking to them, It is like talking about colours with a blind person. They helpfulness to find job looks like finding a needle in the haystack at night without light when you are completely drunk.In reality :

  • I told them, what I want and what I don’t want and they will contact me when an opportunity appears.
    • Most of them just spam you with the job opportunity that matches a few keywords. For example,  if you are Java Developer in London but you mentioned that you got experience with Angular. They will send you to offer for Senior Front-End Developer in Glasgow.
    • They are using e shitty template we ‘crap recruiter’ keywords and marketing bullshit a lot.
  • They will guide me through the process.
    • Some of them actually are quite helpful.
  • Helps me improve my CV and other forms.
    • They modify CV but results can be catastrophic.
  • Gives me useful tips and resources about the company before the interview.
    • Some of them give and some of them do not give an xxx about it.
  • Be friendly and professional.
    • They sound ‘ fake friendly’. They talking using recruiter dialect that does not say anything useful.
  • Always respond in a timely manner and let me know the result as soon as possible with honest feedback
    • If you get rejected then the majority will not tell you about it until you call them and some of them like about reason why you failed. Ask the company for feedback.
    • If you get an offer, they will ask you accept ASAP and they will call you all the time say that you need give an answer NOW NOW NOW. 
  • Be personal. don’t use the shitty template we ‘crap recruiter’ keywords.
    • It looks like people who want be recruiter need be great in copy and paste templates and great at lying to sell the product.
  • They will manipulate you using mind tricks and they will lie a lot.
    • Always give yourself up 72 hours to make a decision. If they push you, then warn them that this behaviour will be not tolerated and you will say to company and recruiter’s manager that you will withdraw (they will stop 🙂 )

HOW TO DEALT WITH RECRUITERS:

If you decide to use ‘recruiters’ as a way to find a job, then:

  1. Start from learning how to detect is recruiters have a brain or it is just another shithead:
Shithead is “A complete dumbass; a genuine moron. Someone who has committed an act in which causes harm or temporary discomfort to another.”  .  Source: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=shithead).
2. It always starts with ‘generic ‘ conversation. Try to be friendly with them at first. The positive first impression will increase your chance to have a good bond with a recruiter (if useful). Shows your strong interest. Usually, good recruiters will tell you about role ask additional information based on information in CV, where Shitheads usually ask questions about your experience that you have in CV to fill the form like they never seen CV, but not always.
Remember as well, that you can’t blame a screwdriver for not being a hammer. They are recruiters, not software developers, so they will do not know details, but they must know basics about technology and what they are for. 

3.  Always asked them to send a ‘role opportunity’ to your e-mail, where you can scan job’s specification.

If job specification does not answer all question you have, then ask the recruiter to answer these question. If recruiter’s answer is “I don’t know” (or they answer means “I don’t know” but they using nice wording ), then ask for clarification (or ask them to ask the company to answer these questions). If recruiters don’t want to do that (by answering that he is busy or it doesn’t have time as the deadline is coming very very soon and he need act fast, then …Well done!
You found a Shithead recruiter.
From my experience, I have a simple advice.
Say thank you, withdraw from representation and delete him on your phone and e-mail. You can’t imagine how much time you will save.
.

4.  While you are dealing various stages of the interview.

Recruiters should help you with preparations providing resources for the company or how looks each stage and provide tips and hints. If not then you dealing with crap recruiter.

However! It is not always recruiter fault. It may indicate a crap company.

I must ‘honestly’ admit, I had one case, where I suspect that recruiter is a crap but troubles were caused by company (the company didn’t want phone screening that I requested to avoid unnecessary travelling if role is not what I want or I am not  right. They just wanted to go to directly an interview). It turns out that interview date matches time when I suppose to do other interviews so I use this opportunity to check company. 

I went for an interview and it was the first time when I wanted to run away. It was a most gloomy interview in my life. I felt in this place like I was in a Psychiatric hospital where they conduct some odd experiments on me. 

I spoke to few people about my results and we agreed that weird problems before the interview like lack of interest in pre-interview communication usually indicate a bad place to work but sometimes some company are very strict about interview methodology.

5.  When you about making a decision, do not allow the recruiter to mess up with your brain.

As I wrote before. Always give yourself up 72 hours to make a decision. If they push you, then warn them that this behaviour will be not tolerated and you will say to company and recruiter’s manager that you will withdraw (they will stop 🙂 ). More about making a decision in future part of How looks process of finding the job as software developer.

MY APPROACH TO UNKNOWN/PRIVATE CALLS

In the past, I usually avoid pick-up calls from unknown/private calls. It does not rule, but many rude/annoying recruiters. Another problem is No numbers mean I cannot call back (i cannot add to useful contact or banned), so I prefer to ignore it. I had quite a few rude conversation and all of them were from the unknown call. This is one of the examples (worst one):

Recruiter: I saw your CV on (website)  and I have an exciting new role in the company who uses agile and cutting-edge technologies to develop software based in Manchester.Are you interested?

Me: I am sorry, but  I wrote that I looked for a job in London ONLY.

recruiter (with irritated and angry voice:  Why London? Manchester is a fantastic city. FUCK YOU. (And he disconnected).

It is not a rule! It is just my preferences. You will find good recruiters use unknown numbers too (landline in office).

If you are happy with job’s spec and recruiter then you can agree to be represented by

 SUMMARY

I just repeat to be clear. Most of the recruiters are crap, but they are quite a few a good one. Quicker you learn, how to distinguish good from bad, then more efficient looking for a job will be. Unfortunately, the majority are shitheads, so I am not surprise to see this kind of things on company’s websites: http://uk.moo.com/about/recruiters.html
  • Remember, recruiters, do not care about your career as they don’t provide service to help you find the best job. They want you to get a job so they will earn money from commissions. As result IF YOU CAN AVOID FINDING JOB THROUGH RECRUITERS .. DON’T USE THEM.  With exception of internal recruiters or if the company using specific recruitment agency exclusively for recruitment).
  • DO NOT ALLOW RECRUITERS MAKE ANY DECISION. ALWAYS TAKE SOME TIME TO MAKE IMPORTANT AND  DECISION.
  • Do NOT add recruiters to LinkedIn. Many of them are just lazy spammers will flood you with jobs that in most cases are not relevant to your target.
  • Don’t forget to be nice and friendly to them in the first contact as they are human! The first impression is also important to create a good bond with a recruiter.
  • Many recruiters will use lots of psychological tricks against you. Most of them based on build pressure around you into force you to make a decision. Always gives yourself up to 72 hours to makes decision.
  • If they give any material about company or tips. Check it out!
  • Verify what recruiter said. ALWAYS. Especially about of location/public transport.
  • Do not give any information about other jobs. NEVER.
  • If you are happy with job’s spec and recruiter then you can agree to be represented by them.
  • If you are unhappy with a recruiter to remember to write an email that you withdraw from being represented by specific. Be assertive.
  • If you find recruiter understand your needs then keep contact with him/her.

How looks process of finding a job as software developer part 6: Company’s job specification

WARNINGS:

This is a NOT a professional advice. It based on my personal experience only and resources that I read on the internet.It will contain many grammar mistakes. Please drink double espresso and energy drink as an article is long and boring.
It is part of series “How looks process of finding a job as software developer”.

COMPANY’S JOB SPECIFICATION

        When you know what you want to do and you wrote your CV and create website/ account on LinkedIn / portfolio then it is the right time to look for a job.

        One of the most important is to clear understanding of Job specification. It is very important because you need to understand your role, so during the process, you can show your skills that match required criteria. The bad news is that many Job specification is very blurry or they are ‘censored’ by recruiters.

If you have any doubt ask few questions to clarify job specification before you apply. Internal recruiters are usually happy to answer but with others recruiters

This is my selection of question, which I usually ask :

  • What has required a certain level of experience for these skills? It is good to know what skills are essential, optional or nice to have.
  • What is proper job title and what is about? The title is not important, but it can give you more-less clue about the role. It is a bit tricky as for example I looked for Junior Java Developer role and for me there are differences between software developer, engineer and architect, while for many people is blurry or synonym.
  • How looks recruitment process? How many stages? What types (phone interview?test? etc. ? )  It is important to ask as it will help you prepare correctly to interview and avoid after-interview depression and crying to friends “I didn’t expect that it will be tested on interview”.
  • Is for Graduate/Junior/Medium/Senior Role? It is a very important question to ask, but you must know your skills first. How to determine  0-1 Graduate, 1-4 Junior 5-9 Mid, 10+ senior. Many recruiters said  ” If you see Senior role but recruiter said, that you should apply. In all cases, recruiters lie.
  • Do they have specific certification, education and any other requirements before I am even considered? It is good to know or you will waste your time.
  •  How looks specific responsibilities expected of my role?
    • I would like to know more details to evaluate its role is interesting to me or not.
  • How flexible is this role (can I do various position over time) and how the role could develop?
  • What methodology are they using?
    • Everybody said these days that they are … AGILE, but … what they mean by that can be completely different things, so if you see agile, then ask for details (especially recruiters).
  • How big team is?
  • Is it work in a team, alone, mixed?
  • What about the company itself?
  • How big it is?
    • How looks company culture and working style? It is important to question if you care about work.
  • Is work is only on company’s premises? Is it required travelling?
    • It depends on your preferences but some people like me do not like work on various premises.
  • Might they even be able to work from home when possible?
  • What personality they look for?
    • It depends on your preferences but working with right people and have compatibility with them is usually a most important aspect of work.
  • When they expect a successful candidate start to work?
    • If a company looks for somebody NOW and don’t want wait 1 month, then usually indicate poor management, HR or job itself. I, by default, ignore all jobs.

 

Companies usually respond very well and provide all necessary information. Answers from recruiters vary. Some of them give you what you want but don’t be surprised if the answer has no f…ing clue what they talking about. If this happens, then ask again or give up. Believe me, you will save a lot of time.

For example :

What methodology are they using? – Agile

Problem is that everybody is Agile except everybody defines Agile … in a different way as … 

How big team is? – Very big, but I don’t know numbers.

In fact, it was only 10 people … 

Ask these question and request answer on email (this information is good to remember during the recruitment process and for other purposes). If recruiters wrote stuff like ” I’m extremely busy at the moment also so I understand, but I’ll be able to answer these questions after 6. ” it usually means “fuck off, I don’t bother to answer these question  or because I don’t know answers and cannot makes answer blurry like over phone”.In 4/5 cases I didn’t get any answer.
Conclusion:
  • Clarify job spec to ensure that you apply what you are looking for.
  • If you apply through recruiters who don’t give you enough information about the role or don’t bother to find details. Simply reject role and if you gave permission to be represented then cancelled it. You will save you a lot of time and help you focus on better roles.

How looks process of finding a job as software developer part 5: Do I need LinkedIn?

WARNINGS:
This is a NOT a professional advice. It based on my personal experience only and resources that I read on the internet.It will contain many grammar mistakes. Please drink double espresso and energy drink as an article is long and boring.

It is part of series “How looks process of finding a job as software developer”.

DO I NEED LINKEDIN?

It is an optional thing. LinkedIn sounds like great idea, but …

 It is worth to have, because:

  • Due lack of alternatives. LinkedIn is an only option for a social network for professional (although Google+  can be offer better user experience, it is not designed for the professional social network ).
  • It is a good source to gain intelligence about company and people, who will interview you.
  • It is a good extension of your CV.
  • It is a useful replacement for your personal website and blog.

However.

In general.I have very bad and annoying experience.

  • It has many phishing issues. For example: If you install the Android application, it will steal your contact and spam you with add these people to LinkedIn and etc.
  • It is famous for most evil UX design in the industry because LinkedIn’s UX focuses on marketing first not the user. It uses many phishing and spamming tricks to buy a premium account. As result don’t be surprised to receive/send many empty invitation or messages from many people. This is due poor design by LinkedIn. You can found many blog entries complaining about this.
  • It looks nice, but usability can be painful.
  • No ability to block recruiters.

Remember:

  • Do NOT add recruiters, headhunters and other spammers. They will pollute your account with lots of useless job offer that in 99% is irrelevant to you. They will call and send an email you and call you anyway. Add only those who were very helpful in the past. They will pollute your stream with job offer all the time which can be annoying because then LinkedIn will start to add ads related to recruitment on your stream too.

it happens to me few times that I got this message … 

Hi Dominik,I hope all is well.I have a permanent London based role for a leading finance company. They are looking for a Java Developer to work on a range of greenfield projects. If you interested , let me know and I’ll send through further details. Regards

.. on my e-mail as text and as LinkedIn message.

Conclusion:

  • It is not mandatory to have an account on LinkedIn.
  • LinkedIn is a great alternative if you don’t want waste your time on personal website and blog.
  • If your job requires constant contact with other people, then LinkedIn is very useful.
  • Avoid adding recruiters, headhunters and other spammers. They will pollute your account with lots of useless job offer that in 99% is irrelevant to you. They will call and send an email to you anyway.
  • LinkedIn is very valuable for company research (gathering information about the company that you want work for and for job hunting).
  • Using LinkedIn can be a pain in the ass as you cannot block recruiters and annoying poor user experience design.

How looks process of finding a job as software developer part 4: How to write good Cover letter?

WARNINGS:

This is a NOT a professional advice.It based on my personal experience only and resources that I read on the internet.It will contain many grammar mistakes.Please drink double espresso and energy drink as an article is long and boring.
It is part of series “How looks process of finding a job as software developer”.

 

HOW TO WRITE GOOD COVER LETTER?

It is very rare to write a cover letter in IT industry. I didn’t write any in last 4 years. I wrote a few of them in my life and all of them were rubbish. In my opinion, it is actually waste of time for you and company.

However, so far I learnt that your cover letter should have 5 parts:

  1. Introduction (what you are applying for, where you found info about the job).
  2. Who you are and what skills you have.
  3. Link your skills with experience and match this requirement written in the job specification. It is the most important point.
  4. Explain why above skills are good for the company (mention good news about company found in news or etc.).
  5. Thank you paragraph (where you said thank you for time spent on reading another boring Cover Letter.

and the other useful rules, that I found are:

  • The cover letter should be an extension of your bullet points in CV targeted directly to the company that you are applying for.
  • They are very similar rules to CV. (market yourself,  grammar,  formatting  and linking skills with achievements).
  • Write template of your cover letter  (As 3 parts of cover letters are almost always the same. Main different in part about why you choose the company and what you know about a company. It will save you plenty of time!
  • Do not copy and paste cover letters as it is a chance that you will copy stuff, which you don’t want (like other company names). If you make this mistake, then …GAME OVER. (I have done that twice  😦 and it failed me as result ).

 

 

How looks process of finding a job as software developer part 3: HOW TO WRITE A GOOD CV?

WARNINGS:
This is a NOT a professional advice. It based on my personal experience only and resources that I read on the internet.It will contain many grammar mistakes. Please drink double espresso and energy drink as an article is long and boring.
It is part of series “How looks process of finding a job as software developer”.

HOW TO WRITE A GOOD CV?

The good template for CV varies depends on country and type of job.

I suggest a do a quick research about it.

If you live in the UK. Follow UK or EU CV’s style.

What to remember:

  • In the opening statement, you need to sell yourself as somebody said: “The most effective way we can increase our value is to market ourselves”(I forgot who wrote that 😦  ). Write who you are and what you look for.
  •  Do not use ‘CV dialect’ given by recruiters and agencies! You should allow recruiters to check your CV and allow them to do changes, but ask them to see this CV, before they send to the company. (Remove CV dialect and skills that you don’t have!).
  • GRAMMAR – second most important! Any grammar mistakes will reduce your chance significantly. Don’t believe it? Imagine this notes will be much readable if I will use a proper grammar.
  • LAYOUT –  Formatting is important as the person, who check your CV in the company has 2 minutes and if they cannot find what they looking for due your mistakes in layout decrease your chance.
  • Link skills with achievements and experience.
  • Use bullet points for skills.
  • Ensure that you include the right and relevant keywords in CV. Most recruiters scan for a keyword like Java, Java 8, Spring Framework and so on. If you do this wrong, you will be spam with jobs that you are not interesting at all. 
  • Add hobbies and bit of personality to your CV. Most recruiters told me that I shouldn’t do it and most people who like my CV said, that it was due I added these things, so hobby is a good way to shows your personality.
  • If your English is rubbish (my English is rubbish as you probably noticed already), then you can give to professional CV writers BUT give to the person who knows your industry (Has real experience with IT) or you make thing much worse!
  • Do not hide “easy to catch” important details. Shit happens in your life but if you show “lesson learnt” it can turns be a positive thing. For example, if you got fired, write what you learnt and how you are planning to prevent this mistake to not happen again.
  • Designer and other creative jobs should have a portfolio website. A software developer should have github account.
  • If you put CV online then add skills that you are good at or you want to use for your next job. Otherwise, recruiters will spam with the weird job (For example I mentioned that I have experience with ExtJS, so recruiters send me to offer for Sencha Developer (because “Sencha Touch Developers tend to have worked with Ext.js, a skill listed in your CV. Because of it’s a rare skill, I ran a broader search of our database to capture developers that may have worked with ext.js that have since moved on into Sencha Touch.”
  • Good recruiters should point out mistakes in your CV. Adapt his changes as he may work with HR closely so he may know which CV catch your future company eye.
  • Add info about your account on Github, LinkedIn, blogs and so on.

How looks process of finding job as software developer part 2: Preparation

WARNINGS:
This is a NOT a professional advice.It based on my personal experience only and resources that I read on the internet. It will contain many grammar mistakes. Please drink double espresso and energy drink as the article is long and boring.
It is part of series “How looks process of finding a job as software developer”.

PREPARATION 

Before you start, you need to do a tiny preparation.
  • As I mentioned in last previous post, you need start from write down what you looking for. Motivate yourself (do a brainstorm about yourself and what you want to do to make sure, that you believe, that you can find a new job.
  • Do NOT use your primary e-mail! Create a new e-mail or use your current spam account*.
  • Do NOT use your primary mobile! Buy prepaid Sim. The reason is the same as above*.
  • Think about what you want to do. If it is your first job. I suggest look for graduate job**.
  • Remember you are like a brand. In order to be the recognizable brand, you need to apply various ‘marketing’ techniques. It is quite easy in IT because you can write some blog posts, articles, podcasts, contribute to open source*** project, open account on Github, Gitlab or BitBucket (and put your source code there)  and attend to some meetups.
  • Use Get Things Done or to-do list as an approach to handle all process and make sure that you limit the number of cases.
  • Do research about typical questions about languages and technologies that you believe you are expert at. Remember Hard preparation makes for an easy interview!
  • Prepare questions that you want ask on the interview and don’t be afraid of asking questions! Check how looks a working life, how the company is organised and everything that is important for you to be happy at work.
 *) Why? Even, if you remove yourself from websites and unsubscribed from recruiters ‘databases’, you will be still spammed by them(up to 6 months in my case).
 **) The graduate job is a type of job that is design to hiring students who are about to graduate from schools, universities or look for experience.If during study university allows you to do “sandwich year”, DO IT!
***) If you lack experience then participation in open source projects is the easiest way to get some. As a bonus, it teaches you how to cooperate with others and helps you improve your code quality through feedback from others.

My quick thoughts on new Star Trek: Discovery

WARNING: Spoiler alert!

If you do not bother to read the whole article, then they are the main takeaway points:

GOOD THINGS

  1. Sounds effects are sublime.
  2. The idea for a plot.
  3. Intro sequence.
  4. The first episode of the prologue.
  5. USS Shenzhou.
  6. Netflix has subtitles in Klingon!
  7. Special effects and visuals.
BAD THING

  1. ‘Epic” battle was utterly rubbish.
  2. The second episode of the prologue.
  3. After Trek.
  4. Intergalactic mind-meld?
  5. Michael Burnham name ?
Summary:

    It was the best prologue to Star Trek TV series but the second part of the prologue was a bit disappointing. I really like prologue and plot for new series and I am looking forward to seeing the first season of Star Trek Discovery. 

 

After watching 2 episode prologue I was quite impressed but I feel distaste for the second part of the prologue.

I think the best thing in new Star Trek series is … sounds effect.  Sound effects are mind-blowing. What is even more amazing, that they are many sound references from other Star Trek series. ( i cannot wait to a read waterfall of shit from star trek fans about “this sound effect is from TNG, not TOS and it ruins everything”).

Second best thing is a special effect. They were spectacular with one exception. The main battle was ugliest and shitiest looking Sci-Fi battle I have ever seen in Star Trek. It looks like ships battle done by a toddler, where ships exchange fire using colourful needles, not deadly weaponry.  Most of the special effect was breathtaking. I like the holographic communication,  navigator’s helm and other modern looking stuff. I like JJ style of the ship. Visuals are fantastic which will be a massive problem for “Star Trek fanatics” because TOS doesn’t have this, that and other bullshit but I don’t care because “visual representation” should have “retro” feeling and that’s all.

The third thing was an idea for a plot. I really like the idea of unification of Klingon by a  spiritual leader using war as a path to achieve it. I also like the design of intrigue to start a war.  It was not a simple clone of the pseudo-Islamic terrorism attack but the sequence of actions to an annihilation of federation’s fleet.  I am interested how they will show Klingons in this TV series as they are different from what I used to see.

The fourth is a most beautiful title sequence. It is unique, fresh and stunning. I love it.

I like the interaction between Captin Phillipa G played by Michelle Yeoh as Asian teacher with troublesome protégé Michael Burnham. However, I was a bit perplexed about cohesion between people on the USS Shenzhou like Saru and Michael. The interaction between Saru and Michael looks a bit childish.  I will expect crew after 7 years they will be less conflicted but maybe I just got used to StarTrek perfect cohesion in the past and this will show want show bit different approach to this, so I hope it will look a bit less childish.

As prologue episode, it was my favourite one for Star Trek series.  However, It was far from perfect while the first episode was great but then the second episode was bit depressing.  As I mentioned before the big battle was utter rubbish and then last part of the second episode looks messy and like re-written in hurry by me on few hours before the deadline. However, they were a lot of problems during the creation of the show that delayed the launch by more than a year and I guess that explains this but still could be done much better. However,  Star Trek TV series usually starts very poorly and getting more interesting around the middle of season 3 or beginning of season 4 and this one start much better than others.

Other things:

  • USS Shenzhou is one of my favourite ships and I am impressed that it survived with the amount of damage it took.
  • I like all 3 major characters they showed in this episode and admiral. I hope rest of the cast will have something unique.
  • After Trek is crap. I switched off after few minutes because I hate fake chat shows. I mean, I like the concept but the execution looks like it has been done by some teenager YouTuber with drug problems. ” So happy, everything is f.. awesome.”

 

I have high hopes for new series but there are 2 problems with problems of Star Trek: Discovery:

  1. Hardcore fans and shit storm they created over every detail.
  2. StarTrek IP belongs to CBS – Paramount Pictures which causes damage to Star Trek universe.

What’s your opinion?

How looks process of finding a job as software developer part 1: What I looking for and where to look

WARNINGS:

This is a NOT a professional advice. It based on my personal experience only and resources that I read on the internet. It will contain many grammar mistakes. Please drink double espresso and energy drink as an article is long and boring.

It is part of series “How looks process of finding a job as software developer”.

I LOOKING FOR …

It is a most important question.
What do you want to do?
Always start with this question… Seriously.

Describe what you would like to do and write it down.

  • List of languages and technologies that you want to use in the new job.
  • Consider other important things like minimum salary ( do research about salary depends on your experience/location and be REALISTIC about it!), maximum commute distance, work hours, perks and so on.
  • Prioritize your search criteria by importance ( for example salary, annual leave, commute time, tech stack, work culture and so on)  and where the trade-off is possible and where not.

WHERE TO LOOK?

There are  few ways to look for a job these days:

  1. Friends (best option)
  2. Companies website (especially, your dream companies)
  3. LinkedIn is a great source for gathering information about company and possibility to find which company recruiting at the moment.
  4. Job hunting Website ( only if the job is advertised by the company but not the recruitment agency.
  5. Jobcentre Plus in theory (in the UK) are quite useless for professional jobs but It can be a good place free advice.
  6. Recruiters

How looks process of finding a job as software developer : Introduction

WARNINGS:

This is a NOT a professional advice.It based on my personal experience only and resources that I read on the internet.It will contain many grammar mistakes.Please drink double espresso and energy drink as an article is long and boring.



It is an extended version of my previous blog entry on my IT Blog which I wrote some time ago. It will be a series of short notes about various stages of recruitment and what I learnt from it.


This is a list of notes:

  1. Answer on the question .i looking for
  2. Preparation
  3. How to write a good CV?
  4. How to write a good cover letter?
  5. Do I need Linkedin?
  6. Company’s job specification
  7. Recruiters
  8. Phone interview
  9. Homework (tests, task,etc.)
  10. Face to face interview
  11. Tests, task, quizzes on interview
  12. Troubleshooting
  13. What to do, if you get 2 and more offers. (which one, I should choose?)
  14. Conclusion
  15. Useful resources to read

My journey with StarCraft

I was inspired to write this blog by fact that Starcraft: Remastered will be released soon, podcast by Incontrol who talks about his life in Evil Genius as Starfact player, commentator and personality and I want to write a post for last 3 years about my  view on game industry and e-sport from viewer who watched games but does not have time to play it.  This post will be about my experience as a spectator of e-sport game which will contain an answer to the question “Why you watching other’s people playing the game” and “Why you watching e-sport”?

 

IN THE BEGINNING …

I discovered Starcraft in an internet cafe just before brood war expansion was released.

      I wasted many hours and spent a fortune to play single player campaign.  I was impressed with the storyline, one of the most amazing cut scenes I have ever seen in the game. I remember until today when I saw other guy playing a campaign where Terrans were under siege by zerg and they need to survive for some time. It was a hard mission for me as I was constantly attacked and I barely won. What stunned me and it is a reason why I still remember is when I saw the guy playing Starcraft for the first time and he maybe built 2 bunkers and he won … without hassle as zergs sent 1 hydralisk per minute. I had on of the biggest WTF face expression. I guess these days I will shout on Twitter how this game is imba! I played some multiplayer games too. I even won 2 vs 2 … even if I had 1 zealot and 1 pylon left on field :). It was a great fun.

    Anyway, this is NOT a blog entry about grandpa sharing experience when he was young, so it summary I had a great time with this game and I consider as one of my favourite game of all my life. (XCOM: Enemy Unknown is my favourite).

 STARCRAFT REBORN BY YOUTUBE

Life moved on and I forgot about Starcraft. A few years later when I was preparing to exams and I needed “5 minutes” break and I discover a YouTube channel  (Klazart, VioleTAK or Moletrap) where some guys made a commentary of Starcraft tournament in South Korea. I was shocked because :

  • An ancient game is not dead.
  • Playing Starcraft in South Korea is a big thing.
  • There are many tournaments.
  • They stream it on TV!

Here, I have an advice for people who looking for 5 minutes break in the middle night during preparation to exams on next day at 9 am. Do not use Social Media or content making website where you can discover as it will make surviving at exam … much more challenging.

Anyway, back to the topic. I started watching all matches with commentaries created by Cholera, Klazart, Moletrap, Tasteless with Little Susie and during Starcraft 2 era Husky, Incontrol and Day9 (more about Starcraft 2 later).

I still remember watching finals where Moletrap did his commentary from the car on the university campus which makes Cholera and other laughs. It shows the passion of these people to create content about things that they care about it. It was amazing. I felt really sad when each of them decided to retire.

Watching Starcraft became my hobby. Yes, it is correct. For me, watching game’s tournament was my way to relax after work and exams. It is like being a football fan. You can play for fun and still watching professional matches.  In fact, there is no difference between watching football and e-sport like Starcraft.

STARCRAFT 2 ERA

Blizzard announced that Starcraft 2 will be released in 3 parts. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty and 2 expansions StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm and StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void. In the beginning, it sounds like release the same things 3 times and cash-in on people but then I realized that it can be a good idea as it will help re-shape game in each major release like Brood War changed original Starcraft. As it turns out, it exceeded my expectations because each release has an epic single game campaign and good impact on multiplayer. I decided to play all 3 campaigns at once and I am planning to buy at some point in near future.

During Starcraft 2 era I enjoyed commentary by Husky, StarcraftHD, Day9 and  Incontrol.  My favourite player was White-Ra because of his good heart personality. I also support TLO, White-Ra and all polish players.

Unfortunately, at some point, I got busy in real life (got married, change job and so on) and at the same time Starcraft 2 pass his peak time, lost momentum and start dropping in terms of quantity and quality of the tournaments which makes back to watch tournaments more and more difficult over time.

LEGACY OF THE STARCRAFT

Personally, it is sad to see that popularity of Starcraft is going down so sharply but Starcraft exists for 20 years and it must happen sooner or later. I think Blizzard did a great job to keep the game for so long even if some mistakes and slow response to game’s needs may speed up this process of fading out of this game.

On a side note. One of the big advantages of being e-sport player than sport is that players can switch games if things go wrong over time. Something that is almost impossible in normal sport).

In my personal opinion, Starcraft and Korean scene were one of the main factors to popularize e-sport and create professional e-sport in the world. Thanks to other games I think e-sport will grow rapidly and one of the games will match the level of popularity as football. Speaking of football.  Unfortunately, mistakes like corruption, match fixing and drugs appear in Starcraft too. However, I will discuss this subject in the future blog entry.

Thanks to the internet we as a society is under revolution from the industrial age into the digital age where information and content is a value, not goods. It allows e-sport and games like Starcraft to create digital content by people can share their passion with others from all over the world. They didn’t need big media but they need the digital platform like YouTube and Twitch (known as Justin.tv). It creates internet based shows like “State Of The Game” by JP and channels like Day9Tv and much more.

From my point of view, everything during a time of early days of Starcraft and e-sport was amazing and I have hoped that e-sport learnt from mistakes made by sports organisations. Unfortunately, real life was a bit different.  I didn’ know about dirty politics between Kaspa, Blizzard and so on. As mentioned before there were incidents with match fixing. Sadly innocent time is over. In my opinion, it will go in the same as football where the game industry will control everything. Again a subject that is worth its own blog entry.

If you are interested in the history of Starcraft’s e-sport history from various perspectives then I suggest you watch:

WHY I WATCH OTHER PEOPLE PLAY GAMES?

WHY I WATCH E-SPORT TOURNAMENT?

Many people didn’t understand why I watch other people playing games or watch e-sport. How I explain them this? Other people enjoy to watch sport, tv series or play the radio in the background while they are doing something else. I am doing the same but I watch e-sport tournament or watch somebody play game in the background while I am doing my things. Simple. As time goes more and more people will do the same.

SUMMARY

As you can see,  Starcraft contribution to the game industry and e-sport is massive. I just briefly mention a few of them.

Big money brings great shows but it kills the spirit. Is it bad? No. It is great an e-sport is a booming industry now and who knows maybe my son will be part of this some day. These days e-sport is growing rapidly and a digital-sport becoming as popular as the physical sport with all good and very bad things.

I think I was lucky as I enjoy the best part of e-sport when it was in incubation. When ordinary people did commentary full of passion and players plays for being the best player. It creates many spectacular moments which I am grateful for.

I was an anonymous viewer who enjoys watching all these shows, thanks to commentators like:

  • Cholera
  • Klazart
  • Moletrap
  • Tasteless
  • Little Susie
  • Husky
  •  and a few more who I should mention but I forgot.

and players like:

  • Boxer
  • Flash
  • Bisu
  • Stork
  • Day9
  • White-Ra
  • Firebat
  •  and a few more who I should mention but I forgot.

It will be great to meet these commentators and players someday and say in person…

THANK YOU

I hope all of you who I mentioned (or should mention but I don’t remember) somehow find this page, read and know somebody in this world appreciates what you did.

Anyway, I am looking forward to playing a Starcraft: Remastered to enjoy a campaign for fun.

Image source: http://www.blizzard.com (Official press resouces)

Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro L White LED review.

This review can be useful for people who are interesting in daily experience with Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro L White LED and people who are developers who are looking for a great keyboard.

If you do not bother to read the whole article, then this is main take away points:

GOOD

  1. Typing.
  2. Keys.
  3. Backlight.
  4. No drivers required to setup keyboard.
  5. Excellent Quality for money.
BAD

  1. Lack of wrist support.
  2. Short cable.

 

 

Summary:
It is a great keyboard for a software developer at work. It offers excellent quality and exceptional value for money.

STORY

My keyboard at work is … how to describe this in politically correct way … unpleasant to use. There are two models of the keyboard in the office. One I am using which has a classic key layout but it is uncomfortable and dull to use. Another one has better clicking experience but it annoying to use due to key placement. It is problematic when you are using many shortcuts during development and suddenly it is hard to use them efficiently as keys are in wrong place.

Last year I was thinking about to use my spare wireless keyboard that I have at home. At similar time I have noticed that some of my colleagues are using a mechanical keyboard. I decided to try it and I enjoyed a lot. My main problem with the mechanical keyboard was:

  • They are very loudly.
  • They have plenty features that are gamers friendly but it can be distracting for development typing.
  • The backlight is great for light show but less comfortable as a daily backlight.

What I was looking for is:

  • Full sized mechanical keyboard
  • A mono-coloured backlight as I don’t need to perform a light show at work.
  • Reasonable priced.

I am not playing games* so I wasn’t interested in any features related to gaming like resist to damage during ‘rage quit’ and so on.

*) That’s a lie actually.

    I did research on the internet about mechanical keyboards and I quickly released that for good keyboard you need to spend around 150 pounds. I just couldn’t justify why I should spend that much money. I decided to abandon the idea of having a mechanical keyboard and I was too lazy to bring my own wireless keyboard to work. As result, I stuck to my office keyboard.

This year I did another research and I found something that meets my criteria. I decided to buy Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro L White LED. This is an official specification found on Coolermaster’s website. http://www.coolermaster.com/peripheral/keyboards/masterkeys-pro-l/

I was a bit surprised that Cooler Master make keyboards. I knew this company for decent cooling systems for CPU  but I didn’t know, they are doing gaming stuff. Actually, after the short time, I realized that it looks like the natural evolution for this company to make a gaming toys.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

I ordered it. When I received a package, my first impression was disturbing. Amazon delivered my package into recycle bin. I was a wonder if Amazon knew that I bought rubbish and it is worth recycling only.

You can find many unboxing videos, so I will skip that. It seems an ascetic and simplicity were the main theme for this keyboard. The box is as small as possible and contains essentials only. Keyboard is  simple and without fancy or quirky ‘features’.

After I plugged-in keyboard to my laptop, I was amazed. Writing experience was very smooth. I feel, I typed everything faster than on my laptop’s keyboard (Asus ROG-G771JW) and Logitech illuminated keyboard. The backlight is awesome. Overall, I was very happy. I had only one concern. My wrist feels painful after 30 minutes of using the keyboard. I bought wrist support and it solves the problem.

MY DAILY EXPERIENCE WITH KEYBOARD:

  • As I mentioned but I think is worth to repeat. Typing on the keyboard is an amazing experience. However, let’s face it. You can live with a typical office keyboard. The main difference is that on you developing with pleasure and experience on typing is quicker and smoother. I guess it is just my imagination. That’s all.
  • It has a classic layout without any quirky key design mutations and I like that because it helps me to use ‘normal’ keyboards without hassle. Truth is you can get used to it to any keyboard but it slows you down when you switch between different layouts/
  • Another amazing thing that you can setup keyboard using … keyboard. You don’t need drivers. It can come handy when you are doing pair programming with different PC and use your keyboard.
  • They provide a tool, so you can develop your own stuff on the keyboard which sounds awesome but I haven’t use it .. yet.
  • My main problem is the lack of wrist support. I used the keyboard for 30 minutes and my whites start to hurt. I needed to buy wrist support and it solves a problem. It is the second time in my life when I  have this kind of problem.
  • This keyboard has mode when you can play … Snake game. On keyboard! It comes handy when you need to wait for your tests to finish.
  • Cable is quite short. It is OK if you keep your PC on a desk, but if is under your desk, then you will have a problem. Cable quality is one of the best as I used.
  • The keyboard is not too noisy. Good enough for office use and you should not pissed off colleagues, but it is too loud to use at night at home.
  • In first few days, I had a few occasions where Windows stop recognize keyboard and it stops work. It stops happening after I restart Windows.

SUMMARY

It is an awesome keyboard so far. Typing is awesome. I think it is a great keyboard in terms of quality for money and value for money. You may need to buy wrist support or your wrist will kill you.

In fact, I am really surprised how much difference make to use a mechanical keyboard instead of the normal keyboard.

If you are a software developer who needs a great mechanical keyboard with monochrome backlight and spends reasonable money then this keyboard is the best choice.

I chose this keyboard as my first mechanical keyboard as I didn’t want invest fortune, but there are cheaper alternatives (for around £55 if you want to try a mechanical keyboard.

Second part will be after 3 months and third part will be after 1 year of usage

 

 

Picture source: http://www.coolermaster.com/peripheral/keyboards/masterkeys-pro-l-white/