Guys, I’m still working but I’ve been looking around for the last few months. I’m a technical writer and I’m applying for programming writer jobs but I don’t have much in the way of samples. Earlier this year, I interviewed for a position and they asked me to re-write to improve a quick start for an open source project. I was thinking about using what I wrote as a sample for another job, with an explanation that it’s meant as a sample of my writing, but not something I did professionally or in any official capacity for the project. Does that make sense? Is there a better way to approach a lack of samples?
This is a good thing do to. Also, rarely do people give the sample much scrutiny. They look more for graphical style and diagramming than a line by line read. Almost every time I’ve handed samples people just flip through them.
Tim, one thing that might be useful would be to have a variety of samples on a GitHub account. It seems pretty common enough for people to have samples there (especially if they don’t have a bunch of professional experience to point to).
Oh, that’s interesting, but what sort of samples? I think these guys expect to see some writing about code, but not the code itself, unless it’s sample code embedded in a topic, as an illustration or a sample of how something works.
I’m actually glad you mentioned GitHub. I have some topics I wrote to illustrate how to use some Apex samples, but the pages aren’t publicly available in our docset yet. What is available is the repo on GitHub. This has the code itself (which I didn’t write) and the readme (which I did write). I have been toying with the idea of sending a link to the repo, along with some sparse topics I did in our REST API here and here, which our company has pretty much abandoned in favor of other projects.
I actually have a github account (as Tim Elhajj) with some lame coding projects in various stages of brokenness. I should probably hide this until I have something a little more impressive.
I’m sort of where Dr killinger is. I’ve been with this company for almost 5 years. I’m feeling there isn’t much room for salary growth. A couple of months ago a position was opened and I put myself forward. The process was pretty drawn even though all the candidates (myself and two others) were internal and well known. I didn’t get it and felt this was more to do with that manager not liking me. The guy who got it said to me later that he told his wife that he didn’t think he has a chance going against me :(
Funnily enough the hiring manager was given the boot 3 weeks later.
I had short phone interview last Friday. It went well, and they sent me an email today asking that I write a short paper (2 pages) about “was Google glass a good product?”. I actually like that. I really think that the best way to evaluate someone is let him do something.
Double bumping because I’m excited, goddammit.
I got myself a job after being unemployed since March. A real live developer job, even. So coding bootcamps aren’t entirely worthless, so long as you’re willing to still self-direct and work your ass off to come out with a good-looking portfolio. I definitely got this job on the strength of my ability to code a solution to an interesting problem and then talk about it, which is, ahem, not a test everyone in my class passed, shall we say.
Awesome sauce, man! Congrats!!
Cool dude! As a fellow self instructed developer, I congratulate you.
Congrats on your job!!!
Whoop whoop! High-five for the new job!
Wait, TimElajah worked for Microsoft? I thought you were a writer?! Also, congrats Adam!
Edit: Technical writing. I vaguely remember a lot of hot girls being technical writers at IBM. No correlation I’m sure… :)
Yeah, I am only a writer for the chicks. I have perfected the old, runs his fingers through his hair with an anguished expression and mumbles mumbles about his writer’s block. haha, this shtick works better if you’re still a drinker or at the very least a smoker (no, you can’t substitute one of those electronic vape stick thingys).
Anyhow, I’m a really good technical writer.
Right now I’m fooling around with genre fiction using a pen name. One day I’m going to do more memoir, but I’m happy where I’m at for now.
Congrats Adam. Good on you! I’m doing something similar right now with coding, and I’ve even done it before with system administration stuff, reading textbooks and taking certifications, and then going into an interview and having a really good day.
How many interviews did you go on before you landed this job, if you don’t mind my asking? I’m just curious. I tend to do pretty good in interviews if my confidence is up, but I also get better as I go along.
If you don’t count the speed dating interviews my bootcamp set up…zero? I’d had a few “yeah, call us in two years when you have some experience” meetings with folks, but spent very little time in any formal interview process.
But yeah, I tend to interview pretty well too. If anything I have an overabundance of confidence.
Also, thanks everyone! I’m pumped.
Had a really good interview on Thursday in Philly for an office where two of my former colleagues work. I definitely have the experience they are looking for, and the colleagues are new hires but senior, so I think I have a good chance. That being said, since I live over 2 hours away, I am looking for a telecommute position, so I might lose out to someone local.
Fingers crossed. At the same time, since I will likely be defending my thesis soon, I will start applying for recent graduate government position and see what comes through in that vain. It’s likely the only place that will pay me more for having a master’s in psychology.
I do need to get the thank you emails out the door though. I was pretty sick tonight, so I only have 2 of the 6 done.
Fantastic news, Adam. Really, I’m so happy to know that! I wish you great success in your new job!