[Baypiggies] Career Advice

Glen Jarvis glen at glenjarvis.com
Tue Feb 15 19:48:03 CET 2011


   I was in your shoes a few years ago. I felt so awkward at the interviews
too because it felt like such a let-down after every interview. It was
emotionally hard to go to an interview because I wanted to get the job,
didn't, and I felt let down... disappointed.. and mostly discouraged....

   If you're in that situation now, it *does* get better :)  I promise :)
 if you keep at it...

   That isn't really the question that you asked though :(

    So, for advice: I don't think it hurts to get a mentor. I found someone
on BayPIGgies to be my Python mentor when I first started -- he gave me
small assignments and we did code reviews -- although he started doing Ruby
professionally and I didn't use that resource much at all the past few years
(I really should have) :(

    I also learned a lot by doing interviews. Painful or not, it was very
educational. For example, I did a Python interview for a company stationed
at Pivotal labs. It was the best interview in my life--so exciting. We had
two screens: one on the left, and one on the right. The left had the
beginning of a UnitTest. The one on the right was where we were to write
Python. We implemented a small feature (just a lifo queue)... it was pair
programming, so he started as we worked through issues and before the
interview was over, I was doing real test-driven-development, driving and
felt I "leveled up" (I'd been stuck on how to just "do" TDD for several
years -- this was all I needed to get through it). That weekend
I re-factored a good deal of my own code to have tests....

    I also took itty-bitty jobs on Elance and other sites until I improved
my skills through practice. It didn't pay much, but it gave me real

    I personally don't have a silver bullet, I'm afraid....  But, if you can
stick at it in your own time... you *will* eventually get there :)

Good luck, and keep at it! :)



On Tue, Feb 15, 2011 at 10:16 AM, Venkatraman S <venkat83 at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Feb 15, 2011 at 11:37 PM, Bryce Verdier <bryceverdier at gmail.com>wrote:
>>   I am aware of the option to program for an open source project, but I'm
>> not sure which one. Though I am looking. ;)
> Why not try Python-core or Django or Pinax (check on the status of Pinax
> before you start though)?
> Probably port a few apps over to Python 3?
> Some experience with GAE would be an added icing to show that you can 'do'
> stuff?
> Btw, you will learn hell a lot by just hanging around in #python or
> python-dev mailing list.
> I have never committed anything in python, but did look at peephole
> optimization before the unladen
> efforts took place - learnt hell a lot. Though i hardly touch that arena
> any more.
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