[Baypiggies] Career Advice

Bryce Verdier bryceverdier at gmail.com
Wed Feb 16 18:04:43 CET 2011

First off, thank you everyone who has commented. I really appreciate the 
time people took to try and help me out with this. Also, thank you Glen 
for adding the emotional content to the emails and for the words of 
encouragement. ;) The situation has been extremely frustrating. But I 

I honestly do like the idea of having a mentor. There are lots of things 
that one can learn on one's own, but I honestly feel that the whole 
learning process can be sped up with a mentor. Not only that, it's 
always good to have someone review your code. I think it keeps you in 
the habit of good programming practices. Instead of getting lazy with 
your "home" projects and then starting to develop bad habits.

So... would anyone who has been following this thread mind being my 
python programming mentor?


On 02/15/2011 10:48 AM, Glen Jarvis wrote:
> Bryce,
>    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 experience...
>     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! :)
> Cheers,
> Glen
> On Tue, Feb 15, 2011 at 10:16 AM, Venkatraman S <venkat83 at gmail.com 
> <mailto:venkat83 at gmail.com>> wrote:
>     On Tue, Feb 15, 2011 at 11:37 PM, Bryce Verdier
>     <bryceverdier at gmail.com <mailto: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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> matter least.
> -- Goethe

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