How to find yourself a good programming job

Tricky isn’t it.. especially when you’re a programmer.

Its not about just getting a job anymore, isn’t it. We all need a good job.. a good company to work with. Right set of people to work with. Good environment. Good technology, nice product to work on.. etc. etc. You know all those good things.

But the reality is there are loads of companies out there treating programmers as commodities. You’re put under a manager who comes right from a factory environment.. (actually even the factories are kinda better nowadays). And before you know it, programming is just yet another thing that you do at your job. Probably the least important one too.

Many folks are happy with it. If you are, you are requested to return back from here. Stuff below can lead you in different direction..

So if you’re stuck at such a place, what do you do? How do you make the switch to the kind of workplace that you like.. A place where you’ll be at your menacing best. Thrashing programmatic solutions one after another. Discussing all fantastic tech stuff. Breathing fresh air and coding stuff that you like.. How do you find the right place?

Job Portal (Hmm.. still many programmers are recruited this way)

Job portals are a great way to land yourself in yet another place you want to get out of. I really wonder if companies should even bother looking at them, unless they need posers and half-arsed programmer look-alike in their company.

I mean, look at the process of recruitment.. You enter your resume (one which says nothing about you..) into a site which catches keywords like java, c, etc.. and not your real traits. Then you talk to a recruitment guy, who knows nothing about programming or programmers, except that programmers are a bit odd looking and need to be taught manners.

Then there’s a fantastic interview process. You are made to sit for longer durations, where they check your endurance and frustration limits. This gives them a good idea if that person can bear the frustration that is to ensue once he’s joined the company.  And once the actual discussion starts, its not actually a discussion. Its a one-way street. Questions being fired one after another which has very less to do with actual work that one does.

Its a clear recipe for hiring average folks. One who works for money and has little to no passion for programming as such. One who’s likely to bring all wrong practices into your system. One who’ll never bring an innovative thought, even if his life depended on it.

So you ask what’s the alternative..

Go network with programmers..

Go where good programmers hang out. Talk to them. Know where they work.

Hang out at conferences. Find companies that do good work. Companies that project the right attitude.

Build your personal brand online

Identify a good open-source project that you could relate to and start contributing. Else, start a project of your own and get other contributors to contribute to it.

Get yourself on Twitter, Stackoverflow and earn good reputation in the community.

Earn good referrals.

Earn recommendations and referrals from respected folks in your community. Identify companies that you’d like to work with and earn your way towards meeting their standards of hiring.

These are of course not easy to achieve, but yeah.. are sure going to land you a job which is better than the one you’re currently in.

Try it out..

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