@jackyalciné

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The Problem I’m Having with CS Jobs

I’m in an interesting predicament, as are many others today. Being unemployed does push an individual to certain “extremes”. Instead of casually hanging out to meet someone new and connect, you have whatever you have for travel funds for interviews and ‘potential’ clients. I spend my time on many job forums, posted my resume and my list of coding repositories on Reddit and others but not that many (stable) bites.

:book: personal :bookmark: thoughts :clock7: :clock3: about 3 minutes

I’m in an interesting predicament, as are many others today. Being unemployed does push an individual to certain “extremes”. Instead of casually hanging out to meet someone new and connect, you have whatever you have for travel funds for interviews and ‘potential’ clients. I spend my time on many job forums, posted my resume and my list of coding repositories on Reddit and others but not that many (stable) bites.

There’s also the problem with failing to properly marketing one’s trade. Yes, I’m familiar with CSS and HTML but does that automatically make me a front end developer? Not by today’s standards. At the bare minimum, a front end designer should be decently versed with at least two of the DOM manipulation libraries (yes, jQuery isn’t the only one out there) and have some kind of understanding of how to get data from a remote service (read: a server) and into the browser. Oh, it has to be “web scale” too. That’s fine, that I can do and have no problem doing it. But then it gets a bit crazy.

The Problem

People want you to generate assets and whole wireframes from thin air. I come up to people directly saying this:

I write the code for the application in mind. Give me the blueprint and I will build it.

Sadly, that renders me as an architect and not a handyman, which is what I am. I don’t want to provide people with piss poor quality work but don’t expect me to do something that I haven’t had a chance to practice to proficiency!

I mention that I’m decent with JavaScript. This means I’m familiar with some of the pitfalls that the language has (seemingly by design) like infinitely global variables, infinite scoping, etc. But that’s why tools like CoffeeScript come to play. They easily just eradicate the need to know “good” JavaScript; it’d craft your code as closely as it can to workable, self contained code.

Strangely enough, people who have no idea of how to get this stuff up and running somehow manage to be in better places than others with the know how. This isn’t to say that they’re less skilled, but it’s just that the tools are antiquated and the know how is like below minimal when it comes to things like centering content on a page, or how to override CSS (which you shouldn’t have to do if you write it right the first time!) or JavaScript functors (“what’s a functor?!?”). It’s scary.

What makes me qualified to say anything that I say? Nothing really. All of the methodologies I’ve learned were either:

  1. asking around in forums, IRC or person,
  2. trail and constant error or,
  3. breaking something and understanding why/how it broke.

I didn’t take any special classes or paid rent and a half to watch a bunch of videos. I took a language, looked it in the eye and let it burn its mannerisms and habits into my programming brain. Of course, this is definitely not how everyone learns and I think this is not the problem, but my problem.

The Solution

At the moment, I don’t have one. And I don’t think there needs to be one. You see, indifferent of this “problem”, what keeps people employed in the longer run is their passion to actually build something, improve on it and make it awesome as hell. The people who just pass it off as a means of paying bills might not get too far. I’m aiming to go even further with this, I mean, I’m still trying to build JARVIS after all.


Update 2015-03-29 22:30:20 EDT: I mention how JavaScript has a “pitfall” of global instance variables. This isn’t a pitfall per sè, but more so a feature in the language. In some cases, it’d make sense to have global variables like this (read: factory classes).