今日推荐英文原文：《In Your First Programming Job, Attitude Beats Skill》
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今日推荐英文原文：《In Your First Programming Job, Attitude Beats Skill》作者：Szymon Adamiak
In Your First Programming Job, Attitude Beats Skill
What I’ve learned interviewing dozens of junior developersGetting into the programming industry is hard. You’re competing with hundreds of candidates, often from all over the world. Countless junior developers graduated from these same bootcamps or learned from identical resources, and you have to stand out.
I’ve interviewed dozens of junior developers, and, to be frank, they were almost indistinguishable. They knew the same things, shared similar opinions on tooling and frameworks, and observed identical Twitter accounts.
I’m not trying to criticize interviewees; the things they were saying made sense, and their skill set was impressive for people with no professional programming experience. But how was I supposed to pick one person when they were so similar?
The secret lies in attitude.
A Tale of Two CandidatesOne day I met two interviewees. They were similar in many aspects. In our recruitment process, the candidates have to solve a programming task before the interview, and they both solved it flawlessly. They were approximately the same age and both finished a three-month bootcamp.
During the technical interview, it turned out their technical level was also comparable. From a purely programming perspective, they were carbon copies.
But the choice was obvious.
One was slouching; the other sat on the chair confidently.
One seemed bored; the other was focused.
One wanted to be given a job; the other wanted to earn a job.
One solved the problem; the other solved the problem and explained his ideas.
One didn’t know how to solve a task and told us that he’d googled the answer; the other didn’t know how to solve a task but shared his hypotheses.
One was focused solely on the code; the other was focused on code and on interactions with others.
Attitude Beats SkillWhen someone is looking for a junior developer, their skills aren’t as critical as you may think. Nobody can reasonably expect juniors to do a lot of meaningful work, and we’re aware of that.
Junior developers make many mistakes; they need guidance and feedback. In the first few months, they usually cost more than they earn for the company, even if their coding skills are satisfactory. Working in a professional environment, in a team with specified processes, and on deadline is different than working on the project solo in your spare time.
So what we’re looking for in junior software developers is the potential to learn to code better, as well as being a good cultural fit for the company.
Your long-term contribution is more important than your current skill set.
Knowing that, your main goal is to convince a potential employer not only that you have valuable skills but that you’re trainable — and that working with you will be a pleasure.
What’s the Right Attitude?
Work hardThe right attitude is equivalent to the mindset of a good programmer. The good programmer should be ready to work hard.
Attention to detailWe’re encountering many problems, some of them obscure, and sometimes you have to buckle down. Attention to detail is also a crucial aspect, as many errors arise from sloppiness.
Be creative and curiousAnother part is being creative and curious. To stay motivated in the long term, you need to enjoy learning new tools and novel ways of solving problems. Curiosity and creativity will let you grow when the initial enthusiasm fades.
HumilityHumility is a crucial part of the correct approach. We don’t know many more things than what we know, and we tend to err daily. Programmers need to be aware of their limitations and admit sincerely the things they don’t know.
Code is a means to an endFinally, you have to know the code is a means to an end. We create software with people and for people. You can’t do anything by yourself, so you have to be a team player to achieve greatness.
How to Show the Right AttitudeIn an interview, you’re often stressed, and you’ve got only half an hour or so to show you’re a good candidate. So you need some simple tricks to help you make a great impression.
The essential thing is you have to think before you answer. It always seems you have to respond immediately, but that’s just your mind playing tricks on you. The interviewer is ready to wait for your answer, so take your time to consider the question through.
If you’re working with the code, explain what and why you’re doing what you’re doing. Your approach to the problem is more valuable than the answer. We want to see how you think, not just if you’ve got an answer.
Present yourself in a good light, but be honest. If you don’t know something, admit it while also providing some guesses or even your thoughts about the problem.
Show the effort, not helplessness.
Even if you solved your task correctly, ask about alternative answers. Maybe there are some better, faster, or more structured solutions from which you can learn. Be interested in not only if the things work but why they work. You should be perceived as someone who wants to learn new things from every assignment.
Tell the interviewer about your mentors, inspiration sources, and interests. What technologies are you excited about that you want to learn next. You should emphasize that you’re up to date with discussions in the programming world and you know what path you want to follow.
The last thing to remember is to be friendly. People seldom hire people they don’t like. So even if you’re bored or tired, don’t let the interviewer feel it. Be respectful, and show you’re taking the recruitment process seriously. If you’re not at your best during the interview, no one will believe you’ll become a valuable employee.