Monday, February 09, 2015

What I Look for in a Junior Developer

Bill Gathen's article is spot on as far as I'm concerned. Those soft skills and the ability to ask questions and pay attention to detail are incredibly important. In several interviews I've been in (being interviewed, not giving the interview, and I include talking to new managers when I move between teams) I've told them I'm someone who doesn't drop a thread - that my consistency and ability to pick something up and still be motivated and feel a sense of ownership sets me apart from others. It doesn't just apply to development. Thinking creatively about your job and how to do it better and more efficiently and why it's being done at all - that should never go away, no matter how miserable the job is (and I've been a bulk mailer and cleaning services employee in my life, including the part that involves scrubbing other people's toilets). From a dev perspective, the one thing I'd disagree with is that I expect you to be able to talk about the tech. That enthusiasm you have should extend right down to the research you did for the opening I have. Yes, I don't care if it's PHP and you're looking for a .NET job, but I really hope that if you want a career in development you can talk the talk about what personally excites you and then...then...make the connections between your comp sci education/experience and my project (I'm picturing my daughter from her elementary years when the teacher made her link her hands together with two OK signs and say "connections").

"The ones I consider most important are: enthusiasm, attention to detail, a hunger for learning, and thirst to contribute."

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