A Developer Job Search

On March 31, 2018, I started a search to find a new job, I’ve learned and grew through this process and it has come to an end recently. I want to document it here.

A few months ago I saw a great image of the 7 phases of a Job Lifecycle:

  1. The honeymoon
  2. Reality sets in
  3. Learning the ropes
  4. Mastering the job and achieving solid results
  5. The first question marks
  6. Demotivation
  7. Burnout

My job search started by the start of 2018 when I was at phase 5, almost 6 of this lifecycle and I started to ask myself if I was really enjoying and growing in my current work, this led me to make the decision to start looking for new opportunities.

Throughout my short 4 years of professional career, I’ve been creating this idea of my dream job and it goes sort of like this:

A mission I feel passionate about, a place where I’m working with awesome people pursuing a common goal which actually makes this world a better place impacting peoples lives in a positive way. And why not? With cool perks like open vacation policy, a competitive pay, remote first, education. What Japanese would call Ikigai, true balance between passion, mission, vocation, and profession.

1_qNNzYd3SE1Z09d_IaJOdGA

As you can imagine, this is not a particularly easy job to find but it’s not a unicorn either.

NoRedInk

So, I started looking for this Ikigai job and sending some applications on March 31, 2018, and after a take-home challenge, I landed my first interview with NoRedInk. Great experience, they were really nice guys and I really enjoyed the process even though it finished with a rejection email. I was aware that most probably I was going to find rejection, however, it’s always hard.

We’ve decided not to move your application to the next step of the interview process.

Doist

Then I applied to Doist, I was very excited about this company, great mission, inclusion, a balance between work and life and values I deeply Identify with. I did my research about the company and found out that they like good cover letters, so I spent many hours writing a cover letter I felt proud of and send it on it’s way.

We regret to inform you that it has not been selected for further consideration.

YNAB

Another awesome company with a great mission I feel identified with. I know the positive impact that their solution is bringing to their users’ lives.

We hate to be the bearer of bad news.

Stop, Breathe & Think

Recently I’ve been very into meditation and mindfulness and I was very excited to think that I could stand a chance in a company like SBT when I found they were looking for an Android developer.

We don’t have any Android positions open at the moment.

All these were some of the steps of the journey, among others, more rejections and some options where I decided not to continue with the process, and finally…

TTEC

I had an interview with them and get identified with their mission and the company values, met part of the team I’d be working with and they were great.

Got really excited about the idea of helping a huge team create customer experiences that really assist and help an even more massive number of people all around the world in a human and meaningful way. That’s impact.

In the end, I got an offer from TTEC and I said yes without thinking about it twice.

The Wrap Up

So it took many applications, challenges, interviews, people I met, rejections, learning, preparations but at the end the result was great and that was the path I need to go through in order to get to the end. Here are some tips from what I learned through this process.

  • You will find rejection. Don’t worry too much about it, learn from it and move on, remember it’s a step closer to the end of your job search.
  • Do your homework. Before applying to any job do a good research about the company, their mission, their values. If it’s really what you’re looking for, then become what they’re looking for.
  • Prepare for code challenges. There are plenty of sites where you can take challenges for pretty much any skill or programming language. By solving these exercises you will be more comfortable finding quick solutions and most likely you’ll find some of the questions or quizzes in your interviews.
  • Expose your work. You surely need a nice CV, but I’ve learned is much more important to have a good exposition of your work, public code repos, your personal blog, blog posts on dev sites, StackOverflow, you name it.
  • Open source. Start doing open source contributions, it’s a huge opportunity for people to see your great work and get a very clear idea of your motivations, creativity and besides, you’ll learn hugely.

Health Anxiety & Dr Google

You’ve just noticed a weird symptom, it may be a dull pain, a discomfort, a sensation, you name it, and suddenly you start typing on Google looking for an explanation, a benign and harmless cause. Guess what? You will not find that.

You should never consult Dr. Google

You’ll start following links and eventually, you’ll end up certain that you have a very rare sinister illness that will bring you to your inevitable end within a few days or weeks. How did you not notice before?

monsters inc fainting GIF by Disney Pixar

Ok, maybe it’s not that way for everyone but if you are prone to anxiety you’d better resist the temptation, you may end way down the rabbit hole, reading and searching for hours in uncountable websites about your symptoms. The worst thing about it is that your mind is so powerful that it’ll start creating new symptoms for you to worry even more in a horrible vicious circle. I’ve been there.

The web is not your doctor.

How to deal with it:

  • Identify the temptation and the triggers
  • Put your device down
  • Use a relaxation or anxiety reduction technique
  • Live the moment (focus on your work, activities, people around you)
  • Keep moving and physically active, don’t let health anxiety paralyze you
  • Ask for professional help

Consult your real doctor if you are worried about any symptoms or if your symptoms persist.

 

Why Everyone Should Try Meditation

When I was close to graduate from University I was in a peculiar state of mind. I was overwhelmed by all kinds of troubled thoughts at the time, I was trying to finish my degree smoothly, I was already working and deeply engaged in a software development startup, my love life was a mess, I was moving to a new apartment and as far as I was concerned I was officially an adult.

happy i love you GIF by Rodrigo Tello

That mixture of feelings and thoughts pushed me to look for ways to get some peace of mind. That was how I started learning about meditation and mindfulness and I changed the misconception I had about it:

A mysterious practice that only a few wise ancient people from far away lands did while levitating.

raven GIF

I found a couple of cool apps that helped me to get rid of that idea, I read about the many benefits of meditation, so I thought. Why not, let’s give it a try.

Now I’ve been practicing meditation and mindfulness for a few years and here are a few reasons why I encourage everyone to try meditation.

Reduce Stress

I’ve learned that, as much as you try, you’ll never have control of the situations you find in your life, some of these are pleasant but some are not: Stress is inevitable. Meditation has helped me change my relationship with stress and stressful situations, it allows me to have the space I need to handle stressful moments with clarity and peace.

Relate Better

We live in a web of relationships, from your co-workers to your loved ones and the people you cross with every day. These relationships affect and get affected by your emotions and feelings. When you feel good about yourself, when you’re able to be aware of your emotions and feelings you become less reactive, regulate your moods, increase empathy and kindness and allow others to be, instead of projecting yourself.

Good Night Sleeps

We all know that sleeping is essential for our well being, sleep gets deeply affected by a troubled mind, personally I’ve experienced Insomnia and restless sleep and it affects you mentally and physically. By doing a short meditation before going to bed I’m able to clear my mind, leave trouble thoughts behind and set the conditions for a restful night.

Health

Meditation just makes me feel healthier, It encourages healthier habits and there’s plenty of studies that explore the connection between health and meditation. Reduction of blood pressure, pain relieve, anxiety reduction, memory loss prevention are just some of meditation health benefits.

Live the Moment

Last but not least, by meditating I’ve learned to be present. It’s truly mind-blowing how I’ve found myself doing things completely in automatic mode, meditation has helped me to be aware, about the simplest things, like standing up from my chair or eating my lunch. It sounds cliché but I’ve found great experiences and happiness in the most simple things. Just had to pay attention.

I urge you to give it a try, here’s a couple of apps I like where you can start practicing meditation and mindfulness right away.

Headspace | Stop, Breathe & Think | Calm

And my personal effort to bring a little peace to this world, a simple Android app that helps you recover your natural innate breathing with a simple breathing exercise.

One Breath

Meditate and share your experience!

My Top 10 Android Apps

Recently I got curious about my behavior as a smartphone user, specifically, what are the apps that I use the most on my day to day.

I installed this app, QualityTime, it allows you to monitor and get real time reports on how much time you spend on your smartphone and which are your most used apps. Now I’ve been using it for a while.

So, here are my top 10 Android Apps:

10. WordPress

WordPress for Android puts the power of publishing in your hands, making it easy to create and consume content. Write, edit, and publish posts to your site, check stats, and get inspired with great posts in the Reader. What’s more? It’s open source.

This app become one of my most used apps since I’ve started this blog, it is very useful to be able to manage your site on the go, it helps me to be more consistent with my writing and to don’t miss ideas for blog posts which I can instantly convert to drafts with this app.

9. Wunderlist

Wunderlist helps millions of people around the world capture their ideas, things to do and places to see. Whether you’re sharing a grocery list with a loved one, working on a project, or planning a vacation, Wunderlist makes it easy to share your lists and collaborate with everyone in your life. 

I’ve been using Wunderlist for a long time, I’ve used it to track my homework when I was in college, just as the extract above I’ve used it with my loved one to share our grocery list and places to see (we have plenty), I’ve used it to keep track of my work taks, my personal projects, my learn list, books I want to read, movies I want to watch… It’s not surprising that it is on my top 10 list.

8. Headspace

Get the most out of your day with the Headspace meditation app. We’ll help you perform at your best through the life-changing skills of meditation and mindfulness. In just a few minutes a day, you’ll learn how to train your mind and body for a healthier, happier life.

I use Headspace for my daily meditation, It really helps me with my stress level, keeps me concentrated and I actually really enjoy it, it’s really nice to take 10 minutes and appreciate.

7. Money Lover

Money Lover is the simple way to manage your money, budgets, and bills on your phone. From now on, you’re able to manage all your assets in just one place. How easy it is when getting reports of your expenses, sticking with your budget plans, or tracking your banking transactions!

When I first started working and earning money my financial life became a real mess, I started buying unnecessary stuff, reached the limit of my credit cards and soon I realized I need to manage my finances better or I was going to end up in the streets. I took a short online course about personal finance and started using Money Lover since then to track my expenses and budgets.

6. Google Keep

Quickly capture what’s on your mind and get a reminder later at the right place or time. Speak a voice memo on the go and have it automatically transcribed. Grab a photo of a poster, receipt or document and easily organize or find it later in search. Google Keep makes it easy to capture a thought or list for yourself, and share it with friends and family.

Everyone needs a notes app, this is my favorite one, simple and clean.

5. Fitbit

GET ACTIVE. EAT BETTER. MANAGE WEIGHT. SLEEP BETTER.

My wife recently gave me this Fitbit Charge 2 device, a heart rate and fitness band which I really enjoy, It really helps me to stay active, I love the sleep tracking feature and track my fitness goals. I love the data analytics it gives me, I just try to not get obsessed about it.

4. Instagram

Instagram is a simple way to capture and share the world’s moments. Follow your friends and family to see what they’re up to, and discover accounts from all over the world that are sharing things you love.

My favorite social network, I enjoy looking different realities of people I know as well as people I would like to know.

3. Spotify

With Spotify, you have access to a world of music. You can listen to artists and albums, or create your own playlist of your favorite songs.

I’m a musical person, I need my music with me.

2. YouTube

See what the world is watching — from the hottest music videos to what’s trending in gaming, entertainment, news, and more. Subscribe to channels you love, share with friends, and watch on any device.

I love YouTube I always have videos in my Watch Later playlist, they’re mostly from my subscriptions which contain a wide range of content: space, movies, news, science, travel, TED, formula 1, dev, tech, music, entertainment… I use YouTube app to watchthis videos when I have free time.

1. Tide

Tide lets you get things done by breaking up individual event among discrete intervals, separated by short breaks.

A very simple app I love, it is essentially a timer based on the Pomodoro Technique, a time management method to break down your activities into 25 minutes intervals with short and long breaks. I use it for work, writing, studying, reading, etc. Actually, I think I may be abusing.

Share your top 10 with me!

A Day at the Office

9:13 – Start. I’ve just arrived to the office with a friend with I share transport, leave my stuff at my desk and I head to register my entrance hour…. I know, it seems kind of absurd to me, I think flexibility is better, but it’s the way it is.

9:30 – Breakfast. I eat a simple breakfast right at my desk while catching up with some news, YouTube subscriptions, personal emails and start figuring out my goals for the day with the help of my Wunderlist.

10:00 – Coffee. With my goals clear I just need one more thing to get fully started: My coffee. So I take my Contigo mug (which is awesome) and take it downstairs to fill it with the elixir.

loop coffee GIF

11:00 – Work, work, work, work, work. I like to code on the morning. I start by fixing some bugs previously assigned to me on our team platform VSTS and continue with any other assigned tasks.

12:00 – Daily SCRUM. Just like this photo of the Jedi council but in a much less cool and small room, standing up and with remote attendants joined by video, no holograms 😭.

Jedi Council

 

13:00 – Work, work, work, work, work. I Continue with my assignments, create a couple of pull requests and review a couple from my team.

14:00 – Meditation. Around this time I try to free myself for 10 minutes to meditate. I’m currently using Headspace app to do my meditations. It really helps me with my stress level, keeps me concentrated and I actually really enjoy it, it’s really nice to take 10 minutes and appreciate.

14:30 – Lunch. My co-workers and I go down to the cafeteria to have lunch. My current company is located inside a University so we share the cafeteria with the students. I’m still waiting for the food fight.

15:00 – Chatter. We head to an open area in the campus to sit and talk about everything. Just relax and take a few minutes to talk about everyone’s life, movies, tech, gadgets, comics, memes, and anything that comes up.

15:30 – Learn. Time to go back to the office. I love to learn, I always have topics on my list of things I want to learn about, so I like to spent this part of my day in learning, currently I’m focused on Android stuff, specifically Kotlin and how can I improve the architecture in my projects.

16:00 – Improve. By this time I usually focus on our improvement project, this include tasks like collaborating with co-workers on how to improve our development process, our continuous integration process, integration of new tools, best practices… Currently we’re under a CMMI certification process so I have a meeting with one of my co-workers to review the progress.

17:00 – Closing. I close tasks for the day and focus on any short task so I don’t leave unfinished tasks before I leave.

18:00 – Finish. I register my exit so that HR can be sure I worked 8 full hours.

A Day at the Office.