I went to monster.com today and discovered that it still exists. I’m actually kind of chuckling as I type this, and for that I apologize. I realize that I’m in a pretty fortunate position not to have to be looking for work in such a way, so I’m not trying to make light of anyone’s situation. But, in all seriousness, if you’re a non-entry level developer and you’re perusing monster, you have much better options (and if you honestly think you don’t, drop me an email, and I’ll see what I can do to help you find work).
Anyway, I wasn’t looking at monster in the hopes of landing a Junior Full Stack Ninja role, but because of a reader question. Here’s the question.
How do you successfully compete against experience while interviewing? Do you leverage education? Open Source involvement? What should I fall back on?
I recently tried to make the argument that experience may not be a good thing and rather an open mind is better since experience tends to bring along bad habits that are not correctable where an open mind is willing to adapt to the corporate policies/procedures that a company has. Needless to say, I wasn’t very successful and honestly it probably came off like I was being a smart ass. I just can’t stand people wanting 3-5 years of experience. Like 2.5 is not good enough, it really needs to be 3? If 2.5 is fine, why not 2? Why is that .5 so much greater than just 2? It seriously feels like I am 6 again telling everyone that I am 6 and 4 months old, not 6. I am so much older than 6…
(By the way, you can submit questions on the sidebar at the right, under “Ask Erik,” if you want to get my take on something — and please do!)
First of all, I love the way this is phrased. It’s poignant as it makes the frustration palpable, and it aptly exposes the absurdity of this candidate-employer matching approach. But beyond just liking the way this conundrum is described, I think it raises an important topic.
The reason this question prompted me to head over to monster.com is because I formed a hypothesis. I hypothesized that if I went to a generic job site and did a search for a programmer gig, the very first one I found would consist of boilerplate (years, tech) tuples. I’ll call these “experience tuples.” Monster has top mindshare in my head under “generic job site,” so I cross my fingers that it still existed, typed in the URL, and was pleasantly surprised. I then typed, “C# Software Engineer” and clicked on the very first link. Here’s what I saw.