Developer Job Search during Covid19 Pandemic

Are you affected by the wave of covid-19 pandemic?

With covid-19 hitting the shores, my country on lockdown two weeks after my resignation and the black swan event that crashed the stock market, effectively killing the market in half for many companies and industries, it has been quite a hell of a ride as many companies have decided to freeze their hiring, leaving yours truly in a standstill.

I would like to share my tips & thoughts on job search during this pandemic.

1 – Prep Resume & Apply until the guy next door knows it

Prepare your resume and apply NOW. LIKE RIGHT NOW. You are forgiven to not continue reading this post until you have done the above.

Do not have a resume in hand? Update your LinkedIn profile and use the generated resume as your temporary resume while you write your own one.

Companies take 1-4 weeks to reply and you would be spending your worth of time applying for a job first before continue reading.

2 – Recruiters

Recruiters can be your best or worst friend. A good recruiter can lead you to new opportunities that are typically not found on the job searching websites while a bad recruiter simply just shoves whatever available to your mouth and demeaning you.

Engaging with a recruiter does benefit the newer guys in the market as tips & tricks will be shared on how to score your interview. On the other hand

However, always question yourself internally on everything from the lips of a recruiter as there is a conflict of interest, especially when you are engaging with multiple recruiters.

3 – Position yourself

As someone who have been working for many years, positioning yourself would probably be a second nature but could still be a challenge for someone who is still new in the workforce.

While you could always change your technology stack, but you could face resistance as you grow to be more senior as typically companies want to find the best fit.

4 – Understand the Company and Industry

Not understanding the company and industry could land you another retrenchment as you join the company as companies typically go by LIFO (last in first out). Heavily affected companies such as Airbnb, Agoda have been laying off staffs left and right and you definitely do not want to get caught in that industry for now as a newcomer until the situation recovers.

Go for industries like Glove, Logistics, iGaming n etc that have been on the fly as they are the winners in this round of pandemic.

Choose wisely (you have been warned).

5 – Documentation

Start thinking back on the unique issues, custom logic, or any interesting stuff that you have built/solved/encountered back then and start to document all these down. It may take a while and you may not be able to recall everything, so hop on and have a chat with your ex-colleagues to chat about this and have some social interaction while documenting.

The document will serve as your base to tackle what are the interesting stuffs that you encountered and how do you solved it, or what are the worst bug that you’ve faced and how did you solved it type of questions. You will be able to answer confidently rather than stuck on err, ahh, hmm for a prolonged period and watch your interview gets deducted one by one.

Do continue documenting even after you’ve landed on a job because you don’t need when will you need it again.

6 – Coding Interview tests sucks

Red Black Tree? Quick Sort? Binary Search? Coding tests suck as it is not an indicative indicator of a day to day programmer’s job. Using the framework/library is better rather than reinventing the wheel and breaking a leg or two in the process.

Meaningless to say, pulling out the implementation of a binary search from the back of my mind, writing the code and explaining it with confidence within 10 minutes of being asked is probably not a lot of person’s forte.

Regardless of my rant, coding test is here to stay and I find /r/dailyprogrammerto be a nice place to train your skills to train and you may even see the same questions appearing in your interview test (sounds like a school test but in reality its true).

I typically enjoy interview test that emphasizes on writing unit test (yes, many companies still don’t care about testing), code structure, design patterns, refactoring strategies and there is something to bring home from the above discussion.

Kudos to Fave for hosting an awesome interview although I didn’t managed to land on the job due to the current situation.

7 – Trust your gut

If you feel bad about the company, the interview, the hiring manager, the industry or anything along the line, DO NOT GO FOR IT.

Yes, this is contrary to what I’ve mentioned to just apply apply and apply, but if you do not feel good about the company say after reading reviews on Glassdoor or the hiring manager said stuffs that triggered you, then it is most probably a good idea not to go for it as you are not fit for it.

Searching for a job is important but staying sane after getting a job is equally important too.

The Future?

Times are tough with the given economic situation and pandemic. But I too see this as a opportunity for many to start afresh, to treat it as a new beginning, or to seek new opportunities from the current situation. Wherever you are, times will past and just as our parents and our great great grandparents did, we will ride through it, definitely.