It’s common for a developer to look for a job that matches their preferred tech stack choice and technical skills. It’s a bonus if you like the company and the people. It’s a common misconception that you will be sat alone all day coding on a computer.
In actual fact, there are more things that people should consider that are not always related to IT. Below is some advice gathered from developers who initially went the wrong way about finding a job.
Technology Shouldn’t Be Placed Above People and Progress
How often have you gone to an interview and spent the entire time discussing the technologies that the company is working with? While writing code is obviously a large part of the work, a developer’s job doesn’t stop there.
A major part of a developer’s day is spent communicating with co-workers and managers. There is also a level of planning and organization that many may not realize. Next time you are in an interview, ask about the people you are going to be spending a significant part of your day with.
Expectations and Reality
There is still an old fashioned belief that if someone is sat at their desk for 8 hours a day they are working and being productive. It’s unfair to measure a person’s productivity by the time they spend at a computer. If your future employer focuses on this aspect, it could be a sign that it’s not the right job for you.
You want to look for a company that pays more attention to the results you achieve than where you sit to do this. There is a book called Rework and it is worth reading regardless of your seniority, as it contains highly useful information about how successful companies are run.
Instead of asking questions that are assumed of you, think about asking some of the following questions:
- How are your projects managed?
- Do you work in sprints? If so, what do they look like?
- Can you explain your development process?
- How long do developers normally stay with you?
- Why do developers choose to move on?
- How do you solve problems within the team?
- What is the work-life balance like?
- Do people often work overtime?
- Is there a chance to spend time with senior developers?
- Do you have a training program?
As well as the manager, it is worth meeting with at least one of the developers, preferably before the interview. Try to talk to the developer alone so you can confirm that the interviewer and developer are saying the same thing. It’s another warning sign if you aren’t able to talk to the developers without management around.
The treatment of the team from senior staff is crucial. To ensure you work for a good company, you need to make sure that the team is happy. The way a company processes and the management styles in place go along way towards the happiness of the staff.
Weighing up the Pros and Cons
Before an interview, compile a list of everything you are looking for in a job. Decide which ones are important and which would be nice to have. During the interview, ask the right questions to see if the company matches your priorities.
HR and managers are always going to make a company more attractive than it is but there isn’t a perfect company. For each interview you attend, write a pros and cons list. If you don’t find a con, it is likely that you aren’t asking enough questions.
Research the company, whether it’s a Google search, reviews on Glassdoor, or LinkedIn. It might seem like a lot of work before an interview but finding the perfect place to work has a major impact on your life.
If this is your first looking for a job, you might not have the luxury of being so choosy. At the same time, you shouldn’t just accept the first job. The company should be able to tick off your most important priorities.