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The "Final Boss: Dev Team" Lesson is part of the full, Getting a Software Engineering Job, v2 course featured in this preview video. Here's what you'd learn in this lesson:

Jerome shares strategies for dev team interviews. The development team has a deeper understanding of the technical requirements of a job and can better assess a candidate's skills. Recommendations for how to approach full-stack positions are also shared in this lesson.

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Transcript from the "Final Boss: Dev Team" Lesson

>> And the final, final boss, as we like to call them, right? The developer team. So I view the developer team, the devs, they are the final boss, gatekeeping, right? If you're meeting them, it's a good thing, but it's gonna be a stressful thing at the same time, al right?

[00:00:25] Now, here is one of those things where if you've done your portfolio right, you have solved 50% of your problem. If you've done your portfolio right, because you want a portfolio that is what I like to call front loaded. As then you want to answer so many questions about yourself prior to them meeting you.

[00:00:46] They don't have any questions asking or you wanna have them. They're thinking about the questions to ask you about the thing that you already know, right? So that's how you want to be able to, it's almost like, well, it's not almost like, it's exactly like PSYOPS. It's how we do in the military, is what psychological operations.

[00:01:06] Is that we want the user, the person that we're speaking to, to ask us or talk to us about the things that we're already experts in. And then we may have more expertise to them, right? So we're guiding, we're using our resources, such as our portfolio and our resume and the work that we've done to guide them towards that direction.

[00:01:27] So that builds more interest in us and makes that as the interview easier for us, right? So that is what you have to do with your developer team, right? Such things like we've spoken earlier, you wanna talk as if you're already on the team. The rule of thumb that I always use with my troops is that you want to pass what I like to call The 5PM rule.

[00:01:50] Which means you wanna be the person that after 5PM on Friday they do not wanna throw you out of a window. They don't want to like quickly get your new computer. Do they just send you and like revoke your access after 5PM on a Friday, right? That's your goal.

[00:02:06] How do we do this? We answer our questions clearly, we make sure we study the resources, study for the interview. We make sure that we ask before the interview like who's all on the dev team. So that way you can research them because you may have something that you find interesting on them.

[00:02:22] So you can have these conversations. You want them to feel as if you're already on dev team. I use a lot of wheeze, I use a lot of how we're gonna do this, how I would do this with you. I'm always trying to put myself in a position, is like I am already on the other side of the table with you.

[00:02:38] And I always try to keep the conversation moving in light, because you want them laughing. The worst thing you can have is an interview with the dev team that goes the time allotted. The more you go over, the better your chances of getting hired, the more laughter there is, the better chance to get hired.

[00:03:00] These are just rules that I have seen that work like they don't make sense. But remember, you're still dealing with people, and people in the end like to work with people that they like, right? So they wanna know that you can do the job, but they also wanna know I'm gonna be spending a substantial amount of time from my dogs, my wife and my kids, from you.

[00:03:23] And I want to know that that's going to not make me want to smack myself with my MacBook Pro, right? Because these things are expensive, and you know health care in America is outrageous. So just, let me know in advance like how are we going to work together, right?

[00:03:43] So that's with the developer teams, Mark I saw you had your hand raised?
>> Yeah, someone just commented they think Fang companies are still looking for fundamentals and foundation and software development like OP solid big O donation algorithms and systems design.
>> I can answer that, that is, firstly when it comes to Fang organizations, I mean it's very weird to say Fang now because stock market has to clear what Fang did.

[00:04:15] That's a common understanding, they're not looking for the just core fundamentals anymore. Right now in the era of tech we're in, it's more rounded. It's more of like, think of it as like a specialization of skill, right? So we're talking about cloud computing. We're talking about AI, we're talking about DevOps, we're talking about the specialized units, right?

[00:04:40] As opposed to computer science the things, right? I have never in my eight years of programming had to use or been asked a question for any of these LLPs things of that. I have been asked questions in regards to patterns, because patterns help you learn other languages faster.

[00:05:01] And which is why I always recommend learning patterns of a language. I think there's a young woman, Lydia, she just did a JavaScript patterns course for you
>> Lydia.
>> Lydia, yeah, so I definitely recommend that class because patterns will help you switch from language to language faster.

[00:05:19] Because once you understand the pattern, and the why this code is doing this, you'll understand how to do the thing better. Now, am I saying that data structures and Algos are unnecessary? No, what I'm saying is that they're not, my Microsoft interview no one asked me one question on data structures and algos.

>> Yeah, it really depends on the role because when I was interviewing a lot in the JavaScript engineering or like the closer you get to the word engineering in the title.
>> Yes.
>> You are absolutely gonna need to know that stuff.
>> Yes, closer you get to the engineering part, that deep level stuff, you will.

[00:06:01] But I guess the closer you get to underneath the API, or the closer you get to building the API and stuff is where they start asking these questions. Yeah, that's a good analogy, or a good way to look at it, right? Is, hey, the closer you get to under, very very under the hood, like that's the more this stuff matters.

[00:06:22] Like yeah, types of things that they are gonna be looking at for you, right? So I put those in the readme. So the technical component of course, that's what they're gonna be looking for, right? Culture fit assessment, like I said, 5PM rule. They wanna make sure that hey, guess what?

[00:06:40] I don't want to throw you out of the office if I don't wanna call the doorman, I'm like, just America, doorman. Europeans do [INAUDIBLE] or they want to evaluate your projects, right? This is where you know your portfolio and making sure it's a Picasso size. Is like making it shine, al right?

[00:06:59] You want to ensure that even if you start playing, you have the information needed to be able to showcase how you think of things, to why you think of things. The way that you're going to, where you're going with your thought processes, things like that. And of course, portfolio review, where they're gonna be reviewing your projects, get hubs, all this stuff, yes?

>> I'm sure you're gonna get into it more later, but online, Michael was asking, are there any signals of resume? Are there any things that we should avoid putting on a resume that makes us look like a not a fit or too experienced, inexperienced?
>> I will definitely put, I'll get more into that, but the number one red flag I am seeing is the term full stack developer.

[00:07:47] That has got a negative connotation in the industry. So you've put web developer, software engineer, front engineer, back engineer, what are you exactly trying to do, especially as a junior, you should be doing. Because they are people like okay, so your junior but you understand the intricacies of the entire stack?

[00:08:07] That doesn't make any sense, right? So that's the number one red flag, keyword that we are seeing.
>> Yeah, I will echo that. We're hiring at front of masters, and we see that all the time, as people generally in the the beginner couple of years put full stack on the resume all the time.

[00:08:26] And it's laughable, it's like, yes, okay, you can spin up a node server or whatever. Like you use Next.js, but that doesn't make you a full stack developer.
>> Yes, the harsh reality is, I mean, just because you can put a website on the web does not make you a full stack just yet.

[00:08:44] Because there's a lot of things in the middle when it comes to being a full stack. We're talking about security, we're talking about the rules on front end and back end are completely different. Like picking the rules are depending on what part of front end, or what part of back end you are completely different, yes?

>> In other words, like people like could realistically call themselves fools, that are almost like seniors at these teams you were just talking about, people. [CROSSTALK]
>> I will say two, three years of experience at least.
>> If you wanna see, if you're actually a full stack, go to front of stack.

[00:09:20] And tell me if you actually know all of those things. [LAUGH]
>> So I want you all to get paid and get jobs. And one of the first things you need to do is drop that full stack off your resume. Because especially as an entry level, that kind of opens you up for a lot higher scrutiny versus thinking of yourself as, you know what, this is I'm really strong in a part of this, because this is what I initially caught my focus.

[00:09:47] Which is what I'm happy about most of the people in this room, is that you know you're not talking in the format of full stack engineers. You're like, I want front-end, I'm UI, I'm back in. I want to do DevOps, a new cloud computing. You're looking at, secularizing your skills first and then you're gonna expand as you get more experienced in the your career stacks.

[00:10:07] Which is the smartest thing to do, right? Trying to learn everything at once is insane. Trying to learn a thing that you know follow the 3AM rule. Which for me is, if whatever it is at three o'clock in the morning that they call me that I have to be on call to fix, that's the thing I want to learn, right?

[00:10:27] So follow that rule and you'll be okay, yes, Mark.
>> Yeah, I definitely agree with that. It's almost like a spearhead, it's like these are the few skills I'm the strongest at. And I'm interested in all these other things around it, and that's gonna signal to the employer much better than saying, no, I'm already at this level of the the entire stack.

>> Yeah.
>> I know I'm really, I'm strong in this area, and I'm looking to expand my skills in these two, three, four or five areas.
>> Exactly, you don't want to come like, especially on dev teams because you're gonna have somebody on the dev team that's probably gonna be equal to what your true strength is.

[00:11:19] And then other people on the developer team that's going It's gonna be able to walk circles around you on the things you're not strong on. So you wanna focus on your strengths and be able to use that as your biggest selling point. But if you say that you're, you put a bunch of stuff on your resume and your LinkedIn that you're not strong on, you've opened, you create an opening in your game that is gonna allow someone to ask questions that you're not prepared for, right?

[00:11:45] So that the aim of this is to make sure that we have we put all the odds on our side, right? Which is why we don't use full stack, especially as a junior entry. You have less than a year's experience. It's just pretty, it's a pretty hard pill to swallow that you're a full stack.

[00:12:02] And I'm not being, like it's I'm not being mean about it, I want you to win, this is a safe space. Like, don't ask me don't cancel me on Twitter. Like, I mean, I don't even use Twitter like that anymore. So, like, go ahead and like do that if you want.

[00:12:17] Yeah, what's up, man?
>> So I have a question. We were talking about these three users and kind of three people that you need to convince to give you the go ahead in order to get a job.
>> Yeah.
>> I notice frequently there's kind of a division between like the AI/HR people where they have a set list of requirements they're looking to hire for, they use that to filter people?

[00:12:38] And then you got the dev team, who have the real world actual requirement Tournaments for what you'd be doing in the day to day. How do you get to the second groups that way you know what to talk about when oftentimes what you're seeing online with these applications, and you know what's available like about the job isn't really what the people are actually doing.

[00:12:56] A good chunk of the time,
>> One thing I have done with my troops, so I've instructed my troops to do that as really helped is that we go and we enter informational interviews. You're gonna talk about this more in the networking part, but we'll actually research that company on LinkedIn before we do the application.

[00:13:15] And we'll see if there's anyone in any of the networks within our internal network, that is connected to somebody at their company, and see if we can get an informational interview about this particular job. And if we can go get that, we go one step further and try to get the recommendation for this particular job as well for the student.

[00:13:37] So that's one thing that I definitely recommend before you. I never recommend doing that whole like blind apply apply apply, fast apply like that is your worst adversary, right? You're applying before you're getting intel. You can't go in a battlefield, you always get the intel first before you go in there, because that's how you end up in ambush, right?

[00:14:02] And we are not doing that, so what we do is that we gather intelligence to formulate a plan and then we attack, right? So that's how we approach every interview process, from the application phase to getting the job phase. I am always researching, I'm like, you know what I'm human, I'm Batman, not Superman, like, well, they call me Captain America, but he gets shot too.

[00:14:27] So, [LAUGH] in the end, I need to plan stuff before I execute, because when I fail to plan, I plan to fail, right?
>> Any question on like the hiring the developer's conversation?
>> Yeah.
>> So under the understand the tech stack part, it mentions like talk about experience if you have it.

[00:14:49] Like how would have you gotten past the ATS section of the process without saying that you have experience with it?
>> Well so I think someone he picks up his question like how the two can like diverge. By the time you get to the developer, the team that developed dev team, they can be talking about a totally different problem they're gonna be working on, right?

[00:15:12] I've been in that chair in which I'm talking about the job that I'm looking at is one stack, but they're talking about switching over to another stack in the interview. And then I'm like, I have experience in that I've already been working on that. Let me show you something that the architecture of how I was using these micro services of these three separate front ends to be able to work in unison with this API layer.

[00:15:39] So let me show you how I would do that, right? And that helped me get the job already, because they had the offer letter before I was out the door, right? So that's how that happened, because you never, like I said, you really, the companies halfling. I know that like the person doing the job break is somebody who talk to somebody, who talked to somebody, who talked to somebody that hasn't touched the code base in like seven years, and they have no idea what's going on.

[00:16:11] And then by the time you get to the developers there was like, hey, let me show you what we're really talking about. And then you get the job. And then they're like, everything that they told you was a lie. This is what's going on. Enjoy, like, enjoy this place is hey, like FYI.

[00:16:26] So like, I've been on jobs where like, hey, guess what we're doing C sharp. That wasn't in my interview at all, like why are we doing C sharp? [LAUGH] I don't get it, like I guess I'm here now, so we're gonna C sharp together. So it's just about being adaptive, right?

[00:16:41] And you know use those opportunities, yes, Mark?
>> What about certifications? Can that help you?
>> I was gonna talk about that in the resume.
>> Well let's hold the thought, that must have skipped.
>> Yeah.
>> Let's get into it, love all your questions, there's another one about getting a job in the US if you're abroad, using US sponsorship.

[00:17:02] I don't know if you're gonna get into that.
>> No, I'm not, but I wasn't gonna get into that, but I can answer that question now.
>> Okay, why don't you just answer it quick, and then.
>> Al right, what's the question?
>> Just getting a job in the US if you're abroad and you need a visa?

[00:17:18] [CROSSTALK]
>> Al right, so you have to firstly look for the jobs that are willing to do visa sponsorships. They usually explicitly say if they are or they aren't, that's first one. Secondly, you need to make sure you get those requirements and they tend to be more of the collegiate route, right?

[00:17:36] So if you're not gonna college for computer science that's gonna be very difficult or a type of very strong mathematics based like degree program. Very difficult to get into those type of programs, those type of jobs, but they're not impossible. So I definitely, I just recommend, doing your research on that.

[00:17:58] On each job, each industry, do internships, informational. If that's your goal, you need to make sure you need to stack the odds on your side for the visa, visa sponsorship jobs.
>> There was, I would say in our discord and on Instagram, there's some threads around somebody who was from Mexico and they got a job at Google using in front of masters was their main resource so.

>> That's dope
>> Yeah, so you might want to reach out on our discord as well.
>> I haven't been on discord in so long, I'm an old person, man. I don't be on these discords and all these other do-thingies and stuff. I have a TikTok just for the kids, man [LAUGH] I'm old sarge, that's who I am.