Thank You for Reaching Out

Sunday March 19, 2017

I make myself pretty easy to contact, and sometimes people contact me.

1. Will I hire you?

I'm not in a position to hire you (or give you an internship). Please don't send me your résumé. If you want to work where I work, or anywhere I've worked before, please go through official channels.

2. Will I recommend you for a job?

If I already know your work and I know it to be good, then yes.

3. How can you find a job?

I've found jobs mostly through people I know, and once through a recruiter.

Don't meet people for the sake of finding a job. Meet people by being active in your community and doing good work. Go to a meetup. Talk to people. Help where you can. Give a talk about something you know or are learning about. Help out on a community project. Keep developing new skills.

The majority of the cold contacts I get are from recruiters. I don't have an answer for them on this page because they don't care; it is their job to contact people all the time—even people who don't seem to be looking for work—on the off chance that they make a contact at exactly the right time. Can they find you? They will send you jobs.

4. How can you develop skills?

I have a presentation about my career path and things I think are very generally important. It's called How to Eat Computers and it was made for children, but even such a very mature person as you might enjoy it.

I have two short lists of recommended books:

You should read and write a lot. Develop interests and pursue them.

5. What educational program should you do?

You should go for the best program(s) you can, but remember that individual (student) variability is much larger than variability between programs.

6. Should you do online courses?

This is like asking "Should I read books?" Put them in the same category. Choose what will best help you learn what you want to learn.

7. Should you do a coding bootcamp?

Don't think of a bootcamp as a credential. They don't play in the same world as graduate degrees. If you go for a bootcamp, you are saying to the world that you are scrappy; you are going to work hard and you are going to make something happen. The structures of the program may help you to do more than you would on your own, but no program can do everything for you.

At the end of the program you are going to have your work to show and talk about. Could you have done that work without the program? Yes. Would you have?

8. What's the best coding bootcamp?

I've taught data science evening classes for General Assembly and the full-time program for Metis. I developed some materials and I hope I helped both programs, but things vary a lot with locations, staff, and time: I don't know which programs are better than others.

9. Will I collaborate with you? Will I be your mentor?

If you have a project or question that you think I'm uniquely positioned to help with, let's talk about that project or question.

If you're looking for people in general but don't yet have a project or question to talk about, thank you for thinking of me, and please contact me if I am still the right person to talk to after you do. I keep some project ideas in my blog's github issues; you could look there to see if anything interests you.