Hacker Career Advice

Show Some Initiative

“Proactive,” “self-starter,” “scrappy,” “internally motivated,” “hacker ethos,” you see these phrases in a lot of job descriptions. But, how do you actually demonstrate this kind of initiative during your job search?

Read this HN thread about developers taking initiative outside of the workplace. The recurring theme is that each developer identified a problem, applied technology to address it, and succeeded—freeing up time for something they cared about (family, hobbies, harder problems, etc.).

Examine your own accomplishments, professional or personal, and think about how you can frame them in a similar way, highlighting how you proactively identified a problem, evaluated solutions, and acheived a positive result.

As a developer, your job isn’t to work on Trello cards. It’s to efficiently solve problems with technology. If you can show hiring managers that you can do that and that you’re always looking for new problems to solve, then you’ll get all the gigs!

© 2018 Neal Shyam