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#1 Dec. 17, 2010 17:03:39

D.
Registered: 2009-11-02
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How to get a web development job (i.e. Django/Python) if someone is an amateur programmer?


*This is a question that can be generalized for any other amateur
programmers looking to get into software development, and specifically
startups. I specify Django/Python in my own details below, but it can be
replaced with PHP, Ruby, etc.*

As an amateur, how could I position myself to get in the door at an
established startup (i.e., not founding team) or web dev shop as a junior
Django/ developer? What could I do that
would give me a chance of getting a job? My guess is that actually building
something is the right way to go about this?

Build a really simple web app? Build a web resume? Start a technical blog?
Contribute to open source? (though as an amateur, making meaningful
contributions is unlikely...)
------------------------------

My own personal details, as to define what I mean by "amateur":

Academic CS knowledge:

- Non-CS degree
- Two Java courses in college as a non-CS engineer (4+ years ago), which
I admittedly have since forgotten, but helped me establish...
- Comfort with basic CS elements (i.e., classes, functions, basic data
structures, control flow tools, etc.)

Practical experience (from a failed startup and work):

- 1 year of HTML/CSS/JS
- 1 year of PHP
- 3 years of SQL (mySQL, Oracle, MS Access)
- 2 years of VBA development in Excel/Access (front-end and back-end)

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#2 Dec. 17, 2010 17:19:01

Carlos D.
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How to get a web development job (i.e. Django/Python) if someone is an amateur programmer?


I founded my own startup 2 years ago, personally I can tell you that
having open source work published talks very well of you, even if is
not your own project but substantial contributions.

Open Source gives you the opportunity to develop your skills and show
them to the world, personally I look for people with OSS background as
they most likely already know the tools such as VCS, bug trackers,
etc.

Try building a few apps and sites to get a bit of experience
developing those kind of projects.

Admittedly, there isn't a silver bullet, but doing OSS will at least
get you contacts, I personally have received Jobs and offers just
because I'm a django/python developer and listed in a few sites (such
as djangopeople).

Regards,
Carlos Daniel Ruvalcaba Valenzuela
Blackchair Softwarehttp://www.blackchairsoft.com/On Fri, Dec 17, 2010 at 10:03 AM, Dopster <ken.kyhu...@gmail.com> wrote:
> This is a question that can be generalized for any other amateur programmers
> looking to get into software development, and specifically startups. I
> specify Django/Python in my own details below, but it can be replaced with
> PHP, Ruby, etc.
>
> As an amateur, how could I position myself to get in the door at an
> established startup (i.e., not founding team) or web dev shop as a junior
> Django/ developer? What could I do that
> would give me a chance of getting a job? My guess is that actually building
> something is the right way to go about this?
>
> Build a really simple web app? Build a web resume? Start a technical blog?
> Contribute to open source? (though as an amateur, making meaningful
> contributions is unlikely...)
>
> ________________________________
>
> My own personal details, as to define what I mean by "amateur":
>
> Academic CS knowledge:
>
> Non-CS degree
> Two Java courses in college as a non-CS engineer (4+ years ago), which I
> admittedly have since forgotten, but helped me establish...
> Comfort with basic CS elements (i.e., classes, functions, basic data
> structures, control flow tools, etc.)
>
> Practical experience (from a failed startup and work):
>
> 1 year of HTML/CSS/JS
> 1 year of PHP
> 3 years of SQL (mySQL, Oracle, MS Access)
> 2 years of VBA development in Excel/Access (front-end and back-end)
>
> --
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
> "Django users" group.
> To post to this group, send email to django-us...@googlegroups.com.
> To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
> django-users+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com.
> For more options, visit this group at
>http://groups.google.com/group/django-users?hl=en.
>

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#3 Dec. 17, 2010 17:23:18

Shawn M.
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How to get a web development job (i.e. Django/Python) if someone is an amateur programmer?


As someone who has hired a couple of people just like you in the pastyear, here's my response. Others may have different standards.Having links to sites you've developed is good.

Having links to a github account with public projects is great.A resume with bad spelling, grammar, or obviously "fluffed up"descriptions of your experience is a great way to get overlooked.However, beyond any of those things, the one magical way to get myattention is to indicate that you love what you do by showing thatyou've done a lot of programming that you did NOT do for school or work.I'd rather bring in someone for an interview with no CS degree whostayed up half the night struggling with a personal project than someonewith a degree who doesn't seem to have done any coding for fun.Shawn

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#4 Dec. 17, 2010 18:10:31

g.
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How to get a web development job (i.e. Django/Python) if someone is an amateur programmer?


I was once in your shoes. No real resume experience to show... no
sites to display my knowledge.

My advice... makes more friends. It's all in who you know. Met some at
an intro html course at a community college, ended up being good
friends. He was a developer already, but a few years later he tells me
about a company he got placed at and said I could easily do the
work... then he helped me get an interview, then I got hired...
knowing basic stuff.

Moral of the story, network

On Dec 17, 12:03 pm, Dopster <ken.kyhu...@gmail.com> wrote:
> *This is a question that can be generalized for any other amateur
> programmers looking to get into software development, and specifically
> startups. I specify Django/Python in my own details below, but it can be
> replaced with PHP, Ruby, etc.*
>
> As an amateur, how could I position myself to get in the door at an
> established startup (i.e., not founding team) or web dev shop as a junior
> Django/ developer? What could I do that
> would give me a chance of getting a job? My guess is that actually building
> something is the right way to go about this?
>
> Build a really simple web app? Build a web resume? Start a technical blog?
> Contribute to open source? (though as an amateur, making meaningful
> contributions is unlikely...)
> ------------------------------
>
> My own personal details, as to define what I mean by "amateur":
>
> Academic CS knowledge:
>
>    - Non-CS degree
>    - Two Java courses in college as a non-CS engineer (4+ years ago), which
>    I admittedly have since forgotten, but helped me establish...
>    - Comfort with basic CS elements (i.e., classes, functions, basic data
>    structures, control flow tools, etc.)
>
> Practical experience (from a failed startup and work):
>
>    - 1 year of HTML/CSS/JS
>    - 1 year of PHP
>    - 3 years of SQL (mySQL, Oracle, MS Access)
>    - 2 years of VBA development in Excel/Access (front-end and back-end)

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#5 Dec. 17, 2010 18:15:35

Ken H.
Registered: 2009-11-02
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How to get a web development job (i.e. Django/Python) if someone is an amateur programmer?


OP here.

I've got a still-live Digg-like PHP site that I built two years ago with a
few buddies. How much cred does that buy me if I'm looking for a Django job?
Do I need to specifically build and/or open source Django?

Thanks for the advice guys - much appreciated!

On Fri, Dec 17, 2010 at 1:10 PM, garagefan <monkeygar...@gmail.com> wrote:

> I was once in your shoes. No real resume experience to show... no
> sites to display my knowledge.
>
> My advice... makes more friends. It's all in who you know. Met some at
> an intro html course at a community college, ended up being good
> friends. He was a developer already, but a few years later he tells me
> about a company he got placed at and said I could easily do the
> work... then he helped me get an interview, then I got hired...
> knowing basic stuff.
>
> Moral of the story, network
>
> On Dec 17, 12:03 pm, Dopster <ken.kyhu...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > *This is a question that can be generalized for any other amateur
> > programmers looking to get into software development, and specifically
> > startups. I specify Django/Python in my own details below, but it can be
> > replaced with PHP, Ruby, etc.*
> >
> > As an amateur, how could I position myself to get in the door at an
> > established startup (i.e., not founding team) or web dev shop as a junior
> > Django/ developer? What could I do that
> > would give me a chance of getting a job? My guess is that actually
> building
> > something is the right way to go about this?
> >
> > Build a really simple web app? Build a web resume? Start a technical
> blog?
> > Contribute to open source? (though as an amateur, making meaningful
> > contributions is unlikely...)
> > ------------------------------
> >
> > My own personal details, as to define what I mean by "amateur":
> >
> > Academic CS knowledge:
> >
> > - Non-CS degree
> > - Two Java courses in college as a non-CS engineer (4+ years ago),
> which
> > I admittedly have since forgotten, but helped me establish...
> > - Comfort with basic CS elements (i.e., classes, functions, basic data
> > structures, control flow tools, etc.)
> >
> > Practical experience (from a failed startup and work):
> >
> > - 1 year of HTML/CSS/JS
> > - 1 year of PHP
> > - 3 years of SQL (mySQL, Oracle, MS Access)
> > - 2 years of VBA development in Excel/Access (front-end and back-end)
>
> --
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
> "Django users" group.
> To post to this group, send email to django-us...@googlegroups.com.
> To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
> django-users+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com<django-users%2bunsubscr...@googlegroups.com>
> .
> For more options, visit this group at
>http://groups.google.com/group/django-users?hl=en.
>
>

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#6 Dec. 18, 2010 02:25:01

Kenneth G.
Registered: 2009-11-02
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How to get a web development job (i.e. Django/Python) if someone is an amateur programmer?


On Fri, 2010-12-17 at 09:03 -0800, Dopster wrote:
> As an amateur, how could I position myself to get in the door at an
> established startup (i.e., not founding team) or web dev shop as a
> junior
> Django/ developer?

as a fellow amateur, I found the best way is to publish all my code as
open source, sit on IRC and contribute to the mailing list. No doubt I
am at the bottom of the django food chain, but answering frequently
asked questions frees up the bigger guys for more important things.
--
regards
Kenneth Gonsalves

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#7 Dec. 18, 2010 02:26:47

Kenneth G.
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How to get a web development job (i.e. Django/Python) if someone is an amateur programmer?


On Fri, 2010-12-17 at 13:15 -0500, Ken Huang wrote:
> I've got a still-live Digg-like PHP site that I built two years ago
> with a
> few buddies. How much cred does that buy me if I'm looking for a
> Django job?
> Do I need to specifically build and/or open source Django?
>
>

yes
--
regards
Kenneth Gonsalves

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#8 Dec. 19, 2010 00:01:42

R.
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How to get a web development job (i.e. Django/Python) if someone is an amateur programmer?


In addition to what other mentioned, I recommend looking
daily at sites like elance and rentacoder and making small
apps / scripts for practice, even if you can't make a bid.

This will be very useful because: 1. you'll have a good idea
on what people are paying for, 2. you'll accumulate your own
code that can be reused, 3. eventually if you see something
close to what you've done you can make a competitive bid
even if you have little experience.

There are a lot of low-balling and otherwise bad clients there
but it still gives you good experience that will be useful later on.

Good luck, -rainy

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#9 Dec. 19, 2010 08:34:47

Russell K.
Registered: 2009-11-02
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How to get a web development job (i.e. Django/Python) if someone is an amateur programmer?


On 18/12/2010, at 1:03 AM, Dopster <ken.kyhu...@gmail.com> wrote:

> This is a question that can be generalized for any other amateur programmers
> looking to get into software development, and specifically startups. I
> specify Django/Python in my own details below, but it can be replaced with
> PHP, Ruby, etc.
>
> As an amateur, how could I position myself to get in the door at an
> established startup (i.e., not founding team) or web dev shop as a junior
> Django/ developer? What could I do that would
> give me a chance of getting a job? My guess is that actually building
> something is the right way to go about this?
>
Building something (or doing something) is absolutely the way to go. Getting
hired is always a task of standing out from the crowd. If you're young, good
marks in a degree from a good college is one way to do this, but it's not the
only way. If you've been in then job market for a while, your degree will be
near useless for the type of jobs you say you're interested in; startups are a
lot more impressed with experience than with your alma mater.

The very least you can do is build your own website/blog. However, just
tinkering on your own thing isn't really enough. Speaking as someone who has
been involved in hiring decisions at various times, I can tell you that I've
been looking for three things:

* Technical competence
* Good written English
* An ability to work with others.

Although it's easy to put an emphasis on the first, in my experience the second
and third are just as important - and its impossible to demonstrate the third
working by yourself.

Getting involved in an open source project -- be it Django, something related
to Django, or something else entirely -- is a great way to demonstrate all
three.
> Contribute to open source? (though as an amateur, making meaningful
> contributions is unlikely...)
>
Not true. You may not be immediately in a position to be able to make major
code contributions to the deep internals of a project like Django, but you can
make a very valuable contribution in other areas and build a reputation that
way. Here's a few simple examples of things you could do that would allow you
to develop a reputation without making major code contributions:

* Django places a lot of value in having good documentation. Often, an expert
is the worst person to write documentation, because they don't know what
amateurs find difficult or confusing. Review Django's documentation, and make
suggestions (including providing drafts) on areas that can be improved.

* Write tutorials and howtos. This is really just another form of
documentation, but one that doesn't require any involvement in the Django
source tree itself. Use your blog as a way of publishing your tips and tricks.

* Do ticket triage. Whenever a ticket is reported in Django's Trac instance,
someone has to try and replicate the issue to verify that it is real. This is
labor intensive and not particularly exciting, but it's absolutely essential to
Django as a project - and anyone can do it.

* Review tickets. Before any patch in Django gets committed to trunk it needs
to be independently verified. Reviewing the work of others is a great way to
both build a reputation, and get to know Django's codebase.

* Do testing audits. Django has an extensive test suite, but it isn't perfect
- there are many areas that aren't tested, or could be tested better.

* Do security audits. As a web framework, Django takes security very
seriously, so any white-hat security audits are most welcome.

* Become invaluable to the community by providing a useful resource. For
example a weekly summary of the activity on the Django-developers mailing list.
This sort of thing takes a lot of effort, but would be very useful to the
community at large that can't spare the time to track every thread themselves.

* Build something that the community may find useful. Django People and
ReadTheDocs are good examples here; they were both started completely
independent of the project, but they're extremely valuable resources to the
community.

Of course, if you're hoping to get hired in a coding role, you wont be able to
completely avoid proving that you can write code. But that code doesn't have to
be a modification to the deep inner core of Django.

And although I've spoken about Django here, nothing I have suggested here is
especially Django specific. The same broad principles will apply to almost any
open source project.

The most important thing is to do something.

Best of luck in your attempt to find the startup of your dreams :-)

Yours,
Russ Magee %-)

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#10 Dec. 19, 2010 19:11:08

Cal L.
Registered: 2009-11-02
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How to get a web development job (i.e. Django/Python) if someone is an amateur programmer?


Working on your own projects will give you plenty of opportunities to do
things "the wrong way" (and believe me, it takes a while ;p). It also gives
you the chance to develop your own coding style, and improve upon. There's
nothing worse than using a new framework for a work project, then two years
later having to maintain this code, because often enough, the first projects
are usually the worst written.



On Fri, Dec 17, 2010 at 5:03 PM, Dopster <ken.kyhu...@gmail.com> wrote:

> *This is a question that can be generalized for any other amateur
> programmers looking to get into software development, and specifically
> startups. I specify Django/Python in my own details below, but it can be
> replaced with PHP, Ruby, etc.*
>
> As an amateur, how could I position myself to get in the door at an
> established startup (i.e., not founding team) or web dev shop as a junior
> Django/ developer? What could I do that
> would give me a chance of getting a job? My guess is that actually building
> something is the right way to go about this?
>
> Build a really simple web app? Build a web resume? Start a technical blog?
> Contribute to open source? (though as an amateur, making meaningful
> contributions is unlikely...)
> ------------------------------
>
> My own personal details, as to define what I mean by "amateur":
>
> Academic CS knowledge:
>
> - Non-CS degree
> - Two Java courses in college as a non-CS engineer (4+ years ago),
> which I admittedly have since forgotten, but helped me establish...
> - Comfort with basic CS elements (i.e., classes, functions, basic data
> structures, control flow tools, etc.)
>
> Practical experience (from a failed startup and work):
>
> - 1 year of HTML/CSS/JS
> - 1 year of PHP
> - 3 years of SQL (mySQL, Oracle, MS Access)
> - 2 years of VBA development in Excel/Access (front-end and back-end)
>
> --
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
> "Django users" group.
> To post to this group, send email to django-us...@googlegroups.com.
> To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
> django-users+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com<django-users%2bunsubscr...@googlegroups.com>
> .
> For more options, visit this group at
>http://groups.google.com/group/django-users?hl=en.
>

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