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Ask HN: How to get a Scala graduate position?
11 points by HighlandSpring on Nov 25, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 22 comments
I've recently been getting increasingly into Scala, slowly going from 'writing Java in a more terse syntax' to 'programming functionally in Scala', playing with Akka actors/streams, and exploring ways of implementing CQRS/Event-sourcing on top of these. Dropped the familiar Spring Boot and its 10 second startup time in favour of Akka HTTP (since all I needed is a REST API anyway).

What I'm getting at is: after the initial pain period, these frameworks fill me with a sense of "oh wow, I really like how this is done". I can't help but love Scala and the ecosystem, I want to explore it further, dig deeper down the FP rabbit-hole, work with actors in the real-world.

I'm now determined to work with Scala when I graduate. The problem is that I'm not seeing Scala Developer openings aimed at graduates. They all seem to be targeting experienced developers. I did some searches on indeed for 'java' and 'scala' in various cities and London's ratio is the most favourable so I'm already searching in the right market.

My current plan is to try to find the time to put out a portfolio piece in Scala and apply for Scala positions, regardless of whether they're taking on graduates. But even then, what can I do to convince this company to take on a Scala newbie without an appropriate graduate program in place, when they could hire an experienced one instead?

As someone who has to screen way too many "Scala Developer"s, just being able write idiomatic Scala to solve FizzBuzz level problems already puts you head and shoulders above the competition. It's frustrating how often candidates write more or less Java and try to pass it off as Scala.

Scala devs are already quite difficult to find, and we're more than willing to dedicate months of training to get someone up to speed on Scala. I suspect other shops might be the same, so any demonstration of decrease in training time is a huge plus.

I wish every Scala house had this attitude.

I'm a .NET developer by day (for the moment, I'm moving jobs soon), and I applied for a handful of Scala roles, and I didn't even get as far as the interview stage for all but one of them. One of them was nice enough to tell me that they wouldn't be continuing with the process because they're looking for the finished article, rather than having to train someone to use Scala. Since the job advert is still coming up on SO Careers I would assume that they're still looking...

The best advice I can give is to stop attaching yourself to a specific language. Having expertise in a language can be great, but you are going to be better served by demonstrating the ability to ramp up on any language that is needed. Scala is a solid language, but is plagued with functional purists and a love of domain specific languages. Take the skills and patterns you've learned from Scala and apply them to other jobs.

It may just be my experience, but as someone who works with Scala in London the market for Scala jobs is poor. I keep my eye on the market and every now and then get int touch with some company / do an interview, but usually it doesn't go anywhere. I get constantly pestered by recruiters about exact same positions for years now, so it looks like either those companies have a high turnaround or they are super picky and never give anyone a chance.

If you are interested in living in the U.S. (Boston area), CiBO Technologies (precision agriculture) is hiring entry-level developers for our Cambridge, MA and St. Louis, MO offices and we are passionate about Scala and functional programming. See cibotechnologies.com for more info on the company. Email me at walter underscore gillett at hotmail dot com (don’t want to post my work address here due to spam worries, happy to share via email).

Email me (email in profile.)

We're hiring for Scala developers and we're based in Amsterdam. I'll be in London early next year if you want to get coffee.

What you're doing sounds so cool, will do!

Are you willing to move to Lisbon, Portugal? I know of a few companies using Scala, including my current employer, Feedzai (https://feedzai.com/) - a company that uses ML to detect and prevent fraud on e-commerce

supply of scala developers to demand is so unbalanced that you are sure to do fine.

A portfolio that shows that you can complete all facets of a large project (tests, documentation, builds, artifact publishing) will get you hired fine, don't sweat it.

Is the demand really all that high? As a scala dev myself, when I look around it always seems like the trend is heading in the wrong direction in terms of the job market.

My thoughts exactly. I am at the point of considering switching to another language, because job opportunities with Scala are just abysmal.

Just more anecdata; most of the Scala positions I've seen are data engineering roles with Spark. I need to look harder for Scala roles without Spark.

Initially that was my experience too but over the past 2 years I've found that more and more places are switching to Java or Python for Spark Data Engineering actually, it might only be in my local market though.

Thanks, I will keep that in mind. Additionally, I've been told recently that Scala is losing ground to Go for things not related to data engineering.

Yes I've noticed this too. After a few Scala contract gigs (3 years) I haven't done any Scala in the past year and a half, Java and Python seem to be gaining more ground for new projects, specially in the enterprise or government.

Just to reply that I only briefly did Scala for less than a year, and my perspective of supply vs. demand was from attending a NYC Scala conference, maybe I was mislead to believe the supply vs. demand was this unbalanced.

As in most conferences, there are a hundred folks who say "We are hiring Scala Engineers" at every table and at the end of every talk. My employer at the time was desperately seeking Scala engineers and finding none, so they spent money to train their existing engineers.

So that's my Anecdotal evidence. I really just wanted to add that when I was young, the programming language was everything to me, it was my number one qualifier for whether I wanted to work somewhere. That is no longer true. The people I work with is now the most important thing to me.

Agreed. Just apply for any Scala job that you think you could do, even if it wants an "experienced" developer with 20 years of Scala experience.

Here's a few recruiters I've seen that have functional jobs. No affiliation.



If you're in London, hit me up! I work for a mid-large company that is full of Scalia devs. We'd be more than happy to give you an interview :)

Can you add an email or website to your profile?

Show me you are willing to put in the work! Seriously in need more scala/jvm developers.

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