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Ask HN: Will you help a junior developer in need of short-term employment?
23 points by jmsbrwr on June 28, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 22 comments
I posted this a few days ago, but didn't get any leads, so I'm going for round two. Hope you guys don't mind. :) Lesson learned: Don't post at 1:30 AM.


My name is James and I'm a student at App Academy in San Francisco. We spend a lot of time working on projects in Ruby, Rails, JavaScript, and Backbone. In less than a month I gained enough skill to build a lite version of Rails' ActiveRecord in a day. We will be finishing up around the middle of next month and then I will be searching for a job as a junior engineer (not that I haven't already started looking).

Here is my problem: I want to stay in San Francisco while I look for a job, but the money is running dry very quickly. Things are more expensive here than I anticipated. If I don't find a way to get some money after I finish my stint at App Academy, I will have to move back to Florida and stay with my mom while I look.

Will you let me work with you for a month or two? Not only will this allow me to stay in the area while I look for work, but I will gain experience and you will get some cheap labor. If you are interested then I invite you to check out my GitHub and StackOverflow accounts or shoot me an email, all of which can be found in my profile. Payment is negotiable. I really just want enough to pay my bills until I search for the right job.

Hope I hear some good news soon!


I'm going to tell you what other people haven't told yet.

Nobody cares whether you went to App Academy or learned how to code in your mom's garage.

Nobody cares if you have enough skill to rewrite the linux kernel from scratch.

If you want a job, you have to understand hiring managers needs and fears, and most importantly you need to know how to address them.

If you know how to get things done on time, and on budget then you're hirable.

While it shows passion that you built yet-another-asteroids-port it's irrelevant for the most part.

and this is coming from one 25 yo software engineer without a college degree making an income way above average and hardly 2 years of real experience.

So do you have any actual advice or are you just here to tell me that I'm doing it wrong? I invite constructive criticism, but I get enough destructive criticism as it is. I don't need any more.

He provided plenty of great insight, do you not see it?

His emphasis is on: completion, budget, and timeframe. That's pretty much accurate. Being a good salesman or marketer is nice too. Nothing else matters. Everything else is a distraction or needless worry.

I understand what he said. What I don't understand is how someone in my situation shows evidence of completion, budget, and time frame. I suppose my final project will hit two of the three, but I have no way to prove that I will deliver under budget.

if you deliver on time, you deliver on budget...

Well that's actual advice boy, it's up to you if you still want to think that someone is going to hand you a job just because you need one.

Here's some advice for you: Stop being condescending. Implying that I am ignorantly expecting someone to give me a job I don't deserve is both arrogant and rude.

Good luck.

I never said you didn't deserve a job, that's an invisible script of yours... all I'm saying is that you're doing it wrong by focusing in the wrong things.

Nowadays telling you the truth is being arrogant and rude, oh well... good luck to you boy, I'm not the one in need for a job.

Also.. you should drop the "short term" employers like commitment.

James - off topic, but you write well. You seem like a high quality dude. I wish I had the money to work something out with you like other posters. Just want to offer one piece of advice: watch out for Winklevoss-type douche bags. They'll exploit you without pay, so make sure when soliciting work on here you end up with someone who will furnish a letter of offer or an agreement so you get paid even if their dumb idea doesn't work out, etc.

Thanks for the compliment, it means a lot! And that's good advice, so I'll make sure to keep an eye out. Honestly, I didn't have very high hopes for this post, but I figured "Why not try?".

James, I'm in no position to help out someone right now, but I do hope things work out for you. I offer you my best wishes and an upvote. Best of luck and keep trying.

Thanks :) I appreciate it.

Good luck -- don't sell yourself short looking for anything you can get, even if it's for a short period of time do something that is engaging or interesting to you.

side note: the link to your Twitter profile on your site http://www.brwr.org/about is broken.

Thanks. :) Luckily (I guess?), I'm very confident in my skill and I set very difficult goals for myself. While I'm a realist and I realize that it isn't likely to happen, I am aiming to get a job at either NASA or SpaceX.

Also, thanks for the heads up! I fixed the link.



One angle you might consider if you want to end up at NASA or SpaceX is to get a job at a University department or specific research group that has close ties. These groups usually pay pretty well and are often in need of good programming help.

That's an idea I haven't thought of. For now though my concern is finding a way to stay in the area. I imagine companies will be more likely to interview me if they don't have to pay for a plane ticket haha

Just curious, but why stay in San Francisco? Austin is FAR more doable living-expense-wise, and there is a budding startup scene from what I hear so there's bound to be a few jobs. Sure it's Texas, but it's not like you need to stay forever.

That's a totally reasonable question. I have moved around a decent amount over the past few years and I've made a few friends here in San Francisco, so I would like to stay here for a little bit.

You cant get a job as a rails dev in SF?

I have no doubt that I will be able to, buy financially I'm not in a position to be picky and I don't want to feel obligated to settle for a job that I don't find interesting.

You need a short term strategy (any job!) and a long term strategy(spacex, baby!). I suspect spaceX or NASA programmers aren't using Ruby, Rails, and JS. They are a good place to start, get a nice paying job, and then figure out what it would take to get a spaceX or NASA job.

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