A great resume is key to landing an great software job. There’s no surprise there. But so many people make mistakes on their resume that can very easily be fixed.

Randall Kenna is on the show today to help us understand how to improve our resumes, and in turn, help us have better careers.

Transcript for episode 122 of the Test & Code Podcast

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00:00:01 A great resume is key to landing a great software job. That’s no surprise, but so many people make mistakes on their resume that can be easily fixed. Randall Kenna is on the show today to help us understand how to improve our resumes and in turn, help us have better careers. This interview was recorded before she released her new book, but it’s out now and it’s called The Standout Developer. I’m reading it now and enjoying it so far. If you’d like to get a copy, stick around to the end of the show and I’ll share a discount code with you.

00:00:30 This episode of Testing Code is brought to you by Pi Charm and by listeners like you that support the show through Patreon welcome to Test and Code. Because software engineering should include more testing today on Test and Code, I am thrilled to have Randall Kenna on the show. On Twitter, somebody passed along some advice that she gave on resumes and especially technical resumes. And as a previously several times hiring manager, there’s a lot of mistakes made on resumes, so I thought it would be fun to talk about that. She’s also an experienced software engineer and she’s in the middle of writing. Well, I don’t know if you’re in the middle of writing a book, but editing. Could you introduce yourself to the audience?

00:01:28 Yeah. Thank you so much for having me. First of all, my name is Randall Cana. I’ve been a software engineer in the Bay Area for the last five years. I’ve been lucky enough to work for some really awesome companies like Eventbrite and Pandora and Ticket Fly back in the day. And now I’m really focused on giving back to the community and engineering because so many people gave so much to me when I was starting out and helped me out in my career that now I kind of want to do the same for others and give back to them. So I’m working on my second book right now, which is about landing your developer dream job.

00:02:00 Well, I mean, you got a software developer. You’re working software developer in the Bay Area. That’s a coveted sort of thing right there.

00:02:07 Did you start out in the Bay Area or did you move there because of a job?

00:02:11 I moved here because of my coding boot camp, actually six years ago. And then I had to move back because I didn’t think I would be able to get a job very quickly right out of a boot camp. And I got a job in two weeks and ended up moving back almost immediately, which was frustrating because I had just given up a lease. But it was also the best experience of my life and incredible. So I was really lucky just to be able to live in SF. And I actually just moved out of San Francisco in perfect timing to Marin. So really worked out okay.

00:02:42 So I lived in Santa Rosa for a while and I can’t remember where Marin is.

00:02:47 It’s just a little above the city. You drive out of the city and you’re right in Marin, basically.

00:02:51 Okay. Like just north of the bridge.

00:02:53 Yeah. Just Tiberan right over the bridge. One stop on the ferry.

00:02:56 Okay. I think there’s a really great Italian restaurant that I ate, I think right in that area once, a long time ago. Anyway, so you’ve been you have to tell me about that after you’ve been doing this for six years now. You’re still having fun. You’re not burned out yet.

00:03:10 I am still. Well, so I started coding when I was twelve.

00:03:13 Wow.

00:03:14 And basic, like HTML, CSS. I was building really basic websites, selling them online for virtual currency, which was ironic when I circled back to Blockchain and then started working online for virtual currency again. But I’ve been doing this forever, and I didn’t really ever think it could become a career. And then six years ago, I attended a boot camp and just thought I’d try, and then it really worked out. So I’ve been doing it ever since, and I love it. I can’t imagine doing anything else.

00:03:39 Yeah, it’s great. And plus, especially with this crazy time that we’re in right now, it is a job that you can do from home. Many people don’t have jobs that you can do from home. I assume you’re working from home now as well.

00:03:51 Yeah. I’ve actually been a remote engineer for about a year now, so I was in the city, and then I moved out. My company was kind enough, fully remote.

00:04:01 I’ve been doing it for a bit.

00:04:02 Okay. Yeah, I don’t want to give it up. I love working from home.

00:04:06 It’s the best.

00:04:07 This is great.

00:04:07 Yeah. You get so much more focused.

00:04:09 Yeah. And also it’s a lot easier to pretend you’re not there if you want to be focused, because if people actually see you, you can’t pretend you’re not there, right?

00:04:19 Yeah, it’s so much better.

00:04:22 I guess I’m curious. One of the things what programming languages you primarily work in right now.

00:04:28 I’m fully in JavaScript, react to Node. In the past, I’ve used Python and Amber, but right now, fully on Node.

00:04:36 And tell me a little bit more about the books that you’re writing or have written.

00:04:40 Yes. So my first book last year, it’s kind of a crazy story. I had this lifelong dream that I wanted to be an O’Reilly author and complete pipe dream. I wasn’t even an engineer when I was 22, and I never thought I could be an engineer, but it was just always kind of a huge stream of mine. And last year I had O’Reilly and another publisher reach out to me. And it happened very quickly that I got a book deal with them, which is incredible. Like, never in my life would have I thought that would happen. And then this year I decided to self publish and the second book is about landing your developer dream job. And basically everything I’ve learned over the last five to six years of trying to job Hunt as a junior engineer, especially out of a boot camp when you have no experience and you don’t have a computer science degree.

00:05:28 So how did they find you? Were you blogging? Did they get you from there? Or how did O’Reilly even know you existed as a writer of software stuff?

00:05:37 Yeah. So I had an acquaintance that I had known in the past that was starting a book deal with O’Reilly, and some things had come up, and he kind of need to step away from the project a little bit. And right about that time, I received kind of an informal offer from Packet Publishing as well. And basically they had found me from LinkedIn. I’m trying to keep a robust profile on there. And also I had done some YouTube videos in Blockchain, which is a very tiny community, so it’s kind of easy to make yourself stand out there personally. And also, I had done just YouTube videos about the subject. So they kind of failed me basically from there. And I had spoken at conferences about Blockchain and built up some credibility.

00:06:21 Okay. So you’re pretty young in your career. You’re already like book deal.

00:06:26 Thank you.

00:06:27 And speaking at conferences, that’s incredible. That’s great.

00:06:31 Thank you.

00:06:31 I think more people should do that, actually. Speaking at conferences part and writing about what you know and trying to teach others and speaking. These are incredible things that have expanded me and made me a better engineer. And nobody ever told me to do that. And actually when I was going to school, I didn’t think that really anybody could. I thought, like a certain special category of person could do that, but not me.

00:06:55 I felt the same way.

00:06:56 Yeah. But I think it’s a good thing to just try because do you feel like both of those experiences made you a better engineer as well?

00:07:03 Absolutely made me a better writer, better communicator made me more empathetic to other people. It just opened up so many doors as well in my career. So it was completely worth it, even though it was absolutely terrifying at the time.

00:07:17 Yeah, it is terrifying.

00:07:20 And I hope to write more. So I’ve got one book and I hope to write more, too, because it is a lot of work. But it’s yes, the returns are way more than just the money you get, because I don’t think that it’s recommended to try to get rich on writing technical books. I think there are easier ways.

00:07:35 No, get rich.

00:07:38 Actually, that was a funny thing. When I was published, so many of my friends reached out and they were like, you’re rich now? That’s amazing. And I was like, no, no.

00:07:45 Like, that is nothing but the opportunity to be able to it’s a little easier to get speaking things later because you’re an author, there are lots of other opportunities. And I really like the way you’re taking your next one to try to help people just in their careers. It’s a neat thing. And one of the things that caught my eye right out of the way we brought this up already is this around the resume area. So why do you care so much about people’s resumes, and how does that fit into your life?

00:08:14 Well, when I was working as an engineer, big public tech company, you get a lot of resumes. And it’s really hard when you’re looking at a resume and you see something that would be so easy for that person to improve and it would improve their response rate dramatically. And just nobody tells you these things. You can get your resume reviewed and you can go online and use a template, but no one says what you should actually focus on. And I kept seeing this as a pain point. And so earlier this month, I just said, hey, I’m going to review resumes on Twitter, send me your resume. And I started getting hundreds of messages every month, every week, and it just completely blew up. And I realized how many people really need this right now, especially with what’s going on in the world. And it’s just been so fulfilling helping so many people. And I have since had to shut my messages down a little bit and get people on a waiting list because it was taking up nights, weekends, mornings got very intense.

00:09:12 I bet offer free advice and you’ll get especially in this climate, you’ll get a lot. So is there stuff that we can talk about? Are there some things that everybody can apply to their resume that stand out that we can talk about here?

00:09:24 Yeah, definitely. I think some of the pain points that I saw was not detailing enough in your work experience. Like you’re not showing your wins and your accomplishments. You’re kind of just being saying, oh, I wrote tests, I mentored someone, and you’re not being specific enough in your resume. So that was kind of a big thing that I’ve always seen for the last five years of reviewing resumes that you’re not kind of going enough into detail. So I think it’s so important to put numbers on your resume. Like, how many users did the company get after you improve this feature? How fast did you speed things up? So that’s kind of one thing that’s really important to me. And then also tailoring your resume to the company is so huge. I’ve seen a lot of resumes recently where they’re trying to apply for a certain type of developer job, and they’ve had a ton of experience in that one thing. But they just kind of gloss over that and they go to the next job instead of really going into depth of what they’ve learned in that same technology the company uses.

00:10:19 Yeah, I mean, it doesn’t have to be dramatically different either. Just even if there’s something that you did, it one of your jobs that really applies to what you’re applying for. Well, then add another couple of sentences to it or something.

00:10:31 Yes.

00:10:31 One of the things that drove me nuts is around the detail part is people will list the skills they have and which programming languages or frameworks they’re using, but then those don’t show up in the jobs at all. And I would like to see maybe you’ve had five jobs. Well, what languages and tools do you use at those jobs? Because it tells you a lot, because I kind of need to know. Okay, so you know Python, but have you used it? Did you use it at your last job? Have you used it at all of your jobs? Those sorts of things?

00:11:04 Yeah. That’s huge in a resume. I think being really honest about your skills and kind of detailing what you’ve done with those skills.

00:11:10 Okay. So be more detailed with your history and what you did at different jobs.

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00:12:17 I like the idea of wins, of including kind of success things that you had or something that’s neat.

00:12:24 That has always worked out really well for me. In the past, there’s been, I think, two examples right off the top of my head where I was applying for a company that had a huge focus on mentorship. So I made sure that I listed in that resume for the company. Exactly that. I had created this program with two other women engineers, and we had formed like 40 to 50 pairs of mentors and mentees and just detailing that was huge because they actually mentioned the interview on my resume that they had seen that. And we’re like, that’s exactly what we want. That’s what we’re looking for. So I think it’s just so important to really kind of look into the company, otherwise you’re sending your resume out into the void.

00:13:03 The flip side of that is, oh my gosh, that seems like a lot of work. I really have to redo my resume for every job that I’m applying for.

00:13:10 I actually have a few versions of my resume that I kind of send out depending. So if you do the work over the weekend, it’s not as bad. And I think later on in your career, it’s not as important. Resumes aren’t as important where I am right now because I have companies reach out to me, but especially for people just starting out, you kind of have to fight your way in.

00:13:29 Yeah. And I was tongue in cheek there a little bit. Of course. Yes, you do have to redo your resume and it is a lot of work, but it is a huge amount of work to read resumes and to hire people. So if other people are willing to take that time to try to figure out what you’re doing, you should take the time to have that information presented for them in a way that’s reasonable.

00:13:51 So how about one of the things people get hung up on right away is do I need to have a professional format or use a template? That is, do I have to purchase a resume template or something like that? Is the template in the format? Does that matter and how much does that matter, do you think?

00:14:07 Well, sometimes getting past the filters that can be you need a little bit of a simpler resume. If you’re shooting your resume basically into the void, you’re applying to maybe 100 jobs per day. But I think if you’re emailing a company individually and you found someone on LinkedIn and a recruiter and you reach out to them and send your resume, I think as long as it looks good and you’re happy with it, it has great formatting and detailed work experience. The template isn’t that important. But I do have to say I love using Canva for my resumes, so I’m a little biased there.

00:14:37 I didn’t even know you could do resumes in Canva.

00:14:40 Yes, they’re fantastic, they look really good, they’re clean, and you can really customize them as well.

00:14:45 Cool. I did my logo in Canva, so I love Canva also for simple things.

00:14:50 Oh yeah, big fan.

00:14:51 Okay. So any other good tips that apply to a lot of people?

00:14:55 Yeah, I think really leaning on free tools because everything’s online now like Grammarly, you can run certain areas of your resume through Grammarly and that’s free and it’ll tell you exactly what you’ve done wrong. And there are websites like Resume Worded where you can put your entire resume inside that and it will give you exact details of what you have done wrong. And then if you have poor spelling, if you have formatting issues. So just leaning on those kind of free tools and then also sending your resume to all your friends is so important because you don’t necessarily see some error. You’ve made some spelling mistake. That’s the very first thing that a recruiter or hiring manager and engineer looking your resume is going to see. So I think it’s so important just to get a ton of eyes on your resume as soon as possible.

00:15:40 Yeah. And don’t just ask friends that, you know, just tell you good things. If you’ve got somebody in your life that will be brutally honest with you, it’s good to get that, too. If it’s a sibling or somebody in your family that normally will enjoy the opportunity to pick apart your resume, that’s a good thing.

00:15:59 Yes. We all have those people.

00:16:00 Maybe a neighbor or something.

00:16:03 Yeah. I think those are great ideas. Okay. Anything that shows up on a resume that you’ve seen that really shouldn’t be there.

00:16:10 Oh, gosh, yeah. Well, depending on where you’re applying, there’s a lot of people that put their photo on their resume in the US and elsewhere. Depending where you’re applying, that’s completely fine. But in the US, generally, it’s something that looks a little odd. If you suddenly have your headshot or a selfie and then you have your actual home address and you have personal information.

00:16:30 So I think avoiding too much personal information and keeping it really professional is important.

00:16:34 Yeah. Also, one of the things should somebody put their personal web address on their resume?

00:16:40 I guess it depends if it’s focused on what you do.

00:16:43 Yeah. Okay. So let’s say I have a technical blog.

00:16:46 Yes.

00:16:46 Should I put that on there?

00:16:48 Absolutely.

00:16:48 How about their LinkedIn profile?

00:16:50 Oh, yeah, yes, definitely. I think LinkedIn profile, Twitter, your blogs, kind of any notable thing you’ve done online, your website, those are all really great things to have. That’s kind of one of the first things that I would look for is how does someone really dedicate themselves to the job and not saying you have to work at night or weekends, but have you taken a course? Have you written a blog post and not saying you will never get a job if you don’t have those things? But it’s an immediate bonus if you say, oh, I have this certification and I took this course and I’ve written this technical blog post. And why wouldn’t you take that extra win.

00:17:24 Yeah. Also, I guess pay attention to stuff. One of the things I’ve noticed is that maybe it’s just because of people not too long out of College, but if you have a GitHub profile and there’s a bunch of stuff in there, you have a lot of actually interesting things that you’ve been working on and passionate about. But there’s also a bunch of junk in there that’s like from when you learned something in a course or something during class, you had it in there. You don’t need to keep those around, maybe make those hidden. So if there’s some really old code that you’re really not proud of and your job searching, maybe make those private or get rid of them or something. That’s a great tip because I think if you’ve got a technical blog or a LinkedIn profile, especially if you have a fairly common name, I really appreciate having that on your resume because a lot of people do have a LinkedIn profile. And if your name is fairly common, if I Google you, I’m going to get like a ton of hits.

00:18:20 Oh, it’s impossible.

00:18:21 Yeah. So help me out which one is you?

00:18:24 I don’t quite have that problem with my name, but I can definitely see that’s a huge issue, especially when I was trying to find a candidate. And it’s impossible to find someone online these days if they don’t give that information to you.

00:18:35 Yeah. So I appreciate a section on skills. So is that something you recommend people do?

00:18:41 Yes, definitely. I think not listing too many skills. That’s one of the things that I’ve noticed quite a bit in resumes is that they list maybe 40, 50 skills and there is no way that one person is an expert on all of those skills. Kind of like they’ve listed either Buzzwords or they’ve listed things that they use for the past ten years. So I think it’s important to really focus on the important skills.

00:19:05 I definitely agree. And I used to start collecting a bunch of skills and put everything on there that I’ve ever touched at all. But then I realized I did that, too. I realized that there’s a lot of stuff that I’ve done that I don’t want to do again.

00:19:20 Yes.

00:19:21 Don’t list stuff on your resume that you don’t want to do again.

00:19:24 I love that. I totally agree with that. That’s kind of the thing about tailoring your resume to the job. If you don’t want to work in some technology, you haven’t used it in five years. Don’t emphasize that anymore. So I totally agree with that.

00:19:37 And one of the things you wrote on Twitter, I think it was you saying don’t put something on your resume that you’re not willing to talk about.

00:19:42 Yes, that was me. I’ve noticed over the last five years of interviewing people is they put a skill they haven’t touched in a long time or one time I was interviewing a very junior candidate and he had JavaScript and Amber and multiple frameworks on his resume. And then he came into the interview and he couldn’t even write a JavaScript function. And that’s totally fine if you’re junior and you’re just starting out, but you have to be honest about that. So I think it’s really important to be really honest on your resume.

00:20:11 Yeah. I mean, if you kind of are familiar with these just because you did like a survey class and you kind of like read a couple of paragraphs about it, I don’t know that maybe shouldn’t be on your resume anyway. But if it’s something that you’d like to learn and then just, I guess be honest about it and say, have that in your education part. I did cover did learn a little bit about Amber, and I thought that was fun. I’d like to learn more because I am very frustrated when there’s a skill that I’m actually looking for. So I ask somebody about it and I get the answer of like, well, I don’t really remember because it was just like a little project that I did about eight years ago and I don’t remember much about it. Why is it on your resume then?

00:20:54 Yes, anything on your resume is fair game in an interview.

00:20:58 And it might not even be part of the job. It might just be somebody’s kind of interested in it. So even if things like you had a personal project, you list a personal project that was about like maybe Ham radio or something. Also a Ham radio operator, somebody that you interview with might be one of those also and ask you about it. And if you can’t answer, they’re just going to assume you’re not a trustworthy person. How can I trust anything on your resume if you can’t answer questions about it? So I guess less is more then as well. I also am somebody that drives me nuts when I see like a list of I actually saw this once on a resume. They listed, I think, every programming language I’ve ever heard of. And then at the end, even actually on the resume said end. Any new languages that come out.

00:21:44 Wow, you almost have to respect that in a way.

00:21:47 Like you’re really already an expert on languages that don’t exist already.

00:21:51 That’s something that is impressive.

00:21:54 So where should it be? If I’m going to have a little skill section of a reasonable handful of skills, where should it be on my resume or does it matter?

00:22:02 I don’t think it matters too much depending on your template. I think always focus on your work experience first. A lot of people go into their projects or their education or skills, and every hiring manager is looking for the work experience first.

00:22:15 So I think it really doesn’t matter too much if a lot of the stuff and the extra experience, like, let’s say I’m working all my work experiences, stuff that I don’t really want to do anymore. So I think I’m doing the right thing. I’m taking courses. I’m doing some open source projects, and I’m working on some open source stuff to try to build up my skill set.

00:22:34 It seems like that should be on my resume somewhere.

00:22:37 Should people put their projects they’re working on somewhere?

00:22:41 Oh, absolutely. That’s like one of my favorite things to see that someone is working on a project because you don’t necessarily have to be obsessed with coding and you don’t have to do it all day long. But if you’re taking a course or you’re doing your own personal project that is going to speak volumes to a hiring manager. And that’s one of the things that I discuss in my new book, how important it is to show your passion. And if you’re doing a course or certification or a project, that’s going to be a huge bonus point. When someone looks at your resume, that was something that immediately stands out to me. When I look at a resume, I see that someone cares about improving themselves and doing better. And that’s kind of all engineering is about. It’s about learning the new thing and getting better at it.

00:23:23 Yeah. That’s one of the things that I’m always looking for is some proof that somebody is a learner on their own, that they will seek out new knowledge regardless of whether or not that’s part of their job, because that’s part of the job we always have to be learning.

00:23:39 Yeah. That was actually how I got my first job. I was two weeks out of a boot camp, and I didn’t think I was going to get a job in two weeks. I was very lucky. But I taught myself the framework that the company used over the weekend, and I came back with the project and I said, I actually built it in your framework. They had given me coding take home and said, build an app in a few days with whatever you’re familiar with. And I was not familiar with the framework they used at the time. Todd to myself over the weekend, I immediately got the job because the app broke during the interview, to be honest. And it was not the best app, but they were impressed that I had taught myself for that company.

00:24:18 That’s amazing. That’s great. I’ve had people walk into an interview and in person interview asked me, So what does your company do?

00:24:28 Wow. You didn’t even Google us before you showed up.

00:24:32 That’s the number one thing. Yeah. At least find out about the company before you go. That should have been our header of the interview.

00:24:39 Yeah. And don’t ask the company what they do. You should know that.

00:24:43 Oh, gosh, yeah. Don’t ask about the tech stack. Don’t ask about the company.

00:24:47 Okay. So during interviewing, though, let’s say I’m just curious if you can jump into that. Are you okay with talking about interviews as well?

00:24:54 Yes.

00:24:55 So one thing that happens when people stress about at least I stressed about it when doing interviews was the question of during an interview, an interview, the interviewer interviewee. The person that works there trying to assess your skills says, oh, so do you have any questions for me?

00:25:11 Are there good questions? Bad.

00:25:14 That is a nerve wracking one.

00:25:15 Yeah. So do you have any advice for that one?

00:25:17 Yeah, I would say definitely don’t ask about their tech stack or what the company does. First of all, number one is the reason.

00:25:24 Because the tech stack you should already know that.

00:25:26 You should know that first call. That should be what you ask the recruiter. You should find that online. There’s a lot of websites that have that listed already. So I think that’s information you have before you even step foot in the building or in this case, the Zoom meeting, which is everything is remote right now.

00:25:41 But yeah, that’s a great question. I come prepared with a list. I Googled the company before and I think about what’s important to me generally. I ask what’s going to be the day to day at the job? Like what is success in the role in six months? What do you expect from the person who’s going to be doing the job? Are you an agile company?

00:26:00 Just kind of things that will help me. And rule of thumb, I never asked about, say, salary. I don’t ask about benefits until you have an offer in your hand.

00:26:09 You don’t want to assume that you’re going to have a job. And it’s kind of silly, but I always write out my list of questions because I think in that moment you’ve just gotten through the coding interview and you’re scared and probably sweating a little bit and nervous. And if you have this list of questions after, it just completely helps get you back on track.

00:26:28 It would impress me also as a hiring manager, when I asked that question, do you have any questions for me for somebody to actually look at their notes and run their hand down the bullet points and go, I already have that covered. I think I understand this.

00:26:44 Yes.

00:26:44 Here’s this one I haven’t found out yet and ask a few of the questions.

00:26:49 What it tells me is it tells me that you’ve thought about you’re trying to make the decision as to whether or not to work with the company also. So I think that’s great.

00:26:57 Yeah. You care? Yeah, in a way.

00:26:59 You’Re also interviewing them and I have to come up with an answer for that for what is my day to day look like?

00:27:06 It’s a little bit of a weird question. Now I have to say yes.

00:27:10 So let’s see, you’ll have like 4 hours of Zoom meetings and I walk your dog at lunch. Well, I asked somebody once about their flex hours or what their okay, so I did ask somebody once if they have flex hours and what their policy around that is. Is that something I should just wait until I get an offer or is that a fair game for an interview, do you think?

00:27:34 No, I think that’s totally fair game. The same as asking if I totally agree with that.

00:27:39 Okay. Somebody said that they had completely flex hours, except we do expect you to work 8 hours a day and the building is locked until 10:00 A.m.. Yeah.

00:27:50 That’S a good question to ask.

00:27:51 In that case, I’m like, how is it flex hours if the actual earliest I could work is ten to six or ten to seven. That’s not flexible.

00:28:00 Oh, yeah. I’ve definitely had that experience before. Just I think last year I was looking for remote jobs and living in the city.

00:28:08 And one company said they were totally remote friendly. And if I could come in rarely, that would be great. And then I was like, okay, we’ll continue with the interview process. And then I got a little further along, and I asked the CEO about the remote policy, and she was like, well, we’d really like you to come in, like, at least once a week. And then if there’s really important meetings, we’d also like you to come in. And I was like, well, you have the job advertisers remote, and that’s more of not remote did not move forward with that company.

00:28:37 Yeah. Also, I had another company I asked this was during the recruit policy. So I had, like, a recruiter call me. And I said, so just can you kind of be honest about what the work life balances with this company? Because my family life is important to me and stuff. And she said, well, there are a lot of employees that do only work 40 hours a week, and that’s okay.

00:29:01 Wow.

00:29:01 Only only 40. And that’s okay. These are oddballs, but we tolerate them. Oh, man, that’s not for me.

00:29:08 See, that’s a great question. That is the question you have to ask the work life balance.

00:29:13 Yeah.

00:29:14 You can ask that sort of stuff during the lot of those things. I would probably err on trying to ask those later after you have an offer or something.

00:29:24 Yeah. It’s never going to assume you have it.

00:29:26 Is this some of these topics? Are they covered in your book then?

00:29:30 Yeah, they are. My book is basically everything that I wish someone had told me when I was kind of starting out. And frankly, even now all about building your engineering brand and building a blog and getting on Twitter and getting an audience. And then what I do exactly to pass the coding interview, what I do in the negotiation stage, kind of just everything you can imagine about from trying to get a developer job to landing it.

00:29:55 That sounds wonderful. I’m going to have to read this. Thank you.

00:29:59 Thank you. I’ll send you a copy.

00:30:01 Even though I currently have an engineering job and I’m not really looking, but I love that sort of stuff. And also just to be able to give advice to other people, I totally wish I had that sort of stuff when I was starting out.

00:30:16 I probably went half my career without doing anything online. No blog or anything. And I wish I would have started right away.

00:30:24 Oh, yeah. I’ve only been working as an engineer for five years, but the first few years, I thought if you were a serious engineer, you’re not on Twitter and you’re not doing blog posts and I thought I would just be head down coding. And then a while later, I kind of spoke at some conferences and some meetups, and I wrote some blog posts, and doors just started opening everywhere and suddenly started to have companies like Google and Facebook and LinkedIn reaching out where I didn’t need to apply to jobs anymore because they were coming to me. And I realized how profound, how big the impact is if you just create an online presence.

00:31:01 Well, yeah, it’s an online presence and a brand, but it’s also just showing that you care about giving back to the rest of the community also.

00:31:10 And I don’t have a ton of followers on Twitter, but it’s sometimes a lot more effective than Google. If I have a coding problem or something, I could Google it and there’s a million answers, and most of them are over five years old and not relevant. Or I could ask the people on Twitter and I get an answer in minutes.

00:31:29 Yes, every engineer should be on Twitter now. It’s just huge for engineers.

00:31:33 Yeah. And it’s also humbling. It’s interesting, both blogging and writing on Twitter. One of the best things I’ve learned is that people will come out of the word work to tell me I’m wrong, and it’s okay. You have to be okay with getting corrected because you learn one of the best ways to learn how to do something is to write a blog post on how to do it and have it be wrong and have a million people tell you what the real answer is, and then you can update your blog post and then you look like a hero.

00:32:04 I love that. That’s very true.

00:32:06 But I was actually afraid so when I started blogging a lot, I was blogging a random stuff. I do like the idea of picking a topic. So when I started writing writing a technical blog, it would just be whatever. I felt like a version control hack or just random things. And I think that’s fine at first to just sort of get an understanding of what you enjoy writing about. But once I finally decided to pick a topic and just focus on that, so I picked a topic of software testing, and specifically with software testing around Python, and then people had a reason to seek out that stuff.

00:32:43 Yes.

00:32:44 And there was a cohesiveness to everything I was writing about. And of course I want to write about all sorts of stuff, but if I just write about the things that fit that category and I’m okay, and you can switch the category, but picking a reasonable area that you care about and start writing about it. What was neat was that I was imposter syndrome. At first, I was afraid that other people would tell me I’m wrong, but I was amazed to find out there were it was different people. I was learning different things from different people. And being a place where all of that knowledge could be collected is a good thing. And then also you end up having conversations. So the people that correct you, we’re a bunch of nerds and engineers. We’re not most, like 80% are just bad at telling people that they’re wrong in a nice way. So don’t take it personal. Assume that there’s just somebody that’s just trying their best, even if it sounds like they’re a jerk. I think that’s a good way to take it.

00:33:38 I love that.

00:33:39 I mean, of course you’re going to get jerks occasionally, but I ended up with a community of people that care about software testing within Python that spans the globe. And I never thought I could have this global network of friends that care about the same thing. And that’s one of the neat things about writing and speaking. I think hopefully you’ve had a similar experience with some of your writing.

00:34:02 Yeah, it’s actually funny you mentioned that, because I have an entire section of my book about finding kind of your engineering spot, your niche, the one thing that makes you stand out in your career, because I think it’s for me, when I started looking into blockchain and taking some courses and blogging about it and doing videos, I created kind of this huge presence, especially in such a tiny area. And that’s when things really started blowing up in my career. So I have a whole section about that on the book in the book and how profound that can be.

00:34:32 And so when is this coming out?

00:34:34 June 23.

00:34:35 Oh, just right around the corner.

00:34:36 I’m pretty excited.

00:34:37 We kind of got off the topic of resumes and interviewing and stuff. Is there, like, some great thing that you were hoping to talk about that we didn’t cover already?

00:34:47 Oh, gosh, I feel like we covered a lot in this amount of time.

00:34:50 Yeah, I think so, too. I would say people should read your book if they want more, right?

00:34:53 Yeah, actually, that’s one of the things I want to work on next. I want to work on just like a resume toolkit for engineers, because clearly my book is covering a lot in resumes, but this will be walking you through exactly how you should write your resume.

00:35:07 Okay, awesome. Well, thanks so much for taking the time to talk with me today.

00:35:11 Thanks for having me here.

00:35:15 Thank you, Randall. Great advice, and I wish you lots of luck on the new book. Her book is called The Standard Developer and the subtitle is a complete guide for developers on job hunting, acing the interview and landing the job. If you’d like to take a look, head over to Test And Code. Comstandout and you’ll save a few Bucks.

00:35:36 Thank you, Patreon. Supporters join them by going to testandcode.com support. Even a dollar a month helps keep the show going. Thank you. And thank you to PyCharm for sponsoring this episode. The link for the extended profile is at testandcode.com PyCharm that link is also in our show. Notes at Test And Code.com. 122. That’s all for now. Now. Go out and test something. Or maybe. Maybe revisit. That. Resume.