Feb 10 2021

Yes, you do have to prove yourself

Category: Miscellaneous,TechnicalIuliana @ 21:49

I was watching an episode of a random series while cooking yesterday.  And as all recent lazy written series, they were trying to push political correctness on their viewers in a very explicit way. And there was this woman that was training for some job and she was talking to a friend about how some man at her job was always correcting her and she thought that he was doing that because he was a misogynist. And during the talk with her friend, she very vehemently said: I don’t have to prove myself to anyone!.  So, I had to go back a little and understand the context, before writing this article. And sure, there she was, protesting that she had to prove herself to the one training her and making sure she was fit for the job.

You know when you are training for a job and somebody is correcting you or testing you, and you want that damn salary? Well, tough shit,  you actually do have to prove yourself, regardless of gender, color or number of piercings you have.

This reminded me of something one the recruiters the company I work collaborated with said. We were trying for a while to hire people, and the process involves a technical test. Apparently quite a few people were not interested in our company because they did not want to go through our technical test. Apparently, their CVs speak for them.

And I was like … whaaaa? Whoa… who wrote those CVs? GOD? Bill Gates? Don’t they know that people can lie? Am I supposed to believe everything proffessional about a person, just because that person was able to export that information as a PDF? What world are these people living in?

Let’s downscale  to human relationships, so you get the idea: let’s assume I am on a date with a guy and I tell him that I cook like James Oliver and fuck like a porn star. Should he put a ring on it before he tests the … ahem… merchandise?

Here is my experience. I’ve worked for about eight companies, and only one hired me without a technical test. And that is because the technical interview was on the phone and took about one hour and a half. And during that time I was just walking around the campus in my lunch break from the current job, talking about my experience, describing the projects and technologies I was using and so on. I basically took an oral exam, and the topic was my whole development experience.

At the beginning of my career, I remember one of my team leads trying to hire a senior and failing to do so, because apparently senior developers couldn’t code and couldn’t pass a technical interview that a junior could. And that baffled me at the time. I mean, it’s like riding a bike for a long time, then you buy yourself a car and … you forget how to ride a bike?  Just like that?

I get that when you start working with frameworks, you rarely have the occasion to write complex code anymore.

I get that when you work for a big company you might end up stuck on just connecting APIs. But when you intend to change your job, you actually have to prove yourself. Companies offer a salary in exchange for your expertise, and regardless of what you put in your CV, expertise has to be proven.

Downscaling again, if you want to get divorced and marry again, should somebody marry you just because you used to be married? Unless I talk to your previous wife for a long time and understand the context of your previous marriage, I have no way to know you weren’t a shitty husband actually.  Even if you’ve been married before, if you want a new partner you still have to start with dating, which is the equivalent of the technical test.

It’s the same thing with interviews for jobs, you have to prove your expertise. And maybe the previous comparison is not the best, because when it comes to getting a job, that technical test reveals a lot about the company hiring you too.  Because a company that doesn’t evaluate you properly, won’t be interested in finding the project/team where you fit best, it will just expect you to grow and fill whatever empty spot they need filling.

I know all you seniors are bees’ knees, but you still have to prove it. And I would rather hire three smart eager to learn juniors willing to do the work, than an expert that finds most tasks… beneath him. Including the technical test.

Stay safe, stay happy!

3 Responses to “Yes, you do have to prove yourself”

  1. 7alken says:

    … and reboot; it works

  2. Cristina says:

    Iuliana, if I were you, I would hire the young good looking guy, eager to learn whatever you teach him :) Think as a guy, guy do it all the time, choose the nice and convenient combo ;) Nick name his Iulia’s angel
    Btw that senior sounds much better as experienced or principal software engineer. senior denotes ageism a bit to me

  3. Iuliana says:

    Look, when somebody ages they become a senior. It’s not ageism, it’s life.
    That is why young people are called juniors. It’s not ageism, it’s life.

    Fun fact: in our company we have principals as well, and they are way more versed than what we call a senior.

    Where did I say the young guy was good looking? The good looking guys in Scotland, are those actors that have already moved to London or Hollywood. :))

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