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StackOverflow Is Your Mandatory Tool

I’ve said before that your StackOverflow reputation is very important to us when we make a decision on how much we should pay a software developer. However, there were many complaints about this metric. Take, for example, the ones here and here. In a nutshell, so many of you disagreed and said that the number of StackOverflow up-votes was nothing ...

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I Can’t Ask Your Salary History? Thanks!

The Mayor of Philadelphia recently signed a measure that would ban Philly employers from asking candidates about their salary history. The intent of the bill is to curb wage discrimination and close the wage gap. The Chamber of Commerce and Comcast (one of the city’s largest employers) have threatened legal action, citing the First Amendment and concerns about Philly being able ...

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16 Don’ts of Career Growth

I get questions like this all the time: How does one become a senior software developer or an architect? How do I grow from a junior just starting to write Java code to the leader of a software team that is driving a BMW and making $150K+ per year? What are the exact steps that won’t waste time and will ...

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Soft Skills on Technical Resumes

I was in Google Docs collaborating on a resume for a Resume Raiders client the other day when a comment popped up regarding soft skills. The client was an accomplished mobile developer with many years of experience, but he wanted to be sure that his “ability to communicate with clients, present ideas, and collaborate on designs and specifications” was prominently featured on ...

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Amend Your Contract To Allow For Side Projects

The other day Joel Spolsky blogged a wonderful overview of the copyright issues with software companies in terms of its employees. The bottom line is: most companies have an explicit clause in their contracts which states that all intellectual property created by a developer is owned by the employer. This is needed, because the default (in many countries, including mine) ...

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How to Pay Programmers Less

To create software, you need programmers. Unfortunately. They are expensive, lazy, and almost impossible to control. The software they create either works or doesn’t, but you still have to pay them, every month. Of course, it’s always better to pay less. However, sometimes they may figure out they are being underpaid and quit. How do you prevent that? Unfortunately, we ...

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How to Get an Interview at (Almost) Any Company

In my line of work (recruiting, job search coaching, and resume writing) and through my comments on Reddit, I’m often asked by job seekers how they can get noticed by a favored employer (which we’ll call COMPANY). A good resume, cover letter, and online profile are the standards if you don’t already have a friend on the inside, but when ...

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Java Developers and Their Long, Horrible Resumes

Let me start by saying that I consider myself a longstanding friend and ally to the Java community. As some readers will know, I founded and ran a large Java Users Group (I miss you Philly) for 15 years, and much of my career was spent focused entirely on recruiting Java professionals. In one capacity or another I have probably ...

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I’m Not Good Enough (Hope They Don’t Find Out)

“Man, I am in over my head! Everyone here is so much smarter than I am. Hope they don’t find out how dumb I really am. They’ll laugh me right out the door.” Maybe it’s just me, or maybe, you have had thoughts like this too? For the one or two out there who may have had similar thoughts, this ...

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Embrace your weirdness and stop worrying

Once you’ve reached the point where you’re a proficient programmer with a good understanding of a useful tech stack, you’re now faced with the sisyphean task of Keeping Up with New Tech. Polishing your professional skills becomes trendsspotting, starting with daily Hacker News browsing sessions to find out what’s going to be the new hotness, and then making sure you ...

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