Bypass The Coding Interview
Here's three simple ways to differentiate yourself and land a job with ease
Have you been through coding interviews but failed? I’ve been through this a fair share of times. I’ve also had friends who get stressed about the process and hate going through it.
In this article I’m going to share a few things I’ve done in the past, that have let me skip parts of interviews and make it easier on myself.
Let’s get started.
This has helped me in so many ways. Last year, I wrote a post about building a server side rendering framework from scratch. This is a pretty unique post, and it shows that I understand how frameworks like Remix or NextJS work under the hood.
Also, because of my prior blogging, I was approached by a company called Prisma, about being an ambassador. I used their product in that post, and they share my work with a wider audience. I also get to tell employers who use their technology that I’m an ambassador.
What has this done for me? First, it’s helped me learn a lot. There will be people on Twitter who have followed me or found a post, and replied with a correction or better approach to doing something.
The biggest thing it’s done, is helped me cruise through programming interviews… and if you’re anything like me, you absolutely hate interviewing!
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You can say one wrong thing, forget a key piece of info on the spot, or any other number of things, and be denied a job during the process.
I have been able to skip coding challenges and secondary calls during these interviews because I was able to share my blog posts with the company up front.
Blogging is also another form of learning. When writing a post on how to do something, as I get into the details, I have realized “wait, why do you need to do this part.” What comes next is more time spent learning the material until I can explain it better.
2. Open Source
After you build a few apps, you will learn to include open source projects to get your work completed faster. Your application may need a custom select box for its user interface. You might find something on GitHub and include it in your app.
Sometimes when you do this, you find that something isn’t good enough, or it doesn’t fit your use case, or it doesn’t exist for whatever programming language you are using.
This is the perfect time to open source something yourself.
Even if your solution already exists, you might have a slightly better approach to doing something that others may also want to use.
This is one of the best ways to skip interview steps. I have had people tell me
“We know you can code, we checked out some of your repos, so we don’t need to do a code challenge.”
Every time you open source something (in the beginning), you’re going to learn something new.
What happens when you have a lot of high quality projects on your GitHub?
You share them before interviewing for a job, and you get to skip parts of the process. You can show people you are qualified much easier than a stressful interview. Also, you’re helping out the community.
It costs you nothing to go on Twitter or GitHub, and find developers working on things that interest you. Star their repos, help fix problems. If you aren’t at that level, you can help write documentation and other things.
Over time you will have a network of other developers you can learn from, land a job with, and so much more.
It’s shocking how many developers don’t do any of this. I have had to help interview many developers over the past 3 years. In that time so many of them have nothing to show other than where they have worked.
Networking can land you a job without doing a single interview.
It’s not a short process to build yourself up with these three tips. It’s going to take time, especially with networking. If you attempt all three of these for 1-2 years, no matter your skill level, I think the results will speak for themselves. Good luck!