An American Millennial

Where are you and where are you going?
Scott 2
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by Scott 2 » Sat Feb 02, 2019 2:09 pm

The job search is a skill in itself - understanding the hiring landscape where you want to work, deciding what type of environment you want to work in, applying to less desirable employers first (so you can practice interview skills), timing applications so offers arrive at the same time, etc. Leveling it through practice makes a lot of sense.

Viktor K
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by Viktor K » Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:33 am

So we snorkeled at Karon, Kata, and Freedom beach on the main island. And then the boat trip took us to the Koh Khai islands and one other small one. While there were a lot of people there, not too many were snorkeling and the fish there weren’t afraid of you at all.

I’ve heard good things about scuba diving, but not sure if it’s for us. Enjoyed snorkeling enough anyways.

I’m hoping I’ll get to a point where I’m hearing back from employers that I apply to. I don’t really want to expand my job search outside of Austin, TX but I guess that could become a reality at one point. One thing I’m worried about is that my resume, online presence, applications, etc, show me in Shenzhen, China. I’m not sure if I’ll default be dropped from consideration based on that. Maybe it’d be better to change my location to wherever I’m applying at?

FBeyer
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by FBeyer » Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:38 am

Statistical note: 75% of jobs are never advertised openly, but are filled via networks and social connections. The open job market is dysfunctional and backwards which is why it takes such skill to get good at it. Lean on social circles and connections as much as you can, and you'll probably have an easier time finding a job that's a good fit for you.

Viktor K
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by Viktor K » Mon Feb 04, 2019 4:33 am

One thing you get from being a d-bag in high school, going out of state for college, being a sell-out your whole personal network, no salary commission only insurance salesman after graduation, and then living abroad for most of the last 3 years excluding a short layover living in Las Vegas is a pretty lousy network.

I’ll try to reach out to what few personal connections I have, which I can pretty much count on one hand, maybe 2, but I don’t have much hope for that avenue being fruitful :lol:

FBeyer
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by FBeyer » Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:48 am

If you managed to find work, and develop any kind of social relations in China, I'm pretty certain you can do the same at home... Get your head out of your ass! :D

Scott 2
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by Scott 2 » Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:48 am

I'd say your location is a barrier. I don't think it is insurmountable. I'd be very clear you are moving to Austin, don't expect them to pay relocation expenses and are a US citizen.

Once you are in the physical location, you can go to local user groups and conferences. That will make building a network a lot easier.

For the right employer, your ability to navigate both American and Asian culture is a differentiating skill set. Playing on that might require a role with travel though.

The recruiter at my company has been giving us entry level devs for experienced positions, because it's all she can find. They've been rejected and she's stepping up the effort by sponsoring local user groups. We're not even based in a tech hub like Austin. The need is very real.

Viktor K
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by Viktor K » Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:43 am

For now, I’m trying to be very clear in my resume and online profiles (LinkedIn, portfolio) that I’m relocating to the US. The alternative is to put that I’m in the city that I’m applying for, but I feel like that would lead to an awkward moment in any potential phone screen and might make me appear dishonest as well...

As for when I get there, I’ve had the same idea and already joined several MeetUp groups in anticipation. Ideally I will have a job before arriving, but if the original plan is my only option, then I will definitely get to networking/coding with others in person when I get there. It will be nice to talk to and work with people who also like coding. I should try WeChat for some foreigner coding groups as well.

As for Austin, I think maybe I should not be so picky about where I work. Ideally I can live in Austin because I have a small network there as well as most all of my Dad’s family lives near there. But I will consider other locations as well for my first position.

I redid my resume today to use more of a traditional format. I feel like there’s something to be said about being different in order to “stand out”, but that may also be the fast path to the decline pile as well. My girlfriend says she likes my more original resume style more...

If nothing else, time is on my side. Once I can get in a solid enough rhythm, I will spend a little time each day applying for jobs, tweaking my resume/cover letter for the position, and potentially looking to reach out to the hiring manager directly (I saw this mentioned in a success story on Medium...seems kind of aggressive and creepy, but it allegedly led to 4x as many responses for this particular job-seeker).

Once my portfolio site is in better shape (I want to move it away from “blog” and more towards portfolio), and that really is just an hour or two of work I’ve just been dragging my feet on, I want to learn and start using both Sass and Redux. I see them both mentioned quite a bit.

As for American/Asian culture, there is a niche that I could fill there. My Indeed defaults to Hong Kong because of my VPN. And I noticed today several job adds in English that I would be qualified for...

So much to think about and consider when applying for jobs.

Scott 2
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by Scott 2 » Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:41 am

You're too inexperienced for breaking resume convention to make you stand out as exceptional. Most are reviewed by a computer or at best get 30-60 seconds with a real person. Nobody wants to look at a resume, don't make it hard for them.

I assume you've already looked into how the HR screening process works and massaged your resume content accordingly. If not, that's part of the online job search game. You need the right keywords to get past the gatekeepers and talk to an actual hiring manager.

Entry level applicants stand out on potential. I think you are spot on in preparing your portfolio site and have the right attitude about learning from meetups. IMO an awareness of the need to learn, and a willingness to do so, is one of the most important traits a young developer can demonstrate. Nobody thinks you are going to be an expert, they hope you can be a net contributor in 3-6 months, while being easy to manage.

Your family is part of your network. One manager at my company started entry level eight years ago, because her dad was friends with one of the owners. Their kids grew up together. She's worked hard, but she's also had support from a very high level at the company.

I don't know if you can tap into this, or if I'm even correct, but I've observed the Chinese in my area looking out for one another. That could be another network to consider.

One of the things people are eyeballing when they evaluate you is - after we get this guy up to speed, how long is he going to stick around? Break even on a junior dev happens around a year, with real returns on the position taking more like two. The hope is finding someone who sticks around 5+ years and becomes part of the company.

So saying 'I'll go anywhere for the right position" is a double edged sword. It also means there's a good chance you'll leave for that next anywhere once you find a better opportunity. It's also a reason people don't usually talk about FIRE at work.

Whereas when you say - my family is based in Austin, I love the outdoor life available here, it's such a vibrant tech hub, it's great to eat at best Austin restaurant, - you're also communicating that you'll stick around.

Gravy Train
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by Gravy Train » Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:12 pm

Scott 2 wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:41 am
Nobody wants to look at a resume...
I do! I occasionally have to review and forward resumes and I enjoy the exercise. My unsolicited advice is to keep the formatting generic and not get too crazy in the "Skills and Interests" section. A kid recently included "20th century American muscle cars" as an interest and we all had a good laugh at his expense.

I mentioned it before, but I found my time in China to be a huge boon on my resume. Every interview I landed post-China invariably included "so tell me about your time in China." One former boss told me he picked my resume out of 100s because of it, and that it indicated I was "open-minded and interesting."

Best of luck on your job hunt and repatriation. Austin is a great town to end up in. :D

suomalainen
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by suomalainen » Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:27 pm

Gravy Train wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:12 pm
not get too crazy in the "Skills and Interests" section. A kid recently included "20th century American muscle cars" as an interest and we all had a good laugh at his expense.
A guy I interviewed put "hot yoga" as an interest. I rejected him on that basis even though the rest of his interview was fine.

Cheepnis
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by Cheepnis » Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:56 am

suomalainen wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:27 pm
A guy I interviewed put "hot yoga" as an interest. I rejected him on that basis even though the rest of his interview was fine.
Can I ask what about Hot Yoga is a red flag? I've never had a legitimate resume, so maybe I'm misunderstanding, but isn't the interests section tinged just a little more personal than the others? How would someone's interest in yoga, or for that matter muscle cars, disqualify them for a position?

suomalainen
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by suomalainen » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:03 am

I don't really know what it is either, but I had seen a "hot yoga" show on netflix once that was three guys in thongs sweating and doing yoga in the desert. So, you know, it wasn't rational or anything, but the smallest, dumbest things can weed you out in interviews. Like dating, I think job-finding is a numbers game, so if some interest is really important to you and you want the world to know it, keep sending out that resume and you'll eventually find a hiring manager that's totally into hot yoga too and it will be your "in".

PS It wouldn't have mattered if he had been more qualified than the other candidates, but it was a coin toss with another guy and came down to which guy we liked talking to better. I liked the guy we picked. It's just like dating.

Gravy Train
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by Gravy Train » Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:21 am

Cheepnis wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:56 am
How would someone's interest in yoga, or for that matter muscle cars, disqualify them for a position?
It wasn't "muscle cars" that got the laughs, but "20th century," since the 20th century was less than 20 years ago and 20th century compared to what? 18th century muscle cars? :lol: FWIW, we still considered him for the position.

cimorene12
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by cimorene12 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:53 am

Hot yoga Wikipedia entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_yoga

The average 40.6 C temperature for Bikram Yoga is approximately 105 F.

Viktor K
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by Viktor K » Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:47 am

End of February 2019


February was a pretty chill month. We didn’t do anything too crazy, besides spend more than we had incoming. Since we got paid early in January, the only income we net this month was from our recording. We had another recording this month, and started the new school year. This Friday was the end of the first week.


ERE graphs


Image

Unlike last year, this should keep climbing starting again in March. The only reason I took a dip this month was because of the early pay in January.

Image

I think end of March or even after the April paycheck will be good time to send money back.



Personal


Alcohol: I’m looking to get this back under control with school starting. It isn’t as bad as it looks, since ¥45 came from a craft brew that I had when meeting my girlfriend for a “we-found-our-lost-dog” party. Still want to drink less, though. As I mentioned before, I like to drink when there’s nothing to do mostly. So boredom and lack of schedule is the main trigger for me.

Exercise: My spending tracker just pinged me for March 1st reminding me of my recurring gym payment. I haven’t been to the gym since December, though. Instead, I’ve been playing soccer 3-4 times/week. That’s reflected in my “Shopping” category below, for lack of a better category.

Playing so much soccer/football has made a crazy difference in my stamina/cardio level. I noticed this most today. The students are back, and we finally got a pick-up game going with decent numbers. Last time I played with the kids was back in early December. I had to really focus on pacing myself, else I’d feel like I was ready to lay down and die. Today, though, I didn’t even get close to being tired. All the time playing with foreigners over the break really paid off.


Hobbies: Hobbies cost me a lot in time. They’re pretty much the main thing that I spend time on outside of practicing web development. These include video games (found a couple of my D&D players play one, so I redownloaded it), D&D, football, and watching TV with my girlfriend.


Professional


Coding: The biggest thing I did this month was remake a company’s website who rejected my job app. Honestly, mine is better than theirs. And I think theirs has some problems, mostly with how inconsistent their styling is on each tab. Also, since mine is made in React (and React Router, the tech I was practicing when making it), mine is way faster than theirs. The best thing about this app, though, is it is a legit professional looking website for my portfolio, whereas my previous projects, while definitely worthy of showing that I know JavaScript, don’t really have the pizazz or pop or modern polish/style of something that you would find in a random Google search.

For March, I’m looking at learning the MERN stack and changing my portfolio and title from front-end developer to full-stack developer. I still most want to find a “front-end” position, but I’m following the suggestion from my girlfriend’s software dev father. Hopefully full-stack will make me more marketable. Anyways, besides that, I’ve been struggling with the fact I learned PHP/SQL as a back-end, but have been using React. I think learning the MERN stack will open up the opportunity to take on a bunch of projects that I’ve been putting off since I couldn’t easily see my way through PHP/SQL with React frontend.

Oh, and I finished my (new) portfolio site this month too. I looked at another portfolio design from some front-end developer/designer to design mine. Obviously I didn’t straight copy and paste his code, but the layout is the same, code written by me. I don’t know what he used, but I did mine in React and then added a PHP contact page. It’s super clean and responsive. I like it. And I can see that recruiters are looking at it, though I haven’t got any interview invites yet. So that should at least hopefully mean my resume is getting through. I haven’t been applying in earnest this month, though.


School: Back to school it is. One week down, 15 to go, of which only 12 of those are really classes that I need to worry about a lesson plan for. All of my classes are new, save 2. Also, I’ve got 4 less classes this semester which is pretty awesome. Last semester I had 4 classes every morning besides Tuesday, when I only had 2. This semester, I have 2 on Monday, I’m off all day on Tuesday, and then 4 classes each day Wednesday-Friday. I get off at 10:05 on Mondays, and at noon the other 3 days.

With only 1 lesson plan each week, I have a lot of time to practice/study web development. As I mentioned, though, hobbies compete for my time. Once the semester gets going, though, I suspect my productivity to increase just like last semester. Something about working an uninspiring job that you don’t want lights that fire inside you that you need to really make a difference in your life.



Financial


Image

Expense tracking: Lots of restaurants because just being lazy. However, we’ve changed our diet a bit for some reasons I don’t want to elaborate on until next month when we’ve got more information. Long story short for now, we’ll probably be hitting the vegan buffet a lot more and that’s ¥21/day during the week and pretty much covers me food-wise for the whole day save a cheap bowl of oatmeal or noodles later in the evening.

Shopping isn’t all “shopping” in the traditional sense. It’s more my catchall for discretionary spending. I think the only real shopping item included is a new soccer ball (my cheap one from TaoBao broke after 3 uses), but there was something else that I just can’t remember off the top of my head. The rest came from field fees for playing soccer down in Shekou with the foreigners. Thankfully the students are back and I won’t be heading down there anytime soon. I don’t really like playing down there because a) some of the players that show up are asses, b) it’s usually ~¥65 per game, c) it takes 1.5 hours by metro to get down there (3 hour round-trip), d) each team doesn’t usually have a goalie and there’s usually 1 sub, so you’re sitting the bench or in goal for part of the 2 hour time-frame. Compare that to walking down the block for a free pick-up match with chill students, or a 1 hour ride down to Futian for a free game.

Health was contacts and some other small things.

Alcohol, as mentioned above, was a little too much this month. I’m going to cut this in half for March.

The rest is all small, normal things that came up.



Final thoughts


The only problem with not having work for most of February was my screen-time. I think that’s the main thing I’d want to change in ERE. I still did a lot, got out for D&D and soccer, but outside of that, there wasn’t really anything for me to leave the house for.

prognastat
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by prognastat » Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:18 pm

What games have you been playing?

Viktor K
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by Viktor K » Sat Mar 02, 2019 1:05 pm

In January I had been playing my usual strategy/tactical RPG style game. My latest download was King's Bounty. But my friends got me back into LOL, and now, as is usual whenever that is on my computer, I don't play anything else.

Scott 2
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by Scott 2 » Sat Mar 02, 2019 2:26 pm


giskard
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by giskard » Sat Mar 02, 2019 4:53 pm

Viktor K wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:47 am

For March, I’m looking at learning the MERN stack and changing my portfolio and title from front-end developer to full-stack developer. I still most want to find a “front-end” position, but I’m following the suggestion from my girlfriend’s software dev father. Hopefully full-stack will make me more marketable. Anyways, besides that, I’ve been struggling with the fact I learned PHP/SQL as a back-end, but have been using React. I think learning the MERN stack will open up the opportunity to take on a bunch of projects that I’ve been putting off since I couldn’t easily see my way through PHP/SQL with React frontend.
I have hired 4 devs in the past month and am trying to hire 2 more right now. Honestly I am actually having a really hard time finding excellent front end people. When we ask CSS questions and hard React internals questions people often do not give good technical answers that convey competency and experience.

Take this all with a grain of salt because everyone has an enormously different hiring process, but I can offer some of my thoughts from the other side. PHP is way out of favor in the industry as a whole so I think concentrating on MERN stack is a much better idea. I actually think focusing on being just super excellent at only front-end is fine and easier and there are plenty of front-end jobs out there.

What I have noticed is that the job market is flooded with recent bootcamp grads. We get tons of less than 1 year of experience bootcamp grads applying and people with less than 1 year of React experiences. We will never bother interviewing these people because we can afford to hire more experienced people and every interview where you take three or four of our engineers away from work for hours is a massive productivity killer on our project. It only makes sense to interview people with maybe e.g. at least 3 years of solid front-end experience, because it is such a huge time sink to actually evaluate somebody.

So it sucks, but yeah the software industry is flooded with entry level people. You have to have some way to stand out from the crowd.

Viktor K
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by Viktor K » Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:18 am

I’ve actually got King’s Bounty: The Legend downloaded. But I think it’s the same game more or less. What’d I really like is more games along the lines of XCOM 2 to come out. I thought the story was crap, but the gameplay is some of my favorite. Which makes sense since tactical RPGs are basically video game versions of D&D.

I’d love to hear what sort of deeper level React questions people are bombing. I find React so easy to work with that it’s actually created a bit of a comfort zone for me that I’m forcing myself out of to learn the MERN stack.

As for boot camp grads flooding the market, I see this too and know that it’s what I’m up against. I’m not sure how much I want to do to seriously stand out, since doing so will steal time from anything else. I’m hoping just hitting all the checkboxes with regards to portfolio, resume, right projects, active in dev community (forum, hackathon, open source, these sorts of things) will make me the best candidate for one of the companies that will take the boot camp grad.... but if that doesn’t work, I’ll have to come up with something. Hopefully something not too time intensive.

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