Esther Schindler

What HR Professionals Look For in a Programmer's Resume

Last week, I wrote about the resume mistakes that can give your job application a short trip to the recycle bin. That was mostly a list of DO NOT DO THIS, and I had plenty of leftovers in the DO THIS category. This week, as promised,...

How to Make HR Dump A Programmer's Resume

We all like to think that applying for a job puts your résumé in front of your prospective new boss: a hiring manager who understands the technical background you carefully explained in your career summary. But most programmers apply...

Taking Time for Appreciation: Jerry Weinberg

No matter where we are in our careers, we are influenced by other people. Sometimes the people who teach us do so consciously, one-on-one; we call these mentors. Others have a wider impact. We call them leaders.

Learning Job Interview Skills from Actors

People comfortably tell you that every job interview is an audition. Well, yeah, sure. But few people tell you how an actor gets past the audition to get the part. Here's a few lessons from a famous acting book that just might help.

Four Ways to Get Burned by a Computer Consulting Contract

What lessons can you learn from these horror stories?

Judging the Corporate Culture During the Job Interview

You don't need me to tell you that your job satisfaction is based less on the tools you use and the skills you learn than it is on the team and company culture. But how can you tell, while you're going through the interview-and-offer...

Microsoft's Regular Expressions

Programming communities and corporate culture naturally encourages the development of peculiar nomenclatures and in-the-know jargon. As a demonstration, here's several expressions and terms used only — or primarily — by people who...

There Goes the (Programming) Neighborhood

It's healthy and good for a software development community to take care of itself. But when the community begins to imagine that its experiences are just like those of people outside the community... it's time to worry.

The Development System You Really Want

Developers claim that their productivity is hampered by employers who force them to work on old, slow hardware. Just how old is the development system you're forced to use?

Software Development and the Pink Pony Backpack

Because talent is no excuse for arrogance.

10 Business Lessons I Learned from Playing Dungeons & Dragons

Throughout my 20s and 30s, I played D&D and other fantasy role playing games at least once a week. Doing so did more than teach me the rules of combat or proper behavior in a dragon's lair. I gained several skills that truly did help...

Gosh, Things ARE Better for Developers These Days

Let's take a moment to appreciate how much has improved, in a developer's lot, over the last decade. In particular, contemplate how many "basic" programming concepts and "everybody knows" knowledge didn't exist in your life.

Starting a Business as an Open Source Consultant

Software developers who want to make a living in open source often consider becoming independent consultants. This advice from two successful developers may help you get started. After a long absence, two programmer friends met at a...

Losing Access When You Leave the Company -- Or Do You?

Back in the old days, leaving an employer was easy. Before they shoved you out the door, they took away your card key, went over a checklist of equipment you might have at home, and turned off your company e-mail ID and VPN account....

Was Your Project "Done Right"? How Do You Know?

At the beginning of a development project, there's no way you can know — or recognize — when the project is "done right." Even if you know a lot about the problem domain. We all like to think that we understand our users, and that we...

Making Programming Certifications Relevant in the Real World

Many of us sneer at vendor certifications because they don't seem to reflect the individual's actual skills. Being "a good test-taker" does not mean that you are also a good programmer or that you can intimdate a down server into...

Releasing Your Code as Open-Source: What Do You Change?

I've heard it a dozen times: "We're going to release this app as open source, as soon as we clean it up." It's always made me wonder what, exactly, needs to be cleaned up, and what it looked like beforehand. The implication is that...

Getting with the (Developer) Program

In the open source era, do vendor developer programs matter as much as they once did?

Learning and Improving Your Debugging Skills

Programmers spend a high percentage of the time debugging rather than writing code. You probably had some training in learning a language or framework--but how did you learn to fix the defects in your software? When you fell in love...

The Upside of the Downside

It's hard not to be terrified when you see friends laid-off. But software developers have a historical advantage even in rough times: A bad economy is good for consultants and contractors.

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