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Discovering a New Software program Developer Job

Discovering a New Software program Developer Job

2024-02-11 13:18:46

For the primary time ever, I used to be laid off, and needed to discover a new software program developer job. I managed to discover a new one, but it surely took longer than I believed, and it was lots of work. I used to be in touch with 30 firms, acquired a no from 8 firms, no reply from 6 firms, and affords from 3 firms. Here’s what I learnt from the method.

Laid Off

On the finish of October final yr, I misplaced my job. I used to be utterly stunned, however on reflection, possibly I shouldn’t have been that stunned. The occasions had been getting harder, and plenty of firms had been shedding folks throughout all of 2023. If the corporate is just not making sufficient cash, ultimately there will probably be layoffs. In my case, we had been 17 folks let go that day, together with 8 builders.

A couple of minutes after I had the Zoom name with the CEO, my entry to all firm assets was minimize off. Aside from not having the ability to end what I used to be engaged on (I had a number of unpushed adjustments), it turns into more durable to say goodbye to everyone. A lot of my colleagues reached out on LinkedIn, which was nice. Some even arrange Zoom calls so we might speak about what had occurred, and say a correct goodbye, which I actually appreciated.

Being let go was a brand new expertise for me. The closest I’ve been previously is throughout the dot com bust, when the challenge I used to be engaged on at Ericsson was minimize. They weren’t but laying folks off (that got here a bit later), so we had been supplied different roles inside Ericsson. However I made a decision to alter to a different firm as an alternative (they reached out on to me, since I had labored with of them at Ericsson). All the opposite occasions I’ve modified jobs, it’s been by myself initiative, whereas nonetheless being employed. I usually stayed on for 3 months (the usual discover interval in Sweden), ending up what I used to be engaged on, earlier than beginning on the new firm.

The upside of being minimize off instantly is that I might instantly spend all of my time searching for a brand new job, whereas nonetheless getting paid for a while. Although I used to be stunned that I used to be let go, I didn’t panic. My philosophy has all the time been that I must be ready to discover a new job at any time, because you by no means know what’s going to occur. So I maintain an inventory of firms that I want to work at. I additionally keep pleasant with recruiters that contact me, in case I have to get again to them.

Discovering Roles

I began searching for one other job instantly. The very best supply for this was LinkedIn, however I discovered some jobs by different means.


Open to work. The very first thing I did was to alter my LinkedIn “open to work” standing to “Instantly, I’m actively making use of” (from “Versatile, I’m casually wanting”, which I usually use). I saved the visibility to recruiters solely, not all LinkedIn members (which might set the inexperienced #OpenToWork photograph body). I’ve seen arguments for and towards utilizing #OpenToWork – it lets extra folks know you’re looking, versus it makes you look determined. It’s exhausting to know which is best, however I made a decision to solely let recruiters know.

As quickly as I modified this setting, I acquired contacted by possibly 5 recruiters per day for the primary week or so. I suppose the LinkedIn algorithm alerts recruiters to people who have simply modified their standing. The standard of the roles was about the identical as I usually get (albeit at a a lot increased price) – some I actually appreciated, some had been OK, and a few had been positively not for me.

Making use of to recognized firms. Subsequent, I went by my checklist of firms I want to work for, and regarded to see if that they had any open developer roles. I first regarded on the corporate web page on LinkedIn, then clicked on the Jobs tab. Lots of the firms had been actively recruiting. An excellent factor whenever you click on on an ad is that you would be able to see how many individuals have utilized, and the way previous the ad is. Typically I’d additionally go to the corporate residence web page and have a look at their profession web page. However I discovered it handy to undergo LinkedIn, the place the format is identical, and you may see if any of your contacts work there. Typically you too can see who has posted the ad.

Job advertisements. I additionally regarded by job advertisements on LinkedIn. There’s a search perform, and I attempted totally different searches, for instance “Golang Stockholm”. It really works nicely sufficient, and I’d click on on something that regarded fascinating. LinkedIn additionally has a “Really helpful for you”-section and “Jobs the place you’d be a high applicant”-section (solely when you’ve got Premium), and I suppose they use your abilities and former searches to populate these. These additionally confirmed a wide variety of job advertisements.

There are nevertheless two issues. The primary is that looking for absolutely distant jobs is unreliable. Typically it turns up good advertisements, however generally it turns up roles which can be e.g. distant solely within the UK. It will be good to have the ability to seek for absolutely distant roles in Sweden, absolutely distant in EU, or absolutely distant worldwide.

The second downside is that it’s not attainable to get solely the newest advertisements, for instance advertisements which can be lower than per week previous. So I ended up having to web page by lots of advertisements I had already seen. After I had discovered a brand new job, I noticed a very good answer for this in a tweet: use Google, set the time interval to final week, and seek for e.g. “golang absolutely distant web”.

Reaching out. I additionally reached out to round 15 recruiters that had contacted me on LinkedIn previously, however nothing got here out of that. I knew that the roles they contacted me for wouldn’t be open, however I believed that they may be recruiting for one thing comparable. On a number of events I despatched a direct message (InMail) to managers that had been recruiting (some inspired you to do that of their bios), however I don’t assume I acquired a single response. Maybe I used to be not a ok match, but it surely was nonetheless disappointing.

Different Sources

In Sweden there’s a web site that’s matching builders with employers known as Demando. You fill out a profile, itemizing your abilities, and giving a minimal wage you’ll settle for. Firms promote jobs there too, and also you get a message if there’s a match. I already had an inactive profile there that I activated, setting a comparatively excessive minimal wage. I acquired contacted by one firm there, which I later acquired a suggestion from. I additionally discovered a job ad there for an organization I want to work for. I didn’t discover that ad on LinkedIn. I utilized to them, and acquired a suggestion from them too. So fairly good payoff from utilizing that web site.

I additionally briefly checked out a web site known as RemoteOK, however didn’t discover something that I utilized to there. My normal sense was that the standard of job advertisements there was a lot decrease than on LinkedIn. I additionally had a have a look at Efianancialcareers, however there are virtually no absolutely distant roles there (and they’re exhausting to seek for). On the primary of each month, there may be Hacker Information thread known as Who’s hiring. I regarded there briefly too, however I discovered it too exhausting to search out one thing related there.

I later discovered one other great way of discovering firms to test to see if they’ve any open roles: google “competitor to” or “various to” and an organization identify, to search out comparable firms.

Making use of and Monitoring

All recruiters I used to be in touch with requested for my CV, though it’s largely the identical data that’s already on my LinkedIn profile. It’s virtually as if it’s a signal that you’re critical. That is effective with me, since as soon as I had an up-to-date CV, I simply hooked up that one. When making use of to firms immediately, most firms ask for a CV (even when together with your LinkedIn profile), and plenty of additionally requested for a canopy letter. I saved all the quilt letters I wrote, and after I wanted to write down a brand new one, I copied probably the most comparable earlier one I had, and modified it to suit the brand new software.

Quickly after I began to ship out purposes, I created an Excel sheet to maintain monitor of my purposes. I included firm identify, date the applying was despatched, recruiter or contact individual, and a column for normal notes. it now, it has 30 entries, however I didn’t ship purposes to all of them. In some circumstances, I added an entry after talking to a recruiter, however then nothing got here of it.

6 firms I utilized to by no means responded in any respect. In some circumstances, the ad was greater than a month previous. But when the ad is not related, they need to take it down as an alternative of leaving it up and never responding. In some circumstances, I attempted to contact the recruiter that had posted the ad, however I didn’t get a response that method both.

Ideally, all firms ought to reply. However I don’t thoughts an excessive amount of if I don’t get a response if I haven’t been in touch with an individual on the firm. Nevertheless, if I’ve had an interview with them, I believe they need to not less than let you already know if they aren’t . At one firm, I had an preliminary interview with a recruiter on the firm. She mentioned she would arrange an interview with a supervisor. Then crickets. I mailed her after two weeks, asking what was taking place, however didn’t get a response. Two weeks later, I despatched one other mail saying I used to be not , and acquired an half-hearted apology again (however no purpose for why she by no means acquired again to me). So this trade now colours my view of that firm.

Instruments I Paid For

I’ve by no means had LinkedIn Premium earlier than, however I made a decision this was a very good time to strive it, so I paid for a month. Nevertheless, it was fairly disappointing. Perhaps I might see extra profile viewers, I’m not certain, however it’s positively not exhibiting who all of them are. And even when it had been, it has restricted worth in a job search. I additionally acquired quite a few InMails to ship every month (possibly 5?). I despatched a pair, however they weren’t very helpful for me both. Then there was the “Jobs the place you’d be a high applicant”, however that too wasn’t very helpful for me. So I cancelled after one month. Earlier than cancelling, I had the choice of extending it for 2 months for the worth of 1.

I additionally paid for a GoLand license for 2 months (fairly costly), since I used to be searching for Go jobs and needed to observe in an atmosphere I’m used to. I signed up for Github CoPilot too, as a result of I needed to strive it. It’s fairly good, however I didn’t use it a lot, as a result of I needed to verify I did all coding on my own at interviews. I already had a subscription to ChatGPT, and that got here in very helpful for a lot of take-home assignments.

I signed up for Leetcode too, as I’ve performed previously when making ready for interviews. Principally I just like the paid model as a result of you may get the editorial rationalization for the options. I practiced a bit in Leetcode, so it was definitely worth the expense. One firm used an IQ check from Alva labs, so I paid for a observe course known as Alva Logic Cram Course from 12minprep (there have been a lot of distributors, however this was comparatively low cost). It was positively value it, I did significantly better on the check than I’d have, had I not practiced beforehand.


Instances are positively more durable now in comparison with the earlier decade. There have been nonetheless many open positions to use for, but it surely regarded like there have been many extra candidates for every function than previously. On LinkedIn, the place you possibly can see what number of candidates there are, many job advertisements would have greater than 100 candidates. Additional proof of occasions being harder is the variety of firms that I by no means heard again from, though I consider I’d be nice for the function.

There may be additionally a giant give attention to having expertise in a given language. Up to now, I’ve began a job creating in Python with none Python expertise. The identical for Golang. It didn’t take me lengthy to get productive in every language. Partly it is because many crucial languages are very comparable. In fact, figuring out the libraries and ecosystems is sweet, however in my expertise not strictly mandatory. However many recruiters now informed me that it was a tough requirement from the hiring firms to have not less than two or three years’ expertise within the given language.

The Interview Course of

For a typical job there have been 4 or 5 interviews: an preliminary interview with a recruiter, an interview with a hiring supervisor, one or two technical interviews (both stay coding, or going by a take-home task). There may be an interview with a product supervisor, and/or one with a CTO or founder. All in all, fairly a time dedication.

I used to be making use of for each native and distant roles. For the distant ones, all interviews had been naturally on Zoom/Meet/Groups. For native jobs in Stockholm, most firms needed in-person interviews. This precipitated some issues, as a result of it takes time to journey into town. I might simply do many distant interviews in a day, however one in-person interview would take half a day with commuting. Principally I managed to schedule in-person interviews on the identical days, which helped. The benefit of the in-person interviews is that you just get a greater really feel for the opposite individual, and you may see what the workplace seems to be like.


Since earlier than, I had a Phrase doc that I known as Interview Ideas. In it I wrote down issues to consider earlier than an interview, in a format that’s straightforward to evaluate rapidly. One part I added now was Behavioral Questions. These are questions of the shape “Inform me a couple of time whenever you disagreed with a coworker. How did you resolve it?”. Usually, you need to reply them utilizing the STAR framework: Scenario, Process, Motion, Consequence, Reflection. Up to now, I’ve failed interviews due to these questions – I hadn’t ready, and couldn’t give you good examples on the spot within the interviews.

This time I went by a very good checklist of such questions (Rock the Behavioral Interview) from Leetcode, and considered examples to make use of. As soon as I had good examples, I wrote the query and my reply down within the doc. Earlier than an interview, I’d evaluate what I had written down, so I’d be capable to give you good examples. This labored nicely, I didn’t fail any interviews due to behavioral questions.

Within the doc I additionally wrote down little snippets of code in each Python and Go. I attempted to cowl many frequent patterns and idioms. I did this so I might refresh my reminiscence and rapidly give you the suitable syntax in a coding interview. I ran all of the snippets first, to see that I hadn’t made any mistake, and included related output. Reviewing these snippets earlier than an interview made me really feel calmer and extra ready.

I additionally watched a very good video by Gergely Orosz, Confessions from a Big Tech Hiring Manager: Tips for Software Engineering Interviews, on technical interviews on the whole. Some takeaways: be curious and collaborative, and ask questions.


In all my preliminary interviews, I used to be open with the truth that I had been let go from my earlier job attributable to minimize backs. I didn’t seem to be disclosing this was to my drawback. I used to be by no means nervous speaking to recruiters or managers – I all the time knew what to say, since I had performed it many occasions, each previously and for this spherical of interviews. It’s straightforward for me to articulate what I’m searching for in a job, and what my strengths are, as a result of it is extremely clear in my thoughts. I used to be additionally not nervous earlier than non-coding technical interviews, since I really feel I do know most applied sciences I’ve labored with fairly nicely.

Nevertheless, I used to be nervous after I had coding interviews. I don’t precisely know why, however my mind appears to work at solely 50% capability each time I’ve to do stay coding. So, it may be exhausting for me to give you an answer, or keep in mind some syntax, when attempting to unravel an issue. Fortunately, all stay coding interviews went nicely this time, however in all probability largely as a result of I had ready lots.

Of all non-coding interviews, I failed just one (I failed a number of coding and take-home assignments although). For the one I failed, I used to be requested what timeout I’d set on a database connection. I used to be extra eager about how lengthy a person person could possibly be ready to attend for a web page to render, so blurted out too excessive of a quantity. This was sufficient to fail an interview that in any other case went fairly nicely.

Coding Checks

In comparison with after I final interviewed a number of years in the past, there have been extra take-home assignments this time. Take-home assignments are lots much less traumatic than stay coding, however additionally they take rather more time. No matter what the businesses declare, I’d say every task took not less than six hours. There may be an unlucky asymmetry right here: it’s straightforward for an organization to demand that you just do a take-home task early on within the course of, with virtually no price in effort to them. For the job-seeker, it’s not less than six hours of labor which will or might not repay. Even so, I seen that every time I acquired going with an task, I liked the programming – being immersed in a process, structuring the code nicely, discovering good names and many others. It was further apparent as a result of I wasn’t programming as a lot as after I had a developer job.

I did 5 take-home assignments, two in Java, two in Python, and one in Go. I failed one and a half. For the Go task, I wrote a working answer, however didn’t embrace assessments. This wasn’t said as a requirement, however I ought to have included some even so (when creating the answer, I used a extra interactive method, which meant operating the code lots as I developed). That task was additionally failed as a result of I didn’t embrace caching to hurry it up (to me it was not clear that it will be run greater than as soon as although).

The opposite task, I failed due to hidden check circumstances and sloppy coding from me. The duty was actually good – I used to be given check circumstances, however no implementation. I applied sufficient of the system to move all the prevailing check circumstances. My intuition informed me that I ought to add extra check circumstances by myself (that’s what I’d have performed if this was on the job). Nevertheless, I believed that I had already spent lots of time on it, so I didn’t. After we went by my answer within the interview afterwards, that they had run some further (hidden) check circumstances on my answer, and found two errors in my code. Each needed to do with circumstances with empty enter. I felt actually silly for not being extra cautious implementing the answer. Ultimately, I nonetheless acquired a suggestion from that firm, and that’s why I’m counting it as solely half a failure.

For the take-home assignments, it was fairly useful to have entry to ChatGPT. Getting a working framework up for what I needed to do was lots faster that method.

See Also

Of the stay coding assignments, I handed three and failed two. Within the first one I failed, I needed to write a restricted chess program, that solely supported two sorts of items. It wanted a challenge construction, an information mannequin, legitimate actions for the items, and assessments. I began from nothing, and needed to be ship the answer in inside two hours. It was very tight and traumatic. I acquired most of it working, however not all performance. I additionally had a bug within the motion code. That mixture made it a fail.

The opposite stay coding was much less nicely ready from the corporate. I downloaded a repo from Github with some preliminary code. However there have been no working assessments, and it took some time to arrange an atmosphere to work in. I additionally needed to ask many questions on how the logic was imagined to work (with 50% of my mind capability), and in the long run I took too lengthy. For all stay coding assessments, I used the IDE on my pc, and shared the display over Zoom.


A few occasions to start with, I gave too excessive of a wage quantity, leading to cancelled interviews. So I modified my ways to as an alternative inform them what my wage had been annually for the previous 4 years, to provide them a way of what I used to be ideally taking a look at (I had had fairly good salaries). Typically, they’d say “nicely, we will’t pay that”. To this I’d reply that since I presently don’t have a job, I don’t actually have a minimal acceptable wage, it can rely on what they (and others) can provide. This is able to typically imply that we might proceed the method. Typically it additionally meant that I had an opportunity to point out what I needed to provide, which could later translate to a greater provide than they initially supposed.

As soon as I had my first provide, it grew to become simpler. Surprisingly typically after I requested the businesses what the wage vary for the function was, I’d get a solution. This was actually good, as a result of I might say no to those that supplied lower than I used to be ready to simply accept. In a single case, it didn’t test what wage they had been ready to pay. I solely discovered after I acquired a suggestion from them (after lots of interviews and a take-home task). I did this as a result of I actually appreciated the corporate, however their provide was very low. In hindsight, I ought to have checked upfront, as an alternative of losing lots of effort and time on them.

Even earlier than this job-hunting spherical, I had fairly a very good sense of what salaries firms in Stockholm pay builders. It acquired even higher after speaking to many firms. In Sweden, you assume when it comes to the month-to-month wage. You even have to think about if pension contributions are included or not (normally they’re included, and may be a further 10 to fifteen %, which is implicitly included). A really common developer wage could be 55K – 65K SEK per thirty days. Nearly all firms are ready to pay that. Getting a wage of 80K a month and over is harder, however positively not inconceivable, even in a decent market. Along with wage, many firms can provide choices or fairness, and/or a bonus.

Ultimately, you additionally must weigh different features of the job. How fascinating is the product and firm? What language will you’re employed in? What is going to you be taught? Who will your colleagues be?


One firm I interviewed with was very optimistic, and ended up asking for 2 references, which I offered. However the subsequent day, they introduced that they’d go along with one other candidate. I used to be fairly stunned, since I believed I’d get a suggestion from them. It’s okay in the event that they discover someone else, however I used to be upset that they wasted the time of two of my references. The recruiter later apologized and mentioned that she was satisfied they needed to provide me a suggestion, however the supervisor had picked someone else. I don’t know what to assume, but it surely was fairly a disappointment.

Even for those who fail to get affords at most firms you apply to, you solely have to have one the place you might be profitable. In a way it’s a numbers sport – undergo sufficient processes so that you just get not less than one provide.

Ultimately, I had three and a half affords to select from (I didn’t formally get a suggestion from one of many firms, largely as a result of I knew it will pay lower than two of the affords I already had, so I’m solely counting it as a half). I managed to get them roughly on the identical time. I attempted to sluggish some firms down, and velocity different ones up, by delaying interviews, or having the ability to have interviews as quickly as attainable.

I used to be fortunate to have a couple of provide, as a result of then I used to be in a significantly better negotiating place. The highest two affords had been each superb, and I might see my self taking both. Ultimately I acquired all the pieces I used to be searching for – a really fascinating job, and a very good wage.

Classes Realized

Worrying. On the lookout for a brand new job is lots of work. It’s exhausting to loosen up, even on weekends, as a result of there may be all the time some interview preparation you are able to do. It wasn’t till I had a agency job provide that I might get pleasure from my day off (I had a number of weeks off earlier than I began).

Takes time. I believed it will be faster to discover a new job. However there are 4 or 5 interviews to schedule, and sometimes a take-home task to do. You additionally need to learn up on the corporate and product. Then the businesses often can’t schedule the interviews as quick as you desire to. Add that you’ll fail interviews, and the method can simply take months.

A numbers sport. Even for those who fail lots of interviews, it solely takes one firm the place you might be profitable so that you can have a brand new job. So apply to many. I additionally realized that I’m unhealthy at judging if I did nicely or not. Nearly each time I used to be rejected, I used to be stunned.

Folks to debate with. I’ve two former colleagues, Patrik and Peter, that I mentioned my jobhunting course of with. These discussions had been actually helpful. There are such a lot of features to think about, and having someone who understands to speak to helps immensely!

Responsive recruiters. Recruiters that persistently get again to you rapidly are nice! It’s such a easy strategy to construct confidence within the firm they characterize, but so many recruiters actually are unhealthy at it.

Attain out. If a colleague of yours is let go, attain out to them (by LinkedIn or different means) to say goodbye. It meant lots to me, and I believe most individuals would recognize it.


I’m fortunate. I like programming, and I’ve lots of expertise. Even in a harder promote it was comparatively straightforward for me. It nonetheless took lots of work, however I ended up with an important new job as a senior developer at Swissblock. I hope my jobhunting expertise may be useful to different builders searching for their subsequent jobs.

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