I will not reveal details of the recruitment, but I will try to describe the process in general and what stages you can expect.
Everything starts with a phone call. Congratulations if it’s you who answered! You have been selected from hundreds of candidates and we want to talk to you. You’ve made a good impression in the beginning, and did well with the knowledge test. What does it mean? Not only HR read your CV – but also a ‘technical person’, which is a developer. His task is to choose the best candidates for the upcoming traineeship period, and then to check their knowledge in the further stages of recruitment.
Getting an invitation is that moment when most people Google recruitment questions and experience stress. Please, don’t worry. No matter how well you memorize the magic formulas, knowledge of technology or its lack will always come to light. However, if there are gaps in knowledge, this is not necessarily a bad sign. There are good sides in being a ‘freshman’ in the industry, namely, there are no old habits and no bad practices.
CV of a Frontend Developer
The Frontend Developer recruitment is unique, because the process itself is very similar to the first presentation of the product. What the CV looks like is extremely important. If it is designed carefully, then a resume can be one of the foundations of a good portfolio.
Imagine your CV is like a template for a new website. It is important that it is neat, transparent and readable. From the frontend perspective, these three features are above all else. It is not important whether you use ready-made solutions from the internet, or are creative and original. The most important thing is that you stick to repetitive patterns.
A disordered CV is usually ignored because it shows the candidate’s attitude to the profession as well as to the quality of work. The Frontend Developer’s CV must be ‘nice’. It’s not about using flashy colours or fancy fonts. It’s enough to be concise with the correct formatting and style. Margins and paragraphs should be even, the bulleted lists should be unified, the font size fixed, and the justified text should not contain gigantic spaces between words, not to mention badly cropped photos or spelling mistakes.
Knowledge of technology vs. reality
If the candidate fits in with the expectations presented in the ad, then food for him – usually the opposite is true. However, there is nothing to be afraid of. It’s ok not to meet 100% of requirements, and this applies not only to trainees, but also experienced programmers. These requirements are only information on what is expected of the candidate before and after employment. Of course, there are ‘must have’ points (such as HTML and CSS), but that should not cause problems for people who decide to follow the Frontend path.
Have you listed absolutely all the technologies you know and have dealt with your entire life? Remove them immediately! Remember: neatness, clarity and readability. If you create a wall of text mentioning all available technologies, then you’ll make the most important skills less visible.
Variability and patterns are frontend features
A good practice is to focus on technologies learned in the last year (up to the last two years). Why? Because it is currently on top and it is largely desirable. The fact that technologies are relentlessly changing at an alarming rate is a feature of the entire IT industry. Libraries and solutions from 2-3 years ago are not supported and are considered outdated. This especially applies to the frontend, where even the browser update is able to damage your template on the page, and all the traded buttons will stop working. So if you knew Angular in 2017, this is not very interesting, because the last two years have managed to get its three new versions. Of course, I am exaggerating – it is worth mentioning about the framework, but you will have to learn again. Nothing in IT stands still – it dies at most.
A Frontend Developer is still a programmer and needs the right tools to be able to work. Not everyone writes about it, but it is a big plus if you mention what programs you know. Knowledge of Visual Studio Code or Adobe Photoshop is a really good start. For a recruiter, this is a sign that the candidate will adapt easier.
Having a degree in Information Technology is not a prerequisite to becoming a developer. It is quite obvious, especially in the field of IT, where you can develop in various ways without being a graduate. However, it is true that these studies help not only in searching for a job, but also allowing us to understand what all this technological magic is actually based on.
While a group of developers with a degree in IT is really big, there are still a lot of those who want to retrain from a completely different profession, as well as those who recognize that spending 3-5 years of study is too long for them. Let’s focus on the latter.
There are many development opportunities on the market and bootcamps are one of them. These are intensive trainings conducted by professionals who have the best insight into what is happening on the IT market. They can be divided into two types: basic and advanced. Each of them contributes greatly to the development, because these trainings are effective. In contrast to studies, they do not last many years, and yet they are very efficient and they squeeze out the last drop of sweat from each participant. Are they better than university? It depends whether the employer wants a graduate with a master’s degree, or a ‘man from the street’ who has already implemented living projects.
Regardless of whether they are studies, bootcamps, or minor workshops and meetups – any mention of participation in activities that broadens knowledge will be a benefit for the candidate. After all, he devoted his time to know the field in which he wants to go deeper into the next few years.
This is another important section for every developer, and in the case of a frontend dev even more important, because again we have the opportunity to show off our best side. The lack of any sources is not negative, but you lose an opportunity to make a good impression. Consider, for example, a piece of code – even if it is ‘weak’, it means that the candidate worked on anything and wanted to gain any experience. This is a step in the right direction, which is why I strongly encourage you to leave links to websites and repositories where you can look at private projects.
Everything you say can be used against you. When presenting your portfolio, keep in mind that code cleanliness and neatness is also taken into account. This is not a requirement for any developer, but it is an asset. Of course, there is nothing to cheat – even scripts written carefully last week may require optimization and formatting improvements, but the more attention you pay to the details, the more it will get into the blood. This is one of the basics to do someone a good code review.
In addition to being a Frontend Developer, you can have many other interests that are not directly related to the profession. Will it be digital art, game design, backend programming languages, or even database administration – diversity and creativity are good features of every Developer Frontend. It is worth to blend knowledge in other aspects, even if they are not expected at the moment – as long as they fit into the current trends.