tl;dr: I want to help you get hired as a programmer. I’m running this experiment until the end of 2019, let’s see how it goes!

Who

You, someone switching into a new career as a computer programmer. You’re ready to apply for a job, but would like a little extra help.

What

I’ll offer you any of these services that I personally found helpful when I was getting my first job, or that I weighted highly as a hiring manager:

  • portfolio review
  • resume review
  • 45-60 minute mock interview
  • contributing to an open source project

Where

On the Internet! Mock interviews will be through video calls, so your connection must be able to sustain a good quality call.

How

E-mail me at cldellow@cldellow.com. I promise I’ll respond to you, and we’ll try to find a time to work together.

If you want assistance with a resume/interview, please have a link to the job you’re applying to so that I can give focused feedback. I’ll keep it confidential.

If you want assistance contributing to an open source project, I’ll act as a mentor and cheerleader. I can help you find a good project, a good first issue, be your sounding board as you make the change, and provide moral support.

Why

Short answer: A few years ago, I saw Kate Murphy’s standing offer to pair program with (almost) anyone and thought more people should be like Kate.

Long answer: I often think about how easy my path into this career has been.

I stumbled into computers as a kid in the early 1990s. It was easy because my parents could afford to purchase a “powerful” 33MHz IBM PS/1.

Despite living in a remote part of Canada, I had access to the Internet. It was easy because there were volunteers who ran a local ISP, itself funded by grants from taxpayers in my province.

As a teen, I discovered programming. It was easy because the federal government ran an online programming website. It was an amazing, supportive space. Alums would go on to work at Mozilla, Google, to run software engineering departments at universities–basically, to have their pick of careers in computers.

My interest was piqued so I applied and was accepted to the University of Waterloo’s Software Engineering program. It was easy because I could draw on the experiences I already had to make my application stand out.

UW had a co-op education program that gave me two years of paid on-the-job experience. It was easy because the university had an entire department devoted to getting us placements. There were many placements, partly due to the Canadian government’s SR&ED tax credit making it affordable for businesses to take a chance on new employees. In addition to graduating debt-free, these jobs meant I honed my interviewing skills.

Basically, while I worked hard to achieve what I did, luck played a critical role. That’s no way to choose who gets to be in this career. I can’t give you all the benefits I personally had, but hopefully I can make your path just a little bit easier.