As I’ve said, I’m currently in the market for a jr-mid level .NET developer position in the Columbus, Ohio area. I really dislike being a one person shop. It always feels like I spend more time hunting for new projects than I spend doing them, and that’s just not my idea of an ideal situation.
That doesn’t really say much, though, so I thought I’d put down my wants in writing in order to not only get them out for others to see, but to get them straight in my own head.
First, however, I’ll briefly list some of the things I have to offer (this is by no means an exhaustive list).
What I bring to the table
- I have several years of experience in writing code.
- I excel at solving problems and enjoy doing so.
- I can explain technical issues to non-technical people.
- I have a professional, yet relaxed attitude.
- I write well.
- I am adept at gathering requirements.
- I tend to be a calming influence on the people around me.
- I learn new skills quickly.
- I love writing software that makes a difference to the people who use it.
What I want in an employer (the bullet point edition)
- A place where I can learn and grow.
- A sane work/life balance.
- A sane salary.
- The ability to, preferably, work around good people who really know their stuff.
- A relatively relaxed environment is a plus
Now, bullet points are great (or horrible, depending on who you ask), but we can get into a little more detail on my wants/needs.
A place where I can learn and grow –
I honestly want a place where I can expand and hone my skills as well as get back to using some skills that I feel have atrophied since I’ve been on my own, such as leadership and presentation skills.
One of the downsides to being independent is that you have a harder time setting aside time for professional development because you always feel like your time should be spent either doing work or finding more work. You also frequently have a really difficult time getting new perspectives on problem domains.
Sane work/life balance –
I don’t expect every day to be 9 to 5 because, let’s face it, that basically never happens. There are always the occasional crunch times at the end of projects or at the end of a cycle in the project, and that’s fine. The problem is when you are expected to work extended hours on a regular basis as a matter of course.
What I do want is for the occasional crunch times to be just that – occasional. I understand that I’ll find myself staying late or getting in early if there’s an emergency, to prep for a big presentation, a sprint at the end of a project, etc and that’s fine. What I don’t want is to be expected to work for 70+ hours a week.
I love writing software (and solving problems in general). I consider it fun, but there are other things in life that need to be taken care of as well.
Sane salary –
Basically, I want a salary I can live on decently. What I’d like to be paid depends on the position. I realize that lower level positions pay less than higher level positions, and sometimes you have to take a step backward in order to move forward.
If you’re concerned that I’m pricing myself out of a position, talk to me. We may be able to come to an agreement. I honestly want to make the jump, and some things are negotiable in order to make that happen. Besides, there’s been a fair amount of variation in the salary ranges of a lot of the companies I’ve talked to (though they tend to cluster in a reasonably narrow range, so I consider that a decent indication of what I can probably expect).
The ability to work around people who really know their stuff –
This sort of ties in with and extends learning and growing, but I thought it warranted its own point.
I find inspiration from working around other people. It may sound cheesy, but it’s true. Sometimes, just being around other people is enough to make me find novel solutions to problems. Additionally, I tend to learn a lot just from observing and listening to the people and things around me and am motivated by being around people that are better at things than I currently am.
This isn’t limited to just being around experts, though. I’m a firm believer that you can learn something from everyone, so being around other people in my field (and other fields) is a plus regardless of relative skill levels.
Relatively relaxed environment –
By relaxed, I don’t mean Hawaiian shirts and Nerf gun fights. Clothing wise, you’ll usually see me in khakis and a polo or button up shirt.
Relaxed, in this case, is more along the lines of non-hostile. I’ve seen a few companies where the people in charge seem to feel the need to berate and dehumanize the people that report to them (directly or indirectly).
In my personal opinion, that’s not a way to keep good people or to keep them motivated. The world may not be sunshine and roses every day, but you shouldn’t spend every day wondering when the (hopefully) figurative chair is going to fly at your head.
We tend to work better when we aren’t stressed unnecessarily, and since I want to work to the best of my abilities, it seems logical that I don’t want to be in a hostile environment.
Naturally, a discussion of this sort could go on for a considerable amount of time, but I think that covers most of the major points of what I have and what I want. If I sound like a person that would fit in with your organization or you know an organization that you think I would be a good fit for, please feel free to contact me.
Current mood: decent
Current music: Tom Petty - I Won't Back Down