After a couple of bitter posts, I finally have something pleasant to share!
As most of you who read my blog may know that I’ve been applying for a developer position since late March/early April and that my goal was to secure a job by end June in the technology industry as that would be the 1-year mark since I quit my events management career.
It’s been a grueling process for me personally because one, it’s a completely different interview process than I’m used to and two, no two interviews are the same so there was very little I could prepare myself for and lastly, I got rejected a few times (5 to be exact) and a lot more companies that didn’t shortlist me for an interview which also felt like many slaps in the face (a bit of an exaggeration here) so it was not doing my morale any good.
That being said, I kept going because I did give myself a year and there was still some weeks left so when I saw an opening position at an e-commerce company, I went for it even though I don’t quite meet some of the academic/skills requirements. They needed someone who is familiar with PHP and NodeJS (which I’m not) and someone with a degree or higher in Computer Science, Software Engineering, Information Technology or other related technical disciplines and 2 years of experience, preferably some domain experience in e-commerce industry (which I do not have).
So, what gave me the courage to go ahead with the application? E-commerce IS MY THING. I live and breathe it as a consumer so what better way to get into technology than to immerse myself in an environment I truly enjoy and understand? I connected with the role right away I HAD to apply.
I got a call from HR few days later to say that there was an assignment I needed to complete before we proceed further. They’d usually give their candidates a week to complete but because I was a special case (being new to the industry without any experience in e-commerce platform and the language they’re using), they gave me two weeks. How kind and understanding of them!
I did the assignment (spent about 60% of my time researching and 40% coding and debugging) and submitted it within the stipulated deadline. I wasn’t sure if they were going to call me for an interview after seeing my work so I was absolutely thrilled when they did.
I met the Senior Software Engineer and the Head of Product for my first interview. We talked through my assignment and I was asked questions to evaluate if I would be a good fit for the company. There were some technical questions that I wasn’t able to answer but I was honest and upfront about it and showed that I’m willing and determined to learn and contribute as I should in the role. About 10 – 15 minutes after I got home, I got a call to arrange for a second round of interview the next day with one of the people in the management and another engineer I’ll be working with. I was happy beyond words at that point even though I didn’t get an offer yet that I teared after the call. It was a great comfort after so many failed interviews.
The second round wasn’t as technical as the first one. It was more of a get-to-know-me session and whether I have a real passion for it. They wouldn’t want to hire someone who is just ‘trying it out’ or going through a self-searching phase and leave as soon as he/she is done exploring.
And there, the rest is history. I got an offer as an Junior Software Engineer.
Everyone who is close to me know I’ve been trying for awhile so when I shared the good news with KY (my classmate in the coding bootcamp), her response was ‘This job is SO YOU PLEASE’ because well, as I said, I live and breathe e-commerce as a consumer.
Now, thinking back, perhaps I didn’t get everything else I applied for because they weren’t the right ones for me.
I just so so happy now I’m gonna go embrace all the good feelings that I’m feeling now and thank the universe for being so good to me.