As I mentioned before, the NFL is expanding their Web staff, and that put me into a strange position: the interviewer. I’d spent the better part of three years interviewing, studying and networking trying to get a job, and suddenly I was being asked to evaluate candidates who were going to be…well…me.
We went through a ton of candidates. It amazed me the range of skills and knowledge people applying for a Web Developer position had. But in general, I ran a few common issues that soured me on many candidates.
Know what you don’t know
In addition, most self-taught programmers have little grasp of good programming patterns that save time and make self-documenting code. The best Web application in the world is useless to me if I have to re-write it form scratch a month later because it would take less time than learning how it works.
The people who stand out to me are the people who play with the discipline. If your resume is a Word Doc or PDF, you’re starting with a strike against you. Have interesting side projects and who show a curiosity in the medium. Own yourname.com or yourlameinternethandle.com and show me what interesting things you’re doing with the Web 2.0 API of the week. Even if it’s a horrible hack or you code is just plain bad, I’d rather have that than a code wizard on autopilot.