Thursday, September 08, 2005

A needle in a haystack

One of the things I have to do to start my new life as an independent developer is to start looking for prospective clients. That means I have to polish and update my resume. Well, after spending a few minutes with it, I feel that a resume is an unfair representation of my capabilities. How can a bunch of keywords used by thousands of other developers separate me from the rest? Where in the small paragraph describing my last ten years of experience at a fairly obscure and small web development company does it show the hard lessons learned about founding and sustaining a technical business? At what point in the long list of languages and technologies I have used can one be certain that I truly understand web development? Where and how on this two short pages can I make the reader appreciate the countless hours of learning that I have put into my career on my free time? How can they really know for sure that I have a passion for this?

Of course, having a blog is a good start (but not if you have one post a year). Hopefully, someday a couple of people may read it and like what they find. Also, practicing good writing can be helpful for another thing the modern programmer should do: promote himself like crazy. Have a web site that shows off your stuff, don't be shy and don't be afraid of the 'M' word. As exemplified by 37signals and RoR, marketing can be very well used to promote yourself and your ideas, specially if you already know how cool they are.

I am well aware that I am not alone in this thoughts. Just yesterday I was reading this post by David Heinemeier Hansson about the same subject but viewed from the other end. First he tells us how he was bothered by the fact that someone once hired him on the basis of his resume, a couple of emails and a one hour interview. The worst thing is that many companies usually do just this to hire people. He says that he will only hire people he knows from open source projects and that more companies should do the same.

I think he has a point there. I was not allowed to open source my work at my old job, but I intend to get involved in some open source effort as soon as I can. I really have a lot of stuff to do, which means at least for the time being I already have a client: myself.

2 Comments:

At 10:39 AM, Anonymous Alicia Ramirez said...

Me da mucha pena que hayas tenido que dejar Aldea, pero estoy segura que te va a ir bien. Te deseo toda la suerte del mundo a ti y a tu creciente familia.

 
At 11:03 AM, Blogger Roberto Iza Valdes said...

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