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Ask HN: Extracurriculars” for experienced programmers to find better work?

Currently I'm unemployed and I also have the curiosity of a student- trying to build a network with professionals and to get a smorgasbord of tech company offers while remaining very open.

My network isn't very strong, technical skills are lacking, and I am having trouble planning my time to work on all these things.

I don't want to limit myself to just FAANG. I am mostly interested in offers for high pay and the opportunity to learn a lot more from engineers in my next 2 years of work than I did in my past 5. Having a company that can provide health insurance and being able to contribute to 401k would be nice too, I never had that before. Wanna make my immigrant parents proud and I feel I've let them down with as someone who hasn't held a steady job in more than 10 years.

For my experience, I have spent the last 2 years unemployed and the last 12 before that going on and off temp work for various startups and other small companies. Nothing that involved more than 5 people in a project. Sometimes it's web boutique work other times it's a SaaS web project. JavaScript and PHP have been my main tools but I am fine with trying out others.

Counterintuitively, from the perspective of getting an interview at high-paying companies, my 12 years of doing work as a freelancer is seen as inferior to a handful of internships. I especially know from speaking to someone else that's much newer to the industry, that he got the attention from companies such as Github and Intel with research projects and academic publications. He took internships from both.

As someone who's graduated long ago, I clearly don't have those extracurricular options. So I'm interested in some career "side quests" for the under-skilled and out of school, that aren't just personal side projects, and trying to go above and beyond. My unemployment just means I should have more spare time to get involved in them.

Are there hackathons open for any programmer no matter their experience level that are worth attending? Interesting coding challenges sponsored by big companies? I need to add things on my resume that I can start doing right now to make a lot of tech companies say "let's interview him". In the geographic area where I live, there are rarely any opportunities to network with people in big tech.

  • 3 points
  • 7 days ago

  • @djellybeans
  • Created a post

Ask HN: Extracurriculars” for experienced programmers to find better work?


@sargstuff 7 days

Replying to @djellybeans 🎙

One possible option, work on/pick an open source project(s) suited to given area/skill set of interest.

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