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"Fake it until I make it?" Or "When can I get a job?"

So, I've been doing the Ruby on Rails track. I'm currently finishing up CSS. I've taken (but not finished) an introduction to Java course. And that's pretty much it. My ex-husband really wants to get me employed NOW, even though I don't think that I'd do a good job as an actual Ruby Dev, right now. Below is the longest list of requirements for a position that doesn't require a BS/BA degree.

He says, "A Ruby recruiter is going to contact you. Read up" Can a relative newbie fake knowledge or at cram the info and be ready to, I guess, learn by actual doing the job? And what about after I finish this track and do the projects? Would I be able to get a job?

I'd rather just learn, get some experience with small project THEN apply. But, you know how some guys are!

Job Responsibilities:
Directly manage small applications
Prepare application architecture design
Maintain coding standards
Understand business functions to make sure it aligns with application scope. 
Refactoring and application performance maintenance
Potentially manage a development an in-house or outsourced development team. 
High level of understanding of ROR with relevant work experience. 
Ability to deliver tasks on time and within scope. 
Solid understanding of ruby meta programming
Understanding of deployment and server environment
Knowledge and experience in other programming languages and contributing to the open source forum a plus.

Primary Skill Set: 
No Sql DBS
Design pattern
Passengers, mongrel,rubymine,textmate
Oauth(Facebook and Twitter integration

Thanks :D Eboni

I would work on some smaller stuff first so you get a chance to get at least a few webapps done with Rails before you start applying to work positions like the one you showed. Then start looking for junior rails developer positions where you will get the chance to learn from a senior developer and where they don't expect you to have massive experience. Many companies that want's to hire Rails developers uses pairing when they are looking into bringing in a new developer.. there is no faking it and making it with pair programming :) that other developer will see exactly how good you are at coding..

In my experience the BS/BA degrees aren't really that important unless your are fresh out of school with no work experience. If you are a little bit older and has prior working experience that is often more worth than any BS/BA degree itself. If you also can show off some code that you have done and web apps that are up and running that will give them something to check and give them a feeling of the quality of your work and see your potential. So don't get scared of by work that has BS/BA degrees stamped on them. Start working on a portfolio and do as Nicholas said he would do.. start coding and save EVERYTHING you do so that you have something to show. Create public Github account where you can store some of the work you do. Find a pet project that you are passionate about and make that happen with your code. Reach out to some other developers at your local Ruby and Rails meetup group and see if you could work together on some project for fun.. learn from them. Maybe you can meet some new people there and you never know what that can end up with.

Just my 2 cents :) Wish you luck!

2 Answers

Nicholas Olsen
Nicholas Olsen
Front End Web Development Techdegree Student 19,342 Points

I'm in a similar position. I need a job like right now, but I'm not sure how competent I need to be to start applying.

What I've been told is those job postings tend to be asking for much more than they really can ask for. Nobody is an expert at everything so employers describe their dream candidate knowing they'll have to make some concessions. So don't think you have to have mastered everything in every job post you find.

On the flip side, if you don't have any projects or code to point to then you're not likely to get hired.

My approach is to do as you said, get some experience with small projects and be kind of loud about it. I put up a simple web page with links to all of my social media profiles and as I create things I'm going to be updating my facebook, twitter, etc. I also just discovered the "Career Foundations" deep dive in the library. It looks pretty helpful so I'm going to go through it. I found a local meetup group on meetup.com for software developers that seems to be focused on learning and networking. I'm going to be attending it for the first time tonight. When I can I'll attend some conferences (but right now I don't have the funds for it.) I'm going to write code, save EVERYTHING I create (which I haven't done in the past) and show off the best of it.

So, I think the best thing to do is create your own projects, contribute to pre-existing projects on github and meet people in your area when you can. When you create things, post it up here for a critique or something. I'd love to see it!

@Nicholas, that's a great response! I agree with your take on requirements included in job postings, it's hard to believe that one person can be fluent in all tools and languages. Another approach would to be completely honest about your level of expertise and admit that you're starting out on this track. Perhaps you could be willing to work extra on your own time to get up to speed working in a potential employer's development environment. Refer them to your Treehouse profile as a credible source of training and accomplishments. Remember, demand is high for people with these skills.