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<ali_king> Hi folks, and thanks for spending the time to advise us :)
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> Hello! Sorry I'm a few minutes late
<leaper> Hi tim,
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> server was giving me issues and I had to re-start
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<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> I had a few requests for topics come through via email
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> but I'd love to hear about anything that you guys want to discuss now
<ali_king> Any advice on preparing for technical interviews?
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> Absolutely, for technical interviews, preparation is key
<tjc_CareerMentor> ali_king: IMO, the best way to prepare is to prepare your own list of questions to ask
<tjc_CareerMentor> the more time you can spend questioning them, the less time they'll have to question you =)
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<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> Tjc, I like that!
<lizzard_mentor> it can be helpful to get together with another person to practice asking each other questions, and answering
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> I also recommend looking at as many different sources for practice questions
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> I find that sometimes some forums tend to post the same types of questions
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> and so I always recommend looking in a few different places
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> Lizzard, that's also great advice-working on the problems on your own doesn't simulate the pressure that you'd feel in an interview
<tjc_CareerMentor> As a place to start with preparing your own questions: http://www.drmaciver.com/2013/02/interviewing-companies/ and http://www.drmaciver.com/2013/02/questions-for-prospective-employers/
<lizzard_mentor> sometimes they have very complicated examples, but the jobs I have gotten technical interviews for, they gave me very simple questions.  Like, what is a hash? how would you sort this list?
<lizzard_mentor> The kinds of questions that just make sure you can write some code at all. 
<tjc_CareerMentor> The other piece of advice I'd have is to be mentally prepared. If you're asked a question that's a matter of searching a dictionary/encyclopedia inside your head, that's a bad sign about the company
<ali_king> I had one on Friday, and I'd not really done that before
<lizzard_mentor> Rather than computer science technical questions.   
<tjc_CareerMentor> good companies ask open-ended questions whose point is for them to observe how you approach problems, not to see if you get the right answer
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> As a recruiter, I didn't handle too many of the programming interveiews, but the advice that all of the recruiters who ran them gave me was to give a more simple problem and let the person do the talking
<lizzard_mentor> ali_king: how did it go?
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> the idea was that you would walk them through how you would solve the problem
<ali_king> My last job they were happy to look at my code on GitHub and talk about my programming interests
<tjc_CareerMentor> right, it's important (when you're given a coding question) to talk through your thought process about it 
<tjc_CareerMentor> also, "I would look it up on Google" and/or "I would ask colleagues" is always a good answer when asked a closed-ended question you don't know the answer tto
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> Yeah, that's the hardest part, is being able to explain how you came to your decisions, why and what drove you there
<leaper> tjc_CareerMentor: Hi, any advice for working remotely on open source technologies and getting paid.
<tjc_CareerMentor> a surprising number of people don't say that
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> you could apply the same logic to 'how do you make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich'
<lizzard_mentor> I agree with tjc.  talking through what you’re thinking is great.  Even if that means, saying, I don’t know, and here’s how I would look it up.
<ali_king> lizzard_mentor: ok, it was my first one for ages.  Just been laid off :(
<myra> Hello. I have completed my OPW last winter. I am now looking forward for continuing my work with open source. I didn't have much time to work for this summer's Gsoc ( I will try to submit an application anyways) so I was wondering if there are any other internships as such which will help me to work for open source.
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> ali_king it's so great that you're already getting back out there it can be hard to bounce back from a layoff
<tjc_CareerMentor> leaper: look for companies that use open source and say they encourage remote work... you may or may not be able to find a job working on open source 100% of your time, but lots of companies have an approach of "giving something back to the community" where you contribute patches incidentally
<lizzard_mentor> leaper: i think building up a history of contributions is good, and writing about what you’re doing helps get that information out in front of people. 
<ali_king> tjc_Career_Mentor: they asked me how many planes land in the UK each day.  I said that first off I'd get some info from a friend who's an air traffic controller ;)
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> leaper: also one of the things that came up with me via email is make sure that if you're looking to get paid you have the rate, and info in writing
<leaper> tjc_CareerMentor: right, not 100 percent opensource, may be using some other tools and technologies.
<tjc_CareerMentor> leaper: Yeah, the other thing you can do while looking for jobs is to build up a paper trail of contributions...
<lizzard_mentor> ali_king: hahaha! once I got the question of how many haircutting salons there are in the united states
<tjc_CareerMentor> the more your name is out there in whatever project you're interested in, the more likely opportunities are to come knocking
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> Even if you confirm via IRC, or on the phone, make sure that you follow up with an email confirming that they will pay you for X rate during Y time period
<leaper> But getting a remote job, good one is difficult.
<lizzard_mentor> definitely one of those “how do you approach a problem” puzzles. 
<tjc_CareerMentor> ali_king: yeah, IMO those questions are a sign of a bad employer b/c it shows they looked stuff up in a book of interview questions rather than thinking
<tjc_CareerMentor> and there's a fixed recipe for solving those problems
<leaper> EBR_opw_careeradvisor: right
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> leaper-yes, one of the things that is tough on the hiring side is that they want to know that they can trust you even if they haven't met you in person
<tjc_CareerMentor> You don't want to work at a place where all you do is solve variations on the same problems. OTOH, sometimes it's a choice between that or not working
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> which means a lot of hiring decisions on remote work go through referrals
<tjc_CareerMentor> leaper: I find that one strategy can be to not emphasize that you want to work remotely in the beginning; when they make you an offer, once they've convinced themselves that they need you, then you say you want to work remotely
<tjc_CareerMentor> it can also help to say you're willing to travel 25% of the time, or whatever percentage of the time you're willing to do, if you're willing...
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> great advice tjc, it's about negotiating for what you want-I've seen that strategy work
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<tjc_CareerMentor> or negotiate something where you're on-site for the first 1-2 months while you're ramping up
<leaper> EBR_opw_careeradvisor: Can you help me provide a referral to some companies, who offers remote jobs.
<lizzard_mentor> I would not go that far to say it means a bad employer. 
<tjc_CareerMentor> Of course, don't offer to do anything you don't really want to do, but they may feel more comfortable if you're willing to be a bit flexible
<lizzard_mentor> most of my life, anyone who pays me is an ok employer :D   Maybe, a naive interviewer.  
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> leaper, I unfortunately don't have any direct companies that I'm recruiting for since I've been focused more on my career consulting work
<leaper> tjc_CareerMentor: you are aboslutely right !!
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> however, I can definitely help you to find more leads-where have you been searching so far? 
<ali_king> tjc_CareerMentor: yes, I wasn't that sure about the company anyhow.  I asked them what their culture was like, they told me how they handled clients
<tjc_CareerMentor> lizzard_mentor: definitely pay is almost always better than no pay :) I'm assuming that people have a choice, but I realize sometimes they don't
<Niharika> EBR_opw_careeradvisor: How can we decide what rate will apporpriate for us? Is there any information about what's appropriate salary for X skills and Y experience or something along that lines?  
<tjc_CareerMentor> ali_king: yeah, that's a red flag. people should have some sort of answer to the culture question even if it's a bad answer (bad answers being like "we're a meritocracy")
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> great question Niharika!
<tjc_CareerMentor> Niharika: there are several salary estimation sites: glassdoor, salary.com...
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> You want to start by talking through your skills with your mentor
<lizzard_mentor> glassdoor.com is useful
<tjc_CareerMentor> you'll find they will give different answers for the same job and region, but it at least gives you a range
<leaper> EBR_opw_careeradvisor: looking through the startups and other companies, on google send my resume but didn't heard any respone from anywhere
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> too often people base their rate on how they percieve their skills (which is usually lower than how others percieve their skills)
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> sorry about the typos!
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> glassdoor is excellent, also you can use simplyhired and indeed as salary comparison sites
<tjc_CareerMentor> leaper: sending a resume without having a contact in the organization usually gets no response. when it does get a response, usually it's if you write a good cover letter, but you can write the best cover letter and still be ignored b/c some companies get hundreds of applications for one job
<Niharika> Glassdoor is good. But not all positions are always listed. For example being a contractor for a short period of time. 
<lizzard_mentor> As my first web dev jobs in the mid 90s I was paid around 40-45K a year in the US (in Chicago)
<tjc_CareerMentor> you can use LinkedIn to find people who know people you know, within a company you're interested in
<lizzard_mentor> by a University
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> you can also check in on recruiting agencies who have salary reports (for the companies they work with) posted-usually a year off, but still that is there
<lizzard_mentor> That is low, and is the sort of pay you might get from a nonprofit, or a school
<tjc_CareerMentor> As far as salaries, don't be afraid to ask your friends, former colleagues, etc. about what they make...
<tjc_CareerMentor> there's a social taboo in some places about asking about salaries, but that taboo only serves employers, not employees
<leaper> tjc_CareerMentor: I tried through linkedin as well, still getting no response
<Niharika> Okay. tjc_CareerMentor I always thought that might be uncomfortable for people to answer. 
<lizzard_mentor> In 2000 or so, I was getting paid 75K as a junior programmer in San Francisco.
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> You also can check with industry associations on resources that they might have as well (if you're more specialized)
<tjc_CareerMentor> Niharika: it can be uncomfortable, but sometimes you have to just be prepared for discomfort
<lizzard_mentor> For a big search engine company.
<lizzard_mentor> I”m just gonna tell you all what i got paid over the years, I don’t mind.
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> Asking friends is uncomfortable-but if they don't feel good about it, they can always decline
<lizzard_mentor> Around me, many people who were more focused programmers, who had CS degrees, were getting paid more like $120K
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> thanks lizzard, that is great!
<tjc_CareerMentor> Yeah. There's an art to asking in a way that makes people feel ok about declining to answer
<Niharika> lizzard_mentor: Woah. That's awesome. 
<tjc_CareerMentor> So my first job after getting a master's in CS, in 2004 in the Bay Area, was $60K/year
<tjc_CareerMentor> In retrospect, I think that was too low, but it was more money than my family had ever made in my life, by far, so it seemed like a lot to me
<lizzard_mentor> I have seen many people be better/faster/more experienced developers than me, get paid $60K or so
<leaper> tjc_CareerMentor: Can you Please inform me how to find the remote jobs may be in US startups or other companies, offering good pays
<tjc_CareerMentor> I had no work experience at that point, btw, except doing part-time tech support in college
<lizzard_mentor> By 2006 or so, I was making 80K.  i had time out for layoffs, more school, and having a baby
<tjc_CareerMentor> after that, I took a job where I was an "independent contractor" (although I got reclassified as an employee later) for $30/hour; basically I could work as much as I wanted
<lizzard_mentor> I was getting Drupal contracting work for $100 an hour.  Remote work.
<leaper> tjc_CareerMentor: How much is enough for a person to live comfortably in US and how much is the tax in US
<tjc_CareerMentor> I did two internships after that, where the pay wasn't really representative but I think they helped me get better offers after that
<Niharika> Nice. 
<leaper> tjc_CareerMentor: good.
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<lizzard_mentor> So, part of my advice is, you can pick a project like Wordpress or Drupal, that people need support for, and be an expert there.  Then pick up contract work
<tjc_CareerMentor> at the beginning of 2007 in the US, I got an offer from Facebook for $90K, and successfully used that to leverage up an offer I wanted more (or thought I did) from a government contractor to about $90K
<tjc_CareerMentor> After that, I went back to grad school for a while. When I got out of grad school I worked at Mozilla, getting about $100K but about 30-40% bonuses (more or less guaranteed) on top of that
<lizzard_mentor> tjc: i just assumed you were one of those rock stars who make way over 100K
<Niharika> tjc_CareerMentor: That's great. 
<tjc_CareerMentor> went to a startup after that where I had to negotiate hard, but eventually got offered about $135K, and now I make $153K
<Niharika> I'm in awe.
<tjc_CareerMentor> I think I told this story last time, but at my current company, I asked somebody what the salary range was for my job title, and she told me. it turned out the offer I was given was about the 80th percentile in that range
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> Also one thing to remember is that some companies will have bonuses-which is great, but they are taxed differently (in the US) 
<tjc_CareerMentor> So, I said to the recruiter, "can I have [100th percentile]?"
<tjc_CareerMentor> she said "let me get back to you", a day or two later she said "sure"
<lizzard_mentor> leaper: it depends on your definition of comfortable:  I was fine as a single person making 45K,  making 75K was great.   It can be hard to live in a big city, with a family, on that, but it is reasonable
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> tjc, that's why you always ask!
<tjc_CareerMentor> leaper: the best way to find any job is through personal connections...
<myra> Are there any other similar internships like OPW apart from Gsoc( I don't think I have much time for this summer's Gsoc) where I can continue my work with open source
<tjc_CareerMentor> if you want to work remotely for a startup, get to know people who work remotely through startups. you can get to know them through open-source volunteering, going to conferences, going to local meetups...
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> leaper, if you'd like to work on startups in the U.S. I would recommend starting to connect with some startups you're interested in online
<tjc_CareerMentor> as far as living "comfortable" there's a ton of variation within the US by geographic area
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> tjc beat me to it-great advice
<tjc_CareerMentor> for example, the Bay Area is currently the most expensive part of the US to live in
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> absolutely, the bay area is very expensive
<lizzard_mentor> I have to bow out for another meeting, but, i’ll stay on the channel and will be around later.  Feel free to ask me questions any time
<tjc_CareerMentor> To give you a specific anecdote, in the South Bay (suburban, somewhat more affordable part of the Bay Area), my roommate and I were paying $2400 in rent for a 2-bedroom apartment, as of mid-2014
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> New York is also expensive, but I think sometimes some companies here justify paying their developers less because it's not silicon valley
<tjc_CareerMentor> now, I live in a much cheaper city -- Reno, Nevada -- and work remotely, and pay $790 for a 2-bedroom apartment
<lizzard_mentor> let’s not scare people with our rent in San Francisco. :(
<tjc_CareerMentor> lizzard_mentor: well, when I say $2400/month that was from last year and the South Bay, and in SF, it's already way worse than that
<lizzard_mentor> yeah
<tjc_CareerMentor> so generally, one way to assess what the cost of living is is to find out what average rents are
<tjc_CareerMentor> this generally correlates with overall cost of living
<tjc_CareerMentor> you can do this on Craig's List, just watch out for spam postings that aren't real apartment listings
<tjc_CareerMentor> figure out a few places you might consider living in, and go from there
<tjc_CareerMentor> A few more things to take into account: wherever you want to live, will you have to own a car there to get around? Or can you use public transit?
<tjc_CareerMentor> only a few urban areas in the US have good public transit systems; car ownership is hugely expensive
<ali_king> Someone on LGBT In Tech Slack posted this http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/
<tjc_CareerMentor> in the US, another thing that cuts into disposable income is health insurance. a few employers pay for 100% of the cost of your health insurance premiums...
<lizzard_mentor> I don’t know of other open source paid internships, but maybe we could put together a list of them 
<tjc_CareerMentor> but most will make you pay for part of it. If you take a job as an "independent contractor" (which I wouldn't recommend), usually you pay for all of it yourself
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> thanks ali_king, I hadn't seen that before
<tjc_CareerMentor> in almost all other developed nations, health insurance is provided by the government rather than employers. the US is the one exception
<tjc_CareerMentor> And it's very expensive
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> yeah, if you're going to be an independent contractor I recommend joining the freelancers union
<ali_king> Someone commented that the London/SF comparison isn't right, but it's good for rough ideas
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> or at least attending one of their events to talk to people who are there
<tjc_CareerMentor> Beyond those major expenses (rent, transportation, health insurance), it's hard to talk about cost of living b/c everyone wants different things in order to be comfortable
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> they can help you with contracts, tax resources and more
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<tjc_CareerMentor> some people are perfectly happy eating ramen and using boxes as furniture
<tjc_CareerMentor> other people want nice things, and that's ok too. it's just important to be honest with yourself about your own wants/needs
<leaper> tjc_CareerMentor: ok
<leaper> lets move to the other topic, remote jobs
<tjc_CareerMentor> personally, I've only had one remote job, my current one...
<tjc_CareerMentor> I found my current company because of knowing several other people who worked there and knowing that they prioritize distributed teams
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<tjc_CareerMentor> THat was important to me during my last job search, so I put that first, and chose a job doing something that was a bit outside my comfort zone
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> all of the companies I've worked for that hired remote workers usually had them do one project on site (or a few days a week on site) before they hired them remotely
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> or the person who was hired remotely was recommended (and vetted a few extra times) by people who worked there
<tjc_CareerMentor> My company didn't do that... they did have me do a project, but it was via Google Hangouts
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> so networking is the key to setting yourself up as a remote worker
<tjc_CareerMentor> that said, I did have a referral from someone within the company
<tjc_CareerMentor> also, I had previously dropped in for lunch just informally to talk about opportunities there, when I wasn't applying for a specific job
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<tjc_CareerMentor> Usually, previous experience working remotely will help you when applying for a remote job
<vkmc> o/ hi there
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<tjc_CareerMentor> Fortunately, all of you have that because you did the Outreachy internship
<tjc_CareerMentor> so you should mention that
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> Oh yeah, I forgot that you are already working remotely
<leaper> tjc_CareerMentor: Can you Please provide me with the referral.
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> from a recruiter perspective make sure that you have 'remote work' written on your LinkedIn profile
<ali_king> I'm currently applying for a remote job with a US/global company.  I know someone living nearby who works for them, which is how I found out about it
<vkmc> tjc_CareerMentor, some recruiters don't know about Outreachy and they minimize their value
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> that makes it easier for recruiters to search for you
<tjc_CareerMentor> leaper: If there's anything at Heroku, where I work right now, that interests you, I'd be happy to refer you
<tjc_CareerMentor> http://jobs.heroku.com/
<tjc_CareerMentor> that goes for anyone here
<tjc_CareerMentor> vkmc: that's true. my advice would be to emphasize the specific project you worked on
<vkmc> tjc_CareerMentor, indeed... I tried to do that when it happened to me 
<leaper> tjc_CareerMentor: jobs are Heroku are remote
<tjc_CareerMentor> e.g. "I worked on the Linux kernel for 3 months as a paid intern, being paid through a selective/competitive program"
<tjc_CareerMentor> leaper: Most of them are, a few aren't. it depends on the team
<leaper> tjc_CareerMentor: Python Software engineer position interests me 
<tjc_CareerMentor> leaper: cool, send me a resume at tjc at heroku.com and we'll chat about it more offline
<leaper> tjc_CareerMentor: thanks, I'll send you my resume
<tjc_CareerMentor> you're welcome
<tjc_CareerMentor> BTW, your mentor for your specific project can also be a good resource when it comes to connecting you with potential jobs...
<tjc_CareerMentor> but be sure to be respectful when asking
<tjc_CareerMentor> and be clear that you know you're asking for something that is above and beyond their responsibilities as your internship mentor
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> absolutely, I always recommend making sure that you're communicating to your mentor what you'd like
<tjc_CareerMentor> If you ask in a way that allows for a graceful "no", most people will try to help if they can
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<tjc_CareerMentor> Being as specific as you can is also a really good idea, when asking your mentor or other people on your project for networking help
<tjc_CareerMentor> for example...
<tjc_CareerMentor> Bad: "can you help me find a job"
<tjc_CareerMentor> Good: "I really enjoyed working on frobbing the widgets for CoolOpenSourceProject. do you know of anyone working at companies that use a lot of widgets who might be hiring, especially if working remote is an option?"
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<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> Absolutely, TJC, perfect advice
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> I never recommend asking for a job
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> I always recommend asking for advice first
<tjc_CareerMentor> Yeah, I agree
<Niharika> EBR_opw_careeradvisor: tjc_CareerMentor: I am a remote employee on a short-term first-time contract. I had a couple of questions about the whole "contract" culture in big orgs. Should the employee be the one to talk contract renewal or is the onus on the org? 
<tjc_CareerMentor> Another way to ask is, as Erin said, make an open-ended request like: "Do you have time to chat [via Google Hangouts/Skype/etc.] briefly about your experiences starting out working in this field?"
<tjc_CareerMentor> often, this can lead to somebody putting you in touch with job opportunities. but most people love giving advice so it's a safe thing to ask
<tjc_CareerMentor> Niharika: in my experience, it's the employer who renews the contract, but that said...
<tjc_CareerMentor> I think it depends a lot on the job
<tjc_CareerMentor> one way to ask about it, if they're not talking to you about it, is: "I have other offers but I'd like to continue working here. will the contract be extended?"
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<Niharika> tjc_CareerMentor: Okay. 
<tjc_CareerMentor> Or, if you don't have other offers, say you're exploring other opportunities. phrase it as needing to know what the future holds so you can make plans
<tjc_CareerMentor> which makes you sound like a responsible person =)
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> I always recommend bringing it up (if the company doesn't first)
<tjc_CareerMentor> Some companies may not bring contract renewal up with you because they're just bad at doing HR
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> even casually "great patch, diane, I've really liked working with you guys, I'd love to do another contract here"
<tjc_CareerMentor> Working at those places in the long run can be like getting nibbled to death by ducks, but in the short term, it helps to "manage up"
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> Absolutely-some places actually forget about renewals
<tjc_CareerMentor> In general, anything that happens at work is more likely to be because someone is overworked, overstressed, or even incompetent than because they don't like you
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> I've had people in the situation of 'today's my last day' and the company responds with "what? why won't you be here on Monday!?"
<tjc_CareerMentor> It is possible for someone to not like you and treat you unfairly, but the other things are a lot more likely
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<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> Yeah, I've seen more of these things happen due to general stress/business rather than "I don't like that contractor"
<tjc_CareerMentor> In general: it doesn't hurt to ask, and in a situation where it does end up hurting to ask, that might be a sign of a situation you need to get out of
<tjc_CareerMentor> Another thing this ties into is: in general, you should know how well you're doing, in that your supervisor and/or more senior colleagues should give you feedback as you go along
<tjc_CareerMentor> And if you're not getting feedback, ask for it. I know personally, I'm often tempted to not ask for feedback because I'm afraid it will be bad
<tjc_CareerMentor> but most of the time I've been surprised at how good the feedback I've gotten is
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> that is so important-sometimes contractors make the mistake of not getting feedback (even when it's something they can easily fix) and they end up giving the wrong impression about where they want to work
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> I had a contractor who was doing excellent work, but she was spending her time telling everyone how she wanted to work full time (which they didn't have budget for) so they ended her contract because they thought "she's going to leave" and she was so upset because she would have been happy to keep contracting, but some of her one-off-comments about full time work gave a different impression
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<Niharika_> Sorry. Got disconnected. What did I miss?
<tjc_CareerMentor> Niharika_: Erin recommended always bringing up concerns like contract renewal if the company doesn't first, and that you can do this casually
<Niharika_> tjc_CareerMentor: Okay. I'll do that. 
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<tjc_CareerMentor> we both said that often companies seem disorganized because they are, but the reason isn't you; it's other people being overworked/stressed/etc., and when in doubt, assume that
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<tjc_CareerMentor> we talked about asking for feedback if you're not getting it -- that way, you know that you can mention your good work so far when you ask about renewing a contract
<Niharika_> tjc_CareerMentor: Right. 
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> great summary TJC
<tjc_CareerMentor> and that it's always ok to ask for feedback; personally I've worried that the feedback will be bad, but usually it was better than I expected
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> Yeah, bad feedback rarely comes-it's usually subtle changes like "add Hello to your emails"
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<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> I know that's really over-simple, but I've heard that more than once from hiring managers
<Niharika_> tjc_CareerMentor: I fear bad feedback too. Some of my patches got big fat -1s. 
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> and that's ok!
<tjc_CareerMentor> Yeah... *good* managers know that the advice in this https://www.kateheddleston.com/blog/criticism-and-ineffective-feedback is true --
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> we all make mistakes and do things inefficiently
<tjc_CareerMentor> that useful feedback emphasizes what someone is doing right, and what they could be doing next, as opposed to "ur doin it wrong"
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> when you got a -1, did you bring it up with your mentor?
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> I find that talking it through takes the edge off
<tjc_CareerMentor> unfortunately there are a lot of managers who don't know that, but, keep in mind that critical feedback often says more about the person giving it than about you
<Niharika_> EBR_opw_careeradvisor: I did. And he was very nice in explaining what I did wrong there and gave some very helpful tips.
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> Also remember (and I'm refraining from putting this in all caps
<tjc_CareerMentor> About bad feedback on patches, Niharika_: it's often true that some people don't know how to put critical feedback diplomatically, and that sucks. That said, though...
<Niharika_> EBR_opw_careeradvisor: I got fewer -1s after that and it's rare now. 
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> Negative Feedback is Not about You as a Person, but About Your Work This One Time
<tjc_CareerMentor> The worst feedback, in my opinion, is when you get ignored.
<tjc_CareerMentor> When someone isn't ignoring you, it's because they think you have the potential to do better.
<Niharika_> EBR_opw_careeradvisor: Very true. And it's so easy to forget that it's the work being criticized, not you. 
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> see Niharika, you got one instance of uncomfortable feedback and you improved!
<tjc_CareerMentor> So if they're giving -1s, as long as they're being specific about what you can change, it's because they think you will understand the feedback
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> Yes, it's never about you (unless you are being a jerk-but it doesn't seem like it from what you're telling me)
<tjc_CareerMentor> nobody is born knowing how to write code, and not knowing something doesn't make you inadequate, it just means you haven't learned it yet
<Niharika_> Right. 
<tjc_CareerMentor> and most learning is through experience, so listening to people with more experience can help (but some things, you have to learn the hard way)
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> So 'patch is -1' is about your work and 'Niharika stop calling the other interns codfish' is about you
<tjc_CareerMentor> But as the Kate Heddleston article says, even "stop calling the other interns codfish" isn't as helpful as "hey, let's talk about your relationships with the other interns"
<Niharika_> EBR_opw_careeradvisor: Right. I'm getting better at understanding that. 
<tjc_CareerMentor> (Short of things that are actually harassment or intimidation, but that's not what we're talking about here)
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> It's hard-it's an emotional reaction to take it personally (we all do it)
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> and it takes training to take a step back, breathe and realize that it's not about you
<tjc_CareerMentor> Open source culture often relies on a shared understanding that everybody respects each other and because that's understood, you can tear into someone's work and not care how it makes them feel
<tjc_CareerMentor> let me be clear: I think that's wrong, and I think people should think about others' feelings when they communicate
<tjc_CareerMentor> but that's how it should be. when operating in this world, sometimes you need to do the work to remind yourself that other people may be more secure in that shared understanding than you are, because they've been around longer
<tjc_CareerMentor> Does that make sense?
<Niharika_> tjc_CareerMentor: Yes. :) 
<Niharika_> tjc_CareerMentor: EBR_opw_careeradvisor: Great advice. Thank you.
<tjc_CareerMentor> good. Sometimes it can be hard to know when an environment is actually too toxic to deal with, and when people just tend to be a bit more terse than you may be used to
<tjc_CareerMentor> In those situations it can help to compare notes with other people, privately
<tjc_CareerMentor> so if I start a private conversation with my co-worker, say, and I say 
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> Yeah, that's really important
<Niharika_> tjc_CareerMentor: I'm lucky to be working in a very healthy environment. So when I feel bad about a -1 I got from my mentor, I go check out patches where he got -1 from other folks. :P 
<tjc_CareerMentor> "Hey, I got this feedback from my boss and I found it kind of distressing, have you gotten any feedback like that?"
<tjc_CareerMentor> Niharika_: that's great!
<tjc_CareerMentor> In that hypothetical situation my co-worker might say a few things
<tjc_CareerMentor> they might say "nope, boss has always been helpful to me" so then you ask someone else
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> Yeah, I once worked with a very toxic boss, and I thought it was my performance until one of my colleagues said "she's really mean to you and not giving you the info you need to succeed"
<tjc_CareerMentor> Or they might say, "Yeah, boss isn't a great communicator but she means well"
<tjc_CareerMentor> Or they might say, "Yeah, boss actually got hired because he was someone's cousin and he's attacking people to cover up his own incompetence" [this is rare but it happens]
<tjc_CareerMentor> Or... lots of other possibilities. but don't keep things to yourself -- that's how abusive environments perpetuate themselves
<tjc_CareerMentor> Going back to Niharika_'s comment, personally I've found it extremely helpful when people who are in a more senior position than me talk about setbacks, things they find difficult, times when they messed up, etc.
<tjc_CareerMentor> Some people will bring those up, but other times, you can ask
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> nepotistic hires can often create really toxic environments
<tjc_CareerMentor> obviously, again, how you ask matters
<tjc_CareerMentor> but usually you can say something like, "I'm really struggling with ____. Did you ever struggle with something like that? What did you do?"
<Niharika_> tjc_CareerMentor: I totally agree. Senior people talking about their setbacks is very encouraging.
<tjc_CareerMentor> It can be surprising how much people will open up if you ask
<Niharika_> tjc_CareerMentor: Right. Makes me feel not-stupid when someone shares how they stumbled on the same problem too.
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> Yeah, it takes senior people a few seconds to explain what they've done and shows that you value their opinion
<tjc_CareerMentor> And when you become a senior person, pay back the favor and tell your mentees about times when things were hard for you. I find that much more of a sign of strength than someone who acts invulnerable
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<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> Yeah, paying it back is one of the best things you can do for your career
<Niharika_> tjc_CareerMentor: Good point. :) 
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> I even have someone who just pmed me about struggling with their mentor
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> and I'm sure she'd love to hear any advice you have
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> I know you all feel like you'e too new-but we all have info to share
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> and if you get into the practice now, it can be easy to keep it up as you move up the ranks
<tjc_CareerMentor> So another thing about feedback... in my opinion, if you get feedback that makes you feel bad -- I mean, not just critical feedback but something that makes you feel like you've been punched in the gut -- that reflects on the person *giving* the feedback too
<tjc_CareerMentor> A person who's good at giving feedback can give it in a way that doesn't make the recipient feel worse about themselves
<tjc_CareerMentor> Now, knowing that doesn't necessarily help solve a problem in the present. but I hope it does help to remember not to blame yourself if something makes you feel bad
<tjc_CareerMentor> Usually it's not *intentional* on their part, but reacting to it with distress is totally valid and reasonable
<tjc_CareerMentor> so take a moment to feel that, and then figure out where to go from there -- perhaps by asking a third party, perhaps by going back to the person giving feedback and letting them know what is and isn't helpful to you
* Niharika_ nods
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> yeah, also making sure that you can put your own reaction into perspective as well
<tjc_CareerMentor> IMO this happens mostly because managers don't learn how to be managers
<tjc_CareerMentor> but the bright side is that because of that, knowing how to manage up can be very effective
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> as I said, I know that there are time when I react emotionally (sad, mad, annoyed)but knowing that I deal with it
<Niharika_> EBR_opw_careeradvisor: Yeah. Usually bad feedback only propels me to work harder and do my best to not get bad feedback again. 
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> by doing exactly what Tim has said-getting more perspective, talking to people, and asking both them and myself (is this an over-reaction?)
<tjc_CareerMentor> IMO there's no such thing as an over-reaction... all reactions are reasonable
<tjc_CareerMentor> but
<tjc_CareerMentor> how you *act* on that reaction is a choice
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> and that's great niharika, but it's ok to feel disappointed, or annoyed, as long as you realize that it's not about you
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> exactly, you can't control your feelings
<tjc_CareerMentor> Personally, I know I often react to criticism negatively b/c I was brought up in an environment where making mistakes wasn't okay
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> but you can control your choices and actions
<tjc_CareerMentor> and all criticism really was personal criticism
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> same with me-I thought all mistakes were bad
<Niharika_> Right. 
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> and it took me a while to separate that
<tjc_CareerMentor> for me, I have to think about it and separate what part of my reaction is coming from my past experiences that have nothing to do with the present, and what part of it is to do with my interaction with someone now
<tjc_CareerMentor> And the truth is, usually it's some of both
<Niharika_> Yeah. I can totally relate to that. 
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> I also think that there is sometimes a high that comes from critiquing other people
<tjc_CareerMentor> I agree -- also, critiquing other people in something that gets rewarded in a lot of subcultures
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> not intentional (and I see it more in group settings) where people pile on 'I can't believe you would do that'
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> and it's almost never intentional
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> and yes-it does come with that reward and vindication
<tjc_CareerMentor> there are a ton of tropes in software around "everything is terrible", "what pile of shit did you just check in", etc. etc.
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> but if you got that person one-on-one they usually wouldn't be that harsh
<tjc_CareerMentor> because tearing people down is easier than building
<tjc_CareerMentor> and it's very easy to fall into it...
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> absolutely
<tjc_CareerMentor> an extreme example is Linus, but there are tons of less harsh examples that are still corrosive when they add up
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> and if you acknowledge that it exists, it can help you to gain space
<tjc_CareerMentor> now it is hard not to get into "everything is terrible" because a lot of things are terrible...
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> so that you can evaluate that 'ok they might be upset with my work, but they're also just stuck in this feedback cycle which makes them feel better'
<tjc_CareerMentor> but usually the reasons are structural, not because someone woke up and said "today I will write bad software"
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> and it can help you to remember that it's not about you as a person
<Niharika_> Hmm.
<Niharika_> Right.
<tjc_CareerMentor> and that's hard to deal with because people want to believe in a just world and that leads to blaming individuals (as in, "if we could just get rid of them, everything would be fine")
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> yeah, there's also the utopia ideal
<Niharika_> True. 
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> that we'd live in this paradise if this person would just ....
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> and trust me, it's never ideal
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> even with the best most qualified teams
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> things go wrong
<tjc_CareerMentor> John Darnielle said something that I like, which went something like: "when you're a teenager, it's fun to flex your critical muscles by talking about all the bands you hate. but as you get older you realize it's a waste of time to give attention and energy to things you don't enjoy. why not spend your time on things you do enjoy?"
<tjc_CareerMentor> He was talking about music but I think there's a parallel in software
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> I love that quote!
<tjc_CareerMentor> the other parallel to that quote that I see is that psychologically, a lot of software people who aren't chronologically teenagers act like teenagers ;)
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> that is good to remember-you always expect everyone to be polished and professional and courteous
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> but again, we don't live in a utopia
<tjc_CareerMentor> Yeah, unfortunately, in open source a lot of people fetishize being rude and unprofessional in the name of being "weird" or "nerdy" or "not being a suit"
<tjc_CareerMentor> if you keep up with open source you'll probably have to deal with that
<tjc_CareerMentor> but I think it helps to remember that it's about them, and their personal issues, not about you
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> great points
<Niharika_> tjc_CareerMentor: Good point.
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<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> the thing to remember is that with those fetishes and habits they can also maintain the status quo (which for some is less women and less diversity) and obviously we don't support that
<myra> tjc_CareerMentor: Awesome quote.
<tjc_CareerMentor> indeed, what EBR_opw_careeradvisor said there about maintaining the status quo is totally true
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> Yeah, we don't need to be radicals, but I think that sometimes (for some of these people who DEFINE themselves by their nerdyness) they feel threatened by any type of change
<tjc_CareerMentor> and trying to deal with that on your own is too hard... it helps to find people to get support from who are coming from where you're coming from, like you can hopefully do with your fellow Outreachy interns/alums
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> and can be worse when faced with change
<tjc_CareerMentor> Another strategy I learned about recently, and this can help with frustration about job searching, or frustration about your project, or anything
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> absolutely, I think that everyone here is always willing to support the rest of the community
<tjc_CareerMentor> is from the book _Wishcraft_ by Barbara Sher
<tjc_CareerMentor> there are two variations on it:
<tjc_CareerMentor> the first one, you can do by yourself; you make a notebook, or a text file, that is just for writing down negative feelings
<tjc_CareerMentor> and then you allow yourself to be negative within the boundaries of that space
<tjc_CareerMentor> so for example, you think of something you don't want to be doing, like sending out cover letters
<tjc_CareerMentor> and you write down, "I don't want to send out cover letters, because I can't, because no one will read them and even if they do they won't like me"
<tjc_CareerMentor> just be as exaggerated as possible. letting yourself be negative can help you find what's really holding you back
<tjc_CareerMentor> (Sher says that usually when you don't feel like you want to do something, it's because there's something you believe you can't do)
<tjc_CareerMentor> the second variation is to do this with a friend and take turns
<tjc_CareerMentor> just tell all your "I don't want to" sentences to your friend, who is not allowed to try to fix your problems or make things positive -- all they're allowed to do is validate, admire your hard work and striving, or share similar experiences
<tjc_CareerMentor> The book explains it better than this, but that's the gist of it
<Niharika_> tjc_CareerMentor: That's a great strategy! I'm gonna try that next time I have negative feelings. 
<tjc_CareerMentor> I literally bought a notebook, printed out a picture of Grumpy Cat, and pasted it to the cover
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> I've heard of the second part-where people have accountability partners
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> maybe we could send around an email to see if anyone on the listserve wants to do a spin off email chain with some of their experiences and validations?
<tjc_CareerMentor> that's a great idea!
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> I'll ask Marina before I send the emails
<tjc_CareerMentor> now I was talking above about negativity not being helpful, but I think where it is helpful is if you allow yourself to feel it, think about where it's really coming from, and put it out there
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> I'm always up to validate people-I know I've needed it in the past
<tjc_CareerMentor> As opposed to the kind of negativity in open source where people's identities are really tied into to their critical opinions of other people and ideas
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> I agree-if you'er just wallowing in negativity, that's bad, but if you're channeling it into something else, that's great
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> Yeah, I've seen it in open source, but there are a lot of industries where that's not only popular but encouraged
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> whereas in open source, it seems that it's just not as discouraged
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> also it's a really introspective thing to think about how you identify
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> and not everyone is into this idea of working on themselves
<tjc_CareerMentor> Yeah. THis is almost a whole other conversation, but "it doesn't have to be this way" is something that gets perceived as dangerous, whether "it" is something personal or something more cultural
<tjc_CareerMentor> it feels easier and safer for a lot of people to keep things the way they are, and that's where you see a lot of resistance to social change
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> yeah, people are afraid of change
<tjc_CareerMentor> both within small communities and on the macro level
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> absolutely
<Niharika_> Agreed. 
<tjc_CareerMentor> it's 10:30 (time flies) but if anyone has any last-minute questions or topics, I'm happy to take them briefly
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> yeah, I can be around for a few more minutes
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<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> also the minutes will go up soon from this chat
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> and I'll talk to Marina about a separate email validation chain
<galgeek> I wonder if you could talk just a little about how to know whether to apply for another internship, or apply for a junior dev job...
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> TJC do you think that you can write up a good summary to explain it to everyone? I can just copy/paste what you've got here
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> galgeek, are you still a student?
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> if so, I recommend internships
<tjc_CareerMentor> EBR_opw_careeradvisor: sure, I can write up a summary and send it to you to look over
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> otherwise I recommend applying to both
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> great, thanks tjc
<galgeek> I'm not still a student, though, of course, I could be!
<tjc_CareerMentor> galgeek: if you're not currently a student I'd recommend applying for a dev job because that lets you make more progress in your career
<tjc_CareerMentor> (and probably pays better)
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> yeah, I'm always a fan of getting paid
<tjc_CareerMentor> internships are ok if the long-term jobs aren't appearing
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> if you were still studying, I've seen people who take on jobs and then their studies (which they pay for!) suffer
<tjc_CareerMentor> I'd also say that if you keep reading job listings and finding everything totally over your head, maybe another internship would help
<tjc_CareerMentor> but be sure to get feedback from other people so you know if you're putting those job listings into perspective (because a lot of them ask for things you can actually learn on the job)
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> yeah, as long as your internship gives you either a) connections or b) you're learning something you didn't know before or c) more experience in exactly what you want to do
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> yeah, ask your mentor as you're applying
<tjc_CareerMentor> Yeah, I keep returning to the theme of "having a connection helps", but if you feel like you have no connections and don't know how to network, doing an internship in a different organization can help
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> absolutely-but as you've said, if you can get paid and network, even better
<Niharika_> EBR_opw_careeradvisor: tjc_CareerMentor: Thank you for the awesome conversation and excellent advice. :) Very helpful. 
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> no problem, thanks to all of you for such a great discussion
<tjc_CareerMentor> paid internships are definitely preferable to unpaid :)
<EBR_opw_careeradvisor> Have a great day/night! 
<galgeek> thank you!
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<tjc_CareerMentor> indeed, have a great rest of your day or night, and talk to you sometime next month :)
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<lizzard_mentor> cheers :)
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<lizzard_mentor> if anyone is still listening, my parallel advice to tjc’s, is, go to local meetups or conferences.   if there aren’t any, start a meetup, and network with your peers
* Niharika_ nods
<lizzard_mentor> by teaching other people what you know you can get to be a more confident speaker
<lizzard_mentor> and by giving talks, you can get into conferences free 
<lizzard_mentor> I have found all that useful, but i had to do it whhile i was working, so it was a lot of extra work
<Niharika_> It's been helpful to me too. And has helped me overcome stage fright to some extent. 
<myra> I think you also get to learn a lot from conferences. A great source of knowledge and awareness. Learnt it the hard way. If only someone had told me this earlier !!
<Niharika_> And a good chance to make connections. 
<myra> Absolutely right. :)
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Outreachy/Meetings/20150317Career (last edited 2015-04-01 17:35:31 by MarinaZ)