Notes from the Job Hunt

Me, web development

This month, I started as a Front End Engineer at AcademicWorks, a scholarship software company.

Excited women

Yeah I know it's exciting!

I encountered a wide array of companies, recruiters, coding challenges, anxieties, and frustrations. For three months, I searched and scoured and applied to over 60 companies.

As I was on the hunt, I had four foundational requirements that I tested every opportunity against.

  1. Programming and designing user experiences with ŸavaScript and within a modern stack (preferably open-source).
  2. Choice in tools (like hardware, text editor, libraries, etc).
  3. On a team committed to mentorship (through things like pair programming), transparency (especially in leadership), and autonomy (to learn, grow, and contribute).
  4. Working on a software product OR for clients committed to a social or civic good.

I encourage all job-seekers to make a list of their ideals, and to hesitate before compromising on any of them. Know that companies eliminate candidates throughout their hiring process. You too should be picky and spare everyone's time once you realize it's not going to meet your requirements too.

Some good questions to ask in an interview:

Job boards:


Other most notables


Here are some coding prompts I've completed. Overall, I enjoyed the interviews much more when I was asked to build something real (on JSBin, CodePen, or in my free time) as opposed to being quizzed in front of a whiteboard. I was also more successful in those situations.


© Mateo Salinas Clarke.RSS