Here's the deal. There's been some interesting talk lately about hiring people, or not hiring them... In the end, its funny to see how hard it is to guage what a person is like, and what they will be like in your company.
To the people who have been shot down, being turned down from a job isn't the end of the world (especially if its a really large company).
Sadly, no one really talks about the failures in their career... I guess it makes sense, you highlight the positive, and hide whats bad. Here's a very big, very transparent write up of my last 5 years (mostly pieced together through my email history).
When looking at what I've accomplished so far, there was a lot of positives, and a lot of negaitves.
Here's my story, based on what I percieved as significant events. Its surprsingly easy to see the moments of stuggle, and the moments of triumph!
2008, Moved out of home. Applied to Universities. Got accepted into QUT (An Australian University, I'm from Australia)
2008, Applied to a about 30 of tech jobs, only heard back from 1... but got the job at Octahedron, which now called swim. What a blessing!
2009, Moved from building test cases to development at Octahedron, Big move for me! These are some of the best people I've ever worked with. I was now building a data conversion system.
2009, Sat and watched as the lead developer rewrote my whole data conversion system. He did an amazing job, I learned a LOT. But wow, it was depressing. Andy, you're the best... definitely still scare me a bit... maybe still do. (Definitely still do) (Sitting with Andy 3 years later, and talking as (almost?) equals really felt great)
- 2010, University. All play, no work. Young love. What a year!
2011, Winner of a 24 hour game making competition, had an awesome team- here is kind of a write up.
2011, Winner of the "most commercially viable game" at QUT - Um, here is the game (its hard to find things). I was involved in about 50% of the development of this, so can't claim all of it. Good feeling though! The other developer is still a great friend, and working at Coffee Stain Studios!
2011, While freelancing for Civiguard, created a small phone app to help people get evacuated from hurricane Irine in NYC ... Its amazing that I live in NYC now. Damn, I worked hard on this.
2011, Stopped working for Civiguard after feeling some serious impostor syndrome (sorry Zubin, Damn imposter syndrom is for real, I still feel bad about this)
2011, I released a tutorial on Codrops. This was the first thing I'd ever written and got paid for... wow.
2011, Something I made on was featured on Chrome Experiments... Seriously, this site was the gold standard. It for real was a goal of mine. Felt great to reach.
2011, Did a bunch of Flash to JS conversions. One got popular on /r/programming ... I'd submitted it myself. I was kinda shameless about promotion, but the feedback was also invaluable. And praise was nice too!
2011, Graduated from QUT with a degree "Bachelor of Games and Interactive Entertainment" Truth be told, it has nothing to do with what I do now. But I learned to learn ~ Thats important!
2012, Job at Qwiki, moved to NYC... this was a big deal. This was them ... A very special thing, is that Hakim reached out to me via twitter about this opportunity. He'd been a massive inspiration of mine. It felt amazing, and I feel so humbled to still be his friend now.
2012, Launched a couple of new Qwiki products.... here was one version. There were a few. We slowly moved from web to mobile. (The days of web based socal media were coming to and end!)
2012, In the midst of a NYC storm, released the useless web ... its seen over 50 million visitors to date. And billions of presses of that button.
2013, started looking at possible other jobs.
2013, Phone interview with FiftyThree... no emails after that. Bummer.
2013, Let go from Qwiki (ouch), they were downsizing, and primary work was done on the app, not the website. They were bought by Yahoo 5 months later. No one ever admits that they were fired. I was embarrased for a long time. I can wear it now.
2013, Interview with Medium, turned down, no reason was really given. I was really into their product and idea. I must have come across very arrogant and young. I was (am?)
2013, Release Zenpen.io, to prove to myself I could have done some of the work done at medium. Learned a lot. It was a very popular open source project for me.
2013, Took job at Wieden Kennedy NYC ... Lets try advertising!
2013, First public talk, Asbury Agile ... Amazingly honoured!
2013, Talk at designers and geeks ... these two events really helped me gain confidence in speaking. Designers and geeks really helped me.
2013, Interview with Spotify, ultimately told I would be bored. I'd have one or two interviews in the future, but was never successful. I believe I was a little too lax during the process, and never really persued the job with 100% enthusuasm (constantly asking what was the status with the recruiters?)
2013, Interview with someone from RapGenius... they never showed up at the place we were meant to meet. I didn't agree to another meeting.
2014, released a nice image viewing library, based on work from the Aquatilis project. Really settling into open source now!
2014, Speak at Asbury Agile again. This time after asking. Such a great group. So much fun.
2014, left Wieden Kennedy NYC, after being given a lot of great opportunities, I never felt like I was able to make a solid dent in the advertising world. Advertising is hard. This company was really trying to embrase it -- All in all, they'll get there, but my patience wasn't enough.
2014, Joined Tumblr, wow, big changes, more product, what a dream!
2014, Spoke at Favela SF... this is without doubt the most creative, fun conference I've spoken at. (no offence to other conferences)
2014, Fixed the tumblr video player ... as part of a team. Was great to be a part of a group that really improved the platform!
2014, One or two interviews with Google creative labs nyc... Literally after meeting with them 3 times, emails just stopped. Recruiters gonne be recruiters right?
2015, Tumblr redesign! ... rarely do you get to change such a big website. I loved the changes. The users hated it (but got used to it!) ... I was personally able to suggest a new logo hover ... its small, but it really worked out great! Props to the tumblr designers for the gifs, and for supporting the idea!
2015, Adding elevator music to scroll to a scroll to top button eclipsed my open source medium editor clone... Who would have guessed?
2015, a whole lot more speaking events ... I've got a lot to share, and a lot of different things to show. Met the most amazing people. Feels amazing to have something to teach and share. Really really happy to share my knowledge and attitude about building with people!
2015, Interview with Duck Duck Go ... this one hurt, I really felt like I could have done a lot. They filled the position with someone internal.
2015, Feels weird to redesign something I love ... But I did! Little github corners.
2015, New job! CodePen. Very dreamy. I'd been using CodePen since literally the first 30 minutes that it came out (I checked). Was tough to leave tumblr, but you have to follow your dreams, right? Right!
- 2016, Now. Wew, what journey. And this was only 4ish years! You can see most of my projects on my website, over that time.
If you feel like its too late to start, you're wrong. You can accomplish so much when you're new and fresh... there's nothing that makes me more annoyed to hear the "I've been programming since 3 years old" story. The web is new, the tech is changing always. You can get up to speed, without doubt!
If you're looking at what I've made, remember this is 4 years into my journey. You'll be at step one, and be able to think and see with eyes so so much fresher and newer than mine! I'm truely excited about what you'll make!