Awesome job offer. Am I too lucky?

Awesome job offer. Am I too lucky?
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#1

Hi guys,

I could use some advice / opinions:

I have recently been invited to an interview for a Node developer role. The interview went well and I was made an offer on the spot, with good money and exciting upcoming projects to work on.
I know it sounds amazing, but hold on, it gets worse:

After a day of pondering the whole thing, I withdrew my application and I get to my reasons in a moment. Now, I have gotten calls from two different people there trying to do their darndest to convince me otherwise and get me to join and I am all twisted inside now…

So let me tell you why I have such a problem here:
I am a pretty good interviewer. I apparently come across as likeable and enthusiastic and knowledge on most occasions. In this interview, I was able to talk my way through all things Node, because I read a lot! I watch youtube conference speeches and tutorials, I read articles, I run through tutorials on everything I can find. So I know a lot, and it makes me sound like a good investment, I’m sure.

But! I have very little hands-on experience actually implementing real-world projects!
I can write a quick web server with Express, I even have done one or two (small) GraphQL experiments with a SQL backend and can put together a basic Metor.js app with React components.
But never have I delivered a single project into Production, nor am I the greatest at algorithmic thinking (some of the FCC challenges seem insurmountable to me or take me days to figure out etc.).
So I have the distinct feeling that I am being overestimated based on my witty CV and a single interview in which I did not have to write any code.

I also have a suspicion that they just had trouble finding the right guy before and are running out of time for a big project they are starting soon. And they actually have some basic Node knowledge in the team (my impression was that it was at least on the same level I have, perhaps better), but they want a Node expert to come in to take the team into the Node.js and Microservices world.

And I keep pointing out that I don’t have full-time development experience, and don’t think I could fulfill the senior developer role they recruit me for.

And yet… they are very adamant that they want me to rethink and join. I’ve just had a call with one of their senior devs who explained to me that they would be happy to build me up over the next 6 months and I shouldn’t feel too intimidated by their (extremely impressive) existing team, consisting of Java masters and Phd physicists (I mean, really?).

It’s a problem many want to have, I’m sure. But I don’t want to risk being let go again 6 months down the line because I haven’t brought them the value they expected me to bring.

What do you guys think? What the heck should I do?


#2

Join. How will you get experience without…well…taking a job to get you experience? They want to help you - they like you that much. Seriously, if you pass this up and don’t even try, you’ll kick yourself for the rest of your life. Trust me - I’ve been in IT for decades, and when something doesn’t work out, it’s OK, there’s always something else. When something does work out, it’s AWESOME! Give yourself a chance to see if this is AWESOME!

Please, keep us up to date!


#3

You should accept. Even if you were more experienced you would have to learn something new. Don’t be too modest, give yourself the chance to show them that they are right! :wink: And if it goes bad at least you learnt something and have an experience to talk about.


#4

I would 100% accept if you are truly interested. You’ve been upfront about your experience levels, and they still want you on their team, including allowing you six months to build up a comfort level. If you want to be in this field and working with Node, this sounds like the perfect fit. If you like them, they sure sound like they want you.


#5

I guess you’re all right. I have indeed tried my utmost to be as honest as I can about my limited experience.
Maybe I need to give them more credit and accept that they aren’t idiots and probably by now know what they might get into with me.

Thanks for your responses, guys…
I think what I’m going to try is visit their office again, chat informally with the team (they are a tiny outfit of less than 20 people) and see if we can clear up any misconceptions on either side.


#6

Definitely do it. In my last job the boss asked for so many different things. I didn’t know if I could do everything she was asking for. But I took the job because I needed the money! And lo and behold - not only did I rise - but I out performed - receiving much praise. I am so thankful for the experience. You know more than you think and you can always learn - and even if at the end of it all it doesn’t work out - you will still be miles ahead of where you are now! I hope this helps. I was scared - but now I have new confidence in my abilities!


#7

I think you should get the job offered, at least now you have plenty of choice. This way you can choose and pick according to culture. In my opinion the culture of the team is most important since you are going to spend most of your work life and indeed most of your actual life with your team day in and day out. If you like the team members and their work-life balance, you will be really happy and you will learn a lot.

I also think that you will make a good developer if a lot of employers deem you to be a good candidate. I think a few people may make mistakes in their judgement but not the greater mass of people altogether. Mostly, I believe strongly that your interpersonal skills make you great for the job as you will adapt quickly to the new environment and technology. They will teach you and you will learn fast. They rather prefer someone who learns fast, especially for more established companies who can afford time and training for new employees. For startups, yes, they don’t usually have the time and money to support this. But I guess your offers come from more established ones?

Please don’t reject a present to you, since you never know what would have happened if you have opened it. I suggest that you go through a few more interviews and get the “right” company for you. I guess the right company would be the one that you may wish to start yourself if you were the founder. Those people in your team, are those you would personally hire if you were the boss. Those tech stack they are using are those that you would pick if you had the choice. Now is the time to learn hands-on experiences which you are lacking.


#8

Unless the environment and/or the people in it are toxic then I would definitely accept this offer. I can definitely understand your discomfort though, so consider this…

“Press” them to gain a clear understanding of the plan/roadmap of your learning objectives over these first 6+ months (if not also beyond). Understand who will be your mentor(s) and exactly what will be expected of you.

Also, make it clear that while you are a self-starter, and a quick-study; that does not mean that you don’t have high expectations of them to aid in your professional development. Any mentor relationship needs bi-directional or it’s worthless to all involved.

Lastly, you want to completely understand (and hopefully agree with) how your are going to be measured/evaluated while in your role. At the end of each of the first 4-6 weeks, have a conversation with your mentor or lead on your performance and perceived value within the team/organization. If all is going well at that point, formally check-in on a monthly basis to have the same conversation. These conversations can be casual, but definitely not flippant. You want to know exactly how you are performing against your objectives.

Be 100% proactively invested in your own success, because no one else ever will be.


#10

This is really great advice, thank you!
Semi-formalizing expectations and objectives and regularly reviewing against them, makes total sense. Standard corporate performance management really, I just didn’t think of it this way.

Good stuff, thanks!


#11

Trust your instincts. If you feel deep down that this job is perfect for you and that you’re confident that you have something to contribute and can add some value, then go for it. If you still have a lot of doubts and anxiety about the role then it’s your body’s internal compass warning you that something is off. Sometimes a job looks great on paper, i.e. the salary, perks etc. but at the end of the day trust your inner voice and it will guide you in the right direction.

A year ago, I was in a similar position. I was offered a job at a company that looked great on paper. Great salary and perks. But something seemed off about the culture and I wasn’t completely confident that I would enjoy working there or that I was qualified enough so I turned the offer down. They refused to take no for an answer and called me to convince me that I was right for the job and offered me more money. My friends and family all told me to go for it, but my instincts kept telling me otherwise. Eventually I accepted.

Fast forward a year later, and turns out my instincts were right, not only was I way in over my head due to not being completely qualified, but I didn’t like working there due to the culture and hated going in to work every day and I eventually left.

In spite of all this, I did learn a lot on the job and more importantly, I have learned to trust my instincts and my inner GPS.


#12

Pardon my language, but following is my advice:
"Shut up and join them". That is the only way you both can find out whether that ‘was’ the right thing to do. Besides know that you don’t know what you don’t know. The grass may be much greener on the other side than you are thinking otherwise (meaning, the job may turn out to be not at all as difficult as you are thinking and also you may not be as dumb as you are thinking now compared with them. Gosh, couldn’t believe what you were trying to say when I read your question in the beginning. But I get it. Cheers. And do share your story back on the forum once you join. I am sure that would be a much better post to share with us all :slight_smile:


#13

Take the job, you will not learn If you don’t. This job is what will make all of the points connect that you have pulled from reading, and listening. You need to make it your mission to work as hard as possible to understand this material. My job did it to me and I am a much better programmer today because I was thrown in the fire of it all(I didn’t know what the hell I was doing).


#14

hey man!

firstly, congratulations on the job offer. i would love to be in your position.

Not because of the salary or the perks, but the fact that they understand your position, and are offering to handhold you for 6months to get u up to speed!

I think the fact that you are second guessing and anxious about doing a great job is a good thing. Let it drive you rather than keep you from reaching your potential.

Congratulations again!


#15

batjko sounds like your from my neck of the woods(“West” Balcans) but even if your not, never mind. Looks like you have some imposter syndrome issues. I hope I’m not right, but just in case checkout Chris Hawkes on You Tube. Many people who get in same situation like you start thinking they don’t deserve the position, or whatever they worked hard for.


#16

Thanks everybody. I’m feeling a lot more positive about this by now, thanks to your advice, and that of everybody else I talked to.

So I’ve asked them to give me a coding challenge, which they did, and I managed to provide a good solution as well, I think. I’ll hear back from them either tomorrow or Tuesday, and based on their feedback, if they’ll still have me, I’ll take it.

Either way, what this taught me is that the coding tests employers give you are not just useful for them, but also for you as the prospective candidate. Based on the coding test they gave me, I now know the level of expertise they are expecting from me, which wasn’t clear to me at all before.
I don’t know yet if they like my solution, but just the fact that I was able to provide a working solution at all, means I’m probably not being thrown to the wolves when I start there.

And yes, I do have a fair impostor syndrome going on, always did. But this is a situation, where my doubts were probably still justified, given that I had nothing to compare this to. I’ve been in the industry for over a decade now, but never as a full time developer, so simply not knowing what people expect from you, can be quite debilitating.

Anyway… fingers crossed, all goes well next week.

Btw, in case you’re interested: The coding challenge they gave me asked for a Node app that continuously polls an FTP server, downloads new csv files, then transforms the data into JSON and adds it to a master json file.
And I was supposed to use the Seneca microservice library to do it.

Basically, they wanted to see if I could figure shit out that I am certainly not familiar with, which is a great way to see if a candidate can be resourceful enough to learn quickly.
I also appreciated that the task was focused on getting a useful tool together, rather than some random complex algorithm, which is what most employers seem to ask for.


#17

What the hell! I have been trying to get a job and can’t get any proposals. I think that you should have accepted it. I would give anything for a chance.


#18

I agree! I would give anything for that kind of job opportunity!


#19

I definitely understand your hesitation. Being set up to fail is a nightmare. But it does sound like you know what you’re doing. All tech companies wants senior developers, but there aren’t enough to go around. So you’re it for these guys, and they want you. And you can do it!

Web development isn’t “rocket science” (that seems like a stupid way to put it cause I’m pretty sure you can figure rocket science out too). You can figure out all the JS you need to, and the team at the company can help you do it. You’re only going up from here! It’s an adventure so don’t forget to have fun on the ride.


#20

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impostor_syndrome


#21

My two cents accept. It sounds to me like your being under-confident in what you know.