Having trouble getting a developer job

Hello friends,

I’m at the point where I’ve finished my front-end certificate, and I’ve started applying for front-end developer jobs. One such application recently yielded some feedback, where they told me that I was “pretty green with Javascript”. During the interview, I had a hard time remembering the exact name of the method used to convert a patterned string into an array of numbers. I was thinking of either “slice” or “splice”, but the one I really wanted was “split”. Furthermore, I also needed to do a “parseInt” after the split to make sure that a “2” came before a “10”.

In my defense, the interview was conducted on a site called “collabedit” where there wasn’t an opportunity to write console.log statements or test anything out, or even just run something to make sure that it gave me the output I was expecting in my head.

When I was working on the apps for my front-end certificate, I recall spending the majority of my time on the app requirements, and not focusing much energy on memorizing which array function did this or which string function did that. I figured that it was better to understand the core concepts of how to code and that remembering syntactical things like that were less important. I also spent a lot of time on the “read-search-ask” method of solving problems, which did not exactly imply that I needed to know anything that specific by heart.

I guess what I’m trying to ask is this: should I actually try to memorize the little things within Javascript, or just continue to solve the problems in front of me? Or, do other companies actually care about those minor details during an interview?


Knowing the difference between slice, splice and split is not a minor detail - companies do not test rote memory - they want to gauge familiarity - they want to measure depth and breadth of knowledge - they want to see how fast a person can write good code to solve problems - if you have solved enough problems with strings and arrays in javascript you would just naturally know all commonly used methods, their syntax and semantics


Understanding the core concepts is very valuable and you should definitely keep doing that in whatever skill you learn. But I suggest you keep on solving javascript problems. Either join codewars or do some of the advanced algorithms again without looking at your older solutions.

Not knowing how to split a string is not a minor detail, but basic knowledge that you will need on the job. You won’t have to know all the obscure methods, but the most used methods, yes, you should know them by heart. Don’t memorize them, practice using them, it is a much better way to make it stick in your brain.

Once you got more practice, you won’t have problems remembering the right method.Good luck!


Im at the point you are… but something Ive been trying to do is head on HackerRank and CodingGames to solve some problems. Your post helped me see an added benefit to this, is practicing in a different environment than just FCC.

I think you did know the difference, you said you realized that you needed split…just sounds like you chocked when put on the spot. Which does happen, and interviewing in itself is a whole other thing to practice for and learn too… I think its not so much a matter of you dont know your stuff, as that you werent prepared for the process. Nothing to even feel bad about really…it was a learning experience.

Its awesome actually that they even gave you feedback, so you arent left wondering why…you know why, use that info to help you do better on the next interview… Keep practicing algos, CodingGames does make it a lot of fun and will help make the basics stick in your mind a lot more so that it wont slip away from you when you need it most.

On the brighter side…congrats on even getting to the interview! It means you’re on the right track… :smiley:

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No offense intended at all, but the word “split” and “splice” have opposite meanings, and going away from the subject of programming for a moment, you should understand the difference between their definitions. Split means to split apart, or separate. Splice means to put together or join. So feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but the fact that you didn’t recall which method to use probably means that you weren’t very familiar with what the words mean.

Because once you understand what the words mean, recalling which method to use should literally be a no-brainer. .split() to split an array into its constituent elements. .splice() to join elements together to form an array.

Also, if you were unable to answer a question related to either split() or splice(), I’d encourage you to do more hands-on programming and play around with arrays in particular. Once you understand how arrays work, a lot should fall into place because arrays are found everywhere in computing. And arrays are a subject that you should know extremely well to be successful in any kind of developer job.


Actually .split() creates an array from a string and is not used for splitting an array.


When I was 12 I was part of some event at my school, and I chose to recite Maya Angelous, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings in front of my entire school. I practiced the heck out of it…I knew it top to bottom, left to right…so nervous Id stumble, forget something. For about a month, I lived and breathed this poem.

Day of the assembly, my turn to go up…Im feeling good…ive got this!!! Walked on stage, all I had to do was give my name, the name of the poem, and begin. And then it happened…

“My name is…” …

and for the life of me, I could not remember my name. No clue. I just froze, stared at my whole school, who were staring back at me…then some kids started laughing…and me, just there frozen. This girl at the corner of the stage whispered something to me…and im thinking…what is she saying? What?! And then it hit me…she was saying “Candice! Say Candice!!!” At which point I excitedly said “YES! Im Candice!!!” at which point anyone who wasnt laughing before, sure was laughing now. That was literally the hardest part of it all… Of course I knew my name…I just choked, hard.

And so you know, I ended up doing a bang up job, a teacher suggested I look into oration, and I ended up in oratorical competitions. But if I ran off the stage and beat myself up…or let the laughter of those kids affect me and let them beat me up over me not knowing something so simple and obvious, my views on public speaking would be very different today.

So…enough with the beating up…you know where you went wrong, you’re never going to reach a point where you will be perfect, always know exactly what to do, and get your code right the first time every time. The best you can do is acknowledge how you can improve, work on that and move on. And btw, all these years later, whenever Im nervous about something…whether its an interview or a first date, I still in my head think to myself, “Candice! You’re Candice!” cause I figure, if I can at least manage not to be so nervous I forget my name, Ill be alright lol


Indeed, but I was speaking in general and not particularly in the case of JavaScript to try to explain splitting conceptually, instead of the specifics as to how .split() works in JavaScript, which is on strings of course and not arrays per se. As conceptually, the “string” that .split() takes as a parameter parallels an array in a sense. Splitting vs splicing = separating (one object becomes an array of objects) vs joining (an array of objects becomes one object).

Well, assuming that helps anyone anyway. :wink: The point I simply wanted to make is that the words have opposite meanings and the functions have correspondingly opposite effects.

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It is mildly amusing to discuss names and terms from a programming language - just don’t get too caught up in this - the words were made up by one or few persons - they can be really meaningful or quite arbitrary or whimsical

in the end it is what it is - the bottom line is each name serves a real purpose - what’s essential is its purpose and various applications to problem-solving - this simply cannot be read and memorized

one has to be introduced to a few problems that make use of a certain function or feature of the language - you go back and forth between the docs and your code - writing, reading, testing, fixing - maybe a few times - maybe a hundred times - this is the process - there’s no shortcut

It’s okay to make interview mistakes. Making mistakes helps us to learn. It doesn’t feel good when it happens, but next time around, you won’t make the same mistake. (Probably.) I’ve made similar mistakes and had interviewers say similar things. I’ve had interviews where I’ve made mistakes but still been hired. Hang in there. Often it’s all about timing with companies. Are they really ready to hire? Do they really need to fill this position? How many people applied for the same job? You can’t know these things. Just keep trying, and you’ll find a job. It took me six weeks this summer, it was agonizing, and I have 2+ years of experience in development.

@cndragn you likely hit it on the head: I probably choked on the name…I knew what I wanted to do and I knew there was a basic array method that did it…just blanked on the name of it.

@W8sconsin I wish it were that simple. My current job is becoming harder and harder to sustain, and I have a family to provide for, so at some point “no” and “keep trying” are not going to cut it. I’m definitely feeling the pressure, which most likely contributed to the choke.

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Believe me, you are not alone… From all that I read here, and the sense of urgency in job search…a lot of people have a lot on the line in pursuing this as a career path. Everything’s on me, I have a kid in college, a dog with fleas lol (poor thing) and Ive been out of work for a couple months now. Some days Im like…Ive got this, its going to be okay, and other days Im just straight up panicked. Im trying to stay focused though… I may be short on money, but I have tons of determination and tenacity…

Anyway, Quincy just put out an email with some links to interesting artcles today…one of them led me to find this…you may find it interesting…

https://interviewing.io/ - “Become awesome at interviews, get fast-tracked at amazing companies, and land your next job, all in one place.”

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I recently got my first “real” developer job. Previously, I worked QA at a small company and taught myself programming on the side. When I was laid off from that job, I decided to pursue a full time programming job and not take no for an answer.

Here are some strategies I used when trying to get my job:

  1. Work really hard on your resume. Don’t lie, but don’t talk yourself down either.
  2. Don’t stop programming. Constantly build new projects while you are applying and interviewing. Try to split your time between algorithm/ language knowledge and actual projects.
  3. Keep a spreadsheet of all your job applications. Track the status of your applications and whether or not you’ve received contact.
  4. Take excellent notes when you have an interview. If you bomb an interview, or get any feedback at all, use those notes to study the questions you missed, so that you can get them right the next time.

I absolutely bombed my first interview, had a shaky second interview, and nailed the third, which got me a cool Python programming job.
Don’t ever give up, you can do it. A lot of what determines your success is persistence and tenacity. If you keep learning every time you bomb an interview, eventually you’ll succeed.

Good luck!


There are many resources out there to help you prepare for dev interviews. Here’s one: https://www.codeschool.com/blog/2015/12/01/5-ways-practice-coding-interview/

It lists five ways to prepare. And you’ve already done one of them, to keep a log, i.e. write down any mistakes that you make! Maybe try practicing using the “whiteboard interview” technique?

I’ve found this web article to be pretty helpful with the kinds of things to expect in the interviewing process:


hehe thanks dude,
you just have given me my winter break prep schedule

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