How relevant is my past advice?

Hey All, My name is Jess. I’m looking at trying to be applying for a front end development position by this summer.

I’m feeling good about my progress so far. But I’m considering my resume too.

I currently work as a technical media designer at a publishing company which essentially just means I do the technical in between developer and designer jobs.

I made nearly all of my company’s eBooks in xhtml and css. A while after working on them I was reading some of the iBooks documentation and recommended we make the books more interactive. I used Apple’s iBook framework to add drag and drop elements and turn one of our books into an interacrive hidden picture ebook. And created and embedded videos in 2 of them.
I also made quite a few of them read along (since it’s a children’s publishing company.)

Later I started making their flash games (this is before flash was redundant) and programmed them in Actionscript 3. I also set them up in a way that another designer could easily replace elements without touching the code.
I created interactive coloring pages, a USA state puzzle that required an email be entered before playing, a human skeleton puzzle, a drag and drop ‘dress up’ type game with animated elements, and a US state Quiz.
The company switched all of our devs to Unity and asked if I could use that. All of these had real challenges to them cause they were designed for kids. Things like ‘sticky mouse’ (you click and it holds and item until you click again), when you get something wrong it should go back to the tray, having multiple coloring pages in each project and it has to remember the colors if you go to a new page. The bones were all so close together that figuring out a safe way to check if they were in the right place was a challenge. A little while after that flash started phasing out.

I programmed 2 very rough versions of the bone and state puzzle games in Unity, and then those were handed off to the devs who I’m sure completely redid them.

Then I was moved to the web team where they had me creating rapid protoypes for a new web design using bootstrap (which I had never used before).

The majority of my job is video, audio, image processing, animation and illustration. But all of those past projects were coding.
But I wasn’t sure if they count because they were all kind of simple. And most of them I cant even show off anymore (like the flash games).

I’m also wondering if my experience in video, audio, and graphics/design will be considered a plus for me as a dev?

I know portfolio is king (from my graphics background). But I was hoping the past coding experience in a professional environment might give me a leg up when it comes time to apply? :slight_smile: Thoughts? Or should I just leave it out completely and focus on skills?

I would definitely talk about your past experiences coding. It sounds like you’re still really excited about the work you did, and that goes a long way in interviews. How significant your design experience will be is going to vary from job to job, but it can only help.


Thank you that is helpful :slight_smile: I am still super excited. Every project I faced some really big challenges because unlike the little dabbling I had done before, I had a Quality Assurance team checking my work, and if there was a big bug I had to figure it out without exception, or find a new way to do it where the code wasn’t relevant. So I’m super proud of that stuff. But one of the devs downstairs once rolled his eyes and said it practically doesn’t count as coding because none of it compiles. :confused: Which made me question the validity of those projects.

That guy is a dick.


There’s a reason they stash devs like him downstairs, out of sight and earshot. You have plenty of development chops, and like AL said, I’d say talk about said experience in interviews. It not only shows a lot of flexibility between different environments, but people also like hiring candidates who actually enjoy what they do.


Thank you so much @ArielLeslie and @chuckadams

After hearing that from a professional dev I was really worried if I talked about it in an interview or put it on my resume they would roll their eyes or think I didn’t know that stuff was too small to count or something.
But I really do love doing this. :smiley: and I was really excited to show that I technically had professional experience going in. Sometimes people just throw you off your game momentarily. I’m so glad I asked.

I wouldn’t eyeroll at anyone who could pull off nontrivial code in ActionScript 3. Writing code where nothing can block, without the benefit of async/await, Promises, or any kind of async framework is nothing to sneeze at. From someone who also dabbled in AS3.

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Thanks :slight_smile: that is true I made games like Pong and mazes and a bubble bounce and stuff with no framework or promises or APIs.
I learned to get very creative with if statements and loops. :thinking: That might be seen as an advantage? AS3 looks a lot like javascript.

Just wanted to shout out a huge thank you to everybody!
I saw a web developer internship posted locally. My portfolio isn’t finished yet but I decided it couldnt hurt to apply. I emailed my resume and a few links to projects I made and specifically talked about my work experience which you all said would be a good idea. I told them I would have to work remote/after hours/weekends because of my full time job.
They called me last weekend and told me I stood out because of my experience, and really seemed like somebody who could pivot, and learn on my own. Considering I dont have a finished portfolio/many projects they offered me a (paid) trial to prove myself. They sent me some directions and tonight is my first night on the job! As long as I do good work I will be officially hired on as a remote web dev intern :sunglasses:

I am both super nervous and also super excited!

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Congratulations! You got this.

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