My long document on my advice on getting a job

For those of you following my saga, I’m about 4.5 months into my first web dev job (at 49!) and am loving it. I have been posting on what I’ve learned along the way. I love sharing what I’ve learned along the way and promised a document that lists what I think is useful to getting a job.

This is not a perfect document and it is just my opinion. If you find any errors or have suggestions, please drop me a line. A permanent copy resides here.

I don’t claim this to be the best advice. There are a lot of things like this on the web. Some may be better than mine. You can look for others. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

[EDIT: Due to a few people vocally complaining about a few PG-13 jokes, the text of the article has been removed. You can still find it on my repo, linked above. I disagree with this overly sensitive overreaction to a joke that could easily be on a prime time TV show, but it’s not worth fighting over - I’d rather spend my time discussing coding.]


Thanks for the confidence booster! I am 53 and hanging in there. I too am a musician and appreciate your story. Great luck on everything. Are you on linkedin?

Best, Dave


Yes, I should be easy to find as Kevin Smith or kevinsmithwebdev.

Man the amount of effort you put into this along with all the information is priceless!!

I love how real this is, I have to be honest seeing all of the “I got a developer job in 3 months” posts always seemed a little fishy. If they aren’t they never truly inspired me, they just usually make me feel inadequate haha

Thanks for this Kevin!

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Thanks for this, Kevin. Like your previous posts, it’s helpful and realistic but ultimately encouraging. I hope doing long distance isn’t too bad.

Thank you for this, it boosted my confidence a little after it got pretty shattered when I got my fastest-ever rejection today (sent application at 9am, got rejection email at 4pm - not even a phone interview invite :disappointed: )

I only just started applying again, very tentatively, after nearly two years after my graduation (CS degree at the Open Uni in UK), but having read your post I need to do a lot more (own website, portfolio projects) before I send out applications again.

Also, congratulations on getting your first developer job (I’m 46 so we’re in a similar age group and it gives me hope :smiley: )

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Not finished reading yet, but I will, trust me!
First, congrats!!! :clap::clap::clap:
Second: thanks (like THANKS) for the inspiration. I’m 49, turning 50 in June, and I really hope I’ll make it and land a webdev job this year.
Reading your story makes me optimistic.
Well done! :+1:

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Your analogy about a man accosting a woman on the street is disgusting and you should be ashamed of yourself. That’s the not attitude anybody needs, and we need less of it tech.


Agreed that the “great joke” is gross. @KevinSmith: Rather than hoping you feel ashamed, I hope you remove the joke as well as the "" example. I appreciate your sharing your story with the community but women are here to learn, not be objectified.


I would remove the parenthetical remark (in addition to the remarks already mentioned). Not shaming you here, but the suit in your profile pic says you are wanting to come across as professional, and you’d like people to take you seriously (maybe, maybe not?), and that remark is not professional. Thank you for the candid story/advice, though.


I thank you for your concerns but I have my own idea of what professionalism and having been a professional for 30 years, I feel comfortable with it. I make a distinction between my professional life and non-work discussions among peers. I would not speak like this in a work memo, but most of us speak in a different register when not in the office. And to be honest, I’ve heard much worse than this in the office. Much worse.

I find the joke, maybe a little NSFW, but also not particularly bad. I don’t think asking someone to have sex is a crime. In that context, a little crude, but not a crime. Ironically, the female in that joke is the one actually committing a crime.

If you don’t like my sense of humor, then you have my sympathies. You are also welcome to not read what I write. I don’t mean that to come of with hostility - I mean that sincerely: if you don’t like what I write, you are welcome to read something else. I’m sure there are things that you enjoy reading that would not be my cup of tea.


What do you gain by alienating a large part of your audience? You think nobody should indicate a disability on their resume (many employers actually ask about this), and you have all kinds of advice about self-presentation, but a little pushback on your random sexist coder bro nonsense and you actually defend that. :thinking: The teenage boy “humour” kills your credibility. And so does the gauntlet of applications and interviews you went through just to get a job in a rural area that separates you from your wife by 1,000 miles. Or maybe that explains everything.


I’m all for going against the trend of being super politically correct. If you don’t like it then the post isn’t for you. I’m sick and tired of people having to tip toe on egg shells so as not to offend the newer generations.


I’m 45. Blatant sexism in a professional context wasn’t OK when I was 25 either, and I’m pretty sure people in their 50s and 60s in the workplace don’t think it’s OK or ever has been. There’s no “trend” and it’s not “political correctness.” You don’t talk about women or any group like they’re objects or the butt of jokes and not actual people who are present in the room.


This isn’t an appropriate place to argue gender politics or post “me too” movement politics. You’ve made your point. Many of us disagree. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. This isn’t a work place, it is a public forum. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. Nothing I’ve written is a violation of FCC TOU. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. Clearly I have a very different experience of what is OK and not OK in the workplace and have a very different judgement of the “sexism” of that silly little joke. I’ve been involved in after hours Cards Against Humanity games at work. I have a very different work experience than you. And, again, this is not the workplace. And again, if you don’t like it, don’t read it. I’ve actually used that exact joke several time in this forum to illustrate that exact point. And again, if you don’t like it, don’t read it. Move on. Get on with your lives. Accept that there are people that disagree with you. And if you don’t like it, don’t read it.


I have a suggestion for the email address: :rofl::rofl::rofl:

As for the joke example, I think it’s superfluous and the document can stand on its own even without it.

Thanks for the writeup!


Indeed, you are correct. I’m not suggesting that what you posted was acceptable or not. However, I’d be cautious as to what to post on a public forum about topics related coding. Posting stuff on social media that could be seen as offensive by some could undo a person’s career or get them out of a job or receive a warning. After all, what you write online, especially if it can be linked to or viewed by and employer, could influence a potential client’s decision to work with the company or the employer’s to keep you there. With the push towards more political correctness, companies may distance themselves from employees who post content that could offend people.

I sometimes get fed up with those ‘movements’ and SJWs, but as they seem to have the power to force people to remove products or change policies, it may be wise to not fan the flames.

Another point is what happens if you want to change employer, and the potential employer looks here (your resume shows FCC) and sees that joke on this public forum? It could be overlooked or taken as a problem.

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There were 33.5 billion visits to pornhub in 2018.
And you are talking guys about bad jokes and boobs@email.
These days it’s so popular to blame others for everything.

Thank you @kevinSmith for the great article. I like it, I will read more from you.


Although I appreciate the support, let’s not start insulting each other. (Other than the insults lobbed at me, of course.)


I read some books by Brene Brown who researches shame, and she mentions that shaming people like you’ve done here ‘you should be ashamed’ == ‘shame on you’, actually correlates with people doing the thing they’ve been shamed for even more. Instead you could just be courageous and tell him how his actions make you feel.

Regardless of whether I agree with you, I feel pretty indignant by anyone shaming others. It just spreads the pain around, and it also makes me sad. The people shamed most are children, and this is why the cycle continues.