Years of Experience in Language/Framework X

One of the many companies I applied to recently is looking for a Node.js developer with 7 years experience. The 0.10.x releases came out 2013-2015. Seven years ago version 0.12 was released. I have 2 years of professional development in Node.js, meaning that I wrote Node services at a company that went into production. The recruiter turned me down after a conversation, citing the startup is looking for 8 years of experience (she added a year from what the job posting said). 5 years ago, I wanted a Node.js job and there were zero jobs in Tucson where I live and a handful of Node.js remote jobs. I ended taking a .NET job because that’s what was available.

My question is, do they really want to fill this position?

Usually the “years of experience” thing is done primarily to give a gauge about what they’d actually accept for the position. Often the person a company is looking for doesn’t exist, or is already working some other job for big money.

Most companies would rather have no one fill a position than have the wrong person fill it. Its one thing to have problems now, its another to have someone wrong for their jobs and creating more problems.

On the flip side, if the requirements to fill that position are too strict, that in itself might be a red-flag to potential job applicants. A companie’s reasoning for their requirements could range from not actually knowing what they are looking for, to not actually understanding what they need for the position, or even something as extreme as not understanding their own problems well enough and needing someone with “enough experience” to fix their pre-existing mess.

So the company can either afford to be strict, or the company needs to be strict. Regardless there is nothing you can do besides learn from the experience as much as you can, and move onto the next one.

Good luck, keep learning, keep building :+1:


I understand that the company doesn’t want a developer coming in and creating a mess. I would think that especially if the company is a startup, time is money. They are burning through VC with no profit revenue. Maybe this one really is looking for that needle-in-the-haystack and will soon have to lower their expectations.

Often the person a company is looking for doesn’t exist, or is already working some other job for big money.

Okay, so that means a certain % of jobs on a site like aren’t real, and often time these jobs list high salaries. Hopefully sites that publish job stats are finding a way to filter these.

I definitely will keep learning and building, and I want just say thanks to Freecodecamp because I still use it after landing my first job 6 years ago. The articles are awesome, the content is awesome.

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You’re probably right, they might not be able to find the person they are looking for. Or they invest more to make the position more enticing, while keeping their expectations just as high to match that “big money” I’m already talking about.

Most startups usually bet on building for exponential growth, not immediate profit revenue. This can only occur if conditions are right. Which is why most startups fail, because if you end up with the wrong starting conditions, you will run out of cash.

This could lead to startups “seeking” exceptional individuals to help them find exponential growth conditions. Hence their stricter requirements. Again, this could fall into the “we need an experienced individual to fix our mess”.

In other situations a startup might of already found those starting conditions and end up in a situation where they need help, in these situations startups usually become more lenient. As with many things in life, it’s all about timing and luck.

When I said “this person doesn’t exist” I wanted to describe impossible job requirements, like 40 years of nodejs experience, or more reasonably, a job post that asks for a lot of experience, but pays lows. No reasonable person would take a lower offer when the competition pays better, hence “the person who’d meet the requirements and apply doesn’t exist”. The company could change the job posting to entice those with that experience, or continue to wait and see if they get lucky.

I’m glad you’re still around and enjoy the community and content :smiley:

It’s possible that this is the result of some miscommunication between the engineering manager and HR/the recruiter.

How I tend to interpret that sort of thing is that they want a senior developer with about 7 years of experience who is already proficient in Node - as opposed to someone with 7+ years of experience using Node.

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