Job Search Update

Since the last post I made, I’ve done a few things as part of being unemployed. Here’s a selection.

I got in touch with a recruiter in Ontario who hires nationally, through a developer friend who lives in Ontario, and based on our conversation, I told the recruiter that I am not as concerned about the technology used or that they match dollar for dollar my previous salary, but rather that I am willing to take a chance with a company & team which is willing to go the extra mile to make their customers and employees happy. I also mentioned that my preferred technology stack at the moment is not PHP & WordPress, but rather full-stack JavaScript, and HTML5 hybrid mobile apps.

I met with a local recruiter, who pretty quickly came to the conclusion that I am probably often misunderstood by people, and offered to me some advice around maneurisms. Simple things like even maintaining eye contact. I asked him a bit about transitioning to a different technology stack, like .NET, and he said that it can be done, but there would initially probably be a salary penalty. I’ll keep it in mind for now.

I went to the orientation for the self-employment program offered by the YMCA-YWCA, where I got the application for joining the program. I think that program looks amazing, and I’ve already filled out the application, just didn’t get a chance to bring it in today, since I didn’t know whether the right person will be in the office, and they didn’t return my voice mail.

I also attended an orientation session at Opportunities for Employment. This is also pretty cool, and I even got a free suit there! Check me out:

dan-suit

Then there was the Ramp up Year Ender last night. Always a great and friendly group of people. I made sure to tell everyone I spoke with that I was unemployed and to keep me in mind for any opportunities they hear about. One person asked me to send them my resume, one asked to set up an appointment to explore what work we can do together, and another to email them my contact info so they can introduce me to people who might be interested in speaking with me. And all around good wishes and kind friends, and that means a lot.

Today I put up a WordPress plugin up on GitHub, and actually got contacted by someone looking for a developer! ( message me if you also wanna be considered for this job, and I will share the ad for the opportunity with you ). The CEO of the company who contacted me seems very cool, based on a video interview I found on-line.

Thanks for reading. Have a good one.

Laid off software developer’s guide to the Winnipeg job search galaxy

I got laid off last Thursday, for the first time in my career. Don’t worry, I’ll be fine. I am sure that this will be a great opportunity to explore career options, and learn from this experience. 🙂

The first thing I did, after being escorted out of the building by the security team, was to go to the EI office on Yorke. Turns out that office moved 2 years ago, so I went to where they moved, the Service Canada location in Portage place and applied for EI.

While applying for EI, I got in touch with my boss at the job I left a month and a half ago. They haven’t yet filled my position, and they will keep me in mind along with other candidates they are considering at this time.

Over the next few days, I’ve been considering my options. I think that my preferred option would be to learn enough creative communication skills ( including graphic design and online marketing  ) to be able to build my own business around offering web & mobile software design & development services.

As part of being unemployed, I got to visit the Manitoba jobs and Skills Development Centre, where they offer a number of services, including help with job search, career consulting, trade apprenticeship, self-employment and education and skills training.

I decided to blog about my job search today. I think I would like to blog each day about my efforts, for several reasons:

  • it might help another laid off software developer in the future, to see what I did when I got laid off
  • it might be good marketing for me to show how I go about getting things done
  • it might be good proof, if proof is needed for EI reasons, that I am trying to get employment
  • it might provide a venue for those who would like to help me, to get in touch and share any info they think might be useful to my job search
  • it might produce positive results which I can’t think of up-front 😉

Thanks for reading. Please get in touch through a comment on this post or contact me in another way. I’d love to hear any information you think might be useful to me, or discuss any questions you want to discuss with me.

Global Day of Code Retreat – host training session notes

Before the event

  • Join host training if possible
  • Find venue
  • Find sponsors: company, friends, other companies
  • Ask friends for their previous sponsors for leads
  • Venue can be sponsored by other sponsors
  • Breakfast and food can be “home made” at the office
  • Coffee and breakfast in morning are nice to have, but lunch most important. No invoices for food to GDCR, all to local sponsors directly from any vendors
  • Announce after party on time, when announcing the event itself

Announcing the event

  • Do it one month before event so people don’t forget.
  • Send reminders a week and a day before
  • Announce at gdcr website, but use your own RSVP tool
  • Add site to global spreadsheet, write how many attendees you will have
  • Make a local spreadsheet with list of attendees. Maybe add columns for people to fill about their experience with various tools of the trade and gdcr experience
  • Announce global sponsors
  • Announce local sponsors, good to get sponsors in the future too
  • Print name tags
  • If you have more than 25 attendees, try to split them, and have 2 facilitators in 2 venues

Day of event

  • Set up the space before people show up
  • Display and make accessible any Swag from sponsors
  • Register people when they show up, show them around
  • Show where the slides will be accessible at a station
  • Coder dojo video – show it
  • Video call with another city, very short, brings excitement to team
  • Take a look at feed of who is doing what in the world
  • Update the live feed with your session
  • At lunch time, show code retreat related videos
  • Slide deck with sponsors, video call with another city. Update spreadsheet with actual
    number of attendees
  • Take photos, take video, share it with gdcr and with social networks
  • Help clean and pack up.
  • Then the after party
  • There will be a host survey to complete
  • There will be a participant survey as well

Links

I’m gonna be at Ladies Learning Code Winnipeg!

Just got this email from the organizers. Looking forward to it. Gonna try to bring my Dad and wife.

Thank you so much for volunteering to mentor for our Intro To HTML and CSS event! Michelle and I are so excited to host the first Ladies Learning Code course in Winnipeg. We are blown away by the enthusiasm of all of the mentors that want to sign up for the event!

The tech industry in Winnipeg is growing and we need to promote Women in technology. Our hope is that this event will create a community of supporters. Which will help introduce programming to other smart, savvy women.

I know you must have a lot of questions about what being a mentor entails. We just need you to be friendly, helpful and supportive while the ladies work through the course material. The session will be lead by an experienced teacher, Christina Truong. You will be assigned to a small group of students to help guide them in the right direction. Who says coding can’t be social? More specific information will be sent out a few days before the event.

We will do a mixer after the event at a nearby restaurant/pub. We hope you can come out so we can get to know you! I’d love to learn about your experience in the tech industry and why you decided to volunteer for LLC.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Michelle and I (reply-all to this email) We are the LLC chapter leads for Winnipeg.

Please help us promote the event to make it a success! We are still have a handful of spots we would like to fill with Ladies Learning. Join the facebook event to stay tuned to the action. Share, tweet, and blog it to all your friends! This is a launch event, so if we are successful we will be able to continue running workshops. This could be the beginning of a great network of brilliant, tech-oriented, women in Winnipeg.

My message to the #SuperMeetup

Here’s the text I read off last night at the SuperMeetup. Cheers!

I believe I have greatly benefitted personally from my involvement in hacker meetups in Winnipeg.

There are several s/w dev’t meetups in Winnipeg, mostly centered around a specific technology such as WordPress, PHP, ruby, js, etc.

To keep us informed about upcoming events, most groups have their own meetup.com account, or a mailing list subscription on their site. Most groups meet once a month. There is usually a presentation by a local developer, pizza & drinks.

This year, I hope to see more collaboration between the various organizer groups, for things even like date collisions, cross technology topics.

I also hope to see more developer involvement, and incentive for involvement, in weekend hackathons. It would be great to get a chance to team up with some devs I don’t get to work with on a daily basis, and work using best practices for a weekend.

I also hope to see more soft-skill topic presentations, so if you would be willing to talk about your passion in front of a programmer audience, we’d love to hear from you.

The next speaker spends a considerable amount of his time helping Winnipeg software developers get better at developing software. Among other things, he organizes events such as the Global Day of Code retreat coming up this November, and regular meetups for various user groups, such as the .NET, Ruby and Agile user groups.

Please join me to welcome Amir Barylko to the stage to share his experience on how to improve team communication and succeed in building software.

2014 Prairie Dev Con’s Free Code Retreat – Registration is open!

I’m very excited to let you all know that registration is open for the code retreat organized by Prairie Dev Con. Go register here.

I always get excited for code retreats. If you have time and want to know more before you sign up, you can read my previous posts about them here and here, or get in touch and I’ll try to convince ya 🙂