I got a new job as a front-end developer in a digital agency. I will be starting on September 1st., and I couldn't be more excited! I'm writing this post to share some information about the company, the hiring process, and why I decided to switch jobs.
The company is called Dwarf, and it's a Danish digital agency with around 50 employees. They specialize in design, development and automation for different clients.
The front-end team consists of 10 people (11 with me!), most of whom have more experience than me. This is a great opportunity to learn from people more senior than me, but who are still pretty young and super passionate about front-end development. I'm gonna be working primarily with Vue, implementing the front-end in various different projects. I will be working closely with developers, designers and project managers, which is another great opportunity to learn and improve my skillset.
The hiring process
Everything began when the CTO added me on LinkedIn. I don't think he necessarily connected with me for this particular job, but I saw that he was working at a company called Dwarf. I recalled having seen the name, so I went to check out their website. It was awesome, and I instantly felt a great vibe surrounding the company. I checked out the available positions, and sure enough, they were looking for a front-end developer. Everything in the job spec matched my profile perfectly, and I was pretty sure this would be a great company to work at.
Before submitting my application, I wrote a short message to the CTO on LinkedIn. I always like to establish some form of personal contact before applying. He was also listed as the person to contact, so I just asked him if they were still searching (despite the pandemic) and that I would be happy to apply. I feel this creates a nice first impression, and helps me stand out when he's reading my application later.
He told me to definitely go ahead, so I submitted my application on the same day. I got called in for a first interview, with the front-end lead developer and a senior developer in the company. The interview was a very informal conversation. It was mostly for me to explain my story and why I was looking for a new job, and for them to explain how the company works. It wasn't very technical, and was honestly pretty chill. At the end, they asked if I'd be willing to do a take-home coding test to move on to the next stage. I accepted, and got the assignment on the next day with 48 hours to complete. I spend about 10-12 hours on it, and felt like I had done a pretty good job.
We reviewed my solution to the assignment in the second interview. They had a few questions and nitpicks, but overall they were very happy. I had implemented all the features in an elegant design, and the code was also well-written. I could answer all of their questions and appreciated the small optimizations they recommended.
A few days later, I heard from the CTO (who had been on vacation and only available through video chat this whole time). He would love to meet me in person, to discuss the contractual elements and for me to meet the CEO. I was obviously super excited by this, but still didn't want to take anything for granted. The conversation ended with him saying they would be in touch within a few days, and almost exactly 24 hours later, I got a phone call - they'd love to offer me the job!
I was actually already working as a front-end developer in a digital agency when applying for Dwarf. So it might seem odd that I would decide to switch to a similar company, but there's a few reasons for that. In my (now old) job, there was only 5 employees, with 1 other developer. This meant that I was often the only developer on a particular project. I am always eager to learn and improve my skill-set, and I find one of the easiest ways to do that through asking questions and mentoring.
I definitely learned a lot by being the sole developer on a lot of projects, as that forced me to always think in solutions. If I didn't solve a technical problem, nobody would. This was great, but I learn a lot faster by collaborating on projects with people that are more experienced than me. That way, they can guide me in the right direction and offer perspective on my ideas - both of which is insanely valuable. By being in such a small company as 1 of only 2 developers, I was missing out on this.
Besides that, I also just feel ready for a new challenge. I've been in my old job for over 1.5 years, and have learned a lot on that time. But now, it feels like the right time to move on to explore new opportunities and a change of scenery. And, as a bonus, a higher salary 😉
I'm super excited to embark on this new journey, meet new people, learn, and create awesome projects. I'm confident that I made the right decision to switch jobs, even if it feels a bit uncomfortable right now. But that's always how it is when you leave something safe for the unknown. You just gotta make the leap.
Thanks for reading! If you're interested, I share a lot of advice for landing your first development job in my book Mastering the Coding Mindset. The book also contains tips & tricks for improving your developer skills, with lots of practical examples from my own experiences.
I'm Mads Brodt — a developer, author, teacher, creator and blogger. To keep up with all of my writing, follow me on Twitter or sign up with your email above 👆