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Getting a Job in Tech

Episode Summary

Susan Greve, Emily Schweiss, and Sarah Cooke chat with us about how to get a job in tech! Everything from figuring out where to apply, how to do the interview, and what to watch out for. YouTube:

Episode Notes


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Main Topic: Getting a Job in Tech

How do you find the right organization for you to join?

Sarah was worried about burnout with a startup, but saw good signs from current employees
Susan: Target had tons of smart people that i could learn from
Emily: Treehouse saw me as an active expert in the community already and supported the causes that i believed in--breaking into tech for disadvantaged communities.
Not being a jerk. And being active in the community
David: jobs for phases of life: getting started, tired of corporate, making a difference and following the dream. I knew people there, and they were super proud to be part of it.

How to make them interested in you?

Emily: Being active in the community, and not being a jerk, sometimes the company will seek you out.
Susan: building a personal brand, being known in the community, and being connected. Being in a community is like interviewing all the time.
Personal brand: blogging, twitter, volunteer for organizations, show off who you are.

You got an interview! Now what?

What to make sure they know?
What you should learn about them?
Sarah: I knew who i was talking to, so I could ask more pointed questions and know what to expect. There was multiple levels of interviews, each with its own focus.
Supportive environment
An evolution of the employee role.
Show all my skills to offer: focus to learn, enthusiasm, and other business skills.
Susan: Come from startup-feel, where people come as their full-selves, and i was worried that that would be “abbreviated” in a bigcorp.
What sucks about this job?
Culture: I want to be on a “product team”. Someone who owns a product and helps us drive it forward.
Culture: building things with humility, avoiding ego.
Emily: Highlight skills you already have from non-tech things and using tech. You probably know a lot about how stuff works.
Be your own gatekeeper -- dont share skills that you dont want to do.
David: How much overtime is worked/expected?
Red Flags-What to look out for
Emily: What’s your favorite part of working here… crickets? Leave
David/Todd: Long hours,
Susan: I don’t want to be the token diversity hire. They need to speak to how this is going to happen.

Negotiating Compensation

Emily: its more than the salary. “ i have a lot of cats to pay for”
Tech companies have lots of other ways to compensate you
Training allowances for conferencs, training, books, that I get to choose.
Time Off, Flex schedule, working from home
Dont be afraid to push back when asked for a number.
Sarah, Have a really specific range, more than your baseline. The range will be a conversation point.
David: Dont be afraid to ask for more once youre in a role.


How can you tell the difference between a LinkedIn/copy-paste-hope recruiter and one that really cares and did their homework?
What are your thoughts on the state of recruitment?
Emily: which people are coming to events and engaging with communities. Meet with a few and understand what you want.
Susan: bad ones don’t know you, understand whats appropriate for your background.



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