On Friday, May 13th I held a live webinar for DZone in an "Ask Me Anything" format, where DZone readers were able to ask questions in a chat window and I provided improvised answers via webcam (video below). I enjoy this type of live Q&A interaction as it forces me to give rapid fire responses (I talk fast) without the benefit of forethought, which tends to result in a great deal of transparency that is helpful to listeners. In these situations, I may be more apt to provide answers that job seekers need to hear rather than what they might want to hear.
If the demand from our audience is there, I hope to continue doing these events on a regular basis—perhaps even monthly or quarterly if people are interested. Let us know if you'd like to see more events like this in the comments.
Here were some topics that were mentioned, and some quick thoughts.
Job seekers often struggle to understand the behavior of recruiters, and based on some of the anecdotes shared about recruiters I struggle with this as well. The volume of questions about recruiters might have been related to how we advertised the webinar ("Rant at a Recruiter"), but over the years, I've found that recruiter behavior remains a mystery that can even be tough for experienced recruiters like myself to explain. Developing an understanding of the recruiting business model and thinking about what incentives are built into these systems may help predict or explain behavior.
Even as developers are given an ever-expanding number of ways to show themselves to hiring companies (LinkedIn, GitHub, portfolios, apps, etc.), the resume remains the primary method and continues to be a flawed one. Getting a resume noticed isn't too complex once you understand your reader.
This is a concern voiced by many, and these days it's not uncommon to hear fears of ageism coming from technologists in their 30's and 40's. Ageism is often tied into skills relevance and marketability, and rejected candidates can often cite ageism where relevance may be more of an issue.
There is a wide range of opinions on what is fair and what isn't. Companies are all different, so interviews and formats are not likely to be 'one size fits all.' More experienced developers tend to be concerned with the possibility of being asked about what they consider mostly academic CS concepts that are not as fresh in their minds.