Paradox: I am both very experienced and yet very inexperienced.
I used to be specialist in IBM mainframe ap development. But then I became the Mainframe department's "cheat," if you will, to get around having to use the company's legit distributed development teams to create a few distributed apps to supported their own, internal work (the mainframe department's work, that is) In other words, "non-client-facing" apps. And I was a lone resource off on these "special projects," so networking and collaborating with teammates wasn't a thing, and networking and collaborating with senior folks throughout the organization, those who who could offer tips and pointers as to the "legit" or "normal" way to do things, was very hard to come by. Politics. Both mainframe vs. distributed and USA vs India.
A small taste of my current skill set, as a result of the above:
- 4 years of idiosyncratic Java/Spring development
- 2 years of idiosyncratic VB5 (desktop app) maintenance
- Piecemeal experience in what I call "normal" distributed development tech (i.e. CI/CA, git, maven, docker)
So, despite decades of Enterprise level experience in titanic Fortune 100 companies, I find myself as a generalist with very light experience in a whole slew of the more recent technologies. But I want to work in a real distributed environment. Like: actual stories, actual kanban boards. Peer review. Test driven development.
Am I Full Stack?
- Yes. I know design from normalization and Stored Procedures up through using nvm > npm > Node.js > latest CSS3 features (web workers, too)
- No. With the exception of DB2, I couldn't pass a Senior level tech in any one of the technologies involved. How do I know? I have been absolutely annihilated in the first three FS tech interviews I submitted to -- annihilated thoroughly enough that "just study more and keep trying" doesn't seem like an honest selling of myself as a resource -- feels like "faking." What those techs showed me, quite clearly, was -- gee, what an oddball, isolated corner of the I.T. universe I have been living in for the past 8 years!
How should I position myself as resource in a job search to eventually become a "normal" Full Stack developer? Should I hold off on calling myself a Full Stack developer and sell myself as a Jr. dev in one of the FS technologies? Sell myself as primarily an architect that wants to back-fill with actual development work? Give up on giant companies and go for medium? Small? Any and all ideas welcome. I'm asking here because my own brainstorming sessions are coming up short.