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I'm currently interviewing for a web development job and so far every interviewer has asked to see my side projects/code samples. That's definitely a great thing !

At my current job (4y) I've been around a few languages/frameworks none of which were familiar to me when I took on the projects, but since our code isn't hosted as a service no one can actually see what the work looks like. I'm fairly confident I can work the "same" job on a new stack so I've also applied to jobs where on paper I don't have the experience they're asking for.

I can see how most of that looks like risk and unverifiable skills to potential employers, so I have a couple of side projects on Github. I spend a lot of time at my regular job which means I don't have a project for every language I plan to apply for and the ones I have tend to be technically simple.

I've thought about proposing to give me a sort of take home project as a test or to take me on for a trial period, but it comes across more desperate than confident.

How else can I convince an interviewer that I can learn to use their stack as I go ?

  • Do you do web development now? – paparazzo Jun 27 '15 at 15:53
  • @Blam yes that's what I'm doing for my current employer – user29654 Jun 27 '15 at 15:55
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How else can I convince an interviewer that I can learn to use their stack as I go?

You need to indicate examples of where you have quickly learned new technology stacks in the past.

Something like "In my current job, it was necessary to pick up X. I dug in and was productive within a week." Or "In the past year, I've taught myself A, B, and C such that I was able to develop new websites in all three technologies efficiently."

Then, you speak about how the technologies they are looking for won't be a different kind of challenge from those you have already tackled. This works particularly well for new technologies that you know are directly related to technologies you have already mastered.

Ideally, you'll be able to back these claims up with some great references who would vouch for your terrific learning abilities.

It won't always work. Some companies want you to come in with all the relevant knowledge, and don't want you to learn on their dime. But demonstrating that you have a history of being able to pick up new technologies quickly and effectively is often your best bet at landing a job where you haven't already mastered their particular stack.

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If you know your stuff, then you don't have to argue that you learn fast. If you indeed learn fast, then you should be able to write up your resume and cover letters so that readers of the contents of your resume and your cover letters should be able to draw for themselves the conclusion that you learn fast.

I was told second hand of someone who did pretty well at a Microsoft interview. When he admitted that he had been on the language for just several days and that was in prep for the interview, the Microsoft folks felt that they had no choice left but to extend him an offer.

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