I am a more or less young developer. However, due to a weird combination of bad luck, lack of opportunities, newbie's mistakes and questionable management I was laid off twice in a row.
My first job started as a .Net trainee at a medium sized consulting firm. I was supposed to be mentored, but the person in question was more interested in being creepy and unpleasant than talking of C#, Sharepoint or Software Developement in general. I was reassigned a project with a payment processing company. It was a tough experience - I had to learn the technology and business logic, and produce high (Senior level) quality code all at the same time with little help or supervision. It went well for a while, until the Manager was assigned to a more lucrative project with the same client, and the Senior dev who helped me had to go to every meeting the Manager couldn't. I was left to deal all on my own with something that was too complex for a Trainee working part-time. Even tough the code was clear, well documented and working as requested, both the Senior dev and the Manager were not pleased. I was sent an official warning during a weekend, and escorted out of the company premises the following Monday.
The second one started as bait and switch. I was promised cutting edge technology and growth opportunities, but in reality it was pure Maintenance. I bit the bullet like all my coworkers did, and devoted my time to fix problems and develop not critical features. The Seniors who were in charge of me and other Junior employee were patient and helped us to understand the System we worked with. However, management changed, and it all went downhill (see this question for an example). The new Manager started a witch hunt against everyone he consider was an underperformer. People started leaving in considerable numbers, my team lost half its members and morale was in it lowest levels since the beginning of the project. I got seriously sick, and when I got back I was informed that I was going to be laid off at the end of the month. Everyone was surprised, as the more experienced devs were happy with what I did, and the same Manager had given me a considerable raise and was about to hire me as an employee (I was a contractor).
The economical situation of my country is not the best, many companies are firing, some are still in a cost savings mode, and the ones who are hiring ask for Ssrs, Srs or Jrs with five years experience, which I don't have. I've been job hunting for almost two months now, and I made it to the final rounds only once. What's worse, I fear that I don't get called back because the interviewers don't buy my story and consider me a incompetent dev. I know that two jobs that lasted for less than a year make me look like a job hopper, but this is not the case. So far I have three ways to approach this
- Job 1: lack of tasks, eventually laid off
- Job 2: contract not renewed due to budgetary constraints
- Job 1: laid off due to budgetary constraints
- Job 2: contract not renewed, reasons unknown
- Laid off in a reorganization both times.
I could make it sound less worse than it was by explaining more of less what I said here, but means I'd be badmouthing my previous employers, which is a no no. I want to know if there is a way to make my previous experiences sound good, without denying the way it ended or looking like a slacker or just a crappy whiny employee.