Aysha Anggraini

On code, design, and movement

Happy new year to all my readers and stalkers!

2013 has been extremely slow for me. I won’t say it is my best year. Aside from being slow, it is also the year I encountered many idiots and experience many inefficiencies: getting a job contract late (how hard can crafting an offer letter be?!), getting shit salary offers (despite being given a senior position), not being taken seriously (because of ageist assholes), being ignored, given stupid interview questions that are either an insult to my intelligence or are irrelevant to my skills, given degrading and demeaning insults in the guise of a joke, etc.

Despite being a slow year, 2013 is the year I graduated. Perhaps, turning into a fresh grad throws me into another scary reality. A reality that is plagued with inefficient twits, ageist pricks, and low pay. 2013 wants me to learn how to adapt and survive. It wants me to learn how to make things happen and not to wait around. That is definitely what I learn from this year: making stuff happen for myself.

So how did I make stuff happen? I worked on projects, I applied to other exciting startups, and I started blogging again. My real reason of working on projects is to learn new things and doing things that I am not comfortable with. But when said small projects got recognition and was added to some popular sites and receive good ratings, I was really excited! I mean, here is this ageist asshole saying that I am too young and might not have any skills but here are all these other people highlighting my projects and saying they like it and that it has been useful to them.

But I thought working on projects is not enough to make me learn. I decided to apply to several startups in order to get interviews and test my skills. I got my first ‘serious’ onsite technical interview several weeks ago and I manage to hold my own. They told me to code and modify an existing web app and despite a bit of stumbling at first, I manage to voice out my thought process and solve it anyway. I came out of the interview feeling good about myself. However, I didn’t want my interactions with these people to stop after the interview. So I asked them nicely if I can keep them as my contact. Who would say no if you ask nicely right?

I have decided that 2014 will be the year that I’ll expand my network and make more friends. Smart, intelligent friends that are like-minded and have the same interest. Working on projects alone will increase my intelligence but it will not really help me see other people. Getting interviews will be one way to nabbed all these people and turn them into valuable networks. And I have to say, expanding your network could be extremely exciting. I also used my mom’s network in order to get to know other people. For example, one of my mom’s colleagues – his son is working at Square Enix. As a rabid fan of Final Fantasy and who is interested in game development, I need to shoot him an email and say hello.

Is this my first time getting an interview, if you are wondering? No, it is not my first time but I won’t consider the others as good interviews. Here’s a list of dumb questions that I got during an interview:

  1. How to link to a jQuery file and CSS file in the HTML file? – I consider this an insult to my intelligence. And yes, this is suppose to be an onsite technical interview question.
  2. How to write jQuery selectors? – instead of making this sound like questions on an exam paper, wouldn’t it be more interesting for you to tell me to write a jQuery plugin onsite instead? It will be a better approach for knowing whether I can write a jQuery selector AND checking out my coding skills.
  3. I want you to work for me but it will be unpaid – [not exactly an interview question] but the next time you are thinking of asking someone to work for free, ask yourself this: why the hell would this person want to work on something for free for you? Do you think I’m running a charity organization here? Really now?
  4. How would you design an elevator? – How is this relevant to my skills as a front-end engineer? But truly, I don’t really have much issues when it comes to whether this question is related to my skills or not. What I have issues with is the company that asks this question. See, this is a company that claims to be working on technological design concept and turning it into reality. This is a company that fades in/out quotes on design and by Steve Jobs on their page. When you’re working on technological design concepts, I expect you to be creative in coming up with ways to access potential candidates’ skills. When you come up with an interview question that is not even remotely creative and is pretty common, it shows that you are just an empty vessel that is making a lot of noise. Why? If you can’t even be creative when it comes to designing an instrument to access candidates’ skills, I don’t really expect you to have much luck in the technological design department. It also shows that you are not trying hard enough and do not really take the interview seriously. Heck, you’re not even taking the candidate seriously! This question reflects your laziness; you’ve plucked it out from the Internet didn’t you? Sorry, this question has been asked before it was cool.

The onsite interview that I went to several weeks ago was a good one. It took around 4 hours and it required me to correct and make some modification to an existing app that they wrote. Very creative in my opinion. Another example of a creative interview is this one by Pirate3d.

So what are my resolution for 2014? Do I expect it to be a good year for me? Absolutely. My resolutions:

  1. Get involve with a popular company. Get in one of their development teams. Learn as much as I can from these people and teach them what I know also. Sharing knowledge would be a good way to go.
  2. Network and make more friends. Friends give you powers… sometimes..
  3. Master vanilla JavaScript and get myself into NodeJS
  4. Build a popular feature requested by the users of Tako Movable Comments – moving bulk comments from a post to another.
  5. Contribute and create more open source projects – help give back to the community!
  6. Read more books and stop obsessing over GRRM!
  7. Play more games. All work and no play makes me a dull girl.
  8. Get mom an Apple TV with my salary
  9. Get myself a PS4 with my salary
  10. Exercise more – being a couch potato is really starting to get to me

I wonder how many of these can I achieve. I wish you guys a great year for 2014! A year that you guys can be proud of! Man, this was a good rant. Haha!