Dec. 6, 2021

Welder to Self-taught Developer (Here's how he did it)


I want to share TJ's story with self-taught developers out there who are currently struggling to become professional developers. He was resourceful and CREATED coding opportunities within his current company to get the experience he needed to break into the industry. I loved his story, and thought this was a really creative way to get that experience while he was still learning. I hope this helps!

Host and Guest:
Don Hansen - https://www.linkedin.com/in/donthedeveloper
Thomas Alleman - https://www.linkedin.com/in/thomas-alleman-157067a

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Transcript
Don Hansen:

Welcome back to another podcast episode where we help aspiring developers get jobs and junior developers grow. So continuing, trying to help aspiring developers that are self-taught. I invited another successful self-taught developer on, um, and we're gonna jump into his story, his frustrations, what he thinks finally got 'em there, but, uh, yeah, Thomas, I appreciate you doing this. Welcome.

Thomas Alleman:

All right. Well, thank you, Don. Thank you for having me on

Don Hansen:

love it. Uh, so go ahead and introduce yourself quick introduction.

Thomas Alleman:

All right. So my name is Thomas Alman. I usually go by TJ. Um, so I am a self top developer. Uh, I've been developing, I guess, professionally for about three years, I guess. It's kind of hard to tell exactly when I started, but, um, but yeah, definitely. Self-taught. I started out my career as a welder. Um, so I guess my whole journey is kind of being self-taught at about everything that I do. So I got my degree in welding. Um, after a couple years of welding, I decided that I would rather be engineering. So, so I, uh, taught myself how to 3d model. And I got into the engineering department at the place that I was working at. Um, got in there. Did the test. That they had for me and aced it. So from that point on, I became a, a mechanical designer. Oh, little bit after that. So I guess I did that for about 15 years. And then after that, I decided to kind of branch out into development. So, um, with the mechanical design, um, I got into VBA and. Kind of taught myself that as well. So, um, but that kinda spurred on spurd on love of development, I suppose. And, and from there, I, I kinda just started teaching myself, um, a lot of okay. Free code camp and, and code academy at the time. So

Don Hansen:

what made you wanna get into engineering from welding ? Thomas Alleman: Um, well, So, I lot of flaws that the engineers have and you think to yourself that, yeah, I could do that better. which it turns out is not always the case, but, um, actually having a good, a good grasp on the welding part, it does help you to be a better designer. So, I mean, understanding the process, understanding what you're asking the welders to do. So, so yeah, I just. I like the idea of using my, my brain more than my body. So was that Ooh, welding. Welding is a tough gig. That's what I hear. Definitely. yeah. I had a buddy that's uh, he used to do welding and then he got a job. Um, I don't know what he does. I think he operates a crane or something like that, but he, he mentioned, he is like, I can't do this for the rest of my life. It's just gonna hurt my body.

Thomas Alleman:

Yep. Yeah, I, I do still enjoy doing it and it's a, it's a great skill to have in my back pocket, but I don't want to do it every day if I don't have to. Okay.

Don Hansen:

Fair enough. Well, so you mentioned you kind of started with free code camp. Um, let's try or dive into when you finally figured out, you know, I'm, I'm kind of curious about coding, right? You started learning a little bit more about it. Um, take me through that journey. Uh, what was that?

Thomas Alleman:

All right. Um, so I guess it was probably about 2016 when I started actually really thinking hard about it. So, um, with 15 years being a mechanical designer, you kind of learned to automate some of your processes. And a lot of times that that involves coding. So a lot of the, a lot of the engineering programs, they have VBA, so visual basic for applications. And, uh, so I got into that. you know, up to that point. I don't think I, that I had written a for loop so everything was hard coded in. It was just terrible. but it did peak my interest. So,

Don Hansen:

so what, what were you learning at free code camp?

Thomas Alleman:

So at free code camp. Oh, I guess so. Yeah, when I, when I got the interest from, uh, or when I was doing BBA, I figure. Um, I'd like to do a deeper dive. So yeah, I did get into free code camp. I actually started out with, with code academy back when everything in code academy was free. So I, I remember that I started. Right. That was a long time ago. yeah. Well,

Don Hansen:

seems like a long time ago. It was because it threw me off. And I remember, um, I remember recommending that as a free resource all the time until people started. They're like, no, you're thinking of free code camp. I'm like, am I? And it like confused me because I did transition.

Thomas Alleman:

Yeah. Um, so yeah, at the time, Uh, free code camp was kind of just starting out. It was still good, but, um, code academy seemed to be a little bit better. Um, there's not a whole lot of difference in between them, but, um, code academy kind of caught my attention, I guess, right off the bat. And actually I started going through all of the Python tutorials. So right now I'm a, I'm a JavaScript developer. So, um, so I did start out with Python. So, yeah, I went through everything that they had for Python, just chugging through it. Um, naturally the first time that I went through it, I still didn't understand what I was doing. So once I had kind of exhausted my resources on code academy, that's kind of when I stepped into free code camp. Um, so kind of a different perspective gives you, um, just a whole different way of thinking about things sometimes. So what's different about it. Uh, Just their approach, I guess, actually go on from, from doing this certain thing at this particular time on code academy, uh, free code camp kind of does a, a project based approach. So you can start out HTML, CSS, all of that, um, building, building a project right from the beginning. So, okay. So it, it, it just clicked with me a little bit better.

Don Hansen:

So, okay. So you started out with Python and then you eventually moved to JavaScript. Do you feel, what do you prefer working with the front end or back end?

Thomas Alleman:

Oh, I think I tell everybody that I really enjoy whatever it is that I'm working in at the moment. okay. So I really do enjoy working with react. Um, but if I'm actually working on the back. I really enjoy working with no JS. So it, it's weird that way you just kind of get into whatever it is that you're doing. So, um, coding is coding, whether you have a, a nice looking user interface or a really cool API, I, I, I just like being able to say I built this.

Don Hansen:

I can see what you're saying with that. Um, well, you're speak of my language. I love the stack. I love the JavaScript stack. It's what I focused on. Um, so what I mean, you know, a lot of people go through code academy and they even go through like, well, I hear a lot of free code camp. And then code academy is one paid option that they might choose and, you know, Treehouse Grima, and there's a lot of other options, but. It people usually struggle with like, they're learning the concepts, they're going through the program, but they have a very hard time of applying it to actual projects and like making that transition. What do you feel like really made things click for you and for that just, you know, really start settling in.

Thomas Alleman:

Oh, I think. Well, I, well, I switched platform. So I went from code academy to free code camp that helped out quite a bit. I mean, just, just the shift in, in doing what you're doing. So I I'm of the mind that, that if you're not getting something or if you're not being able to, to figure something out, switch what you're doing. And I've done that quite a few times on my journey. So I went from code academy to free code camp that helped out on a lot of things. Um, but there were also times when I would get stuck, say in free, in free code camp, um, going through the react projects, it's like, I am not understanding this. I just don't get it. So I skipped it. I went on to know JS for a while. Um, so. And of course with no JS, there was also that problem. And then at that point, you go back to back to react. So it, you just, you realize that you don't know what you don't know, and it's not gonna help you to, to sit through and figure it out and just grind through it. Um, so, so sometimes you just have to take a break and, and the question, I guess, is. What really helped me solidify some things. And I think as soon as I got off of free code camp and I started doing my own code, I mean, creating my own projects. Um, if you don't have that crutch to lean on, as far as, uh, free code camp, and you're finding all of these, um, bugs that you never knew. That you never knew existed. Right. Um, as soon as you're struggling through those, you, you get a better understanding of, of why things happen the way they do.

Don Hansen:

I, I agree. First of all, I really like that. Um, Well, you know, what, what another thing people have trouble with is coming up with project ideas, because they want to, they, they always hear like, okay, I gotta get out of these tutorials. I have to start applying it. That's where it starts clicking. But like, what do, what do I build? So how did you figure

Thomas Alleman:

that out? Um, whatever my wife told me to build okay.

Don Hansen:

Well, what, what was that first thing that she told you to build?

Thomas Alleman:

Um, I think it was. Um, she wanted a grade book program. So I went down that path. So that was, that was one of the first major projects that I had I had dived into. Um, I think that was kind of a, a really big turning point because it was kind of coupling the API end with, with the front end and I was doing everything well. I had originally started doing everything with Jake. Um, because, well, I was, at the time I was struggling with react and then it's like, you know what? Everybody says, react is the way to go. Jake is going out. So I forced myself to use react. And, and at that point, um, being able to struggle through all of that, getting everything set up from scratch, um, it, it just kind of clicked at that point. Okay. So, so one of the things with react that I figured out that took me the, the longest time to grasp was, uh, using state and passing props. So as soon as you figure that out, figure out where everything is going and where everything comes from. Without being told by a tutorial, then, then things start clicking for you.

Don Hansen:

Yeah, that's a, that's a tough one. You know what I see paired and I think it's a horrible pairing at first. It throws people off. You'll see, like coding, boot camps in some programs still kind of teach a bit of react. People are still trying to figure out like what the state thing is and the flow of data. And then all of a sudden they toss on Redux or some like, you know, even more complicated library. It's like, I haven't even understood react yet. It's a hard thing to grasp like that data flow just with react alone.

Thomas Alleman:

Yep. This is true. So I do teach at a, a coding boot camp as well. And so I have taught all of the classes, so they have, uh, react and also, um, well react and red reducts and that's all in the same class. And then they have react native. And what I have found is that as a teacher or as an instructor, Um, going through everything quickly for the react class, kind of getting their feet wet in it. That's great. But then when it comes to the react native. we're expecting a little bit more out of that. Um, so one thing as that I do as an instructor is I, I hold kind of after classes to where we can cover the basics of the starting up a react out and then go over. Why react does the things that it does. So, and exactly what all of the, all of the reducers and the dispatchers and all of the, those actually are so breaking it down even more. Um, I think as far as learning all of that, it's good to be introduced to it and then reintroduced to it and then reintroduced to it again, at some point it's gonna

Don Hansen:

click you're. Right. And so I like that idea of like, it's okay to give some exposure and feel very confused at first when you see all those pieces. Right. But I, I do feel like having that, um, I feel like a lot of things. Do start solidifying. And like, you, you think about that first time that you learn react, you're like, oh, that's this piece. And it interacts with this piece. And it, I think a lot of students are scared. They're like, I'm learn to react. Went through too quickly. I, I have no idea what's going on. Am I not smart enough? Am I not following fast enough? But I love the idea of introducing it first telling students it's okay. Like you're not gonna understand it. We're gonna go over this over and over and over and it will really get this down. Um, I like that. . Thomas Alleman: Yeah, definitely. Um, so yeah, I have seen students come into my class and they're just so frustrated. So, um, if they're coming in from, into my react native class, so after that, they've just done react and they're just so frustrated, ready to give up. I'm like, hold on. It gets better. We just gotta cover it again. let's get this all ironed out and yeah, there react is a lot to throw at a new developer for sure. Do you, do you think like pairing it with native, um, might might be making things more complicated. Do you feel like if you had more time to like really instill react and help?

Thomas Alleman:

Well, with native. it's kind of a refresher. So you do have the environment that most, most students get a little bit, uh, hung up on, I guess so it's not like working on the web. So, um, but other as soon as you can get past those environment issues, react native is its react. So under the hood, it it's doing the same things. Your, your components may look a little bit different than what you're used to. But all in all the, the same concepts are the same. So going with react native right after a react class, um, it's, it's kind of just a refresher, so

Don Hansen:

interesting. Okay. Um, so do you, so you teach at new camp. I do. Yep. Okay. Yeah. Uh, yeah, Lu's a friend of mine. I talk with them pretty frequently about this. So it's, it's interesting hearing kind of like an instructor's perspective of what you think of going from react to react nav. Cause I give 'em crap about it all the time. I'm like, you gotta pull that out, you gotta separate it. Um, but it, it is helpful to hear these different perspectives and you're right. Like if people can get over some of those initial quirks and environment, things like it is pretty much it's doing the same. Under the hood. And I, I guess it's interesting to think about it as a refresher. I don't know if that's like the, the best strategy I'd recommend for most people, but it does help reinforce what you're learning. And it's an interesting way to reinforce react.

Thomas Alleman:

Uh, correct. Yep. Yeah. That's generally what that whole class is, is it's just a, a big refresher. So there's not actually, as far as new material. Yeah. There is some, and, but basically. All of the big stuff that you're going to learn, you've already learned in the react class. So, so definitely react native is, is a lot of refresher. I would appreciate if react was a little bit longer of a class, but. Yeah, that's just a personal opinion on that one. Well, and

Don Hansen:

I I've heard other students echo that and everything. Um, so curriculum, one thing about curriculums is you, you just gotta keep giving that feedback and curriculums like just evolve over time. They always will. And you just gotta keep taking in that feedback. But I, I really loved the, the concept and the idea of, because I don't talk about this much, but you, you brought it. It's it's completely okay to like, be confused at first to go through the process, just see the parts and it, it kind of is in the back of your mind. And then it just like it's. So, and then tells students it's like four or five more times. It, it will start reinforcing. And I, I feel like. That's what catches students off guard, not just students with like coding boot camps, but in general, they're like, they go try to learn a new library. They look at API documentation, they don't understand it right away. They get frustrated. And they're trying to like come up with a perfect strategy of like really trying to retain it. It's like sometimes even mention. Take a break come back. I mean, that's how a lot of these concepts are like solidified or like bugs that you're trying to fix it. Your mind is just like held onto a certain path of trying to fix it. You take a break, you get sleep. It untangles that. And you get to come at it with a different perspective. I, I think that's crucial kind of just what you said, but I, yeah.

Thomas Alleman:

Yeah. So, uh, one of the main things that I do is definitely, if I don't understand it one way, going back. And trying it a different way. So sometimes that's not even learning new material, it's starting a new project. So, so if you're frustrated and you just can't figure it out, try starting a new project. And I like it. I, I think that's where a lot of self-taught devs or devs in general, I guess get caught up is they get stuck in, in tutorial. Hell, I guess. So not willing to go out and do their own projects, not willing to go out and, and figure out where they need to improve. Why do you think

Don Hansen:

that's the case?

Thomas Alleman:

Oh, I know on my journey. I, I did it. I, I think everybody does it. They get stuck, um, watching traverse, see media or traverse see media or, or whatever channel you're watching on YouTube doing the tutorials and then coming away with nothing. Why did

Don Hansen:

you get stuck?

Thomas Alleman:

Uh, probably probably not enough confidence in myself, I suppose,

Don Hansen:

but I think

Thomas Alleman:

that's what it is. I, I think the. The main thing with doing projects is if you know that you're going to fail, then it's not that big of a deal. Exactly. I mean, it's only code so you can redo it and you can redo it and you can, you can do a whole project and you think that it's great. And then a month later you can come out or come back and make it 100 times better. So that's kind of the thing with code is you're never going to be good enough. But you're always going to be improving.

Don Hansen:

Yeah. I like that. I, I really, software engineering is weird. It's it's, you know, when we have this traditional education and we, you know, graduate high school and potentially go to college or just get additional education. It's it's, we're very studious. It's a classroom we're trying to study and then pass a test and software engineering. It's it feels so. It's it feels weird, but you kind of have to toss that out the window and you have to fail much earlier. Like it's okay to fail that test. It's okay. To completely bomb that project. Right. And like it, I think some people just can't grasp that. It's okay. And they can't like be comfortable with that feeling of feeling a little uneasy. And that's the part I think people struggle with.

Thomas Alleman:

I would definitely agree with that. Yeah. It, um, I've seen it hold a lot of people back. Just that inability or unwillingness, I guess, to, to leap, to fail or to succeed depending on, on how they do it. But yeah, just going out and doing your own project when you've been stuck doing tutorials, it is kind of intimidating for sure.

Don Hansen:

It is. It definitely was for me. Um, what was like the most frustrating part of you trying to become a self-taught develop.

Thomas Alleman:

Oh, I think not having anybody to talk to about it. Um, code academy, it was definitely that way at the time. Anyway, I don't know what they are now, but, um, they had people on the forums that could help you out, but it wasn't a community. So you'd ask a question, you'd get an answer, um, maybe right. Or you'd figure out, or you'd, you'd find out how other people ask questions and, and go and look those up. Um, when I switched over to free code camp, there was more of a community there. I mean, it it's a great big community of, of self-taught developers. Um, and a lot of, a lot of 'em have already gone through the program or are going through the program and. it's very supportive, I suppose. And, and you can ask and you can get great answers from there and, and not feel, um, I guess, hated on like you would at stack overflow yeah. That that's kind of a hospital place for, for new developers, but, um, pre code camp is very welcoming to, to all those questions. I mean, but. But even having that, not having somebody there to physically walk you through, setting up a server or, or explain to you why, um, this prop is ending up in this spot. So when you're passing props and react, um, yeah, I think the most frustrating part about being a self taught dev is just not having. An an open forum, I guess, being able to, to ask a question and see an immediate result or, or get an immediate answer.

Don Hansen:

That makes sense. That's what I lacked. Um, I almost gave up because of that, cuz I, I lived in, uh, Northwest Indiana and there was like one tech group far away. They didn't focus on what I wanted to code and um, yeah, it just, sometimes you it's so easy to feel alone. Even if you have, like, you can ask a question on stack overflow or you can ask a question on some forms. It's like, there's a difference between. People sometimes being available to answer a question and people making you feel like you're part of a community. Right. There's a very big difference in that. And I think a lot of people don't find that right. Community that feels like home. That feels like a community it's it's welcome. It's kind, you know, it's, it's not stack overflow. Right,

Thomas Alleman:

right. Yeah, definitely. Um, So I would say that that one of my turning points was, um, when I, when I became active in free coat camp. So it, it wasn't the same as having somebody right there to help you out with things. But it it's a great step up compared to what was there before.

Don Hansen:

Yeah. I like that. Well, I appreciate you recommending that. So when did, or how many interviews did you do before you got that first position?

Thomas Alleman:

so I guess there's kind of two first positions, um, at the company I was working at, um, while I was learning how to code, I was a mechanical designer. And, um, during the time on my, uh, I guess on my lunch breaks, I was doing free code camp. So, um, some people took notice of the things that I was making and they're like, Hey, I need you to make this thing. right. Um, anytime that you can show somebody that you can code, they've got a project for you. so, um, so it, it started out as just doing a couple things like that, small projects and, um, it kind of kind of blew when the it department figured out that I could. So. well, the ID I, the it department and my boss. So I started coding some things for the mechanical design departments that I was working in. And everybody started using them. They're like, Hey, let's go ahead and NA this guy. So from that point, I got into the business systems group, and that's what my job became was just developing those tools. Um, so I was actually very lucky with that position because it kind of allowed me to, to kind of do the tech that I, that I chose and, and do it the way that I wanted without a whole lot of oversight. Um, as far as the way that it got done. Um, so yeah, let me stretch my wings and, and they let me fail. I mean, I would fail and I would fail and I would fail. And then finally I would get it. Um, so for a position like that, you learn, um, you learn how to set up a server. You learn how to do DevOps. You learn how to do the front end. You have to, you had to learn how to, to connect everything together. So, um, being in, in a position like that, where you can just try and fail and, and be completely confused. That was kind of the best learning environment that I've ever had. So, um, yeah, so it, it kind of feels more like, um, more like a bootcamp, I guess. And it was my first job, but that was it. that's so I kind of just got it ushered into it.

Don Hansen:

that's a really cool way to get some real experience. I mean, like it, there's this opportunity in so many different industries and sometimes it's not, I think a lot of people are like, oh, okay, well, I'm gonna look for an open dev position in my company. And they get disappointed when their company doesn't really support that. But sometimes it's being proactive and saying, you know what? Our. Our, uh, teams have trouble, like really communicating or like keeping track of this stuff. What if I could build an internal tool that allowed these teams to just build a better process throughout their day? I bet they had to really appreciate it. Maybe it's just, mm-hmm being proactive and starting with

Thomas Alleman:

something like that, correct? Yep. And that's kind of what I did. Um, so I was drafted into doing exactly that same thing, I guess. But yeah, just creating a tool that makes somebody's life easier and it gives you a good experience just doing it, but then it also, it opens people's eyes to say, what else can we do? So, um, as soon as people know that you can code your you're kind of indispensable in a company. I like that. No matter, no matter how terrible you are at it cause I was terrible, but I made some really cool things too. So.

Don Hansen:

Yeah. It's something to be proud of. And I, I hope, you know, people watching this, listening to this, you take this seriously because I think a lot of people, they treat this coding journey as this like really scary thing that you have to have this like long term perfect plan for and get it right and go the right path. And they try to like analyze. And try to perfect this perfect path of becoming a software engineer, because if they're gonna quit their company and they're gonna, especially if they're gonna invest in a coding boot camp or invest in education, it's like, I wanna solidify this perfect path. And what you're saying is like, you didn't quit your company. It didn't become this like giant long term plan. You literally just, you solve a problem, you identified it and you're like, I'm gonna try to build this. And then you fail. And then you failed and then you failed again and then eventually you got it right. And people were excited, you know, like it sounds like they really found some value in that. That would be cool to see many other people, instead of just like quitting their job, just trying that and being proactive and building something that, because you, in your old industry, you know, the problems that exist, like you really know the problems that exist. So that's your project idea. That's the tool that you can build and you can have that as like a end goal. And figure out how to get there,

Thomas Alleman:

correct? Yep. So, yeah, you're, you're always thinking of things that you could fix with code. I mean, um, in my job, I was, um, mechanical designer. So generally you're in this day to day you're in it day in, day out. It's like, these are the problems that, that really slow me down. And generally you can, you can take those problems and fix 'em with code. So if, if you can get other people to believe in you like that, of course you gotta start believing in yourself too. So eventually. Right. So yeah, definitely get somebody to believe in, in what you're doing and, and give you that opportunity. Yeah. Um, I guess the biggest thing with that is, is just take that step out. Um, show people what you're working on. There's always going to be somebody there that'll listen. So, and they may just be given, or they may be the ones that give you that opportunity. So

Don Hansen:

I like that. yeah, that that's good advice. I really like that. Um, let's see. I feel like, I feel like I've gotten a feel for your journey and I feel like you're someone that's pretty resourceful and I, I mean, that's, that's the thing that you also need to build up as a developer's resourcefulness, but I, I love that we emphasize this idea. You already know your old industry, get comfortable identifying the problems and just try to build something. Someone will use it. Someone will notice it. Um, I feel like I got a good grasp with that and that's kind of a unique journey. So I let's, let's jump into this question. If you had to, if you have to give aspiring developers like one final piece of advice. what would you give them?

Thomas Alleman:

Oh, there's so many . Don Hansen: If you had to Um, do projects. That would be my piece of dice. Um, the, if you get stuck, do a project, if you're feeling good about it, do a project. Um, Projects are great for, for boosting your self confidence. Um, and they're also really great at identifying holes. So, um, just get out there and do it. Okay. That's that's the biggest thing. I like it. Do you go ahead then if I had a number two okay. We'll do one more. All right. Um, so I'm, I'm not currently at the position that I was talking about earlier, so I'm, I have moved on since then. Um, and actually doing the, uh, I guess interview process. And figuring out working or figuring out about how to work within a team. I figured out that interviewing is kind of a skill on its own. So, um, and, and I guess the only way to, to really get good at that is to, to do it. So, yeah, you're gonna go out there and you're going to, to get that sting of rejection a lot. But as soon as you do get good at interviewing, you'll start getting callbacks. Um, so the interview process has, it has some to do with coding, but it's mostly that skill of interviewing. And then, um, once you do get into that job, you're going to actually learn that that coding is a huge part of it still, but you've have, or you have other tools that you have to use. to work with other developers. So don't slack off on, um, your good hub skills or your get skills, make sure that that you're solid with that, um, figure out what it means to be or to, to be agile. So figure out the processes within the companies. Um, there's just a lot that goes into. being a dev that you never think of while you're, you're learning to code.

Don Hansen:

I like that. Yeah. I like that a lot. Um, Honestly, I feel like this is kind of a unique journey that I wanna share. And I, it almost like, I almost feel like some of the things that you're emphasizing are resourcefulness being comfortable, being uncomfortable, getting out of that tutorial hell like working on projects and also understanding that coding isn't all just about coding, right? Like you're gonna go into the interview. You probably gonna suck at it at first. I know I did. Yeah. And you're gonna fail and then you're gonna get better and learn. And people, like, I feel like, again, until you do it, they treat this first interview. Is this like really scary thing that they're not gonna be prepared for, and then you do it. And you're like, it wasn't that bad kind of sucked with it, but I know why, you know, like I probably got anxious and you know, I might have to learn this or I have to learn that, but that there are other skills as a developer that you eventually will need a pick up to interact with other developers and coding is kind of just a. So you're kind of given a little bit more well rounded advice for developers with that.

Thomas Alleman:

Great. Definitely. So, yeah, as far as the interview process goes, um, one thing that I always asked, cuz I got rejected a lot. I've done a lot of interviews, um, and the rejections will happen, but with every rejection you, you have to. To make sure to ask the right questions as far as what you need to do to improve. So if you totally bomb an interview question or, or an algorithm problem say, Hey, how can I do this better? What would you recommend that I study? So a little bit of humility, as far as that goes, goes a long way. And, and it does give you a list of things that you need to improve on before you can get that first.

Don Hansen:

I like it. That question I usually asked after almost every single interview I do like that. And yeah, humility really goes a long way. I, I tell people it's like, You know, a lot of almost, there are a lot of people that meet like a minimum technical proficiency as well. But one thing I notice is interviewers can like empathize and want to work with people when they do have that humility, that humbleness, because they're willing to learn, but it's also, it's like, You're just a developer. They wanna be able to work with, you know, 40 hours a week as well. So it's, you know, soft skills matter. Just having fun in the interview matters cuz you know what, you know what? I think a lot of people like they build up this anxious mindset, they treat interviews like. They have to, it's like a grade. They have to do well enough to get hired, but they don't really treat it, like just talking to another human being and just like a, a fun interaction where you can grow and even the interviewer can grow, but it's like, they don't really treat it like a fun conversation. I don't know. I feel like anxiety really does a number on people. It does.

Thomas Alleman:

and easy for me. One thing that I realized when I was going through the interview process is as, as I got more interviews under my belt, that kind of went away. So it's like, oh, it's another interview, not a big deal anymore. I've been rejected so many times what does this one matter? Right. So exactly. Yeah. And, and as soon as you let that anxiety go, then, then you start performing a whole lot better in those interview. And, and you're not thinking about every single little mess up that you've made. You're thinking, how can I improve this?

Don Hansen:

Exactly. Yeah, exactly. Um, Thomas, this is really good advice. Uh, I really appreciate you coming on. Uh, we're about at the end, but if people wanted to reach out to you, where could they reach you?

Thomas Alleman:

Oh, let's see. So I'm on LinkedIn. I think, I think that's about the only social media that I do. so, yeah. Um, LinkedIn, I'll give you that information and then you can post it, um, later, but as far as where it is, I suppose, but yeah, that's, that's about all I've really got.

Don Hansen:

Okay, that sounds good. I mean, in my opinion, less social media usually leads to Ben, uh, better mental state. So I like hearing stuff like that, but, um, great. I actually just got rid of my Twitter as well, so, but, um, alright, so I will post your LinkedIn in the description, but, uh, yeah. Seriously, Thomas is a great conversation. And I really appreciate you coming out.

Thomas Alleman:

It's been a pleasure. See everything we believe.