This week I am writing about concrete skills. The apprentice pattern here is somewhat self explanatory. Concrete skills are what an apprentice can do for a company day one on the job. Some examples of conrete skills are basic web development, popular frameworks, and the standard library of the programmer’s language of choice. The problem is that an apprentice that has not proven himself may not be able to find a job. The hiring manager needs a reason to take a risk on this prospective employee. The solution is aquiring concrete skills. The author recommends that apprentices seek out guidance from developers they admire. And pursue 5 concrete skills on that developer’s resume. And build a toy project that demonstrates these concrete skills. I really like this idea. The author also mentions that a recruiter is more focused on the skills at this point in the journey, than the experience. Because the work experience is not software related.
I think that his is a very useful apprentice pattern. And I like that it starts before an apprentice starts getting paid to code. One thing I think could be improved is finding the important concrete skills from another developers resume. I think the more practical approach is to look at job postings to find what concrete skills are in demand right now. It is possible that a developer I admire has skills on their resume that are no longer in demand. One way that employers quantify an apprentice’s concrete skills is through a technical interview. This interview would involve basic data structures and algorithms. As well as the standard library of whichever language the candidate is interviewing with.
I have done a version of this apprentice pattern already. I have noticed that many companies hiring Full Stack Engineers are using React.js, so I decided to complete a React tutorial and a simple project over the Christmas break. I was able to but something new on my GitHub, and my resume. This process is a win-win because I am learning a concrete skill, and improving my public GitHub profile at the same time.