This is my personal blog, all opinions written are of my personal thoughts not my employer.
So you have just sent in your resume, you’re applying for a Front-end Engineer position at a company. Let’s just say, hypothetically, I am the hiring manager. What am I really looking for?
Let’s get the easy stuff out of the way, tech skills. Technical skills are the easiest to obtain, if you have an aptitude (keyword).
CSS: Well, we develop apps, your ability to use a CSS grid layout is nice, but not that impressive. If you really need another persons grid system to layout a page then we probably don’t need you. But, your ability to use CSS to layout an interface and defeat browser gotchas is a very big skill. Your skills using a CSS pre-processor, meh, whatever, I guess that’s nice. Your understanding and ability to communicate (keyword again) : box model, positioning, floats, and specificity will go much farther! You will need to be a CSS expert at the least!
Back-end Knowledge: You need to be able to interact with services and APIs, get in and maneuver around in a JSP or PHP file. Done a little Rails, Grails, Roo, etc? Cool! You will need to be comfortable setting up a local dev environment, because apps aren’t static. If all you have is WordPress skills…. then you are screwed, find another career or get cracking on the other stuff, picksomething.
HTML: If you can’t write properly formatted HTML then you need to go away, NOW!
Browsers: You better understand how these work, inside and out. If I ask you about the rendering engine and you can’t discuss them then you’re toast!
Design: You should have a firm understanding of basic design principles. A design principle is not “shiny rounded buttons.” If you don’t understand weight, line, color theory, typography (not FONTS) then you will struggle.
Communication: An absolute must. You have strong communication skills, written and verbal. After all, you’re going to be using a digital medium to communicate with users. If you can’t speak or write effectively then I am going to be nervous about your designs communicating to users.
Aptitude: I’m psyched you have a lot of experience, but do you have the aptitude to learn new things quickly? I hope so, because what we do… the need to learn new things quickly is crucial.
Leadership: We don’t need another coder or ‘yes’ person. We need someone who can identify a problem and lead a team to a proper solution. Wallflowers and followers should go home at this point.
Passion: I scan your resume, and I talk with you. You tell me all about the different technologies you have tried out on your own, projects you have started but maybe haven’t finished, a conference that you attended on your own, etc… I now see you have a general interest and passion for what you do, you now have my interest. Combine this with aptitude and you start moving to the front of the line real fast.
It’s great you use different tools and approaches, you’re a craftsman, and you listed it all out. Just remember, todays Git is yesterdays Subversion, yesterdays Agile is todays Lean, who cares which one you used, at least you know how things work and change. I am hiring you because you are passionate, have aptitude, and you are an expert in the core technologies and principles of what we do.
One last thing… I don’t give a flying flip about your stackoverflow ranking…