Bye Bye, Bullets: The Stack Overflow Developer Story is the New Technical Resume

If you write code, you know that you’re more than a list of places where you worked or went to school. However you got to where you are now, what should matter is what you’ve built, and what you can do. Whether you’re currently looking for new opportunities or not — and whether you’re active on Stack Overflow or not — your Developer Story is the best way to share whatever it is that you take pride in.

It’s your story; tell it your way.

Get yours today at s.tk/story. It only takes a few minutes, and you do NOT want some other joker snapping up the good URLs. Take it from me, stackoverflow/story/J@yH@n10n.

Technology has evolved. Tech resumes? Not so much.

The resume was invented by Da Vinci in the 15th century. It mostly served as a letter of introduction for traveling lords… and it hasn’t changed much since. What do you see when you scan the bold stuff on a resume? Employers, job titles, schools, and degrees. And a lot of small bullets. Plus maybe an other-stuff-intended-to-round-me-out-as-an-actual-human section at the bottom.

In the roughly five centuries since resumes were created to help nobility vouch for roadbound gentry, they’ve stayed mostly optimized for one thing: conveying the importance of your pedigree.

The emphasis is all on the seniority of your titles and how impressive your companies or schools have been. Which is a great way for some developers to put their best foot forward. Have a Masters in CS from Yalemouth? Cool! That’s one good signal. But it ain’t the only one. Heck, even politicians know that fancy schools are only one of many ways to signal potential:

“It turns out it doesn’t matter where you learned code, it just matters how good you are at writing code.” — President Barack Obama

Show, don’t just tell.

Developers, fundamentally, are makers. Like designers… or architects… or jugglers! You wouldn’t hire any of them based on a list of titles or places they’d worked. (“Oh, a Senior Associate Juggler? Get her! I bet she can do those flaming sticks and stuff!”) So why hire a developer that way? Makers’ skills are conveyed by showing, not telling. Portfolios. Blueprints. This awesome juggling video.

Be more than bullets: Your best work, front and center.

The Developer Story lets you share what you’ve worked on by linking to actual features you’ve worked on, blog posts, or public code. Those things shouldn’t be described in the second clause of a tiny bullet, or relegated to the “Other interests” section of a resume, to sit unassumingly next to your second-place trophy in intramural tetherball.

The Developer Story puts the work you’re most proud of where it belongs: at the grownup table, right alongside your roles or schools.

Which of these better tells the real story?

No reputation points? No problem. Posting answers or contributing to Documentation is one way to build up public artifacts of your coding experience, but it’s not the only way. Your Developer Story lets you show off whatever you work on. So you’ll look good, no matter how much rep you have on Stack Overflow.

Find a job you’ll love, on your terms.

If you’re ready for your next challenge, the Developer Story makes it easy to learn about jobs that fit your personal criteria. And since developers are in demand, we know it’s not about finding a job — it’s about finding the right job. The same way Stack Overflow Q&A put the right answer right on top, when you fill out your profile, Stack Overflow Jobs shows you roles that match the technology or projects you want to work on. (Even if they’re not what you’re using today.) And we always put the developer in control. No spam, no BS. (Did you know that Stack Overflow Jobs actually penalizes blind messaging by employers?)

And it’s 100% backwards-compatible with those crusty old resumes – it can still highlight fancy schools and fancy titles, and anything else you’d include on a traditional resume. So if you’re like me, and still just a little proud that you got off the waitlist and eked your way into a school above your intellectual weight class, you can still show off your alma mater off with pride.

But don’t employers just want role, schools, and keywords?
Nope. It turns out that they’ve just accepted that that’s all that they can generally get from a resume, leaving them stuck using “seven vs. eight years of JavaScript experience” to determine whom to interview. The employers we’ve shared it with love the way the Developer Story gives them real, tangible ways to understand what a candidate has actually worked on.

It’s not just for developers who are job hunting.

Happy at your current gig, but open-minded? According to our 2016 developer survey, 63% of developers aren’t actively looking, but are open to learning about new opportunities to level up. If you’re enjoying where you are, but open to finding that perfect new challenge, the Developer Story can help you keep an eye on what’s out there, and we’ll only send you the best opportunities that match your goals.

Completely not interested in jobs, but proud of what you’ve made? Listen, I get it. I never want to leave my job. The Developer Story is for you, too. Like most people who make things, devs often like to share what they’ve built. So it’s designed so you can use it as your own “coding central,” even if you’re not job hunting. Just create a Developer Story, but set your job preference to “Not Interested.” You can share the features you’ve worked on, Github repos, blog posts, or even books you’d recommend. It’s your story. Tell it your way.

Once your Developer Story is beautiful, let’s work on your wardrobe.

We think one of the best ways to inspire other devs is by sharing some of the awesome stuff their peers are building. Or by showing a curious twelve year old what someone else who loves breaking machines can grow up to be.

So, for the next two weeks, if you tweet a link to your developer story, and include the #mydevstory hashtag, we’ll enter in you in a contest to win one of two hundred gen-u-ine Stack Overflow tees (50 mens and 50 women shirts each week.) And don’t forget the link to your Developer Story – we need it to contact you if you win.

Take a minute to start your story now.

(We hope you’ll indulge our use of Rear Admiral Hopper’s incredible biography as a case study for the images in this post. You should not take this to mean that the Rear Admiral endorses Stack Overflow in any way. You can, however, take it to mean that we endorse her. Wholeheartedly.)

Grace Hopper

Thanks to Abby T. Mars, Elaine Wang, Kaitlin Pike, Kit Carrau, Rachel Maleady, Taryn Pratt, and Tim Post for helping to improve this post.

Author

Jay Hanlon
VP of Community Growth

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