[inactive] Looking for work: let’s work together!

Hey there! As of September 2016, I’ve accepted a position that I’m really excited about, but as an “archive, not delete” kind of person, I’m leaving this up. I found a lot of encouragement in other people’s similar posts. Maybe I can light the way for someone else, too.

Hello! I’m in the market for a new programming-related job, and I wanted to take this downtime to articulate who I am, what I’m looking for, and what I’m hoping to find.

About me

I have a work history that’s been zooming in on more tech-related companies and roles over time. Previously, I’ve been everything from an au pair in France to a support person in English, French, and Québecois (which may or may not be French, depending on who you ask and where they’re from).

Support roles ranged from tech support for a photo-uploading website to being a founding member of a pre-launch startup’s customer relations team. At the latter, I ended up getting to do a ton of different things under the banner of one title. At one point, I developed the training schedule for new hires; at another, I created a peer-review-focused system for customer messaging QA (I got a lot of practice giving compassionate, actionable feedback to people). I’m really looking forward to bringing those perspectives to a new role.

While I was at the Recurse Center last year, I primarily focused on Python, though I learned some more SQL and dabbled a bit in C. Git is a significant part of my workflow, and I’m plenty comfortable using what I know and adding to my knowledge over time.

Less tangibly, during my RC batch, I got a lot of grief-inspired practice in resiliency. It is difficult to quantify this in a resume or cover letter or interview without breaking people’s hearts (a practice best avoided, when possible), but let’s put it this way: even when the going gets tough, I know how to take a break, and I know how to get going again. I know what I can do on my own, and I know when I need to ask for help. Put very plainly, I have yet to come up against a programming problem that was worse than losing two friends in a month. There are solutions to almost every work problem, and we can find them together.

I make a clear distinction between working independently and working in isolation; I love the former and find the latter pretty tough. At the same time, being accountable to a team is highly motivating for me, and I love the intersection between independent work and team accountability. I’m grateful to my last company for building such a strong remote-friendliness into their culture over time, and as such, I’m confident that I communicate well with geographically distributed teams. (It’s an art and a science!)

Send me an email if you’d like to see my resume! I have much of the same information on LinkedIn, too, if that’s your bag (it’s certainly valuable as a professional Rolodex), and there are a few extra details for fun. (What’s your best Muppet face?)

Outside of work, I’m an avid person-on-bike (my partner and I are officially car-free, at least for now, as of a month ago) and a regular writer. I write three pages every day on 750words.com, where my longest writing streak was 1533 days in a row (as of this post, I’ve just re-crossed 800 days). I am really proud of this! I find it helps clarify my thinking and writing in general, which is immensely valuable. As a bonus, it gives me an extraordinary view into my history and thoughts over time. I’m itching to learn some NLTK and dive into that history programmatically, too.

I like good coffee and bad wordplay, though I know how to say no to both. I’m a relatively newly minted gym person (at a small gym full of nerds), because six months ago, I decided I wanted to get stronger and I wanted to practice being terrible at something until I got good at it (and beyond). I cannot yet deadlift my body weight. Working on it! edit: As of 27 July, turns out I can deadlift at least 175 lbs. Yuss. Onward and upward.

What I’m looking for

  • Location-wise, based in Portland, OR, or open to (and experienced with) remote work. For the right company, New York City would definitely be an option, too.
  • Small- to medium-size. That’s a subjective measure, but mostly what I mean is that I am happiest in non-huge companies. For the purposes of this search, “huge” is probably in the thousands (one or more).
  • Good people. To be honest, I’ve worked with terrific people at pretty much every job I’ve had. I aim to continue this. If, when you think of your company, you think fondly of your coworkers, I’m interested in hearing more. I’m especially interested in teams which are diverse across several axes (i.e. not just gender, though that’s a great start).
  • Working on interesting problems. There are so many of them! I was raised by a couple of thoughtful engineers and I’m prone to happily air-punching when I solve something. I’m most interested in solving problems that ultimately help people, whether or not my work is a step or two removed from the actual humans.
  • Long-term potential. I’ve had a few people tell me to aim to leave companies regularly during this part of my career; I would rather not. I like getting to build relationships and mastery over time, and if possible, I’d be thrilled to do that in one place. Maybe it’s that you’re a young company. Maybe it’s that you’re a stable company. Both are super attractive to me.
  • Bonus points if you’re a Recurse Center company. RC was what helped me discover that I really do love working with people and computers all day long, and while that was a huge part of its value to me, it also gave me space to breathe and spread my wings. That experience means I get to be part of an extraordinary community of learners and terrific people, too. I never would have been able to take the time to learn so much about programming, myself, and what I need to succeed if RC weren’t free, and RC is free because companies hire incredible alums through them.
  • I am primarily looking for (junior-level) programming/development roles. There is exactly one company I’ve found where I’d be overjoyed with a support-focused job (hi!), because there’s genuine space for programming and a really strong, positive culture, and they’ll be receiving my application shortly.
  • I have broad interests, and I’m open to suggestion as to where to focus my energies. I’d especially appreciate some form of mentorship and loose guidance — if some formal structure exists at your company, all the better. Past experience suggests that backend or ops work will probably interest me most, but that’s not an exhaustive list. (I suspect frontend work would be difficult for me, so that’s what I plan to learn next. After all, I might be wrong!)
  • I am open to internships, especially if you’ve got experience with non-college interns, and especially if the role may lead to a full-time opportunity after the internship ends.

Have questions? Think we might be a fit? I’d love to hear from you, especially if:

  • you work for the company in question
  • you’re actively hiring right now (or will be very soon)

Please send me an email (liene.v+jobs@gmail.com) and let me know a little about the company, why you think we might be a good match, and any other information you think is relevant. If you’ve got any questions, I’d love to answer them, too!

Your co-conspirator in the search for excellence,
Liene Verzemnieks

Special thanks to Julie Pagano for her inspiring reverse job listing and general encouragement!

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