In the tech world, no two stories are the same. From bootcamp trainings and PhDs to HTML tinkering and the fervor of the dotcom boom, the entryways into engineering have always been abundant. (And, of course, those journeys all look very different.)
Vettery sat down with Tim Obregon, a native New Yorker who recently accepted an offer that permits him the ability to focus on his front-end chops while having the flexibility to get out and travel. In his words, he used Vettery to find his newest opportunity simply so that his job search "could go on even when he was busy doing something else."
Let's start with the native New Yorker part. What about this city and its position in the tech world has kept you here all these years? What's uniquely exciting about NYC's tech community?
As one would expect, New York has always had a great tech scene that tends to keep pace with the latest innovations. Sometimes that might be tough because you're competing with some of the best and brightest for jobs, but if you can make the commitment to keeping your skills up-to-date, there are lots of rewarding challenges available involving cool, cutting-edge technologies. And one of the greatest things about NYC is its diverse population, so you're swimming in wonderful ideas from all over the globe.
So you're working remotely for June, which is based in SF. Can you tell me a little about your work/role there, and what made you particularly excited about the opportunity?
I'm going to be a software engineer at June, likely concentrating on front-end interfaces including their web site. I was drawn to them both by their amazing smart oven and the ability to work remotely. I'm hoping to do some traveling, perhaps even internationally, and it would be nice to be able to support myself while moving around.
Can you talk a bit about your career trajectory? How have you seen your role change over the years, since the dotcom boom?
I've worn more than a few hats over the years. There hasn't really been any common factor in the jobs I've had except that I've always been interested in what I was doing and learning. In the tech industry, it's always necessary to keep learning, but how does one choose what to learn? Just do what you like. But to take a step back and see how my industry has changed—one really has to know a ton of stuff to get started these days. When I started, if you knew HTML, that was all you needed. You could learn that in a weekend. Now it seems like it could take years to learn what you need to know just to get your foot in the door.
Knowing what you do know, would you go back and change anything about the roles you took on or the decisions you made in your tech career?
Knowing what I know now, I would not have stayed in some jobs as long as I did. Advancing in the tech world seems to go a lot faster if you jump from job to job. This also helps you stay up to date with your skills because one of your maximum points of learning is when you've just joined a company and they're training you in everything you hadn't worked with until that point. Sometimes I stayed too long in a position and my skills stagnated, making it harder to find another job when I needed to. Stay for a year, then seriously consider moving on.
This one's from our dev team: what's been the biggest-game changer in front-end tech over the last few years?
Tool automation has been the biggest game-changer. Everything from Gulp to Webpack, it's all the same thing—automating running tools on the code you've written. So many of the advances of the last decade would have been almost impossible without them.
This one's also from our dev team—to get into the weeds a bit: what do you think about uni-direction data flow vs two way data binding in frontend data management?
Two-way binding seemed like a good idea at the time, but unfortunately, it slowed Web sites down to a crawl. Uni-directional data flow til the break of dawn!
Where do you see the future of front-end work trending?
The future of front-end work is non-existent because AIs/machine learning is going to be able to do it way better, way faster. Not sure when that's going to hit, but it's not nearly as complicated as self-driving cars, and those are literally on the road in some cities today.
Any advice for devs looking to build their career in front-end/Java?
If I was starting today, I'd go to a boot camp. There's so much to learn—the best way is to saturate yourself completely. But if you can't do that, then just keep plugging away at it until you get where you want to be. Patience. Persistence. I'm almost completely self-taught. It can be done.
Anything else you want to add?