Wanna get a job in Silicon Valley?

Working at a tech startup in Silicon Valley can be a rewarding experience for you. “Can be” because it all depends on you and where you work. Working in Silicon Valley is nothing like the Bravo TV show Start-Ups: Silicon Valley where all they did was party in a multi million $$ house in SF powered by Bravo network and in between pressed few keys and walla, millionaires. Far from it. Hacking & Hustling is what working in Silicon Valley is about. It’s about doing whatever it takes to get shit done faster. No compromises. And if you get involved with the right startup, rewards in terms of accelerated education and potential financial returns await for you in the distance.

Things to get into order

If you just arrived to the valley or are planning to get here, I highly recommend you start with the basics. It by no means guarantees you a job but definitely increases your chances.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the business professionals network you should be on. LinkedIn is the worlds largest professional network with 225+ million members. If you haven’t heard of it you soon will. They are the Facebook for Business.

LinkedIn Global Stats

To-do list:

  1. Setup your profile and fill it out listing your achievements. Anyone can just do a job under the wip. Few extend themselves. This shows through achievements.
  2. Location matters – add “San Francisco” as your location. Even if you are not in the valley yet. This way you end up in LinkedIn searches.
  3. Recommendations in your profile – this shows your work history is credible. People tend to fluff up their resumes and having credible people who aren’t your friends give you recommendation validates your story.
  4. Keep it up to date. Use your LinkedIn feed (like Facebook) to post regularly on business related content.

Here is my LinkedIn portfolio if you want to connect / check it out: http://www.linkedin.com/in/semerda

Portfolio website

This is something which showcases you. Your identity. If you can get your name as the domain name e.g. ernestsemerda.com is mine, than even better and you will reap additional SEO benefits.

On this profile page throw up links to your social networks, links to prior work like portfolio sites you built/designed and how someone can reach you. You may also integrate your blogs latest post and/or twitter feed widget. If you code you should have a link to your GitHub/Bitbucket account. Shows that you can code and understand the basics of distributed version control systems.

Blogs

Blogs are not dead. Nothing beats the education you will receive from this experience. Your communication skills will improve, dealing with people via the comments (good or bad) will improve and it will allow a potential employer to get inside your head to understand you better. Remember, this is your brand. Don’t blog about cats chasing ponies.

Quality Blogging requires attention, detail and skills. Anyone can throw up a rehashed article or something in 140 characters. However blogging in a world of attention deficit and over stimulated individuals is tough. Productivity requires focus. Focus leads to Flow. Flow leads to getting shit done. Blogs are not dead. Only focus is diminishing. So blog! If you can blog I am certain you are an articulate, focuses, productive peep.

Don’t forget to comment on industry related blogs so you can reap additional benefits of inbound links and show others you are an expert in your industry.

Twitter

Tweeting

I never believed in Twitter until i started using it. Twitter is a good way to connect with people fast. Use “Lists” to group industry people and companies. Lists are great and help you maintain focus in a world of tweets. Then engage daily via replies, favorites and retweets. Read up on twitter etiquette for standard protocols so you get the gist of this ecosystem.

Relationship building takes time. Never forget this. So engage early and frequently with true intention. If you do not have true intentions then you will become disinterested and fall off the wagon. Why do you want to come to Silicon Valley?

Here is my Twitter page if you want to follow me: https://twitter.com/ernestsemerda

Klout

Klout calls itself as a standard of influence. Hook up all your online & social presence and use it as a guide to fine tune your social status of influence. This is more of a ruler than anything else. You always need a base to gauge your efforts.

Klout

You can see in the above picture my Klout score (58 as of writing this) and how it has steadily increased over time since I started using it early July. Remember this is a ruler to measure your social efforts.

A competitive landscape

In a competitive landscape like Silicon Valley, all this should eventually become habitual. Something you do daily to stay relevant & ahead in your industry. If this isn’t habitual, then build a habit of it. If this all feels too much for you than you are in the wrong industry. Or maybe you are not the right fit. Business in Silicon Valley is about people. You aren’t just selling your skills you are in the business of selling you. People want to know about you. So show and tell.

This is a city where you are measured by your works. If you have something to show then show it off. Otherwise go back to your room, close the door and hack something cool you can show the world that you are a doer and not another dreamer that cannot execute.

Good luck with your journey!

We are hiring @ Medlert!

We are hiring! Come and work at Medlert. We are in the business of SAVING LIVES. We are a Startup in the Health industry. We’re looking for world-class engineers and exceptional individuals, who are mission-driven, that want to help change the world. Visit our career page and apply today: https://www.medlert.com/about-us/careers

Actual photo taken from Medlert HQ in SF
Actual photo taken from Medlert HQ in SF

Semerda.com Bootstrap launches on GitHub: Free for everyone!

Go and grab it!

https://github.com/semerda/semerda-com-bootstrap

Get Semerda.com Bootstrap on GitHub

About GitHub

GitHub is a distributed version control system similar to Mercurial with a free Mac client. GitHub makes it easier to collabortate with others and share projects with the universe. GitHub has grown into an application used by over a million people to store over two million code repositories, making GitHub the largest code host in the world.

Goal for Semerda.com Bootstrap: “To help ease with starting up new projects in Python on Django with jQuery, Twitter’s Bootstrap, Modernizr & Handlebars.js.”

If you have any suggestions how to make this solution better please Leave me feedback.

Cool things you will find inside

  • Plenty of internal documentation to why something is being done. Also utilize the “Ref:” URLs. They are there as a reference for the source of the content. Great for digging deeper into those specifics.
  • Settings.py split into Development & Production modes based on platform node. The base template contains the platform node wrapped in comment declaration so you can view source and see if you are running in development or production mode.
  • HTTP error 404, 500 & 403 handlers with associate Templates – these are bare atm so feel free to expand and contribute better versions. See Quora for funniest 404 pages.
  • If you add {% include ‘django_debug.html’ %} to your base.html Django Template footer you will see Debugging information in the footer of all your pages. Not recommended in Production mode.
  • Handlebars & Django Template consistencies to help use.
  • Custom Handlerbars Helpers to help with index counting in a grid table and generating Twitter Bootstrap buttons.
  • All JavaScript files are loaded using Modernizr’s yepnope, a asynchronous conditional resource loader.
  • Few custom Semerda.com JavaScript modules using the Modular Pattern. I’m a big fan of the Modular Pattern due to its encapsulation, namespacing and seperation of concern possibilities.
  • What custom Modular JavaScript you will find under /media/js/
    • semerda.com.common.js – highlight the correct primary navigation tab based on page visited.
    • semerda.com.analytics.js – wrapper for Google Analytics (GA) to automatically tag all links on page by parsing the DOM for href. Also uses “data-ga” attribute (where present) to push custom labels for GA event tracking.
    • semerda.com.browserstorage.js – for HTML5 supported browsers the JSON load uses either the browser local or session store to work with the JSON data. Default is always local store. Great for use with JSON/API call data you want to cache locally vs constantly making calls to the API – see /about/ page for this example in use.

Frameworks used

  • Django: Django is a high-level Python Web framework that encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design.
  • jQuery: The Write Less, Do More, JavaScript Library: A fast, concise, library that simplifies how to traverse HTML documents, handle events, perform animations, and add AJAX.
  • Bootstrap, from Twitter: Simple and flexible HTML, CSS, and Javascript for popular user interface components and interactions.
  • Modernizr w/ yepnope.js: Modernizr is an open-source JavaScript library that helps you build the next generation of HTML5 and CSS3-powered websites. yepnope is an asynchronous conditional resource loader that’s super-fast, and allows you to load only the scripts that your users need.
  • Handlebars.js: Minimal Templating on Steroids: Handlebars provides the power necessary to let you build semantic templates effectively with no frustration. Mustache templates are compatible with Handlebars, so you can take a Mustache template, import it into Handlebars, and start taking advantage of the extra Handlebars features.

Thanks to

makinacorpus (Makina Corpus) for custom template tag code to get around handlebars mustache tags which are natively parsed by Django templating engine. Ref: https://github.com/makinacorpus/django-templatetag-handlebars

References

The following are blog posts I have written in the past which will help you when working with the code in Bootstrap Semerda.com.

A bit about the author Ernest Semerda

Bsc. Comp Sci & AGSM MBA. I Lead & Code for Coupons.com. Prior software architect at AMP Ltd, later CTO of Couponstar Ltd followed by an acquisition by Coupons.com, a $1B company. I am an Aussie entrepreneur & software engineer working on refreshing & innovative products in Silicon Valley like GTDfaster, Facebook ReadingList app et al.

This is my personal website: http://ernestsemerda.com/

I am responsible for the following properties

  • The Road to Silicon ValleyThis blog. A Blog which provides tools and resources to anyone wanting to come and work in Silicon Valley’s high tech industry. Experience is based on my own personal journey arriving in Silicon Valley on March 2009.
  • GTDfaster iPhone app – GTDfaster rests on David Allen’s principle of Getting Things Done (GTD). That a person needs to move stuff out of the mind by recording them externally into a trusted source. GTDfaster is this trusted GTD source. Also has a seperate posterous blog on GTDfaster.
  • Facebook Readinglist app – A popular free Facebook app to help you share, inspire & create a collection of books you have read, want to read or are reading. Start influencing your friends on Facebook today.

To-do list for Semerda.com Bootstrap

There is always a never ending to-do list. If you want to dd anything to it please feel free to.

  • Separate Handlebars Helpers into Standard & Twitter specifics.
  • Give SEMERDA prototype object a unique handle like jQuery does with $. Maybe use “$S”. This should shorten the calls a bit.
  • Throw in more Modernizr examples for Browser detection versus feature detection. Always aim for browser detection hence why we are using Modernizr here. We do not want to block users but gracefully degrade the experience where required.
  • Provide a set of minified semerda.com.xyz custom JavaScript modules. For now just use [Google Closure Tools](https://developers.google.com/closure/) to do the minification.
  • Add a real API vs calling /json/my_data.json dummy data.
  • Add some funny custom 404 pages. Inspired by Quora for funniest 404 pages.
  • Add Django Debug Toolbar – A configurable set of panels that display various debug information about the current request/response.
  • Add Python Modules examples and associated Unit Tests.
  • Add Django Middleware example and associated Unit Tests.
  • Cleanup/feedback from users – that’s you 🙂

Go and grab Semerda.com Bootstrap and enjoy the ease of building powerful Python based apps. Semerda.com Bootstrap primetime: https://github.com/semerda/semerda-com-bootstrap

Enjoy!
~ Ernest