Mid-Level PHP/MySQL Programmer/Developer

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You walk into the old, dimly lit diner after a long day of job searching. You hear a small group of people in a corner throwing out words and phrases such as “mid range dev”, “PHP”, and “MySQL” which catches your attention. You happen to catch a glance from one of the older looking of the group and he motions you to come over. Unsure on why you were singled out, you hesitantly make your way to the table. It takes you a minute, but as you stand near the group you begin to understand better what they’re talking about.

“We just need someone that knows how to put their head down and throw down some decent code,” a taller male with short hair says. Someone mentioned his name was Ty earlier; you mentally note that and continue to listen, “We have too much to program and not enough programmers.”

“Well he can’t be a junior dev cause we’re looking for someone with decent PHP experience. We need someone to hit the ground running. They don’t necessarily need to be familiar with a particular PHP framework, but I guess it wouldn’t hurt if they did. Oh, and they’ll definitely have to know how to work with MySQL too!” a lady says as she sips on her Italian soda. “There’s a lot of programmers out there and they’ve only worked on dinky little projects and they have no idea how to work with something substantial.”

“Most of ’em don’t even know what an index is in a database!” Ty blurted out and laughed to himself. “They think that because they know some HTML, CSS, and jQuery that they can build anything on their own, and then it buckles under the pressure when load and scale are thrown at it,” he says aloud and slams his hand down on the table.

Charlotte, the waitress, passes behind you writing something down on a small pad. You say hi and she smiles and asks, “The usual for you?”

“Yeah, sounds good right now,” you smile and then turn your head back towards the conversation.

“Do they have to have a CS degree or do you think experience we’ll be enough?” the lady you’ve figured out is Rachel asks the group.

“Ehh, it’ll depend on how the interview goes. A degree is cool but you could still be a bonehead at understanding coding concepts and waste a lot of our time. The last guy we hired burned us pretty good pulling that degree card,” Ty replied and continued, “I bet if we hired a senior dev they’d just be bossing us around and telling us everything we’re doing is wrong! A senior will just slow us down.”

You notice the older one who motioned you over has been silent for most of the conversation. His fingers are interlocked in front of his face and he is quietly moving his head from one speaker to the next.

“We have a decent benefits package to offer whoever we hire. Medical, dental, vision, a decent amount of PTO and even a little benefits stipend to split up between wherever. We pay our programmers well,” Rachel says to no one in particular. After a moment she looks at another lady and discreetly comments, “Well a senior dev could work as long as they weren’t so full of themselves and realized the world revolves around the sun and not them.” The other lady quietly laughed while Ty was distracted giving his order to the waitress.

“Are you ok if they work remote?” Ty asks another lady.

“Well, I guess it might be ok eventually once we know they’re pretty decent,” the lady replies back.

The conversation lulls for a moment and you feel a swell of courage rise up from inside you. This is the perfect opportunity you’ve literally been searching for for weeks! You feel the words coming together inside your head and right before they come out, Ty notices you and turns to the older guy that originally motioned you over.

“Why’d you bring them over Ron?” he subtly chides Ron while pointing at you. “You think some random person walking into this place is who we’re looking for?”

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