“Résumés suck,” says Stack Overflow VP of Community Product Jay Hanlon. “Nobody likes résumés.”
Stack Overflow, the definitive Q&A and community site for programmers, should know: One of its main businesses is hooking programmers up with the very many companies who want to hire them.
But nobody really likes updating their résumé, and it gets even worse among software developers — whether you’ve been coding for 3 months, 3 years, or 3 decades, your title is often still “programmer.”
It’s hard for a programmer, or anyone in a creative field, to get across the scope of their work, what they have accomplished, and what they’re most proud of within the constraints of a traditional résumé, where it’s all organised by job title.
Enter “Developer Stories,” which Stack Overflow thinks could be the résumé of the future:
Instead of listing stuff like “responsibilities” or focusing too heavily on job titles, Stack Overflow’s Developer Story concept relies entirely on things you’re proud of. That includes code you’ve contributed, blogs you’ve written, teams you led, features you developed, conference talks you’ve given, or anything else.
There are several advantages here, says Hanlon: It gives a better representation of a programmer’s actual skills, personality, and accomplishments, making it easier to stand out from the crowd in a field of same-same candidates.
Another major bonus, says Hanlon, is that since it’s so accomplishment-focused, it doesn’t emphasise where a candidate went to college — very important, given that so many programmers are self-taught. It has the potential to be a huge asset for companies, too, as the tech industry looks to recruit rising talent outside the Stanford-MIT-Harvard bubble to improve their ailing diversity figures.
And because it’s so personal, it encourages people to keep it updated even if they’re not actively looking for a job. Hanlon says that most Stack Overflow users are at least open to new opportunities, and a constantly-updated Developer story can draw recruiter interest.
Right now, Hanlon says, Stack Overflow is really heavily focused on programmers, since that’s the company’s core userbase. But maybe one day, not too long from now, Developer Stories could be opened up to people in other creative fields and beyond.