Jobs to Stay Away From

During my month of unemployment (which felt like a lifetime), I got thrown back into the job market with no lifesaver, thrashing in a sea of horrible jobs looking for something out there I’d be a good fit for. Ultimately I found lots of great things when I started looking outside of Florida, and ended up with 5 different job offers at the same time. But what was even more amazing was how some things in the job market never change, and some of the new trends in hiring these days. Below, I have created some fake job descriptions to help all aspiring web developers navigate the rough waters of modern day job hunting. Enjoy.

Disclaimer: NONE of these are based on any previous jobs I’ve held, which have all been overall positive experiences, but rather based on ridiculous job requirements I’ve seen over the years.

Captain of All that is Awesome
We are looking for a ROCKSTAR developer and IT Evangelist to work for a super awesome badass company!! We’re pretty much the best company ever, because we have beanbag chairs and Xbox. You must be a designer fluent in Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. A web developer fluent in Dreamweaver, Flash, Flex, Ruby on Rails, ASP.NET, PHP, Java, Javascript, and jQuery. Must be a mobile developer fluent in Java and Objective-C, even though you’ll spend 100% of your time in Phonegap. You must have advanced level MySQL, Oracle, sqlite, and NoSQL. Must be a cloud evangelist that has built data centers and has Oracle networking certification. Must have a Six Sigma Black Belt, a PhD in Nuclear Engineering, and expert knowledge of House and Glee (because we’re so down to earth). At AwesomeCorp, we’re hard at work building our CEO’s idea of the moment, whether it’s an app to tell bros where to party, a WordPress plugin that puts, like, hot chicks all over your blog, or a Facebook game that simulates drunk surfing. Come work for AwesomeCorp, because we’re so freaking awesome!!

These are the most easily-recognizable postings, due to use of the words “rockstar” and “evangelist”. Typically it’s a company on the beach, run by a trust-fund frat boy or ex-high school jock trying to live out his glory days bossing people around. The job requirements are impossible, but they’ll hire you if you know the secret handshake. Considering you have to do everything under the Sun at any given time, the pay sucks and the boss is intolerable. The company goes under when it turns out the boss’s snail mail “fake DMV” scam was frowned upon by the state government, thus he spends the weekend converting next week’s payroll to Jose Cuervo.

Ironically Cool Web Barista
HipStar LLC of Portland is looking for a simple web designer to take our Social Network about fixies and old-timey mustaches to a whole new level. Candidate must be fluent in Bootstrap, Node.js, Sproutcore, SASS, HAML, ExtJS, and 10 other Javascript frameworks you’ve never even heard of that came out last month. Must supply your own MacBook Pro with Retina Display. Or else you’re not cool enough to work here. The dress code is Paul Bunyan swag, and the kitchen (we call it the “pretension pond”) is always stocked with Pabst Blue Ribbon. Qualified candidates must have beards and producer glasses, and must submit their art school portfolios for us to make fun of. We’ll contact you within 48 hours to let you know that the cut paper look is so Fall 2012.

There are way too many of these. The “we wish we were Apple” corporate culture from a prima donna CTO, along with incredibly esoteric technology requirements. Ultimately nobody gets hired, which is too bad, because their auction website for knit animal hats totally would have taken off.

Web Developer III
Conglomodyne Corportion requires a synergistic candidate skilled in Visual Studio, ASP.NET, T-SQL, Source Safe, and Powershell to leverage a banking application structure. Must be familiar with Agile/SCRUM SDLC, and must be able to pass a test where you identify 200 different IT acronyms, because that’s an excellent indication of whether or not you can do the job. Your workspace will be in the AT&T building downtown on the former janitorial services floor. Just follow the inspirational posters into our waiting room, then we’ll call you in to grill you on technologies we don’t even use here. Benefits include Hawaiian shirt day, picnic sack races, and a water cooler on every floor. Conglomodyne is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

There are lots of these, and the recruiters always swear this company always does contract-to-hire. Getting hired here is easy; the answer to every interview question involves the words “proactive”, “incentivize”, and “low-hanging fruit”. Standing on the shoulders of giants and getting money shoveled to you is fun for awhile, until the cubicle life starts wearing you down. Then the managers and HR who seem bent on making you miserable. And the nonsense meetings that last half of the day, that make you fantasize about ED-209 board room re-enactments. In the end, even if they did extend a job offer, it’s more beneficial to leap out the window of the 43rd floor… you’d have a better chance of surviving. See, there is a lot to learn about the corporate world from RoboCop movies.

i am looking for a web guru who knows photo shop cs9, excel & autocad 2016 for a project that is sure to make BILLIONS & YOU WILL BE ON THE GROund floor to make teh 6 fig$$$$!!!!11 this idea has never been thought of before so u must come to my home office at 1433 trailer oaks cir to sign a NDA. all candidates must be CHRISTIAN & are subject to a background check. if u are from the government or cia u nead not apply..

Danger, Will Robinson. Some wannabe CEO with absolutely zero clue about the industry wants to sell his/her MLM diet plan through the internets, and wants to pay you in “private stock”. Unless you live in Silicon Valley, this never pans out for anyone. Ever. Plus, with this person’s knowledge of software that doesn’t exist yet, coupled with their fringe entrepreneur spirit, chances are your boss will be this guy:

And if you do end up working for these people, nothing will get done because they’ll stand over your shoulders and argue with you why you didn’t make their website a pixel-perfect adaptation from the Word document they gave you, and how removing Comic Sans from the products page is “subverting their carefully-engineered, god-given vision”.

Sr. Internet Engineer
Victrola Technologies now has an opening for a senior level world wide web (www) programmer. You may have seen us in our booth at COMDEX. Utilizing what is known as the “Internet”, or “information superhighway”, you will be in charge of utilizing cutting edge cyber languages like Perl and TCL/TK to build robust, bug-free “web sites”. Bonus points if you can use Java or Macromedia Shockwave to add rich interactive user experiences to your work. Optimal candidates will have experience in Visual Basic, ASP, and Visual Foxpro, and an A+ certification. Please contact us at

I often wonder how these situations end. This could potentially be a great company, but with a clueless hiring manager that hasn’t updated the job description in 8 years, or doesn’t know the difference between a web designer and a web developer. Here they are on Monday, waiting for their new VP of development to walk through the doors so they can walk them to their private office, offer a complimentary bottle of Dom Perignon, and hand over the keys to the executive washroom, but instead you chicken out at home because you don’t think you have the 4 years of COBOL experience they demanded on the requirements. With sad looks on their faces, they go back to the beer pinball tournament they’re having in the break room. You’ll never know what you’ve missed.

IT Scapegoat
Cupertino, CA company seeks a GIS specialist who can help fix a popular mapping app. Must have a firm grasp of map software engineering and Objective-C experience. Must be able to use Xcode for 40 hours a week without getting the urge to gouge out own eyes. Must be able to take angry calls from the Australian Government, and spend hours writing apology letters to customers under the initials T.C.. Benefits include dartboard featuring Larry Page, a Steve Jobs shrine made out of Beatles and U2 records, and a $20 iTunes Gift Card. Please send resume in Keynote format to 1 Infinite Loop.

Two words: RUN. AWAY.

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