The Journey From Recruiter To Coder

When Anthony asked me to write this blog post I didn’t know where to start… My name is Greg Pfaff and I work for Razorfish as a Senior Recruiter. For 8 years I have recruited the best software engineers I could find for my clients, the last 4 have been for Razorfish and it’s been a wonderful experience. During my time here I have learned a lot and have accomplished personal and professional new heights. Through lots of learning, Razorfish awarded me the fortunate opportunity to make the switch from the recruiting field to be a full-time Front-End Developer. I didn’t know how to start this article so I googled it, what I found were mostly articles about software engineers turning recruiter and not the other way around. So I’ll do my best and give it shot to give you my perspective.

Learning a new skill set and starting from scratch can be daunting but it can also be very rewarding. Talking to software engineers and web developers all day became a lens into a gigantic playground that I needed to be a part of. It doesn’t happen over night but here are the steps I took which helped me gain entry into the field. I started off with some nightly boot camp classes, this way I could keep my day job and familiarize myself with basic technologies. From that point, I started to leverage any online resource I could find. Setting up specific times and dates to make sure I was investing into my technology skill-set. Any question you might have, I am willing to bet there is someone who has solved it beforehand and can add an answer. To compliment the other steps I tried to interact with anyone who was more senior than I was. Whether it was asking development questions for potential recruits or pairing with programmers at Razorfish. Talk to as many people as you can! They are an invaluable resource into learning about technology and the beauty of the tech community, in general, is they’re always open to lending an ear and helping you solve a problem. One thing to keep in mind is that they were once in your shoes and know how hard it can be at times. The key is to keep on keeping on!

The journey will be long and arduous but I am extremely excited for what is ahead of me. I am leaving a field where I have spent the last 8 years and joining one where I am very green. The challenge that is ahead of me is exhilarating as I will be continuing to learn and I can’t wait to the see the possibilities!

by Greg Pfaff (recruiter turned coder)