Waiting for "the" job and not settling for "a" job
I've gotten a little more serious in the last week or two about finding a job, because I think it's about time. Getting CoasterBuzz out last week was kind of like finishing up on a consulting job and looking for the next thing.
I've said all along that I wanted to hold out for "the" job instead of just taking "a" job. There are plenty of the latter where I live, and I learned years ago that you've gotta do what holds your interest or suffer from soul suckage. Nobody wants that! What I find difficult though is not believing in my qualification for various gigs, but getting the right message to interviewers. They really come in two flavors.
The flavor that I work well under is the kind who are most interested in accomplishments and the details of how you made them. One that I'm talking with now started with the owner of the company, a small-ish consultancy, and he is somewhat technical at best. His CTO understood programming more, but even he would concentrate more on practical, real world technique. These kinds of talks are more interested in how you're designing things, and how they performed in production.
The other flavor is the computer science stump interview, and I hate those. I don't have any formal education in computer science. I still can't explain polymorphism eloquently. I can't tell you about how memory works and is allocated, because I'm not that interested in our managed code world. It doesn't mean I wouldn't endeavor to gain a deep understanding if a situation would merit.
I've been thinking about how I can get around this, and my first instinct is a "25 cool things I've done with .NET" list or something like that. I have the distinct advantage of having more of my own code not owned by a former employer than most. I can show stuff like an AJAX control like Facebook's tokenized text list (what you use to add names to a message) or data-driven page mapping frameworks or, ugly as the SQL may be, my own text search engine.
There's still very much a divide between the computer science types and everyone else in some places. I'm not suggesting that it's some personality flaw with anyone, just that it's a cultural challenge. There are too many developers without the formal education who produce results as good as, if not better, than their lifetime computer science counterparts. Cutting through that barrier continues to be a challenge.