Road to Mastery: CVs or Advocating Against Europass (for developers)by@alex.olival
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Road to Mastery: CVs or Advocating Against Europass (for developers)

by Alexandre OlivalJune 5th, 2017
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<span>Y</span>ou sure regret skipping those CV workshops at 4pm your school organized every semester now, don’t you? Shame on you!&nbsp;…well, actually it’s not a big deal. Assuming of course that you’re a prospective <a href="" target="_blank">developer</a>, you can rest assured that very few things were said in those workshops that were of any value to you.

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You sure regret skipping those CV workshops at 4pm your school organized every semester now, don’t you? Shame on you! …well, actually it’s not a big deal. Assuming of course that you’re a prospective developer, you can rest assured that very few things were said in those workshops that were of any value to you.

If you’re not a CS graduate or student, then shoo. This isn’t for your eyes. If you are, be sure to have read my first post where I set up this series and its purpose. Done? Let’s carry on then!

My First Curriculum

This might come across as a surprise for many people. But “worked 3 months at a beach bar” and “#3 biggest Hotline Miami national streamer” may not account for much when it comes to a job in development.

Before you raise your pitchforks, please understand that yes, I believe any kind of experience is relevant for any field. Admittedly, anything that involves human interaction and the minimum amount of responsibility can be extremely valuable, especially if you’re young.

But that’s not the case for everyone. And it doesn’t have to be. It’s square one for the majority of us once we step out of campus. And hardly anything not related to programming in your Curriculum will give you an edge.

Your CV should be concise, focused and tailored for what you want exactly: a job in development. Don’t have any previous work experience? No problem. You had plenty of caffeinated, last minute, rushed, hold-on-for-dear-life programming experiences in most of your courses for your degree. And that is kind of the point: it’s what you were being prepared for and what is expected of you as a Junior.

As such, anything else that is not related to programming is mostly clutter. And speaking of clutter…


Nothing screams “I couldn’t be bothered to actually think on what I want to do or what skills of mine to highlight for a potential job” more than the unholy godless hell spawn that is… The Europass.

The descending star scale is actually a metaphor for your lost dreams and ambitions.

Again, let’s be clear: we’re talking developers here. If you’re anything but, by all means go get yourself an Europass.

Otherwise, think: do you really need to fill all of what that demonic yellow and blue template asks you to? A driver’s license? Well… it does makes sense if we’re talking about the obscure but fast rising new road coding trend.

I saw many of my peers filling in even their primary school acquired “skills”. Yes… even me. I was clueless as well. I know better now though.

The look you risk getting from your interviewer when presented with The Europass.

What should you do then?

“But Alex” - I hear you say - “The Europass does give you a good boilerplate and decent guidelines to avoid the more common pitfall of not writing enough when you venture out to make your own CV!”

You astute little critter you ❤ We developers sure love a framework don’t we? DRY and all those fancy terms for “I don’t really feel like writing, but need to get something done nonetheless”.

Well, like is the case with every bug or error you’re stuck with, some of us have already been through this struggle and were kind enough to send the elevator down. I can’t give you a Developerpass. I can however give you the knowledge and expertise of those that not only had to hand over their CV for a development job, but had to actually read and evaluate others’.

Ask yourself: what would you look for in a candidate if I was interviewing someone for a position in Software Development? Hint: not his 3rd grade crayon proficiency.

Here’s the answer those aforementioned experts give.

I highly recommend you read that article. It goes in depth to the exact same struggles those with more experience had when changing jobs or applying for them based on their CVs. And it is the inspiration of this post.

However, we’re not experienced and many of you are not even developers yet. And you didn’t come reading all of this just to get linked to a mega post. And all this is suppose to stem from my own experiences. And that is kind of the point of this series, so…

How I wrote my CV

I was without any prior relevant work experience in development and was going through the exact same struggles most of you have when presented with a white Word page to write on. Then I stumbled upon that article. In the end you get a really cool template for a developer curriculum.

Now, obviously I wasn’t going to fill it with my failed attempt at freelancing and the four Java homework assignments I did for 15$ each to a couple of Indian CS students on

I filled it with my strong points. Specifically, I kept the “experience” related information to what I liked to do and what I wanted to do. If you see the template, it’s meant to be a single page, concise and attention grabbing. Keep it short and impactful with what you feel stands out in you related to what you liked most during your course! Finding those strong points will be the point of another post. But for now and for good measure, here is how mine turned out:

It’s got all the things I mentioned you should strive to have in your CV, as does the article I linked you to. Can you tell what technology I really wanted to work with when I started handing these out?


Most of what you read online related to CVs (and pretty much everything) in the development world might make you feel underprepared for what’s coming. But I can’t stress this enough - most of it isn’t meant for newcomers. Curriculums are definitely one of those topics.

You’re a fresh out of university student.

You’re not expected to have solved world hunger via your open source project and have a repository up on GitHub to prove it. Although let’s be honest, that would be a good wage bargaining plus.

University is meant to prepare you, to help you find yourself and find what you like. Curriculums are meant to show who you are. Catch my drift?You definitely have more than enough stuff to write. Now think hard on what you want, fill that template and brace yourself for the LinkedIn inbox spammage from every HR and their friends.

And steer clear from The Europass.