Fewer frameworks. More boring, staple technology. A focus on the people who use things more than the developers who build them. Performance. Accessibility. Resilience.
Unfortunately, most job descriptions don’t really focus on those things.
There are a few reasons why this happens…
- Recruiters throw the kitchen sink of buzzwords into the job description, casting a wide net to get as many leads as possible.
- Recruiters assume The Best Developers™ all want to use the shiny new stuff, so they appeal to that in the job description.
- Keeping up with the Joneses. Every other job seems to include these things, so ours should, too!
- Some senior developer at the company wanted to learn some new tech, and convinced the engineering team to try it, so now they use an over-complicated stack.
- There’s a legitimate business need.
You’ll generally find that agencies and startups skew heavily towards “chase buzzword technology” because it’s how they get young, cheap developers they can exploit easily for low pay. It also lets them sell “built with cutting edge technology” to clients and customers.
Stable product companies doing boring things are more likely to have resilient, boring technology under-the-hood. That’s not a bad thing!
So, what can you do? Depending on your life situation, you have two options…
- Apply for less-than-perfect jobs, grow your skills, and leverage them into a better situation later.
- Wait until you find that unicorn job that’s the perfect fit. This can take a really long time (sometimes years).
If you’re in a situation where you need to pay the bills now and don’t have any other options, choice 1 is the obvious pick. If you’re already in a job or have a social safety net, you might be able to pick choice 2 and wait for the perfect role.
I’ve done both at various points in my career, and they each have their pros and cons.