Getting your first developer job
August 27, 2018
When speaking with new developers, one of the most common questions I get is “How did you get your job?”
The market for web developers is hot right now & a lot of new developers are looking to get their careers underway. In this blog post, I will share things that helped me land my first job. Hopefully, it’ll be helpful to you guys.
My teacher once told me to never walk into an interview with a paper resume. His advice was to build a website that is your resume.
What does an employer want to see from their interview candidates? They want confidence that you can build shippable products. By showing off a website or application that you built you’re giving them a live proof that you possess that quality.
Find exciting side projects
I took my teacher’s advice & put together a personal website. I wanted the personal website to not just be a resume but also a portfolio of my work. The problem was that I hadn’t built anything other than my college assignments. I found many side project ideas online but never had the motivation to finish them until I came across a project that genuinely excited me. I was involved in a student association at my college & we needed an online presence. I took on that project, finished it & added it to my portfolio.
Show an appetite to learn
This one goes in hand with my previous point. It’s unlikely that you’ll come across a job posting that is for absolute beginners. Apply for job positions that you aren’t qualified for. Now don’t get me wrong, if you have no experience & end up applying for senior positions that’ll do you no good. However, apply for any junior-mid level openings you see. The job posting that got me my first job required someone with at least 3 years of experience. Just go for it!
Did it work?
Every time I send my resume to a potential employer, I always include a link to my personal website. From there people can get to my blog, see my side projects & check out my social media websites. This has worked like a charm for me.
In my first ever job interview, the interviewer had thoroughly gone through my portfolio & already had a good idea about my strengths. When we started discussing those projects, it gave me a much-needed confidence boost. That combined with my commitment to learn & grow into the role helped me secure the position.
Deliver on your promises
If you get the job, make sure you live up to any promises you made. After I got my first job, I was 100% dedicated to the commitment I made during the interview process. I worked my back off until I grew into the position & had a thorough understanding of the code base & the languages in use.
Always be Learning
Even if you’re a year into your job don’t ever get comfortable with your knowledge. Always keep dedicating time to improve your skill set. Programming languages, frameworks, best practices evolve & you should evolve with them. Keep diving into more advanced topics & leveling up your skillset. You don’t have to know every single hotness that is out there but you shouldn’t be complacent either.