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How I got my first developer job

alexandergekov profile image Alexander Gekov ・3 min read

Background

My name is Alexander, 20 years old. Since 10th grade, I knew I wanted to become a programmer. I really liked building things that solve problems. Currently, I am a software engineering student in the Netherlands.

Originally I am from Bulgaria and I went to study in the Netherlands. The first few months my parents helped me financially but I didn't want to be a burden and I had to find a job.

Previous job

Being a student with lectures and all that - I began working as a food delivery rider.

Delivery rider

It was good since the working hours were flexible and I could get to know my city better. But I've always figured it as a temporary job. I wanted to be a developer.

Covid-19

Fast forward to March 2020 and Covid-19 took the world by storm. I went back to Bulgaria, while also paying my rent in the Netherlands. I couldn't work as a delivery person anymore and msot of the time I was locked in my apartment.

During this time is when I developed most of my programming skills and really gained an edge over my peers.

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To keep it short I :

  • learned about HTML, CSS and JavaScript
  • used PHP and Laravel
  • Relational Databases like MySql and Postgresql
  • got to know about Vue, React, Angular
  • Css frameworks like Bootstrap and Tailwind and most importantly I built projects, a lot of projects.

Many of which I ended showing on my portfolio website (which in itself is a project)

The struggle

So time passed by and I felt pretty comfortable with my skills and since I needed money I started looking for jobs. I made it into a habit every night to check local websites for junior or entry-level positions or even internships. I sent some companies my CV and cover letter.

After about 2 weeks I got a response from three companies (out of way more). Nevertheless, I went to the online interviews and every one of them went surprisingly well. However since I didn't know how long I would stay in Bulgaria, they all rejected me. So summer passed and when I got back to the Netherlands started working as a delivery rider again, the only difference being was that now I was more determined than ever to become a developer.

Getting the job

I was browsing LinkedIn every other night and looking for offers. A lot of them required Dutch, which I barely speak.
As before I sent my CV to a few companies and I got two responses.
One of them ended being my job today.

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The job is a front end developer position in a company with a size of about 50 people. I am using Vue, Typescript, and Electron.
My coworkers are friendly and I can combine it with my lectures and studies.

Resources that helped me throughout the way

and of course reading a lot of documentation, googling questions and never giving up.

Thanks for reading until the end, I am also starting my youtube journey where I will be posting cool and helpful coding videos.
You can check it out here

Discussion (13)

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raulsposito profile image
Raul

Congratulations! Loved the resources you shared, thanks

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alexandergekov profile image
Alexander Gekov Author

Thank you, Raul. I'm glad you liked the resources.

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Setthasiri Ngamsom

Are you confident with the skills and technology that company used before you got the job? Or you start to learn when you got in?

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Alexander Gekov Author

I knew Vue, but definitely not a master with it, and for Electron I had no experience.
The most important things is knowing the fundamentals of programming. Technologies change every day and what you use today can be obsolete tomorrow. Most companies look for attitude, not just bare knowledge.

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jordanaf808

Amazing job! I'm a 'covid' coder too!

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alexandergekov profile image
Alexander Gekov Author

That's great! Keep at it.

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Luis Pinheiro

Congratulations, good job!

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nop33 profile image
Ilias Trichopoulos

Good job! Congrats!

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David AJ🙂

Congratulations!!!

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Alexander Gekov Author

Thank you, David!

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Amrapali Rai

Congratulations!

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