re: What is industry experience? VIEW POST


"Industry experience" primarily involves working on real-world projects with other people. It consists of the "soft skills": communication, project management, real-world problem solving, and the like, which can only be fully developed when working with others.

Industry experience contrasts with classroom experience, and is different from "hobbyist"-type experience when you work on things for yourself, by yourself.

Here's some good ways to gain industry experience:

  • Join an open source project, where you'll be working with other people. Dedicate serious time to it. If you have a lot of free time, you might even consider treating it like a part-time job for a while. This yields a LOT of excellent industry experience, as the skills translate directly to a real job. This is the easiest way to gain experience.

  • Look for internships, which will allow you to work on real projects in a work environment. It's important to watch out for scams - unpaid internships are only legal under very specific rules set by the U.S. Department of Labor (or the equivalent for your country). An employer offering good internships often benefits primarily from being able to train someone to take a non-entry position with their company, for less expense than if they hired an entry-level coder.

  • Take an entry-level coding position. This is perhaps the hardest to find, especially as you want a position that has you actually writing code, and not fetching coffee. In the end, there isn't much difference between a good internship and a good entry-level position. However, as far as I can tell, of the three options, entry-level positions are the hardest to progress out of.


Makes sense. Probably picking an open source project to work on will also make a person focus on a specific tech stack instead of being a generalist.

Funny story, this one guy who had a startup listed posts years back and we applied. During his pitch/interview he gave us a project that we'll be working on where he said there's no incentive but we'll get shares of the profits he will make from the app. We agreed on it of course but we ended up stealing the idea for ourselves.


I wouldn't say stealing his idea is something you should be bragging about. That's a rather blatant betrayal of trust, and highly unethical. :(

True. I barely looked at it that way. It's probably that bad luck that got us nothing out it the move.

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