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How Do You Really Get Hired?

According to an article on, "Through 2026, 253,400 software developer positions will open." With more and more Bootcamp graduates flooding the field, how do we actually get our foot in the door?

There are a plethora of articles on the demand for Developers and Engineers in addition to the tons of online coding schools popping up everywhere but positions are rarely targeted to us.

There is a lack of Junior Dev positions and if there are any internships available, there are always targeted to recent Computer Science grads from four-year universities. You go to tech conferences, with career fairs and employers won't even budge at you without a CS degree.

Is there really a lane for Bootcamp graduates, if so how can we turn that one lane highway into a two-lane highway to help others get their foot in the door.


Top comments (12)

thatamymac profile image
Amy MacKinnon

I second the person who said "Getting a job has very little to do with your ability to do the job." I am a Senior Software engineer who has excelled in all my jobs, but still struggle in job interviews. Most companies still test with coding puzzles and algorithms even though that has very little to do with day to day work.

If you're struggling to even get interviews, networking like crazy is a good way to conquer that, as other people have mentioned. But once you do get interviews you have to study for the test, unfortunately, and that means brushing up on a bunch of Computer Science fundamentals, coding puzzles etc. I find this is a good site for practicing:

donita profile image

Thank you, Amy, for your thoughts and site recommendation! :)

recursivefaults profile image
Ryan Latta

Getting a job has very little to do with your ability to do the job.

No aspect of a company hiring someone is honest, straightforward, or in your favor.

Getting a job is a set of skill that has to be applied to a game that is stacked against you.

The tools of the trade haven't changed that much. A great resume gets makes them say, "Yes" to you in 60-90 seconds. A great cover letter makes adds 2-3 minutes to reinforce it.

A lot of people are putting a lot of effort into portfolios, github, and side-projects. Thats fine, but realize that the story that people have to leave with is that they think you're a good fit. If you don't think you can control that story through github or portfolios or projects, then they may work against you.

Whatever tools you pick, your best way into a job is through your contacts. Reach out to everyone you've ever met if thats what it takes. Ask them if they know of any positions and introductions. Give THEM your resume. Many companies give incentives for finding people. Recommendations like this represent close to %60 of hires.

Cold applications through job sites require your resume/cover letter to be rock solid. This is a skill you can develop. Think of it as a set of experiments where you adjust your resume to be in some way even better for the job you apply for, and send it. Adjust again for the next one.

You can get to 100% call backs doing this.

adambrandizzi profile image
Adam Brandizzi

First, note that every person has a story and some suggestions may not play well for another person. So, people should take my comment with a grain of salt :)

As people mentioned, contacts are the surefire way to get a job. Networking is useful but friends are the ultimate path for getting hired.

Finally, one should not create a too narrow view of your career. It is comforting to imagine yourself working on a startup or a Big Five but there are so many employers in so many areas! Even with a vision of what you want, it is a good idea to start on less shiny enterprises: in-house software teams, enterprise software vendors and especially consultancies and outsource companies have many opportunities. If one appears, give it a chance, it is way easier to move after the first job.

Good luck!

rhymes profile image

Like many other jobs networking and knowing someone might give you an edge.

Be it collaborating in opensource, establishing a presence in a community, having a great website, even going around to conferences and introducing yourself to people or even being super active in the right niche of Twitter.

I recently got "half" of a job offer at a wedding just because I was there talking with an ex client (now friend) of the groom (which is a friend of mine and a dev as well).

PyCon Italy, a tech conference, has a specific recruiting track and I witnessed in the past people getting job offers (or at least the prospect of one) right there at the conference. Check it out:

Even asking the right questions can give you an edge:

It's hard but falling in line with "the others" (for example at a job fair) won't easily give you an edge. Think about it: you're a recruiter at a medium size company (let's skip the big ones), maybe woke up on the wrong side of the bed, you have to drive to the middle of nowhere where the fair is held, you setup your booth with the help of the conference organizers and then sit there for two days while random people swing by and give you their CV, you smile even if you're getting bored sometimes, the fair is finished, you go back to the office on monday and you realized you collected 87 CVs, you do not know any of these people, no one at your company knows anyone of these people. How do you sort them out? Maybe you remember four or five of them because you had exceptionally pleasant interactions or because they made you laugh about something (but maybe they didn't because most devs are not the best social animals), you wrote down their names so you can check their CVs first and see if they also know their shit, you discard half of those four people, you still have 80 or so CVs to go through, you start from the ones that on paper have the most education and/or experience, you send the CVs of the first ten/fifteen to the tech lead, the tech team respond saying they are interested in half of them, after all they are just looking for one junior dev because in the meantime they found a few great candidates through contacts of their own, the tech team tells you they'll eventually ask you more CVs in case none of the candidates pan out. If you're lucky your CV in is in those top 15, if not, your CV sits in a folder until the next round, maybe. Better be one of those contacts in this scenario ;-)

jess profile image
Jess Lee • Edited

If I could go back to my post-bootcamp days, I would have told my younger self to find a way to contribute to open-source. I think it's a great resume booster and a strong way to differentiate oneself from fellow junior job seeking peers. On that note, is now open source 😇

donita profile image

Thank you for the tip!

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

I can't quite get over how random the process is. Like, you're basically doing your best and then hoping for the best. So much is out of your control.

And then there's the fact that basically one success out of one hundred tries is the same ultimate result as one success out of five tries. Your success "rate" is basically irrelevant as long as someone does eventually hire you.

I've written about this train of thought in the past:

donita profile image

You're so right about the process being random because everyone's story is different! Thank you for sharing your article, I am about to read it now!

anurbol profile image
Nurbol Alpysbayev

The strongest and smartest are gonna survive, the weakest are gonna starve. That's a hard-to-swallow pill.

donita profile image

It might be a hard pill to swallow, but some great advice!