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Any tips for entry level developers trying to land a full time position in 2020?

irisjitomo profile image Iris Tristan Jitomo ・1 min read

It's been well over 4 months into the job search process. I've changed my strategy from filling out applications solely, reaching out to people on linkedIn, reaching out to employees with the title of Recruiter, Talent, Manager. No luck as of yet, hoping to get some insight on some strategies that some of you have done.

Discussion

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I was in a similar position a few years ago. Fresh out of boot camp I was looking for an entry level developer job. My twitter is in my profile and DMs are open if you have any questions about the advice I’m about to give.

  1. Apply like crazy through the online application processes still. I kept a Trello board with the progress of every application I sent out and the status, including, 1st interview, 2nd interview, coding exercises etc. This will also help you to manage your time to reach out. Usually after 48 hours of no response, I’d reach out directly to get an update no matter the status of the application.

  2. Network, network, network. This is a lot more difficult now due to COVID-19 but it can still be done. There are a lot of developer meetups that are now happening remotely and a lot of discord/slack communities to be apart of. Code Newbie is a good one off the top of my head but there are literally hundreds. Join as many as you can manage and interact and network through there. Sub tip here: I used to ask developers I’d meet at meetups to grab coffee with me at one point. I would never out right ask for a job or a referral I would just get advice from them, hear about their projects at work or other interesting things, and then at the end of the hang out I’d ask them if there was someone else that would be good to meet. Usually this would mean a second coffee with a different developer. I met a lot of really cool people this way and learned a lot about the industry in my local area. You could ask developers if you can “buy them coffee” by ordering them some through door dash or grub hub (if you have the means) or something similar and ask for an hour of their time over google hangouts or zoom.

  3. Practice as much as you can so when you get the interview you can ace it. Do CodeWars or LeetCode challenges constantly to get better at solving small problems.

  4. Open source contributions are a great thing to point to on a resume or even as an opportunity to network more. Find a package of a language you’re familiar with and start testing it and using it. Contributions can come in the form of code but also documentation, examples, tests etc. So keep all that in mind.

  5. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a bit. This is a numbers game ultimately and the 4 other points here increase your odds that you’ll land a job. Even the cold applications mentioned in #1 will mean that eventually you’ll get a job. If out of every 100 you land 1 interview than that means 200 applications will get you 2. It’s discouraging but also encouraging cause you know each rejection is one step closer to your goal.

  6. If you have the means, conferences are another way to interact and network and I’d recommend them if you can afford them, if not don’t worry meetups are free and like I said there’s hundreds of communities to get involved with.

Good luck on your journey and for anyone in a similar position feel free to DM me on twitter if you’d like for advice as well. I’ll review your resume’s as well (If time allows) and will do my best to assist.

For full transparency I got my first dev job by networking at a meet up, I met a CTO who hired me for a technical support role that 7 months later turned into a full stack developer position.