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Kelvin Liang
Kelvin Liang

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Strategy to get a developer job in 2020

I list my thinkings and plans on getting a developer job in the next 3 months, I hope it will work and you can find them relevant and helpful.

I think everyone should have a unique strategy of getting a developer job because I believe everyone is different and so is the market.

First, there are some mysteries during the job searching process.

Job Search Mysteries

1.Should I choose the hottest technologies to learn?

Most of the time, choosing the hottest tech stack to start and move forward is nothing wrong, just keep in mind that the competition is fierce as well, therefore, your chance of getting a job would be lower.


  • If you already in the job search phase, you probably can't change quickly, so just stick with them.

  • If you are learning and searching at the same time, choosing the honest tech stack still the right choice, but you need to think about what is your niche.

  • Try to build something around it while you learning. For example, among so many other react developers around the world, I picked testing in react as my unique toolchain to move forward.

2.Should I only interested in some particular jobs?

When I first start to job search, it is easy to think I should narrow down the scope and focus on the most interesting jobs out there, that is nothing wrong.

But again, please keep in mind, the more restrictions you put on your job search criteria then the less chance of getting a job you will have.


  • You should put the restrictions on only if you are 100% certain, otherwise, widen your search criteria will help you to see more opportunities out there.

I made these mistakes on the first months of job searching, I was wondering why so little job is available in the market.

3.Should I learn more before applying?

There are always temptations of trying to make your portfolio perfect by learning more, doing more projects and having more networking, etc.

However, at the same time, the more energy you spend on improving your portfolio, the less time you will spend on job searching, therefore, the chance of getting a job is not promising.


  • Spread your time and energy in both improving and job search, and use them wisely.
  • Be careful about taking a big side project while you are on job searching.
  • You couldn't perfect everything, chose something it is important to you, and ignore the others.

4.Should I only focus on these companies?

Choosing to open or close to some particular companies is totally up to you, but again, the more close you are, the little you will know what is the reality of the job market.

When we first start to search, it is easy to think that we should focus on the companies we know, but the reality is there are many companies and startups out there we have never heard about do offering pretty good positions out there.


  • You should be more open when just start to search, it will help you know more companies and markets out there.
  • Once you know more about the market and understand what you want, you can start to narrow down your shortlist to save your time and energy.

Second, Make a plan.

Job Search Questions
Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

Please Note - You have to give yourself time to get to know the market and yourself better before jump into the conclusion on what you want.

When I first start looking for a job, it seems obvious that I should make a plan, but it was actually not.

I actually just trying to find jobs spontaneously. I applied for 20 jobs in one week but only 3 jobs another week, I jump on to learn something new for one month then I do nothing for the coming month, take a lot of time to start a side project but never have time to finish it.

Sounds like you? Maybe you are better than me, but to be honest, job searching is really confusing for most of us. Frustrations and motivations come at the same time, opportunities and self-confidence are not equally spread, time always not enough but at the same time, you seem not sure what to do next.

There are many ideas that led me into different directions and paths that seem can get me to start, except they are not.

After 3 months, below are what I have learned:

  • The first coding job is usually hard for junior dev, frustrations and rejections are daily routines in our job searching life, it is normal to take up to 12 months until the first job is landed.

  • I still have to put some faith in myself and the industry, be consistent and persistent.

  • Focus on things I could change, not the things I couldn't change.

    • location/culture/nationality/work permit
    • tech stack (it is not realistic that pick up another tech stack while job searching)
    • background (such as language, work experiences, degrees, etc)
  • There are still many things I can change, but I need to choose carefully because I have limited time and energy.

After rationalizing the situation, I started to make plans.

  1. I start to set some more measurable targets every week (just like you are at work), such as:
  • Applying for 20 jobs a week,
  • Connecting 3 recruiters on LinkedIn every week,
  • Do a mock interview at etc.
  1. I start to write technical articles regularly to recording down my journey of job search (Just a personal preference, a way to networking, and learning).

  2. I start to brainstorm side project ideas, target at:

    • Open-source project,
    • Frontend related,
    • Javascript base,
    • lightweight(Can be finished in one month).

Third, aim for a bigger goal.

Aim for bigger
Photo by Poodar Chu on Unsplash

Although this article is talking about finding a job in 2020, we should always aim for a bigger target in the long run.

Still, remember why we want to learn code in the first place? Getting a better lifestyle? Love doing problem-solving? or Adapting the new changes in the industry?

For me is trying to get a better work-life balance and adapting the new changes. As for now, I aim for a junior frontend developer job.

It has to be a frontend and it has to be a coding related job because I aim for getting into top-tier high-tech companies in 3 years as a senior Frontend developer.

And in 5 to 10 years, I want to start my own business/startup in China.

Once these goals have been set, I have a better idea of what kind of company I am looking, and what kind of job I should give more thought about.

For example, I am more tended to join startup companies vs. established companies, I think a more versatile role is better than a more static role because of the reason above.

Final words.

Horizon view
Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

I knew many developers written about their job searching journey every month, but I still want to have my own version here to remind me how I get through the process.

I wrote this article mostly is for self-encouragement and self-affirmation, I can't say the above strategy will work, but I can say it is most suitable for me now.

I do hope from the process and thinking I shared here, you will be inspired and make your own strategy on your job search journey. And I would love to hear comments and suggestions from you.

Finally, I do get inspiration and idea from some other resources, I will share them below, hope can help you as well.


This Post original posted at my blog here.

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