re: I switched careers to Software Engineering in my late 30s while nursing a newborn, Ask Me Anything! VIEW POST

re: As a soon to be graduate in software engineering. What advice can you give for finding the first job.

Hi Mrunal! If you had asked me this question 2 months ago, my answer would've been different. But 6 weeks at my new job has taught me one of the most important and underrated skills as a developer: being able to read, understand and work with code that someone else has written.

So my top advice for new software eng grads is get involved in an opensource project (or volunteer as a developer for a local nonprofit or organization).

Algorithm challenges are important, yes, and whiteboarding and all that. BUT opensource contributions PROVE that you are able to assimilate yourself into an existing dev environment and work well with the team behind that project.

I'm not sure what languages you know, but if Ruby is one of them, absolutely join the DEVCommunity opensource project. I found their app a breeze to set up on my local machine, and their support and encouragement are unparalleled.

My second piece of advice would be to make sure that your finished projects on GitHub are actually finished and polished. In-progress projects should be indicated as such. Also write a detailed for each github project. Finally make sure your online professional profiles (portfolio site, LinkedIn, etc) are detailed and polished (good grammar, etc), so that you make the best first impression on people.

Good luck on your job hunt! Let me know how else I can help!

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