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Saumya Nayak
Saumya Nayak

Posted on • Originally published at saumya.hashnode.dev

How to get Experience in Tech as a Student?

If you have ever tried to apply to either Full time or even Intern positions in Tech as a Student. You must have come across these crazy requirements of experience.

You need to have 1 year, 2 years, 3 Years of experience!

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I mean it can be really overwhelming for students or beginners out there who really want to work, learn & get that first Experience which is super important.

For example, I have been rejected many times after the Recruiter reached out to me based on my resume & stuff. But I was either denied or ghosted by them when I said that I'm an Undergrad & not a graduate. And obviously, these were big companies or on their way to becoming one.

But I mean if you reach out based on the work shouldn't you at least interview & reject on basis of skills and not on so-called Experience or conventional degrees. But in hindsight, it is understandable from the POV of the company.

So, from my small experience being a student, working at startups & learning from various people till now, I'm going to share with you some points or steps you can take that will get you this work experience as a student.

This is super cool because even before you graduate you will know how Software engineering works, how to build a product that people use, hone your skills and be great at it, and if you build something cool or work somewhere you can also earn some money which might help you and your family out!

First of all, I would like to just remind you that you don't need any conventional path to become an engineer & especially a software engineer.

They say the best things in the world are free. Code is permissionless, if you want to learn it you can learn it for free, nobody or no degree makes you an engineer, you become one when you build things.

And all these things can be followed by anyone even if you don't have a degree or a super good college because all these don't matter if you have skills.

Wait & if you are a video person here you go 🙌 :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGm8iOqE4bk

So with that in mind let's get started 👇:

  1. Opensource

The point with opensource is that if you are contributing to a good project you are already a Software Engineer. That is the reason companies directly reach out to folks with great Github stats, contributing to great projects consistently.

You will notice that many of the good programmers are super active in contributing to open source projects selflessly. I mean that's the living proof of your experience and skills.

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The code does all the talking you don't have to!

And I understand seeing these big opensource projects can be pretty intimidating. But you can start small with some tech stack you know, just go to GitHub search that, find beginner-friendly issues, clone the repo and try doing things locally.

And make that first PR of many to come.

2. Build Projects

Now I am a big believer in building Projects because mostly every big thing that you see or use now just started as a small project or side project at some point of time by some "one".

I myself got a lot of confidence by just building things.

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Projects are the bridge the makes you an intermediate from a beginner & eventually even an expert.

So I would suggest don't just learn, instead invest more time in just building stuff this will automatically make you learn way better than if you would have just learned. I built HackrNews when I wanted to learn NextJS.

Now once you build things the next step is publishing those to the world:

  • If you work on the Web, deploy the project for free on sites like Heroku, Netlify, or Vercel.
  • If you work on mobile try to publish your apps to the play store.
  • If you work on ML, try to make a simple UI to make a normal user interact with the model.

The result of doing this is that you are not just building projects but products that people can use & interact with and who knows what that might lead to !

I know people who have published very simple apps to play store with 100 thousand downloads now. This will definitely land you an internship let alone buying offers and Jobs!

3. Applying to Startups

I will tell you this from my experience and also it is pretty well known that it's super hard to work in well-established companies as an undergrad. Because of their requirements, one of them being you should not be an undergrad. 😄

So, what's the solution, what will you do if you want to work, learn & get that experience. Well, the answer is startups!

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India is currently having a startup boom which Silicon valley once had some years ago, there are lots of funding & investments being poured into great ideas.

And people desperately want to hire people with skills to turn those ideas into real products & nobody cares about experience. which is exactly how it should be!

I work at a startup now being a student & I get to learn how a product is being made from nothing which is invaluable than 4 Years of College.

So trust me you will learn a lot and get that experience! So go apply on sites like AngelList, YCombinator, and you can watch this video for various more such listings!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTmWNumMSnM

4. Share your Learning/Work in Public

What does this mean? Well, this means that share whatever you learned throughout the day, your wins, your failures, your learnings with people on the internet. Not just share the certificates that you get because those don't mean anything, instead, share what are you building now, what new topics did you learn, What problems are you facing learning a certain thing?

Twitter is the best platform to do this because of its great tech community.

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Make a page online or portfolio online to show all your Projects where anyone can check out the work you have been doing by just clicking on a link. As the paper resumes will be obsolete soon.

If you do it, you will find learning in Tech is a journey, and sharing it will make it super enjoyable, not let you burn out & also draw in many opportunities. Trust me recruiters start reaching out to you many times if you are sharing great stuff on LinkedIn or Twitter.

So, these were some points I wanted to share because I have got some great opportunities due to some of these and I have seen many amazing people doing great because of such stuff.

And the best part is these have no prerequisites and anyone with just the will to learn can do these.

And there are many who may not be in a good college or can't afford a degree and might think that working in Tech is not possible. But it's never that!

So go and get these awesome experiences!

Do let me know your thoughts below, it means a lot ! 🎉🙋‍♂️

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