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Ali Sherief
Ali Sherief

Posted on

The Ultimate Guide To Look Like An Elite Developer

This is how you stand out over your peers.

You are probably reading this because you have an upcoming tech job interview, and you want to make an impact on your employer. Or maybe you saw this article on a page, and you were curious and opened it. Regardless of how you found it or how many different interview cracking programs you read, this article has the answers you need.

To get job opportunities and job interviews and ultimately get hired, you need to demonstrate that you have an exceptional level of skill over the other candidates, almost none of whom you even know. So how do you even get begin proving yourself as an elite (or skilled, if the language is too strong for you) developer to employers?

The answer, in short, is having a solid online presence.

1. Stack Overflow

Having a public Stack Overflow account makes you look significantly more professional because not only is it the most prominent developer community in the world, it is one of a handful of handles that people will know you by.

Now, I am not saying you have to go ask some questions, make some answers, or get downvoted or things like that. Asking and answering questions is not necessary to create an authentic Stack Overflow profile. What you need to put on your profile is your name and picture, a biography, your location and a list of your preferred technologies to work with, as well as a link back to your blog (for those who don't have a blog, read the last section). Now you add the last one by following tags on Stack Overflow.

At this point, you might be wondering how following tags is going to help you look more elite if nobody else can even see the tags. Actually, the tags are visible on a special resume page that Stack Overflow can generate for each user profile. You need to go to the settings and type a name for the resume URL like this:

And then anybody will be able to view the resume by going to the URL. The followed tags will appear as β€œskills” you are proficient in (obviously, the smaller tags will not appear in the resume). This is the second major feature of Stack Overflow. Besides being a place to ask and answer dev questions, it is also a recruiting place, and as such, it gives users tools to make applying for a tech job more manageable, such as their resume auto generator.

2. Twitter

Before you dismiss this as a random social media service, you should know there is a large, established tech community on Twitter. Many well-known techies have Twitter profiles. Also, Twitter is a fast way to connect with other businesses and developers.

You will need to put your real name and picture, a bio, your location, and most importantly a link to your blog as the website. If you don't have a blog, go read the last section of this article and come back. You may use whatever handle you want.

An empty Twitter account is no good though, and you will need to tweet fairly often about tech in general or about yourself, semi-often. Also, you should reply to other people’s tweets to increase engagement.

What this does is that it exposes the social side of you, and it also makes you a more sociable person even if you have no followers (the follower & following counts are not important).

Being sociable is an essential quality to have that interviewers want to see. People commonly get turned down from the job because they are not social enough to the interviewer!

3. Github

When potential employers see somebody's Github account, most of the time, they assume that person is a coder. Accounts with no public repos are not suspicious because they might have a company’s private repo attached to them, and these are hidden from the public.

You do not have to write any software or do a project and put it on Github; the account itself is enough.

It should have your name, your location, and a link back to your blog (again, see the last section). A profile picture is optional but recommended because many developers don't put profile pictures on their Github profiles.

4. A blog

You don't have to go out and buy domains, servers and set up WordPress to make a blog. There are free blogging platforms that give you your own URL, such as:

  • DEV.to (this site)
  • Medium
  • Hashnode
  • Hackernoon
  • and even Linkedin.

Let me elaborate about Linkedin in particular. Linkedin has a dedicated selection of your profile where you can publish articles, which can be read by everyone browsing the site. They also appear next to your profile, which, if you set it up so that it also looks like a resume, couples your experience and actual qualifications nicely together on the same page. I definitely recommend creating a Linkedin profile even if you will use another platform for blogging.

Now, as for the blogging itself, each post you will write is going to be about what you learned or what problem you solved. You will not be writing for others, just yourself, so do not worry about SEO, blog performance, or other statistics.

The purpose of this is to document your learning process to use as an auxiliary resume to show your interviewer because they will gloss over your resume. After all, why are they giving you an interview if they think you have all that experience your resume claims you have?

And ironically, when you write for yourself, chances are other people will read them too. For example, some of my DEV articles about web development which I initially left behind because they originally had almost no views, now each have over 2000 views over the span of several months! But do not get distracted by this because your employer can't see these stats and likely won't care about them either.

Now about linking your blog to the above social sites; It’s important that your blog and social profiles are easily accessible in one place. Also, some platforms like DEV have designated social integrations with Twitter, Stack Overflow, and Github, which can be displayed alongside your profile.


Thanks for reading. Hack on, and ace that job interview!

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