How to Get Your First Coding Job

Job postings are annoying because every job requires 3 years of experience and you can’t get that experience without having a job. What do!?

If you’re reading this post, I’m assuming you’re a complete newbie. You may have done some coding for fun or for school, but now you want to take it to the next level. This blog will share with you the steps I took to get my first software development job.

1. Own the Tech Interview

I’m jumping to the meat of the article because your long-term career success is likely going to come down to your performance on a (relatively) short interview. If you do all of the other things in this article perfectly, but do not have what it takes to impress a hiring manager, you will likely fail at becoming a software developer or software engineer. 

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The Imposter Syndrome

I can’t code. I’ve been developing for years and still have no idea what I’m doing. John, on the other hand, is like a coding master. Thanks a lot for making me look bad, John. Thanks a lot! 

Maybe this is what goes though your mind at work.

We’ve all experienced this feeling. It’s known as the imposter syndrome. The imposter syndrome plagues those around the world. I’ve seen this syndrome a lot in the tech industry. The wealth of knowledge available around software development is crazy. Somehow we’re expected to know everything, or at least that’s how we feel.

I Can’t Code. I’m not Smart Enough. 

This feeling overwhelms the developer. This leads to anxiety. We put on a face that shows we know what we are doing, but ultimately our truth will be exposed to the masses. We fear that the day might come… the day when we’re humiliated in front of others regarding our lack of true knowledge. 

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A Day in the Life of a (Future) Software Engineer

What exactly do I mean by future software engineer? No, I’m not from the future. I am currently working towards becoming a software engineer. I originally developed software as a contractor before I took a role in marketing. Now I’m trying to get back to my roots and get a software engineering position. Not just any development position, though. I want one that is challenging and one that will give me reputable experience.

Because of this, I am preparing for the types of interviews given at the big name software companies (Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, IBM, Netflix, etc). I documented and recorded my experience for an entire day. The video is at the end.

Because I work full time, I only get so much time to work on my development skills. This is challenging because I feel it takes me a very long time to get anywhere, but it’s good because it’s teaching me not to waste time. 

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