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Leveling up with good habits before your first job

Looking to discuss some ideas around best practices, fun ideas, and possible actions to take toward building good software dev habits. I very recently landed my first dev job with an awesome local startup. Within the first few interviews/meetings, we landed on the topic of the growing gaps left without proper entry level jobs / ways to obtain them properly.

For the last year since graduating my bootcamp I've constantly been on the lookout for ways to unite the community of growing career-transitioning developers, with lots of talent, but still unable to find their way into their first professional role.

In the following I will discuss ideas, strategies, and some action I would love to take in creating some movement for helping developers find their voice:

1.) Be as tentative to networking (with intention) as you are to learning new code and building projects. While you're building those projects, really pay attention to why you built your tool/projects, what your code is doing from the ground up, and how to communicate it inside your networking conversations. Understanding the vocabulary behind your actions is a super important skill and will get you to dig deeper into the code you write.

2.) Be as immediately involved in Open Source contributing as you possibly can be. It's intimidating trust me I know, so start small. Get your reading glasses on, kick back on your laptop, and just read through repositories. Walk your way through the project structure. Follow the structure and see how the code connects and what it's trying to do. From there, you can definitely find yourself a #first-timers-only or #beginner issue. (Don't know what these are?? Check em out!

3.) I know you've heard 'build sites for local shops' and might have brushed that off with a 'yeah right, finding those is probably like finding a needle in a haystack"...but I can tell you right now, there are many businesses that aren't caught up with all of the new technological advancements and user experience a redesign in something like - insert new buzzword technology here - has to offer. This ties back into #1. Research. Network. Grow your portfolio/resume.

4.) Meetups are great and I highly encourage venturing yourself out into the scene and chatting up some local devs. You'd be surprised how many people in this field really are willing to go the distance in some conversation with someone new to the scene. But I do find where it can be hard to find your way into conversation at some meetups. The conversations can feel daunting as you hear word after word of things that fly way over your head. This is where I'd like to make the most difference.

I would love to start organizing a community around a Remote Meetup type group with:

  • Looking to host different focused events through a communication and community
    based platform (looking at you Discord)

  • The topics can range anywhere from open discussion nights with topic focuses, to project based hack nights with focus on pair programming and proper team workflow.

  • Would also love to set up AMA's, discussion panels, and all around directed talks about the aforementioned topic of this article. (PLEASE reach out if you're interested in contributing in any way

  • All in all crowd source ideas from the people like myself who want to continue finding ways to unify the code community and make movements in the area of ever increasing distance between any graduation and an entry level job.

I will keep posting ideas to this as I think of them. Can't wait to see what this awesome community drums up!

Thanks for reading and don't hesitate to reach out and chat it up!

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