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5 easy ways to get your first commercial experience

Stas Klymenko
・3 min read

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When you are reading requirements inside job openings, usually you can see that companies are asking for some amount of commercial experience in development in general or with specific technology. Have you ever thought what that means and what they actually want from a candidate?

Commercial Experience vs Your Own Pet-projects

The main difference between them is in the way you are building projects.
First of all, while you are working with your pet-projects, you are working alone. You can make pauses any time you want, you can write the code like you want, you can ignore comments, etc. And everything will be fine as nobody will probably know about its building process.

From the other side, when you are working in the company, with the team or even on any freelance platform for someone - you need to fix all of that. You need to remember about deadlines, you need to cooperate with the team, leave some notes and comments, etc.

It's just a rough explanation but I hope you get the point. Companies want to hire developers that can start working. They don't want to waste time on teaching you how to work in team and how to write code properly. That's why they are asking for a commercial experience.

How can you get your first commercial experience?

1. Your friends

This is the most simple way to get experience that you can call as a commercial. We all have friends with different interests. Ask your friends, maybe someone want to get a website. You can offer this service as free or with much lower price than the average on the market.

Making a website for your friends you will get:

  • 1 additional work in your portfolio
  • One new line in your resume with commercial experience
  • 1 additional recommendation Isn't that cool for 1-2 days of work?

2. Any local business

You can check your local area to find any kind of companies, private business, clubs, stores or anything else. Just check if they have a website. Even nowadays many of them havent a page or its pretty old and need to be refreshed. At this step you can offer the same as for your friends - to create a website for free or with much loser price than the average on the market.
And in the result you will also get all 3 bonuses mentioned above.

3. Freelance

Freelance platforms are offering a lot of opportunities but most of them are pretty hard for people with only basic knowledge. But sometimes people need just some minor edits and you can grab this task. Also, don't forget you can create your own profile to offer your services.

Recently I've watched Dev Ed's video about his 3 orders on Fiverr. He just bought 3 websites for $5 and showed the result. As you can see, the level of all 3 works is pretty low. So if you can already create something better with good quality - feel free to use the platform to get your commercial experience. This can also help you to expand your portfolio, and maybe some people will also be able to give recommendations upon a request.

4. Collaborations

Another option is to create a website in collaboration with other developers. There are many trainee and junior devs that will be glad to create something together. Making something with other people isn't the same as your own project. As I said before, you will pay much more attention to what you're doing. So we can roughly said that this experience is more valuable for companies.
I strongly recommend to find people for collaborations via #100DaysOfCode or #CodeNewbie hashtags.

5. Partnership with companies

This way may be not that easy as previous but it may open much more opportunities in future. There are lot of IT companies offering to create websites for business or any other purposes. Maybe it's even one of those you want to apply.

Actually, you can try to reach their HR department and ask if they want to collaborate with you. Just one example of partnership. You can provide them alternative website designes or features for free. They compare it to what they made for the clients and even took some of your ideas. Yes, it's not the ideal experience but if you will show the company that you can create great things, there are many chances that they will hire you or give a very good recommendation.

You can choose only one solution or even try them all together. But as there are opportunities to get some commercial experience before applying - I highly recommend to use them.

Hope this info was useful for you and will help you in future.

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