So you’ve been learning to code for a few months, finished from a Bootcamp or just fresh out of grad school and you’re wondering if you should send out that application because you’re not sure if you’re ready. This is the dilemma many of us find ourselves when trying to get our first software developer job. This can even be the case when trying to change jobs or applying for a more senior position than our current level.
This is especially a tough case for those who are self-taught without any form of degrees or boot-camp experience, there is always the extra worry of not having a degree, but hey, this is not medicine where you need a license to practice. I know you must have heard this before but let me re-emphasize it that you can get a great software development job without any form of degree.
Taking that out of the way, so how do you know if you’re ready for a job as a beginner? Well, I’m happy to announce to you that you will never truly know until you send out that application, get that interview, get rejected, learn from rejections, repeat until you get a befitting organization lucky to have such a great person as yourself.
Anything else you get from this article that doesn’t end with you taking that leap of faith and sending out that application is a total waste of time. This is very important because you can spend years on tutorials and documentation, and not feel ready.
So then, let us look at some ways to brace up and boost our morale leading to sending out a great application for that job you think you aren’t ready for.
If you can self motivate all of the time that’s fantastic. But since most of us can use a little “pat on the back” alongside some nudge every now and then, it is very important that you find a support system. This could be a friend, colleague, mentor, community, anyone or anything you can draw strength from which can help get you going even when all looks bleak.
This is very important because victory only lies in not giving up and to not give up in spite of challenges requires motivation, getting motivated is where the support system plays a role. I know this seems obvious but you need to ensure that whatever support system you get is one that lifts you up and not one that puts you down.
Having completed a boot-camp, graduated, or completed some form of personal learning. This is not the time to relax and go on a coding sabbatical while hoping to secure your first software development job. In contrast, this is the time to continue to solidify your knowledge through continuous learning, coding, and building as much as you can.
I can’t think of a more confidence booster than getting your hands dirty in code. The more you learn, code, and build, the more confident and ready you are for that job as a software developer.
You’ve studied and are very confident in your skills, you just graduated with spectacular grades or maybe you’ve just finished from a very intense boot-camp and you’re literally beaming code. That's great, but how are you going to convince the hiring manager you’ve got what it takes if you cannot communicate it properly?
As software developers, we are first humans and are not separated from the rest of the world so we have to know how to relate with others, communicate properly, listen and not just hear stuff. So as you’re are building your technical muscles you should also find time to build various soft skills that will not only ensure that you secure that job, but also help you retain it.
Your exceptional soft skills may be the differentiating factor between you and the next great software developer who also applied for that job so find the time to work on your soft skills.
You can prepare for several months or even years and still not feel ready for a software development job because there will always be something that you don’t know. So as a beginner who has put in the time to learn either as self-taught, from boot-camp, or a graduate. The key is in sending out the application regardless of how unsure you think you are.
Find you a support system that motivates rather than de-motivate you, learn more | code more | build more, and invest in soft skills.
You definitely will never know if you’re ready or not until you send that application, get that interview and finally get that job.