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Cover image for How to get hired as a developer or software engineer in 2020

How to get hired as a developer or software engineer in 2020

jakeherp profile image Jacob Herper ・3 min read

The world has been put on hold for many of us through this pandemic. A lot of companies have been furloughing developers, and others have made parts of their engineering staff redundant. With that much talent being available, how can you stand out to recruiters and get hired during or right after the global pandemic?

I have been a senior front-end engineer at one of the largest publishers in the UK for the past year and recently decided to move on, after my employer announced, that it would make a quarter of its employees redundant by the end of July. And while my role, in particular, wasn't at risk, I still decided to move on, despite everything going on in the world. It took me exactly one week to get hired by another company with a more exciting tech stack, and with a salary increase. How did I do it? By standing out to recruiters. Follow my lead and get hired without having to jump through hoops.

Share your code

I know it is a bit uncomfortable at first to have potential employers look at your unfinished, broken and buggy code on Github. A lot of these side projects you once started working on but never finished, do not even follow best practices, so why would you present this to anyone - let alone a recruiter or hiring manager?

A Github repo is an excellent mirror of your personal development. If you have your repositories public, it can show how you improved over the last X amount of years. Nobody expects every code snippet to be perfect, but as long as the general structure of your code makes sense and it is well commented, this shows a potential employer that you know what you're doing. If you have some repositories from 3 years ago and others from last week, it also allows them to see how far you have come in the last few years and that you are willing and capable of learning new skills.

https://res.cloudinary.com/jacobherper/image/upload/v1595937737/devto/github_contributions.png

For more senior roles, it might also be useful to show your activity overview on Github. This tells a potential employer, what you have been doing (commits vs. pull requests vs. issues vs. code reviews) in previous roles and how active you are.

Other platforms

Besides Github, there are a ton of other platforms that are worth keeping up-to-date. Publish code snippets on CodePen or CodeSandbox. It is useful to share code snippets on these platforms because they do not have to represent an entire project, and they don't have to be as polished as a Github repo might.

Ask and answer questions on Stack Overflow. There are a lot of recruiters browsing around for talent on Stack Overflow, so make sure to have your profile up-to-date there and try to be a helpful community member to stand out. I have to admit that I am personally not great at that, so I have never been hired through Stack Overflow, but it is certainly an option.

LinkedIn

Try to stand out to recruiters on LinkedIn. While most of us developers don't really care all that much about LinkedIn, it is where recruiters are, so make sure your profile is up-to-date and in great shape. I get contacted by 3-5 recruiters a day on LinkedIn alone.

I have written an entire article on how to stand out on LinkedIn:

Write about problems you solve

Admittedly, I am not great at this (which is one reason I am writing this very article, to convince myself that I should start blogging more regularly about problems I solve). However, writing down how you solved a specific problem you came across in your work is not only beneficial for others, but also for your own career progression. Hiring managers will find your articles and the simple fact that you learned in public shows that you can explain technical solutions to the team around you, which makes you a much more valuable asset to an employer.

If you are more comfortable recording videos or podcasts, this is of course also a great way to share content with the world, so it doesn't always have to be written content.


Photo by Scott Graham

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Jacob Herper

@jakeherp

As a passionate front-end engineer, I create amazing websites and web apps to make the internet a better place.

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