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Joe Previte (he/him)
Joe Previte (he/him)

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The Practical Checklist for Getting a Job

Maybe you're someone who doesn't have a computer science degree or maybe you don't come from a "technical" background. Maybe you're self-taught or you did a coding bootcamp. Or maybe you've been a software engineer for a few years and you've having trouble landing interviews.

Either way, you're finding it hard to land your first or next job. Here are practical things you can do to make it happen:

πŸ’ͺ🏼 Get Real Experience

"Entry-level Front End Developer. Minimum 1-year of experience with React". This is a catch-22. How are you supposed to get your first job if all of them require previous experience? Here's what you can do:

  • ☐ Reach out to 3 companies asking if you can do an internship
  • ☐ Look for contract positions on Upwork, Craigslist or in a local tech community
  • ☐ Reach out to a local business and offer to redo their website
  • ☐ Contribute to an open source project

βœ… Goal: to get something on your resume. This will help you get through the first gate as a new developer.

πŸ—£οΈ Network

Network, network, network. Meet people. People lead to connections. Connections open the door for jobs. The more people you know and the more people you help, the more likely you are to find that next job. Do these things:

  • ☐ DM 3 people on Twitter who do what you want to do. Learn from them.
  • ☐ Go to 3 local meetups and talk to people
  • ☐ Speak at 1 meetup. Give a lightening talk. Get your name out there. Mingle with meetup organizers

βœ… Goal: to make connections and establish yourself in the industry. If you help others, good things will happen. Being known in the industry means opportunities will come to you, rather than you seeking them out.

✍️ Share What You Learn

It's very easy to silo yourself and learn in a "cave" but share with the world what you're doing! It might inspire others, you might teach someone something new, and it's a good way for potential employers to see what you're doing

  • ☐ Start your own blog and write a weekly post
  • ☐ Write 1 blog post about something you built. Get it published on a well-known blog.
  • ☐ Tweet about what you learn via #100DaysOfCode

βœ… Goal: to share publicly what you're doing as a developer to further your knowledge and skills. Plus the way you explain something might click for someone in ways other articles weren't able to do.

πŸ”¨ Build Projects

If your portfolio and GitHub do not have projects in them, you are not going to get an interview. The projects you showcase speak to your technical ability. This is especially important if you don't have a CS degree.

  • ☐ Build 1 project that solves an everyday problem for you
  • ☐ Pin 4 projects to your GitHub profile page
    • ☐ Write friendly READMEs with information about each project

βœ… Goal: to have substantial websites/apps that demonstrate what you can do. These will help you stand out among applicants and be good talking points during your interview.

If you do all of these things and you still can't get an interview, let me know. I will do my best to help you figure out what more you can do. However, I'm fairly confident this will put you on the right path πŸ˜„

[Cover Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash]

Top comments (7)

iamshadmirza profile image
Shad Mirza

Nice list, One thing I think in your list is quite difficult for a beginner to do and that's open source contribution. I have 8 months of experience and I still struggle with open source. Maybe this thing is very difficult or maybe there is a better roadmap available to open source contribution. Please write about it, It will really help.

jsjoeio profile image
Joe Previte (he/him)

Thanks Mohd! I agree with you - that is probably on the more difficult side of tasks on the list.

@kentcdodds just wrote a post about this:

Read that and let me know if you still feel like a post would help. And if it would, I'll happily write one to share my experience :)

iamshadmirza profile image
Shad Mirza

I just saw it's a great article indeed. I think Kent covered all my confusions in the post. Will do that course also. Hoping to get in open source contribution real soon.

yacafx profile image
Sergio Brito

What a nice list! :D Other advise that would be useful is create some gist’s and made them public, besides to share, that can help yourself when you need certain pieces of code on other projects :P

jsjoeio profile image
Joe Previte (he/him)

Thanks, Sergio!

Also, fantastic idea! :D

nycbeardo profile image
M. Stevens

Finally, a more detailed reading on how to break into the industry! This was much needed!

jsjoeio profile image
Joe Previte (he/him)

Glad to hear it resonated with you! πŸ™ŒπŸΌ