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Discussion on: Do I Need A Computer Science Degree To Get A Job In Tech?

richardhendricks profile image
Richard Hendricks

It's super easy and low cost to get started with embedded computer engineering. Adafruit et al has a ton of platforms that could be used for projects. $10 gets you a full microcontroller system!

adafruit.com/product/3501

Start with something there, extend it, innovate a little, run into some problems, get around them, have some fun!

Another option is modding for various games. Minecraft is probably the easiest to start with. Tons of tutorials, lots of old mods that could use fresh eyes and hands to work on.

The real problem is even getting the resume in the hands of the hiring manager. You'll either have to find a company that has changed their policies or get a backchannel to the manager via LinkedIn or other social media.

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matthew_collison profile image
Matthew Collison Author

Nina: The thing is, applying for jobs should be the easier part. Yeah - you can optimize your applications for each company, etc, but a strong resume should really speak for itself.

It's actually the time you spend building something that you enjoyed building, that is your own idea, that you can write 2 to 3 paragraphs against a screenshot and a link to that project in your resume, that is where you need to really put the work in. Because those 2 to 3 paragraphs, if they perfectly describe what practical things you did that relate to the job on that project, can be the difference between landing a job, and not.

Richard: I am completely on board with this. Messing around with different languages to get a taste of things and get into the swing of learning things for the sake of learning. It's better to focus on job-ready skills for the types of jobs you want to apply for, but there's no harm in trying a few different things at first, as it actually helps you become a better learner.

In terms of getting your resume in the hands of the hiring manager, it depends where you are - if you're in NYC, chances are you can send your CV out to literally hundreds of employers - so you've got advantage of scale. If you're in a small city where there's a handful of jobs you'd want to apply for, the "hand-to-hand combat" route of going on LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. and finding the people in those companies is probably going to be a much more effective route.

In fact, I'd even say doing both (applying for every job AND trying to find the people in the business on social and talk to them directly) can only maximize your chances, whatever the situation.

Great insights either way, thanks for your input!