This is just my experience when finding a new job as a front-end engineer. Maybe it seems opinionated, but at least it can be a reference for you. I will tell my story from a front-end engineer perspective.
The story starts when I was graduated from college in 2020. That is the moment when the Covid-19 pandemic began. I have no idea what to do after graduating because I feel overwhelmed with what subject can be focused on.
Soon, I decided to learn some frontend frameworks like Angular, Vue, and React. I started to learn those frameworks by making a simple to-do list. Actually, among those frameworks, I mostly like React as my main framework, but suddenly I got an offer from a company that uses Angular in their codebase. I worked there for about 1 year and 3 months.
During my first journey as a full-time front-end engineer, I realized that the bigger the community of a framework or library, the bigger also the support system. I struggled enough when I have to do some troubleshooting using Angular and it takes more time than when I used React (in my personal project).
So, I started to re-learn React again after working for a year. Luckily, the company also considered migrating to React because some of the frontend engineers complained and told the same reason as I think before. We learned to React together at the office almost every day then.
I learn React by making some mini-projects and publishing them on Linkedin. Then, many jobs offers come to me through phone calls and email until I finally found the suitable one for me. Actually, most of the projects are not spectacular, I even made it just for myself at first.
I think similar things may work for you if currently, you're searching for a new job as a developer. Here are my tips based on my experiences.
Everything in the developing world is about to Create, Read, Update, and Delete (CRUD). When I re-learned React again after a long time, I started again with CRUD. I just follow the MDN React To-do list tutorial and re-code it in my VS Code. This seems very mainstream, but it helps me so much when I make a new project.
This trick also works when you're learning a new framework. You can only need to think about how to Create, Read, Update, and Delete the data using the framework you learn while you trying to understand the syntax too.
If you want to get recognized by the recruiter, you have to make yourself recognizable by building your online presence. As a developer, you can start by building your own site, developing & publishing your project on Linkedin and Github, and writing some articles or blogs.
As a frontend engineer, you can start building it by making your own personal site using your framework or library preferences. For example, after I learned the basic CRUD, I push myself to build my own website using Next.js. You can access it at yehezgun.com.
You don't have to make a spectacular one, just be yourself. Your site is your playground, don't be too a perfectionist. I even still trial and error in modifying something at my current personal site.
You may be asked,
Why do I need to make my own site?. Actually, there are no formal rules here, back to your preferences. For me, I can do some experiments on my own website because it's mine and I have full control of it.
In my opinion, this is the most effective way to understand the technical concept and even get hired. If you're confused about what project you should make, you can start to make a project that can be used by yourself.
For example, I started to make my own Next.js starter template. You can check it at https://yehez-nextchakra-starter.yehezgun.com/. Why did I make it? The story began when I need to make a new project using Next.js, I wasted my time just doing some repetitive things like ESLint & husky config, base navbar, and base layout. So I decided to make my own starter template as a base template, so I can focus on the development process. You can read the details on my past article here.
The next step is show your work. I have to say, it's mandatory for a developer to have a Github (or Gitlab) account. GitHub is a great way to showcase your projects and show what other technologies you are interested in — by forking, starring, or contributing to them. It also gives other people an idea about the amount of work you have been putting in, by the number of contributions shown on your profile (Mircea Oprea, 2019).
The other way to publish your project is through Linkedin. You can use this platform to attract the recruiter when they see your published project and offer you the job. For example, I re-code my personal site and publish it as a Linkedin Post here. Just in several days, I got so many private chats on Linkedin which are job offers. And finally, I can get a new job because of this simple thing.
Why does writing a blog matter? By writing a tech blog that contains some tutorial, story, or just an idea, you're helping other developers out there to generate new insight or even help them to solve their problems. In other words, you have contributed to the developer world when you write a technical blog.
You can start writing a blog by writing a process while making a project or making some simple tutorials. For example, I wrote an article about how to self-host the Notion API Worker, you can read it here. Without realizing it, I've helped some developers to self-host their own Notion API Worker when they want to use it.
For me, writing can sharpen my understanding of something, because you read twice or even several times when you write. You will surely read your own writings before publishing them and make sure the readers understand them.
This also gives a significant impact on my career as a front-end engineer. In early 2021, I joined a big event in Indonesia held by Google and the partner companies. Yes, you're right I joined Bangkit Academy as a volunteer.
Yeah I know, I got nervous and feel inferior because of too many pro developers who join as volunteers. The most challenging moment is when I have to co-assist my partner in a live teaching session. His coding and technical skill amazed me because he can explain all the technical processes fluently. But, I'm proud for joining this event because I can enlarge my networking with other developers and learn a lot of things from them.
Sometimes this thing can give you a new opportunity if they offer a new job in their working place.
Build and strengthen your online presence. Soon or later, the opportunity will reach you. Just be consistent and keep going!
I did all those tips since September 2021, and it works. Finally, after I struggled to find a new job opportunity, I found one. I even didn't apply it by myself. A recruiter reached me through my Linkedin and I follow the recruitment process. Indeed, I didn't need to do the live code session because I showed my previous work in the user interview session. So it can be called a live code review session because they just review my previous works.
Hope my story can inspire you, especially those who struggled to find a new job. Sorry if there's some grammar error here, I'm still an amateur at writing articles in English.