Finding a job as a junior developer
First, don't let all the news of recent layoffs demotivate you. There are still lots of opportunities for passionate and purpose-driven people.
Your competition is not the experienced engineers but all the other junior developers. Most of the junior developers look alike. Simply put, you need to stand out from the rest.
The easiest way to get noticed is to be visible.
Here are three reasons why you should try to be visible
- 47% of employers won't hire candidates without a good online presence
- 85% of recruiters look at online reputation before hiring
- Successful companies want standout engineers. One way to gauge that is your online profile.
This one is pretty much a no-brainer. Imagine if you're a hiring department - all else being equal -- wouldn't you instead hire someone with a digital presence over someone with no presence?
In other words, having an online presence will improve your success rate by almost 50%
Here are three things you can do to stay visible:
- Show you are passionate.
A common trait of all good developers is they like to tinker with things, play with new tools & build things. Find a way to share your work with the rest of the world. Open source your projects, contribute to existing projects, or make a tool or library.
- Show you care about others.
Software development is a team sport. You could be the most intelligent person in the room, but unless you play nice with the team, it doesn't work. A common trait of a good team player is helping others. Showcase that by helping out your community. Try answering questions on StackOverflow, triage bugs for open source projects, create explainer youtube videos, write blogs, twitch stream coding sessions, organize meetups, etc.
- Show you are learning.
The only thing constant in our industry is change. Typically employers don't hire for a specific project but instead look for someone who can quickly adapt to change. It makes it easier for employers to place you on multiple projects or teams.
You are probably reading and playing with new things already. Try to share them on social media, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or any mailing list; anywhere that google can find them.
So that when someone looks you up, they will know you're not just another developer. You're passionate, caring, and curious to learn new things. These are all things recruiters, hiring managers, and employers value for a developer.
Being visible is the only hack you need for every next job you take for the rest of your life.
Notice that I didn't mention being good at programming. That is just the natural outcome. Try to enjoy the process and never stop building.