Getting your first job, whether as a novice or an experienced professional, can be a daunting task. Employers are always seeking to recruit qualified individuals, but where can you gain the experience to be a highly sought after professional? This article details some ideas that can help you get your first job as a programmer.
1. Volunteer your skills
Volunteering your coding skills is a great way to support non-profit organizations while sharpening your coding skills. By volunteering your programming skills to non-profit organizations, you support their technological capacity so that they can focus on their core objectives. Some that you can join include Catchafire, hashtagcharity, and Makeadiff. By offering your services, you sharpen your programming skills while contributing to making the world a better place.
Joining a community is another excellent way of increasing your odds of getting a programmer’s job. A community is built on shared ideas, struggles, knowledge, and interest. By joining a community, you get to learn, sharpen your skills, get a mentor, or provide leadership to other upcoming developers. Communities can also be a great resource to get your first programming job since most companies recruit developers by word of mouth. Some of the best communities that you can join as a programmer include:
1. Freecode camp
3. Hash node
4. Women who code
5. Sitepoint community
2. Start building
Whether you have a college degree, are a self-taught programmer, or a coding boot camp product, the best way to make your entry in the field is to build something. Pick an area that you are passionate about and design an application, a program, or software that can improve the way things work. By building something new, you create a portfolio that you can showcase to potential employers while sharpening your coding skills.
Use these steps to design your first creation:
1. Start by understanding your passion and dream. Create something that you love; your passion will drive you when faced with challenges.
2. Define the basic functionalities of your program/software or application.
3. Sketch your creation. By putting it down on paper, you get a clear picture of the functionalities.
4. Design the database. After outlining the functionalities, create a database that will enable users to interact more easily with the program.
5. Research existing solutions that you can use to improve your program. You don’t have to create everything from scratch.
6. Have a checklist to ensure that all the critical details of the program are covered.
3. Choose a specific niche
Programming is a vast world with applications in healthcare, banking, marketing, government, entertainment, and manufacturing. Pick one niche and perfect your skill in the niche. Start by choosing your preferred programming language and matching your skills to a specific industry. With over 20 programming languages today, it can be challenging to pick the best programming language to learn and use. However, ensure that you are well versed in the two universal languages Java and HTML.
After identifying your preferred language, choose a specified niche, and use your skills to develop something new. For instance, in the marketing area, you can choose to specialize in digital marketing, lead generation, search engine optimization, or content marketing. Specialization is the foundation of innovation, and the universe will reward your innovation. The best way to choose a specific niche is to try several, before picking one. You can also choose to work with a mentor who can guide and steer you on the right path.
4. Leverage on the power of networking
Job search is a full-time job, and it can be frustrating if you venture without a strategy. Other than updating your resume and writing a cover letter, strive to network, particularly on social networks like LinkedIn. Networking makes your job search easier and more productive.
If you choose to network on LinkedIn, ensure that you have an impressive profile. Start with an eye-catching headline. Apart from the headline, write a comprehensive, detailed, and elaborate summary. Don’t just mention that you have seven years’ experience, but specify what you have accomplished in those seven years. Include a link to your projects, portfolio, or voluntary experience.
Other than LinkedIn, leverage on other social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Strive to be consistent in all your social networks by using your actual name across all the platforms. Also, show that you are an expert in your field by sharing insights, resources, and current events and ideas in your specialization area.
For instance, if you are an expert in iPhone application development, share insights like services that can be supported by your skills. Also, mention statistics, data, trends, and future predictions in your chosen field. People are looking for individuals that can add value to their brands and not just occupy the positions.
brands and not just occupy the positions.