How to Get a Job as a Developer

by Ryan Hedges ‐ 5 min read

I recently had the privilege of representing UpTech to the students at LearningFuze by presenting my thoughts and experiences surrounding finding a job as a developer. We had such a great time talking with the students and received some great feedback on how the presentation helped them.

"Your tips for finding a job were very helpful and I can’t wait to use those tools, especially the spreadsheet!"

"I also really appreciated how honest you were about the stress involved in job hunting. It was weirdly reassuring to have someone who had gone through the proccess go, 'Hey, it's going to be hard, but here are a bunch of strategies to make it easier for yourself.'"

"You did a great job at making me reevaluate my approach to coding and I am currently working harder than ever to take those steps you showed us and apply it."

It was so well received that we wanted to share this information to help you wherever you are in your career. Whether you are looking for your first job, or have years of experience under your belt, we think that these strategies will change your perspective on the job search. By implementing them you will stay in the best mindset and be able to recognize your progress during one of the most stressful times of your career.

Let me quickly summarize the meat and potatoes of the presentation for you and then you can take a look at it yourself.

  • Take a Small Vacation: If you are coming off of something stressful like finishing a bootcamp, or being let go from your job, take a 3 to 7 day vacation (1 week max!) to reset, relax, and prepare yourself for your new full time job – finding a job.
  • Tell Your Story Often: Find ways to practice sharing what you did before and what you're doing now. Talking about yourself now will make it easier to do in interviews.
  • Make a Jobhunt Spreadsheet: Keep track of who you are applying to, when, and what stage you are at in the interview process. Applying often and tracking it will allow you to stay positive about the hard work you are putting in. You can see an example of one in the presentation.
  • Find a Place to Work: Working away from your home gives you a consistent place to focus on your job search and work. This separation between work and home allows you to remain guilt free when not job searching because you worked hard during the day away from home.
  • Do Code Challenges: Hand write and speak your thought process out loud (Yes, with your voice!) to prepare you for technical interviews where you won't have the google to help.
  • Work on a Side Project: Grow your existing skills or work on something new. Give yourself something interesting to add to the job search story you will be telling everyone. This helps you break up the drudgery of applying to jobs.
  • Take People Out For Coffee: Pick peoples' brains, learn something interesting, ask informed questions, and look for ways to help them in their careers.
  • Go to Meetups: Often these can become low pressure interviews, or provide ways to get past HR filters that would prevent you from getting through the front door. Also, if you go in with the right attitude, you can actually have some fun growing your network.

Near the end I shared some advice to apply when you go to meetups because this tends to be the hardest piece of advice to follow.

How do I actually use all this?

These strategies are intended to be applied as often as possible in your daily routine. Don't spend 10 hours a day looking for jobs, or a week straight working on your side project. You may find yourself burnt out if you don't mix it up. This is a marathon, not a sprint. The presentation includes some other ideas to spice up your routine which will provide exciting things to share when telling your story.

Here is an example day applying these tips:

  • Wake up, get ready, go to your place of work
  • Search for, apply to 4 jobs, update the job hunt spreadsheet
  • 30 minutes of coding challenges
  • Meet a developer from last week's meetup for lunch at Wahoo's
  • Fix and tweak some things on your personal site
  • Work on your uber for milk delivery app for a few hours
  • Hang out with friends and family and not stress because you’ve worked hard today!

And that's it! Please take a look at the presentation below. We hope that it helps you in your career search going forward!

If you have any comments about this post or questions about us at UpTech feel free to email us. We'd love to hear from you!