After completing the necessary educational requirements, finding a job to make the most of your newly acquired skills is the next big step. It can prove difficult for recent graduates to find entry-level positions – especially where assessing proven experience is an essential part of the process for most hiring decision makers.
Obtaining a position as a professional programmer in a competitive job market when you are new demands a solid strategy that may include building your portfolio, making connections, and aggressively seeking out and applying to openings. With thick skin and a great deal of persistence, you will succeed in landing your very first coder job.
Position Yourself as a Prime Candidate
There is a large number of people who want to get programming jobs; not only those who have recently finished school but also experienced programmers looking for a career change. If you have not done so already, it may prove essential for you to develop a solid and impressive track record and portfolio. For this reason, as you continue your search for that perfect position, you might want to start offering your services on a freelance – or even volunteer- basis. While you might not like the thought of accepting an unpaid position, these are the easiest to get and can be a great way to gain the experience employers prefer.
Consider offering your services to a non-profit organization; this will not only demonstrate your skill as a programmer but shed positive light on who you are as a person. If volunteering does not sound like the best approach for you, consider starting your own project and seeing that through to success so that you can use the results to compel potential employer to hire you.
Of course, finding a job is not always just about having something great to put on your resume; often, it is more about who you know. Networking skills – with people and not just computers – can prove vital for aspiring programmers to have. Consider attending industry events wherein you will get the opportunity to meet the people who can get you hired. One great thing about this approach is that you will be communicating with them in a low-pressure environment in which they are not summing you up based on your track record, and you are not speaking with them from an interviewee perspective; you will be freer to let more of your personality shine through, impressing and befriending them on an entirely different level.
Become the Caliber of Programmer You Want to Be
There is no reason to get stuck in a low-paying programmer job just because you are fresh out of school; you can go after the position you want with the company you want – it just takes following the right approach.
There are many ways to find coder job listings, such as online job boards, forums, and company websites, but it is the hardest part that you want to focus on mastering; getting hired for a great position.