Guensie Grecy decided to change her career with 4Geeks Academy a year ago. She graduated in August 2018, and after graduating in October 2018 she was able to get a job as a Junior Web Developer even without having a background in coding or technology. With her example, she encourages others to think that learning to code is possible.
Currently, Guensie has landed a Job at Ultimate Software and she is also a mentor at 4Geeks Academy. Considering her experience, she decided to share 7 tips to land a job as a Junior Web Developer (the same hacks that helped her). So we sat down with Guensie to gather and share all the information with you:
Knowing your goals
“If you don’t know what your goals are you can get lost in all the information that’s out there”
Knowing your goals will boost your productivity as a developer because all your energy will lead you towards it. Start asking yourself the right questions before investing your time into learning programming, so why do I want to learn to code? The right answer to this question will lead you to your true purpose and will motivate you every day:
- Is your purpose an extrinsic motivator? Get a better job position, increase your income, build/create something on your own; or
- Is an intrinsic motivator? Get more autonomy about your life/job, master a skill: get better at what you do, etc.
Getting the skills
What do you want to learn? “We live in the information age, there are so many resources, probably if you search ‘How to become a Web Developer’ right now on Google you will have millions and millions of results (...) So one really good way of knowing is to do some research in terms of jobs and figuring out what the most popular languages are” because numbers don’t lie:
Our better advice? Think about the tools and functionalities the languages will provide in the long term, and the industries and companies that gravitate around them; start learning about the technologies you’ve decided are our best advice for you.
But please, don’t skimp on the soft skills! The combination of hard skills and soft ones like confidence, willingness to grow, perseverance, adaptability, are crucial to improve your chances of landing a dream job.
Building your portfolio
Show your Resume and recruiters will see what you have learned or have to offer so far. Shape your resume and start showing recruiters your skills and towards kick-start your career as a Developer.
At 4Geeks Academy we offer career mentorship to help you make the best decision for your career. “Don't wait until after you feel like your ‘learned everything’ to start to build your portfolio because it can become overwhelming.''
A good practice that Guensie provides about building your portfolio is: “even if it's something small, small projects, it's good to add those into your GitHub repositories, because employers are going to look and see that 'OK this person is always coding and I can see the quality of their code up there'”.
Guensie provides great tips about networking (we added the last one):
- Attend meetups: you get to meet people with all different levels of experience at meetups. They are also a good option to find career opportunities, there are people who have got jobs from someone they've met at a meetup.
- Build a profile (and be active) in LinkedIn: It is a great way to see who's working at companies where you want to work at and reach out to them. Do your research and don’t be shy to get in touch with your network, whether it's 'Hey I see you work at ABC company and that you're doing XYZ and I'm very interested in that' and reach out that way.
- **Contribute to Open Source projects: **We encourage our students of being part of the developer's community by making contributions to open source projects even through our educational platform Breathe Code.
She also states the following: Do not wait to start networking when you're ready to apply to a job. Start networking when you're learning. Build strong relationships so by the time that you're ready to apply for the job, you already have strong relationships with different people that might help you get in the industry or that you can also learn from.
“Freelancing is a great way to start getting the experience that you need (...) to get your fingers wet in terms of having the pressure of someone wanting you to deliver something, that's really important.”
Let’s keep this very simple for you: freelancing is about to understand and to accomplish deadlines.
“Application process can feel kind of overwhelming.” How to start?
- Apply to positions that you do not necessarily want first, so you can get used to how the application process for web development jobs works.
Do not get caught in the resume queues: We know you want to apply to a lot of jobs because you think that something will bite, but that can be a waste of time and effort. Tailor your resume to each company and look for connections you may have at those companies. If not, it's really like throwing your resume to the wind.
- Using job boards is good to know what's out there, what's available and what kind of skillset companies are needing at the time
- Put in your application and say 'Actually I'm very enthusiastic about this company and I just want to reach out, so to let them know that you just applied to the position.
Finding a job is a Full-time job. You have to allocate enough time to the task of finding a new job.
The key is getting a career planner and let your actions be guided by a clear road-map with a schedule that works best for you. Spare your job search for a time when your skills are well baked and your network well wired.
The decision of learning to code and landing a job afterward is huge! Start with a question: why exactly are you putting yourself through all of this mental toil and relentless sacrifice and inevitable frustration for many weeks or months? Don’t be scared, this is the right path (even if you don’t know anything about coding). Just find the reasons and put your hands on it. Apply now!
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