There’s no denying that the job market for software engineers is overwhelmingly positive for the near future; however, an issue that we at KJ Technical often run into is the huge bottleneck of bootcamp developers applying for any and all open positions, when really their skillset pertains to entry-level positions. The key is to set oneself apart from the ocean of developers coming into the market vying for those entry-level positions.
We got to sit down with Sean Helvey, a faculty member at Galvanize Boulder, to get his thoughts how exactly one can differentiate themselves from the competition. Sean is a full-stack developer himself with years of experience as an active member in the local tech scene, often focusing on his love for functional programming in his spare time. Here are some highlights from Sean’s pointers for novice engineers.
Join a Co-Working Space.
“There is tremendous value in becoming a member of a co-working space. I see Galvanize students building relationships which turn into contracts and getting hired through the network here all of the time.
We are training full-stack developers, and a huge part of that is guiding students in becoming well-rounded people and members of the community. Take advantage of Meetups and other events that are offered and give back by speaking or helping organize these groups. Nurture a portfolio of friends and colleagues, so that your technical portfolio can truly be appreciated.”
Follow Your Heart.
“Sure, you are looking for a job, but why did you select this path? There are many ways to make a living, yet for some reason, you chose to focus on becoming a full-stack web developer. Is there something about coding that you love? Perhaps you enjoy math or find front-end design to be fascinating. It could be a passion for audio, video, or electronics.
Maybe you think of software as a new language to learn or the feeling of building a real app people actually use makes you giddy. That should be your elevator pitch when speaking to a potential employer! Let your light shine.”
Have a Growth Mindset.
“As recruiters, you can certainly sense when a candidate is hungry and willing to do whatever it takes. As a bootcamp student, you can differentiate yourself greatly by showcasing the ability to work through hard problems, make mistakes, learn, and be humble.
A student with a growth mindset is eager to get their foot in the door. When you give feedback to this type of candidate, they appreciate your insight, and strive to improve with the helpful advice. They ask questions and do their research before showing up at an interview. These key details really make a difference.”
A big thanks to Sean for taking the time to shed light on how to land that first paying job as a coder. Stay tuned for more perspectives on job hunting as we talk to other professionals in the industry to get their thoughts on positioning yourself to stand out from the competition.