Programmer at computer

My tips for people looking for jobs in the programming field

So you are graduating (or have graduated) from college and are now looking for a job? My I know my cousin is in the same boat. I have been giving him some tips to get that extra edge. Here are some of those tips that I have been telling him.

  1. Go on StackOverflow and answer as many questions as possible. Keep to areas you either know or want to know more about. If you can, write solid, tested examples. Otherwise do the research (aka Google, DuckDuckGo) to find an answer for them. Idea is win-win for you. First of all, it increases your reputation on a site where some developers have been hired because of their reputation score and answers. Secondly, an employer can see how you can communicate in written form and how you solve problems. I would highly recommend this be your part-time job (you know after the full-time job of looking for a job).
  2. Let’s face it, everyone can benefit from knowing some web programming these days. That is HTML5, JavaScript, and some minor CSS. Know enough to take on a project with confidence. You don’t have to write the next Facebook or Gmail, just a basic understanding of common UI tricks.
  3. The underlaying code of #2 is important as well. Play with one or two of the most popular frameworks of the area you want to be in.
  4. Joining #2 and #3 together; practice, practice, practice. Keep doing some sort of programming work. Maybe pick up an open-source project you are interested in working with. Grab some small bugs to begin with to gain some rep with the project maintainers.
  5. Network with others in the programming space and build relationships with them especially in the areas you want to focus on. That tends to be the best ways to find jobs. This should be done even before you finish school. Joining a local user group in your related field would be a good place to start.
  6. Read! Read about new methodologies, best-practices, and other technologies. I find Hacker News a great source for stories to read. Also take a look at my other website, Business Developer Talk, for links to articles I feel are relavant for the business developer.

I’ll call this article a work-in-progress. If anyone else any tips please include them in the comments.

Thanks to a few of my Tweeps, @mygeekdaddy, @gmantechi, @eglue, and @the_jamezp for some additional help in building this list.