HackerTrail Blog

7 Key Steps to Getting Your First Software Engineering Job

Posted by HackerTrail on Feb 23, 2018 12:40:49 PM

I graduated from a web development bootcamp in 2017. I had no experience working as a software engineer or in the tech industry. I started applying for jobs in October and began working full-time as a Front End Engineer in December.

The job hunting process was a short but stressful 5 weeks for me. There were things that I wish I had known, and other things that paid off way more than I expected. To save you a lot of time and stress, I’ve distilled what I’ve learned into seven key things I did to secure my first job.

1. Make a portfolio of a few standout projects
I’ve reviewed the resumes of other bootcamp grads where they only listed one or two partially completed projects. They don’t have to be perfect (my glitchy Phaser.js game isn’t), but they should show the progress you’ve made as a software engineer.

This means if you say you know React, you should have at least one React app in your portfolio. If you don’t have work experience as a developer, a portfolio of at least three projects is critical. These also shouldn’t be tutorials — get creative! The more fun the project is to you, the more work you’ll put into it. And the more passionate you’ll sound when you describe it to your interviewer. (Bonus points if you make your own portfolio website too!).

You should also be ready to discuss your project’s strengths and weaknesses with an interviewer. Several of my interviewers pulled up my Github and asked me to walk through my code with them. I definitely fumbled the first time this happened, since it had been weeks since I had looked at the code! Preparation is key.

Afterwards, I made sure I could navigate around my projects on Github and could talk about one tough challenge I solved in each project.

On the topic of Git, all my interviewers were impressed that I had experience using Git for version control and collaboration. I recommend familiarising yourself with Git + Github. If you’ve never used Git for team collaboration, I would definitely recommend making your first PR to an open-source project. Good Git habits also go a long way. One of my interviewers just stepped through my commit history to see how I “think,” and I was very glad it was a project with good commit messages.

2. Prepare for the technical interview

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Topics: job, job seeker, software development, technology, web development

The Secret Hack For Hiring World Class Talent

Posted by HackerTrail on Feb 20, 2018 4:32:25 PM

95% of conversations between founders and managers in Tech revolve around how hard it is for them to attract and retain top talent.¹ It is fashionable to commiserate about the tussle for talent. Plus it is objectively hard to hire 10x people and keep them happily engaged for the long haul.

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Topics: hiring, interview, tech recruitment, hacks

Why Should I Learn Android?

Posted by HackerTrail on Feb 8, 2018 9:43:27 AM

You have firmly decided that you want to learn to create applications for Android using Kotlin. You are super motivated to create your first application.

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Topics: android, tech, kotlin, learning, development

The Best Interview Questions We've Ever Published

Posted by HackerTrail on Feb 1, 2018 11:38:51 AM

Hiring is by far the biggest concern we hear from founders. Finding the right people to work at your company is high-stakes. Poor performers can take a catastrophic toll on your success. Most seasoned CEOs say that founders should be spending as much as 50% of their time early on getting the right talent in the door. Yet, the actual hiring process tends to remain more of an art than a science for startups — regardless of all the structure and rubrics they try to impose.

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Topics: recruitment, hiring, interview, tech recruitment

A Fresh Grad's Insider Tip On Surviving Your First IT Job

Posted by HackerTrail on Jan 8, 2018 1:45:37 PM

In an increasingly competitive work environment, we’ve all been programmed to be solely focused on success and to perceive failure as a negative thing. But in the age of digital transformation, many companies are flipping the switch. They are starting to realize that failure creates an opportunity for us to think beyond and innovate which is imperative to business success. Rabiah echoed similar sentiments as she shares with us her recent experience as a IT developer and the immense learning opportunities that were granted during her stint.

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Topics: Career Tips, singapore, tech, tech recruitment, govtech, graduate

Working at GovTech: A Fresh Grad's Perspective

Posted by HackerTrail on Dec 28, 2017 5:04:48 PM

With the increasing prevalence of cyber attacks, more and more companies are looking into hiring professionals to keep their information safe. Cybersecurity is certainly financially lucrative but these professionals are not doing it just for the paycheck. We speak to Keith, who shares with us his recent experience as an Incident Responder- drawing parallels to a firefighter, and the immense value his role brings to the company. In addition, we have Keith’s mentor, Liyana Fauzi, from the Strategic Planning and International Division to share with us how her GovTech journey has helped in her mentorship with Keith.

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Topics: career, singapore, tech, govtech, cybersecurity, graduate

Recruiting top talent? 'Spray and pray' is NOT the way to go!

Posted by Tushar on Jul 12, 2017 6:26:43 PM

Whether you are a multinational, a rapidly growing mid-sized business or a teething startup, recruitment is bound to be one of your perennial business challenges. Digital presence and social media outreach have made it easier for your HR or recruitment agency to garner mass interest in your job requirement. However, that does not necessarily guarantee that you will find your ideal candidate. “Spraying and Praying” may have its benefits, but it doesn’t work in recruitment anymore. Here is why you need a definite recruitment strategy.

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Topics: Uncategorized

Hiring Trends: 2016 wrap-up with HackerTrail

Posted by Mary Pereira on Dec 27, 2016 5:44:06 PM

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Topics: Recruiting in Singapore, employer branding, HackerTrail, hiring, social recruitment, tech recruitment

Performance Tips for a Rails Stack

Posted by Mary Pereira on Aug 16, 2016 12:19:08 PM

Watch Althaf Hameez, Lead Engineer at Grab, do a quick presentation on the performance tips they use at Grab for a rails stack.

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Topics: Uncategorized

Programmers Beware - UX is not just for designers

Posted by Mary Pereira on Aug 11, 2016 3:13:08 PM

Perhaps one of the biggest missed opportunities in Tech in recent history is UX.

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Topics: Uncategorized