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

Do First Impressions Really Count?

Posted by HackerTrail on Mar 30, 2016 3:28:04 PM

Here’s the hard truth: 80% of hiring managers will decide within the first 10 minutes of an interview whether to hire you or not. While every second in that interview room might feel like forever, anxiety might affect your responses to your potential employers. Here’s how you can work on the first impression that you’re putting forward.

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Topics: job, tips, candidates, Career Tips, employee, employer, hire, hiring, interview, jobs, sg, singapore, trick

Get Ready & Get Hired: 5 Things To Remember At Your Interview

Posted by HackerTrail on Mar 7, 2016 2:23:12 PM

So you've cracked one of HackerTrail's coding challenges and the employer's keen on meeting you "for a chat". What now?

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Topics: job, Recruiting in Singapore, tips, Career Tips, help, interview, singapore

4 Questions Fresh Graduates Should Ask Before Joining An MNC

Posted by HackerTrail on Feb 17, 2016 10:54:18 AM

It’s a confusing world out there after your graduation. Degree in hand, many questions are bound to pop up in your head. “Should I work at a large company or a startup?” “Will I learn enough or will I get bored of the job after a month?” “What if I don’t find something relevant to my major?”

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Topics: grad, job, Recruiting in Singapore, capgemini, graduates, HackerTrail, jobs, sg, singapore, uni, university

A Fresh Grad At Her First Job

Posted by HackerTrail on Feb 17, 2016 10:35:22 AM

What’s it like working for a multi-national company with over 180,000 employees? Find out from one of the new employees at Capgemini, one of the world’s largest consulting, technology, and outsourcing companies. If you’re a fresh graduate hoping to land your first job, read on:

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Topics: grad, job, Recruiting in Singapore, capgemini, graduates, HackerTrail, jobs, sg, singapore, uni, university

Why You Should Become An Android Developer

Posted by HackerTrail on Jan 28, 2016 10:30:43 AM

Living in the age of the web, it’s a great time to be alive. It’s also a great time to be an Android developer! With the Android operating system flourishing at three times the activation rate of the iOS, the Google-owned software has become a major platform in just 7 years.

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Topics: android, job, Recruiting in Singapore, redmart, code, developer, HackerTrail, singapore, Tech Skill Update

Bouncing back from a bad interview experience

Posted by HackerTrail on Nov 11, 2015 10:49:07 AM

This article was first published on Undercover Recruiter by Sophie Deering.

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Topics: job, recruitment, career, Career Tips, hiring, interview, problems

10 Ways To Mess Up Your Salary Negotiation

Posted by HackerTrail on Jul 31, 2015 10:21:56 AM
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Topics: job, job offer, candidate, Career Tips, employer, job seeker, salary, salary negotiation

Seven worst resume mistakes to avoid

Posted by HackerTrail on Jul 30, 2015 2:06:58 PM

This article has been authored by Adrian Tan a seasoned recruitment strategist, it was featured on his blog in April 2013. This is one of those articles that doesn't get old with with time instead gets more relevant by each passing day, as we compete for the time a recruiter spends on our resume.

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Topics: job, resume, career, Career Tips, job seeker, salary, singapore

All Work and Some Play

Posted by Tushar on Jul 30, 2015 1:35:53 PM

All Work and Some Play: A Guide To Gamification In Workplace Training, was published by Skilledup in March 2015. The article talks about the use of gamification in the workplace. In context of gamification for recruitment they featured HackerTrail, below is the extract. If you wish to read full article click here:

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Topics: gamification, job, recruitment, career, gamified challenges, HackerTrail, hiring, In the Press, singapore