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

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