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Anxious About the Job Fair

I hope you’ve got your resumes ready, because Codeup’s bi-annual Tech Job Fair is coming back this Fall! For most people, this is an exciting event, full of opportunity and new beginnings. While for some, the words “Job Fair” provoke anxiety and a deep-seated fear of proper handshaking.

(via GIPHY)

To help a few of you entry-level folks out there, I sat down with my boss Fred Tawil – President of Swipetrack Solutions – and asked him if he had some advice for anyone attending the Job Fair in September.

Interview With the Boss

How did you get into tech?

I taught myself how to program years and years ago. When I graduated as a political science major, I needed something to do. My dad owned bingo halls and he needed a player tracking system, so I figured okay, I’ll make a player tracking system. I taught myself how to program, I built the kiosk and built the software to run the player tracking.

As someone who didn’t formally study something like CS, what has been the most difficult thing about managing a bunch of programmers? 

I don’t know. Everybody has their own method of programming and development. It’s that balancing act between getting something done quick and getting it done right. It’s figuring out how much time we can spend making it reliable versus getting it deployed.

That’s true. There’s always something new coming out in this industry.

Yeah, it’s always good to keep an eye out on what’s coming up, that way you’re not stuck when something gets depreciated or reaches its end-of-life.

When you’re hiring, do you typically read everyone’s resumes?

It depends. We typically glance at them. I understand that a lot of Codeup grads weren’t in tech and are trying to move into it. That’s actually good for us, especially as a small company. We like to see previous work history so we can hire someone with multiple skills.

Back when you were conducting the interviews yourself, what are some things that would make a candidate stand out to you?

Most of the time when we’re hiring, we get a lot of competent coders that come to see us, and we see lots and lots of resumes. But an important thing for us now is, will this person fit in with the environment and will they like working here? When it comes down to the interview, you can be a competent coder, but what we want to know is if you’ll mesh with the group of people here and if you’re someone we can work with day to day.

How important would you say it is for someone to have a personal website and to have recent commits on GitHub?

I can tell you we looked at everyone’s personal website if their resume looked good. GitHub accounts not so much, because a lot of the time when someone is coming from a coding bootcamp they’re all the same. A lot of the websites also looked similar, but if there was a way that you set yours apart, we saw those and those were pretty interesting.

For us it’s not so much what you did while you were at Codeup, it’s what else you did. Show me that you really enjoy programming and that you do it in your free time, as opposed to just looking for a higher paycheck. Do you have any apps in the App store, or a web application you made? Did you actually spend time on your website? I can tell you we do look at the source code and make sure if we’re hiring somebody that they didn’t just use a theme they bought on the internet and are pretending they built it. It’s very easy to tell.

Do you have any advice for anyone who is nervous about going to their first Tech Job Fair? 

It might be different, but I think it’s more laid-back. I would say to just relax. The three or four times we did it, we enjoyed talking to people and finding those whose personalities stood out. So be relaxed, enjoy it, and just talk.

From Personal Experience  

I clearly remember attending my first Tech Job Fair back in 2017, only because I was extremely anxious every day leading up to the event. I would go to Geekdom after class and had late nights to make sure that my website and online profiles were ready to go. Once the day came and I got there, my first thought was to run back to the car.

responsibilities(Image: Tenor)

Three Easy Steps

Whether you’re planning to attend the Tech Job Fair to find employment or to network, it’s completely normal to be a little worried about it. So here’s my advice:

  1. Do Your Research

I can vouch for the importance of doing a little research before attending. Make sure to look at the list of companies who will be there and make a mental note of those that really interest you. You’ll be better off and more prepared to ask all the right questions.

  1. Introduce Yourself

If you’re not quite sure how, “Hello, my name is…” goes a long way.

  1. Follow Up

This is the step that most people forget. If you find a place that you fall in love with, you need to follow up. Why wouldn’t you? That would be like falling head over heels for someone on the first date and forgetting to call. There are plenty of fish in the sea and a simple email thanking them for their time could be the reason they remember your name.

Pro Tip: If you’re currently in Codeup, you can even invite them to Demo Day and have another shot at impressing them with your new skills.

via GIPHY

Bottom Line

Most importantly, STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF. Getting hired into a new company is a lot like entering a new relationship. Companies want to hire someone they can get along with everyday – someone who values their work and the company culture. Ultimately, you want to be hired by people who “get” you. It’s usually easy to tell when someone is not being genuine, so avoid pretending to be someone you’re not. Put yourself out there, smile and most of all, bring some hand-sanitizer because you’re going to be shaking a lot of hands.

 

 

Sophie studied music for a few years before diving into the world of web development. Now it’s too late to go back because there are bugs that need fixing.
Her husband is also a software developer, and their baby looks a lot like Pooh Bear.
In her free time she covers music, re-watches The Office and drinks more bubble tea than any person should.
She is serving in the Texas National Guard and currently trains at Aerial Horizon.

Codeup Student Check In: Month 1

Codeup welcomed our newest cohort, the Wrangell cohort, on July 23. With the start of this cohort, we are launching a new blog series: the Codeup Student Check In. We’ll interview a student over the course of the 4.5 months to see how things are progressing from first impressions all the way to graduation. Thus, welcome to the Codeup Student Check In: Month 1!

We took the time to sit down with our Wrangell student to see how they’ve been doing so far!

Codeup: How did you hear about Codeup? Why did you want to apply?
Wrangell Student: My first encounter with Codeup was during a drive downtown. I’m glancing at billboards while I’m driving and I see Codeup on one of the billboards. I remember thinking I wasn’t fully satisfied with my position in life, and my future goals aligned with Codeup’s mission. So I took a risk and applied.

C: What was the application process like?
S: The application process is very easy to understand. You apply directly on the website, and a member of the team reaches out to you. There are a few steps in the process itself, including an interview, a campus visit and a skills assessment.

C: Tell us about any financing options/grants/scholarships you received. Did you owe anything out of pocket?
S: I’m very happy to report my expenses are fully covered by a few grants and scholarships. The City of San Antonio Workforce Solutions grant, the Alamo College Techworks grant, and the Women’s Scholarship all helped to cover the cost so that I paid nothing out of pocket.

C: Describe a typical day for you from start to finish
S: We start off with announcements and then what we call “push-ups,” which are morning exercises to practice our chops. Sometimes we work on yesterday’s assignment, or we  jump straight into lecture. After lecture we practice the material with an exercise. Then we have a lunch break. After lunch we come back and listen to afternoon announcements. We have lecture time again, followed by another exercise.

C: Describe what you’re learning right now. Is it hard/fun/challenging?
S: Right now we are learning how to interact with the Google Maps API. This is probably the most challenging thing we’ve gone over so far. It’s very different extracting and working with code that is not your own. It feels like learning coding conventions all over again. But it’s still a lot of fun!

C: How has the learning process/information gathering been?
S: The learning process has been amazing. We use the Codeup curriculum website in combination with other resources, such as developer websites, and program documentation.

C: What has been the most memorable part of this month?
S: It is empowering seeing a project idea go from a blank slate to  a full functioning program. The most memorable part of this month was the first time I ran a program and saw all the colors and components jump out at me on the screen.

C: How do you feel your skill level compares to when you started?
S: My skill level has definitely increased compared to where I was initially. I think one of the most valuable things I’ve been taught are the tools that developers use on a daily basis such as Github, git, Node, the IntelliJ IDE and more.

C: How have the instructors been helpful?
S: The instructors are very receptive to feedback. They recognize that their students are extremely diverse with different skill levels, and respond in an understanding manner. They also encourage us to work hard for a problem answer, rather than just giving it to us outright.

C:  Can you share a fun experience you have had this month?
S: It is so much fun talking to my classmates and realizing how kind and open they are. I initially wanted to be alone on my lunch break, but then I had so much fun eating lunch with my classmates! I feel that Codeup is even helping me overcome my shy nature, and feeling the change within myself is fun and enlightening.

Announcing Our New Minorities in Tech Scholarship

The Minorities in Tech Scholarship

By Kyra Seegmiller

We have exciting news! Today launches our latest scholarship available for students – the Minorities in Tech Scholarship!

There are startling statistics about minorities in the tech industry. While we aren’t located in Silicon Valley, we want to continue fostering and cultivating inclusive growth in not just the tech industry, but San Antonio as well.

This scholarship joins our continuously growing list of scholarships, including ones for women, veterans, first responders, and the LGBTQIA+ community, and we are committed to our city and the emerging economy.

Fresh Out of Codeup: Cayden Simler

Fresh Out of Codeup: Cayden Simler

 

Fresh Out of Codeup: Cayden Simler

Digiboost recruits unprecedented talent from Codeup

By Mark A. Alvarez II

There is so much more than meets the eye when meeting Cayden Simler, Digiboost’s newest developer. The Codeup graduate has set a new standard at Digiboost, by not only meeting expectations but exceeding them with his passion for technological innovation. From humble beginnings as a military child, moving from place to place, to building a life in San Antonio, Texas, Cayden is a one of a kind talent, displaying a multitude of skills ranging from CSS, JavaScript, PHP and troubleshooting methods for solving developmental problems. At Digiboost, Cayden hopes to empower and enable small business to thrive in a corporate world with his distinct style and approach to coding.

“I want to be a part of building up the Digiboost brand while also building up the small businesses that come to us for support,” Simler said. “I really want to contribute and give back in the best way I know how.”

After acquiring a taste for web development in high school, Cayden looked to Codeup as an alternative to obtaining a four-year degree. Codeup provided Cayden with a program focused on developing the skills required for his role as a web developer. Codeup’s hands-on approach to coding proved to be helpful to Cayden, allowing him to immediately put to practice everything he was learning. In just 16 weeks, Cayden was certified in Full Stack Development, dubbed the status of Junior Software Developer, and matched up with one of Codeup’s employer partners. The Codeup program is dedicated to providing its students with the skills necessary to effectively land an entry level coding position and launch their career in software development.

“Codeup was designed exactly the way I needed it to be,” Simler said. “I gained the ability to problem solve, debug and learn new coding languages quickly. I  learned methods through whatever means necessary and created a fast entry into a career as a developer with the skills I needed to succeed.”

Since starting at Digiboost, the team has been beyond impressed by the level of commitment and efficiency Cayden has brought to the company. His developmental knowledge has brought him to become one of Digiboost’s lead developers.

“Cayden is a true asset to Digiboost,” Brian Campbell, Digiboost Client Care Specialist, said. “I hadn’t heard much about Codeup or the types of skills they taught, but Cayden is quite versed in several different coding forms. He has proven to be a great resource, either with live customers or with employees in the office. In the future, I can see Cayden moving into a senior type role very fast. But I believe his skill set is something we need and want him to get more advanced in.”

Cayden’s display of talent and proficiency have proved to be the type of personality sought out by Digiboost. His pursuit of excellence within his field has proven to be quite the journey, one that has earned the admiration of his team and colleagues. Surely, looking to the future, Cayden is bound to leave a lasting impact at Digiboost while growing and utilizing his incredible talents.

“I’m very excited for the future of tech in San Antonio and Codeup’s role in the tech district. This is an opportunity for us to all grow towards a shared vision,” Jason Straughan, CEO of Codeup, said.

This is the second of a new Codeup blog series which will feature guest articles related to software and technology.

Mark A. Alvarez II, Digital Content Writer at Digiboost.
malvarez@digiboost.com

 

Top Trends and Tools for Recruiters in the Tech Industry

Top Trends and Tools for Recruiters in the Tech Industry

 

By Taylor McKinney

Recruiting new talent is never an easy task. But within the tech industry, it’s even more tricky—you want candidates with sharp skills and competitive experience, but also those who can make room to grow and adapt to new changes. The methods you use to recruit will directly influence who you attract, so you’ll need to get innovative with your strategies if you want the best. Here are the top innovative measures being used in recruiting for the tech industry today.

Assessing Coding Skills

A candidate with formal coding education is a must. A candidate with years of workplace experience is even better. But neither will necessarily guarantee you’re getting the best developer or programmer possible. That’s where coding assessments come in. This skill-based method makes the recruitment easier by relying on hard data, which reduces unnecessary decision making and possible bias. It’s the closest you’ll get to knowing exactly how capable a candidate is, and exactly how they’ll perform, logistically speaking, for your business.

Chatbot Interviews

The interview process can be timely and even expensive, especially if you’re hoping to attract global or out-of-town candidates. Whether you use it for the interview itself or just the pre-screening process, a virtual session makes more efficient use of the selection process, both in time, money, and convenience. Try Google Hangouts or Skype for a free method, or check out a software review site for the best video interview software available.

More Efficient Applicant Tracking

These systems are known for being cumbersome and, ironically, even inefficient because they’re so often hard to use or even used incorrectly. The good news is that these systems are simplifying their programs with the help of AI and rebranding themselves as “candidate relationship management software”. Employers can now count on these programs to correctly track all potentials without error, as well as recommend new qualified candidates.

A New Way of Interviewing

The standard “Where do you see yourself in five years?” question-and-answer interviews aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but they probably won’t land you any innovative hires. That’s why they’ve begun to fall by the wayside, especially in the tech world.

While the core questions are still important, tech companies are now rebranding their strategies to shake things up a bit and make room for assessing soft skills and personality—the areas in which traditional interviews fall short.

For example, the NFL susses out potential candidates by using Wonderlic, an online personality test that assesses emotional intelligence, determination, and overall demeanor.  Companies are also ditching conformity by trying out unconventional meeting places like a coffee shop or cafe. It’s all about getting to know a candidate better in a more dimensional way, and these new tools and methods are a way to get to know a truer sense of a person overall.

And what about helping out with the time-consuming task of recruiting? Here are some of TrustRadius’s Top Rated recruiting software for 2018, which help streamline the recruitment process of searching for, attracting, interviewing, and onboarding new personnel.

Oracle HCM Cloud

TrustRadius Score: 7.7 out of 10

Best suited for large companies with many employees, a considerable budget, and complex needs. Users like the quick and efficient support, rich interface and frequent updates of this talent management suite

SmartRecruiters

TrustRadius Score: 7.8 out of 10

Users like that it’s intuitive and user friendly, even for those not so tech-savvy. One user says “it allows me to prescreen applicants without going through the interview process. I receive an email anytime there is a potential candidate to review.”

JobDiva (8.6 out of 10)

TrustRadius Score: 8.6 out of 10

Fans of JobDiva appreciate its simple integration with external tools, convenient support, customizable features, and mass emails, which allow users to contact multiple qualified candidates all at once. One user says that JobDiva “allows me to prescreen applicants without going through the interview process. I receive an email anytime there is a potential candidate to review.”

This is the first of a new Codeup blog series which will feature guest articles related to software and technology.

Taylor McKinney is an Marketing Specialist at TrustRadius, which has become the most trusted website for B2B software reviews. When she is not writing about the latest tools and small business trends she is enjoying Austin’s beautiful scenery with her family.

All About the Alamo Colleges Partnership!

All About the Alamo Colleges Partnership!

In April, it was announced that we are partnering with Alamo Colleges District to bring our students grants! Have you seen the spotlights on the news? We’re really, really excited about what this means for our students.

Thanks to the Department of Labor, our students, if eligible, may receive up to $3,500 to apply towards tuition or living-related expenses. Here at Codeup, we currently use third-party lenders and accept GI Bill® education benefits, so this partnership means one thing: lowering barrier of entry for our students.

Our CEO Jason Straughan sums it up: “If [the Alamo Colleges] mission is to create more workforce opportunities in software development, then we’re interested. Our goal is to help transitioning students, either from the military or the private sector, enter the software development workforce in an entry-level position, knowing that population grows into the next mid- and senior-level developer. It’s definitely a career where experience matters.”

Currently, 81% of our students have received this grant. Students use the grant in conjunction with other forms of financing:

  • 56% use VA Benefits (GI Bill®)
  • 28% use a Loan (Climb, Skillsfund, Personal Loans)
  • 11% use an additional grant (WIOA, Project Quest)
  • 17% received a Codeup Scholarship (Women in Tech, Relocation, Veterans, First Responder)

Are you curious if you meet the qualifications? Check out our page on Alamo Colleges or try out our Financial Aid Estimator (Beta).

Sound exciting? If you want to see if coding is for you, we are offering a FREE Learn to Code workshop later this month! This is a great opportunity to dip your feet into the world of coding, see our space, and meet our staff and ask us any questions. This event previously sold out, so RSVP now to reserve your spot!

The Job Fair is Over….Now What? Post Job Fair Tips

The Job Fair is Over….Now What? Post Job Fair Tips

 

We’ve written about how to kill it at the job fair and how to leave a lasting impression at the Job Fair. But, what happens when the Job Fair doors close?

Here at Codeup, we’re passionate about bridging the gap between talent and demand, so we’ve outlined helpful tips to ensure you continue bringing your A-game and leave a lasting impression!

1) Make meaningful connections with employers on LinkedIn

Don’t let yourself become someone they barely remember. Find the recruiters on LinkedIn and connect with them.
Add a personal note as to why you want to connect with them. Consider recapping conversations you had at the job fair and reiterating what position(s) in which you were interested. Don’t blindly connect – remind them of who you are!

2) Social Media

Use social media to your advantage! Companies are more connected than ever before, so what better way to show you’re interested than by following them on social media? Some key ones include LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and possibly even Instagram. But, WHY social media? You’ll be constantly in the loop of what the companies are up to and what they’re in the business of doing. As a result, you stay relevant.

3) Set up alerts

In the advent of social media, apps are also on the rise. Set up alerts through your favorite job sites – almost all of which have apps.

Here’s a few that our Director of Employer Partnerships recommend:

4) Double check your resume

Do you have two resumés? It’s best to have two – one that is tailored for the role you want and one tailored to recruiters. Hand out the latter one to recruiters or at job fairs. It should also highlight the well roundedness of who you are!

5) How’s your cover letter?

Step one: do you have a cover letter? Step two: is it one that can be tailored with minimal effort? While most companies nowadays don’t require a mandatory cover letter, it’s good to have one on file. This link has great tips on prepping one.

6) Recruiters can be your friend (in the professional sense)

A good recruiter won’t view working with you as a transaction. Working with a recruiter allows you to a) outsource a significant portion of the job search while also gaining a direct connection to a professional network b) give you access to a transparent job search process (such as company culture and interviewer style). In addition, it’s in a recruiter’s best interest to stay in touch with you once you accept an offer to make sure you’re adjusting. You’re not a transaction – you’re an investment. When they see you continue to succeed, it allows them to stay at the top of your mind as you continue your professional path.

7) Show that you’re available

Does your LinkedIn reflect that you’re wanting to hear from recruiters? This is an often overlooked step, but is key when actively job searching.

Other (little) things that make a (BIG) Difference

  • Functional email address
    • Have a functional GMAIL address. Why Gmail? It’s encrypted in transit and at rest. These emails are typically embraced by HR and recruiting managers
    • If you have an email ending in .edu, that’s okay!
    • In addition, a naming conversation is encouraged, like “first.last,” ‘last.first,” anything that incorporates your names and not personally identifying information (i.e. birthdays, SSN)
  • Set up an outgoing voicemail, so recruiters aren’t totally detracted from the message. It helps convey a soft skill by hearing a voice
    • We know robo calls are the worst. But, it’s best to answer your phone from unknown numbers while job searching – especially if it’s a local number to the job market where you’re searching. It could be a recruiter or a hiring manager who’s interested in you in that very moment, and may pass you up for the next person that picks up the phone.

The next Tech Job Fair is scheduled for September 2018. Until then, we wish you all the best of luck as you continue navigating through the job search!

10 Tips to Crush It at the SA Tech Job Fair

SA Tech Job Fair

The third bi-annual San Antonio Tech Job Fair is just around the corner. Over 25 companies will be at The Jack Guenther Pavilion on April 10th, and they are hungry for new tech team members!

At the job fair, companies want to quickly source a list of new talent leads. AKA they need to find qualified employees they can begin interviewing for jobs. Recruiters will represent their organization at tables with informational handouts and company swag. Your goal at a job fair is to set yourself apart from other candidates and ensure your name makes it to the top of those lead lists.

Think of your interaction with the company as a mini screening interview. The company rep will subtly evaluate basic qualities like your professionalism, communication and interpersonal skills, work experience, and interest level in the organization. Job fairs are also an opportunity for you to gain information about companies that may not be easily accessible online.  

At Codeup, we’re passionate about bridging the gap between talent and demand, so we’ve outlined 10 tips to ensure you bring your A-game and leave a lasting impression!

10 Tips for Totally Crushing it at the SA Tech Job Fair

  1. Use keywords to describe your skills, but don’t go overboard. You’ll probably be talking to a recruiter or talent acquisition specialist. As a technical candidate, recognize these individuals usually aren’t developers or network administrators. They know terms like “JavaScript” and “Apache,” but haven’t written a line of code or spun up a server, so don’t get too caught up in industry jargon.
  2. Research the companies ahead of time. Review the list of attending companies and make sure you know what the company does and whether or not they hire people in your desired role. Look up recent news on the company and mention it during your conversation.
  3. Define your own goals for the job fair. Are you searching for a specific type of role or company culture? What matters most in your job search? Are there companies you want to prioritize?  Develop a game plan and be intentional with your time.
  4. Prepare a stellar résumé. Bring about 20 copies of your résumé to the event, printed on nice paper. We won’t cover resume writing in this post, but there are a plethora of online resources you can consult. For job fairs, don’t worry about cover letters.
  5. Polish your online profiles. If recruiters have a copy of your resume, you can be sure they will stalk you online soon. Make sure your online presence is professional and appropriate. A good place to start is by Googling yourself. Update your LinkedIn, and clean up any social media profiles.
  6. Craft a 30-60 second elevator pitch. You may only have a few minutes with an employer. What will you say if they ask, “Tell me about yourself?” Consider structuring your pitch like this: Who you are + What you do + What your goals are + Why that matters to the company.
  7. Don’t show up in a t-shirt, but trade in your suit for something more chill. Always keep it professional, but remember: tech is typically more casual than other industries. You’ll likely feel out of place if you look like you belong on Wall St., so refer to this guide on dressing for tech interviews.
  8. Don’t forget the basics. Start and end each conversation with a firm handshake. Make eye contact while conversing. Smile! Thank the recruiter before you move on to the next table.
  9. Ask educated questions. Don’t waste valuable face time with recruiters by asking questions like, “What does [Insert Company here] do?” They hate that question! Instead, try some of these:
    1. What are the top 3-5 examples of knowledge, skills, and abilities you look for in candidates?
    2. What’s the best advice you have for someone who wants to work here?
    3. What is your interview process like?
    4. Are you hiring for any roles not currently listed on your websites?
  10. Follow up. Collect business cards from each table. The next day, send a short note expressing your interest in the company’s opportunities and thanking the recruiter for his or her time.

RSVP for the SA Tech Job Fair taking place at the Jack Guenther Pavilion – September 18th starting at 4 pm. 

5 Hiring Trends in Software Development

5 Hiring Trends in Software Development

 

Companies (and ideal candidates) care about solving problems for the end user.

Hiring needs in the tech industry – specifically on software development teams – evolve almost as quickly as the technologies themselves. One year employers are trying to get their hands on Ruby developers, and 12 months later, a new JavaScript framework is all the buzz. This doesn’t make things easy for job seekers or new employers looking to hire their first software developers.

Drawing on conversations with our 200+ employer partners at Codeup, we’ve compiled a shortlist of five trends we’ve seen emerge recently. In a nutshell, it’s all about solving problems for the end user.

The growing popularity of Agile has created more opportunities for full stack developers.

First, what is Agile? In a nutshell, it’s a set of management practices that allows software developers to write code and build products more efficiently.

Agile has gained serious ground in IT departments across a variety of industries, from finance to food service. While Agile doesn’t explicitly require a team of full stack developers, it does ask developers to be fully engaged in all facets of building an application, from creating user stories to deployment. As a result, roles on an Agile team start to blur, and each individual winds up working on features across the tech stack.=

There’s no doubt that a team of specialized front-end and back-end developers can build great software. However, today’s hiring managers seem to have a preference for full stack developers, or at least those who understand both sides of a given tech stack, because these well-rounded employees have a leg up on others in an Agile environment.

Good software development leverages design thinking across the stack to benefit the end user.

Structure and efficiency are still important for software engineers to get right, but more and more, it’s critical for developers to code across the stack with the end user at top of mind. In fact, Agile teams dedicate time to create user stories that inform the products they build, and each team member is involved in a recurring (or iterative) design process.

Tim Brown, the CEO of international design firm IDEO, says, “Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.”

Software is everywhere these days, and it’s not just for techies. Solutions need to be slick, innovative, and easy-to-use. The latest version of iOS or Android needs to be impressive enough for tech enthusiasts to get excited about and straightforward enough for grandpa to check his voicemail. Most importantly, good developers realize those two things aren’t mutually exclusive.

JavaScript takes candidates further than ever before.

Now more than ever, a strong understanding of JavaScript can really help software developers land a great job.

Once a fairly basic, client-side scripting language, JavaScript has made powerful gains in functionality while staying lean and efficient. In recent years, Node.js, a server-side runtime, has transformed JavaScript into a full stack powerhouse.

JavaScript continues to deliver on the front-end, too: React.js has revolutionized user interface development and has become the front-end JavaScript framework of choice for Fortune 500 companies and startups alike.

Diverse and non-traditional candidates are in the spotlight.

Diversity in tech remains elusive and persists as a key talking point in the industry. Women, as well as black, Latinx, and LGBT workers, remain severely underrepresented. In light of this year’s high-profile headlines on gender diversity issues at Uber and Google, many tech companies have doubled down on their commitments to boost workplace equality and employ people who authentically empathize with a diverse group of end users.

We’ve also noticed a growing trend toward diversity initiatives that aim to include nontraditional hires like military veterans, career changers, and candidates without four-year degrees. For example, the Microsoft LEAP initiative seeks candidates who have tech experience but may have been out of work for a while (e.g., stay-at-home moms or dads) or career changers with at least six months of software development experience.

Strong problem-solving skills remain the common denominator among great developers, and interviewers know it.

This is less of a hiring trend than it is a skill that employers continue to require of all new developers, especially non-traditional hires who may not have a computer science degree or years of experience.

Software developers – especially those new to the field – are in a constant state of learning new technologies and solving problems they’ve never encountered before. The ability to define a problem, recognize key inputs, and identify potential solutions is particularly important when the quality of a line of code depends on the developer’s ability to think logically and efficiently.

Interviewers often ask candidates to walk through a scenario, usually a past experience or a hypothetical case study, where the candidate needs to demonstrate their ability to assess a problem and formulate a solution. Sometimes these questions can be technical and quantitative, other times they’re more behavioral, but either way, it’s clear that companies want employees who think well on their feet and come to their managers with solutions instead of self-explanatory questions.

Conclusion: Honing your skills to meet employment trends can help you get a software development job, but first, invest in learning the fundamentals of programming.

Beyond these trends, employers continue to look for one thing above all else: technical skills! Before learning a new JavaScript framework and doing research on best practices for design thinking, you’ve got to have the fundamentals of software development under your belt. That’s where Codeup comes in. Our 18-week career accelerator gives you all the tools and training you need to capitalize on these trends and land a great job as a software developer.

To learn more about Codeup, email us at info@codeup.com or apply today!

 

What Makes a Successful Software Developer?

What Makes a Successful Software Developer?

 

4 questions to ask yourself when considering a career as a Software Developer.

Written by Dimitri Antoniou

Software developers build the programs, games, and apps that run on your computer, cell-phone, tablet, video-game system or e-reader. A software developer can be front-end, back-end or full stack.

Successful software developers come from diverse backgrounds and a variety of industries. Here at Codeup, our job is to advance existing careers and launch new ones. That means we’ve seen it all. We’ve learned that being a successful software developer comes from the right combination of personality traits and technical knowledge. We’ve gathered a few questions to ask yourself if you are considering becoming a software developer.

#1: Do I like working with computers?

You will spend your time building, improving and maintaining different types of software across different pieces of technology. This means that working with computers, phones & tablets should be something you enjoy. This might sound obvious, but it’s huge! We often meet students who are attracted to tech because of exciting new products, collaborative work environments, and flexible schedules. These are all awesome perks, but remember that the most important piece of your work will be the code itself. A software developer spends the majority of their time fixing problems and building frameworks.

#2: Do I love to learn?

Technology is a constantly evolving industry. While one language is hot today, it might die tomorrow. Our co-founder, Jason Straughan, often reminisces about writing an entire book on a language that disappeared from use by the time the book was published. What does that mean for you? You should love the process of learning new skills and keeping up to date with cutting-edge technologies. A career in technology gives you the opportunity to reinvent yourself many times. You may love working with databases today and find that UI/UX is where your strengths are in a year. You will need to be able to adapt to changes in the industry and be willing to learn on the job or put in the hours on your own time. The more programming languages under your belt the more value you will be able to provide during every stage of your career.

#3: Am I gritty?

Grit is a character trait that can make or break long-term success. Psychologist Angela Duckworth explains it as, “Passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina…sticking with your future, day in and day out.” When it comes to software development, having grit means learning from your failures. We’ve seen students struggle not because they can’t figure out the content, but because they are afraid of failing. Move past that fear! You will inevitably make mistakes, but our successful students are those that learn from their failure along the way.

#4: Am I a problem-solver?

At the end of the day, code is designed to solve a problem! Your ability to think logically, brainstorm creative solutions, proactively research answers, and fill gaps will make you an effective and efficient software developer. That’s why we test for problem-solving ability in our admissions process. Do you like tinkering, Googling, fixing, solving puzzles, and finding your own answers? If you do, you may appreciate the challenges that come along with developing software and debugging code.

These are the questions to ask yourself when making the decision to become a software developer. If you answered yes to these questions, coding could be for you. At Codeup we offer an 18-week career accelerator that will help you get a foot in the industry. Ready to start? Call Codeup at 210.802.7289 or shoot us an email at info@codeup.com

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