15 Tips on How to Prepare For Virtual Interviews and Meetings

In response to the spread of COVID-19, many companies are making the switch to remote work – which means their hiring processes are moving remote, too. Our Student Placement Team recognizes that preparing for a video job interview involves different considerations and logistics than an in-person one. We’re sharing the tips they’ve gathered and have been coaching our students around to ensure you’re set up for success!
  1. Use your computer, not your phone for video calls. 
  2. Test audio and camera at least 15 minutes prior to the scheduled interview. If sound quality isn’t great, use a headset or earphones to avoid an echo.
  3. Elevate your laptop with books, board games, etc. so your camera is at eye level to avoid staring down into the camera.
  4. Dress professionally—and not just from the top up! Dress the part to act the part.
  5. Make sure your username is your first and last name (as shown on your resume), and it is properly capitalized.
  6. Position yourself at a table, against a plain and neutral background. Avoid positioning yourself by a window and make sure there is no clutter around you.
  7. Check the lighting in the room. Light the room from the front and not from the back.
  8. Close all other applications on your laptop and turn off notifications.
  9. Silence your cell phone and disable vibration.
  10. Have a copy of your resume on hand.
  11. Attach post-its around the laptop screen with prompts and questions you wish to ask the interviewer
  12. Exclude kids, pets, etc. from the room during the interview.
  13. Have a pen and paper on hand.
  14. Have a glass of water next to you.
  15. Have the phone number of the interviewer in case the video connection is lost. 
On a career search and looking for more tips? Our team of professionals is here to help! Contact us to learn more about how Codeup can help you in your career journey! Many of these tips were referenced from The New Rules of Work by Alexandra Cavoulacos and Kathryn Minshew. If you found these tips useful, check out the book, and don’t forget to share them with a friend to help them on their career search!

How to Hire a Programmer in San Antonio

How to Hire a Programmer in San Antonio

Most of the time employers don’t know where to start when it comes to finding their next developer. Programmers with real-life coding skills are in high demand but prove difficult to find. Where do employers start looking? What skills should they be looking for? San Antonio has a treasure chest of programmers hiding in universities, bootcamp programs, and tech communities just waiting to be hired.

College grads are eager to jump into the workforce after a rigorous four years of tests and lectures. Graduating Millennials have a sense of mission; they’re ready to make a difference in the world and the companies they work for. San Antonio colleges like the University of Texas at San Antonio and Trinity University have top tier computer science programs that produce swells of potential hires every year. Employers can contact UTSA’s computer science department to be listed on their page of job opportunities or make a profile on Campus2Careers. Students pour a strong foundation for their career by getting their degree but don’t usually gain applicable skills from college curriculum alone. Curriculum can become quickly outdated with the ever-changing methods of the technology industry. If they don’t develop their programming skills independently of their schoolwork, they fall into the large majority of job applicants that don’t know how to solve basic coding problems. Graduation is only once or twice a year, leaving a short window of employment opportunity. The students who already know how to code have jobs lined up long before they get that diploma.

When graduates realize they can’t find a job without real-life coding skills, they often look for a way to fill the gaps in their university education. In need of a quick, effective way to learn, they turn to our program, Codeup. And it’s not just college grads; individuals from all walks of life come to Codeup to change the trajectory of their careers. They want to be programmers, designers, builders of products and ideas. In three months Codeup students get over 700 hours of instruction from experienced programmers equipped with the most relevant knowledge. The intense program produces individuals who have worked on realistic projects and are ready to jump into the workforce. They have a portfolio of work to show, they have experience, and they have passion. With a class graduating every three months there’s plenty of chances for employers to grab someone with real skills. We believe that must be pretty good if 93% of Bootcamp students from our first cohort have found jobs within four months after graduating.

Universities and accelerated learning programs aren’t the only places companies looking for a programmer can search. Technology meetup groups provide a casual, encouraging environment for savvy programmers who want to hangout with likeminded individuals. There are plenty groups in San Antonio: San Antonio New TechSA Open StackersAlamo City Python GroupSan Antonio Dev OpsSan Antonio Web Development Group, and JDEV Meetup, just to name a few. Groups like these give opportunities to pre-screen candidates who potentially have more experience than those exiting learning programs. Employers need to be careful with their approach, though. It’s inappropriate to make an announcement about a job position at events like these; the group wants members of the community to engaged and involved, not just headhunters. This process is more time consuming but can be effective with consistency and patience. A lot of the meetups are held at Geekdom and are populated by Geekdom members. Posting on the Geekdom job board is a quick way to get to the people who are looking for immediate employment and reduces the amount of hours spent attending events.

If all else fails, employers can post job opportunities on social networks, ask friends, or take a chance with Craigslist. There is no such thing as the perfect job candidate. The structure of code, frameworks and libraries used, testing conventions, requirements, and deployment management are all based on what the company needs— everyone is different. As long as the candidate can prove their knowledge in tracking real coding scenarios, the rest is simply a culture fit.

Why Do Lawyers Get Paid the Big Money?

Lawyers are compensated extremely well for the work that they do, but why is their pay so high, $250 per hour and beyond?

Three reasons: 1) They have a skill with limited supply of people that can do it, 2) the difference between a mediocre and good lawyer is really apparent, and 3) they work on really important stuff (i.e., when people hire a lawyer, the job needs to be done right).

Sound familiar? This why programmers get paid so well, too.

1) Limited supply of people

Even in our very own San Antonio, TX, there just are not enough programmers to meet the demand that employers have. They often have to look elsewhere in order to find people to fulfill their technology needs. A lot of programmers who are also homegrown here in San Antonio leave the city in order to find jobs elsewhere because they are not aware of all of the opportunity that lies here.  The United States is even giving foreign people with computer science backgrounds work visas to live in the US and offer their skills. Looking for a career in which you will always be needed? This is it.

2) The difference between good and bad are apparent

Any lawyer that tells you that a case is “a slam dunk” is a bad lawyer. Any lawyer that stumbles and fumbles through the law as if he or she were riding a unicycle on a rocky road is an awful lawyer. Any programmer that builds apps full of bugs and that crash every time you open them and calls it a finished product is a bad programmer. It is easy to tell the difference between something that is good and something that is awful, especially with computer programming. You know something is good when the program is doing what it is meant to do without issues. It feels flawless, which means a lot of hard work went into building it. However, like the examples above, bad lawyers and programming are quite apparent. Would you use Facebook as much if it worked like MySpace when MySpace was popular? Chances are you would not.

3) They work on important things

Look at your smartphone or tablet and think about all of the apps you use on a daily basis. Then, look at your laptop or desktop computer and think about all of the things you use those for. Now, look at your job and all of the software and technology necessary to keep you afloat, aware, and productive. Chances are that you rely heavily on technology on a day-to-day basis, and a lot of it is important for our lives, personally and professionally. Computer programmers, among others, are the people behind a lot of the things we take for granted every day. They work on important things, and they need to be paid well for it. You would not want to pay as little as possible for an architect to design your family’s home; why would you want a computer programmer to be paid very little to make your life much more frustrating with buggy and incomplete software?

These are just three simple reasons why computer programmers, like lawyers, get paid a lot of money. It’s really about what they do and who they do it for.

Right now is the best time to learn how to become a computer programmer and start getting paid well for doing important things. If you’d like to learn more about how you can get the most out this profession, apply for Codeup and let’s talk!