How to start your career in software development?

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You’re almost through with your Bachelor’s. The hunger for bagging the ideal Software development job is intensifying by the minute, but you don’t want to rush into just any job – you want to be hired by your dream IT company and strive to become an indispensable part of it. This is the story of almost every fresher who’s just passed out of college and is ready to step out into the real world now. However, many freshers give in to scepticism and ‘settle’ for jobs that they don’t enjoy. You don’t want to be one among those, do you?  

Granted that the job hunt process is stressful, time-consuming, and overwhelming, but you cannot give up without trying. You have the right to aim for the stars and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. The key to bagging a well-paying job at a reputed company is to strategize and prepare yourself for any challenge they may throw at you.

Here’s how you can kickstart your career in Software Development!

  1. Prepare An Impressive Portfolio

An impressive and well-designed portfolio is what will help you catch the attention of your interviewer, so, make sure your game in on point! Your portfolio should highlight all the projects you’ve undertaken and completed. It helps to show your progress and experience outside the world of books and theory. For instance, if your portfolio states that you know Java or Scala or both, it should also mention the programs/projects you’ve completed on the same. Many freshers out there do not have work experience as developers or coders. In such situations, these projects denote your credibility and talent as a budding developer.

While your portfolio should show all your achievements, projects, and unique traits as a developer, it always helps when you can communicate about these passionately to your interviewer. Don’t be shy of talking about your strengths and weaknesses during interviews.

Bonus points: If you have experience with Git and GitHub, you’ll take home extra points for sure! These are extremely resourceful and vital tools for version control and collaboration.

  1. Brace Yourself For Technical Interviews

When it comes to technical interviews, you must be prepared to showcase your skills on spot. In most technical interviews candidates are required to solve all kinds of coding problems, be it on a whiteboard or on a computer. This is a test of not only your coding skills but also to assess how well you perform under pressure. Thankfully, there are numerous platforms such as Leetcode, Glassdoor, HackerRank, TopCoder, InterviewCake, Pramp, Coding Ninjas, and many more, to help you with this.

Start practicing coding without a code editor on paper or on a whiteboard. Although it will be tough in the beginning, you’ll get better with time and practice. Now, coming to the part of the interview questions. In a technical interview, it’s natural that you’ll be asked a lot of technical questions and the interviewer will expect you to know all the fundamental technical and coding concepts like conditions, variables, pseudocode, data structures, and syntax, to name a few. There are also many informative online resources such as this or this to help you prepare for this.

  1. Decide On What Kind Of Role You Want And Define It Clearly

As a fresher in the job industry, you must remember that now you have to devote a maximum portion of your day to your work. And hence, it is extremely essential to choose a job that you enjoy. So, now the question is, how do you know the perfect job role for yourself?

The best way to go about is to chalk out a list of your interests, challenges, opportunities, and work environment, that you’re looking for in a job. While doing so, keep in mind that a job should have adequate work-life balance. When you do this, you’ll see your priorities before you and can embark on the job hunt accordingly instead of wasting your time on any and every job offer.  

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During interviews, make sure that you’re not the only one who has to put up with questions but ask questions too. Make sure you bring up all the above-mentioned factors before your interviewer and see how he/she responds to it. This will help you determine whether or not a company is a right fit for the job role you have in mind.

  1. Prepare A Neat And Meaningful Resume/Cover Letter

This is something where you need to invest a significant amount of your time and energy – building a high-end and impressive resume. Just like your work portfolio, your resume speaks a lot about you. Thus, you must ensure that your resume and cover letter is a commendable one. It should be neat, well-aligned, and free of grammatical errors. Also, try to keep in within one page (resumes that are over one page or more tend to get rejected immediately).

Also, work earnestly on your cover letter. When applying for a company, make it a point to visit the company website/page and see what it is offering and how you can add value to it. Then write a cover letter offering a genuine reason why the company interests you and why you’d like to be a part of it. Keep your language simple but compelling. NEVER copy and paste answers in your cover letter from Google!

  1. Networking Is The Way To Go

You aspire to become a developer. So, why not also be a part of the larger community of developers? Networking is pivotal for everyone and for every line of work, especially for freshers. The more you show up at industry-specific meetups, the more you expose yourself to potential employers and mentors.

The developer community is huge and if you’re someone who bears an insatiable thirst for knowledge (specifically about coding, technology, and technological innovations!), you should definitely head to tech meetups and conferences. You not only get to learn from talented individuals in the field, but you also get to build many interesting and helpful connections with like-minded people. Although job leads may not shower on you immediately, believe us, it will come eventually.

If you have these grounds covered, you’re all set to face technical interviews and maybe even nail a few! The secret is to prepare well and march in confidently. Know your worth and never, ever, settle for less.

To read more about software development, click here.