The Power of Git
I have mentioned a few times that I have been helping a few people try and break into the industry. The main theme I have noticed is that many people work super hard for a while, but then once I suggest they should start looking for opportunities they slow right down or stop.
I (think) I make it clear to them that they’re not a lock for a job, they will need some luck etc. But I always suggest applying early for a few reasons:
You start making contacts in the industry - never too early to network.
You get interview practice and insights into what companies in your region are looking for - everywhere is different so having a handle on your region is important.
If you get lucky and get hired then great - you learn more in the first month or two on the job than the previous 6 months on your own.
Obviously any of the above is great. But the main point here is that once you get to the stage of applying for jobs you are not done with learning… This is the beginning of a very long journey of constant learning.
I believe most people want to learn and do more, but they get caught up I the excitement of potentially being job ready and then spend all their time looking at jobs without really doing anything proactive. If you really are just looking to learn the minimum and get hired then I’m not sure that a career in software engineering is the best thing.
I guess my main point here is to keep busy, as the title suggests - don’t stop building stuff. Your biggest asset when looking for a first time job is your GitHub profile. You wanna have a consistent deep green heat map.
Make sure you write a detailed README for all of your repos, I know this seems like overkill, but it shows you care about documentation and shows that you can write it. This is a huge skill, think about how difficult some of the topics you’ve learned would be without good, well written documentation…
I cannot stress enough how having an active GitHub profile, with some interesting projects in will put you head and shoulders above a lot of others looking for their first job in the industry.
We have had computer science grads join our company who couldn’t use git… So, the other great thing about having an active profile is that you prove to employers you know and understand version control. That is HUGE.
My main point here is just to see going, just keep working, hustling, grinding or whatever else you wanna call it. At the end o the day finding your first job is not gonna be easy. Many people are in the same boat and to be frank, you just gotta out work everyone else. If you are struggling to find your first role, ask yourself, are you really work hard enough?