Maybe this blog post is a bit premature because I haven’t actually started my position but… today I have accepted an offer of employment as a Junior Developer in London! I am still waiting to wake up and find out it’s all been an elaborate prank concocted by my brain intent on ruining my day, but right now I’m still here and I cannot stop smiling.
The interesting thing is I haven’t interviewed for any positions, in fact any position I applied for I wasn’t even invited for an interview. Some were nice enough to send me an email letting me know I had not been chosen for an interview, others I just never heard back from. I was fine with thisthough, I mean who would interviewa guy who has ZERO professional experience and no degree in Computer Science.
With that being said, any post you read on /r/LearnProgramming or /r/ComputerScience about ‘Getting Hired as a Junior Developer’ or ‘How Do I Prepare for Interviews’ etc, the main concern people have is their lack of knowledge. Usually these concerns are put to rest when someone who claims to do the hiring for their company chimes in and says a wealth of programming knowledge isn’t even in the top 5 things they look for in budding developers.
From what I’ve read they look for someone who should be passionate about programming and show they are committed to personal development, they even say the fact someone has a degree in Computer Science means complete dick. Personally I have a degree in Sound Engineering and Design but I know for a fact I would make a terrible sound engineer, the same goes for people with Computer Science degrees.
Other advice dispensed by employed developers and hiring managers is to have an online presence and network like fuck, after all if you are wanting to get into a career which deals with technology you should really be online anyway. This can include writing a blog about your learning, tweeting incessantly about programming, keeping your code on GitHub for people to browse and laugh at, asking questions on Stack Overflow etc.
A job interview gives the interviewer a 10-15 minute peak into your life, they never see who you are as a person. They don’t know what motivates you, or if you are even motivated outside of an interview environment. If you have an online presence these employers can see you are active in the community and you are really committed to learning like you have sheepishly told them.
I have been very open about my little journey learning to code, I am quite open about my life on twitter and Facebook so it was no problem for me to throw coding into the mix. What has been nice is the amount of support I’ve received from people, any questions I’ve had have been answered without ridicule and people have been very forth coming with praise when you reach a milestone. People wantyou to do well, and if that is what the developer community is like I cannot wait to get moreinvolved.
If you have read my previous blog posts you’ll know I’m a busy guy who hasn’t had a lot of time to spend learning code. I’ve to work work 45 hours a week in my current job, commute to work which seems to take a billion hours a week, I spend time with my daughter, I go to the gym a lot, I love running, I’ve taken up cycling. So for me to say it’s been an easy 10 months I’d be lying to you.
I made time to learn when I could, even if that involved getting up an hour early for my 6am shifts at work to go through someRuby Koans. A lot of people complain there isn’t enough hours in the day, but I’ve always thought there are plenty of hours in the day to work towards your goals. It all just boils down to your work ethic and ambition.
I have many friends who complain about their life and career situation but don’tactually doing anything about it. We have all been guilty of it to be fair, “I hate my job” but then you keep on coming back day after day because change is scary. Fuck that, if you hate your job then do something about it. Do you want that promotion? Work your fucking ass off until you get it. Want to become a lion tamer? Go steal a lion and get to work. You fucking deserve it.
The whole point of me rambling on about job interviews, qualifications, networking, work ethic, and lion taming is that me being offered this developer position directly reflects all of it. I have no qualifications, but I been networking like fuck, I tweet all the god damn time, and I even started a blog (I am drinking red wine as I type this, who even am I anymore?).
I just hope anyone who happens to read this and is passionate about what they are doing is actually getting out there and talking about it. You want people to realise your potential and to see you would be a good addition to their company because you actually give a fuck.
I have been approached because of my “passion and work ethic”not some spectacular piece of code on GitHub. What I’m trying to say is if you really give a shit about what you’re doing and you give 100%, people may see that quality in you and who knows what that could lead to.
Apparently it has been 297 days since I made my New Years resolution to learn enough code to get a job, I figured doing it in a year was a very loft goal but yet here I am! I still can’t believe it. In the next 12 weeks I’ll be living in London working as a Junior Developer. If you had told me this 11 months ago I would’ve been convinced you were lying to me then quietly removed you from my Christmas card list.
I’ll no longer be needing to go to Makers Academy to jumpstart my career which I’m kinda sad about, from what I’ve read the experience soundsawesome. Although I’m very sure I’ll learn a lot more working as a Junior Developer, and not spending all the money on the boot camp will be a very tidy saving which I’m sure my credit rating is thanking me for.
I originally started this blog to document me learning code and to be honest accepting this job is really just the start, once I begin working I’m going to be learning at a pace which is far greater than anything I’ve known thus far. So the posts will keep coming, and I hopeyou still want to read them!
Next stop. London.