Are you interested in being a software engineer but do not know where to start? Or are you currently just beginning your career as a software engineer and need some advice on how to build your career as a software engineer?
In this blog, our mentor- John Apostol, an Engineering Manager at Handshake experiences and career advice to help you in your career as a software engineer.
A Career as a Software Engineer: John’s Career Path
Did casual programming as a teen
Involved in advertising track in college
Built a videogame reporting website
Involved in college career fairs
Build a few local businesses websites
Landed two local internships
Converted internship into hourly roles
Get paid to build business software for clients
John enjoys his career as it provides the opportunity to work in a remote-friendly environment. As a hiring manager, he had reviewed about 300 resumes and interviewed at least 100 people in the past year from various working backgrounds such as law, barista, and education.
A career in software engineering: Tips for landing a career as a software engineer
It is important to prove to the hiring manager that you have experience in the software engineering field and you are able to deliver
Reflect on your thinking process through your portfolio on how to solve a problem in a quick manner
Show a personal connection to the project: how you connect with data, add the problem data
Show you care and spend time on your project
Demonstrate through a project how your code can solve a problem
Use signals from interview questions to know what the hiring manager wants to know
Take every interview opportunity as practice for the next
A career in software engineering: Hiring from Manager’s perspective
In search of specific skills
Achieving better balance between team members (juniors & seniors)
To backfilling an engineer who had left the company
The company needs more bandwidth to succeed
Conscientious: reviewing own code, proactively helping team members
A Career in software engineering: Strategies to get hired
Apply to a company you know personally For example, Instagram. There is a lot of competition, but the advantage is you could talk about the product from the user’s perspective.
Apply actively to unpopular companies For example, the oil and gas industry,and the healthcare industry. You are more likely to get into the resume phase due to the lesser number of people applying to these industries.
Apply to hidden gems Hidden gem companies usually have no marketing budget. It could be your local or regional company that has products and software. They need a software engineer to maintain their products.
Keep learning and practicing Learn something you are not familiar with, something that interests you.