To secure that Junior Developer role, you’re going to need some coding experience
Companies are always going to shoot for the people who have more experience, even when they’re hiring for a junior role. This might sound unfair, but it’s true, and as the job market’s even tougher now, it’s even truer.
You need to show employers that you’ve got the experience to be fantastic in your role, but how do you get coding experience without a job?
How to encode your CV for success
Real experience working for a company is always going to look great, and if you can solve some of their problems and add that to your CV, even better.
If you haven’t quite started university yet then you should definitely choose a course that has a placement year. Your university will help you secure a role and it will look great to future employers.
For most of us, it’s too late for that, but there is still more that you can do to get some experience.
Try to secure a summer or post-grad internship with a tech start-up – you’ll be able to work on a project that has real value and you should make some great contacts for future opportunities.
When all else fails, try to volunteer your services to friends or family. Build someone a website, or an app, for free.
If you’re finding it hard to secure an internship, that’s where we come in.
By signing up to DigitalGrads you will gain access to our training programmes and our wide range of job opportunities. It’s free, too so it’s a no brainer, really.
Build up your GitHub profile
GitHub is an open-source platform for software development. You can collaborate with other junior developers and improve your portfolio by gaining real coding experience in your spare time.
You can then put examples of your coding onto your profile – this is something that employers love to see. By spending some time to make something really creative, you are guaranteed to impress.
It doesn’t even have to be a finished project – people will be reading your code, not running your software – but it does need to be something that you’ve put some time into.
If GitHub isn’t your thing, try Bitbucket instead.
Try some code cutters
If you want to be challenged, you’ve come to the right place.
There are some fantastic coding challenges at the end of our DigitalGrads Software Developer Training programme that are sure to test your skills.
After you’ve completed our coding challenges, try doing some code cutters on HackerRank. You can show these to employers so they can really gauge your skill level. You will show them that you have a drive to learn – this is an essential skill for any junior developer.
Open source projects
A brilliant way to get coding experience is to participate in an open source project. You can choose one that you’re really interested in on a website like GitHub and really go to town.
You will show employers that you can follow established processes while collaborating on a creative project with a team.
Open source projects also usually come with a heavy community aspect, so this is a great place to build your network, too.
Do some extra-curriculars
If you’re at university and you want to find a way to get some experience while having a good time, getting involved in things outside of your degree is the place to start.
By joining a coding society, or starting one yourself, you will show employers that you are passionate about your career. And if you manage to get on the committee, even better.
By being on the committee you show employers that you have great leadership qualities and coding experience.
You can also check out online coding events to get involved with the community and find more opportunities. It can feel scary at first to turn up to an event on your own, but after a while you’ll discover that people are generally really nice. They’re there to make friends just as much as you are.
The community that you build in university and at events will have the best advice and connections, so take advantage of them.
Now that you’ve got an impressive portfolio and some fantastic experience, write it all down! If you’re finding it hard to show employers all of your skills on one or two pages, we can help.
The DigitalGrads team are tech hiring experts. All you have to do is sign up and upload your CV – it doesn’t have to look anywhere close to perfect – and we will do the rest. We will build you an amazing profile that’s sure to impress any employer, for free.