Good news readers – I found a job! My prayers were answered and I was reminded by emails and messages through LinkedIn that I’ve been neglecting my blog. I begun my first week as a Web Developer for an early startup software company in the East Bay, close to where I live. So far more than half of my cohort have found a place to begin their new careers. It was quite a stressful stretch for us but I remained optimistic the whole time, kept grinding, and hustling. I will share all my study and interview resources in the next post. There are so many useful resources I had gathered it deserves it’s own post but hopefully it will help you and please share with others, it’s just good karma. First, I will lay out here what helped me find my Web Developer job. Keep in mind everyone’s work background is different but if you adapt to a similar style I strongly believe that YOU will (sooner or later) find your happy place if you’re considering Web Development or something similar as a new career path. It’s been over 6 years since I had my last job search so it was quite overwhelming with the number of outlets available to job seekers.
So to start off I should let you know a bit of my background as far as work experience. I am well seasoned in the tech industry dealing a lot with customer success and mish mash of technical roles which were all mainly in startups. My last job was for a great company and I was there for 6 years as a technical lead prior to joining the RocketU bootcamp. My time came to a bittersweet end there but I still keep in touch with everyone there since they were like a 2nd family to me. I picked up a lot of experience and learned to be very resourceful in my former job. I also made many friends that help supported me in everything I do.
During my post bootcamp job study-search I was not only looking for a job as a Web Developer but I was searching for a company that was willing to take on a dedicated fresh faced Web Developer. I really think it’s challenging to find a company like this but as long as you express you have the drive, the grit to learn as much as possible, fight tooth and nail at every step, and the tenacity to grow with the company day-by-day you should do well. On the flip side I was also searching the best companies that offered higher technical positions that could tap into my past work experience and had the flex that would allow me to grow internally with a chance of moving into my ideal role as a Web Developer. I am super ecstatic that I was able to find a fit for me in a group that is super talented, can learn from, and contribute to.
Alright job-seeker, with that said I found my gig through one of my nightly sweeps of Craigslist. I had a system going that would get me at least 5-7 phone interviews a week. I practically lived in a cafe during the days for a month or two, while at the time my wife had to work extra hard to make up for the break in my career change. On the bright side we had our beautiful, energetic daughter as our fuel to press on everyday. Let’s start on the steps:
I made sure I was visible on every job board (up to 10, maybe more: check resource in the next post). I had job alerts set up on all the major boards. I used Glassdoor, Crunchbase, and LinkedIn, a lot for company research. I had 2 different resumes, one which played off focus from my past technical work experience and the other was my web development focused resume.
I submitted my resumes to every possible job i think i could handle. Even if the job didn’t have a match with my skill-set and it was for a company I wanted to work for I would fight for it and if I rocked the phone interview and get called in for an in-person I would learn whatever was in the job description super duper fast. This should be no problem since they push you to learn rapidly in a programming bootcamp. I prepared myself like you would for any interview for a software company (see my next post for resources). Slowly but surely my phone was ringing off the hook and 80% were from recruiters. I tried not to call those back unless they were a recruiter directly from a company candidate because most of them will just waste your precious time which is important because that time should be used for your own research and study.
When i did go for an in-person interview I tried my best to show how eager i was to learn and grow (super important) and told whomever asked why the career change? I did my best to explain my new grown passion these past few years and this is what I chose as my future and i had to start somewhere (not exact words). If asked about bootcamp, which will happen, I went over everything I did and learned, explained the pros and the cons of a bootcamp and what explained i did to fill in the gaps that fast paced learning experience didn’t teach. I made sure the companies were aware I was learning something new everyday and was genuinely excited about what I learned and why it is applicable in the real world. Breaking down a great project you were passionate about helps a lot. I stayed optimistic at all times, kept to my system of checking job boards everyday, and made sure I was visible in every avenue. I studied every company that reached out to me so to make sure I had talking points.
Towards the final stressful stretch I was a close to deciding on 3 different high tiered technical positions with some great established well respected companies that showed me there was room to grow but in the back of my mind I really wanted to be a web developer, it’s the main reason why I took the bootcamp plunge! The two companies I had to choose from towards the end both had great people, a great product, and something I would enjoy being a developer for. The company I chose I believe had the most potential, which they felt the same about me so it was a natural fit. Thanks for following me from the beginning and I will try to keep posting things when I am not too busy. I will put up my resources soon. Back to squashing bugs.. ^_^