Over six years of working as a developer and two years working in project management, I’ve been lucky enough to get almost all my job offers through people I know. But it wasn’t always that way - I didn’t start off with an extensive network in the industry. Few people do.
Breaking into development in the beginning was a tough process. In traditional schools, they teach you how to ace your tests, but no one ever teaches you how to be a great interviewer - how to actually get the job. I learned this skill over time, after failing multiple times and picking myself back up again to prepare for the next interview.
Now that I work as an Instructor at Juno, I’m all-too-familiar with the struggle that graduates of our Web Development Immersive Bootcamp face in their first dive into job-seeking as a developer. But, just like the rest of the Juno team, I love bringing in my past experiences so my students can grow from the lessons I’ve learned over the years.
Finding a Job as a Developer
When you’re starting off as a new developer looking for a job there is a lot of prep work to be done. Though requirements haven’t changed much over the years, standards are always getting higher. It’s not enough to have a beautiful portfolio live online, you also need to have an outstanding resume. And though it’s great to be able to charm your interviewer with a fun personality, you also need to have the skills required to answer all the technical questions thrown your way.
Today, there is a fairly standard five-step interview process that all developers will face.
- Phone Interview
- Technical Test
- In-Person Tech Evaluation
- Interview with Engineering Team
- Interview with CTO and/or CEO
Career Labs at Juno
At Juno, one of our latest exciting initiatives focused on preparing our students for this interview process is expanding our Career Labs to work closely with our industry partners. We’ve found that giving our students more real-life training and insights from people actually working in the industry is one of the best ways we can prepare them for the job search.
One of our most recent Career Labs was run in partnership with Quantum Mob - an end-to-end software development partner based here in Toronto. Several developers from their team joined us to help prepare our students for the typical whiteboarding sessions they would face in the in-person tech evaluation portion of the interview process.
Whiteboarding is often one of the hardest parts of the interview process for new students, because it’s not a skill many developers learn in school. During this evaluation, interviewees are given a tech problem and asked to write out the solution and their thought process on a whiteboard. A developer, or team of developers, observes to evaluate them on their workflow, problem solving, tech skills, and more. Typically evaluations are done silently, and candidates never get feedback on their work - whether they get the job or not.
During the practice whiteboarding sessions we run during Career Labs at Juno, students get immediate and direct feedback on how they did and where they can improve. In our latest session with Quantum Mob, developers from their team gave valuable feedback as well as sharing insights on how they evaluate interviewees. This not only gives our students the opportunity to learn from these developers, but also gives our students a chance to showcase their talents to one of our real-world hiring partners.
At Juno, providing space for our students to present their projects and get comfortable speaking publicly is an important part of our program. Presenting their projects to their classmates and instructors throughout the program is preparation for exactly this kind of real-world interview scenario. It’s also a great opportunity for students to shine a light on their individual personalities and skill sets. I’m always so proud to see how much our students grow over the course of just nine weeks when they get the right training through our Bootcamp. We meet these aspiring coders at the beginning of the program and they graduate just nine weeks later as experienced developers ready for the job search and excited to join the industry.
At Juno, we’re looking forward to working with many more industry partners to close the talent gap and prepare our students for the job search. If you’re interested in working with us or becoming a hiring partner, please email Chi-Chi Egbo, our Manager of Career Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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