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I'm Graduating Soon. Help! How Do I Get into the Tech Field?

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The tech field is booming and more and more companies are moving to be fully remote, giving more options to work at different tech companies. There are so many software engineering jobs open, but it seems so difficult to achieve! A big dream so close, but yet so far away. Whether you are still in college or freshly graduated, the earlier you start the process, the better your chances of getting hired are.

I've been in the tech field for 9 years now, and part of it was teaching programming at a college, working with students, and also being a student myself, I clearly see a pattern of how you can become "zero to successful" if you follow a very simple plan. I've mentored countless students as well as junior developers throughout my career. So, what's the plan?

Mentorship.
Personal Projects/Learning
Contributions.
Building a Personal Brand.
Networking.
Mock Interviews.
I'm going to go over these key points into more detail and how you can get started with it. I'll also have plenty of resources to provide for you that will help you with your next steps.

You will gain a lot of knowledge from this session and will feel not only more confident, but you'll feel the fire in your soul to want to make your dreams come true.

Are you ready to get hired?

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I'm Graduating Soon. Help! How Do I Get into the Tech Field?

  1. 1. I’m graduating soon. Help! How do I get into the tech field? By Tessa Mero
  2. 2. Career Path: ● Gamestop/Jewelry Sales/HR ● Assistant Teacher/Web Development Intern (3 mo each) ● Graduated from College ● Web Application Developer, Website Support Technician (OSTraining) ● Programming Instructor/Curriculum Creator ● Developer Advocate ● Developer Advocate (More on the PM side)
  3. 3. Agenda Ask questions throughout!!!! It’s an open Q&A ● During College ● Learn/Create ● Contributions ● Building a Personal Brand ● Networking/Events ● Find a Mentor for that Dream Job ● Mock Interview/Interview Prep ● Career Growth ● Cover Letters
  4. 4. During College Should you be doing anything now before graduating? What should you do to prepare? ➔ Projects or Internships Create a portfolio by doing projects or doing temp internships for individuals/companies ➔ Industry Research Learn about different roles in the industry. There’s SO MANY!!! ➔ Make a Plan What is your timeline on your next steps?
  5. 5. Question: ➔ Do you need to have a degree when applying for a tech (engineering) job? Do you have any advice for how to apply for a job (and convince a potential employer at interview that you're competent) if you don't have a degree?
  6. 6. Learn & CreateLearn as much as you can so you are familiar with terminology and basics. It’s impossible to be proficient at EVERYTHING! ➔ Learn Learn the basics on different technologies, tools, frameworks, and anything to widen your knowledge. ➔ Create Make your portfolio. The first thing the interviewer will look at is your projects. ➔ Get Feedback Get Code Reviews Done. I cannot emphasize this enough. I made the mistake of not!
  7. 7. ContributionsThis is what landed me my first 6 figure job!!!!!! THIS IS THE SECRET. ➔ Find a Project Figure out what areas of technology you enjoy. Look into Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) Projects. ➔ Network with that Community This will help you learn about different teams, where help is needed, and figure out where you best fit later on. ➔ Build a Contribution Portfolio Network. Make friends. Build a portfolio, add to Resume!!!
  8. 8. My Contributions Portfolio with Joomla.org project: ● J! - Bug Squad - Bug Tester ● J! - Extensions Team, then Assistant Manager ● J! - Board of Directors ● J! - Developer Advocate (Keynoting at PHP events) ● Organizer of Joomla, PHP, Vue.js, APIs, DevRel, Jamstack events… ● Organized PHP Conference and API Conference
  9. 9. Personal BrandOkay so this isn’t really necessary, but it makes you stand out! ➔ Create Personal Website Figure out what areas of technology you enjoy. Look into Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) Projects. ➔ Social Media Presence Follow software engineers and industry thought leaders and learn and/or engage with them. Twitter, Dev.to
  10. 10. NetworkingNetworking is important. This will eventually lead to being recommended to jobs in the future. ➔ Social Forums Social media, dev forums, GitHub, Discord/Slack communities, virtual meetups, in person meetups, conferences (scholarships fyi) ➔ Who to Follow? 95% of the people I follow are really positive and quality thought leaders in the tech field: https://twitter.com/TessaMero/following Want to follow Vue.js content writers? Here’s an example of how: https://dev.to/t/vue
  11. 11. (pt2) NetworkingNetworking on social media, dev forums, GitHub, Discord/Slack communities, ➔ Events/Hackathons Participate in virtual events and/or in-person events and expand your network organically. ➔ Discord/Slack Find communities of technologies you enjoy. Engage with developers. Ask questions and/or help others with their questions, share experiences.
  12. 12. MentorsFinding a mentor will be your fast path to success. I’ve had one for every dream job I’ve had! ➔ Search Resources http://stephaniehurlburt.com/blog/2016/11/14 /list-of-engineers-willing-to-mentor-you Google “find a mentor software engineer” and you’ll find endless articles! ➔ Mentor Will Provide Resources Mentors can help with giving you an understanding of your next steps on what you need to do to get to where you want to be!
  13. 13. Mock InterviewsPractice Interviewing until you feel comfortable. ➔ Find Mock Interviews After networking, it should be easy to find help with others providing mock interviews for you. Practice until you feel comfortable! ➔ Practice - WhiteBoarding As someone who went through the Google interview process, this is important and a whole presentation on its own. Lots of resources online, samples on YouTube. Books available. Hack sites to practice. Ex: https://www.hackerrank.com/
  14. 14. Question: ➔ What do you feel about having algorithmic questions in interviews? Do they really measure a developer's caliber? Should I focus on them since I'm not really good at it, but have excellent projects and experience to show for on my resume?
  15. 15. Interview PrepOkay you’re about to have an interview. HELP! ➔ Company Research Read about the company, their values/principals, their product/technology, make something with it... ➔ Mental Health Exercise, do jumping jacks, listen to music, practice breathing so you are less nervous and tense during the interview.
  16. 16. Question: ➔ How do you recommend preparing for interviews?
  17. 17. Career GrowthHow do you continually move up once you land a job? ➔ What is your main focus? Are you mainly trying to make more money? Have more responsibilities? Become more senior? Move into management? Figure out your focus.
  18. 18. Question: ➔ How to grow a career into more than being a developer and more oriented towards being a leader/manager. Tips on laying groundwork for this early on would be great too.
  19. 19. Question: ➔ Is it actually possible to make a good impact at a big company? I see the higher-ups are in meetings all day, and the individual contributors spend days months working on something that may not even see the light of days.
  20. 20. Question: ➔ Resumes and Cover Letters: How do I write a good cover letter?
  21. 21. Cover Letters This is your way to quickly stand out from the rest ➔ What position are you applying for? ➔ Who are you and why are you applying? ➔ What is your education/experience that makes you applicable for the job? ➔ What value will you bring to the company if you are hired and why should they hire you?
  22. 22. Thank You! Follow me: https://slideshare.net/tessa99 https://twitter.com/tessamero https://dev.to/tessamero

The tech field is booming and more and more companies are moving to be fully remote, giving more options to work at different tech companies. There are so many software engineering jobs open, but it seems so difficult to achieve! A big dream so close, but yet so far away. Whether you are still in college or freshly graduated, the earlier you start the process, the better your chances of getting hired are. I've been in the tech field for 9 years now, and part of it was teaching programming at a college, working with students, and also being a student myself, I clearly see a pattern of how you can become "zero to successful" if you follow a very simple plan. I've mentored countless students as well as junior developers throughout my career. So, what's the plan? Mentorship. Personal Projects/Learning Contributions. Building a Personal Brand. Networking. Mock Interviews. I'm going to go over these key points into more detail and how you can get started with it. I'll also have plenty of resources to provide for you that will help you with your next steps. You will gain a lot of knowledge from this session and will feel not only more confident, but you'll feel the fire in your soul to want to make your dreams come true. Are you ready to get hired?

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