How I Got My First Job as a Programmer (with No Experience)

How I Got My First Job as a Programmer (with No Experience)

Hey there, I'm Andy, I'm a self-taught software developer and in this video I actually wanted to talk about how I got my first job as a self-taught software developer, because a lot of people out there are really concerned they're, like they're, going on their own path and Trying to figure out how to become a software developer and they're like I have no idea how to actually overcome that first barrier, which is getting your first job, so I'm gon na explain a little bit about it before I do. I highly recommend subscribe to my channel yeah on my channel. I cover everything: software development related from a perspective of somebody who's going the self-taught route. So, if you're trying to teach yourself if you're not going to school, if you're not taking a bootcamp or anything like that, if you're going fully solo this channel I'm trying to provide as much value resources, I can so that anyone anywhere can become a software developer.

So, let's just dive into it, so back in 2015, this was back in either February March of 2015. I actually got my first job as a software developer, and I got a job at a very small company called reach mill. It was a company that sends email sort of like MailChimp SendGrid, My Mind's blinking here, there's a couple other ones, but essentially that was my first job, there's a very who's, much smaller company, much smaller dev team,

But let's talk about how I got there, So if you haven't seen my story before, I highly recommend watching it there's this there's my first YouTube Videos I made was about my story that took me about a year to go from an actual car salesman, literally to A software developer, but the one we really want to focus on is that last stretch, So I had been coding for about seven or eight months Building my portfolio out learning, JavaScript c-sharp, even some database stuff. I knew a little bit of a few different things. Besides JavaScript c-sharp, but those were my two main focuses, but I had a portfolio and write it about December, so it was like a run Christmas time. I just made a decision. I said: look You know I wanted to make it about a years when I really want to start applying for jobs, whether I was ready or not. It didn't really matter. I just knew that after I've been doing this for about a year, I should have made some progress where I can at least get some feedback from the job market right.

So I really didn't have a good sense that my skills were up to par. I asked a friend who was mentoring me at the time I said: do you think I'm ready? We did, if you like, a mock interview. We did some coding right boarding challenges and he gave me the stamp of approval. Where he's like you are 100 % ready to go. So I just I trusted him. I also trusted in the fact that, like look, if I was gon na get a lot of negative feedback when I went out in the job market, then at least I can take that negative feedback and apply it back to learning, and so that was basically my Approach was apply for jobs if it didn't work, go back to the drawing board and then try again and make things work like learn what I had to learn to move forward right.

So in December I decided that Well, I can't tell you the exact amount of time. Maybe it was like a month a month and a half, but I spent the next month month and a half creating a resume, creating my or refining my portfolio, which is really, and what I mean is my personal website that had my portfolio on it. And in that time I applied to roughly 30 to 40 jobs somewhere in that range. I kept a spreadsheet, I think, ended up being 34 jobs, but I've applied to have 34 different places, just pretty much using your standard routes to apply for jobs. So I went to monster.com, indeed main job boards LinkedIn, something like that, and that was my approach and then guess what with that approach, I basically had no responses. Well, I got responses, but all the responses backward and work. Sorry we're not interested. I think I got about six or seven, no responses, meaning they said no, but the the rest either just didn't respond or whatever

So after about a month and a half of doing that old, you know tired strategy and approached my I reached back out to my mentor said: hey, I'm not getting any luck with even getting through the door like what's going on, and so we took a look At my resume he's like his resume is he's like you need to switch it up a little bit so and actually have another video on that which I highly recommend is I'll, actually show you the resume that I used to get my first job. So click on that above here, but you know he took my resume in part and said, like look, you know get rid of this, get rid of that like, for example, I you know obviously didn't have any education on there.

He said to put on some education. He said to take away your prior experiences, that weren't related to software development and just add in your portfolio applications. He said to make it look a little bit more interesting and creative so that it stood out from the masses of just normal resumes, And so I said, okay, cool I'll, try it. I made that my version to resume, and so I put that out there and it hit like that It was so fast. I think it was a couple days. I just want to make sure I'm not exaggerating here. I'M pretty sure was a couple days from when I put it out.

I think I applied to maybe just a few jobs at that point and as I put it out, I got a call back and I got a call back actually from a recruiter, So not an actual company, but it was like an independent recruiter who was looking To place people that made him companies and the recruiter basically said she's like I really thought your resume was interesting. She said why don't you come in and talk and see? I might have a company, that's interested in you, okay, cool! This is awesome, that's great, and so I showed up and of course there she's asked me a bunch of questions like do. I know this. Do I know that and me I'm trying to be as honest as I can like. Well, yeah, I know JavaScript, but I don't know how much I know it.

You know I feel pretty comfortable in it. She asked me about c-sharp. I said the same thing. I remember they specifically asked what sequel, which, for me sequel, was not good. It was just like I just watched tutorials. I did a few things with it, but by the end of it she's like look uh, you seem to have a nice personality, I'm working with a smaller company that it might be interested in you. Let me relay to them what your situation is and we'll go from there. So from there I waited a few days she reached back. She said they're interested went through. The interview went to the interview and the interview process was, you know I was nervous, as anyone could be because I've been working a year. Up to this point, I had put in my two weeks already to my prior job because they were, it was a growing company. It was a small company, but it was growing and they needed to know what I was gon na stay there for longer or not.

So I just decided like to leave. We just got a nerve-wracking because I was not gon na have a job, so I went to the interview - and I talked to these - essentially the CEO, the company and the CTO of the company in the same room and they're. Pretty laid-back, but the CEO was very, you know straight face. Well, the CTA was actually a little bit more like open and nicer and friendly, but we just talked about a lot of stuff.

They asked me a lot of questions about what I was doing. How did I, how was I learning? What was i learning did I know how to do X, Y or Z, which at this point remember exactly what they asked man do remember. They asked me about sequel because I didn't, I remember not going into the interview I was like how am I going to answer this and I basically told them. I was honest, I said look, you know, I don't really know sequel that well, I have washed a few tutorials on it. I played around with it a little bit, but it's something I wanted to do more of it. It'S something I wanted to do in the near future. I would say that the interview up what I really stressed is just. I tried to always stress that, Like look, I'm gon na work, my ass off, like no matter what I do, I'm gon na work hard. I'M gon na figure things out, Like that's my mentality with programming, and I said you know if you guys help me along awesome, if not I'll still, you know work my butt off to figure things out and you know I won't disappoint you like that sort of Thing:

So, after that we went through the process of the interview and they said: okay, look. The next step of the process is to do a little bit of homework for the to see what you can do, so they gave me homework and it was basically having I had to interact with their API, so I had to go in and start an email Campaign and send the email campaign to them using their API, their public or open API. So, okay, figured that's cool, I'll, go home, go ahead and go home and do that. Well, I got home and did that and I posted I carved out the next two days to figure out how to do this right because that's like this is really important. So I sat there for like the first couple hours. I had no idea what I was doing.

I had actually never really truly worked with a public API. I had worked with a Google Maps, library, which is not really an API. I mean it's not an API, It'S just it's a library, so I had worked with an SDK before a library, but I had never worked with a public API like Twitter or Facebook, or something where you can interact with them. Using your. You know your own code sending HTTP requests, So this was new to me, and so I was learning on the fly and I had figured look. I have like a day and they said even said you could ask questions which was very interesting, but I plugged through it

I started to figure things out very quickly and I was playing around and then I I sent it in and it was working and once they saw it, I think we had. I don't think we had any more follow-up discussions. The recruiter reached back out to me, after that I sent in my homework and said I think you know this is gon na go well. I think they're gon na make an offer for you, but just sit tight and then I eventually got the email from them with the offer saying that look, we're excited to have you on board, but also at the same time they said.

Look there's like a three month interim period. Where we're you know we can basically let you go for any reason like legally, because we we want to see how you're gon na do. Maybe you you you're awesome and you just do very well or you know it's like either you sink or you swim. Basically. So at that point I was like great. They made the offer. I accepted it. The pay was much better than anything I had ever had before, so it was good, so yeah, that's really my story of how I got hired for my first job, as you can see, took me a little bit of time. It took me a lot of notes like a lot of no responses. It took me playing around a little bit like testing the waters. I had to have a second version of my resume which, by the way, you should have many versions of your resume.

I'Ve heard people having like 20, 30 or 40 versions of the resume, which I highly endorse. I think that's a great idea, because you should be a be split testing. Your resumes trying to figure out which version of your resume tends to get more hits and then go from there, because there's a lot of different reasons. Why people aren't seeing your resumes so be too open to experimentation and, at the end of day, just be persistent and always be willing to go back to the drawing board and figure out what you need to know what you need to learn, whether it's you know Some data structures, algorithms, whiteboarding challenges - maybe it's just practice for your interviews and go from there. So I hope this video was helpful, go ahead and hit the like button below and subscribe other than that