How to Make Yourself an Attractive Developer


With the advent of mobile and web applications accompanied by the ever-increasing diversification within the world of tech, developers are in high demand. However, developer roles within larger, more glamorous companies such Google, Facebook and Zendesk are hyper-competitive, with highly qualified candidates from around the world applying. For example, Google receives two million job applications a year. You’re going to need a little bit more than some coding expertise to land a job with the tech giants. The age-old question persists; what can you do to stand out from the crowd?


1. Master your Coding Language

Coding is the fundamental building block to landing a developer job. If you aren’t a proficient coder, you don’t have a chance. Most ‘proficient’ coders with a few years’ experience know at least one or two dynamic languages very well. Python, PHP, Java, Ruby, C++; it is up to you what languages and how many you decide to gain proficiency in. It is recommended to master at least two languages if you’re seeking to land a job with the tech giants. Learn best practices, design patterns, object orientation. Check parameters in every function, really master your language.


2. It's Not Just About Coding

In the modern era, tech companies are looking for more than just coders. Gone are the days of the stereotypical coder locked in his or her room alone for hours simply coding, coding, coding. Firms like Microsoft and Google highly value interpersonal and teamwork skills. Developers are expected to work on cross-functional teams as well as with external clients. Showcasing your personality and demonstrating strong interpersonal skills can really be the deciding factor as to whether or not you’re selected for the job. Behavioural interviews, interviews posing questions designed to get you to open up about yourself, are becoming just as important as technical interviews. Don’t be afraid to show off your personality.


3. Demonstrate Passion

The dream employee is a passionate employee. Employees who demonstrate passion for their line of work are motivated and excited to go to work, qualities that are naturally appealing to any employer. How do you demonstrate passion in the developer world? It can be achieved in a variety of ways. On your CV or during an interview, you can direct the prospective employer’s attention towards any side project that you’re working on in your spare time, perhaps located on your GitHub profile (which will be discussed next). You could emphasise any new coding languages you are learning. You could attend a ‘hackathon’ or ‘codefest’. These meetups highlight your love for coding and are great ways to gain exposure.


4. Contribute and Publish Your Code Online

As a developer, your strongest asset is your code. Showcasing your ability to write readable and interesting code can grab the attention of a prospective employer. Contribute and publish your code on GitHub (most popular), Bitbucket, or even your own website. This portfolio of code acts as an extension to your CV, representing your technical skillset is an easily discoverable and shareable way. This repository of code is greatly appreciated by employers within the developer sector and is actively sought out.





Posted by Adam Dunne on 24 January 2019


Keeping It Professional – How to use LinkedIn properly

Keeping It Professional – How to use LinkedIn properly

While there are plenty of social outlets to vent and express your feelings online, LinkedIn is not one of them.   Outside of work we have all been told by a friend or colleague NOT to talk about work, regardless if the information is positive or negative, nobody wants to tackle these topics after 5:30.   The same rules apply when it comes to LinkedIn and your working world. Nobody wants to hear your opinion on football, nor do they want to see photographs of your family, or that funny picture of a dog chasing its tail. There are plenty of social media outlets where you can express these interests and opinions. Try to differentiate your work world and your social world.   LinkedIn is used by hundreds of millions of professionals worldwide. It is a place where you can sell/offer your experience and skills within the working community. How you demonstrate this information will be the reason why you are being headhunted by businesses and agencies, or on the contrary why you are finding it difficult to gain any traction in your network.   Here are some key tips on how to get the most out of your LinkedIn profile.   1. Profile Picture: Your profile picture is a unique selling tool. Isn’t it always nice to have a face with the name? It makes you stand out more, makes you more memorable and ultimately portrays a big message to your professional network. When you’re using a picture, please do NOT have a picture of you including: Dogs, Cats, Bars, Nightclubs, group pictures, poorly formatted pictures or wearing a football kit. This is the first thing that a hiring manager will see, make it count, and make a positive impression. Recent surveys have shown that your profile is 11 times more likely to be viewed if you have a photograph on it than without.   2. Spelling/Grammar: This one is self-explanatory, yet it is the most common issue you’ll find on LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn personal page is essentially your own online stock for hiring managers to buy into. You want your stock to be professional, assertive and representative of your ability. Ensure to spell-check your personal information and details before you submit them on your page. This, of course, will rule out any “where, were, we’re OR they’re, there and their” mistakes that are most common. Remember, this is your professional profile – nobody else will correct your work for you.   3. Networking A great way to get the most from your LinkedIn is by expanding your network. LinkedIn users have a tendency to add their closest friends and don’t explore and maximise their potential to widen their networking net. Reach out to old acquaintances and colleagues, clients and customers, and most certainly your college alumni – these are quite likely the most beneficial additions to your network. They have probably pursued the same routes as you have and can provide you with a broader reach in your network.   4. Creativity: “Creative and Responsible” – are the most used adjectives by LinkedIn users over the last few years. Never have we seen such creativity and responsibility by users across the globe. Although going by this statistic we should be societies full of Steve Jobs’ and Richard Branson’s. True creativity now-a-days in the business world is explored via strategy. Please don’t misconstrue your creativity as an innovative personal attribute that no other user could possibly think of. Instead why don’t you portray this “creativity” via a different route? Present your publications, merits, videos and any other projects that will depict the right image of you. We must be strategic on what information we want on show and what will make us stand out and be remembered.   I’d advise you not to use LinkedIn as a place of social interaction, rather see it as a way for you to canvas your experiences and skills to date, and interact with professional communities globally. Think professionalism every time you log in and you should be presenting your best foot forward.


Interview Nerves… Go Away!!!

Interview Nerves… Go Away!!!

“His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy. He’s nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready…”   Could a song sum up interview nerves and interviews in general any better than Eminem’s Lose Yourself? I think not! The intro says it all, you only have one chance to impress and secure yourself that opportunity so it’s no wonder that we all experience nerves when going to a job interview.   The problem is these nerves can often be a hindrance to us. You’re trying to portray yourself as the confident, capable individual you are but instead your nerves reduce you to a sweaty palmed, voice trembling, body jittering fool. So what can you do to manage your nerves?   1. Be Prepared Number 1 has to be to always do your homework. The more you know the more confident you will feel when answering an interviewer’s questions. Research the company. Know their history, products/services, competitors etc. Also don’t confine your research to just the company’s website, check out their social media pages also. A company blog is a great way of finding out what the company is currently working on and talking about. The same goes for Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Pinterest. These pages can give you excellent information that you may not have found otherwise.   2. Say it out loud Secondly, practice answers for anticipated interview questions. Not only come up with answers to these questions but get used to actually speaking them. Quite often jobseekers come up with answers to interview questions in their heads but never practice their delivery and then end up sticking “ums” “ems” and “likes” in as filler as they rack their brains trying to remember what they wrote down. By practicing your answers aloud, it will calm your nerves and you will become more comfortable with your delivery.   3. Plan Ahead I cannot emphasise this enough – DO NOT BE LATE FOR YOUR INTERVIEW!!! Not only does it look bad, but you’ll arrive to your interview in a panic. So to rule out any mishap on the morning that might cause you to be late, get everything ready the night before. Lay out what you’re wearing, making sure everything is crease and stain free. Have copies of your CV (and portfolio if required) printed and in a folder ready to go. Map out your travel route, know exactly what route/form of transport you’re taking and give yourself a half hour extra in case of traffic disruptions. So what if you arrive early, it’ll give you an opportunity to relax, look over your notes and even to grab a cup of tea if you feel like it.   4. Think Confident – Be Positive Firstly take confidence from the fact you’ve been invited to interview, you wouldn’t be here if they weren’t interested in you. Drown out any self-doubt by reminding yourself of your skills, accomplishments and why you’d be a good fit for the job. It sounds silly but by thinking positively you’ll feel more confident in yourself. This is your opportunity to shine so don’t let self-doubt hold you back.   “You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow. This opportunity comes once in a lifetime, yo”