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How to Make Yourself an Attractive Developer

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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

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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.

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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”

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Why Asking Questions In An Interview Is So Important

Why Asking Questions In An Interview Is So Important

Asking questions is an important part of learning and understanding certain situations in everyday life. As human beings we are naturally curious and like to explore different avenues; asking questions helps us to do this. In an interview setting it can be a daunting task trying to think of the right questions to ask but try to think of questions before going into an interview that will put across your interest in the role and working for the company. While some job-seekers do not ask questions at all due to the stressful nature of interviews, others tend to ask ineffective questions that do not fully highlight a genuine interest in the role. This is an opportunity for you to get a greater understanding of the job you are interviewing for. It explains the duties you will perform with the bonus of getting an insight into the company from a person rather than a job spec or corporate website. When an interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions?” towards the end of an interview, think of this as an opportunity to stake your interest. Stay away from questions about remuneration and other perks as these can create a bad impression but ask educated questions that show you have done your research on the company and the role. The key is to ask evocative questions which will allow the interviewer to tell you about the role and get them thinking of various aspects of the company they like with the added benefit of providing you with first-hand information. Some examples of effective questions can be “What would be expected of me in this role within the first 6 months?” This is a great question, it makes the interviewer envision you performing the job you are applying for, while giving you an outlook on what you can expect in the mid to long term. It is a good note to end the interview on. Another effective question to ask the interviewer would be “What interests you most about this company?” This registers with the interviewer that you are curious about the company beyond your own personal interests. A lot of the time questions can be too self-centred, by asking this question it allows you to get a first-hand account of life in the company.

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5 Skills to Help Boost Your Career

5 Skills to Help Boost Your Career

In every industry, you need job-specific skills and expertise to perform your role. These are called ‘hard skills’. Naturally if you have a high level of the hard skills required in your field of work, you’re likely to progress in your career. However, in the real world, you need more than just job-specific expertise to be successful. ‘Soft skills’ also play a significant role in advancing your career. Unlike hard skills that are tangible and can be measured, soft skills are intangible and quite difficult to quantify. Communication, teamwork, problem solving, critical thinking and conflict resolution are all key soft skills that will serve to boost your career. 1. Communication Communication skills are of utmost importance in the workplace as they improve your chances of building relationships with your co-workers and clients. Communication skills enable you to clearly express what you need from a fellow employee and understand what is needed from you. This in turn boosts your productivity and sets the tone for how you are perceived in the workplace. 2. Teamwork Having good communication skills builds the foundation for good teamworking skills. The ability to be able to collaborate with others towards a shared goal is invaluable. Being a good team player makes other want to work with you, want to help you, enabling you to benefit the pool of knowledge and expertise in your business. This in turn will improve the quality of your work. 3. Problem Solving Not everything goes your way in the working world. Minor and major problems can occur at any given time during your career. The ability to be able to solve these problems, to navigate through unexpected challenges will be indispensable to your career. 4. Critical Thinking/Observation Critical thinkers bring a fresh perspective to organisations. Having the ability to not only to read information, but to use your intuition to unpack, truly understand what you’re seeing and notice any patterns will set you above from the rest. 5. Conflict Resolution Conflict resolution is an amalgamation of teamwork and communication skills. Conflict is human nature; it’s present in every single workplace that has more than one employee. Having the ability to constructively work through disagreements and resolve issues with other employees conveys your professionalism, maturity and commitment to your role. To be truly successful in the workplace, you need to have a mix of both hard and soft skills. These five skills will serve to enhance your career no matter what industry you work in.