What am I even doing here?! #4articles4weeks
6 min read
Table of contents
- What made you want to be a developer/software engineer, etc?
- Lessons learned from a failed interview?
- How did you get your first job as a developer/software engineer, and what advice would you give to new developers/software engineers, etc to get their first job?
- How can you strengthen your portfolio to showcase your skill set?
This article is my appreciation for the creators of hashcode. I love this platform and wanna support creators by participating in this sweet #4articles4weeks challenge.
Just a small background on me. I am 21 and started working in IT at the age of 18. My first position was as a Full-stack software engineer at Software Planet Group.
During 2 years working in a company I have tried all JS frameworks, was working with 5 different programming languages, learned cloud infrastructure engineering and was managing a cloud infra with 20k AWS bills.
Eventually, I have chosen the path of startup founder by shifting my path toward product management and entrepreneurship. I left my company, went through Startup School, joined a WEB3 tech startup, moved to the US, and recently went through Techstars.
Right now I am living in LA with my GF, building a future of sports with Scrimmage, and doing writing in my free time.
What made you want to be a developer/software engineer, etc?
That is so a hilarious story lol. When I was the age of 13 I had ridiculously slow internet with a limitation of 2GB of data per day. As I deeply hated people who made it I felt a personal responsibility to use ALL of the 2GB every single day. The best way to do it was by downloading movies with torrents.
So I was having 1 new movie each day or two and it made me download every new AAA movie ever created during that small period of 2 years. I am not really a fan of comedies but my greediness toward using all 2 GM made me download a movie called The Internship with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson.
This movie is telling the story of 2 broken guys who decided to change their careers and get an internship at Google. The movie is not only showing how the internship went but also paints a day in the life of a software engineer. It is showing nerdy geeks hacking pentagons, hot cheeks with strict parents, and most impressive... FREE FOOD IN THE OFFICE.
When I noticed that Google employees get free food I told my mom "I don't know whom you wanted me to become, but I gonna work in Google".
This dream combined with my perfect knowledge of math and a decent knowledge of English made me choose software engineering as a major.
So yeah, basically I got sold for food 😂
Lessons learned from a failed interview?
Ok, that may sound weird but I never had failed interviews. I am not a guy who spent months trying to find a job and broke the doors of each IT company. In my life, I had only about 5-7 interviews and each of them ended up with employment or me not accepting the offer.
What did I learn from my successful interviews? Well, just be yourself. For me, it means being curious. Usually, I ask more question than the interviewer and people seems to be loving that, Idk 😉
How did you get your first job as a developer/software engineer, and what advice would you give to new developers/software engineers, etc to get their first job?
Originally I was born in a village so I was forced to leave my parents and live in dormers during my college years. I started living alone at age 15 and first 2 years of my college life I completely wasted on fun, alcohol, and drugs. I was skipping all lectures and wasn't doing any homework. That was a fun time, but at age of 17 I realized something very important, I gonna die and I gonna die soon assuming the lifestyle I had. Then I looked back at 13 years old me setting a goal of working in google, and currently me wasting time playing Dota 2. That was a turning moment in my career that shaped the next 4 years of my life. I stopped chatting with my friends, stopped playing games, stopped drinking, and started learning to program. I found a local company that was organizing meetups and actively hiring students in IT. I checked what languages they use and started learning JS and Python.
Next winter I was selected to participate in a winter practice where we were building team projects. It was an amazing month and I would suggest everyone get any opportunity of practice you have. At the end of 1 month of practice, we have built a functional hell - an interactive platform to learn functional programming online.
Right after practice, I joined a 3 months internship in the same company and as a result, landed my first software engineering job at age of 18.
Here are my tips for people who just starting in IT:
1. Practice > theory
Don't waste your time reading books or watching courses about programming. 1 day of actual coding will save you a week of studying. The theory is great, but practice should go first.
2. Learn soft skills
During my career, I was the youngest and the most inexperienced person in the room, but still, my words were valued on the same level as others and my work was paid sometimes even higher than others. Of course, being great at coding will help but being confident and having the ability to articulate your thoughts will help even more. I spend 2 years with self-development books in my hands reading about psychology, confidence, communication skills, leadership, and teamwork. It helped me to be a head higher than all of my peers, even if I had less technical knowledge than them.
3. Grow portfolio
I personally did not do the best job in growing my portfolio of pet projects but that is something that makes a real difference for an employer. Having a great-looking GitHub will pay off.
How can you strengthen your portfolio to showcase your skill set?
Do pet projects
This is an obvious step you can take to create a portfolio. But dude, I bet you, quantity over quality! Don't do 100500 basic projects, better create 1 but support it in a long term.
Even Facebook started as a pet project, just keep that in mind
Participate in Hackathons
Here is a site that will help you - hackerearth.com
But ideally, look for local hackathons and join in person together with your friends. If your Hackathond project will not be abandoned after it, that may be a green flag for an employer.
Get every practice and internship in your local companies or online. That is what made a difference for me and what will make difference for you. If you struggle with finding the right opportunities, drop a message to me, and I will help you.
Work with DAOs
That is something that is even better than freelance, working on DAOs for bounties or long-term projects. DAOs are super democratic and you will enjoy working there, here are some websites that will help you to land your first job in DAO: app.dework.xyz/bounties gitcoin.co/explorer?network=mainnet&idx..