Job Search

I am at the point that the last 5 years of hard work has led to, the dreadful job search. To be quite frank, I feel like I had been led to believe that it would be much easier to get a job with a computer science degree post-graduation than it has been. I don’t know if the job market has always been like this or if COVID is to blame for the lack of jobs for entry level developers. Either way, the reasoning is nothing to get hung up on. Finding that first job is just a challenge that has to be overcome. 

I decided to tackle this problem in the way that one should solve any problem. I first had to define the problem and make sure that I understood as much as I could about it. The problem is that I don’t have employment in software development which is the goal that I would like to achieve.

Next I needed to come up with a plan. My plan began with creating an excel spreadsheet of the jobs that I was applying to. This would allow me to track what I applied to, where I applied, how far along I got in the process, and the outcome. The data collected from this approach would allow me to focus my efforts to the job sites that were getting the most responses as well as seeing what I could improve upon. For this part of my plan I committed to applying to at least 20 jobs a week and logging the information about them.

The second part of my plan involved preparing for the technical interviews. It is pretty common when applying to software development jobs to be given a skills test. In order to prepare for these, I decided to spend several hours a week solving practice problems on Hackerrank and Leetcode. 

Now I had defined my goal and and made a plan. I began executing this plan, but as this is an iterative process I did find ways to improve. The first thing that I realized was that many of the job postings I saw for software developers were looking for a set of skills that I didn’t have. Many employers seem to be looking for candidates with full-stack experience in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Node, and React. I didn’t have any of these skills so I began looking for resources that I could use to learn them. The resource that I settled on was called The Odin Project.

Now it was time to amend my plan. While job searching, I would add working through The Odin Project to my execution plan. With the experience gained from this, I would be able to learn full-stack development on my own so that I could add some of these highly desired skills to my resume. 

All of this has led to the point that I am currently at today. I am still searching, but constantly improving my chances of employment and myself along the way. Once I find employment, I will share the data that I collected while searching, as others might find it useful. I also plan to publish a post about my experiences with The Odin Project as I get further along. I do create repositories of what I am working on and they will always be public so feel free to check them out. Good luck to everyone else out there looking for that first or next job.


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