by Goodness Kayode
Developers—here’s how to get potential employers and clients to notice you
Note — any ideas I share are my personal views, based on my experience finding developers for companies and individuals.
The problem — presenting your work
The way you dress is the way you will be addressed.
Often, developers find it hard to present their previous projects in an employable way. This denies them a lot of handsomely paying job roles.
Many developers complain about not having projects to work on, and I always ask this simple question: “The projects you have worked on, how well have you presented them to potential clients?”
I understand it is hard work to make yourself as employable as possible — but it surely pays.
It is one thing to be a skilful and talented developer, but it is another thing for people who don’t know you from anyone else to recognize this.
“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself” — Leo Tolstoy
You wanna work for a company like Google, Facebook, Amazon? You gotta start presenting yourself that way.
Every company wants talented employees, and they are willing to go any length to get the best. You will be removing yourself from the path of people who might consider you as the best if you poorly present your work.
I will talk about key things I believe a developer should have in place before applying for any role or projects.
A focused mind
I decided to put this first, because it is really crucial — especially in a world where new technologies come out day by day.
Often, developers jump from one framework to another, without a good understanding of any of them. Then they risk becoming a “jack-of-all-trades and master-of-none.”
It is important that we focus on one thing. If it is web development or mobile development, do it with all your heart and soul. You cannot cheat nature. You can only be super awesome in what you spend more time on.
It is important for developers to have a personal website that explains key things about them. One should be able to visit your website and get to know interesting things about you. There are several things you can include on your personal websites. For example: your projects, your personal blog posts, your CV, and so on.
It is good to learn from tutorials and build along, then push to your Github repository as a project. But it is not about the number of tutorial projects you have. It is about what you do after learning from those tutorials.
A client that wants to build a FinTech solution will not look for a developer that has only built a calculator or To-do application but hasn’t built interesting projects worth showing. That is the truth. You need to go beyond the basics.
Certificates will do a lot for you, and give you the edge in some situations. But it is important to remember that a certificate does not mean you know all there is to know on that topic. Keep learning.
Github is a good way of recruiting talented developers, and it is important that you have a presentable Github profile.
People will not remember you for the help you gave yourself. But they will remember you if you have made an impact that makes their lives easier. Github gives you the opportunity to make life easy for other developers like you.
The truth is, GitHub is a developer’s resume. Push projects, and also collaborate on projects. I am often surprised when people say “I cannot use Github,” and that they use Google Drive instead, so the world will not steal their code (LMAO!). GitHub gives you a lot of advantages.
I learned that StackOverflow can earn you jobs you never expected in a simple way.
You face some issues, but you eventually solve them. Document the solution for other people with the issue, so in the future they can learn from it. Many developers have gotten jobs and recommendations based on StackOverflow questions they have been able to answer. Your StackOverflow points can be a bragging right for you. A good rating helps you to get jobs via StackOverflow.
Some people will say I like talking about technical articles, but they are a good way of showing that you know what you are doing. Also, they show you are not only looking at making money for yourself, but also looking at helping other developers grow.
Adding technical posts, videos and so on to your portfolio has a lot of advantages. I discussed them here.
A Good C.V.
Your C.V. (or résumé) speaks a lot about you. Some developers have résumés that look like a class assignment they were forced to do!
Your C.V should be attractive. Use tools like cvmkr.com or visualcv.com (to mention but a few). These help you create a C.V. based on your field. You should know that when applying for roles, it is important to write good cover letters as well.
My final words
Doing most of the key points highlighted above shows that you are serious about your career, and that you are ready to do anything to make the best out of it. Also, it is important to note that having a good portfolio decorated with certificates does not translate to being a good programmer/developer.
I have decided to make this article an open article. So, if you feel that there are things I didn’t mention, you can comment below and I will include your advice.