How to Get your First Back-end Development Job

Updated on November 10, 2021

Programmers are in demand and usually get a lot of job offers.  But this applies to experienced professionals, middle and senior levels, and for junior developers backend web development there are much fewer vacancies.  Not all IT companies are ready to hire novice programmers, because you will have to invest in their training.  Nevertheless, all the seniors were once Junior.  In this article, we will answer the questions that bother newbies, tell you what a junior developer should be able to do, what to show instead of commercial projects in an interview, and what tasks he will be entrusted with on a project.

What a junior developer should be able to do

A junior developer is a beginner specialist and a starting position in a programmer’s career.  As a rule, graduates of universities or courses apply for it.  When looking for a job, having a specialized higher education will not play a significant role.  However, it is hardly possible to get a job as a programmer in an IT company after 2-3 months of courses – this is too short a time for mastering a programming language.  If the training takes 9-12 months, then during this time you can get the necessary basic knowledge.

Each IT company will have its own ideas about what a junior developer should be able to do.  For a product company, knowledge of a specific technology or its aspects is more important, and for an outsourcing company, a wider stack may be required.

How to fill out a resume and portfolio if you have no experience

Keep your resume short and structured to make it easier for the recruiter to assess whether it is relevant to the job.  Do not list technologies that are not related to your stack or the position you are applying for.  Try to list only relevant work experience.  For specialists who have switched to programming from other areas, you can submit your previous experience as a background in any domain (for example, banking or logistics).

A link to your portfolio will make your resume stand out from the competition.  Typically, developers use a profile on GitHub, where code that demonstrates technical skills is stored in the repository.  If you have no experience in commercial development, then any projects in which you participated or personally wrote are suitable for the portfolio.

Another option to practice and expand your portfolio is to participate in open source projects.  This is an opportunity to work on creating real products in a team with other specialists, learn how to read someone else’s code, maintain documentation and get feedback from colleagues.  You can search for such options on GitHub.  Choose a project that you can handle and with an active community in order to get feedback faster.

Hackathons and non-profit projects that need volunteer developers will help you gain experience and at the same time make acquaintances in the IT sphere.

How to look for your first job

The competition for the junior developer position is quite high.

It is more profitable for IT companies to hire experienced programmers who can immediately solve technical problems on their own.  For this reason, job vacancies for juniors often require commercial projects.  In this case, programmers with no experience at all, for example, immediately after the courses, you can start with an internship.  It is worth writing to an IT company or contacting recruiters on social networks and asking how to get to them as an intern.  A couple of months of practice will not only improve skills, but will also be the very experience of commercial development, which is indicated in vacancies.

Finding a job is not so easy, but if you follow these tips, then everything is not as difficult as it might seem at first glance. Don’t forget to learn, develop and gain experience from professionals like Halo-lab.

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