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Getting a Developer Job with a Non-Traditional Background

Getting a Developer Job with a Non-Traditional Background

What you need to know about the system and what you should be doing right now to maximize your chances of getting hired as a developer

Viking Education

February 21, 2017
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  1. Getting a Developer Job with a
    Non-Traditional Background
    www.vikingcodeschool.com
    What you need to know about the system and what you should be doing
    right now to maximize your chances of getting hired as a developer.

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  2. There Are No Easy Answers
    If you came looking for The
    Easy Way, you're barking up
    the wrong tree…
    ...but there is a Better Way.

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  3. Ignore Most Advice
    ● Most "getting hired" advice is for a TRADITIONAL job hunt.
    ● If you try to color within those lines, your resume will get
    the 3-second ignore.
    ● You are NOT a "traditional" hire.

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  4. Who Are You?
    Background: "Non-Traditional" generally means
    not having a Computer Science degree.
    Stage: You're learning, whether early or midway
    through and are starting to think jobs. Or maybe
    it's late in the game and you're suddenly thinking
    about hiring...

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  5. The Viking Approach
    1. Learn the system
    2. Know yourself + prepare
    3. Hustle your butt off

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  6. For Starters: Hiring is a Funnel

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  7. We'll Cover: BEFORE the Funnel
    1. How the "hiring of developers" system works
    2. How to develop and deliver your narrative
    3. What you should start doing while you're still
    learning (...now) to help your chances
    ...we'll save applying, interviewing and beyond for
    future talks. There is a LOT to this!

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  8. Backing Up… Hi!
    Who am I..?
    I run the Viking Code School.
    I started The Odin Project.
    I’m a code nerd and teacher.
    The elusive Erik
    Trautman...

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  9. Backing Up… Hi!
    Odin has over 60,000 members.
    Viking guaranteed jobs for 2+ years.
    You start to see patterns after awhile… :)

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  10. Backing Up… a Thank-You
    We love coding and teaching.
    We want to help.
    So we've just released our first Getting Hired
    course in our free Advanced Prep work.

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  11. Backing Up… meet Sabrina and Johnny
    Sabrina Clark: Director of
    marketing at Brand Yourself, a
    specialist in personal branding.
    Johnny Steenbergen: Viking alum
    and all-around hustler. Formerly at
    Boeing and now coding full-time.

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  12. Our Agenda
    1. The System is People
    2. Know Thyself
    3. Develop Your Narrative
    4. Create Your Vapor Trail
    5. Begin the Hustle
    6. Today's Conversation

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  13. Our Agenda
    1. The System is People
    2. Know Thyself
    3. Develop Your Narrative
    4. Create Your Vapor Trail
    5. Begin the Hustle
    6. Today's Conversation

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  14. Understand that the System is PEOPLE
    ● You do not apply to faceless companies, you
    apply to INDIVIDUALS on teams.
    ● Change your perspective to empathize with
    their need and decision-making.
    ● Our whole approach focuses on this.

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  15. In Their Shoes: Why Companies Need You
    ● Overworked individuals
    with business problems
    ● One person requests the
    role and hires you to
    MAKE THEIR LIVES
    EASIER, not because "you
    want it bad".

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  16. Company Hiring is a Mess
    Hiring is hard for companies
    and they want to get it over
    with and move on.
    You need a champion who
    identifies you as the solution
    to their problems.

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  17. Pattern Matching the "Ideal Dev"
    Now imagine what they really want in a dev:
    ● Gets sh*t done with minimal help
    ● Good to work with every day
    ● Strong coding now and continued growth
    How can you match these patterns?

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  18. Our Agenda
    1. The System is People
    2. Know Thyself
    3. Develop Your Narrative
    4. Create Your Vapor Trail
    5. Begin the Hustle
    6. Today's Conversation

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  19. Know Thyself
    ● What do you actually want in your career?
    ● What do you bring to the table? Be honest...
    ● What are your must-haves and
    nice-to-haves?
    ● Why are you in this anyway... $$$?
    Curiosity? Excitement?

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  20. Know the Ecosystem
    Develop an awareness of the jobs ecosystem.

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  21. Companies are All Different
    ● Consultancies, startups, big tech, side
    divisions and freelancing are VERY different.
    ● Geographical markets and tech stacks
    ● Junior-friendliness, non-traditional
    friendliness
    Target the ones most receptive to you.

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  22. Know Your SPECIFIC Goal
    "I want to be a dev" is NOT good enough.
    Where? What is every day like?
    Who will you work with?
    Pick a role model.

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  23. Our Agenda
    1. The System is People
    2. Know Thyself
    3. Develop Your Narrative
    4. Create Your Vapor Trail
    5. Begin the Hustle
    6. Today's Conversation

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  24. Develop Your Narrative
    Stories are EVERYTHING. How can you stitch
    yours together?
    Leverage your background.

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  25. General Types of Resume Narratives
    1. Technical Experience
    2. Competency in Anything
    3. Growth Curve
    4. Powerful (relevant) Passion
    Which are you? How interesting!

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  26. Remember: Put Yourself in Their Shoes
    The narrative should end with you inevitably as
    a hungry, successful developer who makes their
    lives easier.
    Cut out the rest.

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  27. Practice, Practice, Practice.
    Use every meet up and
    handshake as a chance to
    practice telling your story.
    Don't memorize.

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  28. Our Agenda
    1. The System is People
    2. Know Thyself
    3. Develop Your Narrative
    4. Create Your Vapor Trail
    5. Begin the Hustle
    6. Today's Conversation

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  29. Your narrative only matters if they see it.
    1. Your resume
    2. Your website
    3. Your writing
    4. Your projects
    Back up your narrative with LOTS of content.
    Start your Vapor Trail

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  30. This forces you to
    identify the best
    possible projects
    and narrative early.
    1. Write the Resume You Want
    ...use creddle.io.

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  31. ...but don't sweat it. Use a template.
    2. Build and Deploy Your Personal Site
    Just get it deployed!
    ● Rawgit
    ● Github Pages
    ● Surge.sh
    ● Jekyll
    ● ...and so on...

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  32. Google finds you based on your words so make
    sure they're the words you want.
    ● Blog [Best!] -- Even if you're "a bad writer",
    get some technical stuff out there.
    ● Go social (but don't force it)
    3. Write, write, write.

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  33. Identify the projects you want to have in your
    portfolio and do what it takes to build them.
    ● 1-3 great ones are better than 12 small
    ones… you'll only talk about 1 in interviews.
    ● Align them with your passion and goals
    Work backwards.
    4. Build, build, build.

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  34. Google yourself in an uncached browser
    session. Is this consistent with your narrative?
    ● Set up consistent profiles on good-SEO sites
    like Linkedin, Github, Meetup and Twitter
    ● Kill or modify any profiles that don't fit your
    narrative.
    Oh yeah… and clean up those Google results

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  35. Our Agenda
    1. The System is People
    2. Know Thyself
    3. Develop Your Narrative
    4. Create Your Vapor Trail
    5. Begin the Hustle
    6. Today's Conversation

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  36. "Hustle": Working Harder and Smarter
    You will need to work harder than a traditional
    candidate but you're also more interesting.
    Being smart means ignoring the front door and
    finding the side door.

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  37. The Best: Inbound Always Beats Outbound
    1. Have a Hacker-News-worthy project
    2. Write a viral blog post
    3. Win a hackathon
    4. Give a meetup talk
    ...get in front of people!
    Recruiters and engineers notice.

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  38. Outbound is a Slow, Painful Process
    Relationships take time to
    cultivate, which is why you
    should start now.
    You will be uncomfortable.

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  39. Do the 3 Job Challenge. Get over it. Also:
    Start Hustling NOW.
    1. Collect things you like
    (projects, companies, people)
    2. Engage with them (blog
    comments, stars, PRs…)
    3. Make your need known.

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  40. Tough truths: Hiring is Local
    ● 10x easier local, 10x easier in their stack.
    ● BUT, as we know from experience, there are
    ways to hustle around these limitations.
    ...Basically, be where the people are.

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  41. Finding People: In-Person
    It's all about where people congregate.
    ● Meetups
    ● Hackathons
    ● Your friend's cousin's startup office
    In the end, you must be willing to do hard stuff.

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  42. Finding People: Online
    It's STILL about where people congregate.
    ● Github code bases
    ● Blog/podcast comments
    ● Social (Twitter)
    Try the old "I'll be in your city, limited time…"

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  43. Non-Traditional Hustling
    ● Leverage your unique background
    ● Look for overlaps that will help your
    portfolio AND get you on the radar (eg
    replicating a website, OSS fixes…)

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  44. Our Agenda
    1. The System is People
    2. Know Thyself
    3. Develop Your Narrative
    4. Create Your Vapor Trail
    5. Begin the Hustle
    6. Today's Conversation

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  45. First… Queue your questions!

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  46. Sabrina Clark (Brand Yourself)

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  47. Johnny Steenbergen (Asynchrony Labs)
    <<< Johnny 5
    Johnny S >>>

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  48. A Viking Moment
    Learning part-time is hard. We’ve figured it out.
    You bring the motivation, we’ll get you there.

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  49. New to Viking? Try our free Prep Work, which is
    seriously awesome and which begins to lay this
    out. It prepares you for Flex, Immersive or
    whatever path you choose to take elsewhere.
    A Viking Moment: Learn More
    www.vikingcodeschool.com/prep

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  50. Let’s hit those Questions!

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  51. Thanks!
    We’ll send you the video and a course syllabus.
    Send additional questions to
    [email protected].
    Take this stuff to heart. Be human. Build cool
    sh*t.

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