Hello Readers, In this article, I wanted to go over some key tips that you can follow if you are someone who is looking to switch careers into programming or if you are someone who is a non-CS major and is looking for tech internships.
1. Don’t be afraid to get started
Most of the times, people think about getting started, but they never actually do. It is vital not to let procrastination get to you. You don’t need to do everything all at once. In fact, it is impossible to get all the necessary experience and building your profiles in a day. All you need is just to get started. It could be spending an hour a week, and gradually you can increase the time you devote to your process.
Remember, switching careers or entering a new profession where you have little expertise in not an overnight process. It is therefore important that you stay perseverant and consistent. Rember, consistency is the key. Start small and grow big. Start off by devoting one hour on the weekend to building projects, or learning a new programming language. Once you have transformed that into a habit, increase your time gradually and learn more things. It could be as little as spending 15 minutes every day after work. Only fifteen minutes to go over some online articles, or some syntax of some programming language or even just solving a programmatical problem on Leetcode.
2. Build an online presence
I think this is so far the most important thing to do if you want to land any tech job. An online presence is the searchable information you put on different websites that showcase your past projects and skills. Your first go-to resource is LinkedIn. Put all your experience and past projects on there and create a strong profile. You can search up some LinkedIn profile optimization tips online. The reason I advise to build a LinkedIn profile is that LinkedIn profiles are indexed by google (unlike other social media for which google indexing is not very good) so if someone searched you by name or career, it is likely that your LinkedIn profile will show up. The other thing you can do is build your own personal website (which is super easy by the way) [Article on how to build a personal portfolio coming soon]. A really great resource for getting programming experience is LinkedIn learning. for about $19 a month you get access to a lot of tech courses that once you complete, you can put the certificate on LinkedIn for employers to see. (This article is not sponsored by LinkedIn) There are other free resources as well, some of which, I link in my article about learning Python as a programming language.
3. Resume Building — Collect feedback and re-iterate
As much as it is important to grow your resources, it is also important to have a resume that gets an interview. Try out different resume templates and put in your information. Get feedback from resume critique workshops and re-iterate to build better resumes. Some companies use ATS (Application Tracking System) which filters the resumes, so it is also important to optimize your resume for ATS.
4. Don’t be demotivated by pitfalls
In your journey of switching into a programming line of work, it is possible that you will have to face many rejections or turn downs by companies. The important thing here is not to let this get to you. You must keep pushing forward and keep applying to jobs and interviewing for different companies. The truth is, the more you sit for interviews, the more you will learn about the way tech employers interact and what they are looking for in a candidate. Many candidates drop the idea of switching careers just because they faced too many rejections and think to themselves that this is probably not worth it. But in reality, all you need is one job. Just one to get you started and then it is up to you what experience you gain from it. You only need one tech job to get started. Once you have that, it will get easier for you to find jobs in future. Think of it as a learning curve. Once you climb the hilltop, the journey ahead is much easier.
5. Start Small, Grow Big
If you found this article helpful, feel free to check out some other random stuff that I write on my blog and let me know in the comments what you think! 🙂