5 Tips for Developers and Students with No Experience: How to Get Started in IT

5 Tips for Developers and Students with No Experience: How to Get Started in IT.

Get Started in IT

1. Pick a niche and then a programming language
Development has many directions. Some want to go into Front-End, some want to go into Game Dev, Enterprise, Mobile or Back-End and so on. How to choose the best one and where to start? Of course, it’s better what you like. But there are more specific indicators you can lean on. See if there are many positions open in your chosen niche, what the entry threshold is, and what the prospects are for growth. Study the job rankings and salary levels.

You will notice: a good salary depends not only on the experience of the developer and the niche, but also on the programming language. For example, according to a study by GitHub – the largest web service for hosting IT projects – the top ten popular languages are JavaScript, followed by Python, Java, Typescript, C# and so on. The above GitHub ranking is just one of the studies. To understand which programming language to study, look at the rankings by field. Then you’ll see: mobile development is dominated by Swift, Back-End by Java, Front-End by JavaScript. Choose a language within your area of expertise. The more popular the language, the more open positions for it and the higher the competition. You can go not the mass way, and niche – that is, learn a narrower language, learn Kotlin, Go, Rust, Ruby. By the way, positions with knowledge of such languages may pay better.

2. Choose an internship / employment program
If there are many IT companies in your city, see what they specialize in and whether they teach a programming language from scratch. Some employers in a highly competitive environment are willing to invest in the development of their employees, and this might be a great opportunity for you. Let’s say you are hiring a professional paper writing service to end up with quality work. Also, it will be profitable for the employer to invest in a specialist from scratch, and get even more profit. Such programs can be short (from a couple of months to six months) and long (from six months or more). The difference between the two is not just time.

Long-term internships are usually designed for entry-level professionals. Most likely, your training will not be paid and will take a long time, but you will have a mentor, an opportunity to learn the programming language and to see the work of IT-company from within. At short internships, young developers often learn specific technologies – Spring, BigData, UJS, React – and how to work on projects. But everything depends on the specialization of the company and the chosen course. A knowledge of the basic programming language comes in handy. If you want to learn and get a salary and professional experience at the same time, choose the training and employment programs.

3. Resources for studying and self-education
First, let’s talk about students. The fact is that you have a rich list of free and really useful licenses and software from leading software and technology manufacturers. For example, JetBrains, the authors of the worldwide popular IntelliJ IDEA development environment and Kotlin language, provide students with free educational licenses. This package includes access to nearly 20 of the company’s products and development environments, including IntelliJ IDEA itself. Sooner or later you will have to learn about version control systems and repositories: you can’t do without them in development. So we advise you to explore Git and GitHub right now. To use the licenses, you need to prove your student status – you can easily find the necessary instructions on the pages of services.

There is a rich list of products and educational programs from Microsoft. However, some services are available under a university license. If you are unsure, ask if your university is enrolled in this program. But what if you are no longer a student? Here we can’t help but talk about courses and online schools – there are now many for every budget, and they are easy to find on the first search engine query. Of the non-obvious solutions, we advise you to pay attention to the training from the authors of the programming language you want to master, or from the leaders of the IT market. Of course, development is about constant self-learning. Read technical content on sites where developers share knowledge and experience, companies (and your future employers) blog about their technology and new releases. This will allow you to stay up-to-date with IT news, popular technologies, and trends.

4. Don’t be afraid of the test assignment and interview
Yes, to get into internships and job programs, you have to take a test assignment and an interview. For many people, this comes as a surprise and stress. But thanks to the test, you’ll know for sure if you have enough knowledge and if you’ll be interested in learning. It usually takes a couple of weeks to complete, but you can always negotiate a time frame that is convenient for you. Test passed successfully? Let’s go to the interview. Again, note that in each company they are different. Although one thing is certain: do not be afraid that you will be tested. When we interview junior developers, we do not expect deep knowledge in the development of enterprise applications. Focus on object-oriented programming in general and Java Core (or the language you learned). Talk about the features of the language, its syntax and basic classes. Be honest and don’t overestimate your knowledge – it will be easy to find out during the meeting. In addition to theoretical questions at the interview you will be given practical examples to see how you understand the code. Here you will be able to show your real knowledge in practice.

5. How to stand out among other beginners
If you already know the basics of the language, think about your own project. Take a subject area that interests you, invent the task, decompose and automate it. Yes, there will be a lot of complexities, bugs, and unknown words. But in the end, you can gain experience with which to move forward. Then post the project on GitHub – it’s a good thing you’re already familiar with it – and attach the link to your resume. The employer will be pleasantly surprised by your familiarity with the popular web service and general involvement in Open source.

Did this article help you? If so, please tell me in a comment what do you think about it.

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