Our students attend DigitalCrafts with one major goal in mind: starting a career as a developer. After spending all day in class and then going home to code more, preparing resumes and looking for jobs are daunting tasks. However, with determination and a new set of skills, our students are achieving their end goals.
Julie Dyer, who recently graduated from our Full Stack Immersive program in Atlanta, started our program with no professional software experience and received a job offer before graduation. We sat down with her to get some tips and words of encouragement for fellow coding bootcamp students and graduates. Julie is now a software developer on the customer strategy and design team at Chick-fil-A.
Incorporating Transferable Skills Into Her Resume
Before Julie began at DigitalCrafts in February 2017, she was an office manager and scheduler in the U.S. Senate. She included this position on her resume for multiple reasons:
"I think the most important skills that transferred over to the coding side of my (previous) job were organization and multi-tasking. Working with a large code base and sometimes on multiple projects requires organization and multi-tasking, not just the actual development process, but my time as well."
Julie additionally emphasized the importance of portraying professionalism in resumes. She felt that exemplifying previous professional experience was helpful during the interview process.
Defining Her Dream Job
Although she has the skill-set of a full stack developer, Julie preferred working on the front end more. However, office culture was more important to her than day-to-day duties.
"I was looking for a really supportive environment where I felt like I could learn a lot and contribute. Having a good mentor, I believe, is key to being a successful junior developer. I was wary of companies that were so fast paced that they wouldn't have time to spend mentoring new developers."
Consistent Online Presence and a Well-Crafted Resume
For developers, your online presence doesn't stop at LinkedIn. DigitalCrafts students are taught the importance of maintaining a GitHub profile and an online portfolio, and Julie followed suit. Her GitHub shows active contributions, not just during school hours but on weekends, and she worked hard to create a professional, attractive portfolio to showcase her best projects.
Julie's GitHub activity while attending DigitalCrafts
"I was very consistent with my online presence across the board, but I placed a lot of importance on my portfolio. I don't necessarily think that was the best choice — from what I found, employers looked at my resume way more, sometimes that was the only thing they looked at (in detail)."
While Julie's experience leaned towards her resume, new developers should remember every employer is different. The key takeaway here is not to neglect any one element: a solid portfolio, online presence, and resume are all invaluable to success in the job search.
Utilizing the DigitalCrafts Student Services Team
At DigitalCrafts, current students and alumni have the support of our Student Services team. They receive detailed guidelines for must-haves on their resumes and portfolios, as well as professional resume editing and feedback, and can participate in mock interviews with professional developers.
"The mock interview was great. To be honest, it was probably the hardest of all of my interviews, so it was really good practice."
Passion: The Key to Success
"I think just being myself and telling my story was important. Bootcamp grads are in a unique position because we all choose to take a huge risk and devote a lot of time and energy into learning this new skill and that shows that we really want this. I found most of the people I interviewed with were genuinely interested in my story and background and how I came to this new career. In all of my interviews, I spoke passionately about how excited I was to be starting this new chapter and how eager I was to always continue to learn. That's the kind of attitude companies are looking for... most companies don't expect junior developers to know everything on day one. They want (developers) that are going to have the passion and the drive to learn and do well. So I think being able to convey that was what made me successful."
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