In today’s post I’m going to answer the question, are there any junior developer positions? Are they all dying out? Are they all gone? What’s going on? There’s this crazy hubbub right now going on the Internet and online forums.
Before I get into that I highly recommend checking out my blog from time to time as I offer helpful tips to people getting into software development field.
Alright, let’s talk a little bit about junior developers and if there are any junior developer positions anymore.
I recently came across an article that was talking about how there doesn’t seem to be any more junior developer positions like there used to be.
I think at one point in time there was this abundance of junior developer positions for those who taught themselves to code and those who came out of college.
The author of the article claim that there’s a lot of valid reasons why there aren’t a ton of junior developer positions out there.
And I totally get it.
There’s probably some truth to this concept that there are a ton of junior developers positions out there. But honestly, for a company to hire someone it takes a lot of resources to train them in what they do.
To have a junior developer come on and learn lots of programming and to have someone come take resources away. And by resources I mean taking a senior developer away from what they’re doing to help someone out who’s more junior.
It’s a pain in the back. It drains companies resources of software development talents. And I think that could be the reason why most companies are shying away from junior developers.
But to me what I’ve seen it’s more likely to happen in big and more established companies. Well, looking back I never really thought I was going to get hired by a big company.
I always sort of assumed that I would be hired by a smaller company that maybe was not finding the talent they wanted to and maybe they would be more willing to take a risk on me.
This could be the reason because when I did get hired at my first job, I was found by a recruiter who thought that maybe they had someone who would be interested in me and wanted to take a chance on me.
I don’t know what that meant but looking back on the company that hired me, they were probably open to a broader range of people than higher companies like Google or Facebook.
You’ll probably not get hired as a junior developer in these big companies but I think smaller companies are going to be more willing to do that.
So, what does that mean for you?
I have thought a lot about this and it’s also something I’ve talked with some of my mentor students about. And I understand that you have to prepare yourself for pretty much anything.
This starts from day one. When you’re going out there looking for a job. You have to be prepared to offer to mop the floors at whatever company you want to go work at for six months before you’re even allowed to touch a computer.
This has to be your mentality!
I would just throw away expectations about looking for some junior developer role because if a company posts a job opening about a junior developer, it’s going to be flooded with people who just got out of boot camp and those who taught themselves software development.
There’s an abundance of people going to boot camp right now and it’s intimidating.
I’m trying to be real with you! I don’t want to ever sugarcoat that you could be a self-taught software developer and that’s all.
You not only need to get all the skills but you also have to get out there and show some company that you’re worth hiring based on your skills and who you are.
And that’s really difficult because there’s no straightforward way to do it. One of the things that I try to do with my mentoring program is give people tips and strategies for getting through the HR layer.
Finding ways to network, to find people who they can meet and introduce them to someone who could hire them.
You’ve got to think outside the box. You cannot be one of those people who goes out in this job market as a junior developer expecting things to be easy.
It’s like those people who go to school to get a degree expecting to get six figure job right after graduation.
That’s not going to happen!
If that’s you experience, great! You’re like one of the very few people who are lucky enough to have had that happen.
I would have waited for years until I got my first job just for the opportunity to advance at a company but I recalibrated my expectations.
If you’re thinking that you will just go out there and there will be all these junior developer roles and you’re just going to pick one or another. Sorry that won’t be the case!
In fact, what you’ll probably end up doing is sending out you applications to hundreds of companies. And while you do, it’s a good idea to send your application out to places where you’re a little bit below.
I know a lot of people won’t necessarily do that, but by doing that; you shotgun your resume out there, you shotgun yourself and you apply for positions a little bit higher than what you think you can get.
If you see somebody’s code you like on Github, you can contact them and offer to contribute to their open source projects.
Anything you can do to get with people who are software developers the better you will be.
Notice I didn’t say there’s some 10 steps that you can take to become a junior developer. Am just going to be real with you. The odds are stacked against you and the quicker you can realize that the quicker you’ll realize that this isn’t a cakewalk.
You’re going to have to do things that go outside of the normal job hunting routine. There’s no guarantee, anyone who tells you a guarantee is lying to your face.
I would rather tell you the truth that it’s hard to prepare yourself for the long haul.