Navigating a new career field when you’re fresh out of school can feel downright intimidating.
No longer is the path clearly laid out. You’ve got endless options for how you want to progress your career journey.
And that’s a good thing! But it can also be confusing.
As a team that’s been working in the web industry for a while, we have some thoughts on this. A handful of the Zaengsters recently took time to reflect on this question:
What would you recommend a person focus on who is just coming out of an engineering bootcamp and looking to get into the industry?
Below is a collection of their answers. We hope these tips will give you a little boost to help get you from where you are now to where you want to be.
- Imposter syndrome is real. Don't get bogged down believing everyone else around has everything figured out.
- Don't be afraid to ask questions when you are confused or don't know something. Make sure you have a good understanding of the why, not just the what.
- There are many ways to solve just about any given problem. Courses tend to make us feel as though there is only one way to approach a feature. Find a good solution that makes sense and you are able to understand.
- Learn how to communicate effectively. This relates to GitHub, email, applications, estimates, etc.
- Learn how to learn: reading documentation, Googling the right terms, following courses on YouTube, etc.
- Set up an environment where you can easily test new things (MAMP/Valet/Homestead/DDEV/Docker).
- Attempt to do some of the same projects you did during bootcamp with a new language/platform (React vs Vue, Wordpress vs Craft CMS, Laravel vs Symphony, PHP vs Python).
- Don’t be afraid to apply for jobs, even if you don’t meet all of the listed qualifications. You can always learn something that you don’t know. Sure, there will be prospective employers who won’t be open to giving you the chance to learn. But there will be others who will be happy to give you that opportunity, as long as you can demonstrate that you’re willing to put in the work.
- If you’re really interested in a position and get a good vibe from the company, don’t be afraid to follow up during the application/interview process.
My advice holds for web dev or pretty much anything, is being willing to take an internship/apprenticeship instead of strictly holding out for full-time work. The experience and connections you make are valuable, and it’s a low risk thing for you and the employer.
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Project & Marketing Manager
Emily can often be found reading, enjoying the outdoors with her dog, and trying to keep her houseplants alive.
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