Many of you who are considering a career in web development have one thing on your mind:
After all my time, money, and all the effort spent in learning how to code – what will it take to actually get a job in web development?
This question is a valid one and there are two qualities that employers consider when looking for a new coding hire.
The first thing a company looks for in a new hire is technical ability, yet for a novice coder this could appear daunting – especially if you are fresh out of training and have yet to hold a job as a developer. You don’t have previous work experience to reference to, so how can you show your knowledge and abilities? This is where a web development portfolio is crucial.
Your portfolio should showcase the completed projects that you’ve created during your coding programme and be representative of your ability. It will serve as proof of your technical knowledge and will be a good way for an employer to judge your skills in lieu of previous work experience. Be sure to include completed projects in your portfolio, ones that you are proud of and demonstrate code that actually works.
Another idea is to include self-initiated projects in your portfolio, not just ones you have completed for your coding programme. Do you have any websites or blogs that you’ve created, just for fun? If these show what you can do, then they are perfectly fine to add to your portfolio.
It is important to note that bluffing – stating experience and abilities you don’t actually possess – is NOT a good idea! Later during the interview process, it will become very clear very quickly to your potential employer that you inflated your knowledge on paper. This ploy will only ensure that you won’t be hired.
The second quality that employers find important is team fit or compatibility. Can you fit in seamlessly with the rest of the team? Do you share the same work ethic as others in the company? Can you communicate well with your colleagues and collaborate to solve problems? Personal attributes are just as important to employers as your technical skills – they want to know that you will be able to get along with your co-workers and add to the work environment in a positive way.
The good news for those aspiring coders out there is that web development is a growing industry with a skills shortage – there just aren’t enough coders in the workforce to meet the demand. Code Institute is meeting this challenge by providing a hands on and practical full stack web development training programme – one that is industry designed and taught by expert coders who are working in the industry.
A desire to learn and create, hands on training, and a portfolio of projects you can stand behind will kick start your career in web development and make you the ideal candidate that digital companies are looking to hire.