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How to Get a Coding Job: 6 Key Tips on Applying

December 5, 2022

This guide will help you understand our POV on helpful ways to get a job after completing a coding bootcamp. Some of you’ve already been matched and are currently completing your program. We’re excited you’re continuing your journey with Best Coding Bootcamps.Others of you are considering becoming a web developer, software engineer, or UX designer for the first time. We’re glad you’re both looking for an advantage on applying for jobs in a competitive market for developers.

Completing Coding Bootcamps: First Things First

If you’re enlisted or about to graduate from a bootcamp, you can skip to the next section. For the rest of you: a coding boot camp is an intensive course curriculum that teaches participants the skills they need to become a software developer. These programs are typically shorter in length than a traditional computer science degree, lasting anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, and are focused on providing students with hands-on experience and practical skills that they can use to get a coding job workforce.

Coding bootcamps are often an alternative to traditional computer science degree programs and are designed to help people who are looking to enter the tech industry but may not have a background in programming or development. Many boot camps offer flexible schedules and provide support for job placement after the program is completed.

Overall, coding bootcamps can be a great way for people to quickly learn the skills they need to become a programmer or developer, and can provide a path into the tech industry for those who may not have a traditional background in computer science.

The goals of coding bootcamps vary, but in general, the main goal is to provide participants with the knowledge and skills they need to become a programmer or developer. Some specific goals of coding boot camps might include:

  • Teaching participants the fundamentals of programming and software development
  • Providing hands-on experience with different programming languages and technologies
  • Helping participants learn how to solve real-world problems using code
  • Preparing participants for a career in the tech industry
  • Providing support for job placement after the program is completed

Overall, the main goal of a coding boot camp is to provide participants with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed as a programmer or developer, and to help them transition into the tech industry.

We're incredibly proud of the analysis we do at Best Coding Bootcamps and the ability to help you compare the strengths of one to another.

1. Networking With Coding Bootcamp Alumni, Employers, and Hiring Managers

Networking’s an important part of finding a job in any field, including the coding field. Here are a few ways you can network within the coding field to increase your chances of getting a job:

  1. Attend conferences and meetups related to coding and software development. These events can be a great way to meet other professionals in the field and learn about new technologies and trends.
  2. Join online forums and discussion groups related to coding and software development. These can be a great way to connect with other professionals and share knowledge and experiences.
  3. Join a professional association or organization related to coding and software development. These organizations often host events and provide networking opportunities for members.
  4. Reach out to people you know who work in the coding field, or who know someone who does. Ask if they would be willing to introduce you to others in the field, or if they have any advice on how to break into the field.

Overall, networking effectively here will also require a portfolio of work you have to show. By attending events, joining online communities, and reaching out to people you know, make sure you prepare projects you’re proud to show.

2. Complete Certifications Beyond the Bootcamp

Always be learning. There are many different certifications that you can earn in the coding field in order to make yourself more marketable. Some examples include:

  • Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP)
  • Certified Software Development Associate (CSDA)
  • Certified Software Development Specialist (CSDS)
  • Certified Web Developer (CWD)
  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • Certified Java Developer (CJD)
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate

These are just a few examples of the many different certifications that are available to a developer. In general, certifications can help you demonstrate your knowledge and skills to potential employers, and can make you more attractive as a job candidate. It's important to research the different certifications that are available and choose the ones that align with your career goals and interests.

The demand for skilled coders and software developers is high in the current market. Some of the most in-demand skills include experience with JavaScript, Python, Java, and C++, as well as knowledge of cloud computing, data analysis, and machine learning. In order to align yourself with these demands, you can focus on developing these skills through coursework, online tutorials, and hands-on experience.

In addition to technical skills, it's also important to have strong problem-solving and critical thinking skills, as well as the ability to work well in a team. To develop these skills, you can participate in coding challenges and hackathons, work on personal projects, and seek out opportunities to collaborate with other coders.

3. Research Job Placement at a Coding Bootcamp

Job placement departments at coding boot camps are typically designed to help graduates of the program find job opportunities in the tech industry. These departments may include a range of services, such as resume and portfolio building, job search assistance, and networking opportunities.

Some coding boot camps may have relationships with companies in the tech industry, and may be able to provide graduates with access to job postings and opportunities that are not available to the general public. As an entry-level developer considering your career path, many of these roles have a higher salary floor than the median, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, many coding boot camps offer career support and guidance even after the program is completed, and may provide ongoing assistance to graduates as they search for jobs.

Overall, the specific services (and quality) offered by job placement programs at coding boot camps can swing wildly, but they are typically designed to help graduates. In your coding bootcamp interview and research, you'll want to ask what the admissions team knows about job placement.

4. Coding Job Resources: LinkedIn Groups, Specific Job Boards, and More

There are many online resources that you can use to find a coding job. Some of these are more effective than others and we note why below.

  • Online job boards, such as Indeed, Monster, and Glassdoor, which often have listings for programming, web developer, and data scientist jobs, but we wouldn't necessarily use them for applying. Indeed & Monster, while incredibly useful for tracking trends in hiring on a macro level, often simply aggregate employer job posts. Because of this, formatted text can be broken, important salary data not included, and no real contact listed. We see a ton of value in beginning your research and filtering recently posted jobs. But if you formally apply to a coding job without a referral, go through a professional network site. (In our individual research, we noticed there are far less mentions of outdated terms like computer programmer and information technology specialist on Linkedin listings as well.)
  • Professional networking sites, such as LinkedIn can be a great way to connect with potential employers and learn about job opportunities. The larger benefit here is the new(ish) ability for LinkedIn to list the name of the hiring manager and the HR contact. This allows the process to be a bit more transparent and glean data (date posted, number of applicants, details on the programming language or specific skill the company is prioritizing), etc.
  • Coding-specific job boards, such as StackOverflow Careers, which are specifically geared towards programming and development jobs.
  • Company websites, as many companies post job listings on their own websites. Whether you are referred or apply on your own, you will usually have to end up here in the process.
  • Professional associations and organizations, which often have coding job boards and career resources for their members. The effectiveness, cost, and relationships of every professional organization dedicated to developers varies wildly, so this is one area we recommend you ask your personal network about. You specifically want to ask about the costs and if they were successful.

Overall, there are many online resources that you can use to find a coding job. It's important to know that applying “cold” comes with its own set of headaches (and lack of transparency), and the mismanagement of talent in many of the job search sites can be a challenge.This is a fantastic segue into the next section: keeping your excitement (and your portfolio, GitHub, software) level up during the process.

5. Be prepared and outwardly excited for the life of a developer.

Landing a coding job - specifically as a full stack developer - can take some time. It’s a challenging and rewarding role, but like any job, it has its own set of challenges. Transparently, some of the hardest things about being a full stack developer might include:

  • Staying up-to-date with the latest technologies, languages, and programming skills. As a full stack developer, you may be expected to be proficient in a wide range of technologies, which can require a lot of ongoing learning and staying current with the latest developments.
  • Managing the complexity of large projects. Full stack developers are often responsible for building complex applications or systems, which can require a lot of planning, coordination, and attention to detail.
  • Debugging and problem-solving. As a full stack developer, you will likely encounter a wide range of technical challenges, and will need to be able to troubleshoot and solve complex problems.
  • Communication and collaboration. Full stack developers often work with a team of other developers, designers, and stakeholders, and will need to be able to communicate effectively and work well with others in order to succeed.

Overall, one of the hardest things about succeeding as a full stack developer is the need to constantly adapt to user behaviors and platforms/coding languages, and the challenges that come with managing complex projects and problem-solving.

We trust our coding bootcamp partners to communicate this to all of the prospective students here, but we always want to underline this. Meeting those challenges often comes with asking for help and knowing where to go. Fortunately, this is the same skillset needed to tap your network.

6. Leverage Coding Bootcamp Alumni Network To Avoid Ending up in an ATS Void

If nothing else, a coding bootcamp alumni network and job placement (often less impactful than a referral from someone you know working as a data scientist or developer with hiring power) helps graduates blunt the impact of poor applicant tracking systems.

Applicant tracking systems (ATS) are software programs that are used by organizations to manage their recruiting and hiring processes for not only web developer, computer systems analyst, and product manager roles you'd come across in your own search, but their entire available list of openings. While these systems can provide many benefits, they can also pose some challenges. Using the network you meet at the coding boot camp, LinkedIn contacts, and job placement services for its coding bootcamp graduates, you'll be able to avoid the usual pitfalls of coming into the system as an ATS applicant on the website.

  • Getting a referral from an internal stakeholder for a programming job you're looking at beats the mess of an ATS. Because ATS systems can be complex and require a certain level of technical knowledge to use effectively, there's significant risk of job applicant and server-side errors. For example, the system might not ingest your resume correctly and error out when you're about to submit.
  • Inaccurate or incomplete data. ATS systems mostly rely on data input from users, and if this data is inaccurate (happens often but can be resolved with good data hygiene) or incomplete (a larger challenge), it can lead to headaches for everyone. For example, let's say you're applying to a role called 'computer systems analyst.' If your resume is not entered correctly, it might not be matched to the right job opening. This is a far easier problem to solve if an internal referral from a coding bootcamp alumni flags your application to the hiring manager.
  • Bias in the system that filters out software developer candidates based on poor assumptions. Another reason - and perhaps the most important - to use coding bootcamp alumni or network referrals to begin your new career path. ATS systems often use algorithms to match candidates to job openings, and these algorithms can be based on certain assumptions or biases. For example, an algorithm designed to match candidates with a certain number of years of experience might overlook qualified coding job candidates with relevant experience but have not been in the workforce for as long.

Overall, ATS legacy systems can pose unnecessary, expensive hurdles for any candidates. Coding bootcamp graduates with a high skill level who network effectively and proactively seek out alumni hiring managers looking to fill a programming job can potentially avoid making it a first step in the door.

Conclusion: Get Matched to Coding Bootcamps that Help All of the Above

We feel strongly about the level of transparency we believe all bootcamps should have with future students. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be writing guides on how to apply to bootcamps, the importance of knowing the ROI, and differentiating yourself as a future software developer.

After comparing bootcamps using our tool, matching to the best bootcamp customized for your own need, and subsequently graduating, we expect you’ll have asked admissions counselors if they have resources for the above steps.

Get matched to the right coding bootcamps for you.