Check out this awesome Tech Talk with guest speaker Danny Rehr on 'How and Why to Conduct Informational Interviews', for both job seekers and those pursuing professional development.
Danny Rehr supports the ambitions of others to meet their promise and potential. A business analyst and consultant as well as an east coast transplant, he arrived in the Pacific Northwest two years ago to pursue his Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree with a Strategy concentration at the University of Portland.
Danny positioned himself as a job seeker by conducting informational interviews to build a network--the statistically-proven way to gain employment--and to learn about the market for professional analysts and consultants. Specifically, Danny wrote letters using his fountain pens to hyper-targeted practitioners of strategy in the Portland Metropolitan area. Over many cups of coffee he conducted 38 informational interviews in four months.
In this talk Danny shares his experience and the lessons learned from those interviews.
Software developer jobs are expected to grow 17% from 2014 to 2024, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. With increasing demand for developers comes increasing need for training programs like The Tech Academy.
Since it began in 2014, The Tech Academy has grown from a small class of four in Beaverton, Oregon to a thriving software developer bootcamp in downtown Portland with hundreds of employed graduates. The pattern of growth has continued with the opening of The Tech Academy Seattle.
The Tech Academy’s second location in the Seattle suburb of Renton, Washington opened in January with students enrolled and ready to start!
Following suit with our Portland campus Tech Academy Seattle offers open enrollment, flexible scheduling, and ability to move through our self-paced program at their own speed. At the bootcamp students learn several in-demand programming languages, participate in a live project giving them practical experience, and receive job placement training. Instructors are available on-site at the Renton campus to help guide students through the curriculum.
To learn a little more about The Tech Academy Seattle check out our video with Hannah Patterson, VP for Outreach!
Check out Alexandra Beh's Tech Talk on "Mentorship Culture"!
Alexandra is a Software Engineer at Navex Global. Her talk focuses on both traditional and non-traditional mentorship opportunities, and how to create mentorship opportunities.
Preparing for Employment During the Learning Process
Posted By: Lindsey Young
Adequately preparing students for employment is the main purpose of our bootcamp. A question about how to prepare for a developer job while still studying was asked, and here's what co-founder Erik Gross had to say:
Question: How can a coding bootcamp student prepare for employment during the learning process?
"We had to solve this early on in the creation of the boot camp. At this point, hundreds of graduates later, and with a job placement rate of over 90% at the time of this writing, here’s what we’ve found:
One: While you’re going through your studies, start creating an online presence.
This can be as simple as putting your code samples out on GitHub, but we’ve found that it’s even better to have a blog, or a portfolio site. You could even start participating in some of the various online communities for tech workers, such as StackOverflow. You could handle some basic tasks for an open source project. There are many ways to make your presence known.
The primary thing here is that you need to start being known online as a technology worker. For sure you’ve probably got an online presence of one sort or another, but not as a developer. The more things there are out there on the interwebs that show you with your new identity, the better.
Two: Start practicing the soft skills needed for the job search well before you need them.
During the bulk of your studies, you’re going to be concentrating quite heavily on the technical aspect of your new career - CS principles, fundamentals of programming, various languages, frameworks, etc. That’s as it should be - you have a lot to learn, and little time to do it.
One thing we’ve found, though, is that the skills you’ll need to conduct an effective job search are not skills most of us just naturally possess. It’s not enough to just be a competent coder - you’ll need to have the skills to navigate the job search process well.
Any decent boot camp will have a whole section of their program dedicated to these skills and the job placement process, but there are things you can do early on even before reaching that section of your training.
One of these is to prepare for the often-stressful interviews you’ll need to go through in order to get a job. They can be nerve-wracking, for sure - our students tell us they often have thoughts like “I could be asked anything”, and “I’m just a novice and there’s no way they will want me on the team”, and “what if they ask me something I don’t know and I get flustered and make a fool of myself?”.
This is one of those things in life, we’ve found, where the way out is to just go through it. If you have any slightest worry or fear or concern about doing phone interviews, or panel interviews, or white-board sessions where you have to explain concepts to the interviewer, then you should do a lot of those things until they get easier and easier.
With every interview you do, you’ll find better and better ways to explain concepts; you’ll work your way through the stress of being put on the spot; you’ll be more confident in letting someone know that you really don’t know the answer, and you’re okay with that, because no one person knows everything, and you are confident you can learn anything.
The trick here is that you don’t want to use your first real interviews to get through that process! Instead, you should practice all those skills as you go through the program, so that you are more prepared when you get to the job search.
Some things you can do along this line:
• Find opportunities to explain concepts to the instructors on a white board. Ask for feedback. If you didn’t do a good job, study up and do it again.
• For each technology you’re studying, look up the most common interview questions that get asked. Study up on the answers, and then practice answering them. Grab someone to practice this with, and just dive in. Practice giving the answer verbally and on a white board. If you flub an answer, just dig into the subject and find out where you missed something, and then practice it again later. Do this a lot.
• Grab some fellow students or instructors and set up a practice panel interview. It’s fine if you pick the questions ahead of time to start – at first, you just want to get through the nervousness that can come when you’re being asked questions in front of a group of people. Later, when you get more comfortable with it, you could ask the “interviewers” to bring their own questions – again, a simple Google search will bring up a good selection of typical questions.
The main point here is to practice these things all during your studies, not just in a rush at the end, when you’re already stressed about having to get a job in a hurry."
Read the whole post here: https://www.quora.com/How-can-a-coding-bootcamp-student-prepare-for-employment-during-the-learning-process-How-is-the-hiring-market-for-bootcamp-students-compared-to-a-CS-college-grad
Employment for Bootcamp Students vs. Computer Science College Grads
A question recently posted on Quora.com is one that many bootcamp students ask:
"How can a coding bootcamp student prepare for employment during the learning process? How is the hiring market for bootcamp students compared to a CS college grad?"
There are many reasons students decide to enroll in a bootcamp rather than a traditional 4-year college - lower cost, flexibility, more hands on approach to learning - but one of the most common reasons is students are eager to start a career and bootcamps provide them with a fast-track to achieve that goal.
In our previous post (https://learncodinganywhere.com/BlogPosts/Reader/6d4b2552-6184-49e3-b8ac-0c377e86f6b4), Erik Gross answered the first question with practical advice to preparing for the job search. Some of that advice includes: create an online presence while going through your studies, work on your soft skills as well as your technical skills, and do plenty of mock-interviews.
Here's what Erik had to say about the hiring market for a bootcamp grad vs. someone with a CS degree:
"Let’s address the question about the job market for boot camp students vs. CS college grads. I don’t think there’s a difference. What I mean about that is that the jobs are out there, and there’s still not enough talent to fill those jobs.
Now as to whether there’s going to be a different job search experience or outcome for a boot camp grad vs. a college grad? Not really. When a technical hiring manager wants to bring on an entry-level developer, they know they aren’t going to find a perfect match as far as experience and skill set. They’re usually more interested in whether you’re teachable, and can fit in well with the team, and are excited about the work and the company.
At the end of the day, the way you’ll get the job is through tenacity, hard work and toughness. It often takes many weeks, and many resumes, and many phone interviews, and lots of in-person interviews, and several calls that end with “you’re a really strong candidate, but we went with someone else” before you land the job. And that kind of toughness has nothing to do with where you got your training – it’s a personal thing."