Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Why So Many Junior Developers Struggle To Get An Opportunity.


 Tech is honestly the best industry to get into right now. The opportunities are numerous. Almost every job vacancy out there is tech this tech that, developer this and developer that. I stayed in school for 4 years studying for a useless engineering degree and I have never in my life seen a vacancy for the rubbish I studied but there are tech roles every day. But in spite of so many jobs in tech, a lot of new developers struggle to get opportunities. I started being active in the tech community recently and I am meeting developers who have been coding for 5 to 7 years but have never had an opportunity. Talking with them has led me to discover that it's actually not the tech industry but a few of the reasons I am listing below.


1. You follow the trends: A lot of us developers love to focus on the sexy trendy stuff. Newsflash, what is sexy and trendy isn't used and even when used is used by very few companies. So millions of people who have struggled to learn the sexy stuff are all going to fight for those few roles out there. Take for example the latest coolest CSS framework tailwind. It's really cool and hyped up and it's like the go-to framework right now but the thing is in the industry people are still using bootstrap. People are learning tailwind but they don't know the number one CSS framework out there. Just because something is cool and sexy doesn't mean that everyone is going to switch to it overnight.

If you give junior developers a chance between Angular, React, and Vue. A lot of people are going to pick Vue. They will say it's sexy and cool and has a ton of GitHub stars. There are jobs using Vue but they are so few compared to React and Angular that you would be pigeonholing yourself by learning that. Theres a whole of difference between coding for fun and coding to get a job.

2. You have unrealistic expectations: This is something I usually see on Reddit cscareerquestions but it seems to becoming a norm amongst everybody. People believe that if your salary isnt starting at 100k USD a year or you dont work for a tech company, you arent a developer. Its so elitist and unfortunately a lot of developers in Nigeria are beginning to have this mindset. They learn HTML, CSS, JS. They have built absolutely no projects but because someone said you need the knowledge of DSA to get a job they immediately start grinding leetcode day and night with the hope of getting into Google. You learnt to code from a Udemy course and you really want to compete at DSAs with people who went to MIT. People who have been doing competitive programming since 5 years old. People who get gold medals at the international olympaids of informatics like its nothing. grin grin grin. Funny enough, I also had this mindset when I was learning to code but corrected myself later on. The truth is that not every tech job out there tests with DSA or needs knowledge of DSA and not everybody must work for a big tech company. This reasoning is so flawed. It is like saying every lawyer must work for law firms like wale olanipekun and co or every engineer must work for exxonmobil. There are a ton of jobs that will pay you well as a junior developer like really well and you need not struggle to get them. They wont test you with DSA. They would only look at the complexities of your projects and go through them with you. By well paid I am talking of 500k and above. Ask yourself how many people asking you to do DSA in Nigeria have not yet worked at Google. There are even whatsapp groups dedicated to DSA and if you cant solve one you are kicked out. The person giving you DSA is not working at Google or Facebook hmm give yourself a brain o.


3. You do not know how to cut off the bullshit from social media: There's so much information out there today but if you don't know how to cut off the bullshit from what you need, you would waste your time. A lot of influencers and creators are putting information out there for themselves. They follow the algorithms and put out what is going to give them the most value in terms of money for their time. If I put out WordPress content, nobody will watch it but if I go out there and make MERN stack tutorials I would be getting millions of views but to be truthful you do not need the MERN stack as a junior. No one is using MongoDB in prod. Very few websites use Nodejs. You are just limiting yourself with that. If you want to be a full stack developer look at things like C# and Java springboot. Those pay really really well and there are even certifications you can acquire in those frameworks that can help get you opportunities at enterprise companies that use them especially if you don't have a computer science degree.

4 Your projects are not worth paying for: People put out calculators, todo lists, tictactoe games and a lot of bullshit on their portfolio and wonder why they aren't getting interviews. You have applied for 100 jobs and haven't been called back and you absolutely do not know the reason why. Nobody is going to hire you with a to-do list and a calculator on your portfolio. Even if you get an interview, is a calculator something you are going to show your interviewer. What happened to making a social media application, a chat application, a blog, an analytic tool, a dashboard. Something that people actually use in the real world every day. I remember one of the first interviews I have, one of my projects was a payment application I used paystacks API for. Everything was done with HTML, CSS and Javascript and once my interviewer saw the project and the button I used to connect the API, he made an offer to me immediately. Your projects matter especially as a beginner. One solid project is better than 100 garbage projects.

5 You don't research: Honestly, in this tech thing, I take what everyone is saying as bullshit. The senior developer I work with an Australian guy was telling me to learn web assembly if I really want to get a job with visa sponsorship which I so desperately need. I am tired of remote especially doing it from this shithole zoo of a country. I went to Linkedin Jobs and various countries indeed websites and I couldn't even see up to 500 jobs total in web assembly. Why would I waste time learning something that has no jobs because it might be relevant in ten years. Nodejs came out in 2009 and it is still not relevant in 2021. What is the probability that web assembly will be relevant in 2031. Research. When people tell you to learn a technology. Go to linkedinjobs and indeed and check how many jobs exist for that technology worldwide. People always advise you from their own point of view but the point of view of a senior developer in America, Europe or Australia is not the same for you a junior developer in the world's poverty capital.

Tech pays provided you do it right men.

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