“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”
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Are you graduating this year? Or are you looking for an entry level job in IT? If yes, this article will definitely help you getting your first job. In my recent experiences, I got to know that there are several skills which make you different and help you to stand out than rest of the applicants.
Disclaimer: If you’re looking for shortcuts or tricks to get a job, this won’t help you. Read further if you’re ready to get out of the comfort zone and to learn new things. There are no shortcuts, there is luck which is directly propositional to the hard work:)
So, without any further due let’s talk about what will you read in this blog. I have divided the skills in three parts:
1) Must Have Skills
2) Recommended Skills
3) Good To Have Skills
Must Have Skills:
These are the mandatory skills, don’t even think of applying to a job if you don’t know even one of the following skills. These are the very basic skills every IT should have. Yeah you read it right “should have” but as we are talking about being different from the crowd, these are the “must have skills”.
Knowledge of at least 2 general purpose languages:
Go through the documentations of the languages you choose. Read as much as you can. Read about its library, think how you can implement same program in different languages.
Knowledge of at least 1 framework:
Framework will help you to show your programming skills in real world scenario. No user will enter commands in terminal, but they will surely use your web or desktop application.
Frameworks I know: Flask, Django, Ruby On Rails, Node JS*
(*Node JS is not a framework, but runtime environment of JS, reason to include it in framework is its use to build web application which is, by functionality, similar to other frameworks described in the list. Express is the framework you use to build web apps using Node. Read about MEAN Stack to get more idea on this.)
Basics of Database Systems:
You should have basic knowledge of what database is and how it works. Start with SQL(Structured Query Language) which is very useful to deal with databases. You can start with SQLite.
Object Oriented Programming. Theoretical knowledge of different technologies like version control, containers and testing.
And not to mention: HTML, CSS
So these are the skills which you should learn if you are really serious about your job. These skills will help you to achieve your goal faster.
Git Hub? Start learning this today. You will learn the basics in less than 30 minutes. I have already mentioned the theoretical knowledge of the topic in ‘must have skills’. But trust me, learning this will lift you up.
You should have your work on your finger tips. You should be ready to showcase your awesome project you built last week or last semester. If you do not have anything, start building your portfolio. Push them to your Git Repositories.
Learn To Work With Linux:
This doesn’t mean you have to become a terminal-ninja now. I am just asking you to get out of the GUI Comforts. Get to know how directory system works. I am not asking you to delete Windows. There are many ways you can learn it.
1) Installing Linux On Virtual Box 2) Dual Booting Your System
3) Installing Linux Subsystem in your windows( I love this one )
Or you can also get an Amazon AWS Instance right now, right away. It is free and is really easy to set up. AWS provides free instances for different linux distributions. Sign up for a free AWS account here.
When you learn about the latest technologies, you update yourself with the real world applications of what you have learned so far. And it will also make you aware of the current trends.
Technologies you should read about tonight(As of December, 2018):
DevOps, Block Chain, Machine Learning, Internet Of Things, Augmented/ Virutal Reality.
I am not asking you to master all of these, but just have some ideas of how the things work and what are the reason behind them getting that much recognition i.e. their purpose!
Good To Have Skills
So as we move forward, here are some very basics yet effective skills which are very good to have while applying for a job. Some of these mentions will make you think “Ohh, how can this help me!?” but trust me, they are really helpful. And you will understand my point when you will meet people who don’t have those skills.
(Not to mention that not all of these are actual “SKILLS” but some of them are gimmicks or attraction which will help you in your journey.)
Skills To Use Search Engines:
We all know how to check ratings of our favourite movie, but do you know how you can convert a string of different cities to a list to iterate through it? Well, good if you know that.
But my point here is, you should be able to search your problems on internet. You should know how to search for the errors or a reference code you need to implement in your project. You can’t just waste 2 hours for simple errors! Asking for help is really normal, especially in our field. Nobody can know everything, but we all know something. Go to the platforms like StackOverflow and you will see how excited people are to teach you about your issues and errors. Learn this and make your compiler/interpreter happy.
A Good Résumé:
So, you know all the things mentioned above. But what if you can’t present yourself in front of your recruiter? Building a good résumé is not an easy task. But it’s not so tough either, if you survived this far, this is going to be really easy for you. Here is the list of things you should and you should not include in your résumé:
You Should Include:
1) Your academic details
2) Your academic project, links to your profiles[Github, LinkedIn (create account if you have not yet)]
3) Experience. At this stage, you won’t have any corporate experience, but if you have done something outstanding, mention it in your experience field. And if you have any corporate experience for example any internship or anything like that, you’re good to go.
You Should Not:
1) Spam all of your projects. Pick 3–4 best projects of yours and mention it. You can always insert your GitHub page to show other projects. Keep your résumé tidy.
2) Mention something you had done 10 years before, as your hobby. Remove that “I love singing”, “I love trekking” from your résumé. I suggest you to remove the entire “Hobbies” section from your résumé.
It will help you, when recruiters ask you “tell us about your self” you can mention your hobbies there.
3) Write trash to fill up spaces.
Contribute To Open Source Communities:
It’s really good if you do this. You don’t know how many people are working without any expectation to make you feel better while using that free software! When you contribute to open source projects, you are making something which will be used by thousands of people. It’s not necessary that you should be Ace Coder to do that, there are so many others way to contribute in code communities.
Have A Website
It’s always good to have your own website. You don’t need to purchase anything. You can build your static site, which shows all of details with GitHub. You can search it up or you can ask me for help. Having a website will help you reaching more people.
You know about this already, so I won’t waste time about writing it here. This is just a traditional mention.
Confidence & Self Esteem
These two are the key to everything you ever wanted to achieve. Don’t feel upset if you don’t know some of these or any of these skills mentioned above, all of them are time based and you can always learn them. But your confidence and self esteem is not something time based, you must trust yourself, you have to start believing that you can definitely achieve your dream job.
How was it? How much do you know from the things I mentioned? Do you know enough? Do you want to learn things you don’t know right now? Well, here are some references. Please note that, none of these are promoted and I am not getting paid by any of these.
Think Python (Book to start learning python. This book is open source, if you want to contribute, you can write something interesting for it)
Git Tutorial (An online tool by GitHub which will walk you through the necessary topics )
Canva ( An online tool to build awesome resume, don’t use templates as they are way more creative, your resume should be simple. But look for templates as a reference. )
So that’s all I can remember in one seating. I will edit this blog if I remember anything else. If you think I missed something or I said or presented any of the above points wrong, you can always tell me.