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Feb 3, 2012, 1:30pm   #16
bcbggirl's Avatar
Originally Posted by Mr. Ho
All of the openings will say experience required, that is just the normal thing to put on an ad. I would strongly suggest you apply anyway. Most likely the hiring manager will have a skill assessment test for you. Even if the test seems too advanced for you, attempt it and be honest with your skills. That small amount of initiative may be all it takes to get an interview. The interview will be more about your communication skills and personality, but also be prepared for the IT manager to throw some technical questions at you.

Make sure you keep up to date on your html, css and javascript etc..., since most companies will want employees that know the latest coding practices. I recommend you look into several PHP frameworks like CakePHP or any other MVC frameworks, as they are becoming more of a requirement. Also, knowledge of CMS systems like Drupal and Joomla are often requested for doing plugins and modules. It is also important to learn basic subversion commands, as more companies are using this to manage their developers' file systems.

Buy some cheap hosting somewhere and start setting these up and building some small applications to showcase your skills. Make sure you give access to the source code, as that is what the employer will want to see, not just a webpage. Use your own classes instead of pre-built ones like jQuery etc... this is your shot to show how imaginative and clean your code can be. Provide direct links to the source code .phps files or build an interface to show your source and how you have linked all the files etc...

As Sil pointed out, look for small start-up companies. Usually the pay starts lower but often they have profit sharing or stock options. If you do find yourself at a start-up be ready to do it all. Make sure you have some knowledge in setting up and maintaining their webserver and databases in Linux or Windows. They will rely on you for everything IT related in their company, so be prepared for long hours of research.

It may seem like there is a lot of competition out there, but one of the most difficult tasks I have is finding suitable developers. Most that apply are outdated or lack knowledge of OOP. Most of the time I don't even look at the resume, I only look at the skills test, or code that they have attached. You can tell a lot more about the applicant from what they can produce compared to what they can write on a resume. Experience can be overrated and easily faked on a resume.
I agree with mostly everything but not with the bit about jQuery. It makes your code much cleaner and shows that you are smart enough not to reinvent the wheel.
Mar 8, 2012, 9:21am   #17
I got my current job at a big tech company from previous experience, I designed and coded part-time for about 2-3 years while in and for university. I basically submitted my resume anywhere I could think of working, and eventually someone came across it and called me up. I also set up a mini portfolio and gave them temp access to some of the stuff I made and they hired me :) I think the portfolio was the major deciding factor.
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