GitHub is one of the most important tools available to programmers, managers, and other professionals in the tech space. According to GitHub’s website, there are 11.6M people collaborating right now across 29.1M repositories on GitHub. The question is, how can you use this in your job search?
Start your job search by applying to one of Workbridge's open roles on the job board.
Prospective developers, proven ninjas, and coding wizards, if you’re contending for a new position without a GitHub account, you’re actually already one step behind. Here are 6 reasons you absolutely need to be using GitHub to make yourself a more desirable candidate:
- Having side projects will help you with your job search. Not only will it give you something deeper to talk about in conjuction with your current role, but also gives you the chance to develop a passion and show off your entrepreneurial side. There a number of reasons a side project could put you a notch above another candidate in a close race.
- It’s becoming expected. The hiring manager will be researching your GitHub account, and may even request your information alongside a resume. Take a few days to polish your account and add some non-proprietary examples of code that you have worked on. These days, companies might be a little worried if you don’t have a GitHub account.
- Some companies leverage GitHub in their own processes. Hiring managers are creating tech tests and small projects for candidates to complete as a way to vet talent. In the workplace, teams of programmers are able to store their work and access any changes that other team members make in real-time. Being well-versed in the system is a skill in and of itself.
- GitHub is a community where you can meet other developers. You can network, connect, comment on, discuss, share your work, collaborate on projects or build upon others’ efforts. In a word, use GitHub to “engage.” You never know, that partner on a project could be your next employer.
- It can demonstrate your skills. Many companies won't interview someone without code samples, and often job seekers cannot share their code because it's proprietary. With GitHub you can post projects outside of work. With that said, don't be afraid to post unfinished projects! Many times, technologists are hesitant to do this, but it can actually reveal a lot about who you are as a developer and show your thought process.
- You’re expanding upon your tech knowledge. Learning new languages that you’re not currently using at work, or honing skills that you'd like to keep growing, is important - especially if you’re working for a company with an old code base or spending most of your time doing maintenance instead of new coding. Managers love to see people who are passionate about technology and spend time outside of work researching the newest frameworks and languages.
Submit your resume and a Workbridge associate will contact you about your job search.
Beginning a job search and interviewing for a new position can be an intimidating task. Which items should I put on or leave off my resume? Which topics should I prepare for? How do I deal with questions that I don’t have answers to? With a few pointers, you can get organized and put yourself in the best possible position for your interview. Here's a quick guide on how to nail an interview.
Don't have an interview set up yet? Get the job search process started with these openings.
1. Let’s start with the very first thing: your resume. This is the first impression that you make on your next potential employer; it needs to be a good one! There are a lot of misconceptions about what to list, and what not to list on your resume. Take a long hard look at what you're including and how you're including it. Here are some "dos and don'ts":
- Do make sure that you are concise and to the point with everything you include.
- Don’t make the mistake of making things sound a lot more complicated than they were.
- Do start with a simple and clear objective. The objective should (obviously) line-up with the position that you are applying to.
- Do make sure your resume reflects the role that you are applying for. For instance, if you are applying to an individual contributor opening, it doesn’t make sense to list that you are seeking a managerial position.
- Don’t go overboard and list every technology and skill known to man in an effort to attract interest. If a technology or skill is listed on your resume, it's fair game to be asked about in the interview. Stick to what you are comfortable and confident using.
- Do include skill level. If you have basic experience in some technologies and skills, indicate that.
- Do focus on your experience. One of the biggest pet peeves for hiring managers is when they ask about a skill, and the candidate’s response being somewhat along the lines of, “I haven’t done much work with that.” Hiring managers are more interested in the work that you’ve done than seeing a long list of skills. Spend most of your time showing employers how you’ve used your skills rather than listing technologies or skill sets.
- Don't write an encyclopedia, last but not least. Try and keep your resume to 2 pages max.
2. Have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile, and research your interviewer. This is basic, and most people have done this already, but it's important to have an updated profile as LinkedIn is probably the most used tool by both employers and job-seekers. You'll open yourself up to a number of different opportunities, and give employers the chance to come and find you. This is also a great way to learn about people you will be meeting with in upcoming interviews. Take the time to research the people that you’ll be meeting to see if you share any common connections, and to learn more about their background. These will all be great topics of discussion when it’s your turn to talk and ask questions during the interview. Interviewers will be happy to see that you’ve taken the time to do research on them, an indicator to them that you’re taking the interview seriously.
3. Do your homework on the company that you are meeting with. Make sure you have as good of an understanding as possible of what the company does, and what some of their products are. When it’s your turn to ask questions in the interview, don’t be the person that asks, “So, what exactly does your company do?” As obvious as this sounds you’ll be surprised at how often people make this mistake. This is one of the biggest turn offs to potential employers, and gives the impression that you don’t have any real interest in the position.
4. Have examples ready to go. Make sure you have at least 1 or 2 projects that you’ve worked on recently that you’re most proud of and ready to talk about. Every interview has a portion where candidates are expected to discuss and explain in details the projects that they’ve worked on in the past. Employers are often going to be interested in the most recent projects that you’ve worked on, so make sure you can explain those fully. On top of that, if there are projects that you’ve worked on in the past that are directly related to the role then make sure to bring these up. Don’t gloss over the projects either - go into specific details. Employers are interested in hearing why you chose to design and develop things in a certain manner.
During the Interview
Ok, now you’ve made it to the interview. How do you conduct yourself? What should you always remember?
1. Answer questions directly. Be sure to pay attention to the question that is being asked, and focus on answering that question alone. Do not go off onto a different subject, and start talking about a completely different topic. There will be opportunities for you later in the interview to bring up topics that you’d like to discuss.
2. Be honest about your skill set. Similar to listing skills on your resume, if you’re asked a question that you don’t know the answer to, don’t pretend to know the answer! Chances are the person asking you the question knows the right answer, so pretending to know the answer and giving a wrong answer will be a detriment to your candidacy. Let the interviewer know that you don’t know the answer to that question….but don’t stop there! Try and come up with a solution to the problem based on what you know about the topic. Employers are often very interested in seeing what type of problem solving skills potential employees have, and to see their thought process.
3. Remember, it’s okay not to know everything. On that note, it’s not okay to have no initiative to take on new challenges. Rarely are employers going to find a candidate that has 100% of the skills that they’re looking for. Part of the reason you’re probably looking for a new job is to learn new skills, and most employers know this. Show them that you’re able to pick up new skills quickly by proposing a solution to the problem, even if you don't have those hard skills yet.
4. Don’t let a rude interviewer rattle you. There will be times when you run into interviewers who come off as impolite. There could be a couple of reasons for this, or maybe the person genuinely is a rude person. Don’t let that put you off for the rest of the interview. After meeting with him/her, you may decide that this company is not the right place for you, and that’s okay. Just keep calm through the interview and make a positive impression. You never know when you might cross paths with them again. Another reason the person might have this demeanor is because they’re using an interview tactic; working in engineering and IT is known to have situations that end up being high pressure and stressful. Some employers want to see how certain people will react when they’re put in uncomfortable and high-stress situations. Continue to do what you’ve been doing in the interview, and don’t let this bother you.
5. Engage your interviewers….at the appropriate times. Always remember that the interview is a platform for the employer to assess your skills, and see if you are a fit for their company. Yes, it is also a time for you to figure out whether or not the company is a fit for you, but there will be an opportunity for you to do that. When you are given the opportunity make sure that you have questions prepared, and topics to discuss with them. You need to show the employer that you are genuinely interested in the position. Start with questions specifically about the company, and the job itself. Leave compensation/benefits questions for later. You don’t want to give off an impression that those things are the only important topics for you. Employers are going to want to hire people who are interested in the company because of the project and how you will be contributing.
Get more tips on how to interview from a Workbridge office near you.
Always remember to follow-up with a thank you note after your interview. This may seem like a trivial gesture, but it could be the differentiator between you and other candidates. There are many times where an employer is struggling to decide between 2-3 candidates, and end up hiring the candidate that wrote the thank-you note because it was that one extra something. This will show your appreciation for being considered for the position, and gives you another opportunity to show your interest in the job.
- The letter doesn’t need to be too long, but also shouldn’t be a generic short letter. You want to show that you actually put some time and thought into writing the letter.
- That means it should not look like you googled an outline and filled in blanks.
- In the letter, thank the manager for setting up the interview and having his team set aside time to meet with you.
- Bring up specific parts of the interview that you enjoyed, and specific reasons as to why you’re interested in the job.
- Close the letter out with something along the lines of you look forward to hearing from them regarding their decision, and if there are any questions they have they should contact you.
That’s a quick guide to interviewing. Good luck job-seekers!
Written by: Aadil Alavi, Lead Recruiter of Workbridge Silicon Valley
Article written by Jaime Vizzuett, Practice Manager at Workbridge Orange County
So you did it, you’ve completed your college degree or spent a tireless amount of weeks learning to code in a hardcore bootcamp – congratulations! But now what? While everyone’s career path will be unique and there’s no step-by-step guide to getting you to a C-Level position within x-amount of years, there are definitely career moves you can make to set yourself up for the success you’re looking for.
As a Practice Manager at a highly-recommended tech recruiting agency in Orange County, CA, I’ve come across plenty of Junior-level engineers seeking to get into a Mid-level role to advance their career. For those not qualified for the position, my dedicated team and I were able to give those candidates feedback on how they can better brand themselves, and what skill set was needed to turn them into a highly sought after candidate. We focus on the Orange County and San Diego tech markets and have close relationships with hiring managers at companies as small as startups all the way up to Fortune 500’s. Because of this, we know what hiring managers are looking for in Junior to Mid-level engineers. Below are the five smartest moves to make after graduating from a dev bootcamp or college with your C.S. degree:
Build Your Brand
Update your Linkedin profile to include a personal summary, a work or project summary and include your skills in the appropriate sections. Nowadays this is one of the major ways recruiters from companies and agencies get connected with you about a job you may be the right fit for.
Get on Github. For many hiring managers this is a 'nice-to-have' but for junior engineers this is especially crucial as it may be the only thing a manager has to look at.
Connect with a Dedicated Recruiter
Find a dedicated technical recruiter who specializes in positions where you’re looking to work or understands your skill set. Even if they can’t offer you a position right off the bat, inquire about interview advice, resume tips or keep in touch with them for later on in your career.
Network and Get Noticed
If you haven’t yet tried out the networking aspect of looking for a job, step out of your comfort zone and add it to your to-do list. Meetups and networking events such as the one that my company organizes for tech professionals, Tech in Motion, are a great way to get your name out in front of an influential group of people.
When you are vocal about your employment status, you might find your next mentor or even your next job at an event or job fair, so make sure to put your best foot forward.
You will hear it over and over again, but keeping up with the newest technology is crucial in any market. Every company wants someone who has experience with the trendy new technology that very few other engineers have, so being ahead of the curve will set you apart.
Just because you have been on the market for a few weeks, doesn’t mean you should lose motivation. Great things take time! Every company has different needs. You just need to find one that fits your criteria and vice versa, and sometimes that takes time.
Bottom line is that building your reputation in a way that advances your career will take time. Following these steps will point you in the right direction and hopefully help you find a job that you truly will be passionate about. By staying up-to-date with technology, networking and building your own brand, you will find the search more successful.
Article written by Jaime Vizzuett, Practice Manager of Workbridge Orange County
As many know, the tech market is a candidate’s market. There are very few exceptional engineers with a solid background, and a lot of job opportunities - with the Open Source market being no different. People hire people because of a particular skillset, whether it’s an architect or a junior candidate, regardless of the industry. As Practice Manager at Workbridge Associates Orange County, specializing in placing candidates with Open Source Technology backgrounds, I’ve found that in addition to a particular skillset, hiring managers desire a candidate who displays selective traits, especially in the Open Source market.
Before getting into these traits, it is important to understand that companies which use Open Source technologies are most likely startups. This doesn’t mean that every company that uses Open Source technologies falls in the same category, but there is definitely a trend. That being said, I spoke with a few of my managers from Corporate to Startup companies and asked them what they look for in a potential employee or contract employee.
The following are the top four traits hiring managers are looking for in tech job seekers with an Open Source background.
1. Jack Of All Trades, Master of One
You can do a little of everything, but if you aren’t great at something, then find out what you’re most interested in and hone those skills. One of my hiring managers mentioned, “It’s always nice to see a wide variety of skills on a candidate's resume, but I also expect them to know the fundamental basics of whatever they have on their resume.” There is no problem with having a variety of skill sets, or being a “full-stack” engineer, just make sure to focus on one skill, and be great at it. Bottom-line is no one wants to hire an engineer that is a, “Jack of all trades, and a master of none.”
Join Companies Who Hire on These Traits
2. Be Trendy
You will hear it over and over again, but keeping up with the newest technology is crucial in any market, and especially in Open Source. The Open Source market is always going to have a floodgate of new technologies, whether it’s Angular.js or a new version of Symfony. Every company wants someone with the trendy new technology that very few engineers have, so being ahead of the curve will set you apart. Having newer technologies in your arsenal could really make the difference between simply getting an interview and getting the job.
3. Get Social
Github should be every engineer’s best friend. This is not necessarily a trait, but more like a “nice-to-have”, as one of my hiring managers put it. This is especially crucial for junior Open-Source developers trying to land the job, simply because sometimes Github may be the only example of work that a hiring manager has to look at. Whether it’s through Github, a forum, or social media – having some type of social presence that shows you are passionate and invested in technology is a plus. As the Director of Software Development at a company I work with put it, “I’d rather bring in a junior engineer who shows initiative, passion and hunger to learn more, and Github helps me depict that.”
4. Know Who You Are And What You Want
Hopefully you are looking to find a company that is going to challenge you and allow you to continue to expand your skillset, but also one that fits what you look for culturally. As a hiring manager, building a culture is all contingent on the people they onboard, which is why the face to face interview is the most important interview of the process. The onsite interview really allows both the candidate and company to figure out if they are a fit for each other. Neither every candidate nor every company is necessarily going to mesh perfectly, but they should mesh enough to be able to spend most of their time together.
While technology is always advancing, hiring managers will continue to look for these traits in open source job seekers. Companies will always be looking for the next best talent that can take them to the next level and if you’re a job seeker, I hope the points I mentioned will be taken into consideration as you progress through your career.
First and foremost, contracting can be a great way of landing your next job or adding some new folks to an engineering team, very quickly. After we find a job seeker a great new contract opportunity and they complete their project, we make an effort to ask our candidates how their experience was – time after time the response has been “Wow… that was fast.”
The discerning critics of contracting may say: it’s certainly not a full-time job. They’re right, it’s not; it is, however, an easy way to gain employment in this fast-moving IT industry and sometimes even better than a full-time job. Have kids? Imagine not being tied to a 9-5 work day so you can get paid for the hours you work, whenever you choose to (so long as your manager is okay with it). On your spouse’s benefits plan? Great, there’s no need for you to consider the employers benefits package then. Trying to get your foot in the door with this huge company you already applied to in the past? Get in there as a contractor first, where both the interview process and hiring criteria are often simpler.
Find a contract or contract-to-hire position near you on the job board.
The list goes on, and the proof is in the pudding – temporary staffing firms have seen rising and record profits over the last few years across nearly all sectors. California-based research firm Staffing Industry Analysts predicts that the industry will see a 6% revenue increase annually over the next few years, and hitting close to $140 billion by 2014.
Now that we’ve covered the benefits of considering a contract or contract-to-hire positions, let’s make sure you get some answers from your recruiter before committing:
How long is the contract? Is the business already won?
Know how long you’ll be working on this contract. That way, you’ll know when you need to start thinking about the next contract/project or the next steps to converting full-time. In my experience, I have seen anything from 4 weeks all the way to, well, forever.
The other thing is to know if the business is already won by the contracting company because sometimes firms like to start the interview process BEFORE being awarded the business and having the ability to put contractors on. You certainly don’t want to turn down the other offers you had when the job you accepted technically doesn’t exist yet. A simple way of asking is: “If I accept the offer, how soon can I start?” The answer you’re looking for is something like immediately, on Mondays, or right after your two week notice.
Am I going to be hired as a W-2 employee or as 1099?
The main differences come down to taxes. As a W-2 employee, you will receive pay checks with tax withholding already taken, and you’ll receive an IRS W-2 from your employer in January of the following year. If you are hired as a 1099 contractor, you’ll get full pay with no tax deductions, but you are also responsible for paying your own taxes come April 15th of the following year.
It’s tempting to opt for the 1099 route since your pay checks are bigger, but that smile quickly goes away when you realize you not only have to calculate how much you owe at the end of the year, but in fact you OWE MORE! You get tagged with self-employment tax which is another 13-14% of your income on top of the taxes you already pay. As a perk, however, you can write off multiple expenses for your work as well (transportation, computers, phone service, etc.) Think about these points before deciding which is better for you.
What happens when the contract ends?
It’s important to know what your options are – most staffing companies have other projects they will have needs for, and it’s good to know if you can still qualify for those. The benefit of using a technology-specific staffing firm is that a great majority of their other clients will have needs that match your skill set so that when you’re done with the current contract you increase your chances of landing another quickly with minimal downtime.
What is the realistic time-frame of converting temp-to-hire? What salary can I be expecting?
If the contract is a temp-to-hire position, it’s a good idea to know when you might be converting to full-time status. That sets the expectations on both sides, and both you and the employer are on the same page. Typically that can be anywhere from 3-6 months, and if you find yourself in month 8 with no talk of conversion, then it’s time you bring that up again.
Now most people get a bit nervous when talking about salary and compensation, but you should know what the potential salary can look like when you convert to full-time. It may be an uncomfortable conversation for you to have now, but it’ll save you a headache down the road – you don’t want to find yourself having worked 4 months into a contract only to find that the salary they’re thinking of doesn’t even come close! Of course, it’s important to be realistic as well. If you are a W-2 employee getting paid $45/hour, you should be considering a base salary of around $90,000 (inclusive of benefits and such).
Have more questions about being a contractor? Ask the nearest office to you here.
For a first-timer, a contract position can look intimidating, but don’t let that stop you from considering those opportunities. There are countless stories I come across and personally experience where contractors are thankful they took the offer. Don’t forget to ask your recruiter some questions, so that you’re fully comfortable before moving forward.