Career in IT

What is the main criterion for career success? How do I get to the desired job if I don’t have enough experience? In this article, I tried to answer these and other questions related to the career of an IT professional.

Briefly about the main thing

The main thing that I have been taught and understood from my own experience is one phrase out of three words:

It’s all about relationships.

Whoever cares about making new connections and maintaining old ones, puts himself in a very advantageous position. And this applies not only to your IT career, but to everything you do.

And vice versa, if you spread out relationships, put yourself above others, behave biased and picky, and, of course, consider yourself, and all the others not to be; you have to understand that the bad reputation spreads quickly, and the circle of friends, colleagues and relatives is not infinite.

I have spoken publicly several times on this topic and asked the audience to vote for this viewpoint. According to my observations, only every fifth person supports this position. The rest of us agree, in part or in full, that we do not agree. Interestingly, out of 20% of the consonants, only a few are actually moving in this direction.

For those who do not apply the three-word principle in their lives, it is worth focusing on the following two topics, which I will cover further.

Getting a job

I would like to start by saying that I have taken all these recommendations from my own experience or from the successful experience of my friends and colleagues. Most of the notes are suitable for a career in any field, not just IT.

Where do you get the experience?

The question everyone is interested in when they think about getting a job is, “Where do I get my work experience if I just study/work in another field/work with other platforms? This is a reasonable question, because employers want to hire a professional who is highly likely to solve the tasks at once.

Here are a few ways to gain the necessary experience:

  • Participating in OpenSource projects. My friends often participate in OpenSource projects. They created their own projects or supported existing ones. In these projects there was feedback from users, teamwork, release of versions and planning.
  • Viewing OpenSource project code. I’ve been following the development of NHibernate, NAnt and several other projects on CodePlex. I’ve been looking at commits made by developers. I’ve looked at the code I’ve already written and the modular tests for this code. I tried to understand the principles on which developers built their applications. I did the same thing as they did in their programs.
  • Coursework and diploma. If you are learning, you have a great opportunity to take a more challenging and interesting project. You can have fun with software development for five years. You can try different approaches, rewrite your programs several times. Studying at a university is a unique time when you have everything you need to develop yourself.
  • Freelance. I think that many of the programmers have made at least one project for their friends, relatives or through sites like free-lance.ru. Working on freelance gives you an opportunity to experiment with different languages, making small projects or modifying existing ones. For little money, making projects with low risks, you can gain experience in the field you need. Now all programming languages and platforms are represented on the freelance, so you cannot ignore this possibility.