Side Projects: Your First Gig

There’s a pervasive myth out there: quality naturally rises to the top. It’s bullshit. Good work doesn’t sell itself. If you’re a junior developer, hunting for your first job, the same principle applies. I’ve interviewed countless junior developers and I have some bad news: there are a lot of you. Usually with similar levels of experience. You need to stand out from the crowd. You need to sell yourself.

I know what you’re thinking. “Okay Brian, that’s great. But how do I do that?”

There’s one thing that helped me early on in my career more than anything else: side projects.

Coming out of school or a bootcamp your resume isn’t going to be jam-packed with programming experience. And that’s okay! But it makes it hard for a potential employer to see why they should hire you over someone else. A side project or two under your belt shows you’re motivated to learn new skills and committed to improving your craft. Not to mention, going through the entire process of releasing a product – brainstorming, executing, then marketing an idea – gives you valuable experience that many of your peers will lack.

If you haven’t started a side project yet, what’s holding you back? Get started today!

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