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Seven Reasons Why You Are Still a Jobless Programmer

Why you are a jobless programmer

How good are you at programming? You must be good. Good enough to be working and making a few hundreds of thousands per month. You have already gone through many programming courses and you know you have skills. Needless to say, the programming domain is broad and there exist demand in the field. If that is the case, then why don’t you have a job to earn real money? Here are some reasons why:

1. You aren’t trying

Yes, job hunting sucks. But you are going to have to deal with it and actually do the hunting. If you do not seek, you may never find. A job doesn’t just come to you. You have to make it a mission to find organizations willing to hire and submit applications. You may get rejected a hundred times, but you have to keep on trying. Else you’re going to starve. And the bills don’t pay themselves.

Some sites available to find employers and clients are: UpWork, Indeed and StackOverflow jobs. You actually have to put in determination. Also, instead of submitting an application to one client, submit it to numerous people. That way, you get more options. Even if one fails, you still have hope. And remember, never stop trying.

2. You don’t have a portfolio

If you want to convince a client that you are a professional, you are actually going to have to show samples of your work. How else will you make your skills known? Get to work and start building a portfolio. If you are a web developer, create some random website just for show-off. If you’re an Android developer, get something published on Play Store. This way, you can apply for jobs more confidently and link the client to actual working projects. A LinkedIn account will make you more professional. Credibility boosted! Codepen should also be explored. Build stuff there and put yourself on hire. It works.

3. You don’t have certification

Nowadays, a lot of programmers are self-taught. Many are opting out of university and deciding to make use of online resources to teach themselves how to code. First of all, having a degree in Computer Engineering or some other related course actually helps you land a job. If this is not possible, do get digital certificates from learning sites. Sites like freeCodeCamp, Udacity, Udemy offer certificates to their learners. While some may argue that these certificates are not very useful, having some under your belt could come in handy.

4. You don’t keep yourself up-to-date

New discoveries and inventions are being made by the day. What’s hot in programming right now? Is it this or that library? Which new framework achieves the best results? What new products are out there to make websites more responsive? Keep yourself updated on the recent trends. Being up-to-date will make you know the coolest technologies before everyone else, and thereby increasing your chances of being hired.

5. You are not contributing

Clients and employers will actually like to look at your Github profile or some other contribution site before hiring. It is a good practice to build one. Get started by creating your own projects or contributing to a bunch of open-source projects. You don’t need to contribute to high-profile projects. Always start small. Apart from helping you improve your skills, it helps employers find you.

6. You don’t have experience

You may be wondering; “how will I have experience if no one will hire me?” But then again, you don’t have to be paid for the first time. Be an intern or volunteer to build a website for some non-profit organization for free. Offering free services may suck, but for a newbie like you, it’s worth it for the experience. You quickly gain valuable skills, experience and something worth adding to your CV.

7. You are not connected

Knowing the right people helps. A working friend in the same programming domain as you may be all you need to land your first job. A friend or acquaintance may hook you up with a client or company. If you’re introverted and can’t make friends in real life, then use the multitude of social media tools – Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Make yourself known to the world.

If you are in need of any motivation, remember that it gets better with time. The first few jobs may not be ideal. Don’t be picky. Simply work yourself up to the ranks. With more time, skills and experience, it gets easier to find better employment.

Enjeck Mbeh Cleopatra

The author Enjeck Mbeh Cleopatra

Programmer. Writer. Avid reader. Scientist. Introvert. Wannabe-entrepreneur. Food l❤ver.

21 Comments

  1. Is this specific to a specific country? Like America or Europe? Does these advices also work in third world countries like India?

  2. I’ve everything but don’t had enough marks in high senior school. Even having good marks i.e. First class in my bachelor’s degree. I’m not getting job. I’ve also developed websites, Good internship at MNC, Made great network on LinkedIn network, no one replying.
    Yes I realized that I made a mistake about my percentage in my high school, but I got punishment which I didn’t even imagined at that time and also not getting chance to correct it. My career is just stuck.
    Main fact is that I’m not getting eligible to seat for recruitment drives. So most of companies are careless about your skills but they do care about your percentage. That’s how today’s hiring process works.
    But still I have lots of hopes and trying to improve myself day by day?

    1. Keep on trying. If you belong to any organization or institution, you may find that they have some tech problem. Sometimes getting yourself in a high tech company really suck cos no one needs your amateur experience but in an enterprise or an institution that though not IT inclined, IT can really solve most of their problems; that’s where I suggest you should get your self into.
      For instance, you are a teacher in a school where you must mark registers and fill report cards , write lesson notes, send reports to parents. These things can be automated so as to save time but heads of the school won’t agree on the go. Do your own thing. Show it to some few colleagues. The fever would catch them and you are good to go.
      That’s not easy though but it shall be well.

      1. Thanks, Dave. Yes, this is really hard, but not impossible, so I’ll try to work around this. BTW I’ve also built the Student Attendance System.

  3. Good article. Getting first job is not always easy. Finding Job is like hunting fish. First learn about how to catch fish and then go to place where fishes are available. Good acedmics marks may act as plus point in getting your first job but for subsequent jobs experience matter more.

  4. Niks please tell me about your result in senior secindary in all subjects and please tell me is programming a booring course and difficult tii i heard it is very difict pls telk detail how you managed and pls tell your result too

    1. In engineering, I got 62% and In Higher secondary school, I got only 54%. Programming is not that much difficult unless you do practice daily. If you are good at maths, that would help you in programming and having in-depth knowledge about maths is not that much essential part but you should be at least clear about your basic maths concepts. Last but not least, doing programming/coding is not that much hard, but developing your own logic to solve the problem is most important.

  5. I’d also add perfectionism. For me trying to know everything ‘perfect’ before getting any experience took too much time.

  6. I don’t know what I am passionate about. I used to be best at programming but now I am not able to take it up. I lack purpose. Probably teaching will help especially because I am from a country where education equity is not present. Definitely programming tools could be put to use. I am so bored at home, not motivated to do anything

  7. Programming in developing countries like Cameroon in Bamenda can be a waste of time if your are not focus. Practically there are no software companies that a newbie can have first hand experience. A serious programmer should be motivated by a practical problem in his or her society. This means he or she should have worked in some organisation of some sort and pick up a programming problem. In my case being a graphic artist and later Design Engineer, G-code programming and CNC machines is helping me develop my programming skills at the same time build a high tech organisation. Being a pioneer means that I have to master some electronics. Developing countries is a virgin land especially for those who want to build a business empire.

    1. Fair point. Programming does require a lot of focus, that which I have. So the location is hardly an issue. With the availability of the internet, I find working online and remotely convenient. So I can basically hook up with software organizations (especially web development companies, which is my area of focus) from the comfort of my home. In the web development case, finding clients to build sites for works out fine. Finding a practical problem to solve is an option too, but I (and possibly others) can venture into that later on. That area is more challenging, and thus will require more skill. In the meantime, getting experience and more skill in the field is a priority. Solving problems can always come later. At least, that’s my opinion. We’re all entitled to different opinions.

  8. Yes, that is true. As a young programmer and living in a developing country for the short-run you will be comfortable with web development. Web development can work everywhere at the comfort of your home because your clients and final users of your products depends on the display on their desktop, smartphone screens, VR googles, or any other display system available. In the long-run miniaturization is moving computing to silicon (the hardware). Enter AI (artificial intelligence). With AI certain tasks done between keyboard and the display will automated AI applications. Your have to hone your skills very well especially in computer science and engineering. The unfortunate thing is that in developing countries the University system of education is outdated especially in a fast changing field of computing. With the comfort of your home you can still acquire a thorough computer science and engineering education only if your are introvert enough to resist the peer pressure of not attending a classical University. With the proper skills related to silicon (the hardware) in the developing countries it easy to build a business empire. I am writing this because I am a panafricanist and our aim is to encourage young African programmers to see the future clearly and build businesses that will free the black race from the white man domination.

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