Tia Nguyen
Tia Nguyen's corner

Tia Nguyen's corner

Landing tech jobs without finishing the coding bootcamp

Landing tech jobs without finishing the coding bootcamp

Tia Nguyen's photo
Tia Nguyen
·Mar 23, 2022·

4 min read

If you are learning to code, suffering from imposter syndrome, delaying applying for your first tech job while your savings are running out, I want to say I feel you. I was in the same situation.
The good news is: You may succeed sooner than you expected. There are opportunities waiting to shower your life, regardless of your coding competency, as long as you trust your path.

image.png Seems too good to be true? Let me tell you my story.
Last year, I quit my coding bootcamp (read more here if you are curious why), but I did not give up on web development. I still wanted to build pretty websites for myself and others. Hence, I continued reviewing the fundamentals of HTML/CSS and JS. Honestly, I would not consider myself a disciplined person, so my learning was not consistent at all as there were days I just lay in bed, reading technical articles. I neither finished my portfolio website nor had a strong online presence (my Twitter page in case you don't believe me). With that said, not even in my wildest dream did I expect to land a tech job (three, to be precise) so soon.

Is it a matter of pure luck? I don't think so. Followings are what I have done that I believe lead to these opportunities:

1. Start applying earlier than you plan
I was not confident at all with my minimum knowledge of frontend but I decided to apply anyway. The first reason was to understand the job market. Another one was to strengthen my interviewing skill. Luckily, I passed the HR screening and proceeded further to technical rounds. Plus, rejections are not the end of the world because:

“Failure shows us the way, by showing us what isn’t the way.” - Ryan Holiday

2. I am worthy. This is key to attracting good things to my life. Despite my lack of confidence in coding, I do believe I deserve a better working environment and pay rate. This also prevents me from blindly accepting any offers or selling myself short. I rejected the first offer because the role was more about tech consulting (no remote working, though) while I aimed to become a developer. The pay was good, which made me a little sad after declining this offer. However, it did not take me long to dwell upon my past decision then the second offer showed up.

🥳 My first tech job 🥳
One day, my mentor (I found him on Twitter) kindly asked me to help with his projects. His tech stack was my favourite, so I agreed without much hesitation. The projects were short-term and their pay rate turned out to be higher than that of my first job offer.

"When one door closes, another opens." - Alexander Graham Bell

image.png 3. Willing to give back to the community. Long before I earned anything from coding, I had put effort into building simple websites that may help my local community.

image.png As I shared these ideas, somehow they make people want to invest in me (I guess). A friend introduced me to the company she was working for. Eventually, I landed my second tech job.

👩‍💻 My second job 👩‍💻
I messed up the interview, no lies, but the tech lead still decided to take me in. I became the only developer who has awful coding skills and no experience in the company. After 3 months of training (yeah, my coding was very weak), I joined their fintech projects.
And did I mention the job was remote with flexible working hours? The pay was alright. Till now I cannot fathom what the tech lead and my team saw in me; I guess he likes my attitude. image.png I will soon write an article about what I learned during working remotely on these first tech jobs.

Final words: I understand that everyone's story is different. You may find mine unbelievable. I am not trying to glamorise the tech industry as I have experienced its dark side. It can be challenging for women and code newbies like us to break into sometimes, but when we choose to believe in the supportive community and direct our energy and thoughts to positive outcomes, opportunities will present themselves.
Believe it or not, our mindset determines our reality. Thanks for reading!

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