Why is it so difficult to get a developer job in 2020 with 2 years of experience?

Updated on : January 20, 2022 by Henry George



Why is it so difficult to get a developer job in 2020 with 2 years of experience?

Being a developer requires a lot of skills and practical knowledge on how to apply these skills. With 2 years of experience, if you are struggling, these two rates are likely to be quite low for you. This, in turn, depends on the quality and relevance of the exposure to technologies that you have received in your 2 years of experience.

Now, one can improve them by following the following guidelines:

  1. First, identify the skills you want or the field you want to work in in the future.
  2. Learn about these and see how they can improve your current workflow.
  3. Try to incorporate them into the current workflow, this would require
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Being a developer requires a lot of skills and practical knowledge on how to apply these skills. With 2 years of experience, if you are struggling, these two rates are likely to be quite low for you. This, in turn, depends on the quality and relevance of the exposure to technologies that you have received in your 2 years of experience.

Now, one can improve them by following the following guidelines:

  1. First, identify the skills you want or the field you want to work in in the future.
  2. Learn about these and see how they can improve your current workflow.
  3. Try to incorporate them into the current workflow, this would require discussions with your managers and colleagues. This will improve your knowledge on the subject.
  4. Now, there is a good chance that your company will adopt those skills into the workflow if you continue to learn by working on these projects.
  5. If your company is not embracing technology due to non-technical issues, then it's clear that you and your employer's interests diverge and it's time to move on.
  6. Try to find a company that uses your desired skills and technologies in the market and join one of them.

Bonus Tip: Try joining a development team that is in its early stages of product development. In my experience, you will get a better quality of exposure.

Note: You might think I'm being overly critical and fast-paced, but it's a fact that developer work is fact-based and both employer and employee need to adapt quickly or get out of date.

There are a ton of possible answers to why you are having a hard time landing a developer job with 2 years of experience. The top of my head

  1. Are you in a market with high demand? It's hard to get a job that doesn't exist
  2. Does your resume suck? His resume exists to make people think "yeah, we should take 30 minutes to talk to this guy."
  3. How do you define "experience"? Is it 2 years of getting paid to write software or did I start learning 2 years ago and now I'm looking for a job? For recruitment purposes, if you don't get paid, it doesn't really count for much. (Getting a CS is an exception to payment
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There are a ton of possible answers to why you are having a hard time landing a developer job with 2 years of experience. The top of my head

  1. Are you in a market with high demand? It's hard to get a job that doesn't exist
  2. Does your resume suck? His resume exists to make people think "yeah, we should take 30 minutes to talk to this guy."
  3. How do you define "experience"? Is it 2 years of getting paid to write software or did I start learning 2 years ago and now I'm looking for a job? For recruitment purposes, if you don't get paid, it doesn't really count for much. (Obtaining a CS is an exception to the payment rule. Nor is it a direct exchange rate 1: 1 on time using)
  4. How are you marketing yourself? Developers like to badmouth recruiters. But recruiters know who is hiring and can put your resume in the hands of the people.
  5. 2 years of experience in what? 2 years of php when everyone is looking for JavaScript or Python, you are not checking any of the correct boxes.

Most jobs require at least 4 years of experience. It is highly unlikely that you will find a job with only 2 years of experience.

Let's review that from an employer's perspective.

The first week or two.

Someone with no practical skills and proven experience joins your team. He greets them, shows them around, introduces them to the team, lets them sit at his desk.

You share access to your VPN, you add them to Dropbox or Drive, you give them the documentation of the first project they will work on. Arrange a short meeting with the other developers if you want, that's fine.

You let them install their technical stack and you expect them to start catching bugs and problems for the first few days, and hopefully they will from there.

This will be f

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Let's review that from an employer's perspective.

The first week or two.

Someone with no practical skills and proven experience joins your team. He greets them, shows them around, introduces them to the team, lets them sit at his desk.

You share access to your VPN, you add them to Dropbox or Drive, you give them the documentation of the first project they will work on. Arrange a short meeting with the other developers if you want, that's fine.

You let them install their technical stack and you expect them to start catching bugs and problems for the first few days, and hopefully they will from there.

This will fail miserably.

The new developer (most likely) lacks:

  • Technical skills.
  • Knowledge of the best technical stack they need to use (or whatever the company uses).
  • GitHub / Bitbucket experience, continuous integration, deployment scripts, unit testing.
  • No exposure to a large (or even existing) project.
  • Lack of familiarity with the concepts of a great product: architecture, infrastructure, foundations.
  • There is no practical experience in refining software considering backward compatibility.
  • Limited experience in testing the problem in many ways, knowing what can go wrong technically (extreme cases or regressions).

What is likely to happen is a lack of progress at all or a series of hot patches that break just about everything.

Then come the communication and management skills.

I'm not talking about "leading a team," of course.

But while working on bugs (or even during documentation review), a developer is about to:

  • Estimate certain characteristics or prioritize accumulation.
  • Ask specific questions to clarify the needs of the company and the context of the task.
  • Build a mental model of the problem in your head.
  • Prepare a patch that complies with the rest of the code base (coding standards, expected code coverage).
  • Properly reassign the task with an appropriate comment explaining the correction and documenting it.
  • Document the behavior elsewhere: in an actual documentation or in a PM backlog.
  • Look for existing approaches that lead to code reuse and effective application of existing strategies to solve a known problem.

Here comes the problem with unexpected behaviors, unclear assignments, and ineffective communication.

Young people require proactive mentoring.

The thing is, the freshman lacks technical skills, computer science experience (in practice), real experience working on existing projects, communication skills, teamwork skills, and other things described above.

That ends up in a large set of activities that must be worked on simultaneously. Each can take months until you get a productive person on board.

Some catch up faster, some don't. A company can spend more than a year on onboarding and training until it achieves reasonable results on fairly trivial tasks.

Add a year's salary to the equation.

And then add the weekly time of all team members involved in the mentoring process. The mentor must handle three things:

  • Do your own full time job.
  • Help, train, educate, guide, support the beginner.
  • Fix the mess after what wasn't assigned to them in the first place.

Many of my friends who hire their first junior employee as tech founders say they work 2 shifts as it takes twice as long to handle their workload and a new person (and their job).

Young people can look around quite early.

HackerLife shared research 1 on the average tenure for software engineers in San Francisco:

It is not unlikely that it will last 3 to 5 years or more in the world's leading companies. But that generally applies to seasoned senior engineers looking for a solid full-time job that allows them to do what they love while taking care of their life (family, friends, travel).

This explains the tenure in small companies (1.5 years), combined with the lack of other perks and often a lower salary (or a bonus package).

But if you are a small or medium-sized company, training a junior for a year and he will leave in a few months, how would that reflect on the business, the morale of the team, your continued progress?

Hiring a junior developer requires a leap of faith. What helps is internship experience, working on favorite projects, collaborating with other developers on side jobs, joining an open source community, and other indications that the developer has put in the time and effort that would reduce the learning curve and they would increase the chances of an association over a longer period of time.

Footnotes

1 Tenure of software engineers in San Francisco

Because only a small number of humans are ideally qualified to be a software engineer.

I believe that the quality and quantity of highly competent software engineers will probably remain constant now and in the future.

Software engineering is perhaps the easiest way to make a very good living, but it only suits a small majority of people as it requires specific intellectual and personality traits. For example, software engineering requires a combination of creativity and attention to detail that often contradict each other. For me, it suited me well, but many others find that it is less than opting

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Because only a small number of humans are ideally qualified to be a software engineer.

I believe that the quality and quantity of highly competent software engineers will probably remain constant now and in the future.

Software engineering is perhaps the easiest way to make a very good living, but it only suits a small majority of people as it requires specific intellectual and personality traits. For example, software engineering requires a combination of creativity and attention to detail that often contradict each other. For me, it suited me well, but many others find that it is not optimal for their career.

There is also limited demand for average software engineers, as their work is secondary and limited in scope, typically in the areas of existing codebase support and quality assurance. Average software engineers are replaceable and of limited use.

That is why the quality and quantity of software engineers is essentially limited in the long term.

The ability to create and innovate by designing new solutions to previously unsolved difficult problems is what matters in the end in terms of maximizing economic value and returns.

The typical functional option is to have a small group / team of 10x or 100x software engineers in a small venture capital - Silicon Valley funded by Wikipedia - Wikipedia Initial Public Offering - Wikipedia Startup Company - Wikipedia. I worked in 25 companies in 32 years, mainly in small startups in Silicon Valley: Wikipedia. The business economic model is stellar.

Creativity and excellence are what matters in the end, as a brute force with a large average group of software engineers does not produce anything of unique / high economic value.

High-tech developers are paid with good salaries and employee stock compensation, as Silicon Valley, Wikipedia is perhaps the most economically productive place on the planet.

Economically unproductive areas without high paying jobs have the unsolvable and intractable economic problem. There's only one Silicon Valley - Wikipedia and it's not moving anywhere as everyone in the tech industry has come and will continue to come here.

This is a big problem since Silicon Valley: Wikipedia will likely be the last place on Earth to have jobs for human workers. I wish the rest of the United States and the world would realize that this time it is different. Those jobs in Kansas will never come back.

Silicon Valley - Wikipedia drives automation that has been going on for decades and will continue as an irreversible process as ever cheaper, ever smarter automated machines permanently replace costlier human workers.

Jeff Ronne's answer to Is automation a friend or a foe?

Well, because software development is riddled with self-indulgent jerks, whose egos are super big and self-esteem is almost non-existent. The kind of people who want to position themselves defensively over an avowed fan in a way that is openly puffed up. This industry is absolutely polluted with those people and it makes me wonder why you would want to be a part of it.

I didn't look at your github repo or anything else about you because I don't want it to interfere with what I'm about to say.

Dude, or dude, you don't need these people to tell you that you suck, you and I know that you

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Well, because software development is riddled with self-indulgent jerks, whose egos are super big and self-esteem is almost non-existent. The kind of people who want to position themselves defensively over an avowed fan in a way that is openly puffed up. This industry is absolutely polluted with those people and it makes me wonder why you would want to be a part of it.

I didn't look at your github repo or anything else about you because I don't want it to interfere with what I'm about to say.

Dude, or dude, you don't need these people to tell you that you suck, you and I both know you do. You are a beginner. In fact, it is expected.

I don't care what other people say or think, they too, when they got their first job wrong. They may have had talent. They may have been really smart. But they still didn't know what they were doing. In general, the more they think they know, the more difficult it is to work with and teach them.

And that's the key point I want to start with. Anyone who wants to hire you is hiring you to teach you. People hire junior developers to become the kind of employee they want, not the other way around. You must adopt that philosophy in everything you propose ...

Your underlying message:

  1. I want to learn and I will
  2. I want to be taught and I will listen to you
  3. I'll reward your patience with production ... eventually

Now, there are probably many reasons why you can't find a developer role, but there is probably one that outshines all others:

You don't know anybody.

You could learn a hundred new technologies and have a much lower chance of finding a job if you went out and met a hundred people. I'd bet my career on that.

If you were to ask me what skill I could improve to find a job faster, I would say it is an interview. If you are not nice, learn to be. Pretend until you do. The alphabet soup on your resume gets you out the door, but your interview ensures that you stick around for the HR presentation.

I don't know where you are in the world or what it's like there, but I'm sure there are recruiters. Go talk to them. I doubt they will help you, they are mostly useless with entry level people, but they still know the industry. You may have to buy them coffee instead of the other way around.

Find people in the industry, go where they are. Do what's scary and show up. Make yourself known.

Building relationships with people is the best thing you can do for your career. Find a company you think you would like to work for that hires people like you and find someone within that company to talk to. Make your way to wherever they hire you and find a way to talk to them. Work for them in case of contingency. Offer to work as a free intern. Find a way.

Being a great programmer would definitely help you, and you should work hard to become one… but no one expects you to be one outside the door.

Instead, what they want is a great person, so strive to be that.

You pose a high and unpredictable risk of failure that is greater than the 1.5 million potential candidates in the United States who have professional experience and / or a degree.

People usually perform at least as well as they did in their last job. No professional experience means there is no lower bar for your performance.

About 50% of computer science graduates can program and remember what they should have learned. You have yet to show that your odds are that good.

You have two years of personal programming projects, although they are different. Low quality is typical with limited feedback from experi

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You pose a high and unpredictable risk of failure that is greater than the 1.5 million potential candidates in the United States who have professional experience and / or a degree.

People usually perform at least as well as they did in their last job. No professional experience means there is no lower bar for your performance.

About 50% of computer science graduates can program and remember what they should have learned. You have yet to show that your odds are that good.

You have two years of personal programming projects, although they are different. Low quality is typical with limited feedback from experienced mentors who have a vested interest in the outcome. The size is usually significantly smaller than with commercial programs. Personal projects generally start from scratch, not with an existing code base. The odds that they are relevant are too low to waste time evaluating them.

You can fix this with a computer science degree or experience in product creation companies that generally require a degree or experience in similar companies.

The degree is a more reliable and generally faster path to good software engineering jobs.

California State University Monterey Bay has a good online degree completion program in Computer Science that can be completed in two years while working. That produces a BS CS degree when combined with work you did to earn another BS degree or core classes from a local community college.

When I came straight out of school where I graduated with a degree in business informatics, I went looking for a job as a software engineer.

This is not even the job I studied for, but it is still the job I wanted.

My experiences were:

  1. I got an interview with ALL the companies that I sent my CV and motivation letter to.
  2. I felt like I nailed every phase of the interview.
  3. the post-coding test felt like a formality.
  4. I was able to choose between 4 different companies.

Now you're telling me you're having trouble getting a job. Somehow it doesn't surprise me. Many people can't write

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When I came straight out of school where I graduated with a degree in business informatics, I went looking for a job as a software engineer.

This is not even the job I studied for, but it is still the job I wanted.

My experiences were:

  1. I got an interview with ALL the companies that I sent my CV and motivation letter to.
  2. I felt like I nailed every phase of the interview.
  3. the post-coding test felt like a formality.
  4. I was able to choose between 4 different companies.

Now you're telling me you're having trouble getting a job. Somehow it doesn't surprise me. Many people don't know how to write a good, compelling resume. Especially when leaving school directly. Next, you probably don't even know what most companies are looking for. Most companies are not going to look for a junior software engineer who has a lot of coding skills. THEY KNOW you don't have that much experience because you just got out of school! So the main thing they want to hear from you is:

  • How motivated are you to work for your company?
  • How motivated are you to keep improving?
  • How good are you at absorbing information from others?
  • How compatible is your personality with that of the other programmers?
  • Is your coding base good enough? Like in, are you able to write a simple hello world, post a simple message, check if the message you posted is an int or string, etc.? SUPER basic stuff. if you don't know these things, chances are you are not a programmer anyway. (not even a bad one)

So what I suggest is to rewrite your resume and motivation letters to make them look more professional. Never badmouth yourself like "I think I'm good enough", no! "I'm sure I can do this!" These two sentences are almost identical, and yet the message they convey is very different.

When you have your interview, keep talking about wanting to improve yourself. Understand that you have weaknesses and say that you are excited to address all of these weaknesses to make them your strengths. Know your pitfalls and your strengths.

Let's start with the assumption that said person is qualified; They have used the right (or near-analog) tools and are entering the market with a new degree or have the right experience.

Demand is expected to grow faster than supply, so we might think, "of course it should be easy." However, there is one factor that we must take into account: the state of the economy. When the economy crashed in the early 2000s after the year 2000 ended, the dot-com crash, 9/11, and the senseless wars that followed, it was hard to find developer jobs. The developers were expensive, and look, there are cheap programmers in fill in

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Let's start with the assumption that said person is qualified; They have used the right (or near-analog) tools and are entering the market with a new degree or have the right experience.

Demand is expected to grow faster than supply, so we might think, "of course it should be easy." However, there is one factor that we must take into account: the state of the economy. When the economy crashed in the early 2000s after the year 2000 ended, the dot-com crash, 9/11, and the senseless wars that followed, it was hard to find developer jobs. The developers were expensive, and look, there are cheap programmers in fill in the blank with your favorite Asian country. These tended to be stupid decisions, but… wait, that can't be right! Private companies always make good decisions, right? Only the government makes bad decisions. Just look at the success of ... Sears ... well, isn't it his fault,

Anyway, back to normal, if there is a recession, companies are likely to respond by laying off people. Who is fired? Who has the hardest time finding a first job or a new job? People without credentials. People with less experience. It's a bad situation. Everyone is looking for coverage for stable employers, but they are not stable. I was laid off twice in the chaos of the early 2000s. Technology was somewhat isolated in the housing-led Great Recession of 2008, but not completely, and that may have been specific to that particular recession.

Strange, but this generation that is new to the workforce is experiencing one of the longest periods of economic growth (thank you, Obama). They have seen a bad situation, sure, and much of the recovery has not been pleasant, but experiencing a new, strange and troubled job market is NOT the same as experiencing an economic recession (in adulthood).

One reason (but not the best, which is an absolute necessity for the survival of the human race as it exists today) to support efforts to combat climate change is that it will be a public works project to define the era. Interestingly, despite massive objection from "conservative" members of the business community, it will spur long-term economic growth for centuries. Money will necessarily flow through public and private hands, and yes, taxes will be high, but employment opportunities and pay will be great, and we may not disappear as a species, so it has two advantages over “don’t any".

Aragorn gave some great advice, especially on how to focus on core technologies / languages ​​that you are familiar with rather than listing a bunch of different ones that you have dabbled in. You can already see from many of these responses that most people are skeptical. That's probably exactly what recruiters think when they first see your resume. You definitely don't want the first impression to be "this person seems to be exaggerating here, so he may be exaggerating elsewhere as well."

I'd also like to add that it's not just about the skills on your resume. Sure, it depends on the company you hire and

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Aragorn gave some great advice, especially on how to focus on core technologies / languages ​​that you are familiar with rather than listing a bunch of different ones that you have dabbled in. You can already see from many of these responses that most people are skeptical. That's probably exactly what recruiters think when they first see your resume. You definitely don't want the first impression to be "this person seems to be exaggerating here, so he may be exaggerating elsewhere as well."

I'd also like to add that it's not just about the skills on your resume. Of course, it depends on the company hiring and the position, but finding someone who fits in well with the company culture can be extremely important. Are you writing personal cover letters? For example, not a cover letter that you send to every company, but a cover letter that details why you really want to work at that company and how you would be the perfect candidate for that position. Many people don't think the extra time it takes to do this is worth it, but I couldn't disagree more. Are you also pointing out skills relevant to the position you are applying for? How about you show that you have a passion for the position? These are things to keep in mind.

Do you have any of your work available to the public? Can potential employers see how you work and are doing high-quality work? If you've commented on the code all over the place or clearly don't take the time to clean up your code in any way, it may be a detour for certain companies.

In fact, it would be helpful to know where in the interview process things seem to disappear. Just not getting responses to your resume? Not going through the first phone interview? This could summarize the problem and give you an idea of ​​what is happening, and it is something to be aware of.

I hope this helps. Good luck!

This is not true for competent developers, as seen in other answers here.

But for the sake of argument, I'll sketch out a few more probabilities.

Last night, I watched a video on "The Future of Programming" from Uncle Bob himself:

During the session, he shared that the population of software engineers has doubled every 5 years (on average). In other words, at any given time, half of the employed software engineers have less than 5 years of experience.

This explains other issues related to insufficient number of experienced developers, combined with

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This is not true for competent developers, as seen in other answers here.

But for the sake of argument, I'll sketch out a few more probabilities.

Last night, I watched a video on "The Future of Programming" from Uncle Bob himself:

During the session, he shared that the population of software engineers has doubled every 5 years (on average). In other words, at any given time, half of the employed software engineers have less than 5 years of experience.

This explains other problems related to the insufficient number of experienced developers, combined with the exponential increase in market demand.

But culture is another aspect to highlight. Startups and small businesses account for the majority of the job market in terms of business diversity.

And startups are often made up of younger guys eager to push for 80-100 hour weeks, often single (or not responsible for raising a family) and unafraid to experiment.

They often build cultures around common hobbies or interests, in on-site settings, which can be bar hopping or even traveling together at times, among other things.

And culture can get in the way of some older developers. It's all between interests, jargon, freedom to crack the code, rushing to press without sufficient evidence, and much more.

Yes, there are exceptions, but go to any community meeting or kick-off conference and write down the average age or your general interests.

Small businesses are also intimidated by salary expectations. Older engineers, due to their knowledge and experience, are expected to ask for much more than younger engineers.

And not all organizations need a senior engineer. For example, some of our top in-house picks have 4-5 years of engineering experience. I can definitely imagine hiring exclusively 30 to 35+ year olds if we were:

  • Microcontroller Construction
  • Diving into data science at scale
  • Maintenance of banking software in COBOL or Fortran
  • Expect a deeper familiarity in finance or other areas (domain knowledge)
  • Work on larger custom code bases comparable to an operating system

Most of my competent software engineering colleagues and friends over 40 or 50 tend to:

  • You work for a large corporation with established processes, long projects, and complicated problems.
  • I changed to the top technical direction more or less.
  • Consulting Fortune 500 companies at great rates.
  • Run your own business.

Again, it's not a general rule, but it seems pretty common to me.

But I've also gone through the CVs of engineers over 40 or 50 who just don't click during interviews.

  1. They have lost the desire to solve problems.
  2. They haven't learned a new technology or stack in almost a decade.
  3. They worked in a quiet, funded organization, comfortably occupying the back seat for years, performing general maintenance, and serving as a human-sized knowledge base for their younger peers.
  4. They seem grumpy, strict, even condescending, looking down on the young men on the team.
  5. Its coding portfolio is dated, following conventions that existed in 2002, but no more than 15 years later.
  6. Its technical stack is also not up to date. Their workflow itself hasn't been updated in decades, using automation opportunities, IDEs that make them more productive, or even project management tools (or others like Skype / HipChat / Slack) to document and coordinate assignments with the team. .

There is nothing wrong with his age. It's just that your practical skills during an interview or session are compared to one's performance in an entry-level or junior position.

In short, there will ALWAYS be a demand for competent engineers. But being 40, 50, 60 years old and having to study everything that happened in IT during the last 10 to 20 years is a challenge. Other age-related factors come into play, but never alone, always backed by real skills and experience.

The best way to calculate this would be a combination of:

  1. What kinds of jobs / hiring are listed in big tech companies and startups (e.g. Amazon, Facebook, etc.)
  2. What courses / new programs are offered by the best universities and / or advertising, for example, masters in machine learning or data science?
  3. What bootcamp programs are teaching, for example, bootcamp in data science.

I think one role that is in high demand is having a strong background in software development coupled with data science / machine learning / AI experience. Bonus points if you also have domain experience in areas such as biology, genetics, li

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The best way to calculate this would be a combination of:

  1. What kinds of jobs / hiring are listed in big tech companies and startups (e.g. Amazon, Facebook, etc.)
  2. What courses / new programs are offered by the best universities and / or advertising, for example, masters in machine learning or data science?
  3. What bootcamp programs are teaching, for example, bootcamp in data science.

I think one role that is in high demand is having both a strong software development background coupled with experience in data science/machine learning/AI. Extra points if you also have domain expertise in areas like biology, genetics, linguistics, computer vision, digital signal processing, audio engineering, statistics, chemistry, pharmacy etc. Exactly how many biologists are also experts in machine learning and software engineer practices?

This role could simply be called Software Engineer, Data Science Engineer, Machine Learning Engineer, Data Engineer, Applied Scientist, AI Engineer, etc. Note you don’t need to be an expert in machine learning / AI—the experts have built many high level APIs and tools that remove this need in 99% of cases. And your team will already have 1–2 machine learning gurus who can handle the 1% of cases that require their expertise or new algorithms that don’t exist in the wild.

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