Getting Your First Coveted Tech Job: Advice from Senior Developers, Hiring Managers & Industry Recruiters

Annie 🦄⚡️
9 min readFeb 1, 2020
Macbook on wooden table showing resume on screen, plus notebook, pen, phone, plant and glass of water next to it
Photo by Bram Naus on Unsplash

Very shortly after graduating from a 9 week Immersive coding bootcamp at HackerYou (now known as Juno College of Technology), I spent no small amount of effort setting up coffee chats, attending panels and networking events, asking lots of questions at interviews and talking with smart, passionate people about the tech industry and what companies are looking for.

Transitioning into the tech field from another background (related or unrelated) can be difficult and a mystery. What holds true in one industry may be completely different in tech and again, within different companies and organisations. You just have to hold your breath and step off the cliff, not knowing how high it is or where you’ll land at the bottom. There’s so much conflicting information out there that it’s very hard to navigate, and what’s worked for one person may not work for another.

So in order to prepare myself as best I could, I reached out, offered to buy lots of coffee, wrote and asked many questions, took even more notes, listened to and did my best to integrate the advice of those more experienced than myself.

This is a compilation of what I learned.

Note: The information recorded here is meant for junior developers (and I’m specifically based in the tech hub that is Toronto), but I hope what’s written might be relevant for anybody at any level of their career.

Who are companies hiring and what qualities are they looking for?

  • Open and eager with willingness to make mistakes and learn. They listen and adapt to others, and are not stuck in their ways.
  • Team players who work well and can communicate with others. Being argumentative to get your point across, even if you are right, isn’t doing anyone any favours.
  • Positivity, being proactive and wanting to make a difference will take you far.
  • Culture fit/add was the biggest thing in all the people I talked to. Above technical skills, companies want to hire people that will add to the culture. Hiring is often a company’s biggest business problem. Your first interview or phone…
Annie 🦄⚡️

Designer // Developer | ENFP-T ♐ | 🌏 Traveller | Optimist 🥛 | Suffers from FOMO & analysis-paralysis