Can you really get a job as a software engineer as a new graduate of a coding bootcamp? The short answer is yes! – and this article explains how. This is a topic the Next Level Coder course goes much deeper into depth on.
Coding Interview Prep
Almost every software engineer job will require you to do a coding interview. How many and how important they are typically varies based on the competitiveness of the job.
Large, well known tech companies such as Facebook, Google, and Microdoft tend to rely exclusively on coding interviews. They’ll have you do one or two coding interviews remotely, then come to the office for 3 or 4 more in person. Once they invite you to interview, unless you are completely rude to the interviewers, your coding interview performance is pretty much the only thing that matters.
Jobs at lesser known companies tend to involve more traditional interviews. They’ll ask about projects you worked on in bootcamp and generally try to get a feel for you as a candidate. They may send you a take home coding problem to screen candidates and they may even have you do a coding problem on site, but it’s not the focus. Typically their coding problems are easier than those given by more competitive companies. For these jobs, your resume and the interviewer’s impression of you matter more.
To prepare for coding interviews, you should review the fundamentals of the various types of coding problems (covered in the course), then practice. A lot.
Fortunately there are some excellent sites for practicing coding problems:
At Next Level Coder we encourage our students to start practicing for coding interviews as soon as they’re ready. You’ll want to practice until you start noticing you’re able to solve a fair amount of problems.
Like all professional jobs, software engineering jobs require a resume. As a bootcamp graduate your resume will highlight:
- Languages and technologies you’ve learned.
- Any coding projects you’ve done. In the Next Level Coder course we build a chat app together and then do independent projects that make this step easy.
- Any past work experience that may be relevant.
- Your educational background including the coding bootcamp.
In the Next Level Coder course we provide sample resumes and resume drafting guidance to help our students stand out from the pack.
Applying for Jobs
Once you’re comfortable with coding interview questions and you’ve gotten your resume ready it’s time to apply. But before you can apply for a job, you’ve got to find it.
There are many great resources for finding software engineer jobs. The biggest sources are the general purpose job sites:
However, there are some more tech focused sites that may have jobs the others don’t:
Search for “Software Engineer” and you’ll see the jobs they have available in your city.
Applying to Jobs
Alright, you’ve written your resume and found your dream job. Now you just hit apply on the job listing right?
Not if you can help it.
The best way to apply is to contact someone you know at the company. If you don’t know anyone, another strategy is to reach out to recruiters. If they’re a large company they’ll have recruiters whose job it is to higher as many qualified applicants as possible. In Next Level Coder we collect recruiter contact information from students and interested recruiters to make this process easier for our students, but even if you don’t know anyone at the company there’s another way.
Search LinkedIn for “Company Name” Recruiter and connect with those recruiters. For example, if you want a job at Microsoft, search LinkedIn for “Microsoft Recruiter”. Pages of recruiters will appear. Look at each of their profiles and see whether any put their contact information in their profile. If not, try connecting with a few of them and see if you can reach them that way.
For smaller companies you may not have a choice but to apply through the job ad. Don’t sweat it. Chances are these companies have less competition for the position anyway.
An Easier Alternative
Recently a new crop of sites have popped up that make job hunting as an engineer super easy. They’re very coding interview focused, so make sure you’re comfortable with coding interviews before you try them. If you recall, top companies tend to focus on coding interviews so this is a great path to a great job.
What they do is pre-screen you, either by giving you a coding interview or monitoring your performance on their practice problems, and then line up job interviews with companies that are interested in you.
- TripleByte: They’ll give you a live, one on one coding interview up to three times. Based on your performance they’ll line up onsite interviews with companies you qualify for. Your TripleByte interview counts as your online interview for all the companies that are interested. Note: This is an affiliate link. TripleByte may compensate me if you get a job through them after clicking this link. But this has no bearing on the recommendation.
- Interviewing.io: They offer anonymous practice interviews with real people. When you feel ready for a live online interview with a company, you can apply through interviewing.io anonymously. If you pass the online interview you can choose to de-anonymize and go for an onsite interview.
- InterviewBit Referrals: Originally a practice problem site, they now offer to line up interviews for you as well.
What if you don’t get your first choice?
You may not get a job at your first choice company straight out of bootcamp. This doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It’s an opportunity to gain more experience and get paid while you do it. Many people get into their first choice either by reapplying or by working for a company that gets acquired. There are many routes to your dream job. The most important factor in all of them is that you keep growing and trying.
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