Job Search — SE Bootcamp Edition

If you’ve read any of my previous stories you might be aware that I recently graduated a coding bootcamp at Flatiron School. I am now in the job search phase of my software engineering journey and wanted to write a post about my experience so far and to hopefully encourage other bootcamp grads to keep their head up in what is arguably the hardest part of this endeavor which is getting a job.

Today marks exactly two months since I officially started my job search for a software engineer position. In those two months I have experienced a rollercoaster of emotions. In the beginning I was very excited and enthusiastic to get out into the real world and show off my newly acquired skills. I started getting some traction by getting phone interviews and I really thought that I would have my dream job in no time. The phone interviews lead me to three separate technical interview opportunities. At this point I was ecstatic thinking that I have a real shot of starting my new career. Unfortunately things didn't turn out the way I had imagined. The first interview I admittedly bombed due to not being completely up to date on my Ruby skills. I figured, it’s my first technical interview so I didn’t let it bother me too much. Then, I got a chance to interview with a different company for a in person technical challenge. I sat in a room with five people and was asked various technical questions about code I was presented. I thought I had done a pretty good job at answering most questions only to hear back from the company that they chose to go with someone with more experience. The last interview was the hardest to digest. I had completed a take home challenge to what I considered to be 95% accuracy compared to the mock up and once again I was denied.

Rejection is never easy but unfortunately it is a part of the process. The important thing is how you deal it. Personally, I wanted to hide from it and convince myself that the company just didn’t see my true potential. Objectively, I knew that there were areas that I needed to improve so I got to work. I made sure to get all the possible feedback I could get from the prospective employers so that I knew exactly where I needed to focus my time. It was a bit uncomfortable to hear all the way in which you may not be good enough but it allowed me to hone in on the relevant skills.

It has now been two weeks since I’ve had any traction for an open position. This is the longest I’ve gone since the start of my job search. This is probably the lowest point of my search so far which is why I wanted to write this article and remind myself and others that things will turn up. We have accomplished so much in the last few months since getting into software engineering and we must not let rejection doubt our potential. Do not let imposter syndrome trick you into thinking that this career isn’t for you. Dwelling on the failures will only drag you down.

Persevere. Keep coding and keep networking. It is only a matter of time that all the hard work will pay off. It is important to keep your skills sharp and keep your eye on the prize. Make sure to talk to as many people in the industry as possible. Networking is probably one of the most important pieces of the job search puzzle. Reach out to anyone and everyone who you think can help you get to your goal. Don’t be shy. All software engineers had their start somewhere so odds are they will be more than willing to help you out if they can. Good Luck!