That moment between graduation, whether from a four-year college or a bootcamp, and that first junior software engineering position can be precarious. It can be daunting to understand what works (and what doesn’t) when searching for that first position, and in the meantime real life doesn’t stop. Real life can mean bills, childcare, elderly care, an existing part- or full-time position, and also fitting in the normal obligations like sleep and consuming sustenance.

For some reason, I’ve found that four-year colleges and bootcamps seem to neglect helping students with an on-ramp between education and the wild world of business. While experiences vary, from what I’ve found talking with junior software engineers and those who want to be software engineers, there is precious little guidance being offered by default. If you seek, you may find counselors or people willing to review resumes, but the truth is that no one is given a job.

No matter how much guidance exists, it is still 100% up to you to land that first job.

Ask a hundred people what to do in order to get your first software engineering job and you’ll get a hundred answers. There is no single way. Still, I’ve found – through direct experience and observation – what seems to work well to increase the chances you’ll get that first job. So, here’s my guide.

  1. Getting To Know Yourself
  2. Revisiting The Basics