Why Most Self-Taught Developers NEVER Land The Job

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The truth of the matter is that many self-taught developers will never land the job. And it’s not because they can’t or that they lack the ability. It’s for another reason that comes later in the process.

In this post, I’ll discuss the big hurdle that self-taught developers have a hard time jumping when trying to transition into tech and then I’ll give 5 practical tips to help you get through it.

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Why Most Self-Taught Developers NEVER Land The Job

Maybe this event in your life is the defining moment where you actually start taking charge of things in your life.It just comes in the form of transitioning into tech.

For the past couple of weeks on YouTube, I’ve been trying to encourage you guys in your self-taught software journey from thinking outside the box about your career to getting IT certifications to help boost your credibility.

And today, I wanna talk about something else that I think you all need to hear.

And it’s that many of you WILL NOT land the job.

Not that you can’t, or you don’t have the ability, but it’s the fact that you’ll give up. And I used to think this was because people didn’t put in the time to learn to code or get good at coding, or they get distracted along the way and the learning takes years, and they just give it up.

And while that’s true of many, I’ve realized that the real reason many won’t succeed comes later after you’ve put in all the work…which is a shame because you’ve come this far.

And here’s how it goes:

You spend much time getting good at coding. You put in the work, you put in the time, build the projects, learn the algorithms, but then comes the phase where you have to prove yourself. And that’s where you’re gonna give up because you don’t believe that you can do it, that you can convince anyone to take a chance on you.

You’re afraid to step out and do something this uncomfortable.

Many of you haven’t had to get out of your comfort zone before and do things that you wouldn’t have dreamed yourself doing previously, like sitting in front of a panel of mid to senior developers as you work through coding challenges.

That still frightens me to this day.

Or talking up to a CTO in an interview on why you’re the best developer for this position.

And those are big steps. And it’s scary. And many of you will give up at this point, you’ll go back to your old construction job. or your restaurant job, or wherever you previously felt comfortable.

But I’m here to tell you to do something uncomfortable with your life.

Remember that Seinfeld episode where George decides he’s gonna start doing everything opposite than he did previously.

So he gets up the courage and he walks up to that lady and he’s like, “Hi, I’m George. I’m bald. I’m 34. And I live with my parents. And the lady goes, “Hi. I’m so and so.”

And he starts doing everything opposite instead of the same mundane things that he does every single day. And things start going great for him.

Well, you need to do something like that to land the job.

You have to realize that you’ve always taken the easy road or the easy jobs.

Yu’re gonna have to do the opposite.

It’s easy to go work at Domino’s or Walmart, but you want to move past that. You’re gonna have to value the work that you’ve put in, the skillset that you’ve created, and you’re gonna have to start seeing yourself as a huge asset to any employer. And you’re gonna have to start doing things you would never have dreamed of doing before.

And that’s got to be the new trajectory in your life until you land the job.

But… as soon as you end this video, many of you are gonna forget this advice and you’re gonna quit anyways.

So, let me leave you with 5 practical things today to think about.

5 Practical Tips To Help You Land The Job

1. Downplay the job listings

Think about this. If you want the best players for a basketball team, you don’t lower the rim down to 4 feet to see who can dunk it. Everyone can dunk it.

Instead, you raise it to 10 feet and see who can dunk.

In that scenario, only a few can dunk it.

But the catch is, you don’t need to dunk to play basketball. It’s just a plus.

Likewise, companies aren’t going to lowball their job listings. They probably can’t afford a senior developer, but hey, why not list out everything and see what we can get. Which means, they’re not expecting you to know all of those things. They’re trying to get the best bang for the buck. So for you, downplay it.

Take it more as a, “I can prove that I can learn any of this quickly” mentality and apply anyways.

If the company ends up calling you, then they think something special about you.

Go there and prove it!

If you don’t know all of that stuff, tell them how quickly you can learn it, how eager you are at learning it. Show them how you think.

With enough resumes sent out, you will fit in somewhere.

Later, you can get more precise with the particulars.

2. Code Out Loud

Start working on your coding problems, out loud, because you’re gonna have to start talking the lingo. And you need to practice these words coming off of your tongue. You’re gonna have to talk out loud as you work through these coding interviews. At least that’s what they like you to do so you should do it.

So as you’re practicing as you’re building out, let’s say, AWS Architecture, for example, or coding a new feature, talk the concepts out loud so you can get used to the terminology. So you’re building out some networking in AWS? Talk about it… “Now I’m gonna add a VPC and I want to use this subnet range, and I want to add an Internet gateway.”

Get those words in your vocabulary.

It’ll help you feel more confident in your interviews, and it’ll make it easier to talk with technical people.

3. Know Who You’re Talking To

These are real people with real problems.
That’s CTO that you’re talking with, he probably had a fight with his wife this morning. His kids are probably out of control.

He’s got stuff on his mind.

But there you are sitting in front of him thinking he’s super successful.

He’s got his life together.

He’s living the dream.

But he’s a real person just like you. And if you keep this in mind, it makes it more of a human to human conversation that you’re having, not you and this guy up on a pedestal, or this lady up on a pedestal.

When you go in that interview, you’re talking with another human being. Keep that in mind the whole time.

Really? What’s the worst that can happen?

4. Don’t Take Anything Personally

Don’t take anything personally during this process. You’ll get ghosted. You’ll get no callbacks. You’ll get cut in the last round, you’ll feel embarrassed.

In addition, you’ll have this one interview where you think the job is perfect, and you HAVE to land that one. You’ve gotta do what it takes to get this one job and you put everything you have into it and then you don’t get it. And you get down and out.

Don’t do that.

Don’t take anything personal.

There are many, many more perfect jobs out there.

5. If Not Now, Then When?

Time is ticking. You’ve come this far. You’ve put in all this work. Time to get radical about your life.

Maybe this event in your life is the defining moment where you actually start taking charge of things in your life.It just comes in the form of transitioning into tech.

Think of your why, your family, your financial situation.

It all hinges on you acting boldly and pursuing things that are outside of your comfort zone. now’s the time to take that leap.


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