So, you want to work in tech, but you've got no experience. Maybe you dream of building your own video game or launching your first app. You see yourself whizzing around Google campus on a scooter, or protecting the next hottest startup from online attack.
...but you've never worked in tech before, and you're not sure how to break in.
There are plenty of jobs for new developers with little or no experience. Have you ever heard the phrase, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?” If you're an artist, swapping brush and canvas for Figma is totally achievable, and will help you to begin that UX/UI design career that you've got your heart set on. If Web Development is your dream career of choice, learning a programming language is just like any other language, and much more accessible than you think.
Algorithms are constantly changing, which means that even if you are a programmer with no experience, you can still be a super important asset to a tech company, whether it is in cyber-security, programming, or data analysis. If you are willing to constantly learn and improve your skills, then you can definitely get a job in tech without any experience at all.
You can get a job in tech even if you’re new to the field
The great thing about the technology field is that it’s constantly changing (Elon Musk already changed his mind about Twitter!). As long as you keep up with the latest trends and new demands, you are extremely valuable to any tech company.
Being curious and interested in learning are the main aspects that are going to help you succeed in tech. You will need to continuously work on your skills, which in our experience is incredibly rewarding for people who decide to take the leap into the industry. Here we have some practical tips that will help you get ready to join this exciting work environment.
Pump up your resume
When was the last time you updated your resume? What are the skills that you highlight? To join any industry you should try to showcase transferable traits, like communication or collaboration.
Established companies or start-ups are probably going to be looking for ‘jacks of all trades.’ In the tech industry, especially in smaller start-ups, developers may be expected to create content or even engage with clients directly. How are you showing that you are capable of handling whatever they throw at you?
Now is the time to review any experience you have in other industries, your education, and even your personal life experience. Think about how your skills, which we know you have, could bring value to a tech company. Think about the language you use on your resume, and adjust it to fit the dream job you are preparing for. You may even want to have a professional check it out and help you from an outside perspective.
Resumes are complicated, and even if they may seem old-fashioned, they’re still the most important part of any applications or networking you do. When you join an Ironhack Bootcamp, a world of resources is at your fingertips! Ironhack’s Career Services can help you identify your ideal outcome, and reach it as fast as possible. The program is a standalone course in the student portal, combined with individual support from Ironhack coaches. It’s a great way to get focused.
Build your networks
You’ve heard the saying, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know, right? Well, this is also true even in the virtual world of tech jobs! While it may seem that networking isn’t so important for online work, nothing is further from the truth. The connections people make online are very real, and
Networking offline is also key. While an online contact is totally valuable, the people that you meet during breaks from coding will become your biggest assets and cheerleaders as you grow in your tech career. Join as many events as you can and develop your list of contacts!
Imagine traveling to somewhere like Porto, Portugal, which is a major tech startup hub for a training bootcamp. You spend all your time learning new programs, practicing your code, and pretty much glued to the screen. But then, you get a coffee break, or a chance to go for a walk on the beach with some of your colleagues from the tech retreat. You make real connections and real friends. When the bootcamp is over and everyone goes home, your real-life connections will remain your strongest supporters.
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Constant improvement is critical when working in tech, and that is a big advantage for you as a newcomer! There are so many opportunities for you to pick a path that you want to pursue, and focus on learning the skills you’ll need to get hired. You can literally cherry-pick from the insane amount of courses available to make your resume perfect. Bootcamps are a great way to hone your skills.
This is also a chance for you to learn what you like! Do you want to be a programmer? What do you need to do to become a programmer with no experience? What about cyber-security? What skills are going to put you at the top of the pool for a cybersecurity job with no experience? What about working as a data analyst?
Each tech job has its own skillset. As you work on learning the industry and the skills you will need, you can focus on what you need to do for the specific job that you are interested in. If you love math, a data analysis job is probably right up your alley. If you love learning languages, then programming may be more your style. Take the time to enroll in courses and see what you love and what you don’t. Ultimately, you’ll want the tech job that is right for you.
Think outside the box
As one of the world's biggest sources of innovation, creative thinking is the bread and butter of any tech career. Imagine inventing the next TikTok or… who knows! The sky really is the limit. And don’t get tricked into thinking you’ll be sitting at a computer all day every day. Technology now affects all aspects of our lives, and with the Internet of Things (IoT), you can engineer pretty much anything.
Get to know Hackathons
Part of thinking outside of the box is joining the tech community. If you want a job in tech with no experience, you need to get familiar with Hackathons. Also known as code fests, hackathons are social coding events that bring computer programmers and other interested people together to improve upon or build a new software program.
These are some of the best ways for you to network with like-minded job-seekers, and learn from the best programmers at the same time. There are many types of hackathons, so once you’ve decided what direction you want to take, you can focus your energy and be sure you’re joining the right group of hackers.
And don’t be put off by the word hacker! Hackathons usually have positive goals, ranging from a specific cause or purpose to simply connecting local tech communities so they can share knowledge. No matter what you want to do in tech, participating in a local hackathon is a great way to grow your network. If you can’t join in person, the good news is there are plenty of opportunities to get involved online as well.
Let your creative juices flow
The tech world is NOT boring! It’s dynamic, evolving, and above all it’s a creative space. So even if you are joining the tech world with no experience, you have nothing to worry about as long as you can think creatively. Think of some of the biggest names in tech. Steve Jobs. Whitney Wolfe Herd. Leonardo DaVinci (not normally considered a techie but he foresaw bicycles AND flight!).
There are plenty of ways to get started on your own as you start to learn about the tech industry. Create your own blog, join SubStack or Medium to start sharing content as you learn. Creating a following and connecting with other contributors will help you get into the circles that will contribute to your career advancement.
By starting your project, you’re giving yourself material for when you go for your interviews. You’ll be able to honestly say that you have limited experience, but you have invested in learning about the industry, and are sharing your knowledge with the community. The experience you gain as an entrepreneur will definitely call attention to the tech startup industry. Get creative and show that you can bring that creativity to the programs or projects that tech companies are working on.
LinkedIn is actually cool
When was the last time you updated your LinkedIn profile? LinkedIn isn’t the sexiest social platform, but it is essential as you go about your job search. Your LinkedIn presence is critical to how tech companies evaluate you. While your resume is important, LinkedIn is the more accessible extension of your resume, and it gives you an opportunity to show the courses you are taking, your experiences, and most importantly, your interests.
Optimize your LinkedIn profile now. Tech employers will probably check out your profile before they even open your resume or job application. Most recruiters Google candidates’ names before moving ahead with anything else. So here you have another opportunity to make sure that you are showing that even if you may not have programming, cyber security, or data analysis experience, you are a candidate who wants to learn.
So, what are you waiting for? Sign up for a bootcamp and kickstart your tech career NOW!
Nothing is holding you back from becoming the next big deal in web development, data analytics, UX/UI design, or cybersecurity. You got this!